Why is Faith the Gift of God? Faith in What?

Tertiumquid

Member
Here's one I came across on a Roman Catholic website:

The Catechism defines faith as “man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man . . . By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God . . . it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed . . . all that which is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed” (26, 143, 150, 182).
Faith, then, is not simply agreement with the doctrinal content of the Catholic religion. To count as true faith, we must make a free choice to trust in the Church’s religious authority. Otherwise, we are not really giving our assent (as a free act of the will), but just professing belief on some other grounds—convincing arguments, personal desire or experience, even ignorance. This is why “faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him” (CCC 153), and not simply an opinion one has come to by some other means.

There are a number of points worthy of extraction... but what stands out is "faith" is here expounded as placing your "free will" in the revealed truth of God (written or in tradition) found "in the Church's religious authority." It's only "a gift of God" if you trust in the Roman church.

Fascinating. The article goes on to say:

So true faith includes a free-will trust in religious authority—not just accidental agreement with that authority on other grounds. For Christians, that authority is God’s revelation through the Church, whose Sacred Tradition produced Sacred Scripture and guards its orthodox interpretation.

So, if someone says he has Christian faith, yet disagrees with Church teaching on some point or points, it would have to be because he thinks the Church has erred. But this makes no sense unless he was not really assenting to the Church’s authority in the first place. However rigorous the process by which he reached his dissenting opinion, ultimately it was based on something besides submission to religious authority and thus—like his agreement with the Church in other matters—was not of true faith.

Comparing all this to Ephesians 2... um, something seems a little.... off.
 

Teresa

Member
Scripture also calls for us to co-operate with Gods gift of grace. We are not robots without free will.
 

Nondenom40

Well-known member
Here's one I came across on a Roman Catholic website:




There are a number of points worthy of extraction... but what stands out is "faith" is here expounded as placing your "free will" in the revealed truth of God (written or in tradition) found "in the Church's religious authority." It's only "a gift of God" if you trust in the Roman church.

Fascinating. The article goes on to say:



Comparing all this to Ephesians 2... um, something seems a little.... off.
I've often held off calling the rcc a cult, but the article you have here plus the ccc and what we've seen here for decades by catholics i really find it hard not to label them a cult. Heres just one paragraph from the ccc.

100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

And a quote or two from recent discussions;

romishpopishorganist said:
In other words--you will pass on my question. You would prefer not to tell me what you think Catholics understand the concept of merit as.

Has it occurred to you that the reason I am asking this is not because I think you are stupid, but because I think you may be misunderstanding what is meant by the word "merit."

Luther also misunderstood what was meant by the word "merit" when Catholics talk about "meriting" salvation and I know of no one who believes Luther was stupid. This was brought out in his famous debate----I forget whether it was Eck or Cajetan.

The point is that we can't really discuss the issues that divide us unless we truly understand what the other side is saying and not saying.
If you have the official lexicon of catholic words i'd be happy to look up the term merit. Can you link that to us?

Found “here

romishpopishorganist said:
Alright congrads. You can quote from the CCC. Being able to quote something, does not mean you understand what you are quoting. I can quote from Protestant sources as well as you can from Catholic sources. My ability to quote says nothing about my understanding.

So: show me you understand what you are quoting. Please tell me how the Catholic Church understands the word "merit." Please tell me in your own words how you think the term "merit" is being used in the CCC. We can go from there.
Stop making out you are the only intelligent person on this forum. Most posters here have quoted from the catechism correctly. In fact, a couple of us have used the catechism to correct RCs who have misunderstood RC teachings.

Same thread #132

Its interesting that there has to be a 'catholic' definition of words, and many times biblical words; expiation, justification, sanctification...

I'm old enough to still remember the debates between Dr. Walter Martin and Mitch Pacwa. I'm wondering why Dr. Martin never included the rcc in his Kingdom of the Cults? I pulled his book off the shelf and there is nothing in the index on it. Curious.
 

Tertiumquid

Member
I've often held off calling the rcc a cult,

I'm old enough to still remember the debates between Dr. Walter Martin and Mitch Pacwa. I'm wondering why Dr. Martin never included the rcc in his Kingdom of the Cults? I pulled his book off the shelf and there is nothing in the index on it. Curious.
Sorry to snip out a lot of what you posted... time limits... From my perspective, "cult" is a loaded term that's dependent on definitions and presuppositions. In one of my 3 copies of Martin's book, he states:

By the term cult I mean nothing derogatory to any group so classified. A cult, as I define it, is any religious group which differs significantly in one or more respects as to belief or practice from those religious groups which are regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total culture. (p.11 in the 1985 edition).

Without looking up Martin's view of Rome, I suspect he classified Romanism as a normative expression.

I also saw those debates with Pacwa when they were broadcasted, and well... I think Pacwa demonstrated why the most cogent interactions with the errors of Rome come from the Reformed. Martin, whom I still admire, didn't do so good.
 

Nondenom40

Well-known member
Sorry to snip out a lot of what you posted... time limits... From my perspective, "cult" is a loaded term that's dependent on definitions and presuppositions. In one of my 3 copies of Martin's book, he states:



Without looking up Martin's view of Rome, I suspect he classified Romanism as a normative expression.

I also saw those debates with Pacwa when they were broadcasted, and well... I think Pacwa demonstrated why the most cogent interactions with the errors of Rome come from the Reformed. Martin, whom I still admire, didn't do so good.
Ha, i have the very same edition. On the same page he states;

"From a theological viewpoint, the cults contain many major deviations from historic Christianity. Yet paradoxically, they continue to insist that they are entitled to be classified as Christians."

Not arguing with you, but agreeing. Still, it seems the roman catholic church fits the bill. To some extent. But i've never gone to the mat to label them a cult. In my mind they have numerous false teachings and they are a mission field. I try to focus on that. Glad to see you around...
 

balshan

Well-known member
what verse / verses are you basing this on?

believers are to bend / turn to His will instead of their (fallen) will.
Exactly.

Rom 12:20

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Cor 2:14-16

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

This to me means that we do not need the RCC, Scripture never says we are to have the mind of the RCC. It clearly says we are to discern by testing.

This means we know His will. Our will is His will.

But I am sure the RCC will have changed the meaning of these words to suit their purposes.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
I think religious faith in a Christian context is ultimately about freely placing one's trust in God. This includes trust in the Church He established and the scriptures which He caused to be written. Our knowledge of special revelation is always mediated knowledge: God has not directly revealed the dogmas of the faith directly to us. They are mediated by the Church through scripture and Tradition. Consequently, we need to freely trust (have faith in) the authority that mediates them.

Having said that, I think there is a very important place for reasoned arguments and to say that those who come to trust God based on such arguments don't really have faith is wrong.
 

mica

Well-known member
I think religious faith in a Christian context is ultimately about freely placing one's trust in God. This includes trust in the Church He established and the scriptures which He caused to be written. Our knowledge of special revelation is always mediated knowledge: God has not directly revealed the dogmas of the faith directly to us. They are mediated by the Church through scripture and Tradition. Consequently, we need to freely trust (have faith in) the authority that mediates them.
...
the 'church' (called out people) that He established is those who are born again. They believe in Him and follow Him, not man - the RCC.

the scriptures He caused to be written are found within a book we now call the Bible, not in the writings of catholic men that is called the CCC.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
the 'church' (called out people) that He established is those who are born again. They believe in Him and follow Him, not man - the RCC.

the scriptures He caused to be written are found within a book we now call the Bible, not in the writings of catholic men that is called the CCC.
Okay, I know you don't accept the Catholic Church but the principle still follows - that faith is very much also put into an authority (whoever wrote and put together the Bible; whoever is claiming to be born again).
 

mica

Well-known member
Okay, I know you don't accept the Catholic Church but the principle still follows - that faith is very much also put into an authority (whoever wrote and put together the Bible; whoever is claiming to be born again).
so faith in the God, not the RCC. unless you believe the RCC is God.
 

mica

Well-known member
Okay, I know you don't accept the Catholic Church but the principle still follows - that faith is very much also put into an authority (whoever wrote and put together the Bible; whoever is claiming to be born again).
that's why those who believe in and follow the RCC are catholics and those who believe in and follow Christ are Christians.
 

Teresa

Member
Teresa said:
Scripture also calls for us to co-operate with Gods gift of grace. We are not robots without free will.
Where does God's word say we must cooperate with His gift of grace?
That inference comes from Acts 7, Steven chastising the Jewish Council ...

51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers.

Also Hebrews 6...

4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt.

2 Corinthians 6 has Paul telling the Corinthians...

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.

And verse 11 -13

11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12 There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13 In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.

There can be restrictions of the heart that resist the Holy Spirit.

There's an abundance of evidence in Gods Word, that we have a part in accepting the Holy Spirit.
 

mica

Well-known member
That inference comes from Acts 7, Steven chastising the Jewish Council ...

51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers.

Also Hebrews 6...

4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt.

2 Corinthians 6 has Paul telling the Corinthians...

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.

And verse 11 -13

11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12 There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13 In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.

There can be restrictions of the heart that resist the Holy Spirit.

There's an abundance of evidence in Gods Word, that we have a part in accepting the Holy Spirit.
I'm sure many people do that at times for a time. some might not realize it is the Holy Spirit or what the Spirit is saying, urging etc. the Holy Spirit can never lead or guide someone contrary / outside of scripture so when the RCC says it is guided by the Holy Spirit, that is not true. the same with individual catholics. I'm sure that when I was a new believer I had times I didn't know it was the Holy Spirit. tho that time I spent 'arguing' with the Holy Spirit I did know Who it was but also felt comfortable doing that because I knew that the Spirit knew that I was new (wow...) and was working thru some old unbiblical beliefs. I had a lot yet to learn (as I still do).
 

mica

Well-known member
As a Roman Catholic, the priests and nuns taught me to faith in that religion is to have faith in them: Roman Catholic religious leaders.

The new "gospel" they teach is: believe in the Roman Catholic religious leaders and you may be saved.

A miserable "gospel."
yes it is, one made up by man.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
so faith in the God, not the RCC. unless you believe the RCC is God.
Faith in both. "Faith" ultimately means trust, so you can have faith in multiple things. Our primary faith is towards God, and by extension, His Church. However, I also have faith in other people, that my car will start in the morning, etc.
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Ephesians 2
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We are not saved by faith. We are saved by grace through faith, as opposed to works of the Law.

Since salvation is a gift from God by grace (mercy), He also provides the means, which is faith in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit witnesses to us that the gospel is true. To those without the internal witness of the Spirit the gospel is foolishness.

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Acts 16:14

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The gospel is preached and hearts are opened to those that are saved by God's grace. A measure of faith is given to them by the Holy Spirit to believe the gospel. We don't get credit for anything, faith included. Salvation is from God only, or else it cannot be by grace. The name of Jesus means Jehovah Saves.

God bless.
 
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