Monday, December 03, 2007
Tim Staples keeps the commandments!
It's not easy listening to Matt Slick discuss with Tim Staples, but I got thru round three recently. I left a comment too, which led a (I believe) Roman Catholic fellow-listener to write me an email. I won't reproduce his email to me, but it had to do with his assertion that, no, really, good Christian people CAN keep 7 or so of the 10 Commandments, at least most of the time. And a few other related questions flowing out of the podcast. I reprint here the relevant parts of my response to him:
Let me share with you sthg I've noticed - where sin and man's sinfulness is downplayed, grace is by necessity downplayed as well.
One place that definitely occurs is in the RCC. You're not really all THAT bad, you haven't broken the _th commandment, or at least only a few times in your life, etc.
And your sin and resulting distance from God is not such that you can't get there by any of your own efforts. No, no, no, God's grace ENABLES us to DO some things to get there, to provide some atonement for our own sin whether by penance that we do or by Purgatorial sufferings. All that to say, we add to Christ's atonement in order to be saved.
It's terrifying! If I must rely on partly myself to get to Heaven, I'll never make it!
Tell you what, let's examine what you/Tim say about the 10 Commandments. You say that we should be able to keep the 1st 7 commandments w/o too much trouble.
From Ex 20:3-17 -
Commandment #1 - "You shall have no other gods before me.
-Have you ever put ANYthing before your devotion to God?
Of course you have. Every time you sin in ANY way you do so.
#2 - "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am(D) a jealous God,(E) visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- Why does God say He's jealous in this cmdmt? It's b/c this is about putting material things before God Himself! Ever done that? Ever preferred a material thing over God? Ever lusted after a material woman?
#3 - "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
-Ever used God's or Jesus' name as a curse?
Ever proven yourself unworthy of bearing the name "follower of Christ" by your actions? (ie, ever sinned?)
#4 - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy...
-Is your devotion and faith in Jesus Christ complete and full so that you NEVER trust in anything other than Him?
(This is the interpretation of the Sabbath from the book of Hebrews.)
#5 - "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
-Have you ALWAYS honored them? NEVER grumbled? NEVER disobeyed?
#6 - "You shall not murder.
-Ever been angry with someone? Ever called them a derogatory name? hated?
(See Jesus' interp of this in Matthew 5.)
#7 - "You shall not commit adultery.
-Ever looked at a woman with lust? (Matthew 5)
Be honest - NO ONE can fulfill the law. Not even a little. Galatians 3 says that this is the whole point of the law - to demonstrate to us by our inability to keep it even a little the fact that we need to fall on God's grace IN TOTAL. Yes, we are THAT low. Yes, God's grace is THAT wonderful!
You say you haven't broken any of those 1st 7? That is self-righteousness and a lie. Please, repent before God. Tell Him that you are relying on Him and Him alone to bring you to heaven, to forgive your sin, that you can do NOTHING.
Finally, Tim was being incredibly inconsistent when he talked about "but when I do fall, there's forgiveness."
1) In RC dogma, you have to DO PENANCE to ACHIEVE that forgiveness. That's not by grace at all! "If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." Romans 11:6
2) God's standard is not "pretty good, not breaking 7 of the 10 most of the time"; it's PERFECTION. You can't EVER get there.
3) The whole point of the law, as I said, is to point out our inability. Not to try to make us think we can do it ourselves!
I hope you'll consider what I've said here. Please repent and ask God for forgiveness for your pride.
True Peace to you,