I did want to talk a bit about what Candy wrote in the comments section, because it ties into a point we have made repeatedly here at VTC. I'll reproduce Candy's comments in their entirety so that they will be preserved, in case we need them again in the future.
Marie asks: Interesting, but there is something I don't understand. As long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and the only way to the Father, does it matter what rituals/practices you follow? Why do the origins matter at all? Isn't this just form over substance?
Marie, that is a fabulous question. Yes, it matters very much to God. You see, Solomon conitnued to believe in Jehovah, but he also ~added~ practices, such as rituals that were used for Baal, Molech, and Milcom worship.She then writes a follow-up comment:
Solomon still believed in Jehovah, but he was including practices that weren't of Jehovah into his religious zeal. The Bible tells us how severely God disproved of it. This led to Solormon's son ripping apart Israel, and it led to the division of 12 tribes into the House of Israel and the House of Judah, and these two houses faught against each other for YEARS, up until the captivity.
Sincereity will never save us. Faith in Christ, and in Him ALONE is what saves us. If one is practicing non-biblical traditions, rites, and rituals, then they are practicing Jesus AND... And even if they are sincere in that practice, they are sincerely wrong, and damned, because God's Word is right there in front of them, but they refused to read and believe it. They chose man's word over God's Word. We are saved by Faith in Christ alone, and NOTHING else.
God gave us the Holy Bible so that we could read it and know how HE wants us to worship Him.
How horrible it is, when people choose to ~not~ read the Bible, but instead follow what man teaches them.
For example, what if you had to leave your children, but you left them a letter that you wrote from your heart. What if your kids didn't bother reading your letter, and they appeared to revere what their friends said about you, instead of reading the letter YOU left them? Wouldn't that just break your heart?
That was a weak example, but hopefully it makes my point clear.
FAITH in Christ means that we live the way Christ wants us to. Christ told us how He wants us to live - in the Bible. Christ specifically spoke out against traditions of men, and He clearly abhorred them.
Friend, we are in a serious famine of the Word of God. I can't think of more than a handful of Christians that I know IRL who have read the Bible! :-(
Shame on us for not seeking God and His Word. Shame on us for following man instead of God.
We need to repent of this, and turn to the Heavenly Father.
Marie, I'm glad my example was clear.Finally (as of right now) she writes:
Yes, we all make mistakes, and that's why God gave us 1 John 1:9. However, the Christian walk also includes growth and spirutual education. This means what when a Christian finds they were doing a practice that is not biblical, they need to stop.
If a Chrsitian was doing a practice they completely, 100%, honestly thought was biblical, but it was not, then that sin will not be imputed to them, ~if~ they are a saved person. It is only imputed to that person as sin, if they find out what they were doing was at enmity with the Word of God, but they continue to follow that ritual anyhow:
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17
Also, don't fall for the Interpretation Game. The Bible is very clear, if we just READ it for ~ourselves~ and not let our mind get cluttered by critics who have twisted the Word and therefore confuse us.
For example, what's hard to understand about the Scripture I just quoted? Does it not say, as clear as the nose on our face, that if one knows to do good, but doesn't do so, then they are sinning?
Yet, a textual critic can twist that little Scripture around to mean a myriad of fables. If you take the Word of God at ~face value~ and just read it for what it says, then you'll see there are no "interpretations" needed. This is why God gives us this beautiful promise:
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." -Pslam 119:105
How can the Bible guide us, if we can't understand it? LOL
PS - There are some deep meanings in the Scriptures that one won't understand when they first read the Bible. Yet God promises us that if we seek, we will find. Every time I re-read the Bible, I learn more than I did the previous time. It is the Word of God. No one can ever know all of the lessons of the Word, because to our finite minds the Word is infinite. Yet - it never contradicts.
Kind of... The basic gist is that if one seeks God - truly Seeks Him, then they will find Jesus Christ and get saved. As a baby Christian, they will still be learning about how God wants to lead them. God will help them grow and learn. The main way a Christian gains knowledge is via the Bible.
If a Christian brother or sister sees their fellow Christian go astray, then the Word says that it's that person's job to tell their friend, to help them get back on track.
Yet, we should be like the Bereans, and test ~everything~ with the Word of God.
If someone tells you that you need to pray to Mary, for example, then search the Scriptures first. You'll find that prayer to anyone except God is something God hates. Therefore, with the knowledge that you are NOT supposed to pray to Mary - if you do so anyway, then you are sinning against God.
On the other hand, if you were raised Catholic, for example, and then a friend led you to Christ, but you continue practicing Cathlic rituals, it is not sin if you continue to seek God, and as soon as you learn (which you will, if you seek) that all of those rituals are not biblical, you should choose to follow God, not man.
Candy has some major contradictions going on here. First, she says that sincerity will not save you. She and Erik have said this many times before. If you are Catholic, but not saved, then you will go to hell. However, if you are somehow a saved Catholic but are still attending Mass and doing other Catholic abominations then that is okay, because you don't know it is wrong.
If you sincerely think you are a Christian, then it doesn't count. If you are a Christian, but sincerely don't understand what it takes to be a Christian, then that's okay. Until you learn that it isn't okay, and then it's not. If you don't know because you refuse to read the Bible, then that's bad, but if you don't know because you haven't yet read the Bible, then that okay, but who knows for how long until it counts as refusing to read the Bible. Clear as mud?
The other, bigger issue, is that Candy feels Catholic practices indicate a belief that we are saved by faith AND (Mass, praying to saints, sacrificing babies to Molech, and other Catholic doctrines) rather than by faith ALONE.
Candy has written previously: You are saved (not "being saved") by faith, not by Mary, rites, Eucharist, mass, works ("good deeds"), rituals, or traditions. Jesus hates the traditions of the Roman Catholic church. We know this because of how much He hated the traditions of the religious people who were around at His time on this earth, the Pharisees.
As I've said before, if being saved means believing that we are saved though God's grace, through our faith in Jesus Christ, as is manifest by our works, then Candy need not fear for the salvation of Catholics. However, if being saved means believing that PLUS rejecting the Catholic Church, then it isn't really being saved by faith ALONE, is it?
Let us look at some of Candy's criteria for being really saved. Because you can claim to be saved, but there are indications if you are not REALLY saved.
Candy's list of what you need to attain salvation:
- Pray the Sinner's Prayer.
- Produce good works automatically.
- Have a "feeling" of assurance of salvation.
- Will study Bible intensively every day, reading a King James Bible from front to back.
- Have feelings of revulsion towards ungodly parts of your previous life (i.e., nauseated when you listen to rock music.)
- Will reject the Catholic Church. If you do not "come out of her" then you are not really saved.
The problem that I see in all of this, is that most of it relies on interior motivation. What is the difference between a Christian automatically producing good works in order to store of crowns in Heaven, and an unsaved Catholic doing good works allegedly in order to earn their salvation? You can't tell by looking at two women ladling out soup in the soup kitchen which is the true Christian.
Similarly, how can we tell by looking at Candy that she isn't trying to earn her salvation by wearing only flowing dresses, studying her Bible, homeschooling her children, not allowing her children to participate in Children's Church, preparing healthy meals for her family (listed on a video as what a Christian homemaker does), and trying to pass out tracts? She assures us that she is not being legalistic, because she does not do these things in order to earn her salvation, but because she is a Christian.
Candy always assumes the worst of Catholics. They must be going to Mass in order to be saved. They must be doing good works in order to be saved. But we aren't. We believe we are saved by God's grace. We do these "rituals" because we believe they bring us closer to God, because we are led to do them by the Holy Spirit, and because we are trying to be obedient to God.
Sincerity won't save us. But God's grace will.