Either Saint Paul Is a Blazing Hypocrite, Or protestants Are Dead Wrong September 29, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, reading, Restoration, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
Strangely enough, I doctor I have seen for many years is also an evangelical protestant minister. He, quite improperly, really, likes to try to evangelize his patients. I walked into his office with a copy of St. Francis de Sales in my hand recently, and he gave me a stern look at told me to read Galatians iii. Galatians chapter 3 verse 10-11 are one of those go to Bible phrases, taken completely out of context, that protestants love to quote to try to prove the rightness of their false and short-lived version of Christianity. Others include Romans 3:28 and even, amazingly, Romans 1:17, which is also taken out of context and is all the more silly for what follows, viz, Romans i:29-32, wherein Saint Paul, like our Blessed Lord in Saint Matthew Chapter xxv:31-46 among many other places, makes certain behaviors – sins – so contrary to the Faith as to deny one eternal salvation:
29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,
30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they, who do such things, are worthy of death: [eternal death, denial of salvation] and not only they who do them, but they also who consent to them that do them.
Here Saint Paul is saying two things – one, those who lack sanctifying Grace will almost invariably fall into myriad sins, but also that those who commit such sins lack – or LOSE – sanctifying Grace, if they already had it, and thus will be damned when previously they could have been saved.
Eschewing sin and leading a moral life is most definitely a work. Similarly Galatians iii:10-11, which says:
10 For as many as are of the works of the law, are under a curse. For it is written: *Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11 But that by the law no man is justified with God, it is manifest: *because the just man liveth by faith.
What was the context of Saint Paul saying this? He was writing to the Galatians because they had fallen under the influence of “Judaizers,” Christian converts from Judaism who demanded that all Christians must submit not only to the Law of Christ but also the Law of Moses, including abstaining from various meats and receiving circumcision. Saint Paul was rejecting this Judaizing influence, telling his readers that the Law of Moses was dead, and had been totally supplanted by the new Law of Christ? But is Saint Paul saying that all works, then, are useless for salvation?
Absolutely not. Quite the contrary, as we see in Philippians ii and iii, Saint Paul knew quite well – as did the entire early Church he helped found – that works are extremely necessary for salvation, and that “faith alone” is a shabby lie and a sign of a boundless effrontery before God.
Philippians ii:10-14 (I include the surround verses only for context, which protestants almost always leave out):
10 *That in the name of Jesus, every knee should bow of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; [bowing/kneeling, showing reverence/penitence before God, is also a work]
11 And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. [confessing the Lord is a work over and above internally held faith, which protestants judge to be sufficient for salvation]
12 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence) work out your salvation with fear and trembling. [If one is saved by faith alone, why would one ever need to work out his salvation with fear and trembling? I was arguing with a protestant once not long ago, and as we were being forced to go our separate ways, I told him I would pray for his conversion and salvation, and he hit back with what I think he thought was the ultimate rejoinder – “I don’t have to worry about my salvation, I know I’m saved.” And I thought, what immense narcissism, what unbelievable effrontery. Anyone of us, at any time, can lose our faith at any moment. Faith isn’t a magic spell that immediately changes our consciences and makes us 100% proof against sin. This is an obvious lie. Faith, especially protestant faith, is no guarantee against any sin, even mortal sin. Once saved always saved is an American invention from the late 19th century and is one of the most perverse, reductive heresies ever visited upon the world. Faith is in fact demonstrated by works. Otherwise, why would protestants evangelize Catholics so hard? If Catholics accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, which any observant Catholic certainly does, they are irretrievably saved. Is it just about money, then, that evangelicals pursue Catholics with such gusto?]
13 For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to the good-will.
Accomplish what?!? Good works, done in sanctifying Grace, which are eminently helpful to our sanctification and salvation, just as Christ commanded, “Take up your cross and follow ME!!!” Yes Jewish works done outside sanctifying Grace are profitable for nothing, which was Saint Paul’s message to the Galatians, but not that all works are useless, that a one time profession of faith assures salvation, else why would he say this in Philippians iii??!!?:
17 Be followers of me, brethren, and observe them who walk so, as you have our model.
18 *For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping) that they are enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction [damnation] whose God is their belly: and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
20 But our conversation is in heaven: whence also we expect the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ,
Saint Paul is speaking directly of people here who were of the Faith, who had accepted Jesus Christ and were in a state of Grace (saved, in protestant parlance), who due to their sinful attractions and appetites, fell away from the Faith, fell out of the state of Grace, and whose end is subsequently destruction!!
But what is avoidance of sin, but a work? What is practicing restraint in food and drink and sex and money and all the rest, but a work, the practice of the great virtue of temperance?!?
But that is not all. Regular readers will know that I am reading the Victories of the Martyrs by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. He recounts the deaths of martyrs from the 1st through the early 4th centuries (so far – I haven’t read it all).
What did these martyrs die for? Faith in Jesus Christ? But why on earth would they die, if their faith alone assured their salvation, if no work or failure of work could ever cause them to lose that salvation?!? Why should any Christian ever die for his faith, if we are saved after a one time altar call and pronouncement of acceptance? And don’t give me this garbage about “higher levels of Heaven” and all that claptrap, that’s not what the martyrs thought at all.
No, quite the contrary, every single one of these martyrs, when tempted by the Roman magistrates to burn just a pinch of incense to the “god” emperor, refused, not because they would lose a better seat in the heavenly movie theater, but because they knew acknowledging any other god – even under the most severe duress – would be a violation of the 1st and 2nd Commandments and cause not the loss of their place in the heavenly pecking order, but their entire salvation!
Again, these martyrs testified to this fact going all the way back to the 1st century. This martyrdom was most assuredly a work, and a work that the Church judged worthy of salvation from her earliest days.
Protestants like to pretend – they are compelled by their disobedience and rejection of authority to pretend – that the early Church somehow apostasized from the Truth of Jesus Christ and imposed some evil Babylonian cult upon millions of Christians, somehow. This is a rather amazing claim, given the REAL heresies the early Church endured and overcame. These ill-educated souls even try to claim it was Constantine that tried to force this erroneous belief on the Church, when in reality, it was the Church that fought off Constantine’s attempt to impose the Arian heresy (Christ is just a man) under severe punishment!
What we see clearly from the martyrs, and from every other early source we have available to us, from Saint Ignatius of Antioch to Saint Justin Martyr to Saints Basil and John Chrysostom clear through to the present day, is a constant attestation to the SAME set of beliefs, the SAME set of practices, as what is outlined in the Dogmas of the Church. Even more, we see the SAME beliefs in all the ancient Churches, those dating back to the first 4-5 centuries of Christianity, even though most of these fell away on some error or another such as the nature of the Will and Person of God or the Authority of the Roman See. On all these issues related to the Eucharist, the efficacious nature of works, gaining/losing Grace, all these ancient Churches share the same beliefs.
It is only the johnny-come-lately protestant heretics who have thought differently, even while they endlessly bicker amongst themselves as to which of their tens of thousands of sects is the “right” one.
That is, Catholics have myriad sources confirming our beliefs – Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the testimony of the martyrs and Saints, the confirmation of sadly separated brethren like the Orthodox and Copts, hostile works written against the Church by those outsider her but confirming her core beliefs, etc., etc.
All protestants have is the Bible – a great source, to be sure, but a bible their early leaders mangled in order to try to better support their errors – and the private judgment of a few very fallible men, outside the State of Grace, who imposed an interpretation on the Bible based on their pre-conceived notions and desires rather than conforming themselves to the constantly understood beliefs and practices of the Christian Church.
I know which side I’ll be sticking with, thank you very much, and I thank God every day for making me an aspiring good Catholic, rather than the protestant I once was.