Author Topic: Can evil people repent?  (Read 2390 times)

Offline Jayne

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2020, 09:12:25 AM »
This family visibly had faith, hope and charity.

So in justice alone they merit Heaven.

Our Lady did not need God's mercy.

You are denying the well-established Catholic teaching that nobody merits Heaven by justice alone.

And what does that matter, if JP2 is in heaven? Not to mention possibly Judas and Stalin? Greg is saying this bs scandalizes him

Being scandalized does not give anyone a free pass to promote heresy which is what it is when one claims that some people merit heaven in justice alone.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 09:53:36 AM by Jayne »
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2020, 09:15:05 AM »
You always start talking about this whenever I call you out on saying something theologically indefensible. 

Because you always make the same mistake Jayne.

Stop it.

This time I am taking a clearly orthodox Catholic position and you are promoting Pelagianism.  I am not making a mistake.
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Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2020, 09:25:34 AM »
Pelagianism is a heterodox Christian theological position which holds that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans have the free will to achieve human perfection without divine grace.

I am not promoting Pelagianism at all.

That Catholic Family had grace.  There were all baptised and went to the sacraments.

They merit heaven in the sense that they voluntarily all gave an enormous sacrifice and, in doing so, imitated Christ.

The mother and father sacrificed their sons to the war.  The two sons sacrificed themselves in WW2 as fighter pilots.  The sister became a nun and the mother and father stayed alone and happily married for decades afterward.  Then they put a plaque in the Church asking people to pray for them.

If that does not merit a reward, then why bother giving humans free will?

Grace helps, but since even with grace it is possible to be a great sinner and earn yourself a place in Hell, then responding to that grace and co-operating with it must be meritorious.  And that merit must be yours, because it was YOUR free will that made those moral decisions, choices, and sacrifices.

If you don't merit Heaven by responding to grace, then you don't merit Hell by ignoring that grace.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 09:30:40 AM by Greg »
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2020, 09:44:38 AM »
The mother and father sacrificed their sons to the war.  The two sons sacrificed themselves in WW2 as fighter pilots.  The sister became a nun and the mother and father stayed alone and happily married for decades afterward.  Then they put a plaque in the Church asking people to pray for them.

So who do you think would have the higher place in heaven, these people assuming they died with bitter hatred of the Germans in their hearts, or a career criminal assuming that he wholeheartedly repented and had only charity towards the people he wronged and that wronged him?
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

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Offline DeaconJamesOxford

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2020, 09:49:26 AM »
This thread has reminded me of another favourite film - highly relevant to the redemption of formerly evil men - 'The Scarlet and the Black' starring Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer - make sure you watch right to the end and read the postscript...............
 

Offline Jayne

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2020, 09:50:18 AM »
Pelagianism is a heterodox Christian theological position which holds that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans have the free will to achieve human perfection without divine grace.

I am not promoting Pelagianism at all.

That Catholic Family had grace.  There were all baptised and went to the sacraments.

They merit heaven in the sense that they voluntarily all gave an enormous sacrifice and, in doing so, imitated Christ.

The mother and father sacrificed their sons to the war.  The two sons sacrificed themselves in WW2 as fighter pilots.  The sister became a nun and the mother and father stayed alone and happily married for decades afterward.  Then they put a plaque in the Church asking people to pray for them.

If that does not merit a reward, then why bother giving humans free will?

Grace helps, but since even with grace it is possible to be a great sinner and earn yourself a place in Hell, then responding to that grace and co-operating with it must be meritorious.  And that merit must be yours, because it was YOUR free will that made those moral decisions, choices, and sacrifices.

If you don't merit Heaven by responding to grace, then you don't merit Hell by ignoring that grace.

There is nothing wrong with talking about merit, but you depart from orthodoxy when you say "merit by justice alone".  To say this is to deny the role of divine grace as Pelagians do. Here is a quote from the Council of Trent, Sess. VI, cap. xvi:

Quote
Neither is this to be omitted,-that although, in the sacred writings, so much is attributed to good works, that Christ promises, that even he that shall give a drink of cold water to one of his least ones, shall not lose his reward; and the Apostle testifies that, That which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; nevertheless God forbid that a Christian should either trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, whose bounty towards all men is so great, that He will have the things which are His own gifts be their merits. And forasmuch as in many things we all offend, each one ought to have before his eyes, as well the severity and judgment, as the mercy and goodness (of God); neither ought any one to judge himself, even though he be not conscious to himself of anything; because the whole life of man is to be examined and judged, not by the judgment of man, but of God, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall every man have praise from God, who, as it is written, will render to every man according to his works. After this Catholic doctrine on Justification, which whoso receiveth not faithfully and firmly cannot be justified, it hath seemed good to the holy Synod to subjoin these canons, that all may know not only what they ought to hold and follow, but also what to avoid and shun.
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Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2020, 09:53:16 AM »
Luke 6:38: “’give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’”

Chronologically, from a human perspective this says you have to give to get.  Not that you get to give.

Ephesians 6:8: “knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”

You receive AFTER you have done the good.  "he will receive", not "he has already received".

These are obviously from the perspective of the human who is bounded by time.  God's perspective on this we can never know this side of the grave and may never understand.

As YOU sow, so shall YOU reap.  Sowing MUST come BEFORE reaping.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:41:39 AM by Greg »
 

Offline Jayne

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2020, 10:03:14 AM »
Protestants were clearly in error when they taught the idea of salvation by faith alone.  Works and merits exist and play a role.  They were wrong to deny this by putting the word "alone" in there.

Greg made the same kind of mistake by talking about "justice alone". This denies the role of God's grace and mercy.  The orthodox understanding incorporates both mercy and justice, both faith and works.
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Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2020, 10:17:08 AM »
The mother and father sacrificed their sons to the war.  The two sons sacrificed themselves in WW2 as fighter pilots.  The sister became a nun and the mother and father stayed alone and happily married for decades afterward.  Then they put a plaque in the Church asking people to pray for them.

So who do you think would have the higher place in heaven, these people assuming they died with bitter hatred of the Germans in their hearts, or a career criminal assuming that he wholeheartedly repented and had only charity towards the people he wronged and that wronged him?

Bitter hatred is an emotive and meaningless word.  Define how much hatred and the consequences of it?

If I hate the fact that nig-nogs from Africa and the middle east are flooding into Britain on rubber boats and claiming asylum, because they contain a large contingent of savages, but when I meet them individually I treat them as I find them, then my hatred of illegal immigration carries no practical consequences, other than the perception from others that I "hate niggers" or the political pressure to stop the boats coming and keep them in France and Belgium, where none of them will starve to death.  They are 99.9% economic migrants.  It is my political enemies who are the ones stirring up the hatred.  I merely want to keep savages out of Britain and have people apply for asylum legally and legitimately.  That way we get more of the good ones and less of the bad ones.

The women who runs our Latin Mass locally wants those boats sunk!  I think that is extreme.  Those illegals on them don't deserve death for illegally entering Britain, and I am not going to kill people as a deterrent for others coming.  That seems unjust.

Most of them will probably integrated into Britain and not be a pain in the ass.  But a few of them are undoubtedly terrorists and criminals who will damage Britain.  The future rapist of my daughter is PROBABLY on those boats because the lands they come from are savage.  But most of them are not rapists.

In rough answer to your question, I think that the family of Catholic war heros have a much higher place in Heaven, even if they avoided every German they even came across for the rest of their lives, than Dr. Nathanson who committed 1000s of abortions.

I also think that the rare teenage boy who by good character and strength of will and love of God avoids masturbation entirely, gets a crown in Heaven and sits just besides the saints.  Because such an act by a person is extremely rare and therefore extremely difficult and comes both directly and substantially from the person's will.  God's grace is involved, but an enormous amount of their will is involve too.

The same will is shown on the battlefield by winners of the VC and the sportsfield.  I have seen people with iron wills do amazing things in sports.  There is no doubt that some humans (Trump is one) have incredibly powerful wills.

That is why God has to work with people like Trump.  He needs the imperfect vessel to have the willpower to carry out His intentions, once he infuses it with grace.  It is a double act, and by God giving us free will, we get some of the credit.  It would be very unjust if we only got the blame when we refused, but had to give all of credit to God when we co-operated.  We are not robots.

While grace plays a part, I don't believe works are not a part.  I believe "as you sow, so shall you reap" and that Nathanson, however much good he did after his conversion, will need to pay for those 1000s of abortions, which is one hell of a debt to pay.  He sowed those abortions.  He will reap them.  All your good and bad works are weighted on a giant scale.  God applies some mercy.  You are damned or saved.

I would be surprised if the family of war heros did more than 10 years in Purgatory.  I would be surprised if Nathanson did less than 1000 years.  I would imagine that where you sit in Heaven is DIRECTLY proportional to the amount of time you spend in Purgatory.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:51:21 AM by Greg »
 

Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2020, 10:24:38 AM »
If I go to court and I am a criminal who killed a man during a riot, but because of my hard upbringing or the man's provocation, or my mental capacity, or I am a war vet with PTSD, the judge decides to show me mercy, then mercy is necessary for a good judgement.

If I go to court for the same crime and the judge decides I am a good and righteous man and that a set of horrible circumstances outside my control caused me to have to kill two people in self-defence (Kyle Rittenhouse), then justice alone suffices to set me free.  The judge does not need to apply mercy.  He can simply say it is just that this man is set-free, because he did very well in a set of horrible circumstances.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:52:35 AM by Greg »
 

Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2020, 10:28:25 AM »
I believe John the Baptist was sinless other than original sin which was removed before his birth.

So when he went to his judgement did God have to apply mercy?  Or did God simply welcome into heaven as a faithful servant?

Did he need a teeny-tiny bit of mercy because of the 3 months of original sin?  And the rest was Justice?
 

Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2020, 10:45:44 AM »
He’s undeniably Pelagian. “Merit Heaven?

So you are giving RBG a small probability of salvation.

But I am 100% judged by you as a Pelagian heretic.

You appear to be inconsistent here.
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2020, 11:02:50 AM »
I believe John the Baptist was sinless other than original sin which was removed before his birth.

So when he went to his judgement did God have to apply mercy?  Or did God simply welcome into heaven as a faithful servant?

Did he need a teeny-tiny bit of mercy because of the 3 months of original sin?  And the rest was Justice?

Had it not been for God's mercy he never would have been sanctified in the womb, nor would he have been able to go the rest of his life without sinning.
 
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Online Greg

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2020, 11:04:24 AM »
The case of St. Alban.  A pagan, not baptised not even instructed, thus no sacramental grace present to assist with his good work of hiding a Catholic priest in his house to save the priest from being executed by the pagan British state.

As far as he was concerned he was just doing a good act of natural kindness.

A pure "good work", by a pagan, from that "good work" starts a chain of events, leading to his martyrdom and eventual canonisation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Alban

When Alban reached the summit of the hill, he began to thirst and prayed God would give him water. A spring immediately sprang up at his feet. It was there that his head was struck off, as well as the head of the first Roman soldier who was miraculously converted and refused to execute him. However, immediately after delivering the fatal stroke, the eyes of the second executioner popped out of his head and dropped to the ground, along with Alban's head, so that this second executioner could not rejoice over Alban's death.[2]

So that is two natural virtuous pagans doing good acts FIRST before there was any evidence of their conversion.

From any perceptible human perspective Alban was saved by a "good work", his own decision, by his free-will to save a priest of a religion that he was not part of at the time he made the decision.  Without this decision, none of the subsequent events of grace, his conversion and baptism could have taken place.  Thus it was good-works as far as any honest assessment of the situation can ascertain that saved him.

Without those good-works from Alban there would have been no priest in his house to convert him and baptise him.
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Can evil people repent?
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2020, 11:05:57 AM »
Yes, they can. It is enough to know it is possible and pray for it. Its what we'd do for a family member who gave no sign of conversion. It is an act of charity and mercy to pray for the departed. John Henry Westen of Life Site News said "May God have Mercy on her soul" after the news broke of Ginsburg's death.

I remember during the discussions here it was said you can pray for people to die, provided you do so for their good. Well, I prayed for Justice Ginsburg to die or resign, provided that she convert and save her soul before death. I'm sure other Catholics would have done the same. But no one knows for sure which prayer God will hear or how much Grace He will release in response to it. Suffice to say her conversion is very improbable; very difficult but not impossible to God. A million prayers for e.g. could make the difference though between Eternal Hell and last minute contrition sufficient for Purgatory till the end of time. Even in that unlikely event, she would have one of the lowest places in Heaven for all eternity.

None of us are saved in Justice alone. The State of Grace itself is given us in Mercy. Once justified, we can Merit a higher place by good works. Grace in this life is proportionate to Glory in the next. By many good works and prayers, we can prepare to receive the Grace of Perseverance. He who receives justification+perseverance (both merciful graces) will be saved.

Btw, Baptism remits all Purgatory time for past sins. One gets a complete second chance for such sins, as Dr. Nathanson would have. Merit and satisfaction can also be disproportionate. Someone with many merits and a high place in heaven, like those mentioned in Maccabees, may have committed one major sin and thus require a long time of purgation before entering their rich reward. Things to keep in mind as we discuss this.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 11:10:23 AM by Xavier »
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