Author Topic: Epistle of James  (Read 1612 times)

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2019, 03:45:49 AM »
There is no need to "explain it away" since there is no conflict between St. James and St. Paul in Romans. Let's read the passage in context:

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24

Typical RC exegesis of this text usually begins and ends with simply quoting the above verse feeling that ends all debate.

So first let's define what we mean by faith. Contrary to popular mischaracterization what is meant by this word among Protestants is not a simple intellectual ascent to a set of theological propositions. We know this is not saving faith since James tells us:

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! James 2:19

So essentially a faith which only acknowledges the truths of who Christ is without living that understanding only qualifies one to be a demon. What kind of "faith" does James tell us doesn't save?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14

So the faith that doesn't save is one that does not produce the fruits of saving faith. Saving Faith is an active Faith which produces fruit and has Christ as the Lord of one's life.


Except James  doesn’t say that faith which produces works justifies; he says works justify. And nobody for o er 1,000 years, until your “Reformation”, understood this in the sense of the sophistic exercise of your “exegesis”.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2019, 06:02:21 AM »
Yes, in its plain sense, the passage refutes Protestantism. The good works Abraham did justified him, that's what St. James is teaching. St. James is teaching Protestants (and Luther knew it refuted him, that's why he threw it out; Protestants today are inconsistent in claiming it agrees with them) that good works done in grace are truly meritorious and cause sanctifying grace to be increased in us. In 1 Cor 3:13-15, the same is plainly taught by St. Paul himself when the Apostle teaches (1) every good work done in faith will obtain a reward from the Lord on the day of judgment, while (2) every sin or bad work, even by those in Christ, will need to be purified in fire, i.e. Purgatory.

You are confusing two different concepts. First define what you mean by meritorious. If by that term you mean that which justifies a sinner before God than Reformed theology would most certainly disagree. The only truly meritorious act in human history; that act by which a sinner is made righteous, is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

No Protestant will deny that those works done in Christ, ie: done while in a state of Justification, are meritorious in that they increase our sanctification and more perfectly form the image of Christ in us. However they do not justify us in themselves (which is what Sola Fide means). There is no confusion or contradiction between this understanding and what St. Paul says in the above quoted Scripture. Good works DO obtain a reward, but only if you are in Christ to begin with. Justification is by Grace through faith apart from works.

I debated whether I should respond since your M.O is to usually completely ignore what is said and/or quote some other proof texts out of context but.....I had 10 minutes to kill so what the heck.

Like your disastrous hit-and-run in the "Catholic faith proved by Protestant Bible" thread?

Let's cut through the crap. All of this is a sideshow following from the Reformed meaning of "justification", namely, a legal declaration by which the Reformed "deity" merely imputes righteousness to what is unrighteous through a juridical loophole, turning the Apsotolic view of justification through sanctification and salvation as theosis upon its head. Everything else, whether it be faith alone, eternal security or the Satanic horror that is the penal substitution theory of atonement, follows from this, which is itself spun from the Reformed view of the nature of their "deity", good, evil, law and sin, itself the product of a legal mind to whom legal concepts, not real essences and energies, are the ultimate reality.

The premise of this character's response is of course self-exposing bollocks, since at the moment of the one-time act of "justification" there is just belief and apparently no real distinction between "faith" that produces works and "faith" which does not, unless we want to argue for some essential distinction at the time in a potential to bring about works, but you'd have to define what exactly constitutes this.

But in light of who this megalomanical legalist obviously is, the debates are pointless. The truly-convinced "Reformed", or Calvinists if you will, are the willing slaves of a different "god", a beast who resembles to a tee the Gnostic demiurge, and the indoctrinated zealots of his ideology, an ideology that goes beyond mere theological propositions and into a way of seeing the world from.
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2019, 09:07:42 AM »

Actually, it's the text-book Reformed exegesis of James.

It can't get more typical than that.

Yes and no. It is a classical Protestant exegesis, but modern Protestants run into a few issues:

1) they rarely, especially colloquially, subscribe to the actual theology of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.

2) the ones who hold to Once Saved Always Saved run into a problem when this passage, and their typical defense, creep into actual application in the lives and conduct of a person who, heretofore, is considered by anyone in their milieu to be saved.

Since the OSAS model is much more prevalent, at least in America, they have a contextual answer as given but it falls apart in the systemic sense, and they basically no longer have that argument. The "doctrine" of eternal security simply doesn't mesh with the contextual exegesis when applied to anyone who, as it were, "backslides".

For example, they have a pastor who is "obviously" saved. He has good works which show forth his faith in line with their understanding. But then, somehow, after 20+ years of being saved and having these works, he decides to have an affair with the church secretary. Is he saved or not? Does the appearance of his continued good works mesh with the reality of his sin and the possibility of salvation?

If he is saved, as he apparently was, then they have to answer yes. But this is problematic because it reveals that salvation, via faith alone, requires no good works. In other words, good works must effectively be an unnecessary cherry on top of the salvation sundae.

They will try to get around this by saying that he was in fact never saved (if they want to be consistent), but this throws a flash-bang grenade into the room of eternal security after busting its door off the hinges.

So while they indeed will contextually say such a thing, systemically they not only ignore the exegesis but also reject it.

Further, one must ask what they mean by "works", how they differentiate those from other "works", and how all of it fits together in a coherent manner.

And that, friend, is where is falls apart like a house of cards when applied in the real world.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2019, 12:18:44 PM »
How do they even differentiate between real saving faith that results in works and that which doesn’t? Since everyone sins and they don’t even differentiate between mortal and venial sin, how does this even work? Severity of sins? Number of sins? Faith alone isn’t enough if it’s not the “right” faith, and if some undefined system of works becomes the external criterion of faith, that pretty much throws a spanner in Luther’s work of trying to obtain assurance of one’s own salvation. It’s a logical crapshoot.
 

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2019, 01:15:31 PM »
How do they even differentiate between real saving faith that results in works and that which doesn’t? Since everyone sins and they don’t even differentiate between mortal and venial sin, how does this even work? Severity of sins? Number of sins? Faith alone isn’t enough if it’s not the “right” faith, and if some undefined system of works becomes the external criterion of faith, that pretty much throws a spanner in Luther’s work of trying to obtain assurance of one’s own salvation. It’s a logical crapshoot.

Exactly. Which is why when pressed on this issue, they’ll try to pull the baby out of the bath, but in general and in practice, they splash its little brains all over the street when they throw out the water.
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 01:54:31 AM »
Misc. Catholic observations (corrections or comments welcome)

We are justified by Baptism and again (and again..., as needed) by the Sacrament of Penance, and remain justified so long as we remain in the State of Sanctifying Grace.  We are forgiven, and our sins are not just painted over; rather, we are made truly holy (in our small way) and we WOULD be saved if we died in this state. Simultaneously (by implication) we are given the three theological virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity.

Charity is a work, if you speak of the all-inclusive work of the love of God and your neighbor. But for this love to be suitable to an infinitely good God it must be supernatural; such love comes only via justification. It leads to external works: obeying God's commandments and doing His will for us. Those not meant to do (many) external bodily works still must do (as all must do) works of love in their minds and hearts. Other works must follow, following from the other commandments, according to each man's duties and calling.

Charity is not something we can maintain or increase all by ourselves (as protestants may claim Catholics believe); it is above all from God. External works without true love of God and man are worthless (unless and until that love is restored). But we must cooperate with God; doing God's will as we know it, with humility and prayer.

With a mortal sin against Charity (the works it requires) we are no longer holy or ready to be saved; we lose our justification.  We lose Sanctifying Grace and Charity, and our Faith is dead. As Catholics we can go to confession to regain all that we have lost: then WE have true confidence that we "would be saved just then".  But we have the humility and sense to know that we will fall again and must run to Christ again and again. Protestants seem to think a one-time "confidence of living faith NOW" = justification and security of salvation for all time.  What happened to "with fear and trembling work out your salvation"? "Once saved always saved" is so untrue to Scripture and so tragic for those who miss the Church's helps (God's helps) in the struggle we must continue to make. 

(K. Working to our final justification is a process; living in order to die a just man.  But when we are in the State of Grace at that moment we are Just)

[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!
 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Epistle of James
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2019, 06:47:34 AM »
Yes, justification begins in Baptismal regeneration. It is in holy Baptism that, by the merits of the Passion of Christ, we become new creatures in Him, entirely pure and without stain, washed from every sin, truly born again, and ready to go to heaven if we remain like that. But since we sin daily, and as the Scripture says the just (justified) man falls seven times a day, then rises, God's Mercy instituted the perpetual remedy of the Sacraments, especially of Confession and of Holy Communion, in addition to the aids of prayer and our faith in Christ. If Protestants only understood that justification is lost by grave sin (and almost all Biblical examples amply confirm this - just take the first 3 kings of Israel for e.g. Saul, who was once annointed, and of whom it is written later, that the Spirit of the Lord departed from him; King David, righteous man through and through, except in that one matter of Uriah the Hittite, as God Himself says; and after which he prayed, take not Your Holy Spirit from me, showing the effect of mortal sin; King Solomon, who again explicitly confirms this by falling into a thousand sins after being truly justified - Trent therefore justly pronounces this anathema "If any one shall say, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified ... let him be anathema.), then at last would they be able to understand what great gifts the Sacraments are.

The doctrine of rewards and merits is also so clearly taught in Scripture from the very beginning to the very end, and especially by Our Lord Jesus when He says over and over again that He the Son of Man will judge every one by his works, that it seems almost incredible Protestants deny or are unaware of it. Each and every work, as St. Paul says, will be tried in fire, when evil works are found, they must be purged. Only those works that are good and endure will merit, by the grace of God (Gracious Merit, as some Catholic Theologians call it), an eternal reward from the Lord on that day. When Protestants see the Blessed Mother Body and Soul as Queen Crowned in Heaven (Rev 12:1), they fail to understand that this is a Biblical Revelation of the Reward given by God to a perfectly Immaculate Life. And while the other Saints in heaven are not entitled to the same reward, nevertheless they always in the same book are always shown clothed in white, praying to the Lord, and rejoicing in heaven with the holy Angels, each having the reward proper to their own good works.

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours. For their works follow them.

And therefore Trent again rejects the false opinion that good works are only signs of justification but not also reasons for its increase. The Lord explains this in the parable of the Vine and the Branches. Those who fail to do good works will be cut off, because they resist the grace of God given to them for that end. Those who correspond to that grace and allow God to do as He wishes will receive more grace. "If any one shall say, that the justice received is not preserved, and also increased in the sight of God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of justification received, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."

"CHAPTER XVI:On the Fruit of Justification, that is, on the Merit of Good Works and on the Manner of that same Merit.

Unto men, therefore, who have been justified after this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received, or have recovered it when lost, are to be set the words of the Apostle: Abound in every good work, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord;[89] for God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and the love which ye have showed in his name;[90] and, cast not away your confidence, which hath a great recompense.[91] And, for this cause, unto them who work well unto the end,[92] and hoping in God, life eternal is to be proposed, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Jesus Christ, and as a recompense which is to be faithfully rendered to their good works and merits according to the promise of God Himself. For this is that crown of righteousness which the Apostle asserted was, after his fight and course, laid up for him, to be given to him by the righteous judge, and not only to him, but unto all that love his coming.[93]" https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Canons_and_Decrees_of_the_Council_of_Trent/Session_VI/Justification
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 06:54:02 AM by Xavier »
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