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 Do Catholics believe they are saved by works?

Do Catholics believe they are saved by works?

 2009/10/2 2:58Profile
enid
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 Re: Do Catholics believe they are saved by works?

Ephesians 2v8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,

9. not of works, lest anyone should boast."

That's what scripture says.

If Catholics believe different, then they are wrong.

 2009/10/2 3:34Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:

Yes, Roman Catholicism teaches expressly that they are saved by works. Roman Catholics are confident they are going to heaven, not because they have faith in Jesus Christ who died for their sins and came back to life after three days, but rather, because they received the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, and are in good standing with Rome. Officially teaching, they believe "there is no salvation outside of the Church [of Rome]," and they believe that they alone have the authority to minister that salvation. In their theology, one "gets saved" by being baptized, and one maintains their salvation through receiving eucharist at least once a year.

At least, this is the "old line" of thinking in Rome. Ever since Vatican II last century, Rome has been much more pluralistic in its thinking, allowing for the possibility of protestants to receive eternal life, as well as non-Christian people. Pope John Paul was very pluralistic in his thinking. The present pope seems much more "old line" in his thinking.

Most devout Catholics, so far as I have seen, believe "old line" in their theology.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/2 8:35Profile









 Re:

Jimmy you wrote......

"Roman Catholics are confident they are going to heaven,"

I was born and raised a Catholic in a Catholic community and an all Catholic education. No Catholic has any confidence that they are going to heaven at all. At best, most hope to make it into purgatory. The Catholic church teaches that to believe one is going to heaven is the hieght of presumption, no on knows and to claim to know is an "anathema." Literlly putting a curse upon the heads of those who claim, for instance, that if they were to die tonight they know where they are going. Very sad and of course, clear opposition to the truth of the Word of God. Imaginine being in a position where you are "shooting for purgatory," and such a place does not even exist. Truly a lost people........Frank

 2009/10/2 12:20
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Taken from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13407a.htm

Individual salvation
The Council of Trent describes the process of salvation from sin in the case of an adult with great minuteness (Sess. VI, v-vi).

It begins with the grace of God which touches a sinner's heart, and calls him to repentance. This grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Man may receive or reject this inspiration of God, he may turn to God or remain in sin. Grace does not constrain man's free will.

Thus assisted the sinner is disposed for salvation from sin; he believes in the revelation and promises of God, he fears God's justice, hopes in his mercy, trusts that God will be merciful to him for Christ's sake, begins to love God as the source of all justice, hates and detests his sins.

This disposition is followed by justification itself, which consists not in the mere remission of sins, but in the sanctification and renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of God's grace and gifts, whence a man becomes just instead of unjust, a friend instead of a foe and so an heir according to hope of eternal life. [b]This change happens either [u]by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance[/u] according to the condition of the respective subject laden with sin. The Council further indicates the causes of this change. By the merit of the Most Holy Passion through the Holy Spirit, the charity of God is shed abroad in the hearts of those who are justified. [/b]

Against the heretical tenets of various times and sects we must hold

that the initial grace is truly gratuitous and supernatural;
that the human will remains free under the influence of this grace;
that man really cooperates in his personal salvation from sin;
that by justification man is really made just, and not merely declared or reputed so;
that justification and sanctification are only two aspects of the same thing, and not ontologically and chronologically distinct realities;
that justification excludes all mortal sin from the soul, so that the just man is no way liable to the sentence of death at God's judgment-seat.
Other points involved in the foregoing process of personal salvation from sin are matters of discussion among Catholic theologians; such are, for instance,
the precise nature of initial grace,
the manner in which grace and free will work together,
the precise nature of the fear and the love disposing the sinner for justification,
the manner in which sacraments cause sanctifying grace.
But these questions are treated in other articles dealing ex professo with the respective subjects. The same is true of final perseverance without which personal salvation from sin is not permanently secured.

What has been said applies to the salvation of adults; children and those permanently deprived of their use of reason are saved by the Sacrament of Baptism.

--

In summary, this statement from the RCC encylopedia agrees with my assesment of RCC theology. This is their official policy. Whether any Catholic actually believes it or teaches it is another matter altogether. But this is what they officially believe.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/2 13:37Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

appolus wrote:
Jimmy you wrote......

"Roman Catholics are confident they are going to heaven,"

I was born and raised a Catholic in a Catholic community and an all Catholic education. No Catholic has any confidence that they are going to heaven at all. At best, most hope to make it into purgatory. The Catholic church teaches that to believe one is going to heaven is the hieght of presumption, no on knows and to claim to know is an "anathema." Literlly putting a curse upon the heads of those who claim, for instance, that if they were to die tonight they know where they are going. Very sad and of course, clear opposition to the truth of the Word of God. Imaginine being in a position where you are "shooting for purgatory," and such a place does not even exist. Truly a lost people........Frank


What Frank said is true. This insecurity about salvation of Catholics is what drives one of their biggest franchises - indulgences. You do things or you pay for things to get indulgences, which are like merit badges for Boy Scouts in order to attain a higher rank.

Typically when a loved one dies, family and friends would pay certain fees to have their names mentioned during masses in order to accumulate indulgences to get them out of purgatory into heaven. Many wealthy Catholics,who are often assigned personal "father-confessors", even donate all of their wealth and property to the Catholic church upon their deaths in order to secure a ticket to heaven.

 2009/10/2 13:39Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
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Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Frank's assesment is well meaning and no doubt what he believed as a Catholic. But what he believed as a Catholic (like many other Catholics), is not consistant with the official teachings of the RCC. There is often a great disparity between the two.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/2 13:41Profile
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 Re:

On the RCC view of purgatory, from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

Duration
The very reasons assigned for the existence of purgatory make for its passing character. We pray, we offer sacrifice for souls therein detained that "God in mercy may forgive every fault and receive them into the bosom of Abraham" (Apostolic Constitutions); and Augustine (City of God XXI.13, 16) declares that the punishment of purgatory is temporary and will cease, at least with the Last Judgment. "But temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment."


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/2 13:58Profile
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 Re:

All,

the reason I ask is because I have been studying Catholicism a new and more in depth.

As always I am seeking to get passed biases and get to the exact truth of the matter.

Therefore, I have asked some Catholics about these things.

Some say they are saved by works and some don't. Then when I discuss with them it usually seem through reasoning and defining of terms that they say they are not saved by works but faith alone. The terms that are often confused is that when they say they are not saved by faith alone they say they mean that if you have faith works will follow and not that they make you right before God. Then they say the only works that do save you are actually not works but acts towards sacraments of grace. As the woman with the flow touched the hem of Jesus for healing so they touch baptism. As it was not a work of merit but an action to receive grace for her so it is with them.

I have found this to be true with many cults that when reasoned with they will say faith alone. We usually agree on our stances. For my stance is that we are made right before God by faith alone in Christ' work. However, faith will always result in works. Therefore if you don't have works you do not have faith and cant be saved. Still though faith and works are so close they are ever so far in distinction as opposites as well.

Sometimes in this explanation people can get confused between the 2 and think because both must be there that it is faith and works that saves you or that faith and works are one and the same.

I have often seen that possibly the Evangelical Protestant Church is equally as guilty of a false Gospel as legalistic cults are just that they have erred on the extreme of lasciviousness. There is legalism, lasciviousness, which is false, and then liberty yet not license to us.

The question would then come then if faith always results in works then do we have to have perfect works to have perfect faith to have perfect salvation. Well, I don't think we have to have perfect faith to be saved, but we cannot "practice" unbelief and sin.

So, I think the question would arise is baptism a work even though it is seen as a sacrament of grace?

Some might say well maybe baptism is not a work, but surely penance is. Surely penance in having to walk on your knees or something outside of the Gospel grace. Yet, they will say well penance is not really for salvation it will only keep you from being in purgatory. At baptism you are saved and become a Christian, but after that all your works don't deal with your salvation but with your time in purgatory. Though there are some serious sins you can do to lose your salvation not so much by not doing works but not doing faith in taking Eucharist ect.

At the forum I was conversing on they stated that 50% of them were former Protestants.

There were many other things, though I do not want to branch off to them since I want to deal with this topic. Like some would say they are re crucifying Christ at Eucharist where as they would say they are only making His sacrifice again present. Or maybe the topic of security in salvation I believe they could say that they are presently secure but they do not know if they will lose faith later and this would be no different from a person who believed you could lose your salvation. Or, they will even say that non Catholics can be saved in a Christian Church that is if they are ignorant of the truth of the Church, but if they knew the Church was true and did not enter then they would be damned.

 2009/10/2 17:10Profile









 Re:

HI,

What is really important here is what people believe. Jimmy is young and a wee bit naieve but I still love him :) Now, almost all Catholics will confess to you that they are not good enough to go to Heaven, they will say this because this is what they are taught. It is important also to remember that the offical teaching of the Catholic church is that there is no salvation outside of Catholicism. Perhaps you were ignorant of the true Catholic teaching they say, but once you discover this, you must acknowledge and bow to the teaching authority of the Pope. So, no salvation outside of the Catholic church, and none inside, hmmm, only purgatory, which of course does not exist.

An important point to remember while debating Catholics(and I would not debate Catholics, it tends to be fruitless, its more effective to talk about Jesus and how you know Him persoanlly, then go from there, because Catholics have a head knowledge of Jesus but do not "know," Him) is definition of terms. The word "works," for instance, is a key word and unless you can agree to a defnition up front you will have a messy discussion, it has to start there. The best question, I have found, and it cuts through the clutter, to ask a Catholic is "What do you think Jesus meant when He said that you must be born again." Typically you will hear things like "Baptism," or "First Holy Communion," and so on.

If a Catholic wants to discover what works truly is, then James gives us two perfect examples. One example is Abraham's obedience to God in taking his son up to sacrifice him and the other is Rahab the prostitute, when she sent the spies on and covered for them. Both these examples are of lives being put on the line and being justified by God. When one gives up their lives in order to follow God then that one is justified. It is the dying to one's self that one finds life. This of course is the teaching of Jesus, and of course Catholics believe in Jesus, but, as brother James says in the very same passage, so do the demons and they tremble. God will have all of our lives or He will have none of it. The man or woman who comes before God and gives up His whole life to God, that man or woman is born again. Nothing, of course, to do with any empty ritual, whether that ritual be baby sprinkling or coming forward and signing on the dotted line in a Protestant church. Its life or death. One is either alive or one is not. Most Catholics are actually quite facinated by the genuinely born again person.........Frank

 2009/10/2 17:59





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