I'll hand it to you, you kept a fairly civil tone in your response despite the abuse I hurled your way. I'm liking you more already! Nevertheless, I want to finish up on a few of your responses.
I have seven hundred odd kids in my Catholic high school and I have met numerous LCMS youth on a regular basis. It is true that perhaps this is not the best example of good works because usually it is the last thing on an adolescent's mind. I would also like to point out that it is model not exactly an all-encompassing norm. The main point, I was trying to get across is that when you do good works for salvation (as defined in Catholic doctrine) then those good works are anything but moral; they are like those of the Pharisees. I think you also skipped over the second half of my post.
I understand the point you were trying to achieve in the second half of your post. I don't even necessarily completely disagree with it. What I disagree with is the means to the end that you used to arrive at your point.
I am not judging Catholics at all. Indeed it appears that I am, but I am not.
It does appear that way, especially when you denounce the Catholic youth as sinners and praise Lutheran youth as good model citizens.
Lutherans are just as sinful as Catholics.
I'm sorry, but you appear to be contradicting your previous statement about Catholic youth being more sinful than Lutheran youth.
The common question in this thread tends to boil down to is an act moral and right if reward is expected. In Christianity's case, many hold that we do good works to earn salvation. This is very much a Catholic model is it not? My main point is that the model itself is flawed and I use various experiences I have attained in an environment where that model is used extensively. It doesn't work, and usually it breeds disobedience to the law and a disregard for it.
You believe that not one single work is required for one to overcome this world? Grace and grace alone? That's all you need? If your answer is yes, we have a serious discussion that needs to take place.
Many of the young Catholics I have spoken to in my high school said they would leave the church when they left high school.
We'll know if this is a trend if the Catholic church suddenly gets much smaller once the proponderance of Catholic high school children have graduated! I would still have questions about how many Lutheran high school students would say the same thing, especially if they are just as big of sinners as the Catholic students as you admitted (more broad statements stereo-typing large groups).
The model of works righteousness does not save or lighten the load of sin, but it makes that load heavier with doubt.
Actually this statement is not scriptural.
Compare your statement to this scripure:
1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
be covered over by charitable acts. Sure it must come from your heart with love. But there is a lightening of the load of sin according to the Bible.
The question that often comes up is "have I done enough?" My attack is against the Catholic model, not Catholics as people or fellow Christians.
When you attack a group of peoples moral conduct and the motives for their good deeds, believe me you are attacking them
......and it is personal.
Damn straight, I am biased towards the LCMS faith and doctrine.
Then please don't try to appear that your reasoning is objective here. This boils down to a simple "my church is better than yours" and frankly I think many people are sick of hearing this. Stick to debating solid points instead of smearing an entire religion.......and their children.
Are there bad LCMS members that twist scripture and embrace extremly reformed theology and teachings? The answer is simply, yes!
How then can I be certain you are not one of these?
We have our bad apples as does every church denomination in America. Our kids are no more perfect than Catholic kids.
I'm sorry, but this appears to contradict your previous statement about the moral conduct of Catholic youth compared to that of Lutheran youth.
Now, I will not be so low to make a general inference on the entire Catholic populace based on the general attitude of a Catholic high school.
That was the whole reason you brought it up to start with. The effects of the Catholic model on Catholic youth compared to that of the Lutheran model on the Lutheran youth. Your observation would have very limited meaning if confined merely to a populace of 700 children. I'm pretty sure that you were inferring that this representation of Catholics represented the Catholic model as a whole and its effects on all Catholics.
I do believe it is commendable for Catholics (and everyone else) to partake in good works.
At least we do agree on something
But, you get into trouble when you say that good works brings salvation.
Good works alone
do not bring salvation. But there is an effect that is connected to works and salvation according to the Bible.
When you mix justification and works then you no longer are doing true good works, you are doing works to get into heaven (at which point the cease being good works).
Are you encouraging people who might have some small advantage to giving to stop giving altogether? Is it possible that one could be paying tithes or giving charitable donations both out of the goodness of their heart as well as for the tax advantage associated? Do you pay tithes? Do you use the receipt that your church issues as a tax advantage? If so, according to your philosophy, you just wasted approx. 10% of your income for nothing!
I find this train of discussion both judgmental and hippocritical.
Is it wrong then to do good for the good feeling of joy and fulfillment that you get in return. Be careful now.....that can be an alterior motive. Based on this train of discussion, poor people everywhere will start starving because people are too afraid to give because they might have a hidden motive.
For goodness sakes, let people do good for whatever reasons they wish to. Let God judge them once their life is over! If their intentions are evil, they will receive an evil reward. If their intentions are good, they will receive a good reward.
But make no mistake about it , the Bible does teach clearly that there is reward in heaven for works done right here on earth. Yes, the grace of Christ is a necessary element for salvation......and an element this debate could use a little more of!
That is the simple model I was trying to present.
Nothing in this life is simple.......trust me!
Perhaps it was insulting for some. I did not say it was a scientific study, but that it was based on my own personal experiences. Therefore, such comments can be discarded at one's own will. I was merely stating my stand on the Catholic model of works righteousness and its flaws.
You have every right to state your opinion....and I have the right to rebutt!
I would say I did not speak in a non-Christian manner however.
I find attacking the motives and morals of other religions pushing the boundry...but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. You seem
sincere enough in your own belief.......
Finally, did I say that anyone who participates in acts of good, goes to hell. I don't remember that. However, you seem to relate my post to people turning to athiesm.
I was saying that judmental attitudes have driven many people away from church. I was feeling somewhat of a judgmental tone in your comments concerning Catholic youths.
Some people turn to athiesm because they believe religion to be to overbearing and legalistic.
God gave His Son on the cross for our sins, that is gospel, and it was that act that saved us.
So when Christ died on the cross, you were saved already. And there is no further work required by yourself to claim that salvation? And this applies to everyone on earth?
Yipee! We're all going to heaven! Hold those pearly gates Peter, six billion of us are coming through!
Not by our own merits or works, only Christ's sacrifice could save us.
Again, Christ is nailed to a cross and everybody goes to heaven? No good work or evil work has any effect on this? Sounds like a pretty dandy deal!
How dare we try to add to that merciful sacrifice by saying that we must do more to earn God's forgiveness and mercy.
Your statement is indeed passionate......but is against what the Bible and Jesus Christ teach. There's a little thing in the Bible called "repentance". This is a necessary step to be forgiven. Trust me, repentence is work!
Is Christ's death and resurrection not enough?
It's awesome.....but the Bible teaches that more is indeed required.
Man cannot possibly do enough good works to attain or supplement this gift of salvation given freely for all peoples.
So salvation has already been given to all
peoples? And no works at all are required to go to heaven. So everyone that has lived on this earth since Jesus died is going to heaven? And they didn't have to be Lutheran? This includes all the Catholics?
So why are you knocking them? Let everyone run around and fake good works if they want to.....they're all going to heaven anyway!!!
You better give me some responses here. It's looking like there's some major holes in your doctrine if you're telling it right. Also, I would be very disappointed after posting the longest reply in the history of this website! (I don't know this for sure but it feels pretty long to me)