Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Irony of works vs faith divide

I grew up hearing stories of the scales used in the catholic church - if the good outweighed the bad they'd make it to heaven. We were told that catholic's were legalistic and believe they get to heaven based on good works.

Catholics on the other hand grow up believing that protestant believe all you need to do is say a prayer. Once saved always saved. And some compare it to a fast food message - a little to simplistic. They think once we said that prayer we think we can live however we please and still get to heaven.

The irony is this:

In practice some are skeptical of how worldly some catholic's often are, and no matter how sinful they seem to live they all get the ticket to heaven at the catholic funerals.

In practice evangelical protestants are often the ones who seem very legalistic. Don’t smoke, drink, dance or chew, or go with those who do. And if someone does break these rules, yet said the prayer, we say they likely were not really saved before - maybe they said it but didn't mean it?

So in practice which (stereotyped) group seems to practice "once saved always saved", and which group is legalistic and placing a larger emphasis on works?

My point here is that we've used words to create a division, yet in practice we all agree that faith and works are required.

Some related links:
Catholics on - Aren’t We Saved by Faith Alone?
Catholics on - Once Saved, Always Saved?
Catholics on - Assurance of Salvation
GotQuestions.org - Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?

Aside note: I find it interesting that the only occurrence of the phrase "faith alone" in the Bible is in James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. "

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