One Question, a Grand Divisor of Truth and False Religions 10/18/03
In all human studies of theology there is no one greater question than the one I shall address here. In all the divisions of religions, especially "Christian religions," there is not a more clear divisor which separates teachers, denominations, faiths and churches into two distinct piles or groupings of "true religion" and "false religion."
The question was asked of Jesus himself while he walked here on this earth. This question, answered wrongly, has formed many a mother church which gives birth to innumerable daughter churches which are tainted by the falsehood of mother's false teachings on this one question. All of mankind is responsible for asking and pursuing truthful answer to this one question, and we should let its answer divide Baptists and Catholics into two distinct piles and call one false and one true.
The question: "What shall man do to attain eternal life." The question looms before every religion. If the Bible is true, and you and I both believe that it is, then there is but one right answer to this question. Again, how a teacher, denomination, religion or church answers this one questions determines weather they are a true religion or a false religion.
Let me state first how a Baptist categorically, across the board answers this question. Then I shall be glad to hear as concise an answer from you as to how your catholic church taught you an answer. Whereupon you and I shall have the tools to decide which religion is the false teacher, Baptist Bible Doctrine, or Catholic Papal Doctrine.
The Baptist believe the clear Bible teaching that there is no works a sinner can do in this life to procure eternal life. It is absolutely a free gift made available to all men through Jesus Christ. Not through his church, not through any good work, not through any physical deed or bead, penance or substance, baptism or conformation. Nothing but faith in Jesus Christ and his promise of GRACE can bring about eternal life to fallen man. And when Jesus Christ gives you this eternal life he don't leave you sitting around wondering if you got it. You are literally born again as he said, born spiritually wherein you are 1) Converted via repentance and faith in Christ, 2) you are Justified before God through Christ, 3) you are Regenerated or quickened, made alive where once you were dead in trespasses and sin, 4) you are Baptized into the body of Christ, (no water here) and 5) you are Indwelt, permanently, by the Holy Spirit of God. These all happen in an instant and are all permanent and everlasting, thus the explanation of Christ "Hath, (present perfect tense) everlasting life." Now when these five events occur simultaneously in ones life, there is little doubt that some thing has happened to the individual and he or she can tell you when they got saved, when they were born again, who showed them the scriptures and how great it is to be saved and know it. We call that giving a testimony of when God saved you, mine is written on my web page, every member of a Baptist Church has this salvation testimony.
Now lets look at a few verifying scriptures. Eph 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." You may not get a full understanding of what it means to get saved from this sentence but it is a cinch that you won't get there with any works that you do. Notice Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Clearly no works at all are in ones salvation experience.
Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
These passages are clear about salvation of man's soul being by grace and no work of any sort being involved. It is a free gift, and must be accepted as such as so eloquently described in the whole dissertation of Romans. Further these excerpts are completely in context, so much so that we recommend that the whole book of Ephesians and the whole book of Romans be read to more fully understand the freedom of this gift, and the reality of an event called salvation that includes the five above mentioned simultaneous events. That is Baptist Doctrine of salvation. It is straight from the Bible and concludes that man can have eternal life, and know that he has it, by being 'born again.' Further the Bible says 1John5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Any religion that would add some work to this free gift is a false religion. And any church that would offer eternal life up for sale to highest bidders is especially vile. So now I'll bid you do your homework, and tell me what does your Roman church say concerning eternal life? Ask your priest what you must do to know for certain that you have eternal life and record his answer. What is your Roman church teaching this week that one must do to attain eternal life. I know what they taught in the past 1600 years, since they started baptizing infants and broke off from the Baptist Church and joined hands with the government of Rome and they have been a false church a false religion on this regard. So, don't just call me liar here, enlighten me. How does a Roman Catholic attain eternal life, and know that they have (present perfect tense) it? (In 2 pages or less please)
Pastor Ed Rice, Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 54 Main St. Box 99, Dresden NY 14441
Thank you for a thorough but readable answer to my inquiry, let me see if I understand what you said.
If I am to attain eternal life I must go to a Roman Catholic Church and there put my faith in Jesus Christ and there do works through the Roman Catholic Church who is the mother of all faith. Without her water, wine and wafers I am a lost sinner plunging towards an eternal hell, because faith without works through a mother church is dead. In other words the ONLY way that I can get my faith to be alive is by doing works, and the ONLY avenue for one to do these works is through the mother of all faith, the Roman Catholic Church.
Roman Catholic Article 181 "Believing" is an ecclesial act. The Church's faith precedes, engenders, supports, and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. "No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother" (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519)..
I have attempted to pull this answer out of all the other rhetoric and condense it into three sentences. Did I get the gist of your answer?
Pastor Ed Rice, Good Samaritan Baptist Church, Dresden NY 14441
Again I thank you for a thorough answer that gets right to the point. Let me see if I understand again.
If one is to attain eternal life. One must 1) have believing faith in Jesus AND 2) do works or sacraments through the only mother of all faith the Holy Roman Catholic Church, AND 3) never in this life presume that I have attained this eternal life but just keep doing whatever the mother of my faith says to do. So one can never know, in this life if one has eternal life, and one can never know if a loved one has this eternal life that Jesus promised to us. Not only so, but someone, like myself, who denies the motherhood of the Imperial Roman Catholic Church, who rejects her sacrament of baptism and rejects her sacrament of communion, and who calls the Imperial Roman Catholic Church an apostate liar and deceiver, even I, cannot be presumed to be a lost sinner plunging toward hell, yeah indeed one cannot even presume the rejecter of the Lord Jesus Christ who curses God's son on his death bed, one cannot even presume that he goes to hell.
Consequently the Roman Catholic Church holds all of humanity in this quasi mortal state of uncertainty. One can never know that one has eternal life, one can never know that one is lost and going to hell, one can only know that the Roman Catholic Church is the mother of all faith and our eternal fate hangs on which way she is leaning. So one can, perhaps, in this quagmire of uncertainty even get this holy mother of all faith to lean towards giving eternal life to a departed loved one.
Perhaps you can tell in my tone that some of this contradicts what my Bible tells me, but did I characterize correctly the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church in the above paragraphs? If not what should I change? (other than my interludes of sarcasm)
Pastor Ed Rice
You are quite mistaken about me. I am not lying. I am not ignoring the Bible. I am not judging, except with Christ's righteous judgments. Paul was never working out his salvation with fear and trembling, as you misquote, (you should read more carefully what is written instead of spewing out old rhetoric, look what it says! Use a King James Authorized, there are still a few around that were not burned under martyrs.) Indeed Paul is the very apostle who said there can be NO WORKS in ones salvation. "Why do you ignore so much Bible." You should really read the Bible in context more, you try to make it fit your Roman preadobted creed and it don't. Another suggestion, when you jerk verses out of Matthew and try to beat people over the head with them, try keeping them in context. Enduring until the end is something that is only done in the tribulation period as described in Matt 24 and Revelation of Jesus Christ. No where is salvation ATTAINED by enduring to the end, by baptism or by a mother church. You confuse the trials of ones faith with salvation faith. Is ones salvation faith real? Is it alive or is it dead? Faith without works is dead. Is it sprung up but never to bear fruit, like a seed in the weed, like a seed in stony ground, or like a tare which is not a wheat. All these have nothing to do with attaining saving faith, only with ensuring that yours is real. One should do that with fear and trembling. But saving faith is ATTAINED without works or endurance. But once it is attained, once one is born again, saved from their sin debt, then they KNOW they HAVE eternal life, just like Jesus said.
I AM proving your little catechism wrong on the matter of salvation. It says I must attain it via works in your mother Roman Church, my Bible says not of works lest any man should boast. It is you, Max, with your ears stopped up and your liar labels all made out in advance. Look again at Ephesians 2:8 and 9. Either your catechism is in error or the Bible is in error. I say catechism. Look again at 1John 5. I am saved (present perfect tense) from the penalty and power of sin, I John 5 bears out my testimony of salvation explicitly. I KNOW that I am saved, I KNOW I attained it without works of righteousness, I KNOW I did not get it from that mother Roman Church and I KNOW 1 John 5 is true. Either what it says in 1 John is in error or your catechism and it's mother is in error. I say catechism. Can you hear me, now?
What must one do to have (present perfect tense) eternal life? Faith without works! Christ without mother!
Pastor Ed Rice,
Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 54 Main St, Dresden NY 14441
PS I see this dialog makes you angry. Possibly what makes you angry is that God has already had mercy on my soul and he has done it outside the Roman Catholic Church. So too, thousands of others. Because we have attained eternal life through Christ without the water, wine and wafers demanded by the apostate Roman Church who also demands to be called mother of all faith (in her catechism) you call us all liars. But our testimony is real. Our testimony is personal. I know it attacks what you have been taught from your youth. I know that I am heavy handed and sometimes clumsy in handing out the truth of this gospel of salvation. If you want that I not respond to your emails and anger you more, that's easy, don't send emails. You may just refuse to respond to my preaching. But don't refuse to respond to His. May God Bless you in your quest for eternal life, it is attainable. Jesus said so.
PS Article 168, 169, 171,and 181 are definitely in error. The definition of CHURCH taken in the catechism is that of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. It is not an accurate definition. With this defective definition a pope tries to be the sole dispensary of Christ's salvation. Never happen. It's a lie It's untrue. I prove it. I attained salvation through Christ without a pope or priest..
10/27/03 10:26 PM ANSWER FROM JACOB HUTHER
"If one is to attain eternal life. One must 1) have believing faith in
Jesus AND 2) do works or sacraments through the only mother of all faith
the Holy Roman Catholic Church, AND 3) never in this life presume that I
have attained this eternal life but just keep doing whatever the mother
of my faith says to do."
Well, I'd say one out of 3 isn't bad. One MUST have believing faith in
Jesus. 2 and 3 need a little work. In your faith, you do good works.
These are apart from the Sacraments, which I will (and I thought I did)
explain. Good works are like, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry,
etc. If you have faith in Christ, then your LOVE for him should drive
you to do these good works. They aren't a requisite, per se. But if
you don't automatically, in your humble love for God, do these, then I'd
say that you were indeed lacking in faith. And these deeds are
prescribed by the Catholic Church only because the Apostles prescribed
them! The Catholic Church holds on to what the Apostles taught, in
entirety. But one can perform these works outside of the Church! And
if one has faith outside the Church, it would be fitting that these
deeds would be done by whoever had faith, whether it be a Baptist,
Episcopalian, Lutheran, or other.
Sacraments are not "good works". These aren't the "works" that are
talked about. A sacrament by definition is, an outward sign instituted
by Christ to give us grace. When we receive a Sacrament, then Christ
gives us special Graces which he had promised though them, in order to
continue in our walk with him. The Sacraments are life-giving Grace.
They point us in the right direction. Baptism, for one, takes away our
sins! It is a dying of ourselves to the flesh and a rising to the
spiritual life in Christ. When the Apostles were asked what one must do
to be saved, they replied, "repent and be Baptized". And we know it was
by water, because if you read Acts, Philip baptizes the Eunuch when they
reach a well! The Eucharist is the highest Sacrament because it is
Christ himself! He gives us an outward sign of himself! When he said,
"take, eat, this is my Body." He wasn't talking symbolically. He told
us before that "unless [we] eat the flesh of the Son of Man, [we] have
no life in us!".
And, 3 must be modified. In this life, we cannot presume to be saved.
How can we? You're telling me that you know the future? Are you
absolutely sure that Satan won't get the best of you and you will fall
into sin right before you die!? You are saying that it is impossible
for you now to turn your back on Christ!? Peter did, although he turned
back. But why should we presume to be "better" than Peter? We cannot
presume. Because once we do, we allow ourselves to "let up". We MUST
fight until the bitter end. We must fight the flesh, the world, and the
Devil until the very end. However, we don't "just keep doing whatever
the mother of my faith says to do." That is a good start, for Christ
told his Church, as the Father has sent me, so I send you. Whoever
rejects you rejects me. Whatever you loose on earth, you loose in
heaven. I will send you the spirit. etc. We know that if we do
"whatever" our Church tells us, then we are on the right track. But it
is much more. It is a realization that we MUST do whatever Christ tells
us to do, and that the Church (on faith and morals) is the voice of
Christ! We don't do what the Church says out of "need", we do it out of
One doesn't become friends with Christ in order to abuse his salvific
gift. Are you Christ's friend only because he holds your ticket to
salvation! Or are you his friend because he Loved you enough to die in
your place. We don't do what Christ tells us, through the Church,
because we MUST in order to be saved. We do what the Church tells us,
because we WANT to be true friends of Christ.
"So one can never know, in this life if one has
eternal life, and one can never know if a loved one has this eternal
life that Jesus promised to us."
We can't. Tell me Ed, does everyone go to heaven? I don't think you
believe that. But you are not God, and neither am I. I don't know God's
mind! I don't know what is "good enough", and I sure don't know what is
"bad enough". We know objectively which sins will take us to hell. We
also know what kind of faith and life can lead us to heaven.
OBJECTIVELY! But we don't know peoples hearts. We can't read souls,
Ed. Only God can.
Your "loved one" might have been the sweetest person on earth, but in
his mind (deep on his soul) he was a very wicked person, cursing God and
lusting and envying, etc.
We also cannot presume that the most wicked and cruel person repented at
the very end! We just cannot presume that God's mercy is thus limited.
He knows the heart.
"Not only so, but someone, like myself, who denys the motherhood of the
Imperial Roman Catholic Church, who rejects her sacrament of baptism and
rejects her sacrament of communion, and who calls the Imperial Roman
Catholic Church an apostate liar and deceiver, even I, cannot be
presumed to be a lost sinner plunging toward hell.."
Ed, it is apparent that you did not read my post. I said, IF you are
sincere in your efforts, then you are not plunging toward hell. If,
however, you are a liar and if you do know that the Church is God's
Church, yet you persist in your rejection, then you are ON YOUR WAY to
hell. I say on your way because I don't know your heart, and you just
might be "saved" in the end.
", yeah indeed one
cannot even presume the rejector of the Lord Jesus Christ who curses
God's son on his death bed, one cannot even presume that he goes to
You cannot know God's mercy. It is most likely that they did, if they
were cursing God's son on his death bed. But we don't know, Ed. We
aren't God to be our own judges. Are you as smart as God to know a
persons heart, Ed?
"Consequently the Roman Catholic Church holds all of humanity in this
quasi mortal state of uncertainty."
No, Ed. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't. The Roman Catholic Church,
on the Contrary, is the ONLY Church (because it was the one Christ
established) which offers all the necessary tools to be assured of
Salvation. Christ left all there is to know about his Word (written and
Oral), and all that one must do to be saved, INSIDE the Church. Outside
the Sacramental life of the Church we know of no other way by which one
may be saved! I will repeat that, WE know of no other way. God may
have another way, but we don't know it.
It is us, by our humanness (our non-divinity), that "holds" ourselves in
this state of uncertainty. We are HUMANS ED. We CAN mess up. We can go
from a Saint on earth to Satan's best friend in a blink of an eye. We
cannot be assured of our salvation. It is "one step at a time" for us.
And St. Paul taught this.
"So one can,
perhaps, in this quagmire of uncertaity even get this holy mother of all
faith to lean towards giving eternal life to a departed loved one."
I'm not quite sure what you mean, Ed. The Church has no power to bring
someone out of Hell. The Church CAN and does pray for the departed.
Because nothing unclean can enter heaven. So we pray for those who might
have died unclean, yet not worthy of hell. Those that we say are in a
state of purgation (Purgatory). Our prayers, benefit them! Just like
my prayers benefit you. But to say that the Church determines who goes
to heaven or who goes to hell, that is fictitious. Only Christ does!
"Perhaps you can tell in my tone that some of this contradicts what my
Bible tells me,"
Ed, nothing that the Church teaches contradicts the Bible. So, if it
appears to do so, a) you are misinterpreting the Bible or b) you are
misinterpreting what the Church is teaching.
I hope that I cleared up a little for you.
10/22/03 9:36 PM ANSWER FROM JACOB HUTHER
"Thank you for a through but readable answer to my inquiry, let me see
I understand what you said.
If I am to attain eternal life I must go to a Roman Catholic Church and
there put my faith in Jesus Christ and there do works through the Roman
Catholic Church who is the mother of all faith."
No, not necessarily. The Roman Catholic Church offers, that is, guards,
what the Apostles taught. Therefore, what the Catholic Church offers is
the most COMPLETE form of Christianity, and the most PERFECT teachings
of our Lord Jesus Christ. One may be "saved", but it would be though
the graces poured out through the Catholic Church. For it was Her that
brought the Faith to "the ends of the earth!" One who is in the Catholic
Church, and abides by her Teachings (note: that isn't all "Catholics"
obviously), has ALL the tools necessary for salvation, without which we
know of no other way in which one may be "saved". Note, WE know not any
other way by which one may be saved. But what we know not, God
certainly knows. He established the Church (the Catholic "universal"
Church, for our benefit! God didn't drop us a Bible! He established us
a Church. The Church didn't "have" to write the New Testament and (400
years later) compile the Bible. The Bible was a product of the Church,
the Church wasn't a product of the Bible.
"Without her water, wine
and wafers I am a lost sinner plunging towards an eternal hell, because
faith without works through a mother church is dead."
Absolutely not! God knows your heart, Ed. I don't. Without baptism in
the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we know of no other
way in which one may be saved. For, it is Sacred Scripture (and before
that was written, it was Apostolic Tradition) which taught that by
Baptism and Repentance we are saved. It says right there in the Bible
that one MUST be baptized in order to be saved. And it WAS with WATER
Ed. Did you not read about the Ethiopian Eunuch who was baptized by St.
And without "wine and wafers", which I assume you mean to say the BODY
and BLOOD of Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. and John 6), we have NO LIFE IN
US. Therefore, without doing "this in memory of [Jesus Christ]", we
know of no other way by which one may be saved. The Catholic Church is
the only Church (because Christ established it) that offers Jesus' Body,
just as he commanded.
You are not a lost sinner plunging towards an eternal hell, Ed. We all
are sinners. I'd say you were lost, because you are not where Christ
wants you (in His Church that He established especially for you). But
you are certainly not "plunging towards an eternal hell." Unless of
course you are spreading lies about Christ's Church on purpose. But if
you are sincerely seeking the Truth, and honestly are ignorant of the
Truth of the Catholic Church, then Jesus understands, and it is through
his divine mercy that once you make it to heaven, you WILL indeed be a
part of the Catholic Church (you will be a member of the Body of Christ
And I never said "faith without works [through mother church] is dead."
So please don't misquote me. I said faith without works is dead! Isn't
that what Scripture says, Ed? It doesn't matter if you are in the
Church or not. Works are counted toward you when you do them in faith,
and with love! If believe you have faith, then your faith cannot end at
the tip of your tongue. Faith moves you to do good works! Clothe the
naked, feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, etc.
If you are confused about the "works" required in the Catholic Church,
like Baptism, reconciliation, Holy Communion, Marriage, etc. These
aren't "good works", Ed. This are Sacraments, which are for our benefit
(again - notice that what Christ gave us is for our benefit.). We can
choose not to have them, but then it is our loss! We miss out on the
Graces that they bring. Graces, as I stated before, that without, we
know of no other way in which one may be "saved". The Sacramental
Graces are our life lines in our walk with Christ. We can say that by
the Loving Justice of God many have made it to their eternal reward
outside the Church, and outside the Sacraments. But it is by them and
through them that they were saved! And in the end, when they are seated
on their throne in heaven, they will be counted as one of us, Ed. You
cannot escape it. If you make it to heaven, you will be Catholic!
Because All the Angels and Saints Sing the Lords Praises whenever a
Catholic mass is offered! The Saints are our "cloud of witnesses", and
they intercede for us, Ed. If you make it to heaven, I should ask that
you pray to the Lord on my behalf, just as I ask you now.
"In other words the
ONLY way that I can get my faith to be alive is by doing works, and the
ONLY avenue for one to do these works is through the mother of all
faith, the Roman Catholic Church."
No, again Ed. Good works are apart from the Catholic Church. The
Church may help you to understand what the Lord wishes you to "do". But
anyone can do them! If your faith doesn't move you to do good works (no
matter where you are at), then it isn't really a strong faith! The
Catholic Church IS the Mother of all faith! That is, she nourishes our
faith, and presents to us the MOST PURE way in which we can express our
faith. She is the mouthpiece of Christ (because he told her "as the
Father has sent me, so I have sent you!). She is who has brought you
your faith, Ed. Had it not been for the Catholic Church, founded on
Peter, then the Apostles would not have preached, their successors would
not know about Christ, and the Gospel would not have reached the ends of
the Earth. The entire New Testament would not exist, and we would not
even have the Written word of God, the Bible! Were it not BY the
Catholic Church, through the Power of God, we would not know His Son who
died for us! We owe our Faith IN CHRIST to His Bride, His Body, the
"Roman Catholic Article 181 "Believing" is an ecclesial act. The
faith precedes, engenders, supports, and nourishes our faith. The Church
is the mother of all believers. "No one can have God as Father who does
not have the Church as Mother" (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519).."
I hope that, in light of the answers I presented, you may now better
understand these three sentences.
The Church is the mother of all believers, because she shows us what our
Father wants. Christ established the Church for this purpose! To do as
he did, because he did what his Father wanted him to do.
I'm glad that we are making progress in our mutual understanding.
I must honestly say, Ed. You are indeed helping me to grasp my own
faith better, and I am learning more and more every day about the
Catholic Church! I thank you for that!
IN Christ. Jake.
10/20/03 12:32 PM ANSWER FROM JACOB HUTHER
The question: "What shall man do to attain eternal life."
"Baptist Bible Doctrine, or Catholic Papal Doctrine ."
At this point, I 'd like to ask a very simple question, Ed. Where did the Baptist's get the Bible from, in order to have a "Bible Doctrine". I pose to you that before "Bible Doctrine" even existed there needed to be Papal Doctrine, otherwise Scripture might not have been infallibly picked for the Bible.
In any case. Catholic's "Papal Doctrine" should coincide with "Bible Doctrine", as it was "Papal Doctrine" which defined the Bible. Please review the Counsel at Hippo (393AD) and Carthage (397AD).
"The Baptist believe the clear Bible teaching that there is no works a sinner can do in this life to procure eternal life."
That runs quite contrary to "believe and BE BAPTIZED", as baptism is a work. When Jesus called his Apostles, they left everything to follow him! That was "work".
"Matthew 19: 16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
Note at this point Jesus doesn't turn and say, "you must do nothing, all you must do is have faith."
"17 Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
18 Which ones? the man enquired. Jesus replied, 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honour your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbour as yourself.'
20 All these I have kept, the young man said. What do I still lack?
21 Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth."
Faith wasn't mentioned once in this passage. Though, I'm not stating that we can have eternal life without faith. What I am saying is that faith cannot exist without good works. Even Jesus knew this. It is a given.
"It is absolutely a free gift made available to all men through Jesus Christ. "
No one doubts that it is a free gift, made available to all men! That is Catholic teaching too! But the question is not of the availability of this free gift. The question is how one can attain this free gift.
Gifts left under the Christmass tree are free! They even have our names written on them so that we know which ones are ours. But we cannot reap the benefits of our gift without OPENING IT!
If what you are saying, is to imply that the gift is free, available, and attained by every man with no effort on our part, then you are wrong. How then would anyone go to hell. But I assure you, Scripturally, Jesus says it is very difficult to make it to heaven and very easy to make it to hell.
Have faith in Jesus, yes. But once you have faith, what follows?
"Not through his church, not through any good work, not through any physical deed or bead, penance or substance, baptism or conformation. Nothing but faith in Jesus Christ and his promise of GRACE can bring about eternal life to fallen man."
This is very disheartening, Ed. If faith in Jesus is ALL that saves you, then why did Jesus even establish a Church. Why did he tell us to be baptized? Why would he tell his apostles, "whose sins you forgive are forgiven"? That was an empty statement if the Apostles wouldn't need to forgive anyone!
I'll answer those for you. The Church is necessary for our salvation, because without the Church we wouldn't know Christ in order to have faith in him. It is a necessary institute in order to guard the Word of God, the Teachings of Christ. Without the Church, we don't know Christ, we don't know what he wants of us, and we can NOT have faith in someone we don't know.
I've already shown you how one MUST do good works in order to have faith, and in faith one does good works. They are not separated from one another. Surely, Ed, you know that "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).
Scripture clearly states, "repent and be baptized", and so that kills two birds with one stone. You cannot attain salvation without 1) repenting and 2) being baptized, at least. Confirmation is a Sacrament which affirms the Holy Spirit in ones life. It is Pentecost in action. The Apostles had been baptized, but their strengthening came with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, when the Lord sent them out to preach the Gospel!
And it is childish of you to toss in "bead". If you knew about the Catholic practice of praying the Rosary, then you would know that salvation isn't based on "beads". If you would like to know more about the Rosary, please ask. I am sure that you have no idea about it. In short, the Rosary is a wonderful meditation on the Life of Christ (that is correct, it is a meditation on Christ! NOT MARY specifically).
"And when Jesus Christ gives you this eternal life he don't leave you sitting around wondering if you got it."
Well Saint Paul must have been confused about it, because he was working out his salvation, "in fear and trembling". We were saved by the Blood of Christ, we are being saved by walking in the footsteps of Christ, but we will be saved when we, "hold fast to the end". (Mth: 24:13). Salvation is a life long process. We aren't "saved" until we are in heaven. For even until death we may fall. And if we fall and do not repent, we will be counted among the damned, Ed.
"You are literally born again as he said, born spiritually wherein you are 1) Converted via repentance and faith in Christ, 2) you are Justified before God through Christ, 3) you are Regenerated or quickened, made alive where once you were dead in trespasses and sin, 4) you are Baptized into the body of Christ, (no water here)"
Can you show me, Scripturally where Baptism takes place without water (and not the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost - which is another Baptism "in the Spirit".). For we must be born of WATER and SPIRIT.
"and 5) you are Indwelt, permanently, by the Holy Spirit of God. These all happen in an instant and are all permanent and everlasting, thus the explanation of Christ "Hath, (present perfect tense) everlasting life."
But Ed, Christ also said, "John 6: , 53
Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of
the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."
Here again we must DO something, eat and drink, in order to have life!
"Now when these five events occur simultaneously in ones life, there is little doubt that some thing has happened to the individual and he or she can tell you when they got saved, when they were born again, who showed them the scriptures and how great it is to be saved and know it. We call that giving a testimony of when God saved you, mine is written on my web page, every member of a Baptist Church has this salvation testimony. "
Ed, salvation is not ours until we are in heaven. I'm sure you don't have a "lost salvation" testimony page. But it does occur. Baptists as well as Catholics fall out of faith. They run away from God. If one could not "lose" their salvation, Ed, then why was St. Paul in fear?
"Now lets look at a few verifying scriptures. Eph 2:8 " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." You may not get a full understanding of what it means to get saved from this sentence but it is a cinch that you won't get there with any works that you do."
And it is a cinch to note that "Faith without works is dead". So, we must do something! in addition to having faith.
"Notice Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Clearly no works at all are in ones salvation experience. "
This is a misinterpretation on your part, Ed. Paul is saying that we cannot merely do good works and expect to get to heaven. It doesn't matter how many wounds I bandage, it doesn't matter that I've been baptized, it doesn't matter if I'm a Bible toting believer, if I do it in spite or in anger, or if I turn my back on God, then I am not saved. If I do all these in Faith, then I am saved! But if I have "faith" and do not do this, Ed, tell me, what "faith" did I really have!
"These passages are clear about salvation of man's soul being by grace and no work of any sort being involved."
Absolutely wrong, Ed. These passages make clear that if work is done, it must be done with Faith. It does NOT indicate that works are not good. It merely states that faith is needed. But as Scripture clearly states, again, "faith without works is dead". And Jesus exemplifies this, because he shows us how to do the good works in faith!
"It is a free gift, and must be accepted as such as so eloquently described in the whole dissertation of Romans. Further these excerpts are completely in context, so much so that we recommend that the whole book of Ephesians and the whole book of Romans be read to more fully understand the freedom of this gift, and the reality of an event called salvation that includes the five above mentioned simultaneous events."
I've read those books Ed, and I too understand the context, though I come to a different conclusion. And if these events are simultaneous, Ed, then why was it that the Apostles were Baptized, the expressed their faith in Christ, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit all at separate times! And why is it that the people at Samaria had received the Gospel message and had faith in Christ, yet they had not received the Spirit? Only when St. John and St. Peter placed their hands on them and prayed, did they receive the Holy Spirit! Acts 8:9. Salvation is a process, not an event.
"That is Baptist Doctrine of salvation. It is straight from the Bible and concludes that man can have eternal life, and know that he has it, by being 'born again.' "
If you can show me a biblical passage that states that one may know they are saved (that is, that they will make it to heaven no matter what future events in their life may occur), then I will accept you view.
If you can prove the Catholic position wrong, using the Catechism, then I will leave the Church.
Did St. Paul know he was saved? Why would he be afraid, then?
Further the Bible says 1John5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Any religion that would add some work to this free gift is a false religion.
The Catholic Church has not added a single work to that which Christ made clear we must do (in faith) to attain eternal salvation. The Catholic Church does not suggest that the Works which Christ wished we do, can lead to eternal salvation, unless they are done in faith in Jesus Christ, and that they be done until the very end. We must finish the race to receive the prize.
"And any church that would offer eternal life up for sale to highest bidders is especially vile."
If you are suggesting that this is the Catholic position, and you do not accept admonishment, then I must cease conversing with you. Ed, you have a particularly venomous understanding of the Catholic Church, and you refuse to learn from REAL Catholics, the True teachings. Jesus said, "unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you have NO LIFE IN YOU." The Catholic Church just so happens to be the only Church to offer the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, and so, the Catholic Church is the only Church that TRULY offers eternal life.
"So now I'll bid you do your homework, and tell me what does your Roman church say concerning eternal life? Ask your priest what you must do to know for certain that you have eternal life and record his answer. What is your Roman church teaching this week that one must do to attain eternal life. I know what they taught in the past 1600 years, since they started baptizing infants and broke off from the Baptist Church and joined hands with the government of Rome and they have been a false church a false religion on this regard. So, don't just call me liar here, enlighten me."
The Catholic Church Teaches, and any Priest can tell you, that Salvation is by Jesus Christ, and by His Cross and Resurrection. We could not be saved without Jesus Christ. However, the Church teaches what the Apostles taught. That we must work out or faith in fear and trembling. We must follow the Commandments, and we must hold fast until the very end. Satan is a lion and he is waiting to jump out and snatch you away from the flock! We cannot let go of Christ, and abandon his commandments. For his free gift of Salvation is left wrapped under the Tree, until we ourselves open it through Baptism into his Body! Unless we eat his body and drink his blood then our gift is left unopened to us. It is a free gift, indeed. Here it is for us. He left it for us on Calvary! But we must make the effort to get the gift, Ed.
From the Catechism:
The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ's sacrifice as "the source of eternal salvation"449
I will not call you a liar Ed. But may the Lord have mercy on those who have lied TO you. You have no idea what the Catholic Church taught in the past 1600 years because all you do is look at the sinners actions over those years. I could show you some horrific things that Baptists have done over the years, fortunately, I do not prey on their human nature, in an attempt to destroy your church. Your church is known by it's teachings, which at best can be traced back to the 1500's (realistically much later).
READ ED! READ, please, read what the Church has written, what the Church has officially taught! Why do you look only at those that fail the teachings of Christ, Ed. Could you please look at those that kept the teachings. Here is a list of Catholic Saints, where you might see that they did indeed follow the Teachings of the Church (i.e. the Teachings of Christ).
God bless you and I look forward to your response.
11/17/03 09:32 PM ANSWER TO BEESOUBIROUS(at)AOL.COM
Dear Bee Serious,
Nice approach. Quite dishonest, quite insincere but real.
I'll contend that your misjudgment that Roman Catholicism was around before Independent, Autonomous, Bible Believing, Believer Immersing Churches came about when you errantly believed that the Bible did not exist prior to the fifth century. That myth is a stronghold of Roman Catholicism. The Bible existed and was copiously copied from the day the apostles penned and distributed each book/letter. Until you get this truth framed in your head you will continue to follow the deceptive Roman Catholic line of reasoning.
The Roman Catholic Church is the result of gradual perversion and corruption and "lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. (Prov 5:6)" From the days of Constantine, when soldiers without regeneration were baptized into the church by the thousands, and compromise was made with paganism, conditions waxed worse and worse, finally bringing about a state that made the Catholic Church possible. The actual establishment of the Roman Papacy was accomplished by Gregory the Great in the year A.D. 590. (This according to Dr. S.E. Tull "Demoniationalism Put to the Test") Dr. Tull corroborates his statement by the following quotation from Ridpath (Vol. 4 P. 41):
"This epoch in history should not be passed over without reference to the rapid growth of the papal church, in the close of the sixth century and the beginning of the seventh. Most of all by Gregory the Great; whose pontificate extended from 590 to 604, was the supremacy of the apostolic See attested and maintained. Under the triple title of Bishop of Rome, Prelate of Italy, and Apostle of the West, he gradually by gentle insinuations or bold assertions as best suited the circumstances, elevated the Episcopacy of Rome into a genuine papacy of the church. He succeeded in bringing the Arians of Italy and Spain into the Catholic fold, and thus secured the solidarity of the Western Ecclesia."
Thus the development of any absolute Roman papacy, the corruption of the word catholic, and the complete abandoning of the Word of God (the Bible, the writings of the Apostles that were copied the day they were penned) as the absolute authority had its crescendo under Gregory in 590-604 A.D. The Roman Catholic Church did not originate in a day or year, but gradually subverted the apostles' teaching, and in centuries inaugurated full-grown popery. There is not a trace of a pope or Universal Father in the first three centuries of the Christian era.
We thus trace Independent, Autonomous, Bible Believing, Believer Immersing Churches all the way back to the Apostles who wrote the scriptures. Don't get hung up on the history of John Smyth here, nor on the name Baptist. These IABBBI Churches were called Baptists, Baptizers, Ana-Baptists Montanists, Donatists, Paulicians, Waldenses, etc. Since the American, Regular and Southern Baptist have compromised with the modernists we call the little remnant that remains true to His Word, Independent, Fundamental, KJV Baptists. Names will change. The fact that a Baptist holds to the Holy Scriptures as its sole source of all faith and practice won't change. It has not changed for 1970 years now, ever sense the apostle Peter (who didn't found any papacy or any Roman Church despite what fallible Pope Gregory I said) preached at pentecost.
So that brings me to some honest questions for you. 1) How were you led into the lie about the Bible's non existence during the first 400 years of its prolifieration? And 2) how much of Pope Gregory's line about papacy have you swallowed to date?
Your present dishonest tone makes me suspect that you have already followed the lips of that strange Roman woman. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
If my suspicion is true let me encourage you to quickly follow Solomons advice on the subject. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
Go get a Bible, esteem it above the Catholic history books and Catechisms. Keep doing your homework.
Pastor Ed Rice, Good Samaritan Baptist Church, Dresden NY 14441
Subject: thanks for answering
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 16:51:56 EST
Pastor Rice, I appreciate your email. I've looked long and hard at the diagrams you sent. I've been reading Baptist history on the Internet and in the Handbook of Denominations in the United States (Frank Mead, revised by Samuel Hill, tenth edition). The earliest Baptist organization was founded in 1607 (1609?), founded by John Smyth, who led a group of Separatists out of England (escaping the Church of England) and into Holland. There they met the Mennonites and from them adopted the belief in "believers baptism." Smyth rebaptised himself. So the first Baptists sprang from the Mennonites. Smyth left the Baptist church he founded and became a Mennonite. The little Baptist congregation excommunicated Smyth and went back to England, led by Thomas Helwys. The first group were called General Baptists (Arminian, Jesus died to save everyone), a split in 1638 was called Particular Baptists (Calvinists, Jesus died to save only the 'elect' who were predestined to salvation), and a third split were the Immersion Baptists in 1644, and eventually every Baptist came to believe in the principle of baptism by immersion only. But they originally practiced baptism by infusion (pouring).
I have taken courses at the university in the history of the New Testament (taught by a Disciples of Christ pastor, a Ph.D.) and history of the Hebrew Scriptures (taught by a rabbi, a Ph.D.). When I learned that the Bible didn't exist until the beginning of the fifth century A.D., I began to doubt Sola Scriptura. That's where I am right now. The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and formed the Bible, so how can Christianity be based on scripture alone?
This leads to all sorts of questions. I really need your help. Would you be able to help me with my questions?
I'm confused about your graph on the churches. The first name given to the Christians was "Catholic." ("Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church," Ignatius of Antioch, letter to the Smyreans, 107 A.D. Does your graph mean that the Eastern Orthodox is older? I don't think so. The date usually given for the Eastern Orthodox split is 1054, through it wasn't final until just before the Reformation. ?????
Thanks again for contacting me. I hope I hear from you again, Bee