Thursday, September 25, 2003

from the Reasons why you CAN lose your salvation forum:

I need to summarize my position on this topic. Here's a good site that clarifies the issue.

John 10:26-29

"But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

This passage is often used to teach the doctrine of "once saved - always saved". To clarify what is meant by this, let us first observe the following points about God's plan of salvation.

1. God, as the creator of mankind has all authority to establish the guidelines to which man is expected to conform. (Psalm 119:9)

2. Failure to conform to those guidelines separates man from God, resulting in spiritual death. The end result of this death is eternal condemnation in hell. (this is what man needs to be "saved" from). (Rom. 6:23)

3. Man cannot resolve this separation of his own accord. (John 14:6)

4. God because of his great love for man, sent Jesus to make it possible for man to be reconciled to God. (John 3:16)

5. This reconciliation required the blood of Christ on the cross. (1 Pet 1:18-19)

6. Man's salvation while made possible by the blood of Christ is not unconditional. It requires certain conditions to be met. (Acts 2:38, Rom 10:10; Rev 2:7)

7. Meeting those conditions causes all of the sins we have ever committed to be washed in the blood of Christ. At this point, we have been "saved" because our sins, which separated us from God have been taken out of the way. (1 John 1:7)

8. After this point, it is possible to abandon the faith, return to a life of sin. (2 Pet 2:20-21)

9. If we do so, we are again separated from God, and fall from God's grace. A person in this state is again separated from God and is spiritually dead. (Rev 3:1)

10. The person who sins after being saved can be forgiven by God if he will repent of those sins and ask for forgiveness. (Acts 8:22)

11. In the day of judgment, our fate is sealed and all men will either receive an eternal home with God in heaven or condemnation in hell. At this point, we cannot do anything to change our destiny. (Matt 25:41-46). Once we are dead, our fate is sealed (Lk 16:26)

Most people will agree with these statements up to point #7 (although some may dispute the conditions in #6). Some who believe the doctrine of "once saved always saved" will disagree with point #8, others will agree there, but disagree with #9. That is, some claim that those who are truly saved cannot sin. Others believe that they can sin, but that those sins can never cause the person to be lost. The points below will hold true regardless of which position you take. You will notice from point 11 that I do believe that there is a time when the Christian enters the eternal rest and at that point we can never be lost.

The passage stated above in John 10, is often used to make two arguments by those who believe in the doctrine of once saved always saved. Nearly all of the scriptures used to support this belief make one of these same two arguments.

Argument #1: Those who are saved will never die.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and the follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish;"

The interpretation placed on this passage by those who teach the doctrine of once saved always saved is that since Christ's sheep will never perish, that it is impossible for someone who has become a Christian to fall away and be lost. However, if you read this verse carefully and consider it in the context of the New Testament, you will see that this interpretation is inconsistent with what the rest of the scriptures teach.

This passage simply says that those who follow Christ receive eternal life. Eternal life is the end result of a lifetime of following after Christ (Rev 2:10; 25-26), not something that is awarded the moment one begins to follow him. There is nothing here about the impossibility of ceasing to follow Christ. That concept must be inferred from the passage, and there is nothing to suggest that inference. In fact, if we apply the same logic to John 3:36, we could also say that it is impossible for anyone who is an unbeliever to ever be saved: "… he who does not believe the Son shall not see life…". We all understand that this statement will cease to apply to the unbeliever who becomes a believer. Let us then understand that the promise of eternal life does not apply to the follower, who ceases to be a follower.

Notice the following:

The destiny of eternal life or destruction is assigned in the day of judgement. Matt 25:31-46,

One must endure to the end to receive the crown of life. (Rev 2:10)

In this passage, following is a pre-requisite, to inheriting eternal life. The scriptures clearly teach that we can cease to follow Christ. (Rev. 2:5, Rev 3:2-3; Rev. 3:15-16, Gal 1:6)

It follows, then, that the one who does not endure and ceases to follow Christ will not enjoy the blessing of eternal life. (1 Cor. 9:27, Heb 3:12)

Argument #2: Nothing can separate one who is saved from God.

"and no one shall snatch them out of My hand"

This statement and several others like it in the scriptures are used to teach that God's hold on the saved is so firm that there is nothing they can do to be lost. Again, if you look closely, you can see that this is drawing inferences where none is intended. This says that no one can snatch them from Christ's hand. This is a very comforting statement that assures us that no outside force and come in and steal us away from Christ against his will. He has the power to protect us. It says nothing about our ability or inability to voluntarily give up this protection and leave Christ.

The word translated "snatch" (or pluck) is the Greek word harpozo, which means to seize or take by force. This same word is used in Matt 12:29

"Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man and then he will plunder his house.

Here we see the picture of a strong man who is robbed because someone is able to bind him so that he can no longer defend his house. Christ is not like that. He cannot be bound by Satan so that we can be dragged off. The statement Christ made is about his ability to protect us if we accept that protection. We are promised that Satan cannot tempt us beyond our ability to endure it (1 Cor 10:13). However, it is our responsibility to make the right choice. The statement does not preclude us from refusing this protection and voluntarily leaving him.

In fact the scriptures teach:

Jews who returned to the old law had fallen from grace. (Gal 5:1-4) To these people, Christ was no longer any benefit and had been severed from Christ.

Paul recognized that he could become a castway or disqualified from receiving the prize (1 Cor 9:27). He then warned the Corinthians to "take heed" so they would not fall as well (1 Cor 10:12).

Those who have once tasted the heavenly gift can fall away (Heb 6:4-6)

Those who have escaped sin can return to it (2 Peter 2:20-22)

Christians whose life is unacceptable to God can become dead and need to repent or they become unworthy to walk with Christ. (Rev 3:1-4). Also, notice in v. 5 that names can be erased from the book of life.

If we don't hold fast to what we have, our crown can be taken (Rev. 3:11).

Christians can become so distasteful to Christ as to be "spewn out" (Rev. 3:16).

One who is saved can become under bondage to sin (Acts 8: 13-24) and in need of forgiveness.

Do any of these statements mean that we cannot be secure in our salvation? Of course not! The price of salvation has been paid by Christ and the terms by which we accept that gift are clearly given to us in the scriptures. We can rest assured that if we remain faithful to Christ, that we can receive the crown of life and that no one can take that promise from us if we are not willing to give it up! Heb 6:19.

Friday, September 19, 2003

In Reply To

I have had people tell me, but Paul.. but the Devil can take you out of God’s Hands.

Oh, he could? You think that?

And you’re still in God’s Hands?

Well, why hasn’t Satan taken you out, if he could?

Don’t you know that if he could, he would?

And if Satan hasn’t, then hasn’t he been nice to you.

And now you’re going to Heaven by the goodness of the Devil.

Isn’t that a strange doctrine?

I mean think about it. NO HE CAN’T DO IT!

That’s why he hasn’t done it. He can’t do it.

Bette, did you read my post here?


Earthless, I think ariana answered your questions already, so I will re-post it.

ariana - Re: Reasons why you CAN loose your salvation - Sep 17, 2003, 3:23 AM - (49 of 75) - reference

"Yes I agree, salvation is a gift from God. If you gave me a gift, though, could I not give it back? NOOOO, no one can "snatch" us out of the Lord's hands. How can I be stolen away from him, however, if I leave on my own "God given" free will? Could it be that those who claimed they were saved and then fell away NEVER REALLY WERE WASHED IN HIS BLOOD? Maybe, but that kind of assumption/judgement is something my Bible warns I should not make. Who am I to say that a person who said that prayer, done so good in the Lord's service for a while, and then turned away had been lost all along? I would NEVER want to make that assumption/judgement. "

Earthless, you seem to be making some assumptions. One, that man has no free will. This is a resurrection of the heresy of Pelagianism. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529 AD)[296] and at the Council of Trent (1546 AD).[297]

Second, you seem to assume that when Jesus said "It is finished", that he meant the work of Christ was totally finished on Calvary and we can't add anything to it. This is our cooperation with grace. Some say we have no free will to do this, but that is not true. Our free will helps us turn from sin and follow Christ. We can't earn heaven, but we can earn hell. It is our free will that decides where we end up.

Third, you seem to assume that salvation is instantaneous, not a life long process. When was Abraham justified? When he left UR, when God promised him a son, or when he obeyed God to sacrifice Isaac? In all three places, Genesis says Abraham was justified. Assuming that salvation is instantaneous leads to pitting the initial method of receiving the gift of faith with the methods of on-going reception of grace. If your assumption were that salvation is a process, there would not be a conflict. In Catholic teaching, on the other hand, the work of justification is not limited to the act of faith with which it begins. It is carried on by the use of the sacraments, the life of charity and the practice of good works, so that human nature recovers the spiritual life that was lost by sin and man becomes a new creature.

Fourth, you seem to assume that we don't need to repent for serious sin (2 Corinthians 12:21) after baptism. How can we repent of sins we have not yet commited? Yes, Jesus did what was necessary for all human's sins for all time to be forgiven, but not unless we continue to repent for the sins we commit after baptism. Jesus did his part. We have to do our part by letting his mercy and forgiveness be applied to us. He stands at the door and knocks, but we have to open the door. Sometimes we shut the door through serious sin. (Warning: mixed metaphor ahead) Sometimes we become lost sheep, but our Good Shepherd will bring us back to the flock if we don't fight him. Revelation 21:27 says,"but nothing unclean will enter it [heaven], nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." This is not qualified by saying these offenses after baptism are overlooked. We have to continue to repent for sin or we won't receive the gift of eternal life. Rom 2:7-13 "To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. 12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Paul later explains in v. 25 that he is talking about circumcision when he is talking about the law, not the 10 commandments. Remember, Paul is writing this letter to people who already believe in Jesus. He is not talking about initial salvation.

Fifth, you seem to assume that salvation and sanctification are separate and that sanctification is optional. I think it is better to assume they are not separate and that growing in holiness is mandatory. (e.g., Mt 5:20, 48; 7:20-24; Rom 2:7-13; 1 Cor 6:11; 1 Pet 1:2). Protestantism's teaching of extrinsic, imputed, forensic, or external justification contradicts the Christian Tradition and biblical doctrine of infused, actual, internal, transformational justification (which inc. sanctification): Ps 51:2-10; 103:12; Jn 1:29; Rom 5:19; 2 Cor 5:17; Heb 1:3; Heb 6; 1 Jn 1:7-9. Sin makes us lose the grace that sanctifies us, but does not make us lose the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit continuously calls us back even when we are deep in sin and helps us resist temptation. We don't lose the salvation we had at baptism, but we lose the post-baptismal salvation/sanctification. Since sanctification is not optional, one ends up in a state that is worse than pre-baptism (2 Peter 2:20).

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

In Reply To:
However, when it comes to the issue of eternal security, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that those who have been saved will never be lost. Jesus emphatically pointed this out in the book of John when, in reference to believers, He said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand..." (John 10:28). In this passage, Christ explicitly declared that no one who has received eternal life will ever lose it.
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Jesus will not leave us and no one can take him away from us. However, we have free will that lets us go away from Him. The Bible makes this very clear.
Proverbs 21:7 The oppression of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is right. 8 The way of the culprit is crooked, but the conduct of the innocent is right.

Jer.2:28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. [29] "Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the LORD. [30] In vain have I smitten your children, they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. [31] And you, O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, `We are FREE, we will come no more to thee'? [32] Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

The opposite of free will is free stuborness or hardness of heart. For example---
Mark, chapter 7:[15 there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him."
Mark, chapter 10:5: But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
Mark, chapter 16:14: Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
Matthew, chapter 19:8: He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
Matt.15:18-20 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."
Ephesians, chapter 4:18: they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart;
Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
This does not mean that the true believer has a free ride, a license to sin. A true believer strives to follow Jesus; but being human they will sometimes stumble. Any true believer will tell you, that having been sealed with the Holy Spirit, they cannot remain in a prolonged sinful lifestyle; because, the Spirit will not allow them peace until they abandon that lifestyle.

Additionally, God's outpouring of love to His children does not allow the true believer to be comfortable with prolonged sin.
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Do you have any scientific evidence to prove this? Based on my experience, I whole-heartedly disagree. Why, in the Our Father, do we pray to "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"? If this is impossible to be tempted, why pray for it? Even Jesus was tempted after the Holy Spirit descended on him. Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

2 Peter 2:18-21 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Hebrews 3:12-14 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

The idea of Once Saved, Always Saved and the lack of free will is not what original Christianity taught. The Catholic Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against the heresy of Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529 AD) and at the Council of Trent (1546 AD).

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Now I know what you're asking: "What about the Christians who have completely abandoned their faith?" Well, judging by what we're told in Scripture we can only conclude that they were never saved from the start.

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That doesn't sound like one can ever be sure one is really saved. It seems when one commits sin, one would start to doubt their salvation, so therefore one would want to get "saved" every week. Eventually, one would start thinking they are unable to make a commitment to Christ at all because they think they really meant it the last time, so why try again? What they need is repentance, confession and mercy, not to be "saved" again. This would make the Bible make more sense because it would explain how we can believe in Jesus, yet fall into sin. The story of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15) is more what salvation is all about.
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Salvation is a gift given by God, which is in accordance with scriptural teaching. Now, those that say salvation can be lost will, for the most part, also say that salvation is a gift.

However, in practicality, they are actually denying that salvation is a gift. Why do I say that? Because a gift is not something, which you must earn or pay for to keep!

If I give you something and it is truly a gift, I will not ask you to work for it in exchange or to keep doing something to make sure I don’t take it away. We need to align with Scripture and remember, eternal life that comes to the believer through faith in Christ is not life for two weeks, two months, or even two years; eternal life is everlasting life.
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I agree salvation is a gift given by God. By obeying the commandments, I am not earning heaven. I'm avoiding hell. The Prodigal Son claimed his inheritance, but in offending the father, lost the joy of belonging to his family. He would have remained in that state if he had not repented. We can be disinherited too through serious sin. By obeying the commandments, I am acting like one who belongs to God's family. Only my free will decision will get me disinherited. God will not break his covenant with me, but I can break my covenant with him. I can't do this on my own. I need God's grace. John
15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes 3 so that it bears more fruit. 3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. 4 Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing."

Why would Jesus say, "Remain in me" if that is not a free choice or an impossibility of leaving? By the rest of your post ("whatever happens will happen"), you seem to be supporting double predistination -- the idea that God makes some people to go to heaven and others to go to hell. My God would not be so mean that he would damn someone before they were born. We are all create to know love and serve God and be with him in heaven. Some of us will turn away through our own choice. I can agree we are predestined to heaven, but not to hell.

Monday, September 15, 2003

In Reply To

i agree that faith alone saves...logic tells us that one who accepts Christ as thier Lord and Savior is going to ask God for forgiveness faith alone is all that is needed from us...asking for forgiveness will happen as a result of faith


If I say I'm a Christian, but sacrifice my children to pagan gods, can I can't call myself a Christian? No. I have to act like what I have committed myself to being. I have to practice what I preach. I have to take up my cross and follow Jesus (Mt 16:24). Doing this is not optional, but it is not what earns heaven for me. Eternal life is a free gift. Otherwise, I am just saying "Lord, Lord". I don't have to obey the "works of the law" like circumcision or abstain from pork, which is what Paul meant by "works of the law." I can't earn heaven, but I can earn hell, which is where I would go if I refuse to obey the 10 commandments.

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Repentance and baptism are also required.

Acts 2:36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

From the forum at
There is a difference between the true believer, that person who has been born-again. And the individual that professes to be a Christian with his lips, but is not in reality.

For those that are true believers, the Holy Spirit is the enabler and convicter bringing them unto good works. Good works is a natural result of ones loving personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Good works are not a means to keep or sustain the grace gift of salvation that Jesus completed.

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If good works are a natural result, why does Scripture tell us to endure? If they were as natural as breathing, why would we need to be told to do it? Here are just a few of many verses that tell us to endure.

[36] For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.

2 Timothy 2:3
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:5
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

[19] By your endurance you will gain your lives.

[12] Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Friday, September 05, 2003

From the forum at
To Bond:
Sirach teaches justification by the works of the law (honouring parents, etc.) which is directly refuted by the Bible: “A man is not justified by the works of the law” (Galatians 2:16). In fact, the apostle Paul goes as far as saying that “if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (verse 21). If we could obtain righteousness by such things as obeying the commandment and doing charity, there would have been no need for Christ dying on the cross.
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Whne Paul talks about works of the law, he was talking about obeying the Levitical law such as circumcision (Romans 2:25-29, 3:1) and dietary laws (Romans 14), not moral laws. In the next verse, Galatians 2:17, says "But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? Of course not!"

In Romans 2:5-8, Paul condemns the Judiazers who think they will be saved by the Levitical law. He says, "By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, 6 who will repay everyone according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, 8 but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness." Romans 1:5 Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the OBEDIENCE OF FAITH, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, 6 among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;" Obedience to what? The moral law. Romans 13:8 says, "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

There are also historical errors in the apocrypha. For example, Tobit claims to have been alive when Jeroboam revolted (931 B.C.) and when Assyria conquered Israel (722 B.C.). These two events were separated by over 200 years and yet the total lifespan of Tobit was 158 years (Tobit 1:3-5; 14:11)! Judith mistakenly identifies Nebuchadnezzar as king of the Assyrians (1:1, 7) when in fact he was the king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:1).

Surely the doctrinal and historical errors in the apocrypha are evidence against the divine inspiration of these books.

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There are "errors" in the deuterocanonical books. The book of Judith, for example, gets several points of history and geography wrong. Similarly Judith, that glorious daughter of Israel, lies her head off (well, actually, it's wicked King Holofernes' head that comes off). And the Angel Raphael appears under a false name to Tobit. How can Catholics explain that such "divinely inspired" books would endorse lying and get their facts wrong? The same way we deal with other incidents in Scripture where similar incidents of lying or "errors" happen.
When the Gospels say the women came to the tomb at sunrise, there is no scientific error here. This is not the assertion of the Ptolemiac theory that the sun revolves around the earth. These and other examples which could be given are not "errors" because they're not truth claims about astronomy or historical events.

Similarly, both Judith and Tobit have a number of historical and geographical errors, not because they're presenting bad history and erroneous geography, but because they're first-rate pious stories that don't pretend to be remotely interested with teaching history or geography, any more than the Resurrection narratives in the Gospels are interested in astronomy. Indeed, the author of Tobit goes out of his way to make clear that his hero is fictional. He makes Tobit the uncle of Ahiqar, a figure in ancient Semitic folklore like "Jack the Giant Killer" or "Aladdin." Just as one wouldn't wave a medieval history textbook around and complain about a tale that begins "once upon a time when King Arthur ruled the land," so Catholics are not reading Tobit and Judith to get a history lesson.

Wisdom 8:19,20 is another contradiction between the apocrypha and Scripture. “For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit. Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.” However, the Bible teaches that all are born with original sin. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). The author of Wisdom believes he is an exception.

Sirach 12:4-7 advices, “Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. Do well unto him that is lowly, but give not to the ungodly; hold back thy bread, and give it not unto him...give unto the good, and help not the sinner.” This sound more like pagan philosophy rather than the teaching of God, “I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you...Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again” (Luke 6:27,30) “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20).
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Jews who touched dead people were called defiled. Perhaps Wisdom 8:19,20 is talking about that kind of defilement, not original sin.

If this makes it unscriptural, why is Wisdom quoted in the New Testament?
Wisdom 2:12-20, reads in part, "For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him."

This passage was clearly in the minds of the Synoptic Gospel writers in their accounts of the Crucifixion: "He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ÔI am the Son of God'" (cf. Matthew 27:42-43)

Sirach 12:4-7 advices, "Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. Do well unto him that is lowly, but give not to the ungodly; hold back thy bread, and give it not unto him...give unto the good, and help not the sinner." This sound more like pagan philosophy rather than the teaching of God, "I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you...Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again" (Luke 6:27,30) "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink" (Romans 12:20).
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Jesus came to reveal the law of love of neighbor. In the Old Testament, that wasn't clear yet.

To eirene:
I want to point out that what you have brought up is an issue of doctrine, and since your doctrines make no room for the those types of statements found in the Deuterocanonicals, then, as such, your belief system makes no room for those books to be considered as scripture . ..
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I agree. One should form doctrine from the scripture and tradition, not edit Scripture to fit preconceived doctrine.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I've been away from blogging because I had surgery again 7/31. I'm now back at work and doing fine. Please, Lord, enough already!

I have started being a catechist for those inquiring about the Catholic faith. It is a lot of fun and it's challenging. Our parish has 3 people that are in this phase and will be joining the RCIA this fall. The inquiry sessions are year around, though. Pray for our inquirers and may God send some more to our RCIA.