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Tuesday, March 09, 2010 | Comments (138)

First, listen to this 7-minute clip:

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Here's the topic for today's discussion:

Sola scriptura—Scripture alone—is sometimes called the formal principle of the Protestant Reformation. That is to say, the Bible is the only authoritative source from which Christianity is derived.

Collectively evangelicals seem to have drifted far from that principle, and evangelicalism is taking on some strange shapes.

List some of the authority sources for today’s evangelicalism (or for popular evangelical leaders). Then discuss the implications of abandoning sola scriptura.


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#1  Posted by Charles Shanks  |  Monday, March 08, 2010at 9:54 PM

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#2  Posted by Bobby Bugg  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 5:04 AM

Modern Evangelicals are using, Hollywood, Madison Ave, and a plethora of worldly sources for their authority, giving scriputure a very distant back seat.

#3  Posted by Mike Dillon  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 6:01 AM

Modern sources of authority would include education and a proven track record of success in terms of wealth and fame. When you are trying to 'sell' the gospel as a means for obtaining earthly fulfillment you had better be a success yourself. Nobody will listen to the back-up quarterback.

In some ways, the abandonment of Sola scriptura might be good in that it makes pure, unadulterated Truth all the more desireable and fulfilling for those who are poor in spirit. When one realizes how perverted the preaching of the Word has become it can drive one to study the Word more carefully so that he/she is capable of destroying "speculations and every lofty thing raised against the knowledge of God,..."

#4  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 7:22 AM

**Shauna Bryant, wife of John Bryant**

The one thing I hear most often from Christians (as they call themselves) and non-Christians alike is "Well, I 'think'... or I 'feel'...." that God means this and that and the other. A Christian will say "God's Word says........." ! But be careful when you do that because the wolf will come out in those who don't believe God's Word. So if a person I know, who claims to be a Christian, doesn't believe what God says in His revealed Word....then I do not treat them as a brother, but rather one in need of the good news. For goodness sakes - I know people who claim to be Christians who get their "entertainment" from Twilight and their "Doctrinal stance" from The Shack! These people have NO discernment whatsoever.......and they are FAR from the truth.

As for the RCC with it's traditional added to scripture. Well, after lengthy discussion with RC's (have them in my own family) and in reading their Catechism, they have made void scripture (turned it totally on it's head) with their traditions.....exactly as the "teachers of Judiasm" had done when Jesus was manifest the first time. A form of Godliness, but no knowledge of the truth.

Everything is to be discerned in light of scripture alone.

#5  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 8:02 AM

Mike,

While I believe I see your point that as the worldly abandon truth, those who seek truth are more drawn to it, I disagree that abandonment of Sola Scriptura is ever a good thing. For those who do so, do at their own peril and are led into all sorts of error and tend to bring others with them to the pit.

In order to bring people to the truth, we must boldy (yet, humbly and with tears) proclaim God's truth knowing that His Word does not return unto Him void.

#6  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 8:06 AM

Shauna,

Good points on recognizing those who fail to exercise discernment. The question remains, how do we reach them with the uncompromising truth of God's Word? It seems to me insufficient to recognize those who are not discerning truth--it's a good start, because we are able to recognize who needs the truth--without knowing what to say or ask so the scales fall from their eyes. No doubt, we must proceed with prayer AND we must know God's Word ourselves to combat the error to which they cling.

#7  Posted by Greg Corron  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 10:52 AM

The "hermeneutics of humility" is anything but humble. It elevates itself above truth and makes judgments about truth, saying "I know that truth is not knowable with certainty". To which I would reply, "Are you sure about that?" But this kind of error deserves more than just a snappy retort. The philosophical framework for truth has to be defended.

When people elevate themselves above truth, we have to expose their arrogance, since even Jesus did not elevate himself above truth, but identified himself with it (John 14:6), and witnessed to it (John 18:37).

#8  Posted by Joseph Pecoraro Jr  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 12:01 PM

We all say thing be it true or be it false. But when it is said of God it happens. in other words we would not be. Nor would He be Holy...on to Him self.

#9  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 12:20 PM

**Shauna Bryant, wife of John Bryant**

Paul,

I seem to always run into people all the time who claim to be Christians yet disavow His Word. Maybe I've got a sign on my back that says 'Challenge me' or something! Actually, I do pray for opportunity to show people Gods Word, so God is answering my prayers. It doesn't matter to me where that person is in life - I can use scripture to show them their error. But one thing I cannot do is make them see and understand their error. Scripture alone is always sufficient - even for the supposed atheist (which the Bible leaves no room for atheism - we should call it what it is and that is "I'm my own god"). Most people will say -"Well, you keep going back to that book". "Yes", I say "because every answer I need is in here and I've been able to use it for every criticism you have, now haven't I!" Yet most people will still say - "Well maybe for you but I don't accept that as Gods Word it, it is just a book written by many men". They say that so they can have an excuse not to believe the truth contained therein.

Paul, I believe that if a person does not believe Gods Word, the they don't have the truth. Jesus Christ Himself said that the volume of the book is written about Him. If they don't believe Jesus Christ then they are dead in their sins. And you're right - we pray. I do pray. The question you say still remains: "how do we reach them with the uncompromising truth of God's Word?" It is simple: We tell them. Right from Gods Word. Bodly and humbly like you said. The problem with most churches today is that they think we must have some "new way" to reach people. WHY? They are the same people who have always been dead in their sins and the ONLY solution is Jesus Christ. Many want to be entertained.......right to hell. Scripture alone is not only sufficient, but necessary! For instance, I've asked RC's - look here, this is what the Bible says and yet your catechism says the opposite....which is it? They will say, well Whatever the RC church says because they take the Bible and Tradition and make clear to us the truth." Same with Jehovahs Witness - you know I used their own Bible to show them how Jesus Christ is our savior (their devilish translators - devoid of truth - couldn't possibly erase Christ completely from their Bible, though they tried!) and when I showed them these glaring contradictions in their own version you know what they said "Well, the watchtower tells us that what that really means is....(basically, not what it clearly said!)" Same with SDA, Charismatics, New Evangelicals and on and on it goes. They all have the same response and it basically boils down to whether or not they are going to believe in Gods Word ALONE. The only thing we can do is plainly tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Therein lies the other problem you mentioned (knowing God's word for yourself)....too many Christians don't study Gods Word so that they can properly proclaim it!

#10  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 12:34 PM

It is a colossal mistake to take the salvation that God offers, the restoration to a friendhip with Himself, and try to apply that to Christianity and the world. Mission statements have gone awry attempting to promote relevance, especially in society, by trying to reconcile Christianity with the world. "Friendship with the world is hostility toward God." (James 4:4)

Experts in many fields are lining up to give their opinions on how to make Christianity more user-friendly, whether the "user" is a believer or non-believer.

I believe the greatest damage to biblical authority came from Karl Barth by arguing that Scripture is a man-produced, fallible record that God spoke to men and not His infallible word. This view bypassed the arguments of the liberals and opened the way for direct revelation from God. It made Scripture much more user-friendly.

#11  Posted by Crystal Samples  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 2:04 PM

I think what we are seeing is the beginning of the great apostasy spoken of in 2 Thess 2:3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

In 2008, I watched, along with millions of others around the world, as 15-20 "prophets and apostles" prophesied over a man. At the time of this service - he was drinking excessively in public and having an affair with one of his interns - as well as preaching false doctrine and faking miracles and healings. Within weeks - the whole circus came crashing down - yet some in the charismatic world - even after it happened - couldn't or wouldn't admit the gross error and deception they had been under.

How can anyone claim to be a Christian, read the bible and then watch that and not be appalled? The church should have moved immediately into fasting and sackcloth over allowing such a thing to be aired over "christian tv" yet no cry for repentance was heard.

Less than sixty years after WWII, we have forgotten the lessons of that era concerning giving up "land for peace" and trying to be nice to dictators. We have forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust.

Deception is rampant in today's society - not just in the church. Of course God told us it would happen and His prophecies are 100% accurate. Hang on - the ride might get rough before the trumpet sounds!

#12  Posted by Douglas Mollett  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 2:26 PM

I believe wholeheartedly that there are certain fundamental beliefs one must have in order to have a sense of harmony in a local body of believers. There is a statement the Apostle Paul makes in 1 Cor 1:10 that says this, ''Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

It's vitally important that one believes certain things, such as the virgin birth, the fact that the LORD Jesus Christ was sinless and paid the price for our sins on the cross, accepting the sacrifice he made coming to HIM in repentance and so forth, not to mention the fact that Jesus Christ HIMSELF is GOD(John 1:1-3,14). Without some of these basic beliefs(absolute truths at that), you run the risk of being damned for eternity, and can possibly cause disunity in a local church.

The Apostle Paul himself makes mention in his letter to the Corinthians that there was certain things he addressed right away as we read in 1 Cor 15:3-8,

'' For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died

for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time."

For me, i cannot worship in a place where things are taking place that I know are unbiblical, such as, I absolutely cannot be lead by an ordained Homosexual, as the bible strongly condemns the practice(Lev 18:22; 20:13; Gen 18-19; Rom 1:26-32; 1 Cor 6:9,10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:4-8). So I absolutely agree with Pastor MacArthur on the things he says on this blog, thank you GTY, for continuing to boldly proclaim the gospel of truth.

#13  Posted by Mark Smith  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 2:46 PM

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#14  Posted by Mark Smith  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 2:52 PM

Crystal post 11

They dont care because they are not saved and they want to believe a lie.

#15  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 3:54 PM

It seems to me that the reason the authority of scripture has been so easily cast aside, though it by no means is a new issue, is because we have craved relevance in the modern context. I'm all for teaching the word in a culturally relevant way, but sadly in our pursuit for just that we have taught everything but the Scripture. We, in every denomination, have VBS programs, Sunday School curricula and Bible studies galore that are based totally on popular movies, music and television. They don't merely reference these things, but they seek to draw parallels between Scripture and secular content, essentially filtering God's word through a worldly lens. They take the foundations of these elements and pepper a few verses throughout, as if that were a sanctifying balm on the gaping wound of sinfulness and then present it as a newly sanctified Gospel resource. This is a tragedy! If we are in pursuit of the truth, why not seek it from the source?

By all means, use things that people are familiar with to paint them a picture, but when the majority of your content is anything but sound, Word-based doctrine, you run the risk of departing from the truth. It seems so easy to stretch a truth to make it fit onto a frame for which it was never intended, but in doing so you will either break the frame or make the truth into an unrecognizable distortion of its first state.

Sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, sola scriptura, soli Deo gloria!

#16  Posted by Dee Hendon  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 5:51 PM

I'm in the middle of "Ashamed of the Gospel" and it would be great read for those wanting to find out where the problem and responsibility of communicating the truthful "plan of salvation" lies. (Even if you know it's still a grest book).

#17  Posted by Crystal Samples  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 7:05 PM

Mark #14,

Are you saying that everyone who is in deception is unsaved? Or just gross deception?

#18  Posted by martin miles  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 7:17 PM

I would say the most pervasive authority source for evangelicalism today is - ourselves. God tells us to preach Christ crucified. He will do the rest. He did a pretty good job with the fish and the bread.

#19  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Tuesday, March 09, 2010at 7:44 PM

Pastor John said, “Modern evangelicals are eager to downplay doctrine; they say ‘doctrine divides.’” Well of course it does! It is supposed to. The Bible clearly speaks of the divisions of man. I was just meditating on this earlier. Man divides men into split categories: men vs women; young vs old; good vs. bad; rich vs poor; weak vs strong; even liberal vs. conservative! But that is all meaningless before God; He divides only one way: Lost vs. Saved. That is sobering to me! So though some of my friends & family are “good” people, that is meaningless before God. If they are lost, it doesn’t matter whether they are good people or not; their goodness will not save them. This is why preaching the truth of God’s Word is so vital. It is life-giving; it is soul-saving, it is eternally significant! It is serious business, and that is my gripe with modern churches and the varieties of entertainment they offer to the unbelievers, claiming to love them while sheltering them from God’s Truth & the reality of their eternal destinies! To really love someone is to tell them the truth. God loved us enough to provide us with the Truth in His Word. The Apostles died sharing God’s truth. Men have died printing God’s Word & distributing it! That is love! Yes, doctrine divides: God’s Word points out the divisions of men: separating the fruitful trees from the unfruitful; separating the chaff from the wheat; separating the wheat from the tares; separating the goats from the sheep. God’s Word clearly divides us all; the first question is, “On which side do we stand?” And additionally, are we sharing the REAL TRUTH with the Lost? It matters eternally!

#20  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 7:21 AM

In regards to RC, using scripture with them is not relevant to the majority of them because they are taught, but most wish to think, in church authority.. I am a RC, although I wish to be titled as a true believe of Christ, I do not adhere to their authority. I have remained with them because I truly believe that out of all the 500,000 Christian religions, not one is correct and all have their own doctrines, so I wish to remain with the first. But I get most of my fellowship and unity through Protestant believers and reading scripture. But as I said, they have many doctrines and beliefs that I do not hold. So I have had MANY discussions with them and their mindset is far from trust in God and His word. Their trust is more in the church's authority and tradition. So when using scripture to show in error, they do not listen, because they think that private interpretation of scripture is an error.. The power of the Spirit is only for the church authority in their belief. So they make you a prisoner of their religion and thats what you get for wanting the wrong thing. As Shauna said, they appear to be Godly, but have no knowledge of the truth, because they wish to not know the truth. If they did they would understand that the truth is found in only one person - Christ. And to believe that it takes faith, blind faith that they think is foolish, and also because they cant agree with everything Christ said and make Him Lord of their life. As Christ stood His ground against the Pharisees and tried to show them the truth, they still refused and wish to trust in their religion instead of God and Him.. So it is with the RC, they are too religious and that is their power and this is how they wish to be right even when they are completely wrong in their thinking.

Only God can cause a person to repent. But I think that if we who are true faithful followers of Christ and live out that faith by our actions lining up with what Christ has told us do to, then our examples will shine like light and with prayer for them, that God might grant them repentance to see the truth.. So I personally believe the best way to to help them and others in error is not by quoting scripture at them, although Gods word has its place and time in season and should not be avoided when it must be spoken, but to live the Word and live as much as humanly possible by His grace and truth as He did, and to most of all place our complete trust in Him and nothing else.. When our faith is at work you better believe people are watching you and how you deal with the things of life, and they will see how you handle life either by faith in Christ and the right results of that or by our on merits or our religion and the dead end results of that..

God bless!

#21  Posted by George Russell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 7:26 AM

The Truth only has one definition and that is the word of God, God has never been wrong and the scripture is flawless and I would challenge anyone in the entire world to show me one error in the Bible. God is batting .1000 and I personally will not be betting against Him and His word. Anyone who rejects the truth of Jesus and Gods word is a sucker to go for anything else coming down the pike.

#22  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 8:28 AM

**Shauna Bryant, Wife of John Bryant**

#20 Kathy,

While I applaud you reading your Bible, I must respectfully disagree that the RCC is the first church. They became the only recognized church once state and church married. And throughout the years the RCC spent lots of time slaughtering true Christians (yet people only remember the Jews and Muslims they slaughtered). The Bible NEVER tells Christians to slaughter anyone. Also, what I read in Acts is the the church was in Jerusalem.....and James (not Peter) was the head of it - in fact Peter had to defer to James -who was the leader and Peter also had to defer to Paul. Furthermore, if the RCC was such an important church, how come it isn't mentioned in Revelation chapters 1-3 by name? (Now, I agree the RCC 'system' is mentioned in Revelation) Furthermore, Peter was NEVER a pope. In fact, no where do we see ANY of the Apostles, or even Jesus Christ Himself when on earth "Lording" anything over anyone or dressed in the finest of clothes, surrounded by Gold and Silver gotten unrighteously from the 'selling of souls', with the biggest bank and in bed with every nation as it's own political power. The RCC system has been condemned throughout the ENTIRE Bible - that system is nothing new, it's just an outrageously grotesque version of deceitful priesthoods that has been present all along even in the Old Testament.

A Christian should come out of such an abominable, depraved, unholy system....no matter what "religion" it calls itself. The fact of the matter is, IF you subscribe to the Catechism of the RCC then that is another gospel which damns. If you don't - then you are deceitfully (and that certainly isn't Christian) in that church, as they say to be a RC you DO have to subscribe to it's doctrines of demons. So by association - you confuse people and are leading them into error. Either you follow their abominable doctrines or you don't. If you don't - then "Come out of her" as Gods Word says. For instance, I could not, as a Christian, sit in an unholy church who is espousing doctrines of demons (and admittedly, in what passes for much of Protestantism today is also a joke). Because the Bible does indeed say "Come out of her". No one can sit under the doctrines of demons and grow. No Christian should even desire to be associated with doctrines of demons. I'm don't even believe that one could quite honestly. Not once the Truth is known, and you say you have it, so..............

It was very disturbing your comment here: "So I personally believe the best way to to help them and others in error is not by quoting scripture at them, although Gods word has its place and time in season."

Ma'am, with all due respect - Gods Word is the ONLY thing that will help them. Gods Word is EVERY TIME AND SEASON. Any Christian KNOWS that.

You yourself said the RCC has no knowledge of the truth - I ask, why then are you even there? And knowing that, how can you even claim the the RCC is the first church. Ma'am, Jesus Christ did not form a church that has NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH! That is not even possible, so that system is assuredly not from Christ. The confusion in your own post is so sad. Your own words bear it out. I pray that you will 'have eyes to see' and 'ears to hear'. A Christian will flee from the doctrines of demons, they wouldn't even want any part of it. The Truth sets us free..........so why are you still in a system that enslaves?

#23  Posted by Enrique Herrera  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 8:52 AM

Why Sola Scriptura? Understanding this statement is probably more simple then we make it. However it is a doctrine I hope and pray is addressed in depth and more frequently and embraced in The Church today. It is safe to say that the doctrine is rarely discussed or brought up. Why? I don’t want to come across as if I understand it completely, but it is a doctrine I am led to believe is critical to what we as followers of The Lord Jesus Christ must understand and believe. It was not until I had a very casual conversation last December with a member of the Catholic faith; she was also clergy belonging to her church. She came into the clothing store that I worked at, and in His divine providence, our conversation went from what size, color of clothing to a spiritual conversation. The conversation ended when I mentioned the words Sola Scriptura. (This was equivalent to telling a diehard Dodger fan that you think the Yankees are a better team.)

So my question is this:

Why does Sola Scriptura cause such a stir in a devote Catholics person’s beliefs?

Will we learn more about Sola Scriptura from the GTY pulpit & radio ministry in the future?

#24  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 9:31 AM

Shauna,

You know, it is this kind of attitude that your portray that runs people directly away from Christianity... it would be wise to understand the scripture you can have faith enough to move mountains and have all wisdom, and understand all prophecies, BUT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE LOVE, YOU ARE NOTHING..

God is the discerner of hearts, and no man can judge another because where he chooses to worship God through the Lord Jesus..

Jesus Himself remained and worshiped God the Father within the defiled Jewish relgion, because it matters what is in the heart and how a person worships God in truth of who He says He in through scripture.. Your own interpretation of the bible can be untrue, which I see you base your understanding of it off theology notes.. Which would make you no different than the RC and using their authority to understand scripture rather than by the power of the Spirit.. Because with the Spirit comes love and understanding, which is not what you have portrayed her, but rather condemnation toward me.. Just like the Pharisees did when someone disagreed with them, especially the Lord..

But I guess your religion is the only right one out of all of the 500,000.. And with all due respect, just cuss me out next time instead of acting as if you really are showing respect..

Love is what matters, Christ's love and obeying it... And displaying His love from a pure heart is what helps win souls, not condemning them.. If your going to use scripture than use it with the love of Christ or else you are going to run people away from God, and for that you will be judged..

#25  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 9:44 AM

Also Shauna,

Instead of hearing my spiritual side, you were ready to just condemn me for being a Catholic.. i worship God and the Lord within my heart, not in the church and all the beliefs.. As Christ said tot he Samaritan women, "It does no matter where people worship God, because God is looking for people who will worship Him in Spirit and truth." This contradicts your view. The way you do this is no way to help Catholics see the truth.. Maybe God wants me to remain there so that I can help some because God wishes all would repent and be saved..

#26  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 9:54 AM

Cathy,

I can see your reasoning in wanting to remain in the Roman Catholic church, but Shauna is correct that it is not the "first church." It did not come about officially until after AD 400. It might be true (I don't know for sure) to call it the first State Church, but it is not the first church. The first church was made up of the believers in Jerusalem. And there were hundreds, if not thousands of churches between then and the official establishment of the RCC.

Shauna is also correct that historically the RCC has been guilty of putting many true believers to death for their adherence to Scripture. They actually used to burn fathers at the stake for teaching their children the Lord's prayer in English. They burned William Tyndale for translating the Bible into English. Now of course that wouldn't happen today, but the same mentality that set those things in motion still abides today. They reject the sufficiency of Christ and the authority of Scripture. I personally cannot imagine identifying myself with such an organization no matter where their roots are.

If that is the only reason keeping you in the church I would encourage you to reconsider. You yourself said that you do not adhere to their authority. As a true believer you should seek to be part of local church that teaches Scripture and practices the one-another commands of Scripture where you can also use your gifts to benefit the body of Christ. That also means that you need to put yourself under the authority of true biblical shepherds who can shepherd your soul as God has commanded them.

Only God can cause a person to repent. But I think that if we who are true faithful followers of Christ and live out that faith by our actions lining up with what Christ has told us do to, then our examples will shine like light and with prayer for them, that God might grant them repentance to see the truth.

Amen to that! But we must keep in mind that the Spirit uses the Word to accomplish His work. If people do not know the truth, how will they be convicted of their sin? Keep in mind Romans 10:14 which tells us the means that God uses to bring about conviction and repentence.

Grace and peace

#27  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:05 AM

Cathy,

Jesus Himself remained and worshiped God the Father within the defiled Jewish relgion,

I don't think this is correct. Jesus very clearly denounced the Jewish religion of the day. He rejected the religious leaders and threw out the money changers. Yes it is true that he went into the synogogues and read Scripture (Luke 4:16-22), but he did not do so to legitimize Judaism, but to preach the gospel. The only people Jesus had conflict with was the Jewish leaders. Matthew 23 makes it crystal clear that he had no regard for their tradition-based religion (not unlike the RCC).

Am I forgetting something?

#28  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:15 AM

Gabriel,

If you really know history and trace the roots from the time of the Jerusalem church, it was the only existing church remaining until Constantine heralded it the dominant religion.. If you can find other existence of any other Christian religion that remained until the time of Constanine, then I am mistaken.. But from true historian resources I have found no other church besides the one that came from Jerusalem following up to Constantine when it became seriously defiled.. As far as the Catholic church killing people, during the Protestant reformation protestant did too.. And I am against that also.. But as Paul said, "I become like some, so that I may win some." Is our religion for just ourselves? Or is not our religion vain if we are not loving as Christ loved? As James says, "True religion in the eyes of God is taking care of orphans and widows in their time of need, and keeping oneself unstained by the world."

So I will leave that question with you alone of whether or not were I remain to keep holy the Sabbath and worship the Lord in Spirit and truth and so that others might know the truth by my obedience to faith in Christ - if whether I am wrong or right for this..

Protestant religions all hold their own man made doctrines too, but that seems to be irrelevant for them, but no one else.. So therefore, which religion are we to choose if they all hold different truths? I really dont think God will judge us by where we went to church, but how we shared Christ and His love..

I never said scripture should not used to help people see.. I said that condemning them with it is not going to win them.. And how we live our lives through true faith in Christ is what helps people to see.. I said there is a time for scripture, but may we use it be build up, and lovingly convict, and not to condemn people who are already burdened with sin- for they might give up hope.. But for the hard of heart, convicting scripture is for them, but very rarely do they hear it..

God bless!

#29  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:19 AM

Yes, I think you are forgetting something.. The fact that I said I do not hold the RC traditions and self taught doctrines just as Jesus did not the Jewish religion.. I simply obey the Sabbath as He did, by going to church on that day of the week..

#30  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:33 AM

Thanks for the reply Cathy,

[The Jerusalem church] was the only existing church remaining until Constantine heralded it the dominant religion

If you are referring to a body of doctrine and belief, you are correct. But that doesn't mean the the RCC is equivalent to the early church. If you were to take a snapshot of the early church (even a hundred years after Christ) and a snapshot of the RCC in, say, AD500, the two snapshots would look like two different religions in practice and belief on many issues. I don't recall off the top at what point the true gospel was lost in RCC, but that's not the point anyway.

The point is that the RCC has been apostate for over 1000 years. It is no closer to the Truth today than Mormons or JW's who claim some tie to Scripture but ultimately deny true biblical Christianity. Since this is off topic for this blog post let me just encourage you to listen/read the sermons on this website were John MacArthur talks at length about the RCC.

Protestant religions all hold their own man made doctrines too, but that seems to be irrelevant for them, but no one else.. So therefore, which religion are we to choose if they all hold different truths?

It is incorrect to call denominations "religions." All true protestant denominations hold to a fixed set of beliefs which establish them as true Christian churches. Whatever the differences are, they are on lesser matters than the true gospel. This is why churches from different denominations can cooperate in activities, have their pastors speak at each other's churches, and so on. We all hold to the same gospel. The RCC holds to a different gospel altogether and is itself a different religion. I realize the whole denominations thing is confusing. The key issue for a true believer is to find a Bible teaching church that proclaims the true gospel where they can be discipled and where they can disciple others.

Here is a good place to start: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermon+Series/296_Explaining-the-Heresy-of-Catholicism

Grace and peace

#31  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:35 AM

**Shauna Bryant**

#24 Cathy,

Sadly, that is EXACTLY the response expected. It's fitting that this morning I received an email which had a "Christianity Today reader comment spoof" off of the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians (as if it had been written today). Every writer condemned the Apostle Paul for his Pharisee like attitude, his JUDGING, his unloving attitude, towards all people, his dogmatic adherence to doctrine, etc.....that is how CINO's think today.

Look at the language I used in repsonding to you: "with all due repect", "ma'am" and that I pray for you. Yet you respond as if I personally called you a demon and damned you to hell forever. Which I did not do. I merely pointed out the fallacies in your post regarding the RCC and what Gods Word says we are to do. Instead of wanting to obeying Gods Word and "come out of her"- you came at me.....and you responded with indignation towards me for suggesting such a thing as obeying Gods Word! Don't you see that communing with the doctrines of demons will and does sully you?

There is no love unless it is in truth and that truth is Jesus Christ himself. I see you bothered to answer not one question posed. Hopefully you will consider them in your heart and walk in 'the way' of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law......the religious Jews had forgotten the 'heart of the matter', which is why they preferred their "church"(synagogue) and works righteousness over the truth. And even the Pharisees, when shown the truth of scripture by Jesus Christ, hated Him all the more for it because they were so far away from it.

True Christianity is shown by the few - not the many....and why is it that when I commented on the utter darkness of false teachings - and called it such - that you became upset? Wow! You likened me to the RCC so, have you ever spoken to your priest that way, or is it that what he says doesn't bother you but when I told you the truth you clearly became indignant? I don't cuss people out either and I was showing repsect but I see since you disagree that you will not see it as such. Attempts to whitewash RC will not work with a true believer in Jesus Christ and I know that makes RC's mad (even the ones in my own family).

You do not seem to understand that Jesus Christ was not under any defiled Jewish religion. He was showing them the truth they had suppressed and twisted. Jesus had NO fellowship with the religious Jews-He was among them yes, but He did not 'fellowship' with darkness. NO AT ALL because Light does not fellowship with darkness. And Jesus Christ told them their errors, He did not walk around pretending that He agreed with them for the sake of love, He actually called them a den of vipers - which IS love because it was truth! Too many people shout Love and forsake truth. I will not be one of them. A lie in love is called hate. Jesus Christ would never condone one of His people walking and fellowshipping with darkness for the sake of love. That is the love of this world, not the love of Christ.

BTW, I base my understanding off of careful study of Gods Word. Anyone who knows can tell from posts who knows scripture - the whole counsel of God and who knows "snippets".

My religion is not in a church, that is where like minded believers go to worship God, fellowship with those walking in Truth and grow in learning His Word. But the true church is not the religion - the true church is the body of born again believers wherever they are located. They will not be fellowshiping with darkness either.... No, rather, the way we follow is Jesus Christ, Crucified for our sins, Risen, Coming again and believe in Gods Word (Jesus Christ) by Gods Grace alone through faith alone.

The whole title of this thread is Fellowship in Truth. Well, truth does not walk with darkness. It is time to be discerning and discriminate the truth from the lie. That will make the entire wide road indignant for sure!

#32  Posted by Corey Fleig  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:40 AM

I've truly appreciated the exchanges between Cathy, Gabriel, and Shauna. I pray that God is glorified by it. I have RC relatives, and I debated a truly devoted RC a while ago, so I am trying to come to terms with what's going on. I agree with Cathy's point that you can find unholy treatment of people in virtually all religions. The RCC did wrong, the Crusades did wrong, King Richard did wrong things - you can blame anyone, anytime, about anything you want. That's not the problem.

What Gabriel is trying to say is, there is only one true religion, the one based on Scripture alone. Scripture prohibits a great deal of what the RCC teaches and does, so I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to remain there. So then the next question is: where to go! I freely and happily admit that no church is perfect, but I seriously doubt there are "500,000 different Christian religions!" That is gross exaggeration. There is the Christian religion of Human Achievement (RCC, et. al.) and there is the Christian Religion of Divine Accomplishment (held however imperfectly by the mainline Protestant Church.) I counted 2, not 500,000. #23 Enrique asked a great question: why does the RCC practically go into apoplectic shock and seizure whenever 'Sola Scriptura' is mentioned? Wow!

One other thing: in my imperfect church where sinners are, my pastor teaches that Genesis One is literal, and God created in 6 24-hour days. Ratzinger, on the other hand, thinks that naturalistic evolution might 'play a role' in the development of the world. I do not believe for one second that Ratzinger believes the literal words of the Prophets and the Apostles. Why on earth would I want to set foot in a system that publicly mixes truth and error in openly gross and defiant ways?

On the issue of love, its a far greater love to say, "Get out of the RC system," than it is to wish you well while the system you're in teaches praying for dead people, teaching evolution, and maligning the Words of Christ by fabricating a mother of God. There is a place for holy anger, and I'm grateful that Shauna expressed her concern for the hearts and souls of so many people in the RC church who are in very serious trouble.

#33  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:47 AM

**Shauna Bryant**

Cathy,

The RCC killed million of Christians BEFORE the Protestant Reformation began. Many of the Catholic crusades slaughtered whole villages of Christians on their way to and back from killing Jews and muslims. "Some Protestants killed people during the reformation period" and that is your repsonse to 1800 years of instutionalized, commanded slaughter of Christians and false demon practices and soul selling by the RCC. WOW.

#34  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:48 AM

Shauna,

I commented on this post because I know how RC's are, I go to church with them, and was trying to help the people who read this blog how to get across to RC. But you attacked me for being a RC instead of seeing what I was trying to do here.. However you wish to believe the scriptures mean that is your decision and how they point to the RCC, but it does not mean I have to agree with you or that you are even right about that..

Your questions to me were all on religious arguments that I dont care to discuss - its useless.. My motivation is Christ love and letting His love drive me to obey the gospel and help others.. All you care to discuss is how wrong I am for being a RC.. Which I think you are wrong for doing this.. I dont know you or your heart, but you sure do sum up me to be wrong as if you know.. How can you know my heart?

Your assumptions of me are all wrong by the way.. And assumptions are useless..

We will be judged for how we run off or bring people to Christ..

God knows my heart and that is what matters...

God bless and Christ love be with you!

#35  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:01 AM

With all due respect to all who commented toward me for being an RC.. You have not said one thing remotely close to convincing me out of love to be a protestant.. I surely do not desire to be as you are. I would love to know how many people who have been truly convinced by you. Not that I hold any of the beliefs that Corey said.. You all assume to much of someone you dont know.. I know many Catholics who dont hold these beliefs either.. Our church service is not consisted of anything of Mary or any doctrine they hold. They preach from the word of God and everything is about Jesus. All the other stuff is extracurricular.. If you real motivation is to convert another out of love, rather than just simply condemning them, then let love be your guide. But your shallow minded thinking that God will condemn me for going to a RCC instead of seeing what is in my heart is appauling , and that is exactly what people will think of you when you do this to them..

Love covers a multitude of sins!

#37  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:11 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#38  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:12 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Cathy, You also said you think God wants you to be in the RCC to help them see the truth. No, God never wants His people to fellowship with darkness.

1 John 1:5-6 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

#39  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:13 AM

Shauna

I do attend RC and I am a confirmed RC.. I never said I wasnt. Did I miss something? I rather claim to be a Christ follower though..

So now I am deceptive.. My first time on this blog and you have made more diabolical claims at me and my participation in them than I have heard in my whole life.. This is really convincing me, let me tell you..

I will pray for you to have the love of Christ in your heart, and let go of the hate..

#40  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:14 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

The truth in love. If there is no truth there is no love. Love alone will convince no one. Only with truth (which is love) will conviction come about.

#41  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:18 AM

Shauna,

Real fellowship with people is the ones we talk to and converse with about God on a regular basis - people who are close in nature.. And my family who is RC, am I to write them off as you would? Did Jesus write off his brothers that did not believe. Do you think he refused to see them at Jewish holidays? I have fellowship (close relations) with those of other religions too, and they dont condemn me the way you do - because they know me, and you dont.. So you should not judge me, so that you will not be judged..

#42  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:19 AM

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).”

If we add the meritorious works of man to supplement the work of Christ, it becomes anathema to God, and then becomes ANOTHER GOSPEL or a DIFFERENT GOSPEL. The Roman Catholic Church practices another gospel.

Paul declares in Galatians; “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but {I received it} through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal 1: 6-12).”

God pronounces a curse, not ONCE but twice, on anyone who preaches a works based gospel. There are only two theological systems possible, saved by works or saved by grace alone, in Christ alone, by faith alone, and the foolish Galatians were following a works based system. If we are to speak God's Word truthfully, and as Christians we are to represent Christ to the world, we do NOT do this by not shining the wrong light, but shining the true light of Jesus Christ. If you want to lead Catholics from their error, it is wrong to do this by partaking in their EVIL DEEDS, for by doing this, Cathy, you are telling all who see your (shinning) example, that it is O.K. to take part in the evil doctrines they promote.

When you patronize a church that teaches heresy, pay tithes to them, walk in accordance with the doctrines they teach, and have fellowship with those who adhere to a false system of beliefs, you are shinning the wrong light to the world. Your message is NOT taken seriously. You are in fact giving your stamp of approval to that godless system. I see more Scripture telling Christians NOT to be equally yoked with unbelievers. So your cleaving to this Mother Church system, tells me you are not willing to divorce yourself from this faith and "be ye separate." Your witness is loud and clear.

2 Cor 6:14-17, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

Amos 3:3, Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Plus countless other Scripture verses.

God has made it clear, Cathy, "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM."

#46  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:33 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Cathy, Of course you fellowship with your RC family because as you said you are a confirmed RC. I see my family yes. But I do not ever partake in what they do with the RC church. They aren't even permitted to mention RC when my kids are around for a visit. My family prays for their conversion to Jesus Christ. My kids witness to them about Jesus Christ. I have never gone to church with them or even gone to my nephews confirmation in the RCC. I do not even see them as my brothers and sister In Christ (though they are that of the flesh) and I see them as a mission field. And yes, they hate that. But I love them too much - I care for their lost souls too much to let them easily live a lie. I would rather they hate me for proclaiming the truth, and look at what they believe, than to let them think that they are going to heaven by being a confirmed RC. That is truth in love. Of course they think I am divisive and unloving as the world defines it.

Luke 12:49-53 "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

#47  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:34 AM

Cathy,

For my part I understood your acknowledgement that you are a confirmed Catholic, but that you don't adhere to everything RCC teaches. I am glad that your particular church does not seem to be like most Catholic churches.

My concern, as one preparing to be a pastor, is that you are in a place where the Word is upheld and Christ is preached as the only sufficient sacrifice for sin. Paul said "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8). Roman Catholic understanding of the gospel, Christ's substitutionary sacrifice, Mass, and the sacraments are in direct opposition to Scripture. Whether or not your particular church teaches those things, it is supported by the system that does.

You are right that we do not know about you, so forgive me if I accused you of something that is not true of you personally. I also don't know the leaders in your church. But I do know the system that undergirds all that. Many of us on this blog know many people who have either been saved out of the RCC, or who are trapped in it and are unable to see the Truth.

#44  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 12:37 PM

Dear Shauna:

All of us who defend the faith will be accused of being UNLOVING, comes with the territory. I’ve had this leveled against me a thousand times.

I will give you an example of something that happened to me years ago. I was posting on a Protestant board, of a very well-known TV minister, and we had one resident Catholic, who I was always very, very loving toward, but he knew I stood firmly against the Catholic faith. One day he decided to post quite a few verses from the Douay-Rheims. I was so concerned that people reading along would mistakenly think that the TV minister of this board believed in such heresy, that I decided to do a side by side comparison of the books of each Bible, ours and theirs.

All that I did was post the books of each Bible, but you would have thought I cursed this Catholic all the way to the moon and back. Not ONE WORD was even spoken about Catholicism or this person NEGATIVELY, just a side-by-side comparison of the books of the different Bibles. And by doing this, I had two women, who were Protestants, say ALL MANNER of evil against me, not the one lonely Catholic. I was cursed so bad by them, then when I finally told them I said nothing about the one resident Catholic or even Catholicism in general, then at that point, and that point only, after a diatribe of their curses, they said, "Oh, yah, you're right, nothing negative was said."

I give this example to show one thing and one thing only, even if you say NOTHING at all, just a hint of anything can get you labeled unloving. People always cry unloving when they want the TRUTH SUPRESSED.

I say it is better to speak the truth in love and please God and not man. True LOVE means never having to say you’re sorry that you did not point out error and heresy to bring a person to the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing is more loving than that.

#45  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 12:48 PM

FYI..

True Christians should be sure of what they know before they condemn another.. See the link below to read about Catholics saved by grace, preaching the true gospel.

God bless.

http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap020500.htm

#46  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 1:29 PM

Staying on topic.:) "Then discuss the implications of abandoning sola scriptura." Catholisism is one example of abondoning sola scriptura. "Whew. does that save us from going off topic?" :)

I will make more of an effort to stay on topic. This type of blog is different than a regular chat forum where you can pick your own topic.

#47  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 1:30 PM

That page does a good job of quoting Scripture, but does not speak of RCC doctrine with regard to salvation. In order to not get into a never-ending debate on this blog on what the RCC teaches, I would recommend reading or listening to the series on Roman Catholicism which you can find here.

At the Council of Trent the RCC condemned those who believe in justification by faith alone as heretics. And even though now they sometimes refer to protestants as "seperated brethren," they have never repealed the official RCC declaration that we condemned as heretics.

#48  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 1:51 PM

They can't repeal it, Gabriel, as I know you know this very well. The pope speaks ex cathedra and this means he is infallible, so they find themselves in a bit of a quagmire, you either find the pope in error or God in error.

And once again "staying on topic," ex cathedra is an extreme departure from sola scriptura. :)

#49  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 1:51 PM

Sola Scripture and fellowship in the truth is living by the Word of God in truth.. Once saved always saved is a doctrine not of scripture. So you cant claim sola scripture if you adhere to this doctrine as some protestants do because that is a false gospel and it is not scriptural based, and there are many scriptures that contradict this heresy. So where is the authority in that doctrine, certainly not scripture? Saved by grace alone does not mean that you can act as you wish and sin and sin over and over.. if you reject Christ and all his ways then you are rejecting that grace. Saved alone by grace means only God can change a persons heart so that they will begin to act in true sincere holiness because of their sincerity to the truth and wanting to be changed. Gabriel, RC believe that are saved by grace and their was a reformed council on salvation of others outside the church..

#50  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:00 PM

# 49 - Cathy,

when I read your first post on here, immediately this came to my mind. I hope you understand that this is exactly what you are doing. I don't want to convince you of anything, I don't want you to change "religions". I pray that the Lord Himself open up your eyes for His truth:

1 Corinthians 10:18-22

18Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. 22Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

E.

#51  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:09 PM

Okay Gabriel, I am trying to stay on topic here, but as you can see your followers think that I need to be yanked out of the demon church I worship. God knows who I worship and it IS HIM FROM MY HEART. No demons, and I dont believe that their are any more demons in my church as their are in the protestants man made doctrines such as once saved always saved doctrine that is not scriptural.. So if I worshiped in your fellowship with doctrines that are not of scripture, would I be participating in demon worship? As the lady said above she misunderstands that these things offered were of pagan origin with no real truth of the true God. Our church service does not offer anything to anyone but God alone and that offering is ourselves every Sabbath..

This is why I dont rest my total faith on a religion, but in God alone and His word.. There are too many contradictions in all the religions to say they hold the full truth. Christ alone is the way, the truth and the life.. Not these religions that separate us and brood hate in our hearts. Religion will separate us, but the Spirit unites us...

#52  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:12 PM

Cathy, Shauna and the rest -

These exchanges are very interesting because I have gone through many of the issues you have been discussing. I was in the RCC for 46 years before the Lord opened my eyes to His truth found in God's Word. Cathy - please get it out of your mind that this is a "Protestant vs. Catholic" debate. There is so much unscriptural garbage in much of what is called "Protestantism". This really is a debate between what is true and what is false on a spiritual level. Anyone posting on this blog is not to be considered infallible or beyond criticism. What you need to keep in mind is that the Word of God IS TRUTH! And as John MacArthur has said over and over - "the meaning of the Scripture is Scripture". I have to get somewhere soon so I wanted to quickly contribute to this conversation. I have more to say so I shall return...

Maranatha! Dan

#53  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:20 PM

I too left the church because of what I thought and what protestants were telling me scripture meant.. But I see now that they are just as wrong as the RC and God convinced me that where I worship him does not matter as long as I worship him in Spirit and truth from my heart and what the Lord has spoken to us in scripture.. You got to realize how shallow minded this thinking is.. I used to think this way, and God clearly showed me that I was wrong in my thinking of things this way.. And the example of Christ never refuses to worship with the defiled Jewish religion, where He told them they are sons of the devil, proved to me that where we worship the Lord is not relevant. And the way protestants view RC is wrong.. Yes, many are mislead, but so are many protestants with their doctrines.. So I have remained as I feel He is calling me to, so that I can help some..

#54  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:36 PM

Cathy, here are just a few paltry Scripture verses on once saved always saved, in God's own words for you to seriously meditate on. God is not a liar, when he promises eternal life, his word is solid. This is not off topic, MOD, because if you abandon sola scriptura you end up with doctrines of men such as the RCC teaches. :) Trying real hard, here.

Perseverance of the Saints

What God begins, he finishes Psa 138:8; Ecc 3:14; Isa 46:4; Jer 32:40; Rom 11:29; Phi 1:6; 2Tim 4:18 Of all whom he has called and brought to Christ, none will be lost John 6:39-40; John 10:27-29; Rom 8:28-31; Rom 8:35-39; Heb 7:25; Heb 10:14 God's preservation of the saints is not irrespective of their continuance in the faith 1Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5; Heb 3:14; Heb 6:4-6; Heb 10:26-27; Heb 12:14; Rev 21:7-8; Rev 22:14-15 However, it is God who sanctifies us and causes us to persevere John 15:16; 1Cor 1:30-31; 1Cor 6:11; 1Cor 12:3; 1Cor 15:10; Gal 3:1-6; Eph 2:10; Phi 2:12-13; 1The 5:23-24; Heb 13:20-21; 1John 2:29; Jud 1:24-25.

1. What God begins, he finishes

Psa 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Ecc 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

Isa 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Jer 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Phi 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2. Of all whom he has called and brought to Christ, none will be lost

Joh 6:39-40 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Rom 8:28-31 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

3. God's preservation of the saints is not irrespective of their continuance in the faith

1Co 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Heb 10:26-27 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Rev 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

4. However, it is God who sanctifies us and causes us to persevere

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

1Co 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Gal 3:1-6 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Phi 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1Th 5:23-24 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Heb 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1Jo 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Jud 1:24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Now, say what? Once saved always saved is not true?

#55  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:47 PM

Mary, I think what Cathy's point is, is the fact that some so-called Christian churches teach that once save always saved and no need for sanctification. Which is, of course, unbliblical. It is not, however, what Pastor MacArthur (and many other faithful pastors) teach, and not what I believe.

BTW, I am not a follower of Gabriel. Just thought I'd point that out. =)

E.

#56  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 2:53 PM

Here are just a few that contradict that doctrine.. God never said that a person could not lose their salvation, rather He said they are secure with Him, meaning He will not forsake them, but they can forsake Him..

John 15

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4Remain 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.

Matthew 7

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Hebrews 6

4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[b]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

#57  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:06 PM

Mary,

Yes, when we are saved by grace God is everything to us in every situation, strength, love hope, faith He helps us in all this by our remaining in Him.. But we can forsake that -and many have - and have become atheist and such.. Or for some they quit trying and lose faith in Him and turn to the world for hope and comfort and pleasure...

#58  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:06 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Mary, when you wrote, as I did, to Come out of her my people....this command is scriptural and people can say what they want against it but God does not lie. Gods Word in the Old Testament:

Jeremiah 51:45 "Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD.

and as Jesus Christ also said in Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

If Gods Word is obeyed His people will come out.

#59  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:10 PM

Cathy -

Just a follow up to my last comment. You say you worship "in spirit and in truth" while attending services at a Catholic church during their Catholic Mass. Do you partake in the RC communion service? Do you understand if you do that you are participating in idolatry? Do you understand that this is the focal point of Catholic worship? The fact that the invalid, sacridotal priesthood of the RCC claims that they have the power to bring the risen Christ from the right hand of the Father in heaven down to their Catholic altars to be re-presented as a sacrifice hundreds and thousands of times a day should make any true believer shutter. If you claim to be a truth seeker and follower of Christ you should understand what is taking place when you worship with Rome - and you should flee. You should not be defending that system rather you should be warning your loved ones to repent and believe the gospel and the Christ of Scripture - not the Eucharistic Christ of Rome. Remember - I say this lovingly - because such was I - until the God of all graces rescued me with His Word.

Maranatha! Dan

#60  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:10 PM

Shauna,

What makes you so sure that this is the RCC??? Did God reveal to you exactly who He is talking about? Maybe he is talking of Jerusalem or another city? You could be wrong, and what you are not sure of you should not go around making accussatons about - that is unwise. I dont know claim to know, but if you claim to know FOR CERTAIN who this is, then you would be wiser than any other theologian on earth. They dont even claim to know for sure..

#61  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:11 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Anyone who doesn't understand Eternal Security should listen to this: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-84_Your-Salvation-Is-Secure?q=Secure+Salvation

Those who are truly saved (born again believers) are ALWAYS saved. The Lord keeps us, His elect. It matters not that we know Him - what matters is if He know us. Many scriptures already quoted above prove that, even though some misunderstand Gods Word.

#62  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:13 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Cathy,

You are so into defending the RCC instead of Gods Word that you are not seeing clearly. "Come out of her My people" refers to ANY and EVERY false system and I know that for certain. That is clear and my intent was clear.

#63  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:14 PM

My question is this...if we don't have a single standard of truth, such as the word, how do we keep falsehood from leading people astray? God doesn't give out A's for effort...you're either saved or not. Something is either true or false. If I can worship God anywhere, using any religious tradition or text...and if one is not more true than the others (sola) then why not be buddhist and search for God through the Bhagavadgita? If straight is the gate and narrow is the way, as Christ said in Matthew 7:14 and few there be that find it...then obviously just anybody can't be right. Truth cannot be relative and remain true!

#64  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:15 PM

Dan,

I understand how you feel, I went through the exact same thing.. But this is wrong, and what you are saying is not so... It is a protestant belief drawn up to persecute the RC. Although they think they are right and true, where the heart is is what matters.. If they were saying we are dedicating a sacrifice to Apollo or whoever, i would run clear out of the church! But we are totally dedicated to God and the Lord Jesus, and the protestants have took this and blown it all up!! Really! I prayed over this for a year! Fasting and praying, and He let me know that it does not matter where we worship as long as it is Him..

Much love!

#65  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:15 PM

Cathy:

When so-called, professed believers fall away from the faith, it means one thing and one thing only, they had an intellectual assent to the truth only, the kind the devils possess. They were never true believers to begin with. This is no reflection on the true doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.

The word believe can be a stumbling block for many. Many think b/c they believe Jesus is who He says He is, that this is all it takes to be saved. This is not necessarily the case. We know that even the devils believe that God exists. The word believe opens up a whole new dimension to the bible. We have to know and understand with our hearts what that word means or we fall very short of a true salvation.

There are three aspects to faith, notitia, assensus, and fiducia.Notitia says that faith must have an object, and that certain things are to be believed for that faith to be real. Without the essentials of our Christian faith being held as solid and true, then our faith is amiss.Assensus is just giving assent to these established truths. We have to give intellectual assent to these truths, but these two alone are not enough to produce a true and saving faith. Even the devils have this. In order for us to have a true and saving faith, fiducia is the final element needed for our faith to be genuine. Fiducia means to put reliance and personal trust in Jesus Christ ALONE to keep us and save us, not in our own works, we believe in Christ ALONE (Solus Christus).

And of course obedience to God's Word is a true mark of a believer, otherewise you fall victim to Easy Believeism, which is a false gospel.

#66  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:16 PM

Cathy, as Elaine said, we do not believe that a person can claim to be saved and live however they want. There are some people who believe that, but Scripture is clear that fruit must develop in a Christians life to demonstrate that they are in fact saved.

There is a clear difference, in any religion, between those who claim to be a follower, and those who are truly followers. In biblical Christianity in particular because we do not believe in a works-based salvation, we can only make preliminary judgments of others based on external actions. Sometimes we can be self-decieved as well (as those in Matthew 7:21-23 were).

So the Bible doesn't teach that everyone who claims to be saved will be saved. It teaches that those who are truly born of the Spirit, reborn as it were, those whom Christ's blood has redeemed, indeed those who have been declared righteous by God himself apart from works cannot be unborn, cannot be unredeemed, and cannot be undeclared righteous.

That Hebrews passage speaks of self-deceived "believers." It said they "shared" the Holy Spirit, not that they had him. It said that they "tasted" the goodness of God, not fully participated in it. 1 John 2:19 says, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us."

Cathy, you are very correct that people can forsake God, but that does not mean they were born again, regenerated believers who had been spiritually made alive with Christ and had their sins forgiven (Col. 2:13-14). God will not unforgive sins which he has already forgiven.

#67  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:18 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Daniel, You are absolutely right. The scripture is: 1Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

#68  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:28 PM

Cathy, would you mind answering the question that Daniel (#59) posed to you? Do you partake in the communion?

E.

#69  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:30 PM

I dont think anyone can clearly claim anything that is not evident in scripture. For instance whether if it is possible to lose salvation, or whether the Babylon in Rev, is the RCC! Because the Lord specifically did not make it abundantly clear for the sake of the truth, so those who claim to possess the meaning of it for sure are as Paul says, "thinking more highly of themselves as they ought to, "and are going beyond what is written." All we can do is have faith in God and work out our salvation with fear and trembling and love Him above all things and others as ourselves as we should and grow in faith.. If He is number one in our lives TRULY, than we should be able to stay on the narrow path and what religion we choose to worship him in does not matter.. If we dont understand something the bible says, then instead of trying to figure out in our own mind instead of the revelation of the Spirit, we should except the fact that God has not yet revealed to us this meaning in time, and trust Him...

This is why I think what Christian religion we are is SO IRRELEVANT... THis is what it causes, a bunch of people arguing over what they think this means! If we trust God, then we know in times he will reveal and we should be patient and just be obedient to Him in faith in Christ where we are at... And swallow our pride that causes us to want to know everything now... God is good and knows our hearts - ALL MENS HEARTS...

#70  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:32 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Mike - you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Scripture must be our ONLY standard. Jesus Himself said to search the scriptures (He didn't say search there, plus.....)

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

#71  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:36 PM

E.

Yes, I took partake of the cup of demons.. JK.. I do.. And I truly believe that it is His body and blood because He said so.. And because Paul said that those who eat the Lord supper should discern that it is the body of Christ

"For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself."

So I guess you can write me off too!

You know I am just trying to be obedient to what the Lord and scripture says, not what a religion tells me..

#72  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:40 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Mike,

Speaking of Scripture alone, not adhering to Scripture alone allows people to say "what religion we choose to worship him in does not matter" and think that is anywhere near the truth. That is the sad and terribly damning state of ecumenism.

#73  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:41 PM

Hang in there, Elaine, Shauna, Mike, Daniel and Gabriel, all good comments. We are still on topic. Right Mod? Because any departure from sola scriptura leads to doctrines of men, such as the RCC. :)

#74  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:51 PM

Shauna,

That is such a bold statment! Out of all the 500,000 Christian religions that hold different views and doctrines, and all the Muslims that never heard the real truth of Christ or Buddahist, that YOU and YOUR REIGION, is the only right one? That is extremely shallow minded.. Ask yourself what would Jesus do?

Would He write off a Muslim who did not hear the full truth of Christ, and would He write off all the others people you know in your life that dont go to your church? I seriously doubt it.. When we are saved we are saved from God wrath that is coming upon the hypocrites and sinners who did not put there faith in Christ truly. He is not threw with us, and will try to bring the world to repentance with his judgements - BECAUSE HE LOVES THE WORLD John 3:16.. Not because He wants to see them bleed for their sins... and damn them to hell.. He wishes all would be saved.. I see you have a hard time seeing peoples hearts and inward motives, and judge them on the outside and not by true standards, as Christ told the Jews.. No one can fully know anothers heart, but God, but people can reveal to you what is in their heart by what they do. And with you it is either your religion or they are doomed..

Have some mercy...

#75  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:55 PM

Oh Mary where is your love? Do you only care to make me feel inferior and not how you could make me feel in your comment? It does not really bother me, what matters is what God thinks of me..

#76  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 3:58 PM

Cathy, since this post was about fellowship in the truth, and Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6), can you clarify if you are saying that Jesus is not the only way to heaven?

#77  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:03 PM

Gabriel,

I dont understand where you are coming from? Of course Jesus is the way, I said that in one of my post.. But God loves the world, and those who have not been able to understand the truth of Christ, God has not wrote them off.. He has a plan through Christ somehow for them to see that Christ is what we are all about and what we are to be.. How can we view God as your Father and not see others this way?

#78  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:15 PM

"You can safely assume that you have created God in your OWN image when God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

#79  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:15 PM

Thanks for that explanation. The reason I asked is because you said, "Out of all the 500,000 Christian religions that hold different views and doctrines, and all the Muslims that never heard the real truth of Christ or Buddahist, that YOU and YOUR REIGION, is the only right one?" So it sounded like you were saying that Christianity is not the only true religion and that people of other faiths are right also.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds in your clarification like you are saying that we should evangelize everybody no matter who they are or what they believe. Is that what you mean by not "writing them off"? If so then I think we are all in agreement.

Because Scripture is quite clear, and you acknowledged, that there is no way to heaven except through believing in Jesus Christ. Paul is clear in Romans 10:13-14 that people can't be saved unless they hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course they can't hear if they don't have a preacher, and there can't be a preacher unless someone sends them. Thus we have the mandate for missions. But unless someone hears and believes the gospel, they can't be saved.

Please clarify if I didn't understand exactly what you were saying.

#80  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:17 PM

"Oy vey", she says as she throws her hands up in the air, I don't know what to think with a comment like this: "Out of all the 500,000 Christian religions that hold different views and doctrines, and all the Muslims that never heard the real truth of Christ or Buddahist, that YOU and YOUR REIGION, is the only right one? That is extremely shallow minded.. Ask yourself what would Jesus do?"

Jesus would turn away anyone who did not acknowledge Him as the ONLY way, truth and life. Matt 10:33, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

I have a good response for transubstantiation, but I have to go feed my dog. I'll be back.

Still on topic, Mod. :)

#81  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:19 PM

Also, you continually refer to "500,000 Christian religions." As someone else mentioned, that is a severely incorrect statement. There is only one Christian "religion", but there are many (definitely not 500,000) denominations which differ in minor matters.

#82  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:20 PM

Most definitely we should evangelize all people who dont know Christ.. Christ said that "eternal life means to know You and to know Jesus Christ whom you sent".. Not know of Him, but know Him intimately through faith.. I guess I am making myself more clear? We must view people as God sees them, by His grace and love and not by our old natures which were inclined to hate...

#83  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:22 PM

Cathy, after searching you're the only person who has said anything about God hating anybody. Can you let us know what you are responding to?

#84  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:26 PM

Have you researched how many there are? I think it is around that number that profess Christ in some way.. And I see it all the time on you tube and tv and blogs protestants disagreeing with each other and making a new church.. Minor errors? Maybe on some, but alot of them are separated because of doctrines. Which scripture denounces doctrines of men.. Yeah, this is really how God wants us to fellowship! its sad..

Trying to defend the obvious with the different churches is not much of an argument when you see their fruits and treatment of one another. I would not defend them, they are on their OWN road, not Christs..

#85  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:29 PM

Gabriel,

Why are you always questioning my motives? Hate does not have to be a word used, it shows up more in action and words expressed with it.. The Pharisees never mentioned hate, but Christ asked them why do you hate me? Because their actions and words expressed to him shown it...

Is it that hard to see??

#86  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:39 PM

Cathy, many people profess many things, but that doesn't mean they truly believe it. We must get to the core issue, and that is the gospel. The question is not who professes what, the question is who actually believes the true gospel. And I do know (surveys show) that most people who claim to be Christian have no clue what the gospel is and do not believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

So to get to the heart of the issue, do you believe that salvation is by God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?

If you do, then why would you fellowship in a system that calls you a heretic and does not believe that (and according to Paul in Gal. 1:8 is accursed)? If you don't, then from the teaching of Scripture you cannot claim to be a true Bible-believing Christian.

Let's shift the discussion to the gospel and nothing else, because that is all that really matters.

#87  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:40 PM

Let me draw a picture here... I came on this blog to talk about helping others see the truth in RCC (commenting on Shaunas post in her regards to RC)_ and I have received nothing but ridicule and have not felt love at all from hardly any through this whole blog... Everyone has shown their hate for my religion and have not once portrayed the love of Christ... A Muslim who came on this blog to talk (that you could have possibly helped see the truth )would have wrote off Christians as unloving and intolerant, and would have felt no love - just as I have and left... You got to question yourself and ask, would Christ do that to someone - the Muslim who had some questions.. No, he would have probably asked him to eat dinner and talked heart to heart with him showing him His love and that He needed Him.. You cant convert a person in one sentence.. Christ is all about the heart and is the heart of everything..

#88  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 4:48 PM

Gabriel,

I have said all this in my post that you are asking me now... And you obviously are going to believe what you want to believe instead of what I said and what the RCC says about being saved by grace..

So I am signing off this blog with much regret in getting involved since no one here understands or wants to understand anything I have said. Because they are blinded by their religion and doctrines. I and others who are truly interested in the truth of Christ and spreading the gospel would have much better luck and get more of a loving response out of an atheist.. Sad to say..

God bless!

#89  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 5:24 PM

Cathy, the RCC removes the word alone from the question I asked you. They teaching salvation by grace through faith in Christ to which you need add works, specifically, the sacraments. I will not take the time to provide incontrovertable proof here, you can find such proof elsewhere on this website.

I would just encourage you to stick to Scripture and always compare what you hear in church to what Scripture says. We all need to do that.

#90  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 6:14 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Scripture alone is a bold statement.......of TRUTH. The spiritual seed discerns the truth. Here is a discernment verse: 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

There will always be those claiming truth yet defending falsehoods and yet also refusing to listen (even when links are provided) nor look up scripture.

People should be aware that many organizations are using the internet as a "practice and teaching session" to promote ecumenical unity and fellowship and showing how to label true Christians as unloving, unkind Pharisees that are the problem holding up global unity and peace for all. One day my friends, we will be persecuted for holding fast to the word of God alone, by those claiming to be doing Gods work.

These 'sessions' aren't always as innocent as some may suppose.

Then again, maybe they aren't all 'sessions' either - but it usually isn't to hard to tell as it is fairly scripted. Since my sister was trained in one I was able to look at the material. She wasn't happy.

#91  Posted by Jim Hicks  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 6:26 PM

I must admit I didn't read everything everybody said to Cathy, but enough....more than enough. Co 3:12-13 or for that matter all of the third chapter,put on tender mercies kindness humbleness of mind meekness long sufferings....above all put on love. Read the book put it into practice. How , why, would you want to beat someone up so hungry to share the love of God, which is Jesus. I my be able to disern some but on the day He comes back it's the angles that do the seperating. Not us. You don't have to beat people up.

#92  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 6:52 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Scripture alone is worth standing up for. People who are seeking truth will usually answer questions, listen to the sermons provided and look up the scriptures in context, not avoid questions, exagerate facts, defend falsehoods, promote ecumenism claiming that we can't know just from Gods Word alone and then twist what people said. Beat up? Sharing scripture, asking questions, sharing sermons, defending scripture alone, practically begging someone to come out of a false system and contending that you cannot worship God in any religion you choose to and saying that Jesus Christ is the only way is hardly beating someone up. Heck I was called a lying hypocritical unloving judgemental pharisee and I never felt beat up. That's the cost of contending.

#93  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 7:17 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Ann Lamott, mentioned in post #78 is a self described progressive left wing political activist claiming to be a Universalist Christian, who uses vulgar cuss words about Our Lord and wants to make room for a new kind of spirituality, a new kind of faith where Jesus accepts everyone no matter what. She should hardly be used by one contending for truth as she herself says in her Salon interview that traditional Christians know to avoid her writings since she actvely supports a "Jesusy (her description) fellow who doesn't judge" as well as abortions, gay rights and euthansia. Which again brings us back to why we need scripture alone!

#94  Posted by randell danner  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 9:38 PM

Although the Gospel transcends all generations, ethnics, cultures, etc., the gospel must remain as it is written and not made "relative" to our culture or any other. We must read, study and understand it as it was written and it contextual meaning. The problem is that we as Christians have forgotten that it is not a "western" religion or philosophy. We need to understand our Christianity in light of its Hebraic roots. We do not study and understand enough of the Jewish culture from which Jesus drew his parables and we have forgotten the types and shadows of the O.T. and the history of Israel and all that they went through. Those things were written for our example that we do not make the same mistakes they did but, oops, to late, WE DID! We have exchanged the truth for a lie and chased after false god's (doctrines) to the point of wondering if we can ever get back. Can we ever become a spotless bride and have our lamps full and be ready when He comes for us?? If so, what is it going to take?? more "culturally relevant" teaching? If we continue to "culturize" Christianity we will have nothing left but a bunch of Christian cults, oh wait, we already do; there called "DENOMINATIONS!" God no more ordained denominations any more than he ordained a physical temple to be built because His purpose was to dwell in the heart of man. He commanded us to write His laws on the tablets of our hearts and minds. Many today wave crosses, bibles, holy water, etc. to ward off the devil but if the Word is not in us alive and well it is no use to us and we are just beating the air while the devil laughs.

#95  Posted by randell danner  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:15 PM

Hi Cathy, I do not doubt your salvation one least bit and that you do love God and walk in love towards others. I am not condemning for where your at. If your church is preaching the truth of God's Word under the name Catholic then praise God. I would ask you, though, and any person who is saved but remains in the Catholic Church, why not come out of it and be set free from it if you know that it does not preach the entire truth and adds to his Word? Why stay in a system that is antisemitic? The Catholic church teaches "replacement theology" and this is a grave error according to scripture. The Word teaches that Israel will be grafted back in. Do you believe this is true? How many sacrements does your church observe? The Word says there is two: baptism and communion. But the catholic church observes seven. Again, i am not condemning you as you feel others have. I just want to give you some things to think about.

It is funny that half my family was baptist (dad's side) and the other half german catholic (mom's side) and although my immediate family was heathen (we did not go to church at all) but once i got saved i had just as much trouble with the baptist side of the family as i did the other. This was my point in my other comment about denominations. everyone has a "corner" of their own truth in the kingdom instead of studying God's Word through God's eyes and not the traditions of man. We need some TRUdition not more TRAdition.

#96  Posted by randell danner  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 10:56 PM

Good job Cathy! I struggled for a long time with Brother John on his once saved always saved teaching but i do understand where he is coming from once i heard his teaching on the perservence of the saints. but you also said correctly. I do not believe you can lose it but you can give it away or sale out just as Esau did when he sold his "birth right." it also says in Romans 11:20-22 True, but so what? Tjeu were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust (faith.) So don't be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified! For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won't spare you! So take a good look at God's kindnessand his severity: on the one hand, severity toward those who fell off; but, on the other hand, GOd's kindness toward you- provided you maintain yourself in that kindness! Otherwise, you too will be cut off! Also read Rev 3:1-5. Verse 5 talks of blotting ones name out of the Book of Life.

In other words God will keep us as long as we keep ourselves in Him and perservere and not jump ship.

#97  Posted by randell danner  |  Wednesday, March 10, 2010at 11:08 PM

Too add, i have known and know some now that say they can never lose it. True, but the problem is they never had to lose! There salvation was based on a simple prayer but brought about no change. Especially those who claim to be saved at a very young age-5 or 6. Not many who do profess at this age actually go on to lead a true Christian life. It all depends on the parents really, if they are truly saved as well. If they are just religious themselves merely going through the motions then no a child will more than likely not be converted then. There is no spiritual awareness and understanding of what took place.

#98  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 5:14 AM

If my salvation depended on me, I would certainly lose it. But, my salvation rests on God who is faithful. When Jesus said no one can snatch us from His hand, that includes me, and every other true believer in Christ. We can not snatch ourselves away. We have been made new creations and have been sealed by His Spirit who is the guarentee of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). Praise be to God.

#99  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 6:29 AM

Hi Randell,

Thanks for your understanding and kindness! I agree with all you said, especially our salvation. I feel the exact same.. As far as why I remain in the RCC and their replacement theology. Yes I do believe the Jews will be grafted back in as scripture says.. Those who are chosen, the remnant of them whose hearts are faithful and true.. But I never have felt any antisemitism ever in the RCC, actually I have always the opposite and there are several converted Jews that I know are RCC. I also feel the worship of God there is the closet you can get to the Jewish worship of God of all the denominations.. But as I said, I do not rest my faith in my religion, but rather in God alone and His word.. To keep holy the Sabbath as the Lord did, I must attend somewhere, and I prefer the RCC because of the Jewish roots.. Sure they have replaced their own theology vs. the Jewish, but so have protestants, and in my opinion, all the more.. Protestant service is far from the Jewish roots.. I actually practice of the Jewish holidays in my home that signify Christ from the OT and future prophecy in the NT.. I have not made a habit of this, but have celebrated a few in the past to honor the Lord and in remembrance of Him..

Do I think that RCC is defiled? Absolutely!!! But I have witnessed the total corruption in the Protestant churches too, if not more.. There is no perfect church because we are all imperfect people and as scripture says regarding the church, "the tares will remain with the wheat until I come and then my angels will separate the good from the bad." Amen! I look forward to that day!! When all will be revealed and all things hidden will be made known..

Sacraments: Yes, there are seven.. The sacraments are obedience to ones faith.. For instance, baptism - we are commanded by the Lord to do this, so we obey it, and deem it sacred.. Communion - he instituted the Passover Lamb from Jewish tradition, now fulfilled through Him - we obey - its sacred. Confession - we confess our sins to each other as scripture says. Now having to have the priests absolve is not necessary for forgiveness, not that I ever did think that, and priests have told me this themselves.. It is just a practice of faith and humility that they consider sacred to ones faith.. Because we all sin at some point and must confess and repent, and to remember the Lord and His sacrifice for us. This is what I was taught.. I had a great mentor, but I know some RCC that are very mislead.. Confirmation - where we make the decision to follow Christ whole heartedly and dedicate ourselves to Him during the teenage years when a child can now be held responsible for himself. And so forth.. Most of the sacraments are commanded by the Lord or either are holy in nature and good discipline for the flesh and spirit.. So I dont understand why it is such a sin to protestants. These are more Jewish in nature, just as our Lord practiced Jewish rituals while He was a Jew and here on earth.. When the religion becomes more important than true worship of God, as in taking care of the poor and showing mercy, and overrides the love of God then that ones heart is defiled - which is what we see in so many today in the RCC and Protestants.. But these things arent bad in itself, what makes these types of things bad is the evil hearts that bring hypocrisy into it.. Protestants have traditions as in dedication of babies, but that is okay? They can all separate from one another over and over, and that is okay? Crazy is what it is... Where you worship the Lord is irrelevant, what matters is how your heart is and whether it is totally dedicated to God and His ways and the Lord Jesus for who He is and everything He is and has done and will do!!

I do not believe in any doctrines made up by anyone that are not scriptural in the RCC or Protestant churches.. I will not go by man made doctrines because scripture forbids it. Protestants have them, but seem to ignore that when its brought up, and then accuse a RC for participating in demon doctrines, while theirs are also.. But I dont participate..

Thanks for all your input, it was VERY encouraging to hear anothers spirit that is dedicated to the truth of Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit!!! I see that... Praise God!!

#100  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 6:48 AM

Randell,

Also, what you were talking about which I consider a person born again when you talked about children not being truly dedicated because the parents were not and did not teach them right. I agree 100%. And I am a firm believer that the only way a person is saved is by being born again. No religion can do this for you, it is God grace that saves you and changes your heart and He writes his laws on your mind and heart.. It is the transformation that takes place when who repents of all their sins and ways and wants to be changed for good so that they start becoming more and more Christlike.. In my life it did not happen for me until I was around 30... But the Spirit in me was evident and I felt God had given me a new heart! Amazing thing! Amazing grace! God is good! But only until i had TRULY repented and loathed myself for my sins and realized truly the holiness of God did this happen to me.. You realize after your time of sorrow in repentance for your sins, that God does give you a fresh start and a clear conscience to walk with Him now in the newness of the Spirit and the new creation He has given you!

So Amen to that Randell! You have encouraged me so much by revealing your heart and spirit in this!! It is the TRUTH!!

#101  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:02 AM

To Jim Hicks,

I thank you and God for the love of Christ in you! I was very discouraged here until you commented..

Your love was a great encouragement to me! God knows I am not perfect, but I am striving toward the goal!

Thank you.. and God bless..

#102  Posted by randell danner  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:13 AM

I here what your saying Mary. Postionally we are prisoners of the Lord Jesus Christ but i do not believe that eliminates our freedom of choice. Paul spoke of dying daily to self. We have to decide when we wake up whom we will serve; who will rule our day our flesh, the world, the devil or do we give God control. Don't get me wrong you cannot give it away in a day but over a period of time (and God only knows when it happens) our conscience can become seared and become reprobate. (1 TIm 4:1-2) You can't have a seared conscience if you never had one to sear. Conscience of what? God and salvation.

and why all the warnings of falling away throughout all of scripture if we cannot ever fall from grace? One example is 1Cor 10:11-12 These things happened to them as prefigurative historical events, and they were written down as a warning to us who are living in the acharit-hayamim (the last days.)(see my comment #94) Therefore let anyone who thinks he is standing up be careful not to fall!

Brother John always says in his teaching, "then they were never saved in the first place." I believe that is very true for some and is a good point but i never felt it to be solid and applied to everyone. It depends on each person and where he/she stands with God. It's kind of like "singles ministries" (ugh) want to lump every single into one basket and say that all should remain single but that is false teaching. But that's another topic altogether. Just an example.

#103  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:19 AM

Amen Randell! I am totally excited here! I dont here this too much out of many people, and I am always listening for it. It is truly biblical and spiritual!!

#104  Posted by randell danner  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:47 AM

Thanks Cathy for letting me know that i have done some good here. You keep doing what your doing where your at. Your awesome and the grace of God is on you!

#105  Posted by randell danner  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:52 AM

And by the way Cathy, i do not have a church at all right now; protestant or otherwise. But how is it that i know the Truth??? I guess i have learned over the years to be a "self made man." What i mean is that i have had to learn to discipline myself in the Word and encourage myself as David did. It helps to have a few teachers like John MacArthur and James McDonald who have not waivered. It is safe to say that if we stick to the "Mac's" and "Mc's" we will make it.

#106  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 8:06 AM

I totally understand! When there is so much confusion of who is saved and how, and all the doctrines and denominations, those who truly want the TRUTH go seek God for themselves alone for a while. Paul did.. And that is the ONLY way to find Him.. He is personal with us and God, and the Holy Spirit leads all those who are true on the same path. He said that "the Helper will come and lead you into all truth." And in Johns letter he said that " "you do not need anyone to teach because the anointed one lives in you and teaches you everything you need to know." I am not saying that MacArthur and other spiritual true followers are not to be listened too, or why else would I be listening to GTY, because they do help us see other spiritual truths, as do the other faithful born again followers of the Lord.. We are one!

I could not agree more with you and hope you find the fellowship you desire and that the Lord will lead you to.

His peace and grace to you in abundance!

#107  Posted by John O'connor  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 8:36 AM

I find that today many want salvation but lack the desire to know Jesus Christ. If we were to read the bible daily and fully understand the teaching of Christ. We would all fall down at the foot of the cross and thank God for his grace and mercy. I pray every day that my lifestle will be a lighton to others to follow Christ. Now I struggle with this due to the sin nature of man.. Like Paul stated I do the thing I don't want to and the thing I want to do I don't. I find that being ground in the word of God by reading the scriptures daily I am able to follow the way of our Master. The bible the Truth and that truth will and does set you free.

#108  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 8:44 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#109  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 8:56 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Fellowship in truth. Be discerning and notices lies and 'whitewashing' of heresy.

#110  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:24 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

For those who think you can walk, fellowship or embrace darkness in any form and still be in the "light" and that the light would ever have you in darkness, please listen to : http://www.gty.org/AudioPlayer/Sermons/80-222 to see that those who are truly born again are delivered FROM darkness and from error and if you have darkness and cling to error you do not have the truth.

Telling the people the truth is loving them, even though, since they are in darkness they will think you hate them. Every time. But it is those, who by flatteries and seductive words, say it OK how they believe and fellowship with darkness, who truly hate them. It is the opposite of how the flesh thinks and unregenerated people never understand that because they have not been given a new heart.

#111  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:35 AM

As Christ said about false teachers and the wolves in sheep clothing: "You will know them by their fruits and what they produce." Where there is hatred, strife, evil speaking, and no empathy, no love of Christ present, this shows a persons fruit and what they are and hold in their heart.. "For what comes out of the mouth is what defiles a person."

#112  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:52 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Some words from JM as in the above sermon I referenced:

The first thing that is true of a Christian is a Christian—a true Christian, not one who says he's a Christian, a true Christian—is somebody who has come from error to truth. Satan doesn't care what people believe. He doesn't care how sincerely they believe it as long as what they believe is wrong.....................

Did you get that? It's important. He doesn't care what they believe, he sponsors all kinds of religions. He sponsors every religion on the face of the earth that isn't true. He's behind them all. He's got enough diversity for everybody. He's provided an absolutely irresistible smorgasbord. There's somewhere for everybody to plug in. He doesn't care what they believe. And frankly, he is really into sincerity.......

You know, there's new in the elite academia, you know, the liberals who assault the Bible with their darkened minds, have invented a new hermeneutic and it's given a pretty inviting title, it's called "the hermeneutics of humility.".....and this is what it is..."Oh, I am too humble to ever think that my interpretation of Scripture is right. And I am too humble to ever think that your interpretation could be wrong."

Isn't that magnanimous? But that is a damning approach. There is a right and a wrong interpretation to Scripture. But that's the climate of hermeneutics of humility...it's really the hermeneutics of darkness.............

And we have enshrined pluralism and tolerance on a higher throne than truth, haven't we? We don't even care if the candidates battling out for political office lie. It doesn't matter to this society anymore. It doesn't matter. So used to lying leaders, we'd feel uncomfortable if they told us the truth and we probably wouldn't believe them anyway. So there are people who think it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you call it Christianity...just label it Christianity and that's all that's required. Everything from Roman Catholicism, which denies that sinners are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, to the extreme charismatic word "faith movement" which corrupts the nature of Christ, corrupts the death of Christ, the doctrine of Christ and makes salvation some ticket to wealth and health. And the liberals question the Bible who have a works salvation, want to embrace them, have them in for the evangelistic meetings, bring in everybody, the liberals, the Catholics, the fringe extreme Charismatics, everybody because doctrine doesn't really matter.............

This isn't new, by the way. The church has fought for its own purity for a long time. It's just new to evangelicals. Modern evangelicals are eager to downplay doctrine, they say doctrine divides. And they want to tolerate everything. It's amazing to me they even want to tolerate explicitly contradictory belief systems so they forge alliances, spiritual alliances with Catholicism, eastern orthodoxy, Charismatic extremists, liberals. And you know, it's so clear in 2 Corinthians 6, "What fellowship does light have with darkness? What concord has Christ with Satan? How can two walk together except they be agreed. Come out from among them and be separate, don't touch that unclean lie."...........

So you can't just accept everything. This is the strategy of Satan. We've got to be discerning..............

Now that leads to the final question...what is the body of truth which delivers? What is the body of truth that must be believed? Does the Bible clearly identify specific truths as essential?.....................

So it starts with believing Scripture. We...we...to be a true Christian, you must believe that the Word of God is authoritative and that it speaks the truth of God...sola scriptura. You see, in the Roman Catholic Church it's just not that way. The Roman Catholic Church commonly threatens eternal damnation on anybody who questions the decrees of the Pope or the dogma of Church council. For example, Canon one of the seventh session of the Council of Trent pronounces anathema, damnation on anyone, who says there are more or less than the seven Sacraments established by that council. You're going to go to hell if you deny that there are seven if you say there are six or eight. That means that if any Catholic questions the Sacrament of Confirmation, Penance or Extreme Unction, to say nothing of Protestants who question all of them, even though none of them is mentioned in Scripture, not one of them,......

Secondly, we not only believe the Bible is the source of these truths but, secondly, that the truths fundamental to salvation are clearly set forth in the Bible. That is we're not talking about some secret hidden thing, some mystery, some cryptic message somehow written backwards, upside-down, or across at angles. Jesus said He didn't...He didn't reveal these things to the wise and prudent, but He hid them from the wise and prudent, Matthew records, and He revealed them to babes. It's not riddles, it's not cryptic, it's not secret code, it's not backwards writing, it's not something that is hard to understand. The testimony of the Lord is sure and it makes even the simplest wise.

#113  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:56 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

There wouldn't be any disagreement if some on here stopped believing in false teachings. The disagreement comes from those who are deceived. Standing up and pointing out ones deception isn't lying and strife and evil speaking as some would have you believe. Those things come from the very ones who speak falsehoods and claim tehy are truth. The evil, the lying, the strife all comes from those enslaved to darkness. But of course,the darkness doesn't understand the light, so they will always accuse the true followers as being the divisive ones.

#114  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:05 AM

I see you put as much faith in your religion and the teachers of it as the Catholics do the Pope.. I on the other hand dont, but in God alone do I trust and His word.. You hold doctrines that are not scriptural, but that is okay! Protestants are the worse of the wolves.. Because they still adhere to some of the traditions of the RCC, such as Sunday worship while they condemn them.. Your talk is all religious and political which is something I am very disinterested in, because Jesus was. He was about the Spirit and the things of the Spirit. Indeed we must separate ourselves from the darkness, but I think your light is really darkness, and as Christ said, "How dark is that light." Because you are very disinterested talking about the love of Christ, and only condemning of heresy.. You really should test yourself to see if you are walking in the truth. Does you attitude line up the attitude of Christ? Christ do not go around condemning people and saying "Heresy"! The ones who did that were the Pharisees, and they did it to HIM.....

#115  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:14 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Cathy,

I have and do strongly disagree with you. I have provided sermon links, scripture references and told you point blank that you cannot be fellowshipping with darkness and claim to have the light. For that you believe I hate you. That is how those of the world think, so I understand. But I love you enough, In Truth, to say it anyway. One day I pray you will truly understand.

You say you are a confirmed RC who (and I quote): I took partake of the cup of demons and you say: I have remained with them because I truly believe that out of all the 500,000 Christian religions, not one is correct and all have their own doctrines, so I wish to remain with the first.

So by your own admission, you partake of the cup of demons, you exagerrate greatly numbers even when pointed out to you repeatedly, and you claimed, falsely, that the RCC is the first church. You claim you don't believe everything they do yet you claim you are confirmed and in confirmation you have to affirm the beliefs of the RCC. So there is a huge lie in there. You don't believe in scripture alone and you quote a woman who is a major blasphemer and uses the "F" word to describe her relationship with our LORD. You also claimed that God wants you to fellowship in darkness to save some which is in direct opposition to scripture.

These things ALL came out of YOUR MOUTH. So indeed, it is that which comes out of the mouth that defiles a person.

I have a love for Christ which is why I defend against falsehoods even though they will hate me. What has come out of my mouth is a defence of Gods Word and a pointing out of error. I understand that those in darkness will hate that.

#116  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:30 AM

And you too contradict yourself with saying sola scripture and believing in doctrines that are not scriptural.. Scripture says, "DO NOT GO BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN."

Your fruits prove what is in your heart.. Instead of trying to help me in love, you are just condemning me with heresy.. I see that you have no clue how to do that, and I really wish to no longer dialogue with you because you are more interested in proving me wrong for be a RC (which I am not) instead of helping me see the love of Christ, which can be found in the Catholic church.. Shauna, I hope you understand that in all you have said to me and your claims of trying to help me see, you have done nothing to prove anything to want me to be like you.. And that is not how to win another to Christ, although I have Him.. You will never convert people by banging them over the head with your theology views, the only thing that wins a person to Christ is His love and truth.. Not your truth or your false doctrines truths, but Christ the only truth.. I believe in the Word of God and everything that its against such as murder, homosexuality, divorce, and etc including your false doctrines that the bible forbids..

You will be in my prayers and may God grant you the grace to see people through His eyes and grace instead of your religion..

#117  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:33 AM

Cathy, I scanned through the responses. I didn't read ALL of them (there are a lot), but I didn't see people attacking you. People were trying to get you to see that you are in a fire so to speak, and you need to get out. I realize that you have thought, prayed and read quite a bit about staying in the RCC, but you are white-washing quite a bit. Take the Sacraments. They aren't just good practice to exercise in obedience to one's faith. In the RCC the sacraments are EFFICACIOUS, meaning they are required to earn salvation. This is a KEY issue of separation from the Bible. The Mass is just not a worship service, it is literally the recrucifixion of Jesus!! Wow. No wonder Martin Luther trembled at the thought. Jesus died once for sin (Romans 6:10).

I could go on and on Cathy. All people have asked you to do is to take another look at the doctrines of the church you attend, and compare them with Scripture.

#118  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:33 AM

Cathy Ardovino:

I've been observing this discussion from the sidelines, but it's time for me to jump in and point out a couple of things. (I would've entered earlier...I've just lacked the time!)

First, Cathy, Gabriel asked you a question about the gospel you have ignored (comment #86). That makes me very suspicious about you.

The question is this: Do you believe that eternal salvation from the holy, righteous wrath of God for our sin against Him is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? Or, do you not believe that? The RCC does not believe that. It will affirm salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but it will not (honestly, with integrity) affirm the addition of the word "alone" to modify "grace," "faith," and "Jesus Christ."

Instead, RCC doctrine eclipses the grace of God with human initiative, adds human works to the divinely-bestowed gift of faith, and tacitly denies the total sufficiency of Jesus Christ by adding other mediators (contra 1 Tim. 2:5) and practicing the mass (denying his perfect, once-for-all atoning sacrifice for our sins; cf. 1 Pet. 3:18).

So, are you a true, confirmed adherent of the Roman Catholic Church, or not? If you are not, then why are you fellowshipping outside of the truth? If you are, then why are you playing the hypocrite? Your complaints about the lack of love on this blog are nothing but a red herring, and it's starting to stink something awful. You have not brought biblical arguments to this discussion, and your opinions have become wearisome.

Second, rather than answer Gabriel's question, you said (comment #88), "I'm signing off this blog." But here you are again. I'll give you 15 minutes or so to answer Gabriel's gospel-centered question (which is the sole basis of our "Fellowship in Truth"). If you fail to answer it clearly, or if you continue the smoke-and-mirrors tactics, I'm going to block you from commenting any further on anything we post.

After all you've subjected us to, I think that's fair. The clock starts now...

Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry

#119  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:39 AM

Cathy, you keep bringing up love. Let me challenge you to read John MacArthur's new book, The Jesus You Can't Ignore. I don't recommend it because his writing is infallible, or perfect. But because it's thesis is to reject the "love" argument you keep making. Jesus EMPHATICALLY rejected the Pharisees and Saducees with tough language. He threw no life preserver to them except immediate radical repentence from their human religion...

#120  Posted by Cathy Ardovino  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:47 AM

Travis,

I answered every question Gabriel asked me, you obviously did not read them.. And Gabriel apologized for the others treatment to me in a private email, but I see you also have a hard time seeing Christ love throughout all I said. You people do not know anything about the RCC.. I suggest you get a catechism and read it and I guarantee you everything I said is true, and you all 100% wrong about the mass.. I studied the RCC for years, but I am sure you havent.. Your religion hold false doctrines that are not scriptural so you should not be worshiping by sola scripture, that would make you a hypocrite..

Travis I no longer wish to be on this blog, here there are only religious self righteous attitudes, you dont have to kick me off, but it is obvious why you wish too..

Go back and re read if you want the answers to your questions, I refuse to write them again..

For Mike, I did read John Mac's book The Jesus you cant Ignore, but obviously we both got two different views from it.. I saw it as exactly what is going on on this blog. Pharisees against the real love of Christ.

#121  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:53 AM

Cathy Ardovino:

You've just provided another perfect example of your refusal to give an account, your blind aproval of the RCC, and your commitment to obfuscation. Everyone sees it. Goodbye.

Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry

#122  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:54 AM

Sorry about that, everyone. Please continue...

Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry

#123  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:59 AM

One thing I have looked for and studied, is a solid defense of Sola Scriptura. Why Scripture is the ONLY source for faith and practice, etc. Most theology books mention it but don't develop it. John MacArthur's sermons on the subject that I have heard don't develop much depth to PROVE it is true from Scripture. Any help out there on this?

#124  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 12:40 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Mark,

Our LORD tells us to search the scriptures. He doesn't add another set of documents or traditions to them.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Hope that helps!

#125  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 1:37 PM

Shauna,

I am familiar with that. Thanks. It seems iffy to me and my logical brain (I am a PhD physicist) to claim this is EXCLUSIVE...for example 2 Tim 3:15 shows the Scriptures make one wise for salvation. I am missing the ONLY Scriptures makes one wise unto salvatiion...

#126  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 1:42 PM

I am looking for solid proof of the SOLA in SOLA SCRIPTURA. To be clear, I belive this to be true, but I have yet to see a solid biblical argument for why ONLY Scripture...

#127  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 2:13 PM

Mark,

I don't know that you'll find a single verse that makes a slam-dunk case for sola Scriptura, but moreso the whole tenor of Scripture.

A good place to start would be 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which ends with the statement, "that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (emphasis mine). In other words, Scripture leaves man lacking nothing. Also Peter says, "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him..." (2 Peter 1:3). We have everything we need through the knowledge of Christ which of course we have only through Scripture.

Then there is Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 which extol the unparalled wonder of God's Word. Those who do not hold to the sufficiency of Scripture quite simply don't understand Scripture. You cannot have a high view of Scripture and think that on matters pertaining to life and godliness there is more truth to be had outside of Scripture.

Hope that helps a bit.

#128  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 2:47 PM

Mark –

Thanks so much for your inquiry. When I came out of the RCC system the majority of my family remained. The ones that are the most defensive and emotional about it have shown a real hatred of the Sola Scriptura principle. I have had numerous discussions with loved ones of my family and we always end up stuck on this foundational point. They became very worked up that Sola Scriptura is a false principle and they get many of their arguments from the internet Catholic apologist websites – especially those who have apostatized from true Christianity. In the last 3 or so years I have come across many fine articles that speak to the issue of Sola Scriptura – here are just a few of my favorite that I had compiled into a Word document:

“The Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is True” by Shandon L. Guthrie

“Question: What is Sola Scriptura?” author unknown

“Surprised by What? A Defense of Sola Scriptura” by Jake Magee

“The Wrong Kind of Unity” by Phil Johnson

“Why so many Denominations?” by Phil Johnson

“Opening Statement in Sola Scriptura debate between James White and Patrick Madrid”

“Does God Still Give Revelation?” by John MacArthur

“Prophecy and the Closed Canon, Parts 1-3” by John MacArthur

“In Defense of Sola Scriptura” by C.M. Patton

“Is Sola Scriptura a Protestant Concoction?” by Dr. Greg Bahnsen

“Did I really leave the Holy Catholic Church?” by William Webster

“Perspicuity of Scripture: The Emergent Approach” by John MacArthur

“Denying Sola Scriptura” by Greg DeMar

“Providence and Promise – How God Rules His Universe For the Good of His People” by Bob DeWaay

“What is Truth?” by John MacArthur

“A Review and Rebuttal of Steve Ray’s Article, Why the Bereans Rejected Sola Scriptura.” by James White

“The Certainty of the Written Word of Truth” by Richard Bennett and Robert Nicholson

“Sola Scriptura and the Early Church” by William Webster

I have all these documents compiled in one Word file if you’d like me to forward it to you. Also – I would appreciate any other useful materials others may have on the subject.

This is such a critical topic. Those who add to God’s Word seem to think that if they can dismantle Sola Scriptura the results of the Protestant Reformation will crumble as well.

One more – here’s a great book I purchased from RC Sproul entitled: “Sola Scriptura – The Protestant Position on the Bible” which has many fine articles by eight godly men – including John MacArthur.

Maranatha! Dan

#129  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Friday, March 12, 2010at 12:02 PM

It is interesting that historically Sola Scriptura is part of the Protestant vs RCC debate. That is really not an issue for me...My issue is dealing with Charismatics, not Bishops and the Pope. In this context, the critical notion is that God only speaks authoritatively through the Word of God, and not prophecies, inner voices, dreams, etc...

#133  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Friday, March 12, 2010at 8:36 PM

Dan,

Post#128. I, like Mark (though far short of his education) am very cerebral in understanding God's Word and theology. Please send me your compilation of articles.

Thanks

#134  Posted by randell danner  |  Saturday, March 13, 2010at 4:48 AM

I don't want anyone to take this as sarcasm as there has been much lately, but i just wonder if it is possible that there are MacArthur followers who take things to opposite extremes, such as Mark here and throw "all" spiritual gifts out with the dirty water of the modern day Pharisees called Charismatics/Pentecostals? I am not boasting because i do not consider myself a prophet and do not go around prophesyng everyones "fortune" all the time but i can say that i have yet to get anything wrong. I am very careful what i say and when i say it. As for dreams and visions, yes i believe God still uses them as long as they line up with His Word and His plan. How do we build ministries without them? I do not rule such things out beause one or more sects have abused and perverted those gifts. As far as inner voices i'm not sure what you mean. I do believe in hearing a still small voice that speaks to me in different ways. As far as hearing God's voice audibly, NO. Unless He is speaking through another person yes, but God is a Spirit and we must hear Him with a spiritual ear. Although it seems like when He does speak, at times it does appear to be audibly in my head or in my heart. Did Jesus not say that, My sheep hear my voice."

There is another position of other churches that call themselves "Bible Churches" that also go into opposite extremes and try to be noncharismatic and fall into psychology and the such. Many are using "Celebrate Recovery" concocted and plagerized by Rick W. and this is not biblical neither. So Mark there are two major camps that we have to argue against.

#135  Posted by Paul Schnell  |  Saturday, March 13, 2010at 8:07 AM

Dan,

I just found out I need to post my e-mail on the blog for you to send something to me. Please send your document to pmschnell@gmail.com

Thanks very much,

Paul

#136  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, March 13, 2010at 9:26 AM

Randell,

Yes, it is true that people often go to extremes in reacting against each other. But the goal is not to be balanced, but to be biblical. Many of us do not believe in the modern gifts of prophecy (defined as foretelling the future), and healing because we simply do not see valid biblical reasons for it. Yes, some don't believe in them because of the abuses, but you're right, that shouldn't be the reason. We should strive to be biblical, not balanced.

You asked, "As for dreams and visions, yes i believe God still uses them as long as they line up with His Word and His plan. How do we build ministries without them?" Scripture is sufficient to tell us 1) what we should be doing, and 2) how we should be doing it. Most modern ministries, while often doing good things, are not in line with Scripture because they are stepping on the toes of the church. Imagine what the church (the only institution God created and promised to build) could do if all the money given to parachurch organizations was funnelled through the church. Yes, I realize there are many things that small churches cannot accomplish, so a parachurch is helpful. But by and large most parachurch ministries, while accomplishing good things, are not biblical ministries.

So bringing it back to the core, we should be striving to be as biblical as possible, not do whatever we feel like and find ways to legitimize it biblically. In other words, rather than asking, "does what I want to do permitted in Scripture?" we should ask, "what does Scripture say I should be doing, and how does it say I should be doing it?"

To just to give an example based on what you said. You said, "I am not boasting because i do not consider myself a prophet and do not go around prophesyng everyones "fortune" all the time but i can say that i have yet to get anything wrong. I am very careful what i say and when i say it." How do you distinguish between prophecy and good discernment/prediction? A prophet isn't someone who carefully says something about the future that turns out to be true. A prophet is someone who has received a special word of knowledge directly from God and publically proclaims it to God's people.

#142  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Friday, March 19, 2010at 12:38 PM

Gabriel, I'm curious. You say, "Many of us do not believe in the modern gifts of prophecy (defined as foretelling the future), and healing because we simply do not see valid biblical reasons for it."

I agree with you completely on the gift of prophesy as far as it means foretelling of the future. 1 Cor. 13:9 and James 1:23, 24 make it pretty clear that the perfect law of God has come. (Perfect meaning complete, whole.) That said, we have no more need of partial prophecy to know God's will. We have His complete will revealed in Scripture. Beyond John's revelation of well...the book of Revelation, I can't imagine a spiritual need to know the specific future. Beyond preparing for the return of Christ by repenting, worshiping and serving Him, I can't imagine a practical need to know the future. But I am confused by what you mean "gifts of healing"?

Are you talking about what I call apostle specific gifts of healing? For instance, like in Acts 19 when even handkerchiefs that were taken from Paul's body conveyed his anointing and healed to those who received them. (Understanding that no matter how it was affected, it was God that did the healing.) That seemed to be something unique to Paul. I can't recall another place in scripture where it is spoken of or encouraged for us as a practice. Or do you include all instances of miraculous healing in both modern and biblical contexts?

If that is what you're saying, I think you would be hard pressed to show that God doesn't heal people miraculously today. I think you would have a hard time disproving the value and scriptural mandate of elders laying on hands and praying for a sick person as per James 5:14. I have seen personally, the x-rays of my mother, a very dear woman of faith, when they showed tumors and things that made her sick. I have seen the follow up x-rays, after much prayer, that showed up completely clean to the astonishment of her doctors. That being the case, we see clearly in scripture that God does heal some people, we are commanded in scripture to seek prayer when we are sick, and many people, myself included can testify that miraculous healing with no natural explanation does happen still today.

Now, if you're talking about the "apostle specific" type gift of healing, that many claim to possess today (ie "faith healers") then yeah I agree completely. There is no clear scriptural precedent for us to claim or practice that. Every time I see Benny Hinn hit somebody with his coat or hear of Todd Bentley punching some poor, sick, old guy and claiming that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, it really awakens rage in me.

I think maybe we agree on this...just from reading your other posts, but I'm curious to know for sure.

In Christ...

Mike

Sola gratia, sola fide, solus christus, soli Deo gloria, sola scriptura!

#143  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, March 19, 2010at 3:34 PM

By "gift of healing" I mean a capability given to a human by the Spirit. God doesn't have the gift because it is part of his nature, namely, his omnipotence. And I do believe God is free to interfere in human events in this way should choose to.

Hope that clears it up...

#144  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Friday, March 19, 2010at 3:41 PM

Gotcha....that's what I figured.

#145  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, March 19, 2010at 4:39 PM

That's good exchange between you two (Mike and Gabriel). A lot of people don't understand that when we say we don't believe in the gifts of healing we are NOT saying that God doesn't heal anymore.

I like that Gabriel pointed out that God doesn't have the gift of healing. =)

There is one thing that really bothers me among all the charismatic people. They do not exercise any discernment. Like Mike, I was there too, but I don't look back anymore (ya know, when you say to yourself "I wish someone had tried telling me the Truth so my eyes would be opened"?). It's all part of the plan of God, I am just really thankful that it did happen eventually and God opened my eyes. But anyway, back to what I was saying, there's a lot of lack of discernment in the charismatic movement, a LOT of mysticism, that really bothers me (I am trying to stress the fact that it bothers me, I am sorry, it really does). Can I give two recent examples?

My bil (brother-in-law). Raised in Assemblies of God in Brazil. They started very legalistic and now I don't believe they themselves know where they are! It's a mixture of pentecostalism, word of faith, prosperity, all that charismatic stuff, ugh! You name it, they accept it all in the name of not putting God inside a box, you know what I mean? So I used to talk to him a lot about the fundamental doctrines, etc. He listens up to a point. He tells me about all these "miracles" that God was/is doing in Brazil. Has anyone heard of the gold teeth? Yes, that. How can I argue with someone that simply prefers to believe because he is afraid of putting God inside a box?

Another thing that reaaaaly bothers me is usually in the charismatic movement satan is all-powerful. I tell you, when people (Christians!!!) come with that stupidity to me, I have to breath deeply a couple of times. So my mil (mother-in-law) said to my husband the other day over the phone: "such-and-such is having problems putting her life back together after the divorce because her husband is praying against her prayers." And so it goes, no talk about the perfect and sovereign will of God, no no, it's just satan and people fighting all the time.

But I have a point, it's not off-topic. =) How can we have fellowship with people like that? Be patient Elaine, patient.

E.

#146  Posted by Emily Morgan  |  Friday, March 19, 2010at 11:00 PM

I think I've been reading this blog for about 2 or 3 hours,(don't laugh, I tried to read fast). There are so many things I want to comment on that I guess I'll just pick one.

That whole discussion with Cathy was very interesting, and I believe that anyone who has grasped the Truth of God and tasted how sweet it is, and has been shown through their own lives how deceptive Satan can be through things like the Charismatic movement, RCC, and my latest, the Hebrew Roots Movement, will cling to the Truth with all their might and never let go. I admire Shauna's and the rest's courage and endurance in that whole debate. At first I thought that Shauna's first response was somewhat harsh, but after reading what things it brought out in the light, I am thankful for that example of "nippin' it in the bud" I'm a timid person by nature and have to fight every day against backbiting, because I'm too chicken to come right out and say what I need to to people. Right now, I have a neighbor who is RC who I love very dearly, and I want her to see the truth so badly, but I don't know where to start. We talk about religion a lot, but never in a confrontational way. I find that she is very superstitious and hard to convince. Pleast pray for me to be able to speak the truth in love to her at the right time and in the right way.

BTW, the only disunity I observed in the conversation came from a RC and someone who doesn't go to church. I only say that to point out that neither one, even though they were commenting on a protestant blog, seemed to really care for any protestants, yet they cried hate when a protestant stood up for a protestant belief on a protestant website. Just an observation.