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Leaders representing the Roman Catholic Church and some American Protestant denominations have signed an agreement in Texas to recognize each other's baptisms.
After about six years of dialogue, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Reformed Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and the United Church of Christ signed a document recognizing each other's liturgical rites of baptism.
The five denominations signed the "Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism," affirming the baptism agreement on Tuesday evening at a prayer service held at St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin....
John for JESUS wrote: MICHAEL HRANEK...I was trying to dig deeper into your response.
John For Are you sure you want to go there?
I was raised in a devote RC family, I was sprinkled as a baby, I was an altar boy, I attended for awhile parochial school, etc. etc. etc. AND the RCC failed me, even as it has the late John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Neither one of them despite their sincere religious devotion and whatever good works they had done for others, had any assurance of being right with God as they drew near to the time of their death
The Catholic Religion no matter how sincere and devote never leads anyone to the righteousness of Christ.
John, you might not be able to appreciate this BUT one of the most loving things the Holy Spirit can do in your life right now is to show you how thoroughly you are a sinner, one knowingly guilty of sinning with knowledge against God, against the Lord Jesus Christ, without any excuse, until you know how much you deserve the wrath of God and punishment of the hell for your sins and the utter folly all the religions of men are to remedy your wretched state
Then you will be where you might want to know the Truth of Christ like your life depends on Him as He really is because it does.
MICHAEL HRANEK...I was trying to dig deeper into your response. If it only takes something like the belief of infant baptism and prosecution of dissentors to make a church nonchristian, then do you believe most churches are not Christian? I'm not sure to what extent your statement of Constantine is accurate. I need to look into it. Were pagan religions forced to attend church or could they just not attend?
John for JESUS wrote: MICHAEL HRANEK...There are protestant denominations that teach infant baptism and are/were state sanctioned. So you not consider them Christian either? Calvin and Luther persecuted dissenters also.
John For Perhaps you FORGOT my post to you was in response to YOUR OWN QUESTION:
John for JESUS wrote: 2. So when do you believe the Catholic church went bad?
So I told you: Right from the start.
But I will give you this, your response to my touches on an interesting matter,
Protestant Churches, which came out of the RCC sadly carried with them a lot of Roman Catholic influence like persecuting dissenters But despite this Luther and others Rediscovered "Justification by Faith", "Sola Scriptura", and the other "Solas" of the Reformation things that were right there in the Bible right there all along, beliefs that are at the heart of those who are genuinely born again of the Spirit of God and Christian in the Biblical sense of the word.
btw I am a Baptist-type believer not a Protestant, the RCC did not need 'Reform' it needed REPENTANCE.
For example RC people desperately need to Repent and Confess as grieveous sin their idol worship of the RC Eucharist, because it is not Jesus.
NICENE CREED We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
John for JESUS wrote: The Bible teaches we cannot save ourselves, not that we cannot believe in God or have faith in Jesus Christ
This is faith as a human faculty. That is Arminian/Roman Catholic/JW etc.
This then is salvation by works and works based religious theory.
Providing man with a faculty which contributes directly to his being saved is a Roman Catholic fallacy.
The suggestion that faith is a human faculty presumes that faith is inherent in all people. All people are not saved. This definition of Faith then does not contribute to seeking Christ unto salvation and perceiving the need for salvation. (Blind to sin)
Thus faith becomes irrelevant to salvation. God then does not save the 'faithful' some of whom must go to hell???
John for JESUS wrote: JOHN UK...The Nicene Creed states that the one true God came down from heaven and died for our sins and that the Holy Spirit is the giver of life, we can be saved because by faith in the death and Ressurection of Christ, etc. Paraphrasing. Seems to point to gospel truths to me. I don't believe in either Arminianism or Calvinism because neither is totally accurate.
John, NOWHERE does the Nicene Creed state that Christ died for our sins.
So you are neither arminist nor calvinist. What theologian do you then accept as representative of your views?
JOHN UK...The Nicene Creed states that the one true God came down from heaven and died for our sins and that the Holy Spirit is the giver of life, we can be saved because by faith in the death and Ressurection of Christ, etc. Paraphrasing. Seems to point to gospel truths to me. I don't believe in either Arminianism or Calvinism because neither is totally accurate.
John for JESUS wrote: The Bible teaches we cannot save ourselves, not that we cannot believe in God or have faith in Jesus Christ.
John, the two great theological camps, arminist and calvinist, are both agreed that the natural man in his sins is incapable of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, that he might be saved. Both agree that a work of God's grace is required.
IF I MAY ASK...The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The Bible teaches we cannot save ourselves, not that we cannot believe in God or have faith in Jesus Christ. People throughout scripture are told to repent and believe.
John for JESUS wrote: So when do you believe the Catholic church went bad?
Wasn't it when Constantine made Christianity the state religion, forcing all other Pagan religions to conform and morph into one religious machine? This is when Christianity became a little bit of this and a little bit of that, adopting bits and pieces of the pagan rites, rituals, and symbols which live on today within the Roman Catholic religious system
John for JESUS wrote: JOHN UK...1, 5. If you consider those statements then I already have given examples.
John, I asked for statements which had the true gospel within them. Neither the Nicene nor the Apostle's Creed have the gospel of God's grace.
Maybe we ought to be talking about what the gospel message actually is.
For example, the gospel is all about the forgiveness of sins through the substitutionary death by sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, appropriated by faith alone, not of works.
The Creeds you mentioned say vaguely things like, "He was crucified" and "I believe in the forgiveness of sins".
The Creeds also talk about baptism in water for the forgiveness of sins.
Perhaps you'd like to explain why you think the gospel message is found in those Creeds.
In the UK, a similar creed is recited week by week in churches such as the anglican church by people who have never been born again, and who do not wish to hear about sin and judgment and hell, and who are filled with self-righteousness, imagining that their baptism by men brought them salvation. I know this is true, because I have spoken to such. But if they hear and receive the true gospel they COME OUT and never go back.
John for JESUS wrote: IF I MAY ASK...The help comes from the gospel message being preached. If the sinner repents of their sins and believes, then they will be saved by God. Nobody can earn their salvation. They are only saved when God has mercy on them and they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit who cloths them in the righteousness of Christ. I don't believe anybody is free from our body of sin until the Ressurection or death.
The gospel preached without the Holy Spirit is mere words!!
And although you say that no one can earn their salvation, apparently in your theology sinners can repent and believe without any help. In other words friend, you have a very optimistic view of depravity!
The contrast between what the bible teaches about how helpless we are, so that we throw ourselves only on the mercy of God, and what you are telling sinners about how much they can actually do, could not be more stark!
IF I MAY ASK...The help comes from the gospel message being preached. If the sinner repents of their sins and believes, then they will be saved by God. Nobody can earn their salvation. They are only saved when God has mercy on them and they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit who cloths them in the righteousness of Christ. I don't believe anybody is free from our body of sin until the Ressurection or death.
JOHN UK...1, 5. If you consider those statements then I already have given examples. 2. So when do you believe the Catholic church went bad? The church was around long before the Reformation. If you read the Ante-Nicene fathers, many of them seemed Christian. St. Augustine is a Catholic saint. 3. Most Christians were either Catholic or Eastern Orthodox before the Reformation. 4. Seems to me you believe in fatalism if people have no ability to choose to believe in Christ. They would be fatalistically determined to go to hell.
John for JESUS wrote: KNOWING THE KNOW...Thanks for the post, I think it is well said. I believe nonbelievers know there is a God. I also believe they know the ordinance of God and they have a conscience. So they know there is a God and He is to be honored and obeyed. JOHN UK...Do you consider the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed doctrinal statements? How about before the Reformation, was it Christian? Or do you believe the Church took a hiatus between the time of the apostles and the Reformation? Also, do you believe in fatalism?
What sort of help do you suppose is needed by a sinner in bondage to sin, his understanding darkened, his will ruled by his passions etc. to come to the Saviour for salvation? Can he do so unaided? If not, precisely what help is required?
Your answer to the above question will basically determine your outlook and take on the bible's teaching.