Talk:Justification by faith alone (G.G.)
Historical note about selling indulgences
It's inaccurate to state that the Church sold "forgiveness for money". Indeed, a handful of corrupt priests had done so in efforts to raise money for the construction of Churches, financing the Crusades, and so forth. But often, when this information had reached the ears of Bishops, warrants for arrest of the offending priests were issued. Yes -- corruption existed in the Church. This is admitted fully. But the Church does not claim to be perfect in act, which would be absurd. It claims to be infallible only on questions of faith and morals; in other words, on questions of doctrine. The criminal actions of isolated individuals (who were condemned by the Church) do not speak against the Church as a whole.
-- Very respectfully, AmericanCatholic
- I agree with AmericanCatholic's point... First, the Church was certainly not "selling forgiveness". Technically, some corrupt clergymen were selling indulgences, not forgiveness. An "indulgence" is when the Church, through the infinite merits of Jesus, grants a remittance from the temporal punishment due to a sin, the guilt of which has already been forgiven. In order to gain an indulgence for a sin, the sin must already be forgiven. An indulgence applies to the concept of Purgatory, not our eternal salvation. Second, the Church claims infallibility only in certain of its teachings, never its actions. The Church is, as AmericanCatholic pointed out, full of sinners too who sometimes make mistakes. I'm going to write an essay on Faith Plus Works (God willing), so I won't go into the finer points of Grove's arguments right now -- P.B. Pilhet / Talk 20:47, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Faith without works is dead.
- Yep. "What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him?" And also, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?" Luther tried to remove the Book of James from his German Bible translation - in the end, though, he couldn't justify it, so he stuck the epistle in his appendix instead. However, Luther did remove the deuterocanon from the Bible, because the Jews decided (long after Jesus came) not to include it in their canon. Apparently, even though the reformers claimed the Bible is the sole authority ("Sola Scriptura"), they felt like they had the authority to say what the Bible is! :P -- P.B. Pilhet / Talk 08:00, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
- Thank you for your comments. I guess if the great religious thinkers on both sides haven't been able to resolve the issue and come to an agreement, then we'll not either. My own view is that James 2 and other similar passages are talking about how real faith results in a transformed life with holy and righteous living. Thus if someone becomes a Christian and doesn't gradually change to become more obedient to God with time, then that person probably doesn't really believe what he says he does - i.e. he doesn't have a genuine faith. --Graham 20:10, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
- A lot of Protestant Christians (especially those who believe in "Once Saved, Always Saved", or "Perseverance of the Saints") see justification as a momentary event that doesn't need to be preserved (i.e., it can't be lost no matter what). Other Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that justification can be lost through unrepented, serious sin. Thus, these Christians hold that to be saved a person must be justified on earth, and then retain that justification until death. It's when you die that counts... If you're not "in a state of grace" when you die, then no matter what you did during your lifetime, it doesn't matter. Anyways, I agree with Graham; true faith is working, transforming faith. Anything else is dead and lifeless, and cannot save anyone. The thief on the cross was saved because he not only had faith but also a "change of heart." -- P.B. Pilhet / Talk 06:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)