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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  12/28/2014
Choice News MONDAY, DEC 12, 2005  |  55 comments
Christmas Church Closings Sign of Defeat?
There is a clear message being sent by those megachurches canceling regular Sunday services on Dec. 25, because it falls on Christmas, according to assistant DePaul University Professor Scott Paeth.

Defeat.

"Basically what they seem to be saying is we give up. Christmas is no longer about Christ," Paeth said. "It's about opening gifts and spending the morning in pajamas with your family."

Two Fox Valley megachurches would beg to differ — at least partially — with Paeth. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 55 user comment(s)
News Item12/22/05 6:43 AM
John Yurich | USA  
Wayne,

The definition of Justification by Faith is that on the basis of their faith believers are forgiven their transgressions of the Law of God, rather then on the basis of good works that they have done.

I understand what Justification by Faith means because I trust in Christ alone and not good works for forgiveness of sins and for salvation and when I received Christ as Savior I started to trust Christ alone for salvation and not trusting in good works for salvation.

55

News Item12/21/05 10:33 PM
Wayne M. | Canada  
John Yurich,

Thanks for your reply. You said, "I understand the doctrine of justification by faith. It means to trust only in Christ as Savior for salvation and nothing else."

Sorry John, that is not the doctrine of justification. I doubt very much that you understand it. This is a sign that you are still mired in the teachings of Rome and do not have a clear understanding of the doctrine of justification and what the reformation was all about.

54

News Item12/21/05 8:44 AM
John Yurich | USA  
Walt,

If your father is a college graduate then why doesn't he think logically and analytically like college graduates are supposed to do and dispense with the unscriptural RCC doctrines, adhere only to the scriptural RCC doctrines, do not participate in the unscriptural parts to the Mass and only participate in the scriptural parts to the Mass?

I as a college graduate who thinks logically and analytically and who dispenses with the unscriptural RCC doctrines, adheres only to the scriptural RCC doctrines, does not participate in the unscriptural parts to the Mass and only participates in the scriptural parts to the Mass I expect other RC's who are college graduates to do the same thing and if they do not then I think that they must have mental problems if they do not want to use their logical and analytical thinking abilities instead of blindly following and believing all RCC doctirnes instead of adhering only to the scriptural RCC doctrines and blindly participating in the whole Mass instead of participating only in the scriptural parts to the Mass.

53

News Item12/21/05 8:35 AM
John Yurich | USA  
Wayne,

I understand the doctrine of justification by faith. It means to trust only in Christ as Savior for salvation and nothing else. You state that RC's are not taught that they have to receive Christ as their Savior in order to be saved? Well then explain this. My father received Christ as his Savior in a fox hole in New Guinea during World War II and my father is an RC and so obviously my father was taught by the RCC that receiving Christ as Savior is the only way to get saved.

52

News Item12/21/05 5:55 AM
Walt | Michigan  
Lance,

One thing I do admire about the Roman Catholics who hold to their views, they do so out of faith to their church.

My earthly father does not know how he knows what he knows, nor why (even though he graduated from Notre Dame), but he just believes what he believes.

Ever once in a while I explain to him why he believes what he believes, and where he was taught what he believes, but beyond that it is non-essential as so many Baptists here would also claim.

He holds to the Roman Catholic tradition like the Baptists do to their Baptists tradition. It is a blind faith. Not knowing how they know what they know, nor caring as with my Dad if Rome says it is true, it most likely is true. As he says to me, "Walt, we have a Billion Catholics, and you covenanters have less than 100 (sounds like JD!), so how can you be right?" It is 1 Billion to 100 and since he is gambles on football games, he would never take the underdog of 100 when he has 1 Billion.

I'm happy that I was able to share with you the distinctions between infused and imputed (a judicial act) righteousness.

If only I could get my Dad to catch on to that one so quickly! Thanks Lance.

51

News Item12/21/05 4:33 AM
Lance Eccles | Sydney, Australia  Contact via email
Wayne, I understand what Walt is saying about justification and the difference between the RC and Reformed views.

Actually, it's from reading the various comments on Sermonaudio that I've come to understand the difference between the two views. I knew there was a difference, but I didn't exactly know what it was.

Naturally, I've always held the RC "infused righteousness" position, without knowing there was a name for it, and over time I've also discovered what the Reformed "imputed righteousness" position is.

50

News Item12/20/05 10:02 PM
Wayne M. | Canada  
Lance,

The one thing John Yurich did not mention to you, and which Walt was trying to tell you with his church confessions was the doctrine of jusification. This is vital for you to know because since you have been in the RCC you will have already been taught a different way of salvation and a different way of justification.

It is absolutely necessary for an RC who wishes to be saved by the grace of God and have the assurance of salvation to understand the difference between Rome's doctrine of justification and what the Apostle Paul preached. A good Epistle in the Word of God for this is Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Rome's way, which is implanted in RC minds, must be suplanted with God's way taught in the the Epistle mentioned. I pray that John Yurich and yourself will give this prayerful consideration.

I don't know if John Yurich even really understand this because when questioned about it, he just keeps replaying the same old lines, which I am sure you are familiar with.

49

News Item12/20/05 9:22 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Thanks Don for the helpful suggestions. I have posted this for the benefit of discussing this with Lance, but do understand several will pick up the thread and begin arguing that no church or mere mortal has the right to make a testimony, but all testimony should be biblically inspired.

I for one believe this is an error, and that both churches and men have a duty and right to make their testimony clear throughout the ages, and their Terms of Communion should be written and clear for all to read.

I've enjoyed (as a former Roman Catholic) to compare the CCC texts above with Westminster. No, it is not available on line, but is a Word document I have organized with a minister.

Most will not read it in its entirety, but I think that Lance will as he always has been open to this type of dialogue, but I've learned he is like a rock. He does not move much from the teachings of my former Romish church, but he is great to help me clarify key points I do take notes on for building distinctions.

I do appreciate the way you have been dealing with JD and the others. I'm not as gracious to those who are stubborn about these issues as you are, but I do enjoy reading your posts.

48

News Item12/20/05 8:47 PM
Don | Southwest Florida  
Walt,

You have some intersting stuff here, but I have discovered that a comment that takes up more than about three postings gets lost, simply because of the length. Is this on line such that you could simply give a reference?


Also I have to note part of your text: "According to Westminster, there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ"

I have it on good authority that the scripture also says that there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ. Given the audience here - and the automatic rejection of the Westminster Confession or the writings of David Cloud or ... (depending on which side one is on) It seems that if you are doing your own writing here, you not use the Westminster Confession, but point directly to the Scriptures.

Rumor has is that what is in the Westminster confession is supportable from the scritptures - or it is in error.

47

News Item12/20/05 8:40 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

4. The Salvation of Non-Christians

a. According to Rome, non-Christians may achieve eternal salvation.

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation (CCC, p. 244,, #847).

b. According to Westminster, there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ.

Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come to Christ, and therefore can not be saved: much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess; and to assert and maintain that they may is without warrant of the Word of God (WCF 10:4).

46

News Item12/20/05 8:39 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace" (CCC, p. 48, #155).

B. According to Westminster, saving faith includes both knowledge and assent, but it necessarily includes appropriating, receiving, and resting in the promises of salvation as one's own.

By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of god himself speaking therein; and acteth differently, upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principle acts of saving faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace (WCF 14:2).

45

News Item12/20/05 8:37 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

b. According to Westminster, there is only one instrumental means of justification: faith alone. That is not to say that one who is justified will not exercise good works. It is only to say that faith in Christ alone justifies before God, but saving faith will always be evidenced by the natural fruit of obedience to God's will.

Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love (WCF 11:2).

4. The Nature of Saving Faith

a. According to Rome, saving faith consists of mere assent to the truthfulness of that which is revealed by God i.e. is agreeing with God that what is revealed is true.

Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent (CCC, p. 537, #1993).

44

News Item12/20/05 8:36 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf. Yet inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for any thing in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners (WCF 11:3).

3. The Means of Justification

a. According to Rome, faith plus Baptism (and other works associated with sanctification since justification involves sanctification as well).

The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism (CCC, p. 535, #1987).

Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith (CCC, p. 536, #1992).

Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man (CCC, p. 544, #2019).

It [i.e. justification] is granted to us through Baptism (CCC, p. 544, #2019).

43

News Item12/20/05 8:35 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or "justice") here means the rectitude of divine love (CCC, p. 536, #1991).

The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God (CCC, p. 544, #2017).

b. According to Westminster, the only ground of our justification is the righteousness of Christ (i.e. His active obedience in fulfilling the law of God and His passive obedience in satisfying the infinite justice of God upon the cross).

Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God (WCF 11:1).

42

News Item12/20/05 8:32 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

Yet inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for any thing in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners (WCF 11:3).

2. The Ground of Justification

a. According to Rome, in justification "the righteousness of God" in a generic sense is bestowed, rather than "the righteousness of Christ" in a specific sense imputed.

This hides the truth that Christ acted as our Mediator in fulfilling all righteousness for us, and that it is specifically His righteousness as our divine-human surety that is the ground of our justification.

The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism (CCC, p. 535, #1987).

Move by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high (CCC, p. 536, #1989).

41

News Item12/20/05 8:31 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

b. According to Westminster justification is not a subjective moral transformation, but rather an objective judicial act whereby God imputes to the believing sinner the perfect righteousness of Christ and declares him to be righteous. Westminster correctly distinguishes justification and sanctification.

Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God (WCF 11:1).

Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf.

40

News Item12/20/05 8:30 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Cont.,

This confusion blurs the biblical distinction between justification (an objective judicial act) and sanctification (a subjective moral transformation), thus removing the judicial nature of justification.

Just as our sin was imputed to Christ, so His righteousness is imputed (not infused) to the believing sinner.

Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man (CCC, p. 536, #1989).

With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us (CCC, p. 536, #1991).

It [i.e. justification] conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy (CCC, p. 536, #1992).

Justification entails the sanctification of his whole being (CCC, p. 537, #1995).

Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man (CCC, p. 544, #2019).

39

News Item12/20/05 8:29 PM
Walt | Michigan  
Lance,

Thank you for the information. Yes, by universal atonement I mean that all one believes that Christ died for all men sins, but that man must choose Christ before they receive saving faith. Some even go so far as to believe that universal atonement means that Christ died for all men, and all men are saved.

The opposing (and scriptural) view is that Christ died for the sins of His elect body of true believers, but the whole world is given a common grace. Salvation comes through the effectual calling of God's elect by the Father, through the Son, the alone mediator between God and man.

The following is a good explanation of the differences between Rome and Westminster on Justification.

1. The Nature of Justification

a. According to Rome justification is a change in the moral nature of a sinner. According to Rome justification is not a judicial act of God whereby He objectively imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believing sinner and declares him to be righteous on the ground of Christ's perfect righteousness, but rather a moral transformation by God whereby He subjectively cleanses the heart of sin and corruption and renews man within by giving to man the righteousness of God.

38

News Item12/20/05 8:21 PM
John Yurich | USA  
Lance,

If you were Baptized as an infant then you could not possibly have received Christ as your Savior. After you became an adult if you prayed to Christ and asked Him to come into your heart and become your Savior then and only then did you receive Christ as Savior. I was almost 37 years old when I received Christ as my Savior in November of 1999. All Infant Baptism is just a dedication of infants to Jesus.

37

News Item12/20/05 7:55 PM
Lance Eccles | Sydney, Australia  Contact via email
John Y, I received Christ as my Saviour when I was baptized (though I am free to reject Him any time I feel like it).
36
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