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An interview with a former Roman Catholic

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

    I wonder if you have seen a lot of "folk Catholics." Inside folk Catholicism, they tend to meld a lot of superstition along with false teaching and understanding of what the Church teaches. In the last day or so I looked into it a little more. One of the concerns among "evangelical Catholics" is correction of the errors in folk Catholicism. (Which is often as Christian as Mormonism)
    To be honest, I had been told stories about the Catholics in other countries and in other areas and how un-Christian they were, and realistically had what I heard been what I had seen when I visited my current parish in 2008 for the first time, I probably would have never become Catholic. But rather what I saw was a priest who totally loved the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul and strength and a congregation who was devoted to things like door to door evangelization; reading and understanding scripture and very much into growing their personal relationship with Christ and helping others in their relationship with Christ. Even my parents and grandparents and protestant friends who came to my confirmation and my daughter's baptism could see it.
    I have dealt with Catholics all my life, and, quite honestly, your version of Catholicism doesn't jibe with what I've seen, or the Catholic websites I've checked out.

    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
      If so then all of Catholic Answers is at odds with the Church. But their tracts receive the Impramatur and Nihil Obistat (AKA what's here is consistent with the teaching of the Church) So from this tract "Myths About Indulgences" on their webpage:
      Myth 5: An indulgence will shorten your time in purgatory by a fixed number of days.


      The number of days which used to be attached to indulgences were references to the period of penance one might undergo during life on earth. The Catholic Church does not claim to know anything about how long or short purgatory is in general, much less in a specific person’s case.

      Myths about Indulgences | Catholic Answers
      I don't think you're really addressing my questions.

      Are you going to say that it's NOT about works - that is, that a person in purgatory who "needs more merit", isn't depending upon living people to pray and to do physical acts (works) to help the dead attain sufficient merit to go to Heaven?
      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

        And I'm sure that some of it depends on the individual priest - I "flirted" with the Catholic Church many years ago when I dated a Catholic girl (she was SO pretty) and briefly "became a Catholic". The priest at that Church, "Father Head", actually spoke very clearly about Salvation through Christ, and not the Church. He caused quite a controversy, and was replaced with another priest.
        We had a similar RC Priest here in Barstow - he was relatively young and very popular especially with the youth. Then he was gone - I heard rumors he became a Baptist preacher. Dunno.
        Watch your links! http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...corumetiquette

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          I don't think you're really addressing my questions.

          Are you going to say that it's NOT about works - that is, that a person in purgatory who "needs more merit", isn't depending upon living people to pray and to do physical acts (works) to help the dead attain sufficient merit to go to Heaven?
          So let me apologize. As I was reading over the posts I legitimately missed part of what you were asking. Keep in mind, my husband is gone 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for work right now and we are homeschooling among other household concerns; so if I miss a statement or question, chances are I was trying to answer you and then got distracted by a child needing attention.

          So with that said:
          Originally posted by Cow Poke
          Let me be more clear -- if WE cannot be saved by works, then why would the Catholic Church encourage 'works' on behalf of the dead?
          The best of my understanding comes from 2 Maccabees 12:44, 45
          44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

          To expound a bit on that, In Isaiah 38 1-5 Isaiah visits Hezekiah and tells him to get his house in order, that he will die soon. Hezekiah pleads with God, weeps bitterly and God changes his mind.

          If that is true that God changes his mind and Purgatory has time attached to it, according to the Catholic Church, we ought to pray for their atonement. We ought to pray for them to be in heaven.

          I should mention the practice of praying for the dead appears to have also been done by Paul. In 1 Timothy 3: 16-18 it is thought that Onesiphus had passed away: In verse 18 especially Paul says "May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day.


          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
          George Bernard Shaw

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

            I should mention the practice of praying for the dead appears to have also been done by Paul. In 1 Timothy 3: 16-18 it is thought that Onesiphus had passed away: In verse 18 especially Paul says "May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day.

            I believe you have confuzzled 1 Tim 3 with 2 Tim 1, and separately, "Onesimus" and "Onesiphorus."
            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

            Beige Federalist.

            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

            Let's go, Brandon

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

              So let me apologize. As I was reading over the posts I legitimately missed part of what you were asking. Keep in mind, my husband is gone 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for work right now and we are homeschooling among other household concerns; so if I miss a statement or question, chances are I was trying to answer you and then got distracted by a child needing attention.

              So with that said:

              The best of my understanding comes from 2 Maccabees 12:44, 45
              44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

              To expound a bit on that, In Isaiah 38 1-5 Isaiah visits Hezekiah and tells him to get his house in order, that he will die soon. Hezekiah pleads with God, weeps bitterly and God changes his mind.

              If that is true that God changes his mind and Purgatory has time attached to it, according to the Catholic Church, we ought to pray for their atonement. We ought to pray for them to be in heaven.

              I should mention the practice of praying for the dead appears to have also been done by Paul. In 1 Timothy 3: 16-18 it is thought that Onesiphus had passed away: In verse 18 especially Paul says "May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day.

              OK, forgive me for pressing, but does ANY of that show that the "works" of those who are living "add to" the insufficient "works" of those who died who were short of enough "works" of their own?

              And, how can it be argued that Catholicism is not "works based" rather than by Grace through faith, as in Ephesians 2:8-10?
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                I believe you have confuzzled 1 Tim 3 with 2 Tim 1, and separately, "Onesimus" and "Onesiphorus."
                Umm yup I typed the verse wrong, but in terms of the name it looks like it reads slightly differently depending on the version you have. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to....
                A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                George Bernard Shaw

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                  OK, forgive me for pressing, but does ANY of that show that the "works" of those who are living "add to" the insufficient "works" of those who died who were short of enough "works" of their own?
                  From what I know, and what I have studied, it shows not "insufficiency" but rather it shows that we are required and/ or should to cooperate with grace, both for ourselves and on behalf of others; similar to how we should also pray for those who do not have the ability or lack the faith to pray for themselves.

                  Originally posted by Cow Poke
                  And, how can it be argued that Catholicism is not "works based" rather than by Grace through faith, as in Ephesians 2:8-10?
                  In Catholicism, we believe in two kinds of grace. The first is called Actual grace, the second is Sanctifying grace. The Catechism says regarding what happens with "Actual Grace"

                  "Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us "co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life." (CCC 2009)
                  "Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification..." (CCC 2010)

                  In his book The Drama of Salvation Jimmy Akin writes about actual grace: " They are thus, by God's grace, led to repentance from sin, faith in God and in Christ, and to the sacrament of Baptism" (Akin, 139)



                  Now the second part and this is why my husband believes that the Catholic Church fits "Arminian" definitions of Salvation is sanctifying grace. To us Catholics sanctifying grace is what we are called to cooperation with. It may also be called "habitual grace" or one might call it "Practicing Grace in our every day lives."
                  I was recently sitting in RCIA class with my oldest and the leader described one aspect of habitual grace as the call give the same sacrificial love that Jesus gave to us; the second part is the call to participate and grow in holiness. Actual grace from God is what would give us the desire to do these things.

                  To a Catholic, Salvation is a process best described as three fold, Grace will save us. Like the Epistle of James writes we will only profit if we have faith, and works to go with it.
                  You could also phrase it this way. From Original sin we are saved, (Actual Grace) We are on our way to heaven and seek to live a sanctified and holy life, pleasing to the Lord (We are being Saved) And we will one day leave this earthly life, resurrected with a new body and no pain nor suffering, but only dwelling in the presence of God. (From the consequence of sin we will BE Saved)
                  And none of this without God's grace or love for us.

                  A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                  George Bernard Shaw

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

                    From what I know, and what I have studied, it shows not "insufficiency" but rather it shows that we are required and/ or should to cooperate with grace, both for ourselves and on behalf of others; similar to how we should also pray for those who do not have the ability or lack the faith to pray for themselves.
                    Yes, we should do works BECAUSE we are saved, not so that we can BE saved.

                    In Catholicism, we believe in two kinds of grace. The first is called Actual grace, the second is Sanctifying grace. The Catechism says regarding what happens with "Actual Grace"

                    "Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us "co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life." (CCC 2009)
                    "Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification..." (CCC 2010)

                    In his book The Drama of Salvation Jimmy Akin writes about actual grace: " They are thus, by God's grace, led to repentance from sin, faith in God and in Christ, and to the sacrament of Baptism" (Akin, 139)
                    OK, I think I'm still not seeing how this isn't "works Salvation", particularly since a person in 'purgatory' is dependent upon the WORKS of those who are still living. The post I shared where there are 20 ways to pray for the dead lists actual things you can do - works - to help them out of Purgatory.

                    Now the second part and this is why my husband believes that the Catholic Church fits "Arminian" definitions of Salvation is sanctifying grace. To us Catholics sanctifying grace is what we are called to cooperation with. It may also be called "habitual grace" or one might call it "Practicing Grace in our every day lives."
                    I was recently sitting in RCIA class with my oldest and the leader described one aspect of habitual grace as the call give the same sacrificial love that Jesus gave to us; the second part is the call to participate and grow in holiness. Actual grace from God is what would give us the desire to do these things.

                    To a Catholic, Salvation is a process best described as three fold, Grace will save us. Like the Epistle of James writes we will only profit if we have faith, and works to go with it.
                    You could also phrase it this way. From Original sin we are saved, (Actual Grace) We are on our way to heaven and seek to live a sanctified and holy life, pleasing to the Lord (We are being Saved) And we will one day leave this earthly life, resurrected with a new body and no pain nor suffering, but only dwelling in the presence of God. (From the consequence of sin we will BE Saved)
                    And none of this without God's grace or love for us.
                    OK, so where's the part about not having sufficient works to get into Heaven when you die, and being dependent upon those living to "add to" that lack if sufficient works?

                    That, at this point, seems to be my biggest hang-up. If I am saved, I go to Heaven when I die, and I am not placed in a "holding place", dependent upon others to finish my work for me so I can earn my way into Heaven.
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                      T...Like the Epistle of James writes we will only profit if we have faith, and works to go with it.
                      I don't think Brother James is saying that at all.

                      Care to elaborate on that?

                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                        To a Catholic, Salvation is a process best described as three fold, Grace will save us. Like the Epistle of James writes we will only profit if we have faith, and works to go with it.
                        I agree with the notion that we "have been saved", "are being saved", and "will be saved" - but the emphasis on works is a testament to our faith, not a condition of it.

                        You could also phrase it this way. From Original sin we are saved, (Actual Grace) We are on our way to heaven and seek to live a sanctified and holy life, pleasing to the Lord (We are being Saved) And we will one day leave this earthly life, resurrected with a new body and no pain nor suffering, but only dwelling in the presence of God. (From the consequence of sin we will BE Saved)
                        And none of this without God's grace or love for us.
                        And none of that says anything about the "poor soul" who didn't have enough merit to enter Heaven, so the rest of us need to add to his merit so me makes it.

                        I've check a lot of seemingly official Catholic sites, and while they all seem to protest that "we do NOT teach Salvation by works", there's always that need for "enough merit", without which one gets sidelined to Purgatory, dependent upon others to add to his "merit".

                        I'll hush for now, cause I'm just not seeing a solution to this problem in Catholicism.

                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • I wonder who prayed the soul of the redeemed thief on the cross next to Christ out of Purgatory.........


                          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                            I don't think Brother James is saying that at all.

                            Care to elaborate on that?
                            Ok, let me start here, since it's going to be the shorter response to your three posts. BTW, I want to add, I don't expect or anticipate agreement. My main aim here is to answer the charges against the church (in this case the church I converted to) and to inform. I would expect that much like all denominations we are are going to have disagreements on finer points of doctrine, but we are going to agree on essentials. (Such as whether or not Jesus is God, for one)
                            And believe it or not, I appreciate and welcome discussion and challenges inasmuch as I believe that when handled properly, they will help me grow closer to the Lord.
                            So that said. The Epistle of James is an interesting one. Martin Luther called it an epistle of straw because it counters the idea of Sola Fide. Indeed this is the only book of the New Testament where Faith alone appears; in this verse. St. James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."
                            Of course there are other parts of that section of the letter that are important.
                            St James 2:21-23
                            Was our father Abraham not justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God

                            To us in the Catholic Church, the above explains fully the "Working" relationship between faith and works (they go hand in hand) Indeed verse 22 there literally describes the reciprocal relationship between the two. works perfect our faith. I would argue that St. James is talking about living faith or living righteousness; and there is no shortage of Catholic teaching on the importance of "Living Faith"

                            St. James argues in verse 17 that
                            In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

                            I am going to use a close friend's family for an example to the above:
                            One of my good friends (I will call her D) whom I have known since I was a child, has a mother (Mrs. S.) who professes to be a Christian. Mrs. S' "testimony" goes like this: After her ex- husband committed suicide she couldn't stop grieving. Mrs. S would take D to her ex-husband's grave and would spend hours crying. One day at the cemetary, Mrs. S. heard a radio program one day after she had yet again visited the cemetary. That moment she "accepted Jesus" and he healed her heart and she never cried again over her ex-husband. Mrs. S. goes to church every Sunday. She has helped raise her grandkids and she gives to those around her. Her daughter (D) graduated from an elite college and her son went into the Army and was discharged with multiple honors and metals. Sounds like Mrs S. is really a Christian right?
                            For those of us that know Mrs. S. and her family, we need to look closer:
                            Mrs. S. is actually abusive to her immediate family. She works hard to maintain complete control and shuns any one in her family who lives their life in opposition. As D grew older, Mrs. S found ways to sabotage D's life. What most people don't know is that Mrs S. stole the trust fund that her ex-husband (D's father) left D to put her through college and purchase a car. Mrs. S used to literally try and "beat the devil" out of her son who as it turns out, would later be diagnosed with ADHD. Mrs. S. also deliberately attempted to injure D after D had rotator cuff surgery. There is a lot more to this story, and I wish I could say it was false, except that I am also friends with Mrs. S's extended family and others who knew Mrs S and her extended family through church activities. Every bit is true.
                            Yet Mrs. S claims that "her faith has saved her."
                            From my stand point and the other people that know her, none of us believe Mrs. S. knows Jesus. We do believe that she uses church as an excuse to hide her abusive behavior. And while this is certainly more extreme, It fits. Even if she has a belief in God it's a belief only and not something she puts into practice.
                            To a Catholic, she is either 1) not saved, OR 2) if she had any kind of sincere belief and conversion, even for 30 minutes, she is so greatly attached to her sin of abusing others and refused to cooperate with the actual grace that was offered freely to her.
                            Thus at the conclusion of Mrs. S's life we would assume that God would judge accordingly. Now personally if I were her, I would be thankful if when the "fire" in Corinthians exposed my work and I only "suffered a loss" before entering the gates of heaven. (That's Catholic speak for saying she died with an attachment to serious sin, but because of God's amazing grace, he cleansed the bad work from her in Purgatory before entering heaven.)
                            Otherwise I would expect eternal damnation if I claimed to know God then spent my life unrepentent and abused others.
                            This is actually the issue I have with claiming that no cooperation with God's grace is needed. It's essentially permission to never attempt to change.
                            The other example I would give would be of an alcoholic. They want to get well and stop drinking. God's grace gives them the courage to stop drinking, but if they do not do the work required, then the grace and the desire to become a different person is worthless.
                            Ok that's wordy enough. And remember, I don't expect that we would necessarily "agree" on this, but I do appreciate the dialogue.
                            A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                            George Bernard Shaw

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                              I wonder who prayed the soul of the redeemed thief on the cross next to Christ out of Purgatory.........
                              He certainly had no "merit", yet Christ proclaimed that he would be with Christ that very day. (I'm aware of the argument about the comma placed before or after the word "today", but still none of the accounts mention anything about merit or conditions for this man to be with Him in Paradise)

                              From everything I can find, this "doctrine" of purgatory didn't become a part of the Catholic Church's teachings until the 12th Century.

                              It seems to me (and I'm trying to be careful here) that this is similar to some of the "doctrines" in Mormonism where, if they could, they'd love to pretend that never was a teaching. It seems clear to me, in everything I'm reading on this, both in objections to the Catholic Church and defenses of the doctrine of purgatory, that is is a very problematic teaching.

                              While so many sources from Catholic websites try to make it crystal clear that Catholicism is NOT a "works based Salvation", in my opinion, Purgatory says otherwise.

                              If somebody gets 'sidelined' to Purgatory before they can make it into Heaven due to a lack of 'merit', and there's nothing they can do themselves in Purgatory to "add to" that "merit" -- then how is that not 'dependent upon the Church' (other Catholics) to "add to" that person's merit by doing things that actually are "works" like pouring holy water onto the ground, or dedicating a Mass to that individual, or being granted an "indulgence"...

                              It sounds like there are attempts to use fancy names (or different classes of grace) to avoid calling it what it is -- if you don't have sufficient "merit" to get into Heaven when you die, then you are dependent upon the "merit" of others to pull you across the line.

                              Maybe this is so problematic for me because I have always heard Grace defined as "unmerited favor". So it's very interesting to me that I keep seeing "merit" as what is needed to bypass Purgatory, or for others to "add to" your "merit" to get you out.

                              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Catholicity View Post

                                Ok, let me start here, since it's going to be the shorter response to your three posts. BTW, I want to add, I don't expect or anticipate agreement. My main aim here is to answer the charges against the church (in this case the church I converted to) and to inform. I would expect that much like all denominations we are are going to have disagreements on finer points of doctrine, but we are going to agree on essentials. (Such as whether or not Jesus is God, for one)
                                And believe it or not, I appreciate and welcome discussion and challenges inasmuch as I believe that when handled properly, they will help me grow closer to the Lord.
                                So that said. The Epistle of James is an interesting one. Martin Luther called it an epistle of straw because it counters the idea of Sola Fide. Indeed this is the only book of the New Testament where Faith alone appears; in this verse. St. James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."
                                Of course there are other parts of that section of the letter that are important.
                                St James 2:21-23
                                Was our father Abraham not justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God

                                To us in the Catholic Church, the above explains fully the "Working" relationship between faith and works (they go hand in hand) Indeed verse 22 there literally describes the reciprocal relationship between the two. works perfect our faith. I would argue that St. James is talking about living faith or living righteousness; and there is no shortage of Catholic teaching on the importance of "Living Faith"

                                St. James argues in verse 17 that
                                In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

                                I am going to use a close friend's family for an example to the above:
                                One of my good friends (I will call her D) whom I have known since I was a child, has a mother (Mrs. S.) who professes to be a Christian. Mrs. S' "testimony" goes like this: After her ex- husband committed suicide she couldn't stop grieving. Mrs. S would take D to her ex-husband's grave and would spend hours crying. One day at the cemetary, Mrs. S. heard a radio program one day after she had yet again visited the cemetary. That moment she "accepted Jesus" and he healed her heart and she never cried again over her ex-husband. Mrs. S. goes to church every Sunday. She has helped raise her grandkids and she gives to those around her. Her daughter (D) graduated from an elite college and her son went into the Army and was discharged with multiple honors and metals. Sounds like Mrs S. is really a Christian right?
                                For those of us that know Mrs. S. and her family, we need to look closer:
                                Mrs. S. is actually abusive to her immediate family. She works hard to maintain complete control and shuns any one in her family who lives their life in opposition. As D grew older, Mrs. S found ways to sabotage D's life. What most people don't know is that Mrs S. stole the trust fund that her ex-husband (D's father) left D to put her through college and purchase a car. Mrs. S used to literally try and "beat the devil" out of her son who as it turns out, would later be diagnosed with ADHD. Mrs. S. also deliberately attempted to injure D after D had rotator cuff surgery. There is a lot more to this story, and I wish I could say it was false, except that I am also friends with Mrs. S's extended family and others who knew Mrs S and her extended family through church activities. Every bit is true.
                                Yet Mrs. S claims that "her faith has saved her."
                                From my stand point and the other people that know her, none of us believe Mrs. S. knows Jesus. We do believe that she uses church as an excuse to hide her abusive behavior. And while this is certainly more extreme, It fits. Even if she has a belief in God it's a belief only and not something she puts into practice.
                                To a Catholic, she is either 1) not saved, OR 2) if she had any kind of sincere belief and conversion, even for 30 minutes, she is so greatly attached to her sin of abusing others and refused to cooperate with the actual grace that was offered freely to her.
                                Thus at the conclusion of Mrs. S's life we would assume that God would judge accordingly. Now personally if I were her, I would be thankful if when the "fire" in Corinthians exposed my work and I only "suffered a loss" before entering the gates of heaven. (That's Catholic speak for saying she died with an attachment to serious sin, but because of God's amazing grace, he cleansed the bad work from her in Purgatory before entering heaven.)
                                Otherwise I would expect eternal damnation if I claimed to know God then spent my life unrepentent and abused others.
                                This is actually the issue I have with claiming that no cooperation with God's grace is needed. It's essentially permission to never attempt to change.
                                The other example I would give would be of an alcoholic. They want to get well and stop drinking. God's grace gives them the courage to stop drinking, but if they do not do the work required, then the grace and the desire to become a different person is worthless.
                                Ok that's wordy enough. And remember, I don't expect that we would necessarily "agree" on this, but I do appreciate the dialogue.
                                Yeah, we're gonna disagree on what James was saying about works.

                                I think he is saying, theologically, exactly the same thing as Paul. But while Paul emphasizes the "cause," which is trusting faith, James emphasizes the "effect," which is the resulting good works. James stresses that so-called-"faith", which is merely mental agreement and does not produce good and loving works, is not a genuine, saving faith. He points to the Old Testament examples of Abraham and Rahab to show that their faith saved them—and we know this because their "faith" resulted in obedience and courageous good works for God and His people. Their works are evidence of their faith, it is not the cause of it.

                                I believe James is simply saying that faith saves, but it needs to be genuine faith, which results in good works.

                                So, how bout we focus on Purgatory?
                                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                                Comment

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