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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sanctified for the Lord

Candy wishes to assure us that she is not preoccupied with outward appearances because she feels they are important, but because she wishes to be sanctified for the Lord.

As for me, I am going to continue to sanctify myself for the Lord, in
whatever manner He sees fit. It's all written in His precious Word.
All Glory goes to God.

Is this a slip, or does she really believe this? Sounds like works salvation to me. I did submit a comment asking her about this, but she neither printed the comment, nor changed the wording so I will assume it is what she meant to say.

While Jesus did sanctify himself (John 17:19) I was under the impression that it is God who sanctifies us, through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Candy also writes: Such Scriptures are to be followed as well, such as
Ephesians 5, where it tells wives to submit to their husbands, and 1
Timothy 2, where it discusses how women should dress and wear their
hair, in addition to their heart and behavior, and then there's 1 Cor.
11, where the head covering is discussed.

1 Tim 2:9-10 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1 Timothy says that we should be dressed modestly, and not be so concerned with our outward appearances, such as spending a lot of time doing our hair, wearing expensive jewelry, or designer clothing. Instead, we should be dressed with good deeds. Our actions speak of our faith more than our clothing.

Which is what I said in the post below where I was concerned that breaking with family would send a loud negative message about Christianity.


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70 comments:

Erin said...

Many protestants (Wesleyan ones, anyway) separate justification (aka salvation) from sanctification (becoming like Christ). IOW, justification is what matters, and sanctification, if it happens, is a nice bonus. You're still justified even if you're never sanctified.

So I'm guessing that this is where she can say that it's not a works based salvation.

I don't agree with it, but I do understand the theology she's using to get from here to there.

I also agree that it isn't ourselves who sanctify, it's God who sanctifies. I suspect that if pressed, she'd concede that point, and that was just a poor choice of words.

Kelly said...

I thought it was a poor choice of words, too, until she didn't print the comment or change the wording.

But I do know that we might have differing ideas of sanctification. I was hoping she would explain it, if that wording was what she intended.

Moonshadow said...

I am going to continue to sanctify myself for the Lord,

Just because the language is reflexive doesn't mean she's doing it to herself. The motto of Quebec comes to mind: Je me souveins, "I remember." Memories are probably prompted by something outside the person.

Moonshadow said...

A difference of self-perception exists between Catholics and Protestants, more so dramatically among women than men:

The self-respect that Protestants allow themselves they believe they receive from God, as temples of the Lord. Their Christian dignity deserves to be upheld because of who God is ... and, consequently, who they are in God.

Catholics, otoh, expect everyone to be self-effacing like themselves, at least publicly.

But doesn't self-deprecation demonstrate a lack of faith, a failure to understand the things of God?

Aren't Catholics showing they don't know God and who we are in Him, reconciled and forgiven children when we disrespect ourselves?

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Moonshadow: I guess one person's disrespect of self is another person's humility?

(On the other hand, I used to have a very self-deprecating 'blogging "voice" which had nothing to do with humility at all! =P)

I also have family members who joined an Evangelical church, and what they might call self-respect, everyone else in the family just sees as arrogance.

Jennie said...

Erin,
I don't know if you agree with the statement you made: You're still justified even if you're never sanctified. but I don't believe you can be justified and not sanctified. See:

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

In one sense, believers are sanctified (set apart for God) at the moment of justification, when they believe by faith in Christ. In another sense, they continue to be sanctified or made like Christ as they abide in Him. The Holy Spirit sets us apart by faith and as we continue to walk in faith, He continues to change us.

Ladies,
The phrase 'sancified themselves' is used in 1 Chronicles several times of the Levites and the people. Here is one example: 2 Chronicles 30:15
Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought the burnt offerings to the house of the LORD.

It is true that the Holy Spirit does the sanctifying, but it is also true that we respond to Him in faith and sanctify ourselves by setting ourselves apart to Him, repenting and separating ourselves from our sins.

See also:
Joshua 7:13
Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”

1 Samuel 16:5
And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

Romans 12:1-2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

1 Cor. 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Timothy 2:21
Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Jennie said...

Benjamin Franklin wrote about humility with some self-deprecating humor: Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it [pride], I would probably be proud of my humility.
I can relate to that. I don't think most believers, including me (please don't agree), really understand what humility is. It's generally true that evangelicals (at least in America, I don't know about other countries) seem to demonstrate a lack of humility. Maybe in some cases it's what Teresa said about knowing who we are in God, but I think it's very rare in reality.
I don't think instruction in the virtues, which starts with recognition and repentance from our sins and which is a good part of the New Testament, is very well done in our churches in general.

Kelly said...

Great discussion.

Erin said...

Jennie -

FTR, I don't believe it either (at least, not in that form). It is, however, a tenet of some Protestant belief systems, in that justification and sanctification are two separate processes. Add something like Once Saved Always Saved to the mix, and the idea that salvation happens at one mountaintop moment, and the only logical conclusion is that one can, in theory, be justified (saved) but never sanctified (made like Christ).

In reality, it doesn't necessarily look that way, and I personally believe that BOTH justification and sanctification are lifelong processes of always choosing to follow the Lord and abiding in Christ.

Jennie said...

Erin,
I agree that sanctification, as in being made like Christ, is a lifelong process, but I believe that justification occurs at the moment of faith. I have a post up about justification in response to a blog post on calledtocommunion.com.

Sue Bee said...

We cannot sanctify ourselves. Period. We cannot clean one smudge of filth from our souls no matter what we do, or how hard we try. I am not forgiven because I plead for forgiveness – I am forgiven because in His Mercy He forgives me for the sake of Jesus. By God’s Grace the Holy Spirit creates within us true faith and He works within us to renew us, cleanse us and empower us to overcome our sinful nature. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word and/or Sacraments that we are even made capable of repentance.

I cannot separate myself from my sins, but God can separate them from me.

Acts 26:16-18:… But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Hebrews 10:10 & 14: And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified..

Leviticus 20:8: Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
You are right that we can't on our own sanctify ourselves, but once we are justified and sanctified by the Spirit, we can then choose daily to set our lives apart for Him and not live sinfully, by His grace (help and strength). We CAN sanctify ourselves to Him, offering ourselves as a living sacrifice of thanksgiving. We do this by grace through faith every day if we abide in Him.

Sue Bee said...

Jennie writes: but once we are justified and sanctified by the Spirit, we can then choose daily to set our lives apart for Him and not live sinfully, by His grace (help and strength). We CAN sanctify ourselves to Him, offering ourselves as a living sacrifice of thanksgiving. We do this by grace through faith every day if we abide in Him.

Sorry, but I disagree. We do not and cannot make ourselves holy. Only God by the power of His Spirit sanctifies. It is He who calls us, it is He who equips us, and it is He who sustains us. If I repent, it is because He has called me to repent. If I do good works, it is because He has placed them before me and enabled me to do them. I cannot by my own volition make one hair on my head holy, even if I offer it as a sacrifice to God. It is He that makes it holy by His will, not mine. Soli Deo Gloria!

Elena said...

Sorry, but I disagree.


passing popcorn to Kelly - This IS a good discussion! ;-)

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
You are ignoring all those passages I quoted earlier about 'sanctifying themselves' and offering ourselves as living sacrifices. I'm talking about those who are already believers and have the Holy Spirit.
We can't make ourselves holy, as in making ourselves good, but we can repent and as believers choose to get rid of 'the cursed thing' in our lives, choosing to abide in His word and walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh, and ask for His grace to help us do good instead of evil. We can choose to get rid of things that turn us from Him, sins and distractions, etc, like the Israelites got rid of the leaven in their homes at Passover. We do all this by His grace and help, by faith.

Jennie said...

Elena and Kelly,
I'd love to know what you all think about this too. And I don't think Catholics agree on everything any more than protestants do.

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
BECAUSE He justified and sanctified us, then we by His Spirit and grace are able to respond to Him in obedience and choose every day to separate ourselves from what is evil, to live IN the world but not be OF the world.

Moonshadow said...

Well, to start with, we can become aware of our sin and change our habits.

For instance: ...

Jennie said, "I don't think most believers, including me (please don't agree), really understand what humility is."

Related to humility, I think it means, for starters, not putting oneself first. Now, that's plenty easy in NJ because I don't have to step too far back before 20 people'll step ahead. Nobody's shy here about putting themselves ahead. But I imagine in other parts of the country, it's downright hard to let someone else "go ahead." "After you." "No, after you, I insist." "But you were here first." usw.

Anyway, that's where I am on practicing humility, killing the aggressive spirit in me through atrophy! One hopes.

Romans 12:3 - not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;

Kelly said...

passing popcorn to Kelly - This IS a good discussion! ;-)

I'm tellin' ya, Candy doesn't know what she's missing by having such a closed comment policy.

I've been thinking about something Teresa said:

The self-respect that Protestants allow themselves they believe they receive from God, as temples of the Lord. Their Christian dignity deserves to be upheld because of who God is ... and, consequently, who they are in God.

Catholics, otoh, expect everyone to be self-effacing like themselves, at least publicly.


Isn't it interesting that those who hold to total depravity or "snow covered dung" have a higher opinion of themselves than Catholics, who are supposed to believe we are a new creation after baptism?

Jennie: Elena and Kelly,
I'd love to know what you all think about this too.


Justification and sanctification are two topics which I generally do not feel confident enough on to discuss. That why I enjoy hearing your opinions on the subject.

Of what has been written so far, I agree with Sue Bee:

We do not and cannot make ourselves holy. Only God by the power of His Spirit sanctifies. It is He who calls us, it is He who equips us, and it is He who sustains us. If I repent, it is because He has called me to repent. If I do good works, it is because He has placed them before me and enabled me to do them. I cannot by my own volition make one hair on my head holy, even if I offer it as a sacrifice to God. It is He that makes it holy by His will, not mine. Soli Deo Gloria!

I'll go do a quick Catechism search and see what I find as far as official doctrine.

Moonshadow said...

Isn't it interesting that those who hold to total depravity or "snow covered dung" have a higher opinion of themselves than Catholics

Yeah, it's interesting, but I think it's a case of "hitting rock bottom" and rising from the ashes, phoenix-like. Or resurrection.

Anyway, I'd suggest that when we are tempted to think someone is arrogant or smug, this other belief may be driving them, about honoring and bringing glory to God.

Kelly said...

Catechism

Sanctification is a gift of the Holy Spirit:

1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man," justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:

Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.

190 And so the Creed is divided into three parts: "the first part speaks of the first divine Person and the wonderful work of creation; the next speaks of the second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men; the final part speaks of the third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification." These are "the three chapters of our [baptismal] seal".

The Holy Spirit works through the sacraments:

1152 Sacramental signs. Since Pentecost, it is through the sacramental signs of his Church that the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification.

1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God's gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become "children of God," "partakers of the divine nature." Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life "worthy of the gospel of Christ." They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.

Sue Bee said...

It the O.T. the Israelites were sanctified by God by observing His law. Old Covenant. In the N.T. (see Hebrews 10 & others) we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ. New Covenant.

Attempting to self-sanctify with good works only places us under the law again.

Works or choice based sanctification? No. Sanctification by the Spirit working within through His Word and His Sacraments? Yes.

Snow covered dung? Ewwwwww.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Kelly and Elena:

I agree that I'd rather pass the popcorn with you two than jump in myself, which is why I've been relatively quiet after the discussion really got going. =)

Barbara C. said...

Popcorn gets stuck in my teeth too badly. Anyone have a jumbo pack of M&Ms? I'll take a small coke, too. ;-)

Moonshadow said...

Anyone have a jumbo pack of M&Ms? I'll take a small coke, too. ;-)

That comes to ... $8, please.

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
Attempting to self-sanctify with good works only places us under the law again.

Works or choice based sanctification? No. Sanctification by the Spirit working within through His Word and His Sacraments? Yes.


I actually agree with everything you've said, except that I don't agree we have no choice in our own behavior. We can choose, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit and the new life in us, to live lives pleasing to God instead of living worldly sinful lives. GOD cleanses us and makes us new creatures, but we respond by obedience. Is that not true? Don't we have to choose every day whether to live in a way pleasing to Him instead of going out and living it up? Of course His Spirit in us makes us desire to please Him, but we still have our flesh that rises up and we have to submit to Him and resist by His grace and strength. That is a choice. We can't cleanse our inner selves but we can get rid of sinful actions and things in our lives that could lead us into sin. Is that not true? This is what I mean by 'sanctify ourselves' and what the Bible means by it, I believe.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
Related to humility, I think it means, for starters, not putting oneself first. Now, that's plenty easy in NJ because I don't have to step too far back before 20 people'll step ahead. Nobody's shy here about putting themselves ahead. But I imagine in other parts of the country, it's downright hard to let someone else "go ahead." "After you." "No, after you, I insist." "But you were here first." usw.
Romans 12:3 - not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;


The Romans 12 passage is good, and also Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
That defines it well, but it doesn't make it any easier. I find myself trying to ACT like I esteem others better than myself because I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but actually thinking that way is hard, and that's where I need to remember to pray for grace.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Isn't it interesting that those who hold to total depravity or "snow covered dung" have a higher opinion of themselves than Catholics, who are supposed to believe we are a new creation after baptism?

Well, all protestants don't hold to those things, at least not completely as they are usually taught; AND I do believe we become new creations by faith, though I don't believe it waits until baptism, but that the Spirit accomplishes this immediately when the person believes the gospel.

Jennie said...

Of what has been written so far, I agree with Sue Bee:

I agree with Sue Bee too, but I don't think what she said precludes what I said (if precludes is the right word, maybe excludes is better).

Jennie said...

1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man," justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:

Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.


I agree with that, Kelly.

The Holy Spirit works through the sacraments:

1152 Sacramental signs. Since Pentecost, it is through the sacramental signs of his Church that the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification.

1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God's gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become "children of God," "partakers of the divine nature." Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life "worthy of the gospel of Christ." They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.


Baptists don't teach that the Spirit works through the sacraments to sanctify us, but we would agree that the Spirit is the one who sanctifies us by God's grace, and believe that He does it through the word and through prayer, as Jesus prayed 'Sanctify them by Thy truth. Thy word is truth.' If penance is a sacrament, I guess we would say that repentance is part of being sanctified too, though we don't think of it the same way.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Okay now it is my time to jump in. I am commenting without reading all the comments because I don't want to forget this point.

Justification is a LEGAL ACTION. It is God declaring us "not guilty" for sins we have commited. Justification happens the moment we surrender our lives to Christ and continues until we die. For justification to work, we must have confession of sins and repentance. You must be guilty of some sin in order to be forgiven of sin, then declared "not guilty!"

Sanctification is a PROCESS. It is the process whereby God cleanses our lives of sin by giving us a new mind in Christ, and through trials and tribulations. Sanctification results in CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE. It is by the process of santification whereby our lifestyles are changed from unrighteous living to holy living.

The thief on the cross experienced justification. He was declared "not guilty" by Christ, but not sanctification because he had no opportunity to change his lifestyle.

Christians who are just depending upon justification but disregard santification are in real peril. What they are doing is trampling the grace of God underfoot.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Can we sanctify ourselves? Absolutely not!

Can we put our selves in position to be sanctified by God? YES!

Sue Bee said...

Jennie,
Essentially our disagreement is synergism vs. monergism. Monergists (like me) believe that scripture teaches that in matters of the spirit we have no free will. We cannot choose to be sanctified or to aid in our sanctification, but we can choose to reject it. For example, if I do something that ultimately helps to sanctify me, such as study the Bible, I am only doing so because God created the will within me to do so. And if I gain any spiritual benefit from my study it is because the Holy Spirit worked to overcome my innate hostility to God to my benefit.

Now we are getting into the heavy material. Time to make more popcorn?

Moonshadow said...

The Philippians 2 passage is a good reminder, especially as he goes into the hymn. Verse 5 is a refrain in morning prayer (lauds) in my retreat handbook: let your attitude be that of Christ Or maybe it's night prayer, I can't remember.

But I should be concerned if my habits fail to change with time and effort: I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Cor. 3:6) - I don't think this applies just to evangelism and initial conversion.

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
if I do something that ultimately helps to sanctify me, such as study the Bible, I am only doing so because God created the will within me to do so. And if I gain any spiritual benefit from my study it is because the Holy Spirit worked to overcome my innate hostility to God to my benefit.
Maybe so, but from our end, it still looks like a choice, whether God helped us choose or not. I CAN, as you said, choose to disobey or rebel. So however it works, we are still choosing.

Jennie said...

As far as free will goes, I believe that a Christian can either submit, which is by the Spirit's help, or can rebel, which is where the 'will' part comes in. We can will to reject, but to submit, we are letting go of our will by God's grace.

Jennie said...

Justification is a LEGAL ACTION. It is God declaring us "not guilty" for sins we have commited. Justification happens the moment we surrender our lives to Christ and continues until we die. For justification to work, we must have confession of sins and repentance. You must be guilty of some sin in order to be forgiven of sin, then declared "not guilty!"

I agree that in one sense justification is a legal declaration, but I think it's much more than that because God is much more than a judge, He is also a King and a Father, so it's not just a legal court, but a King's court that is declaring us righteous and making us His children and part of His kingdom. Also justification is only part of salvation, or maybe the legal declaration is only part of justification. The other part is regeneration, in which we are made new creatures in Christ and given the grace to obey Him, being indwelt by His Spirit.

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Elena said...

pouring butter, sprinkling salt...

I will say though that there is an element of truth to each of the non-Catholic lady's perspective - which is what the Catholic has said about her separated brethren in the past - that they all contain a bit of the truth.

It's the other bits that are so interesting though!

now do I want coco, diet coke on ice, or a Bud to wash down that popcorn?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

You think God is not a Judge? Do you think because God is our Father that He will just overlook our infarctions and pretend all is well? Many Christians make the mistake that because they are "saved" that God will no longer judge. Wrong! We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, whether now or later.

The fact that we need Christ's forgiveness daily as Christians, when we do wrong, is proof that God is our judge. God must have judged our actions as being in need of forgiveness for Him to apply the blood of Jesus as payment for our sins. If we did not have need for forgiveness then there would be no need for a judge. This is the judgment seat of Christ which is active right now! Spurn the judgment seat of Christ and you will find yourself in great peril.

For sinners, they will face the last judgment, when they will pay the penalty for their own sins in hellfire.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
please read carefully: God is much more than a judge
I didn't say God wasn't a judge, I said He is much MORE than a judge. After all I've said before on other posts, you ought to know that :)

Sue Bee said...

Moonshadow wrote: A difference of self-perception exists between Catholics and Protestants, more so dramatically among women than men:

The self-respect that Protestants allow themselves they believe they receive from God, as temples of the Lord. Their Christian dignity deserves to be upheld because of who God is ... and, consequently, who they are in God.

Catholics, otoh, expect everyone to be self-effacing like themselves, at least publicly.


I’ve been thinking about this comment today while spouting-off about other things… I can name some Catholic friends who anything but self-effacing, but in general sense I agree that most are. I think of Protestant self-respect as part of the modern holiness movement. There are a fair amount of protestant churches that thrive on making people feel good about themselves at the expense of the preaching the gospel.

But doesn't self-deprecation demonstrate a lack of faith, a failure to understand the things of God?

I would argue just the opposite. Those who are self-aggrandizing fail to understand the things of God.

Aren't Catholics showing they don't know God and who we are in Him, reconciled and forgiven children when we disrespect ourselves?

Those who are humble are respectful of others, but are not necessarily disrespectful to themselves. Again, I think just the opposite is true – those who do know God and their place in Him walk with humility.

1 Peter 5:5b-7 Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Jennie said...

I will say though that there is an element of truth to each of the non-Catholic lady's perspective - which is what the Catholic has said about her separated brethren in the past - that they all contain a bit of the truth.

Well, good. Then we're all in the same boat, then :)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sue Bee wrote:

"There are a fair amount of protestant churches that thrive on making people feel good about themselves at the expense of the preaching the gospel."
-----------------------------------

Sue Bee welcome back! Missed you for a while there.

Totally agree with your statement. There are just too many feel-good Christians who are feeling good in their sins! Puffed-up and self-righteous in their own perceived goodness and "security" in Christ.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie wrote:

"I didn't say God wasn't a judge, I said He is much MORE than a judge. After all I've said before on other posts, you ought to know that :)"
-----------------------------------

I apologize Jennie. I did not mean to misrepresent you. I guess I am just sick and tired of people making excuses for their sins by copting out of the very important fact that God is our Judge! Yes, He is our Father and the King, but the character and personality of God is more complex than any human can imagine.

His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways.

Sometimes when you think you know God, He does something that surprises even the most mature and knowledgeable Christian, who knows Him well.

One of the big surprises is that those who are self-satisfied and complacent in their Christianity, will be shocked to find themselves totally left out of the kingdom.

Peace.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I can bring the drinks next time, Elena. Are sodas okay, or are you guys into healthier fare?

PS--Did you ever receive the e-mail I sent you (or thought I sent you)?

Elena said...

Yes I got it. I thought I replied? Or maybe just pondered. I didn't disagree with it though.

Jennie said...

Thanks Hillary :)

Jennie said...

Elena and Enbrethiliel,
Are you ladies talking about us behind our monitors? You all seem to think the protestants are very amusing, so I just wondered. ;)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Elena: I didn't get a reply, but I have been having problems sending e-mails lately. They appear in my Sent Items folder, but not in the Inbox of the intended recipient. So I wondered . . .

I'm glad you got it, though. =)

Jennie: Hahaha! =P I speak only for myself here, but the reason I find our discussions--and this thread in particular--so "amusing" is simply that it's not the sort one finds on a Catholic 'blog. So perhaps "fascinating" is a better word? (I wonder whether Visits to Candyland is unique in being a Catholic blog with more Protestant than Catholic readers!)

To be more specific, whether or not a Catholic understands what the Church teaches about justification and sanctification, he wouldn't engage in this sort of discussion with other Catholics. What I'm reading strikes me very much as an earnest attempt to reinvent the wheel when there are people going by in cars or on bikes right outside the window!

Moonshadow said...

whether or not a Catholic understands..., he wouldn't engage in this sort of discussion with other Catholics.

What would a Catholic discuss with other Catholics? Oh, yeah, who is - and who isn't - a Catholic. Right. I see alot of that ... elsewhere, of course.

Jennie said...

What I'm reading strikes me very much as an earnest attempt to reinvent the wheel when there are people going by in cars or on bikes right outside the window!

Enbrethiliel,
We're not trying to reinvent it, just explain how we think it works!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Moonshadow: ???

All I meant was that Catholics who discuss doctrine online almost always understand that the Church has already explained it, whether or not the explanation is to their satisfaction. There's no sense of having to interpret something for oneself or putting everyone's interpretations all on the same level.

Jennie: All right, all right . . . Going back to the popcorn now! ;)

Moonshadow said...

Maybe you just used a poor example, then, because justification, or more specifically how the atonement makes us right with God, isn't very clearly spelled out. Just negatively: not penal substitution.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Enbrethiliel wrote:

"To be more specific, whether or not a Catholic understands what the Church teaches about justification and sanctification, he wouldn't engage in this sort of discussion with other Catholics. What I'm reading strikes me very much as an earnest attempt to reinvent the wheel when there are people going by in cars or on bikes right outside the window!"
----------------------------------

Enbrethiliel, please do not for a minute think we are just amusing ourselves. God is pleased when we 'test the spirits' to see if they are from Him or some other source. We are not called to follow teachings blindly but to learn how to discern truth from error so that we are not deceived.

Maybe in your church, members are trained to accept what the priests teach as coming directly from God, but experience and history has shown us that no one is infallible. I could point out not a few teachings from your church that is in direct conflict with the Bible, but anyway, this is not what this thread is about. Only God is infallible. If priests were infallible they would not be doing penance!

Peace.

Dr MikeyMike said...

Catholics, otoh, expect everyone to be self-effacing like themselves, at least publicly.

I'm having a hard time with this statement. I guess I don't know quite what the inference is. My gut reaction is to be offended, actually, but I don't think that's your angle?

Moonshadow said...

My gut reaction is to be offended, actually, but I don't think that's your angle?

I'm trying to explain why we rub each other the wrong way, different self-perceptions. One side perceives the other as "lacking faith" and the other side perceives them as "lacking humility."

Moonshadow said...

Maybe only Irish Catholics expect everyone to be self-deprecating. And maybe it's just an Irish thing, so we get along with Irish Baptists who are also naturally self-effacing.

Dr MikeyMike said...

Interesting, then, especially since Catholicism at my end has been perceived as, "Be all that you can be". I can see how many of the older prayers that stress the sinfulness of humanity can be interpreted that way, I guess. However, I feel that my experience with the faith has been one of stressing the dignity of the human person and our relationship with God the Father as His children.

Barbara C. said...

DOW wrote: We are not called to follow teachings blindly but to learn how to discern truth from error so that we are not deceived.

Human nature is to question. As Catholics, though, we choose to trust in the wisdom that has been handed down or fully unfolded by men who have had much more time to ponder and pray over them than I in my busy life in which I am called to serve God in other ways.

For close to 2000 the Catholic Church has been figuring it out and passing it down. And there are still unanswered questions and mysteries. I have no delusions that I can figure it all out by myself, so I must trust in the Church that I believe God gave us.

Barbara C. said...

DOW wrote: I could point out not a few teachings from your church that is in direct conflict with the Bible, but anyway, this is not what this thread is about.

They are only in conflict from your limited point of view. But since we also rely on Sacred Oral Tradition handed down from the Apostles and early believers hand-in-hand with the Bible, we see no discord.

Sola Scriptura assumes that everything the early Christians believed and practiced was written down and preserved in the New Testament, even though the New Testament itself does not make any such claim.

Hence, we feel like our separated Protestant Brethren have an incomplete picture. They're trying to solve a mystery with only have the clues.

DOW wrote: Only God is infallible. If priests were infallible they would not be doing penance!

Catholics have never claimed that priests were infallible. The infallibility of the Pope is a descriptor of his teaching authority rather than his personal impeccability.

If you need heart surgery, though, are you going to turn to a seasoned cardiologist (who has presumably dedicated a huge chunk of his time studying and learning with/from other cardiologists) or someone who studied a book about heart surgery in their spare time.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Moonshadow: Whether or not it's clearly spelled out, don't you think, if the commenters shouldering the brunt of this discussion were Catholics, that someone would have quoted a Doctor of the Church by now? That's what I mean when I say that Catholic debates don't put everyone's interpretations on the same level. Which is to say only that the Protestants here don't sound Catholic. (I'll bet they're taking that as a compliment! =P)

Daughter of Wisdom: I certainly don't think you're just amusing yourselves. And please don't take it as an insult just because I happen to find this discussion amusing. I remember that my Pakistani roommate laughing until she cried when she played aloud a pop song in Urdu and she could understand everything and I could understand nothing. It wasn't an insult to me; it just tickled her that she was not in Pakistan anymore--as Dorothy was not in Kansas anymore.

Jennie said...

For close to 2000 the Catholic Church has been figuring it out and passing it down. And there are still unanswered questions and mysteries. I have no delusions that I can figure it all out by myself, so I must trust in the Church that I believe God gave us.

My perspective is different (big surprise :) The Lord didn't GIVE us the church, we ARE the church. He gave us the Holy Spirit and His word and the Spirit gifts each of us in different ways, including men who can teach and lead others. We all have the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, however, and have the responsibility to compare teachings to scripture, as those often cited Bereans did.

Barbara C. said...

Jenny wrote: we ARE the church.

Couldn't agree more. God have us the Church and we ARE the Church. We are many parts but we are all one body.

Jenny wrote: We all have the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us,

I agree with that as well. It's just that some of us have had more time to dedicate to listening to the Holy Spirit than others. And since the Holy Spirit has been speaking to the Church for close to 2000 years I don't have to wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal everything to me. I can wait for the Holy Spirit to guide me to what has already been revealed and open my heart to accept it...even when it seems inconvenient.

Jennie wrote: and [we all] have the responsibility to compare teachings to scripture, as those often cited Bereans did.

Never mind that in the context of Acts 17 the Bereans were obviously comparing Paul's teachings to the Hebrew Scriptures (not the NT). Secondly the Bereans are being held up as nice guys because they are willing to listen to give Paul's story a fair chance instead of rising up against him like those in Thessalonica. Third, no where does it say that to be a like a Berean one must compare teachings to scripture on a regular basis to make sure they are true or that everyone should be like the Bereans to be a Christian.

If anything, the Berean story reflects fair-minded tolerance for listening to another's viewpoint and giving it fair consideration instead of just striking out at those who say things you don't want to hear.

I understand that "being a Berean" has become some sort of rallying cry for some sola scriptura Christians, but I think it has been blown way out of Biblical context.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Enbrethiliel wrote:

"What I'm reading strikes me very much as an earnest attempt to reinvent the wheel when there are people going by in cars or on bikes right outside the window!"
---------------------------------

Enbrethiliel, you are right! The correct teachings pertaining to sanctification and justification have been around for thousands of years. The problem is that people are re-inventing their own definitions of what these terms mean. They are trying to force these terms to mean something that fit in with the NEW "once saved always saved" doctrine. This is a classic case of twisting scripture to suit one's own ideas, yet these are the same people who cry "sola scriptura." I find it hypocritical that these new doctrines are accepted as scriptural when there is no scriptural evidence to support them.

I was shocked to hear on the radio the other day a prominent pastor say that in Christ he can do whatever he wants (including sin)because Christ had bought his freedom. Shocking! Where does it say in the Bible that we can do whatever we want and get away with it?

Now this was a prominent, well-respected pastor who went to seminary. Now should we just blindly follow his teachings just because he went to seminary? Should we follow erroneous teachigs that have been around for thousands of years just because they have been around for thousands of years? There are a lot of religions, which we have now, that have been around for thousands of years before Christianity, and after Christianity, and yet we deem them as erroneous. The length of time a teaching has been in force is not a true indicator of veracity, rather, the evidence which accompanies a teaching is the true test of veracity. God says test the spirits to see if they are from Him or some other source.

That justification is a legal action, is upheld by scripture, and thus is a true Biblical teaching. That sanctification is an ongoing purification process, is upheld by scripture, and is thus a true biblical teaching. The teaching that once someone is justified at the initial moment of salvation, and nothing more is needed after that, is NEW and ERRONEOUS, and is NOT SUPPORTED by scripture or real life experience.

Peace.

Kelly said...

The correct teachings pertaining to sanctification and justification have been around for thousands of years. The problem is that people are re-inventing their own definitions of what these terms mean. They are trying to force these terms to mean something that fit in with the NEW "once saved always saved" doctrine. This is a classic case of twisting scripture to suit one's own ideas, yet these are the same people who cry "sola scriptura." I find it hypocritical that these new doctrines are accepted as scriptural when there is no scriptural evidence to support them.

You preach it, Hillary!

Kelly said...

New post up, if you guys want to move discussion up there.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I was shocked to hear on the radio the other day a prominent pastor say that in Christ he can do whatever he wants (including sin)because Christ had bought his freedom. Shocking! Where does it say in the Bible that we can do whatever we want and get away with it?

Well, it must be "in the Bible" somewhere (and I use that phrase ironically!) because I recall Candy writing something very much like it: that Christians aren't bound even by the Ten Commandments, etc.

The length of time a teaching has been in force is not a true indicator of veracity, rather, the evidence which accompanies a teaching is the true test of veracity.

That's true, but why is it either-or? If the evidence for something was accepted, say, 1,000 years ago, then of course it would have been passed on for the whole millennium. If any of us cites a centuries-old authority, it's not so much because the authority is older than we are, but because we trust that he defended his argument well the first time around and that it has stood up to scrutiny since then.

Now I'm reminded of theorems in Geometry. When trying to prove something, you can go the long way, showing every step in your reasoning before you have the correct answer. You could also take the "shortcut" of citing a theorem that has been accepted as true, skipping a whole bunch of steps, and arrive at the same correct answer. (So perhaps my analogy shouldn't have been about reinventing the wheel, but about rewriting Euclid?)

Sue Bee said...

FWIW, as much as I’d like to be thought of as Sue Bee Theologian, my source for the sanctification discussion are Luther’s Small Catechism: Explanation of the Apostles’ Creed The Third Article, Sanctification; Luther’s Large Catechism, The Apostles’ Creed Article III; and The Augsburg Confession, Article XVIII: Of Free Will.

It’s church teaching. Plain & simple. And I confess it to be the accurate interpretation of Scripture.

I didn’t reinvent any wheel. I hopped the bike parked in my garage.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

In that case, the discussion would evolve to a debate on whether or not Luther was right . . . but I guess this thread is dead now, so I'll just see you on another one? =)

Kelly said...

Off-topic, but I believe my half sister has gotten herself into a bad situation. I can't share the details, but please keep her in your prayers, please.