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Author Topic: Faith and Salvation  (Read 9363 times) Average Rating: 0
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sohma_hatori
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« on: January 24, 2008, 06:03:24 AM »

Iv been reading notes on Luther.
It is faith by grace that saves you and not good works, because good works can only come after being saved by faith in Jesus Christ..
Does this mean that people who have never heard of Christ or have heard but did not have faith, yet, let a good life on earth will be deprived of salvation? Huh
And also because of being saved simply thru faith by grace, Catholics and Orthodox are said to be doing a lot of "useless" things..

Can anyone give me insight on this?
Thanks..
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 04:19:47 PM »

Yep, that's Luther, all right. I like St. Paul better: "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God" (Eph 2:8 ). Luther liked to translate that verse "saved through faith alone"--even though there is no basis in the original text for that translation. And Protestants accuse us of adding to Scripture. Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 05:30:36 PM »

Much of the "saved by grace through faith (alone)" crowd is preoccupied with getting the Bible to say that we can know, for sure, right now, that we absolutely are guaranteed a spot in eternal bliss because of what Christ did on our behalf.  The reason this verse is usually quoted -- "It's all what Christ did, and not at all about what we do!" -- is that they can't accept that something we do could either make or break whether or not Christ's gracious work is appropriated by us as individuals.

God, however, didn't turn us into robots at baptism and chrismation.  We can still walk away, in spite of His grace.  This is why we should not be haughty, but fear.
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 05:36:20 PM »

Pelagius was right.
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 07:46:13 PM »

Pelagius was right.

LOL, AMM I'm sorry but the I sympathize with what you were trying to say in response to this post but you can't just say a known heretic of the church is "right". If you rephrased it and said Pelagius' teaching on the importance of free will in salvation is right it would sound less polemical. It's like saying Origen was right.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 10:11:01 PM »

Ok, he was mostly right.  Origen was too.
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 01:13:10 AM »

Luther... the great instigator of confusion  Tongue

I think what is important to understand is what was going on at the time.  Luther probably said this as a way to attack the indulgence system.  However, I wonder what he would think if he knew the effects of this butcherization.

Quote
Does this mean that people who have never heard of Christ or have heard but did not have faith, yet, let a good life on earth will be deprived of salvation?
I've seen this example debated many times amongst Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics and heretics.  The general consensus that I've seen among Catholics, Orthodox and some high church Protestants (mainly Lutherans and some Anglicans) is that God would give the person a bit more leeway, or to put in another way, show the person more mercy than let's say someone with the intellect of a 4th century theologian.  However, the consensus that I've seen among Evangelicals, no church Protestants and heretics that that the person is out of luck and therefore has no hope whatsoever if he has never read any portion of the Bible or hear about Christ in any way, shape or form.

I'd say God would show mercy.  After all, God is Love.
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 05:58:04 PM »

Luther... the great instigator of confusion  Tongue

I think what is important to understand is what was going on at the time.  Luther probably said this as a way to attack the indulgence system.  However, I wonder what he would think if he knew the effects of this butcherization.
I've seen this example debated many times amongst Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics and heretics.  The general consensus that I've seen among Catholics, Orthodox and some high church Protestants (mainly Lutherans and some Anglicans) is that God would give the person a bit more leeway, or to put in another way, show the person more mercy than let's say someone with the intellect of a 4th century theologian.  However, the consensus that I've seen among Evangelicals, no church Protestants and heretics that that the person is out of luck and therefore has no hope whatsoever if he has never read any portion of the Bible or hear about Christ in any way, shape or form.

I'd say God would show mercy.  After all, God is Love.

This video must come from the latter camp:
http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=1b5bd6e3e034d00b4f73


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sohma_hatori
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 10:31:51 PM »

That was some scary video..

Lord have Mercy...
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 11:27:54 PM »

I like how the disclaimer on the video claimed that "This is not meant as a scare tactic".  How could it not be?

The video itself it infers that we are responsible for telling others "how" to become Christian and if we don't we bear the guilt for their punishment.

This video forgets, along with the general Protestant mindset, that it is God who saves, not us.  And He can save whomever He wishes in spite of us.  Isn't that the Gospel?  That God became incarnate, lived, died, rose again, ascended, sits in glory at the right hand and will come to judge the world all for the sake of us in spite of ourselves and our failings?  The understanding of salvation only in terms of juridical language has directly contributed to this and until Protestants learn to accept the Gospel as more than simply atonement and remission of sins, then we can expect many more of these videos to emerge and be broacast to many who will be easily swayed by the scare tactics and deception.

Sorry, had to vent.
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 07:41:51 AM »

I hate to think of anyone going to hell, especially thos who may have never heard the gospel.

Nevertheless, based on the witness of Scripture, I cannot honestly conceive anything else.
As Adrian Rodgers once said,. "Friend you may say they haven't heard enough gospel to get saved" (and thus intimate that they haven't heard enough to justify there going to hell and should be permitted into heaven), and then he adds "but, friend, what I can tell you is that they have committed enough sin to go to hell."

The point? Sin is what separates us from God, and sin is what sends us to hell. IT is just for us, if we die in our sins, to go to hell, even if we have not heard the gospel. Just like it would have been just of God to leave man in his fallen state and hell bound by not sending His Son ot be the propitiation for our sins.

Jesus says no one comes to the Father except by Him.
Jesus says He is the door, and if any man try to get in any other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Jesus says except you repent you will perish. God now commands all men everywhere to repent, and no more winks at ignorance.
There is no other name, given among men, whereby we MUST be saved other than the name of Jesus, the Christ, of Nazareth.
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2008, 08:23:32 AM »

Iv been reading notes on Luther.
It is faith by grace that saves you and not good works, because good works can only come after being saved by faith in Jesus Christ..
Does this mean that people who have never heard of Christ or have heard but did not have faith, yet, let a good life on earth will be deprived of salvation? Huh
And also because of being saved simply thru faith by grace, Catholics and Orthodox are said to be doing a lot of "useless" things..

Can anyone give me insight on this?
Thanks..

I have been waiting for someone better acquainted with the Scriptures than myself to reply this question. It is addressed in the Scriptures and Holy Fathers have also addressed it. I am not able at the moment to give references nor point out which passage in the Bible is. I do know though that those who have never heard of Christ, will not be judged in the same way as those who have. Someone who does not know the law cannot possibly consciously break it, but there still people who, having never heard of Christ, still carry the God´s law in their heart - thus acting charitably etc. I understand that there are degrees of heaven and hell - please forgive me if I put it crudely, I read something on the subject still in my teens and that was long ago. The people who did not have a chance to hear of Christ will be judged on the basis of how much good they did and how much harm they avoided doing or so I understand. Those of us who have heard and believed, we´ll be more strictly judged and judged according to our faith too, for more has been given to us, therefore more shall be asked. Still, those with the true faith and good standing regarding this faith, will be further rewarded than those who did not have the faith but still acted righteously.

That was a rough summary, put roughly too and I´ll be gladly humbled into correction by those who know best.Meanwhile I´ll try to find the passages in the Bible.

Right, to update, I just had a quick look on the Net, for the verses in question:

Luke: 12, 48

"But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."

Romans: 2, 11-16

"For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."

The translations are from different sites - non Orthodox - but the point is made. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2008, 12:34:35 PM »

Along with issues of anthropology (my un-acceptance of literal Adam), this one is also one of my recent struggles. Salvation from what?

As far as I understand Christian eschatology, it is very straightforward: there will be some point in history when Christ will come again, the dead will rise, and all people will be judged according to their deeds; then, a final line will be drawn between the good and the evil, and the good will go one place and the evil to another.

But the thing is, all modern philosophy is "relativistic." Beginning from Nietzsche in Europe and the great trio of pragmatists, Peirce-James-Dewey in the US, all decent, logical, erudite, evidence-based rational human thinking gradually turned from "there is black and there is white" to "there are shades of gray." There is no "objective good" and "objective evil" just like there are no Platonian-Kantian "things in themselves." If philosophers are right, then how can the "line" be drawn, how can the "chasm" mentioned in Luke's parable of the rich man and Lazarus appear? And if philosophers are wrong, then again, same question as for those who say that science is wrong: how else do we know what we know, learn what we learn?
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2008, 01:19:49 PM »

The presence of moral gray areas, doesn't mean that there still isn't right and wrong - the Kierkegaard argument from Either / or.

I think the major reason why I really like Dostoevsky is that on one hand he subtly mocks the institutional church, but also shows how on a personal level a person can become absolutely unhinged if some of the nihilist styles of thought are taken as to their conclusion.  On a personal level there is a need for a Christ and redemption. 
 

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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 01:34:18 PM »

The presence of moral gray areas, doesn't mean that there still isn't right and wrong - the Kierkegaard argument from Either / or.

Agreed.
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2008, 01:39:46 PM »

The presence of moral gray areas, doesn't mean that there still isn't right and wrong - the Kierkegaard argument from Either / or.

Forgive my mental lapse, I meant to put Fear and Trembling as that work delves more into the idea of the absolute only being able to be perceived through the subjective.  Still, Either / or is also good as contrasts two ethical choices.  Come to think of it, anything Kierkegaard wrote is good. 
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2008, 03:08:27 PM »

I agree that there are choices and some of them are wrong... but still, they are wrong only from a certain vantage point. I am not sure, for example, that a Confucianist will agree that Abraham made a right choice when he obeyed God and was about to sacrifice Isaac...
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2008, 06:20:36 PM »

I agree that there are choices and some of them are wrong... but still, they are wrong only from a certain vantage point. I am not sure, for example, that a Confucianist will agree that Abraham made a right choice when he obeyed God and was about to sacrifice Isaac...

The Abrahan and Isaac story (perhaps myth) was what I had in mind when bringing up Kierkegaard, since he obsessed over that. 

This is an interesting thing about the whole Kierkegaardian concept of Truth as subjectivity:
http://www.practical-philosophy.org.uk/Volume3Articles/Minton.html
Quote
from a reading of Kierkegaard himself, we may gain a perspective that demonstrates the importance of subjectivity in the personal truths that affect us the most deeply – and not (apart from in matters of religious faith) the inevitable primacy of subjectivity over objectivity. At this point, and with a view towards a practical application of the notion of ‘truth as subjectivity’, this seems to me to be quite reasonable.
 

When you get down to it, the Absolute cannot be comprehended by the transient as Absolute - which is a main theme of Kierkegaard.  But, that doesn't mean that there is no Absolute, that there is no salvation nor nothing from which to be saved.

If faith, and the quest for a spiritual life is this personalized, it doesn't really matter whether 99% of those claiming to be Orthodox hold to geocentricism or whatever the latest literalism fad is.  Anytime there is a communal quest for some sort of Truth, problems are going to arise and protecting the Truth from, well, the Truth becomes more important than the actual Truth, even in the scientific community - look how long the ideas of Alfred Wegener were suppressed by the scientific establishment.   
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2008, 07:28:55 PM »

^^Great thoughts. I deliberately mentioned Abraham, because I actually did read "Fear and Trembling" (honestly, the only thing by K. that I ever read:)). Yes, truth is personalized, and so is sin, and so is salvation, that's what I am beginning to realize...
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