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Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280376
06/05/21 09:53 PM
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I just saw this thread, only read a couple posts, so maybe this has been pointed out already.
Good works just cofirms faith. If you truly have faith it will be demonstrated by your good works. It's a very simple concept, if you try to explain it any other way you might be trying to justify why you don't have good behavior yet you still want the benefits of a believer.


"I'm not skilled to understand"
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280444
06/05/21 11:04 PM
06/05/21 11:04 PM
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James has been busy. Mowing the lawn for the first time this season. And the grass and weeds are long, and the mosquitos are out. Time for a break.

I don't get the disbelief in my sincerity. Just because I've disagreed with you in the past doesn't mean we can't have an honest discussion. I like to discuss, even debate issues, interests, beliefs, and events. I don't have a lot of trapping wisdom to share--although I have some experience--but am willing to test the soundness of my opinions.

In this case, I've asked about a point in Christian belief, one that has long troubled me. Why do some Christians believe in salvation--or improvement in one's place in heaven--through good works, while others say only faith can can save your soul? Which is right in the sense of having more Biblical support?

I'm no Biblical scholar, and what I think I see are two schools of thought here.

I'm not a Christian, but for purpose of this discussion am willing to assume that Christianity is the true faith.

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: waggler] #7280445
06/05/21 11:05 PM
06/05/21 11:05 PM
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James Offline OP
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Originally Posted by waggler
I just saw this thread, only read a couple posts, so maybe this has been pointed out already.
Good works just cofirms faith. If you truly have faith it will be demonstrated by your good works. It's a very simple concept, if you try to explain it any other way you might be trying to justify why you don't have good behavior yet you still want the benefits of a believer.


That's pretty much what my son says. The son teaches the father!

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280462
06/05/21 11:36 PM
06/05/21 11:36 PM
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james bay frontierOnt.
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Live by the golden rule.I do.
It is a universal concept in all cultures and religions.
If everyone lived by the golden rule the world would be a much better place.
The golden rule does not preclude you from defending yourself against A-Holes that dont live by the rule.

Last edited by Boco; 06/05/21 11:39 PM.
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: white marlin] #7280479
06/06/21 12:11 AM
06/06/21 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by white marlin
once again, James sneaks in, drops a turd and then vacates the discussion he started.



Ding Dong..

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280531
06/06/21 06:39 AM
06/06/21 06:39 AM
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Mark June Online content
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James,
I can only speak for myself in that online conversations don't allow allow me to read the intent of someone's communication "theme" including body language, tone of voice, etc.
So I, like you, was asking clarifiers.

I was trying to gauge the depth at which you wanted an answer. Not your sincerity in asking.
This issue has been with us since the time of Abraham 6,000 years ago, in a biblical sense and only God would know how long it total.
The topic is of endless debate.

It may help to understand what theologians consider the orthodoxy of Christianity; that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.. Jesus' brother Jude refers to this sacred trust or tradition as he rebukes those who defile the Gospel in his day, just as humans do today and his text is helpful (Jude's words are Inspired... mine are not as a reminder); Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (Jude 1:3).

History is important in our faith because your question is but one of many wrestled with those who went before us. Just as your law education is built upon worthy previous works, so is Christianity, so to get to a helpful answer to your question, we have to visit what in 434, a monk in Lérins, France named Vincent wrote about. It was a premier summary used by theologians until the Reformation era, at which time the schism, as you may know, spilt the Western faith in the 16th century. Vincent wrote; Do heretics also appeal to Scripture? They do indeed, and with a vengeance, for you may see them scamper through every single book of Holy Scripture - through the Books of Moses, the books of Kings, the Psalms, the Epistles, the Gospels, the Prophets. Whether among their own people, or among strangers, in private or in public, in speaking and in writing, at convivial meetings, or in the streets, hardly ever do they bring forward anything of their own which they do not endeavor to shelter under words of Scripture... Moreover in the Catholic (meaning Universal/all the churches) Church itself, all possible care must be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. (Vincent of Lérins, The Commentary 25.64)

The orthodox faith holds to 7 truths at a minimum. These are the "core" of Christianity. Any fewer and the religion is not Christian.
* The Triune God as Creator and Redeemer
* The Fall and Resulting Depravity
* The Person and Work of Christ
* Salvation by Grace through Faith
* Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
* Redeemed Humanity Incorporated into Christ
* The Restoration of Humanity and Creation

So, to answer your question, when a group adds to this list, the rings around the core are enlarged and these rings are deemed Heterodoxy. Not heretical mind you, which are additions (or subtractions) much too far from that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all, but theology that is not a core orthodoxy. As an example, our nation has an orthodox heritage and some seek to add or subtract from it's founding documents. How far is that allowed before some would say, "This is not the same as the originals intended."

Realizing that, theologians have long sought to understand, honor, and pass down the Gospel of Jesus Christ as;
One (Christ is the Headship), Holy ("set apart" from the world), Catholic (Universal), Apostolic (from those who were 1st hand witnesses to the Risen Lord) Church.

So here we arrive, with a bit of context, because context is critical, to a "short" answer; The Protesters of the 16th centuries built upon John Huss and others 200 years before who claimed the Western Church had veered much too far from that which was believed everywhere, always, by all. Luther himself argued to church leadership that remonstrances went beyond heterodoxy to heresy. Luther claimed in his 95 Thesis that this dogma, like much too much (94 others), had been ADDED to the orthodox since 500 AD. So the schism of 1517 occurred over what had been an early Catholic (everywhere/always/by all) model of sanctification and justification explicitly drafted during numerous ecumenical councils (Augustinian);
Grace >>> Faith + Works >>>> Salvation ..... meaning God's Grace is necessary and sufficiently produces faith resulting in works unto salvation.

The Medieval Model had become: Grace + Faith + Works >>>>> Salvation.... meaning there needed to be cooperation with God's Grace. God's Grace was necessary but not sufficient and that God enabled cooperation with His Work unto Salvation. Thus this is a means of "progressive" salvation.

This later version wouldn't have been so bad if clever theologians in the medieval period hadn't also lost sight of the fact that God was the one who worked in believers BOTH to will and to work (Phil 2:13). Instead, medieval theology degenerated from the orthodoxy in a twofold error; 1) It neglected the Apostle Paul's teaching of justification by Grace through faith alone, and 2) it embraced the doctrine of meriting God's grace by human will and effort. This would of course be heterodoxy and some say much more.

Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin all sought to return the Church to the original Augustinian moorings and the Apostle Paul's teaching on justification.
And here we are today.

History is fascinating is it not!
Bottom line, the idea you propose, from the "Roman" Catholic Church ecumenical council of Trent in the 16th century is not an orthodox core. It is an "addition." It has not been believed everywhere, always, by all.
Scholars debate how far from the orthodox core that is.


Blessings on the first day of the week! The traditional day of worship post Ascension of our Lord.
Mark


Dallas Theological Seminary
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Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280591
06/06/21 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by James
James has been busy. Mowing the lawn for the first time this season. And the grass and weeds are long, and...Jim


although I've done it myself a time or two, I find it strange when folks refer to themselves in the third person.

what would your profs say, Mr. Author?


"necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." William Pitt the Younger
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280962
06/06/21 08:51 PM
06/06/21 08:51 PM
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So Mark, let's take two true believers, who know in their heart that Christ is their Savior.

One does good works, the other doesn't. When they die, both go to heaven because they believe.

Does the one who did good works have a higher place in heaven? Does he or she get "more crowns," as I think someone said.

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7280969
06/06/21 09:13 PM
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one of my favorite pastors (Reverend Charles Stanley) holds to this belief.

I do have a "problem" with that concept, though...seems to me that the very concept would lead to a jealousy of sorts.


"necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." William Pitt the Younger
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: white marlin] #7280996
06/06/21 09:34 PM
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God created all then why is this a Christianity issue? God is over all of us, good bad, ugly, Christian, Islam, Hindu etc. I don't feel God consumes a lot of time micro-managing life on our earth. It is us humans that choose to keep score and determine the foul lines.

Bryce

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: Mark June] #7281038
06/06/21 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark June
History is fascinating is it not!
Bottom line, the idea you propose, from the "Roman" Catholic Church ecumenical council of Trent in the 16th century is not an orthodox core. It is an "addition." It has not been believed everywhere, always, by all.
Scholars debate how far from the orthodox core that is.


Are you familiar with The Noble Lesson? Written four hundred years before Luther's 95 Theses and eight hundred years after Diocletian's edict to burn scripture. Think of the wealth of manuscript evidence we would have today but for that. It's a wonder any survived. The Roman church drove apostolic Christianity underground but it didn't destroy it.

The Priest asketh him if he hath any sin,
He answers two or three words, and soon has done;
The Priest tells him he cannot be forgiven,
If he do not restore, and examine well his Faults:
When he hears this, he's very much troubled,
And thinks with himself, if he restore entirely,
What shall he leave his Children, and what will the World say?
Then he commandeth his Children to examine their faults,
And buyeth of the Priest his Absolution;

Though he hath a thousand Lives of another and a better Penny,
Yet the Priest acquits him for a hundred Pence,
And sometimes for less when he can get no more,
Telling him a large Story, and promising him Pardon,
That he'll say Mass for him, and for his Ancestours;
And thus he pardons them be they righteous or wicked,
Laying his Hand upon their Heads,
(But when he leaves them, he maketh the better chear)
And telling him that he is very well absolved.
But alas they are but sadly confessed who are thus faulty,
And will certainly be deceived in such an Absolution,
And he that maketh him believe it sinneth mortally.

For, I dare say, and it is very true,
That all the Popes which have been from Silvester to this present,
And all Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots, and the like,
Have no power to absolve or pardon,
Any creature so much as one mortal sin;
'Tis God alone who pardons, and no other.

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281610
06/07/21 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by James
So Mark, let's take two true believers, who know in their heart that Christ is their Savior.

One does good works, the other doesn't. When they die, both go to heaven because they believe.

Does the one who did good works have a higher place in heaven? Does he or she get "more crowns," as I think someone said.

Jim


Good question James. One that has been argued for a very long time. The answer may be, in our present age, whatever someone "feels" it is.
But the subject of "works" has been subjectively and extraordinarily applied to all sorts of legalism it was never intended for.
I stress again what the faithful rally around which has been believed everywhere, always , by all being the orthodoxy of the faith..
Additions are Heterodoxy and Heretical if they are too out of bounds.
* The Triune God as Creator and Redeemer
* The Fall and Resulting Depravity
* The Person and Work of Christ
* Salvation by Grace through Faith
* Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
* Redeemed Humanity Incorporated into Christ
* The Restoration of Humanity and Creation

So the Q you pose is more of an ecumenical theology (Church) where the 3 Marks of the traditional Christian Church are: Ordinances (2), Order, and Orthodoxy and the 3 Works of the Church are; Evangelism (spread the Gospel), Edification (of the believers), and Exaltation (Worship to God).

If someone places their faith in the 7 core statements of the Christian - with Jesus Christ at the center of course, we welcome them as a "believer."
All the rest can be debated.
I hope this helps.
Ever try to give serious answer to a serious category, with thousands of years of history and rich debate, in a few paragraphs?
I personally work alongside a RC seminarian. Great man. I just jab him from time to time that RC's don't give our Lord enough credit and he jabs me back that you Evangelicals are wild, wild, west.
We're both right!

Blessings,
Mark


Dallas Theological Seminary
https://www.dts.edu
https://www.markjuneslures.com/
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Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281648
06/08/21 12:03 AM
06/08/21 12:03 AM
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I am no theologian, and I have not read the first 4 pages of this thread. But my take on works vs faith has been that works are a symptom of faith. Or put another way, faith yields good works.

As to whether or not more works yields more blessings in Heaven, I think this is one of the many issues that can confuse and perhaps even discourage people from Christianity. So much to get your head around. Modern Christian churches make it so simple. All you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior and you receive salvation, a one-way ticket to Heaven. But when the newly saved Christian seeks a deeper dive to understand matters such as the Five Crowns of Salvation, he tends to find himself bewildered. If John 3:16 is all you need for salvation, why does anything else matter?

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281652
06/08/21 12:28 AM
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The reason good works can't save you, is because if by your good works you could earned your salvation, then, that means God then owes you salvation since by your own efforts (works) you have earned it. The problem with that concept is it puts God in the debtor position; He then owes you something. That is exactly the opposite of how it works.

In addition, if you could earn your salvation, that would then make Jesus Christ's death/sacrifice meaningless since we don't really need Him; we could just rely on ourselves to earn salvation.

I usually don't copy and paste big sections of scripture, but James chapter 2 explains it best. The whole chapter is good, but pay particular attention to verse 14 to the end of the chapter.

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


"I'm not skilled to understand"
Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281656
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You can beat your head against the same brick wall or accept the fact that it's unlikely that God himself could answer your question to your satisfaction. I tell my youngest son to figure it out. Welcome to the family.




Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281706
06/08/21 07:21 AM
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Augustine of Hippo, a Church theologian from the 4th century has a quote, based in biblical text, that is referred to often and you've probably heard it before James; believe that you may understand.

Anselm in the 12th century, wrote his thesis that a moderately intelligent person could be convinced of God’s existence. Anslem’s book Monologion begins with these words: “If anyone does not know, either because he has not heard or because he does not believe, that there is one nature, supreme among all existing things, who alone is self-sufficient in his eternal happiness, who through his omnipotent goodness grants and brings it about that all other things exist or have any sort of well-being, and a great many other things that we must believe about God or his creation, I think he could at least convince himself of most of these things by reason alone, if he is even moderately intelligent.”

I am of the position God elects and calls to Himself, so those Anselm envisions being called to God have been.... by God's Grace alone.

Blessings,
Mark


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Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281739
06/08/21 08:16 AM
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Oh and James, as a believer, I encourage and enjoy your thoughts. Intellectually, believers are called to acquire knowledge of a variety of subjects and develop skills in critical thinking and communication (1 Kgs 4:29-34; Prov 1:5; Dan 1:17). We should resist all gnostic and atheistic (and others) attempting to urge us to choose "between" faith and reason, Scripture and science. We can avoid the evil of it all as we seek to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).

Gnostics seek to shed the physical and pursue all things spiritual, some of the heresies chasing planets and other gods, but Christians are bodied beings, made in God's Image, and that's a key.
I'm currently serving M-F with a Chaplain team and this whole body and soul theme seems to be of utmost importance to many I talk to towards the end of their lives. It's a special sweet conversation and each person and each conversation, often with me listening > 90% humbles me.

Blessings to Alaska sir!
Mark


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Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281788
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Faith, a righteous life will bring all that is good...

Some non-believers seem compelled to question the faith of Christians. Some are picking at what they think is a loose thread and they can unravel Christianity? Some are really questioning their own beliefs? Some do have "good" intentions and are simply finding their way...

James, Godspeed...

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281808
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Do good works matter? If you you are on the receiving end of the good deed it sure matters,Duh.

Re: Cristians: Do good works matter? [Re: James] #7281836
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Good works should stem from a heart full of gratitude, a heart full of love for God. Sounds odd to the unbeliever, loving God. How can one love God? You can't love God until you have an appreciation for what God has saved you from. How can you be saved if you don't know what you're being saved from? God convicts the believer of sin. The sinner wallows in the law trying to justify and save himself until he gives up in despair. He realizes he can't do it. Eventually, once the sinner is at the end of his or her rope, they cry out to God for mercy. God bestows it and the believers heart is filled with love and gratitude from which those good works flow.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. He knocks on your hearts door...answer it.

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