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ATTN: people who believe in "Salvation by grace not by works"

#1OrangeWizardPosted 2/15/2013 2:41:15 PM
I've never really understood where you guys are coming from when you argue "faith vs works", or "grace vs works"

Over on GameTrailers, I tried to ask this guy some questions which would probably help me to understand the other side of this debate, but he refuses to answer for some reason.

I think the JW view and the "mainstream" view of "faith vs works" are a lot more similar than we think, but I don't know enough about the "mainstream" view to come to an accurate conclusion.

To recap, JWs think that you have to DO stuff in order to be worthy of paradise/heaven. Others have always said that this stance is unbiblical and that "you can't earn salvation, it's given to you", but I agree with that, however it all depends on what we mean when we say "salvation".

So I have some questions, if you don't mind.

If these questions demonstrate a complete lack of understanding on my part, please feel free to smack me around a bit and correct me.

When you say "saved" or "salvation" do you mean "Christ died for your sins" or "you go to heaven" or both?
Does "being saved" necessarily mean "going to heaven"?
So you can just sit around all day doing nothing and get saved? You don't have to go to church, or pray to God or do anything?
If "being saved" does not necessarily equal "going to heaven", can one sit around all day doing nothing and go to heaven?
Can you go to heaven without even trying to worship God?
Does one need to attend religious services to go to heaven?
Does one need to read the bible to go to heaven?
Does one need to try and walk an upright path to go to heaven?

Thanks.
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive things.
#2TheRealJiraiyaPosted 2/15/2013 2:50:37 PM
I believe that salvation comes from repentance and the decision to follow God, but that you cant be "good enough" and that it, ultimately, revolves around God's wllingness to forgive. However, the kind of attitude that comes from the following of Jesus Christ will cause you to do good works. It is the effect, not the initial cause

So..

When you say "saved" or "salvation" do you mean "Christ died for your sins" or "you go to heaven" or both?

I mean "if you were struck by lightning RIGHT NOW you would go on to Heaven/the New Earth in the afterlife"

Does "being saved" necessarily mean "going to heaven"?

Um.. you can forsake your salvation and choose a different path, so being saved presently is no indication of where you will be in the future.

So you can just sit around all day doing nothing and get saved? You don't have to go to church, or pray to God or do anything?

IF you are saved you WILL do these things. Not because they are necessary for salvation, but because works are the effect of salvation. Faith without works is dead, as James points out.

Can you go to heaven without even trying to worship God?

I really feel uncomfortable declaring who will or wont make it, but unless you live without ever sinning or God chooses to make an exception.. no.

Does one need to attend religious services to go to heaven?

No, but it is healthy

Does one need to read the bible to go to heaven?

No, but it is healthy. For this and the last question, I think a practicing Christian can live on a deserted island with no scripture but what he can remember from before his shipwreck. But it would be difficult.

Does one need to try and walk an upright path to go to heaven?

If you are saved you WILL
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#3WelshGamer82Posted 2/15/2013 3:02:25 PM
I don't feel comfortable answering on behalf of the "mainstream" view, because I don't feel qualified as a spokesman. I mean, my view might coincide with the mainstream view, but my knowledge theologically might not be complete. Nevertheless:

I think the Christian view of salvation is that Christ's actions at Calvary was the redemptive act of "saving" us. So yes, being saved is equivalent with "going to heaven". But the crux of what I assume is mainstream theology is that Christians cannot be saved through their deeds, as all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Instead, we need to view our lives before and after salvation as a mirror of what happened to the church at Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descended on the church. My character changed when I became a Christian, and I truly desire the things you mentioned. For example: I love going to church, I love reading the bible, and though I fail at times, I try my best to maintain a moral character.

To summarise, I believe that through God's grace, I am saved, but good works (while not "contractually" a part of that salvation) are a natural consequence of that salvation. I guess that externally, there doesn't really appear to be a large distinction between that position and what you mentioned. It might even be identical if I'm reading your post wrong.

Hope that makes sense.
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#4SuibomPosted 2/15/2013 3:03:44 PM
*A rare OW topic appears!*

FIGHT PKMN
ITEM RUN


The "in a nutshell" response is that we're saved by the grace of God by faith in God. We confirm it with works, or fruit worthy of repentance. Our faith isn't dead, being without works, and our works aren't in vain, being alone.

I'm not a huge fan of overly emotional mushy gushy Christianity, but I do believe that if we love God, it'll show in the form of both our trust in Him and our labor for Him. It can't be one or the other.
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#5JonWood007Posted 2/15/2013 3:06:01 PM
Obviously I'm talking from an ex-Christian standpoint, but the Bible never was clear about the faith vs works thing. Different authors say different things, and Paul who is the biggest source of the "grace alone" philosophy doubles back himself on the matter once his followers started doing whatever the heck they wanted.

Jesus seems to push works. You don't begin to get into him laying heavy on the faith part and how he's the way until you get to John, which is the furthest removed gospel from the events themselves. the Synoptics seem to promote works. Jesus' parables and teachings are full of calls to action. Paul seems to push faith over works, but he doubles back on this to a degree saying people who commit certain kinds of behavior won't find their way to heaven. James said faith without works is dead.

Salvation is another weird concept similar to the validity of OT law in the sense that it applies, but it doesn't apply, but it applies, but it was reinterpreted blah blah blah. You need faith in Jesus, but you need works too, although your best works are like dirty rags, but if you don't do good you aren't really saved because if you love Jesus you will follow his commands, and you also have the holy spirit working in you, and blah blah blah. In the end it's a pretty unclear concept to me.
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#6OrangeWizard(Topic Creator)Posted 2/15/2013 3:20:55 PM
Thank you.

From: TheRealJiraiya | #002
you can forsake your salvation and choose a different path


How do you do that?

IF you are saved you WILL do these things.


That seems like a weird version of the false cause fallacy.

"Is a person a farmer because he grows crops, does he grow crops because he is a farmer?"
Does the actions a person does define who he is, or does who he is define his actions?

Is there any scriptural backing to this?

I really feel uncomfortable declaring who will or wont make it, but unless you live without ever sinning or God chooses to make an exception.. no.


So this is like the "If you are saved, then you will worship God" thing, right?

I understand more now. We're coming at it from opposite directions. The way I see it, people will do X Y and Z to get "saved", and the way you see it, people get "saved' and then do X, Y, and Z.

In both of our cases, though, X, Y, and Z are still getting done, and without them, you cannot get "saved', or in your case you aren't "saved" because you aren't doing them. Would you agree?


, I think a practicing Christian can live on a deserted island with no scripture but what he can remember from before his shipwreck. But it would be difficult.


Me too.

But people still come at me with torches and pitchforks, and based on the answers to the questions you gave me, I don't see why this should be the case.


Also, a few more follow-ups.

If one has the means and opportunity to go to church, read the bible, and if they aren't stranded on a deserted island, should they? Would not doing these things because they'd prefer to sleep in on Sunday, and not read the bible, but read 50 shades instead, "count against them?"

Also, what is involved in worshipping God? Again, the deserted island scenario being ignored.
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive things.
#7OrangeWizard(Topic Creator)Posted 2/15/2013 3:25:27 PM(edited)
Also, thank you welsh, suibom and Jon.

You guys can chime in on anything I said in response to TRJ's post too. One of the things I most desire answered is this:

I understand more now. We're coming at it from opposite directions. The way I see it, people will do X Y and Z to get "saved", and the way you see it, people get "saved' and then do X, Y, and Z.

In both of our cases, though, X, Y, and Z are still getting done, and without them, you cannot get "saved', or in your case you aren't "saved" because you aren't doing them. Would you agree?

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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive things.
#8FlashOfLightPosted 2/15/2013 3:36:36 PM
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#9ThuggernautzPosted 2/15/2013 3:43:38 PM
You bold the most random words, even if there are words that better illustrate your point. I find it equally fascinating and amusing.
#10FlashOfLightPosted 2/15/2013 3:45:10 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]