Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Catholics: Blurring Lines with Muslims

Some recent discussions in the comboxes here have reminded me of a very unfortunate reality: Catholics represent Christianity to many Muslims. There are no winners in that exchange.

Note the words of Pope John Paul II in an address to Muslim leaders in 2001:

“It is important that Muslims and Christians continue to explore philosophical and theological questions together, in order to come to a more objective and comprehensive knowledge of each others’ religious beliefs. Better mutual understanding will surely lead, at the practical level, to a new way of presenting our two religions not in opposition, as has happened too often in the past, but in partnership for the good of the human family.

…For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness. Jesus teaches us that we must pardon others’ offences if God is to pardon us our sins (cf. Mt 6:14).

As members of the one human family and as believers, we have obligations to the common good, to justice and to solidarity. Interreligious dialogue will lead to many forms of cooperation, especially in responding to the duty to care for the poor and the weak. These are the signs that our worship of God is genuine.

As we make our way through life towards our heavenly destiny, Christians feel the company of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; and Islam too pays tribute to Mary and hails her as "chosen above the women of the world" (Quran, III:42). The Virgin of Nazareth, the Lady of Saydnâya, has taught us that God protects the humble and "scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts" (Lk 1:51). May the hearts of Christians and Muslims turn to one another with feelings of brotherhood and friendship, so that the Almighty may bless us with the peace which heaven alone can give. To the One, Merciful God be praise and glory for ever.” Source

Christians and Muslims are not believers together, nor do we worship the same God. We must call all Muslims to abandon their false religion and place their faith in Christ alone as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Blurring the lines between Christianity and Islam is a shameful practice by Roman Catholics and just another example of how far the gospel of Rome has drifted.

53 comments:

Hidden One said...

Carrie, when a Catholic says that he or she worships the same God as a Muslim, what does (s)he mean? I'm curious as to your answer.

TheDen said...

Carrie,

As Christians, we have to be careful here as for some reason God has allowed Islam to flourish. God has His reasons and it is foretold in Scripture (Genesis 21:12-13) that the “Sons of Ishmael” will be a great nation. The Pope knew this and this is what he is talking about in this speech. Technically, we share a unity through Abraham and the One God. Some Muslims (perhaps many…) have a distorted view of God but they still have elements of truth in their religion.

What the Pope is saying is that we need to work in cooperation with Muslims not to come to agreements but rather to show them the elements of truth that they have and to eventually bring them to Christ.

That’s not done through arguing…and the Pope understands that. It’s done through love. It’s done through sacrifice. It’s done through martyrdom and the willingness to die for Jesus Christ so that the person who murders you sees this witness and understands that there is something greater in life than what he has.

Additionally, the one binding trait that the Pope says we share with Muslims is our humanity. That in our humanness, we are obliged to love each other. In our weakness, we still are obliged as humans to help those in need.

The conversion of Muslims won’t happen through a call for them to abandon their faith. Conversion doesn’t happen through words. The conversion of Muslims can only happen through the grace of God working through us (and in them). True conversion can only happen when we love our foes and are willing to die for them so that they can be saved.

True conversion can only happen through love.

David Waltz said...

I shall shortly provide a quote from Carrie’s opening post; and I would like to try and read ‘between the lines’ by inserting in brackets my own commentary. Carrie wrote:



>>Christians [radical Evangelicals] and Muslims [Sunnis] are not believers together, nor do we worship the same God. We must call all Muslims to abandon their false religion and place their faith in Christ alone [what happened to God the Father and the Holy Spirit] as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Blurring the lines between Christianity [radical Evangelicals] and Islam [Sunnis] is a shameful practice by Roman Catholics [i.e. John Paul II was either stupid or deceitful] and just another example of how far the gospel of Rome [the historic Christian Gospel] has drifted.>>



In the name of our Great God and Savior,

David

Carrie said...

Carrie, when a Catholic says that he or she worships the same God as a Muslim, what does (s)he mean?

David Waltz - why don't you answer this question for "hidden one".

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

"Catholics: Blurring Lines with Muslims"


What do you care about Catholics and Muslims?

"Christians and Muslims are not believers together..."

Catholics and Protestants are not believers together either. That you are bothered by what Catholics believe and practise shows you really don't mean it when you claim that Catholics are not your brothers and sisters in Christ. If I were you, I would ignore Catholics as I would ignore Budhists. Somehow, you can't bring yourself to ignore the claims of Catholicism.

L P Cruz said...

Carrie,

This is the reason why traditionalist Catholics consider this Pope to have been an un-Pope and un-Catholic.

I think there is a movement called Finneyite (spell?) founded by a Jesuit priest questioning these post Vatican II moves.

LPC

GeneMBridges said...

>>Christians [radical Evangelicals] and Muslims [Sunnis] are not believers together, nor do we worship the same God. We must call all Muslims to abandon their false religion and place their faith in Christ alone [what happened to God the Father and the Holy Spirit] as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Blurring the lines between Christianity [radical Evangelicals] and Islam [Sunnis] is a shameful practice by Roman Catholics [i.e. John Paul II was either stupid or deceitful] and just another example of how far the gospel of Rome [the historic Christian Gospel] has drifted.>>

It's truly sad to see how low Catholic apologetics has sunken,to side with Infidels against those who you profess to be "separated brethren" (Protestants). Is this how hard up Catholicism is for new converts?

1. To place your faith in Christ alone is to place your faith in the Father and Son. "He who believes in me believes in the one who sent me." The Philippian Jailer asked, "What must I do to be saved." The reply, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ..." When we see confessions of saving faith in the NT, we see confessions relating to Christ, not the other two Persons of the Trinity. Apparently, David, your large library has not availed you of basic biblical literacy.

2. JP stupid or deceitful? Is this a multiple choice question? Why the two alternatives? I say (c) both. Remember, you guys said Mary opened the gates of heaven for him. I guess assurance of your salvation (or that of another) is only presumption for some, but not for others.

3. The Gospel of Rome is a false and damning Gospel, David, and you, sir have demonstrated here that you are an anti-evangelist and false teacher.

This text was written for you:

Matt. 18:6: But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hungaround his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matt. 23: 13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

14"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows'houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around onsea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you makehim twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

25"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside ofthe cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

26"You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

28"So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

David Waltz said...

Hello Gene.

Bad day aye???

You begin your diatribe with:

GB:>> It's truly sad to see how low Catholic apologetics has sunken,to side with Infidels against those who you profess to be "separated brethren" (Protestants). Is this how hard up Catholicism is for new converts?>>

Me: What??? You can’t be serious; how on earth can you construe that I have sided “with Infidels against those who you profess to be “separated brethren” (Protestants)”??? I am serious here Gene, I love it when you start citing our Ecumenical Councils, and our Doctors of the Church, etc. But when you attack Muslims on poorly conceived grounds, I shall not be silent. Sheesh…at least try and criticize what I actually uphold and believe!!!

GB:>> 1. To place your faith in Christ alone is to place your faith in the Father and Son. "He who believes in me believes in the one who sent me." The Philippian Jailer asked, "What must I do to be saved." The reply, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ..." When we see confessions of saving faith in the NT, we see confessions relating to Christ, not the other two Persons of the Trinity.>>

Me: You have completely missed the point Gene: they who believe in Christ are not placing their “faith in Christ alone”. That is the simple fact of the matter, which you explicitly affirmed. Point made, argument over.

GB:>> 2. JP stupid or deceitful? Is this a multiple choice question? Why the two alternatives? I say (c) both. Remember, you guys said Mary opened the gates of heaven for him. I guess assurance of your salvation (or that of another) is only presumption for some, but not for others.>>

Me: Sad, very sad. John Paul II was a Godly, Christian man; a scholar that none of us posting on this board will ever equal. But, I bet that he has already forgiven you, just as he forgave the man who tried (and almost), to assassinate him.

GB:>> 3. The Gospel of Rome is a false and damning Gospel…>>

Me: So no “true” gospel for 1500 years…very reassuring.

>>David, and you, sir have demonstrated here that you are an anti-evangelist and false teacher.>>

Me: Please be so kind as to list my actual “false teachings” as your infallible self perceives them to be. If you are not infallible, at least be so kind as to qualify your statement with: “in my fallible opinion, I believe you to be a false teacher.” In doing so, you are at least being consistent with your fallible paradigm.
GB:>> This text was written for you:>>

Me: I think you meant texts. But, in reality, they apply to Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Menno Simons, Marcion, Sabellius, Arius, Apollinarius, Charles Taze Russell, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, et al.


Any more mud? (Got my shield up…[grin]).


In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

David

David Waltz said...

>>Carrie, when a Catholic says that he or she worships the same God as a Muslim, what does (s)he mean?

David Waltz - why don't you answer this question for "hidden one".>>

Me: I believe it to mean that a faithful Muslim worships “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. Did the Israelites worship a Trinity? Did the Israelites worship the Son of God? Were the Israelites Trinitarians? I KNOW, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the answer to all of the above questions...

And for the record, what God did Jesus worship?


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

Catholics and Protestants are not believers together either. That you are bothered by what Catholics believe and practise shows you really don't mean it when you claim that Catholics are not your brothers and sisters in Christ.

No, Dozie, it means I oppose you all representing yourselves to other religions as Christians and spreading your false teachings. Muslims need to be told the truth about Christ, not made to think they are "close to truth".

Carrie said...

This is the reason why traditionalist Catholics consider this Pope to have been an un-Pope and un-Catholic.

Exactly. Yet some people here want to try and deceive the Muslims that their church is the true historical one with necessary councils to guide them in the "true faith". Meanwhile, they have to sweep the decrees of Florence under the rug.

L P Cruz said...

But this is the point, any one who worships God not coming, by and through the Son is worshiping not the true God

Abraham and David worshiped God according to the promise of the Messiah. Jesus said that they did believe in him.

It is Jesus who said - he is the way the truth and the life, no one can come to the father except through him.

Jesus words are the 'problem', not Christians.

Anyone who contradicts the words of Christ ---- contradicts Christ and blasphemes his words.

LPC

Carrie said...

Jesus words are the 'problem', not Christians.

Anyone who contradicts the words of Christ ---- contradicts Christ and blasphemes his words.


Amen, LPC. Well said.

TheDen said...

I don’t think anything I've read from any Catholic here (especially the Pope) is contradicting the words of Christ. Nowhere does he talk about their salvation. Nowhere does he talk about not going through Christ. Catholic teaching is very firm that Salvation is through Christ alone.

The point of his speech is that “dialogue” should not erupt into violence (which it has many times in the past).

His point is that we are all equal under God’s eyes as we are all humans. God loves all of us and asks that we don’t fight but rather love our enemies. (Matthew 5: 44-45) Your attitudes on this website clearly contradict what Christ says in Matthew 5:46-47.

In this speech, the Pope was practicing Christ’s words in Matthew 5:44-47.

The problem is that your view of Christianity is distorted to think that only you are right and everyone else (especially Catholicism) is wrong.

You see that the problem is that the Pope doesn’t represent your distorted view of Christianity and you take offense to it. You believe that your narrow view of Theology is the right one when from reading your posts, it’s evident that you really don’t get it.

God doesn’t want us to argue with our enemies. He wants us to come to God. He wants us to be one with Him. He wants us to grow closer in Him and to bring others to Him. That’s the message of the Gospel and sadly, it’s missing in this post and on this web site.

James White is leading you down a path away from Christ and you are too blind to realize it. That doesn’t make me want to argue with you. It makes me feel sorry for you.

Rhology said...

Just FYI for all, we also discussed this a while back.
1st
2nd

Carrie said...

Catholic teaching is very firm that Salvation is through Christ alone.

Yeah, "through" in some "mysterious" way, not through faith. You won't find that idea in scripture.

CCC 847: "This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

His point is that we are all equal under God’s eyes as we are all humans.

Not true. Those who believe in Christ are children of God. Those who do not are children of the devil. That's scriptural.

James White is leading you down a path away from Christ and you are too blind to realize it.

James White is a great man of God. But he is not my Pope.

TheDen said...

Carrie,

All this is showing me is how you are ignoring texts of Scripture that you don't agree with. CCC 847 is scriptural. Romans 2: 14-16 explains that "Gentiles outside the law" will be judged by their "hidden works through Christ Jesus."

I don't think you (or Mr. White) can give me a better explanation of Romans 2: 14-16 than CCC #847.


Regarding Children of God/Children of the devil...you are misreading Scripture.

1 John 3:10 says that Children of God do not sin (not that they believe in Christ...even demons believe in Christ). Children of God don't sin because they have God's seed in them. So, a child of God does not sin. Why? Because he (or she) is obedient to God and His commandments which is the central theme of 1 John. (1 John 2:3)

A child of the devil is one who sins. A child of the devil is one who is disobedient to God as Adam and Eve were disobedient to God.

This has nothing to do with our humanity. Christ is calling ALL of mankind to turn to Him. Man is created in the image and likeness of God. A Muslim is created in His likeness. God is calling the Muslim to turn away from sin and turn to Christ just as He calls Christians. To call Man evil is to call a creation of God evil. Evil was not created by God. Evil exists because of man's rejection of God. Everything that God created (including man) is created good--and with man, it's very good (Genesis 1:31).

James White has an agenda and from what I can tell, it's not to bring people closer to God.

God loves you. God loves James White. God loves Muslims. God loves the Pope. God's desire is for all men to be saved (and that's scriptural too). The fact that some aren't is because they've turned away from God. They've become "Children of the Devil" through their disobedience. God wants them to be saved too.

Rhology said...

Romans 2: 14-16 explains that "Gentiles outside the law" will be judged by their "hidden works through Christ Jesus."

Um, everyone will be judged by their works if they're without saving faith in Jesus Christ. That's the SUBSTITUTIONARY part of "Substitutionary Atonement". The fact that they have this light, this knowledge, shows that they have that much less excuse on the day of judgment and will not be able to claim ignorance. They are responsible b/c of the light they have. Read chapter 1 and 2 again and see how the context comports with it well.

God is calling the Muslim to turn away from sin and turn to Christ just as He calls Christians

That's not what the CCC says. I wish you'd stop insulting our intelligence. At least have the courage of your convictions. It's either right or it's wrong, but it says what it says.

Peace,
Rhology

TheDen said...

Rhology,

Trust me, I know what the Catechism says. Where does it say this in the Catechism?

Part 1-- Section 1.

It's the FIRST THING in the Catechism (Paragraphs 27-30) which to me indicates that the Catholic Church kinda stresses its importance.

As far as who's insulting whose intelligence here, please let's not go there.

Romans 2:14-16 is not talking about Substitutionary Atonement. Please read it again. Romans 2:14 says that if a person "does not have the law," they will be judged by the law that God has written into their hearts (by Jesus Christ). This fits PERFECTLY into paragraph #847. If a person who "through no fault of their own, does not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seeks God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

It does not say in Scripture that a person who "doesn't know the law" is not saved. It says they will be judged by their "hidden works" and how well they followed God's law written in their hearts.

So, a Muslim who has never heard about Jesus Christ who (through God's grace) has followed his heart and his conscience can be saved THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. How do I know this? Scripture tells me so in Romans 2: 14-16.

Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. If a person is saved, it's only through Him. The thing is, Jesus Christ has the power to save whomever He wants. At the last moment right before death, if Jesus Christ appears to a person and says to him to "follow Me" and the person accepts, then that person will be saved. And we have no clue who is and is not saved. Only God knows.

We don't need to know. All we need to do is be obedient to Him in everything and to call people to God.

I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence. I know that everyone here is very intelligent. I'm calling you to God. God wants more from you and Carrie than this. He wants more from me than this.

He wants it so that His love is so powerful that it's like a blinding light inside of you for all people to see. For people to look at and say, "I want that too."

He doesn't just want your intelligence. He wants all of you. He wants you to completely give yourself to Him. He does not want us arguing. He wants us worshipping Him.

Rhology said...

Sigh.
I mentioned the SubAt b/c our works are NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Neither are Gentiles' works good enough. If it's up to our works, we will all perish. That's why Jesus substituted Himself for us. Please try to follow rather than responding in anger.

This is another good example of your unthinking responses:
Where does it say this in the Catechism?

Carrie already posted it.
CCC 847: "This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

Romans 2:14 says that if a person "does not have the law," they will be judged by the law that God has written into their hearts

Exactly. They will be judged and found guilty since all are sinners. This is no way of salvation. Jesus Christ is.
John 8:24 - "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
Muslims don't believe Jesus is God. they don't believe He was even crucified and certainly not that He resurrected. But your church says that they'll be saved so you have to think of SOMEthing.

It says they will be judged by their "hidden works" and how well they followed God's law written in their hearts.

Exactly. And the very next chapter, Romans 3, says that NO ONE follows God. No one seeks to do good, and no one does good. All have turned away, they have together become worthless.

Jesus Christ appears to a person and says to him to "follow Me" and the person accepts, then that person will be saved.

All well and good, but that's not what you've been saying and that's not what the CCC is saying. Don't move the goalposts.

He wants us worshipping Him.

I'd add that He really takes it seriously when people pervert and add to what He has revealed. Tremble and repent, is what I'd suggest to you. You can't do that stuff you said unless you love His Word 1st, which you haven't shown you do.


Peace,
Rhology

Carrie said...

Romans 2:14 says that if a person "does not have the law," they will be judged by the law that God has written into their hearts (by Jesus Christ). This fits PERFECTLY into paragraph #847.

No it doesn't. You are misreading Romans 2 and missing Paul's point.

“All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares” Romans 2:12-16

“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin…Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3: 9, 19-22

1. All who sin apart from the law will perish.
2. All who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
3. All have either the law of Moses or the law written on their heart.
4. ALL have sinned and are w/out excuse b/c ALL are under the law (#3).
5. No one will be declared righteous by following either law.
6. Righteousness can only come through faith in Christ.

Telling people they may attain salvation by "trying in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience" is a lie and you need to stop.

Carrie said...

Oops. Looks like Rhology and I were posting at the same time.

Rhology said...

The more the merrier!

TheDen said...

Rhology/Carrie,

You’re the ones who are missing the point.

“All who SIN apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who SIN under the law will be judged by the law.”

The key word is sin. Sin is being disobedient to God’s law. Just as Adam and Eve were disobedient and sinned, when we are disobedient to God’s law, we sin. If you sin, you will die. Paul tells us that the penalty for sin is death. Sin is an abomination to God.

Note what it says in the second line:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, BUT IT IS THOSE WHO OBEY THE LAW WHO WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS.

As I’ve been telling you, God wants us to be obedient to Him. You keep missing that point.

Now for a Gentile who does not have the law, they cannot be obedient to anything. Thus, “they are a law for themselves.” Since the law has been “written on their hearts” and will be judged accordingly through Jesus Christ.

Righteousness comes from obedience as Paul tells us. It starts with faith but you must have an “obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5).

Regarding Romans 3. Yes, I agree with that statement too. We cannot do this without God’s grace. We need His grace to be obedient. But we still must be obedient.

Faith isn’t just “believing.” Faith is to totally rely on God for everything. Faith is understanding that the promise of Christ is to abandon everything and to follow Him. To come to Him for nourishment and guidance. Faith isn’t just “I believe Christ died for me and thus I’m saved.” That’s not it and that’s not the message of Jesus Christ in the Gospels.

The obedience is not what saves us. Our faith saves us. The obedience to the law is necessary and Paul tells us this three verses later (Romans 3:31). What Paul is talking about are Pharisees who believe that all they have to do is “obey the law” to be righteous in front of God. That they don’t need to be close to God. Paul was one of them before his conversion and he knows this all too well. That obedience is all that’s required from God. Paul is saying “NO!” You have to have faith. It’s the faith that saves. You’re saved apart from the law. Nowhere does he say we don’t have to obey the law. AGAIN IN ROMANS 2:13…IT’S THOSE WHO OBSERVE THE LAW WHO WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS. Romans 2:13 DOES NOT FIT IN YOUR VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY.

We must, however, rely on Christ and follow His law (John 15:10-14). We must “remain in His love.” We must keep His commandments. We must love one another as He loves us. This means that we must be willing to die for each other so that the other can be saved. This means that we must be willing to sacrifice everything we have and die for Christ. This means that we rely on Him for all that we have.

That’s faith and that’s what He wants.

Rhology said...

BUT IT IS THOSE WHO OBEY THE LAW WHO WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS.

Correct.
And who obeys the law?
NO ONE - see Romans 3. This is the value of context.

God wants us to be obedient to Him. You keep missing that point.

Yes, He does. And no one is. Romans 3.
Muslims aren't. You aren't. I'm not. Think. This is why Christ died and why He is the only way.

Now for a Gentile who does not have the law, they cannot be obedient to anything.

They are a law UNTO THEMSELVES - Rom 2:14-16. That's the whole point Paul is making throughout Romans 1:18-2:16. They have no excuse.

Stop diverting the conversation into a discussion of sola fide. You need to deal with your church's statements that people can be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ.

Peace,
Rhology

TheDen said...

To accept in Sola Fide is to reject Christ's teachings in John 15:10-14 and I'm not ready to do that.

Nowhere does it say in the catechism that Salvation is outside of Christ. As I'm sure you know. The Church teaches that there is no Salvation outside of the Church. So, obviously you're misreading CCC#847.

If those people are saved, it is through the Church and through Jesus Christ.

Rhology said...

Leaving aside your wrongheaded comment on sola fide, look again at what I said: You need to deal with your church's statements that people can be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ.

You apparently hold to EENS, but your church doesn't:
"The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims” CCC 841

Would you stop dancing around the issue and deal with it?

Peace,
Rhology

TheDen said...

Rhology,

How would a Muslim be saved?

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation.

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?[335] Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body


You can't stop at paragraph 841. You need to keep reading through paragraph 847.

Rhology said...

So Muslims can be saved if they come into the church?
Why then say that they participate in the plan of salvation?
Why say that they acknowledge the Creator, and later say that they "together with us worship the One True God"?

TheDen said...

Rhology,


“So Muslims can be saved if they come into the church? “

Yes. That’s the ONLY way for Salvation. Through Jesus Christ in His church. If you continue on to CCC#848, it says:

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

This means that God can save whomever He wants. Specifically those who are COMPLETELY ignorant of the Gospel. (This does not free us from our call to evangelize.) This is what I was trying to explain that if Jesus Christ appears to a Muslim and says, “follow Me” at the point of the Muslim’s death and they accept, they will be saved.

Ultimately, the Church teaches that Salvation is up to God. He has the power and ability to save whomever He wants. It leaves open the hope that if a person has not heard the Gospel that perhaps God will have mercy on them.

“Why then say that they participate in the plan of salvation?”

The plan of salvation is for ALL MEN. Christ’s redemption on the cross is open to all of humanity (this includes Jews, Muslims Buddhists, etc.). Muslims (and all other non-Christians) share in that opportunity ONLY if they turn to Christ sometime before their death. God’s desire is for all men to be saved. That salvation is only through Jesus Christ.

“Why say that they acknowledge the Creator, and later say that they ‘together with us worship the One True God’?

Because Muslims historically trace their roots back to Ishmael who was the first son of Abraham through Hagar. They are sons of Abraham and God promises that God will make a “great nation” of Ishmael; however, in Genesis, it says that the inheritance is through Isaac and not Ishmael. (Genesis 21: 11-13) So, although they don’t share in Abraham’s promise (through Isaac), they still acknowledge the Creator—through Abraham and worship the One True God.

THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT MUSLIMS ARE SAVED. They still must turn to Christ sometime before their death.

Rhology said...

If you think that adequately explains the statement "together with us worship the One True God", OK, fine.

I didn't realise that depraved unregenerate man could worship God. Did I miss something?

Reginald de Piperno said...

I didn't realise that depraved unregenerate man could worship God. Did I miss something?

"Then Paul stood up in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, "Men of Athens, I see that in every respect you are extremely religious. For as I was going about and observing objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: 'To the Unknown God.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, that I proclaim to you..." (Acts 17:22-23, emphasis added).

With respect to Muslims specifically, I think that a sufficiently valid comparison may be drawn with Israel. St. Paul says of the Jews, "I bear them witness that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:2). Jews deny the Trinity, and yet Paul affirms that they have zeal for God. He also says that the unregenerate Athenian pagans worshiped God in ignorance.

Consequently it is not very much of a stretch for me to concede what Muslims insist, just as Paul affirmed what the Jews said: that they worship the God of Abraham. Clearly they do not do so according to knowledge, a circumstance which is not unlike the Jews and the Athenians. The way of salvation for Jews and Muslims, Protestants and Orthodox and Catholics, remains the same, however: Christ. And in any case, what the Church says about baptism is likewise true for all: "The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude" (CCC 1257).

Peace,

RdP

Rhology said...

Worshiping God is a spiritually good thing, right?
Romans 3 says unregenerate man doesn't do it.
You are mistaking the Acts 17 psg. They DIDN'T know the One True God, that's his whole point. Just saying that there's a god we don't know is not to worship or know the One True God. Yet they offered worship to an unknown god. Could have been any one of a number (since their imagination was so fertile) yet Paul decided to seize upon that as a good illustration, a cultural touching point.

Muslims have never had a relationship with TOTGod in their whole existence as a religion, unlike the Jews. Why say that they are similar?

Peace,
Rhology

Carrie said...

Nowhere does it say in the catechism that Salvation is outside of Christ. As I'm sure you know. The Church teaches that there is no Salvation outside of the Church. So, obviously you're misreading CCC#847.

Rhology,

He's obfuscating here. They say that any salvation is still "mysteriously" through the Church (and Christ) but this mysterious path does not include faith in Christ. So they say it is through Christ, but it is not through overt faith in Christ. It's a loophole.

This example from Catholic answers may help:

"CATHOLIC: It is not as confused as you imagine. Let’s make some important distinctions: The Church is necessary, as I have said, because no one will be saved apart from Christ. If the Church were suddenly taken out of the world, the knowledge of Christ would be lost. So I agree with our Fundamentalist friend here on the necessity of Christ and the Church for salvation, but he insists also that faith in Christ must be conscious and explicit for a person to be saved. Am I accurate in stating your position?

OBJECTOR TWO: Yes. The Bible says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). I don’t know so much about belonging to the Church. If you mean the Roman Catholic Church, then the Church is definitely not necessary for salvation. If you mean the Church generically—that is, the body of Christ—then I might agree. But my point is that the Catholic Church can’t logically claim that Christ is necessary for salvation and also that non-Christians have the possibility of salvation.

CATHOLIC: We can claim both because we know from Scripture that Christ and the Church are necessary, but we also don’t know how many people without a conscious and explicit knowledge of Christ may still be united to him in a way known only to God.

OBJECTOR ONE: Let me see if I understand you. Christ and the Church are necessary but the Church also allows that there may be those outside the Church who are united to Christ without knowing that they are united to him. That position is not as harsh and condemning as I first thought but I still think that it comes down to the same thing. You insist on salvation only through Christ.

CATHOLIC: Guilty as charged. The Catholic Church insists on salvation only through Christ because it is the unchanging witness of Scripture and Christian Tradition. We cannot surrender the centrality of Christ or the Church without abandoning our faith and heritage. But you are also right when you say that there may be people who are united to Christ while not being aware of it. We don’t say that we know there are such people. We say that because we don’t know if those outside the Church are cut off from Christ."source

So, you can have saving faith in Christ but be unaware of it.

Now, the next question will come from the Catholics saying - what about infants and the mentally-challenged? This doctrine of theirs is not scriptural, it is their answer to "what about those who never heard or can't understand".

Rhology said...

Oh. That's funny, I could've sworn the next question from RCs would be "Well, but isn't that just your private interpretation?!?!?!"

Maybe we should wager, I don't know, a commentary on Hebrews!

Reginald de Piperno said...

Worshiping God is a spiritually good thing, right?
Romans 3 says unregenerate man doesn't do it.


Did the Jews in Paul's day worship the true God?

If so, were they regenerate or not? If they were, how can this be since they denied that Jesus was their Messiah?

If, however, the Jews of Paul's day did not worship the true God, Please explain Paul's words in Romans 10:2. Thanks.

Also, note Isa. 1:12-15, where God rejects the worship of Israel. It's not that they weren't worshiping him in what they were doing; it's that he abhorred their worship on account of their sins. The point being: worship does not imply that the worshiper is in right relationship to the one he worships. Note that Christ himself says (to the Samaritan woman), "You worship what you do not know" (John 4:22).

You are mistaking the Acts 17 psg. They DIDN'T know the One True God, that's his whole point.

I've re-read my post, and I'm obviously missing the part where I said that they did know him. I bold-faced Paul's statement that they worship God in ignorance, and I repeated that statement myself. I said (because Paul did) that they worshiped God in ignorance.

Yet they offered worship to an unknown god.

Yes, and Paul identifies that unknown God with our God: "What you therefore worship in ignorance, that I proclaim to you."

Muslims have never had a relationship with TOTGod

I am no Islamic scholar, nor even a hobbyist of the topic. But if they say that they worship the God of Abraham, why should we not take them at their word? It doesn't make them right; they obviously worship in ignorance.

Why say that they are similar?

Because you (and, once upon a time, I myself) say that they do not worship the true God because of the errors in their understanding of who God is. But the Jews have similar misunderstandings, inasmuch as they deny the Trinity and deny that Jesus was the Messiah. Yet I don't know of any Protestants who say that the Jews of Paul's day worshiped a false god.

Peace,

RdP

Rhology said...

Just answer my question and you'll have yours, RdP.
Rom 10:2 - they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. If they don't KNOW who God is... in that sense, I'll give you that I'd be happy to grant the parallel between Jews and Muslims.

if they say that they worship the God of Abraham, why should we not take them at their word?

Um, b/c Jesus is God and they deny that. For one thing.
B/c they think Ab raised the knife above Ishmael and not Isaac.
B/c they think God is Unitarian.

Yet I don't know of any Protestants who say that the Jews of Paul's day worshiped a false god.

Yes, b/c they knew God, once upon a time. Theirs were the oracles of God and all that. Not so for Muslims.
But I'd like you to come right out and tell us whether you agree with TheDen when he says "THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT MUSLIMS ARE SAVED. They still must turn to Christ sometime before their death."

Peace,
Rhology

Reginald de Piperno said...

Just answer my question and you'll have yours, RdP.

I thought that I did answer your question, but maybe I've missed one.

Um, b/c Jesus is God and they deny that. For one thing.

So did the Jews of Paul's day, whom you concede worshiped the true God.

B/c they think Ab raised the knife above Ishmael and not Isaac.

Yes, they have errors in their beliefs. Of course. No one is denying that. So did the Jews of Paul's day, who denied that Jesus was the Messiah but who also worshiped the true God (though not according to knowledge).

B/c they think God is Unitarian.

...and the Jews of Paul's day denied the Trinity or any less than absolute oneness in God, too.

Peace,

RdP

Carrie said...

Maybe we should wager, I don't know, a commentary on Hebrews!

I think a few people here could benefit from a commentary on Romans.

TheDen said...

Rhology,

“I didn't realise that depraved unregenerate man could worship God. Did I miss something?” Where does it say (in Romans 3) that a depraved unregenerate man could not worship God?

Genesis 4:3-4 highlights two types of worship. One type is pleasing to God and the other type is not. One sacrifices “one of the best firstlings” and the other was “an offering.” God looked favorably on one and not the other.

There are a few problems with Cain’s worship that God found displeasing. First, he showed greed by not offering to God his “best” and rather chose to save it for himself. Secondly, he showed envy by murdering his brother because his sacrifice was better and third, he showed that his eyes were not fully on God because he was watching his brother’s worship instead of focusing his eyes on God.

Cain’s imperfect worship would show that he was depraved and unregenerate. His imperfect worship showed that God was not first in his heart and led to more sin and the eventual killing of his brother.

So yes, any man can worship God but perfect worship is most pleasing to Him. As Christians, our worship should involve Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which was “the best firstling” offered to God. This is most pleasing to Him as it’s the only perfect sacrifice ever offered. Everything else would pale in comparison.

Is Muslim worship displeasing to God? I don’t know. I’m not Him. But yes, they can worship Him albeit it’s not as pleasing in God’s eyes as Christian worship.


Carrie,

I’m not obfuscating anything. Paragraph 848 says that God has the ability to lead them to that faith. Actually, nowhere in Scripture does it say you have to have “overt faith” as you put it. It says that you have to have faith. This is not a loophole. The Church leaves open the hope that God will have mercy on whom he wills and that may include those who have not had the opportunity to know Christ.

“This doctrine of theirs is not scriptural, it is their answer to ‘what about those who never heard or can't understand’".

Again…Romans 2:14-16. It DOES NOT say these people are doomed but rather that “when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature OBSERVE THE PRESCRIPTIONS OF THE LAW…” Paul is saying that if a Gentile observes the law in his heart, he will be judged by Jesus Christ accordingly and that their thoughts will either “accuse or even defend them.” Defend them from what? From Christ’s judgment. Paul is leaving the hope open that there are Gentiles who may have “a law unto themselves” who will be saved by Christ Jesus.

Carrie said...

Paragraph 848 says that God has the ability to lead them to that faith.

To a "faith" that is not aware of Christ. Please, this is not the faith of the Bible.

Again…Romans 2:14-16. It DOES NOT say these people are doomed but rather that “when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature OBSERVE THE PRESCRIPTIONS OF THE LAW…”

Read it again: "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law". To say they won't perish you would have to say they have not sinned, but that is not possible since we will see in Romans 3 that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

You have totally missed the point of Romans 1-3 where Paul masterfully explains how ALL men are under sin, Jew or Gentile, and none will escape the wrath of God against sin by their own works.

Paul has put everyone on the same level playing field: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." That is the "bad news" just prior to giving the "good news", "BUT NOW a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

The only way to be righteous before God is through faith in Christ to those who believe. Overt faith, not some "faith" where they "try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience".

Defend them from what? From Christ’s judgment.

Wrong.

"Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them."

Ever see a cartoon where a character has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other whispering in his ear? Similar idea. When you feel guilty before doing something wrong, or justify why doing wrong is okay, your "thoughts" are showing the law written on your heart.

The KJV has parentheses around verses 13-15. Try reading it that way and you may see the flow better.

L P Cruz said...

Some if not many, think that when the Bible speaks of faith, it is referring to generic faith. Also take the case of mercy or grace, these can be thought of in the generic sense in relation to God.

God does not rest in our believin in Him as a merciful gracious God. Grace is not grace if it is not seen in the giving of God's Son to pay for our sins, there is no other mercy nor grace that God ultimately gives except in the Son.

The way God shows mercy is by bringing us to the Son so that we might rest all our hope in His finished work and so find peace with Him.

Generic faith will still damn us.

LPC

TheDen said...

Carrie,

What the Church is talking about is a person who has never heard of Jesus Christ. Let’s say there’s some poor Muslim who lives in some small town and through no fault of their own has never seen a Christian or heard of Jesus Christ. Does God automatically condemn that person to Hell?

The Church is saying they don’t know but they hold out the possibility that MAYBE they can be saved (through Christ) because without that possibility, God is not merciful but rather would be a monster who does not show mercy.

Regarding Romans 2:12, yes, I agree. All who sin outside the law will perish without reference to it. Read v. 13: “those who observe the law will be justified…” then read v. 14: “Gentiles who do not have the law by nature OBSERVE THE PRESCRIPTIONS OF THE LAW…” Paul is NOT TALKING ABOUT THOSE WHO SIN but rather those who observe the law.

You're right…all who sin outside the law will perish. However, as Paul says, those who observe the law will be judged by Christ and their conflicting thoughts ACCUSE OR EVEN DEFEND THEM.

I am not missing the point of Romans 1-3. What it’s talking about is that we are not saved through the law. We are saved through our faith. If one is saved through the law, that causes a few problems. One is that it does not give the opportunity for people outside of the law (gentiles) to be saved and secondly, that it can lead one to believe that one can be saved strictly by obedience to the law. Thirdly, the Mosaic law had evolved to the point that it was impossible to follow it and not break it. So it allows for no chance for salvation for gentiles and a false security in salvation for the Jews.

Paul tells us that first off, we all need salvation because all of us are sinners. Secondly, we are saved through our faith and not through our obedience to the law. And then third, that after our justification, we must still obedient to the law (now Christ’s commandments) because we are now alive in Christ and through His grace, we can be obedient to the law.

When talking about a Muslim (or any other non-Christian) who could be saved, the Catechism is clear that a person can only do this through God’s grace. if a person who doesn’t know Christ “but seeks God with a sincere heart and , MOVED BY GRACE…” then that person can be saved but only with God’s help and only through Jesus Christ.

“Ever see a cartoon where a character has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other whispering in his ear? Similar idea. When you feel guilty before doing something wrong, or justify why doing wrong is okay, your "thoughts" are showing the law written on your heart. “

I don’t think that’s right. In that same sentence, it says that God will judge them. When using “accuse” and “defend” with “judge” I think it’s pretty clear what they’re talking about.

My understanding is also in agreement with Acts 10:35:

“Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him”

Essentially, we do everything not out of strict obedience to the law but rather out of love for God. It's the love for God that's important. Faith can move mountains but without love, we are nothing.

There is NOTHING more important than loving God with all your heart, all your mind and with all your strength. That's the point of what I'm trying to tell you.

Rhology said...

Let the reader note that TheDen continues to neglect Romans 3 in his analyses.

Reginald de Piperno said...

Meanwhile others continue to neglect Romans 10 and Acts 17. :-)

Peace,

RdP

Hidden One said...

Carrie said: "David Waltz - why don't you answer this question for "hidden one"."

Carrie, I'm still waiting for your answer to my question. If I wanted to know what David Waltz thinks your position is, I'd have asked him.

(For reference, my question was as follows: "Carrie, when a Catholic says that he or she worships the same God as a Muslim, what does (s)he mean?")

Carrie said...

For reference, my question was as follows: "Carrie, when a Catholic says that he or she worships the same God as a Muslim, what does (s)he mean?"

I have read conflicting viewpoints from Catholic's, even on this blog. And since there is no infallible decision that I know of, all I can do is piece together assertions from Popes and others in the hierarchy and come to a conclusion.

But whether whatever the answer is, the underlying reasoning in the Catholic approach is faulty as evident from the discussion here. And that is really what I am trying to flush out.

Carrie said...

When using “accuse” and “defend” with “judge” I think it’s pretty clear what they’re talking about.

You are still misreading that section. Verses 13-15 should be read as parenthesized (word?) - you are getting tripped up by the sentence structure.

"Accuse" and "Defend" go with the thoughts and elaborate the prior 2 phrases "since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness,".

What is accusing and defending? Their thoughts. How would "their thoughts" defend them from judgment? That doesn't even make sense. Their thoughts accuse or defend them of breaking the natural law that is written on their hearts. Their "thoughts" show that they had a law to follow and will leave them without an excuse on the day of judgment.

I don't have time to address the rest of your comment now.

Carrie said...

The Church is saying they don’t know but they hold out the possibility that MAYBE they can be saved (through Christ) because without that possibility, God is not merciful but rather would be a monster who does not show mercy.

Wow!

Somehow I missed the part of your comment earlier. Are you sure you want to say that?

(I wouldn't)

Carrie said...

theden,

I am looking through the rest of your comments and there are a lot of problems. I’ll try to answer a few points, but until you can work out your misreading of the beginning of Romans, this is likely a futile exercise on my part.

Paul is NOT TALKING ABOUT THOSE WHO SIN but rather those who observe the law.

Huh? All have sinned. If you know someone in all of human history (besides Christ) who hasn’t sinned then you have just trumped God. Christ came b/c there was NO OTHER WAY – men could not save themselves through observing the law in any shape or form.

If one is saved through the law, that causes a few problems. One is that it does not give the opportunity for people outside of the law (gentiles) to be saved

NO, no one was ever saved through the law (Gal 3:11). The OT Jews were all saved by faith (Rom 4, Hebr 11). The law was only a schoolmaster (Gal 3:24)!!

secondly, that it can lead one to believe that one can be saved strictly by obedience to the law.

This seems to conflict with what you just said, I’m thinking you have confused the purpose of the law.

Thirdly, the Mosaic law had evolved to the point that it was impossible to follow it and not break it.

No! It didn’t evolve to a point that it was impossible, it NEVER was possible.

And then third, that after our justification, we must still obedient to the law (now Christ’s commandments) because we are now alive in Christ and through His grace, we can be obedient to the law.

And this is wrong. Your understanding of the law, justification, redemption all seem to be off. As if the law is still in effect, but now we have help with grace to meet its requirements. You really need to do a study on the purpose of the law.

And I am guessing this misunderstanding of the law and grace is bleeding over into your understanding of salvation of those who do not know Christ but “follow the dictates of their conscience”. Grace leads people to salvation through Christ through overt belief in him, it does not lead people to observing the some form of the law (good works).

There is NOTHING more important than loving God with all your heart, all your mind and with all your strength. That's the point of what I'm trying to tell you.

You cannot love God if you do not even know who he is. Muslims do not know the one true God. Whatever worship they seem to be doing, it is worthless if not directed to the one true God of the Bible.

And religion is not people searching for the one true God, but mostly people making their own idols. Look to Romans 1.

Carrie said...

As if the law is still in effect, but now we have help with grace to meet its requirements.

Let me qualify this statement.

We do still need to try and be obedient to the moral law, and through Christ we can do so better, but that has nothing to do with justification.

We do not need to keep the law to earn or keep our salvation.

------- Theo ------- said...

Jesus said:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

"If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15: 1-11)

Carrie said:
"We do not need to keep the law to earn or keep our salvation."

Carrie, my sister in Christ:
I fear that you again misunderstand an elemental aspect of the nature of we who are grafted in. According to the Master indeed, we do not earn our salvation which is by grace (unmerited favor); however He is clear that we can reject it by our actions.

Christ warns us that The Father shall remove us from the vine (from Christ Himself) if we do not produce fruit. He also commands us remain in Him--a command that would be utterly absurd if we had no choice but to always so remain.

How then do we remain in His love?

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.”

Other examples in scripture are equally explicit and legion.

Please understand that your assertions (or Calvin's) not withstanding, I hope you can understand how I will take the direct teaching of Christ himself over base contrary assertion against Him.

May great blessings of the example and teaching of our Savior, Jesus Christ descend upon you and remain with you forever to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

I remain by His grace,
Your humble servant and brother in Christ,
--Theo