There are things that bug me to no end about Christianity. One among them is the minimalist approach of some of our fundamentalist brethren. Foremost among the topics for minimalism in my opinion is Salvation. I have attempted to debate it fruitlesly with one Christian brother over at Father Tim Moyle's blog, Where the Rubber Hits the Road, though not lately.
For Christians, the operative phrase on doctrine is "Don't confuse me with facts. My mind's made up." Yet, there are hundreds and hundreds of different sets of doctrinal beliefs that have separated Christians from each other over the centuries, as each group splits off from their last group because of the interpretation of scripture, which remains proof positive that Sola Scriptura is a farce, well meaning, but a farce.
You would think that if Jesus compared us to sheep that we would follow where we are led. Well, in fact we do follow where we are led. It just happens that we are led often by wolves in sheep's clothing, claiming to speak for the Master, but without His authority.
So, I plan to remain Loyal to the Magisterium, as Stephen McElligott who writes under the blog title "Loyal to the Magisterium" does. I appreciate Stephen's heart for the truth, and his ability to cut to the chase. Here is his incisive cut at a small part of Catholicism and Salvation, under the article name "Christianity not about good works?" where we stumble with our Christian brothers to discern the ONE TRUTH.
Over the years I have endlessly debated my protestant brethren upon their doctrine of ”once saved always saved”.They are rising up in Christianity, and particularly in Catholic Christianity a number of men and women who are seeking to present the Catholic truth that we understand, that has been passed down to us for 2,000 years. We have come late to the party, because we were not as well catechised as our other Christian brothers and sisters, but we are here now, and we do not plan to go away any time soon.
Of the many quotes in scriptures that protestants use to prove such a doctrine, none can be more infamous than that of:
Ephesians:2:8-9: ” For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory.”But St.James on the contrary says:
”Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?” ( James:2:24 )Why is it that Saint Paul tells us on one hand that we are not saved by works and St.James on the other informs the faithful that they are indeed saved by works and not just faith only? It seems like an apparent contradiction but we know truth can not contradict truth. Both James and Paul are speaking of two different types of works. St.Paul is talking about the works of the mosaic law which is no longer binding upon Christians and James is talking about good works done in a system of grace.
St.Paul reminding us of the Gospel passage Matthew:16:27 teaches that God ”will render to every man according to his works.”
Why would Paul in his letters to the Ephesians tell us ”not of works” and in his letters to the romans exhort the faithful that God ”will render to every man according to his works.”? Truth can not contradict truth. Paul is showing a difference between two completely different works as demonstrated in the previous paragraphs.
Nowhere in scripture does the Bible ever tell us we are saved by ”faith only.” Furthermore, nowhere in scripture can one find the words ”faith only” except in James:2:24 were we are instructed: ”by works a man is justified; and not by faith only”
We will tell the truth, as we discern the truth from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, through scripture and tradition combined,and faithful witness of those who have gone before.
Maybe by our efforts, you will have the opportunity to know the Truth, for the Truth will set you free.