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  #41  
Old 7th September 2010, 04:02 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.

~ Here the Council of Orange specifically refutes the Calvinist view (long before Calvin was born) that free will is not truly freed by grace, that free will has no fundamental role in salvation, that acts of the free will in response to grace are not a truly free cooperation, as if grace were irresistible. Our all-powerful God could have made grace irresistible, but He did not do so. For He is not all-powerful Power, but all-powerful Love. Grace is of Love, therefore grace, like love, makes us truly free so that we may freely choose whether or not to respond to Love with love.

~ The idea, found in Calvinism and in semi-Calvinism, that some persons are foreordained to do only evil, or to do evil at least to such an extent that they cannot be saved, was specifically declared anathema by the Council. This anathema condemns both the idea that some persons are actively predestined to Hell by God, and the idea that some persons are passively omitted from predestination to Heaven, such that they can only end in Hell.

We also believe and confess to our benefit that in every good work it is not we who take the initiative and are then assisted through the mercy of God, but God himself first inspires in us both faith in him and love for him without any previous good works of our own that deserve reward, so that we may both faithfully seek the sacrament of baptism, and after baptism be able by his help to do what is pleasing to him. We must therefore most evidently believe that the praiseworthy faith of the thief whom the Lord called to his home in paradise, and of Cornelius the centurion, to whom the angel of the Lord was sent, and of Zacchaeus, who was worthy to receive the Lord himself, was not a natural endowment but a gift of God's kindness.

~ Faith and love are granted to us by the prevenient grace of God, and by His subsequent grace working with our free will. The semi-Calvinist acknowledges the work of grace, but pays only lip service to the work of free will. Such a view is contrary to the very nature of grace, which only pertains to free will. If the human will is never truly free, especially as concerns salvation, then prevenient grace would be entirely ineffective. For prevenient grace is an act of God enabling the human will to be truly free. By reducing free will to merely an inevitable response to grace, the semi-Calvinist is in effect denying the effectiveness of prevenient grace in making us free. Prevenient grace is irresistible in that it always truly frees the will, without any cooperation on our part. But God has humbly chosen not to make subsequent grace irresistible, so that our choice to cooperate or not would be truly free and so that, if we choose to cooperate, we will act with true love. For love is not love without true freedom.
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  #42  
Old 8th September 2010, 06:17 AM
zouxi zouxi is offline
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BIBLE SAYS FAITH AND WORKS NEEDED FOR SALVATION
Sal Ciresi
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During the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, a familiar term regarding salvation was "sola fide," Latin for "by faith alone." The reformers, at that time, accused the Catholic Church of departing from the "simple purity of the Gospel" of Jesus Christ. They stated it was faith alone, without works of any kind, that brought a believer to eternal life. They defined this faith as "the confidence of man, associated with the certainty of salvation, because the merciful Father will forgive sins because of Christ's sake."
This view of salvation is a crucial issue because it strikes at the very heart of the Gospel message eternal life. Roman Catholicism teaches that we are not saved by faith alone. The Church has taught this since 30 A.D. as part of the Divine Revelation. The truth of the Catholic Church's teaching can be demonstrated from Sacred Scripture alone.

All who claim the title "Christian" will be able to agree on the following two truths: salvation is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8) and salvation is through Christ alone (Acts 4:12). These biblical facts will be our foundation as we explain the teaching of the Catholic Church.

If we take a concordance and look up every occurrence of the word "faith," we come up with an undeniable fact the only time the phrase "faith alone" is used in the entire Bible is when it is condemned (James 2:24). The epistle of James only mentions it in the negative sense.

The Bible tells us we must have faith in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6). Yet is faith nothing more than believing and trusting? Searching the Scriptures, we see faith also involves assent to God's truth (1 Thessalonians 2:13), obedience to Him (Romans 1:5, 16:26), and it must be working in love (Galatians 5:6). These points appeared to be missed by the reformers, yet they are just as crucial as believing and trusting. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) should be heeded by all it's certainly an attention grabber.

Paul speaks of faith as a life-long process, never as a one-time experience (Philippians 2:12). He never assumes he has nothing to worry about. If he did, his words in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) would be nonsensical. He reiterates the same point again in his second letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:5). He takes nothing for granted, yet all would agree if anyone was "born again" it certainly was Paul. Our Lord and Savior spoke of the same thing by "remaining in Him" (John 15:1-11).

Paul tells us our faith is living and can go through many stages. It never stays permanently fixed after a single conversion experience no matter how genuine or sincere. Our faith can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19), departed from (1 Timothy 4:1), disowned (1 Timothy 5:8) wandered from (1 Timothy 6:10), and missed (1 Timothy 6:21). Christians do not have a "waiver" that exempts them from these verses.

Do our works mean anything? According to Jesus they do (Matthew 25:31-46). The people rewarded and punished are done so by their actions. And our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-20) and words (James 3:6-12) are accountable as well. These verses are just as much part of the Bible as Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:3-5.

Some will object by appealing to Romans 4:3 and stating Abraham was "declared righteous" before circumcision. Thus he was only saved by "believing" faith (Genesis 15:6), not by faith "working in love" (Galatians 5:6). Isn't this what Paul means when he says none will be justified by "works of law" (Romans 3:28)? No, this is not what he means. He's condemning the Old Covenant sacrifices and rituals which couldn't justify and pointing to better things now in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant (Hebrews 7-10). A close examination of Abraham's life revealed a man of God who did something. In Genesis 12-14 he makes two geographical moves, builds an altar and calls on the Lord, divides land with Lot to end quarrels, pays tithes, and refuses goods from the King of Sodom to rely instead on God's providence. He did all these works as an old man. It was certainly a struggle. After all these actions of faith, then he's "declared righteous" (Genesis 15:6). Did these works play a role in his justification? According to the Bible, yes.

The Catholic Church has never taught we "earn" our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can't earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17).

The reformer's position cannot be reconciled with the Bible. That is why the Catholic Church has taught otherwise for over 1,960 years.

Where does our assistance come from to reach our heavenly destination? Philippians 4:13 says it all, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."

(Sal Ciresi has lectured on apologetics in the diocese of Arlington, VA and has resided in Northern Virginia since his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1991.)

source

Ron, i found this article in conformity with your opinion (the bold quoted part of st. paul). any thoughts?

Thank you.

Last edited by zouxi : 8th September 2010 at 06:44 AM.
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  #43  
Old 8th September 2010, 01:15 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Sal Ciresi does a good job refuting the 'faith alone' error of the Protestants.
I'll add a few comments.

[Ephesians]
{2:8} For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves, for it is a gift of God.

This verse does not say that salvation is by grace alone. Salvation is a free gift from God, by means of grace, but free will can choose to accept or to reject that gift. For no gift is forced upon the recipient.

We are not saved by faith alone, not even by faith under an expanded definition, which includes exercising that faith in good works. We are saved by the state of sanctifying grace, which includes love, faith, hope, and the other virtues.

Faith can be alive, as when it is accompanied by love, hope, and the other virtues, or dead, as when a believer falls into actual mortal sin. Works can be alive, when done in cooperation with grace, or dead, as when they are done for other reasons:

[Luke]
{18:11} Standing, the Pharisee prayed within himself in this way: O God, I give thanks to you that I am not like the rest of men: robbers, unjust, adulterers, even as this tax collector chooses to be.
{18:12} I fast twice between Sabbaths. I give tithes from all that I possess.
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  #44  
Old 11th September 2010, 01:49 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Continuing our discussion of TULIP


Limited atonement is the Calvinist idea that Christ's death is sufficient to atone for the sins of all, but effective in atoning only for those who are predestined.

The error of Calvinism and semi-Calvinism is to assume that the effectiveness of atonement is simple: either it is effective and the person attains salvation in Heaven, or it is not effective and the person is condemned to Hell. This is a false dichotomy. Atonement is not simply limited or simply unlimited. Why? because of free will.

As a result of this atonement on the Cross all human persons are offered salvation and are given prevenient graces enabling them to freely choose their own final eternal destination, to choose that destination by means of the moral choices we make in life. So each and every human person, even the person who finally ends up in Hell, receives from Christ on the Cross (1) the offer of salvation by sanctifying grace, and (2) the reception of prevenient actual graces, enabling him to freely choose the path to Heaven, or the path to Hell, and (3) the offer of subsequent actual graces, all of which is intended to bring him to Heaven in the end, if only he will freely choose to cooperate.

So the atonement of Christ cannot be understood properly apart from free will. His atonement frees our will and enables our will and assists our will, for each and every human person, to attain salvation -- but only if we freely cooperate.
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  #45  
Old 12th September 2010, 12:18 AM
Rob Rob is offline
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Thanks Ron, these explanations of various protestant heresies on predestination was very clear.
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  #46  
Old 12th September 2010, 04:39 AM
myLivingBread myLivingBread is offline
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thank you Ron . I think I understand more clearly now. the semi calvinist are ex calvinist they call themselves Augustinian Catholic.They say they believe in Magisterium but they actually opposing it. I have read some of their doctrine,

"Augustinian Perspective on God's Sovereignty in Salvation" they quote the writings of the Saints.

they call themselves catholic philosopher which means a theologian.
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  #47  
Old 13th September 2010, 12:54 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Irresistible grace is the Calvinist idea that grace is all-powerful, and therefore grace never fails. On this basis, they conclude that free will is not the determining factor in salvation, but rather grace. For they reason that if God gave the grace for salvation to all, then all would be saved; all are not saved, so God must have withheld some type of grace.

But the Catholic view is that grace is not grace apart from free will. God is all-powerful, and so is His grace -- but His power is Love, not brute force. And love is not love without true freedom of the will. So God humbly submits His all-powerful grace to our free will, allowing any to fall away from salvation, despite God's will that they be saved, if they freely choose to do so.

Prevenient grace is given to all and never fails. Prevenient grace is irresistible in the sense that no cooperation of the will is needed; it is a free gift to the human will, making the will truly free. Prevenient grace is not irresistible in the sense that it would determine our salvation.

But once freed, God's subsequent grace submits itself to our free will, working in us if we choose to do good, and waiting patiently if we choose to do evil.
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  #48  
Old 23rd September 2010, 03:15 PM
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Default Concupiscence

Concupiscence is our tendency "towards" sin, this necessarily means that some goodness remained in humanity after the original sin because in order for us to have a "tendency" to a determinate end, there must be an opposite or different starting point, otherwise there would be no such "tendency" at all, and this is what Concupiscence is, a propensity to do what is evil, and in order for us to have that propensity, there must be a good starting point (what is different to evil? - good). If I have a propensity to touch my forehead with my hand, then I must have had my hand somewhere else some times. If I'm having my mand on my forehead all the time, then I wouldn't have a "propensity" at all, my hand is just stuck on my forehead all the time without any other action or involvement on its part.

If we were all evil by our very nature, then there were no room for us to have a "tendency towards" evil because we would be already immersed in what is evil. Being all evil by nature means that there is no room for Concupiscence, therefore, this idea is heretical.

Concupiscence is not of itself sinful; otherwise, we would not be free to do good, we would have no free will.

Last edited by Brother : 23rd September 2010 at 03:24 PM.
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  #49  
Old 23rd September 2010, 04:54 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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well said.

concupiscence is not sin, but a tendency toward sin within good but fallen human nature.
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  #50  
Old 25th September 2010, 09:19 AM
myLivingBread myLivingBread is offline
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semi calvinist:
i think It is clear for me your explanation thank you I agree all of it but some i dont know but anyway i need to study hard to make sure that no one contradiction will overcome..
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