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Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by 1stcenturylady, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He may not have walked out of the Catholic Church, but he was excommunicated by it.
    Yes, his negative talk about the Jews, late in life, was about the worse thing that he ever said.
     
  2. Episaw

    Episaw Always learning

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    Being excommunicated is quite different from walking away from it. I was excommunicated from a Protestant church this year because I asked the preacher a question. Apparently, you did not do this as it suggests the preacher is not infallible.

    If I had not been excommunicated, I would still be part of it because I loved the people and got on really well with them.
     
  3. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Now I remember. I think I told you I have all of his commentaries.
     
  4. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    We Wesleyans believe in sanctification, which takes the desire to sin boldly away.
     
  5. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    You say you are Protestant. Which denomination?
     
  6. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    I can't resist - what was the question?
     
  7. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Preach brother!
     
  8. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    I am sort of a Presbyterian. My church is a Non-Denom that adheres to the WCF.
     
  9. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    When you read widely in CF, you begin to appreciate what "sin boldly" means. Luther was not, of course, encouraging people to sin. However many Christians are so in fear of sinning that they get tied up in knots worrying about their shortcomings. Jesus was more concerned that we help people than that we be perfect.
     
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  10. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    What is WCF?
     
  11. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Westminster Confession of Faith. It's the primary standard for conservative Presbyterians -- subordinate to Scripture, of course.
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, that's true even for the ELCA. We don't talk about losing faith so much because we believe in using the law more for suggestion than coercion. We don't want to shatter consciences, we want to form them. Despair is the certain enemy of a living faith, all our good works come from a faith that is confident that God's promises are pro me (for me).

    We don't exactly believe in sinning so grace abounds. But neither do we believe in living in despair of our sins. In this life, we will sin. Because we are sinners, and in bondage to sin, and in daily need of acknowledging this, that Christ is our only hope. That quote about "sin boldly" is frequently misunderstood, it can only be understood from the context of despair over ones sins, and the promise that Jesus is indeed the Savior of real sinners. It is not to be taken too generally as the way Lutherans behave. We believe in good order and serving others, not in anarchy and self-interest.

    Our ethics is serious and robust, but it differs substantially from some interpretations of the Reformed tradition, especially the Puritanism common in America that is a general feature of evangelicalism here.

    It just so happens alot of those insights I was talking about, about forming consciences, are precisely the way a good therapist would interact with a patient, so they are confirmed by the modern insights of psychology. We are a proclamation oriented people, we are not a purity oriented people, and we want to sincerely offer to all people the means of grace and accompany them in faith. They are free to reject that of course, but we hopefully will not present stumbling blocks to faith, that would be a tragedy.

    The theologian Gerhard Forde was once asked about whether grace was irresistible. His reply was "I find grace irresistible, don't you?" I think that's the Lutheran attitude on the subject. We aren't dogmatic about it, but we aren't exactly big on the idea that Christians sit around and choose to respond to grace, like it's an intellectual exercise, like you have this "offer" from God that you need to consider. Christians do respond to the Gospel. How that happens, how much freedom we have in it, what it will look like in our callings, will be different for every human being.

    The critique of the doctrine of irresistible grace has more to do with our concern that we do believe Christians can reject the faith and be lost. Some of our theologians have even taught that certain actual sins are so egregious, they could stem from departing from a living faith, and therefore could be considered "mortal". But I think that would be controversial and something not emphasized among modern Lutherans (there are still controversies in Lutheranism and different schools of interpretation, as in any church tradition).
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  13. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    What makes you think Luther wasn't encouraging sin so grace could abound? I was so shocked when a poster showed it to me, I read it a few times, and that was the message I got. Do you have a quote he said that contradicts that message?

    This part really made me grimace: "No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." I don't know of anywhere in the Bible where it states that sin doesn't separate you from God. No where does any apostle advocate sinning.
     
  14. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    I don’t believe that Luther is encouraging God’s people to sin. He would never do that IMO. Perhaps something is lost in translation.

    He is, however, preaching a strong message of eternal security and salvation by grace alone.

    I believe what he is trying to convey is that in order for a person to have true justifying faith and throw all of their hope for salvation on Jesus requires that they fully identify with their sinful nature not only before conversion but after conversion as well.

    Most of us have who believe in the eternal security of the believer have entered into threads here in the forum where certain people (more than a few) have so much emphasized the necessity for holy living (in order to stay saved as they see things) that they have lapsed over into a gospel of works rather than grace through faith. That is, of course, no gospel at all.

    I’m not saying that anyone who doesn’t believe in eternal security is preaching another gospel. But there are many who do IMO.

    Only God knows the heart of course and He’ll have to sort out who has “fallen from grace” in their gospel and who has not.

    I think what Luther is trying to say in the quote is that we must truly see ourselves as great sinners or else it is impossible that we can truly see Jesus as our great Savior. After all, believing that you are “saved” requires that you believe there is something to be saved “from”.

    As Luther would likely quote for us, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little." Luke 7:47

    Which seems to be another way of God saying what He says elsewhere, "......But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" Romans 5:20

    I don't belong to a particular denomination but most protestants who believe what Jesus told us about never again coming into condemnation would agree with Luther - assuming he really did mean what I think he did. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  15. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Even though I would like to think that no one practices what Luther first said, which may have mellowed since then, I get what you are saying about works being no gospel at all. I'm sort of on an island by myself. I do not believe we can practice sinning and still stay saved, nor do I believe in the Sabbath keeper group whose emphasis is on the Law instead of Spirit. And the holiness groups go deep into legalism about outward things like smoking, having a glass of wine with dinner, playing cards, makeup, jewelry, going to movies or dances - the list goes on. So I started this post to find a church where I might find some like minded people to fellowship with comfortably. Maybe I should start my own denomination like Amy Semple McPherson did. LTT (laughing through tears)
     
  16. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

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    I'm of the group that understands we are transformed from sinners to saints at our conversion. Following salvation it is normal to do what is right. It is abnormal to sin. If we sin, we repent and are forgiven. If the sin is habitual, we confront the sin by talking about it with others and figuring out a way to remove it from our lives. As saints, to do righteousness is normal. To sin means we need our mind to be renewed in some way. To sin is to do something that is completely contrary to our new nature. To sin grieves the Holy Spirit. The "struggle with the flesh" is non-existent because the flesh was circumcised and cut off (Romans 7 is talking from Saul's perspective, not Paul's), rather the aim is to have our minds renewed so that we live out who we are on the inside: and who are we on the inside? Our true nature is awesome, loving, caring etc. Adam and Eve sinned even though they didn't have a sinful nature. Our sins, after we are saved, are like Adam and Eve. We might sin via external temptation but this is rare. Jesus saves us and therefore our life is in Him. There's a lot more to say but hopefully I've given a basic idea of how we think about salvation and sin. I believe we can live sinless lives. I believe what we believe about sin affects how we act. If we believe we can't stop sinning because the flesh is always battling with Spirit, we'll keep sinning. But if we render the flesh dead, as it is, we live in the Spirit. Here's a link to a transcript of some preaching that is similar.
     
  17. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    We are on the very same page and wonderful to hear. Please tell me if your church is affiliated with a denomination, and which one. I'd be interested as I'm feeling pretty alone at present.
     
  18. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member

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    Read “On the Jews and Their Lies” and let us know if you still think he would never encourage Christians to sin.
     
  19. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First off, he is writing to Philip Melanchthon who was at times very nervous and scrupulous. Melanchthon is worried about how the Lord's Supper is to be used (specifically I believe, about the practice of reservation or adoration, if I remember correctly) and if it would be a sin to accommodate the practices to the needs of a particular church, and he is overwhelmed by anxiety and Luther is saying, look, stop worrying so much, your little problems are nothing.

    Sin can't separate us from God if we are in Christ, not unless we want to become Roman Catholic can we affirm this. Every Reformed , Methodist, and Lutheran believes that we are held firmly in Jesus grasp, and that all our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future, and that we are accepted as sinless on account of Christ. This is nothing new. If you believe otherwise, your beliefs are not historically Protestant, they are something else.

    Luther was prone to talking in hyperbole, as was Jesus. He is not advocating murder, but he is simply acknowledging that we will struggle with self-doubt, and we should have confidence that whatever is wrong in us, God's promise is more secure. God will straighten our crooked lines, as one wise preacher once told me.

    It is important to only accept honest sources, there is a great deal of tired Catholic anti-Lutheran propaganda out there, much that is contrary to the spirit of recent agreements we have made between our two churches officially. It should not be considered authoritative.

    We do not believe our leaders and teachers are infallible. We are capable of repentance and criticizing them, and do not feel slavish obedience but look for their wise counsel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  20. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    I'm getting conflicting interpretations from some on this thread about the Lutheran denomination. One poster said that Luther gravitated toward Calvin in faith alone and OSAS and sin can not separate us from God, whereas Lutherans gravitated to Arminius which lended itself more to not sinning at all and repentance. What do you say?
     
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