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Why Do Christians Lose Faith? Lutheran vs. Calvinism

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by jinc1019, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    That assertion would be, from a Lutheran perspective, dust in the wind with the simple phrase, baptizatus sum, "I am baptized".

    I have the guarantee of God because God's word and promise in Christ is irrevocable. I am baptized, I belong to Jesus.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  2. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lutheran Staff Member Purple Team - Moderator Supporter

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    I just never could be comfortable with the Calvinist position. I was staunchly Christian for the first 29 years of my life, but then I did fall away. It was only for a relatively short time, but several personal crises had me loose faith. So was I never really a Christian for all those years? That just does not seem like that could be correct to me. I know I am over simplifying the Calvinist perspective, but that seems to be what it gets down to, at least with many Calvinists, even if Calvin's perspective is not quite so heavy handed. With Lutheranism that is not an issue.
     
  3. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    The reason people fall away is because we are all given free will which enables us to either choose to believe or not to believe. Some may fall away because they couldn’t endure trials or perhaps they fall to deception from the evil one. Or perhaps they blame God for what they perceive as injustice such as loss of loved ones or innocent people suffering. I believe it is easy to understand that God created us with free will because He desires our love and fellowship. Love is a gift given freely out of affection. What value would love have if it were forced or preprogrammed? Would that even be a genuine love?
     
  4. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    True we are justified (made right with God) by faith but we must also abide in Christ to receive salvation. Anyone who does not abide in Him will not receive salvation.
     
  5. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lutheran Staff Member Purple Team - Moderator Supporter

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    I do not think we are arguing against living a Christ like life. Remember you are in the Lutheran Forum as a guest, teaching is not allowed.
     
  6. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Please forgive me I couldn’t help noticing a lot of teaching going on in here.
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Luther said faith takes hold of Christ like a ring on a finger. So that really isn't a qualification or contradiction.
     
  8. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    I hope I’m not overstepping my boundaries in this forum for asking this but are you saying that by having faith we will automatically abide but in another breath saying we only need faith we don’t need to do anything to abide?
     
  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    When we have faith, we take hold of Christ, mediated to us through Word and Sacrament. We simply do not separate justifying faith from Christ. Indeed, as Tuomo Mannermaa explains in his neo-Lutheran theology of divine union, Christ is truly present in faith.

    We are in no way justified by our obedience. Obedience is what the Holy Spirit works in us according to his gracious will, where we are freed to cooperate with God through our vocation. We gain no merit through our obedience, as Jesus himself said, we are unprofitable servants. However, united with Christ through faith, we venture out into the world to love our neighbor and serve them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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  10. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Spot on.

    What might put a finer point on this is to understand the extent of Luther's agony over predestination. Many historians interpret the history to indicate it reached such an extreme that Luther suffered mental illness as a result. This was not just an intellectual exercise for Luther.

    Luther discussed it a lot with his confessor (Staupitz), and what Staupitz continued to emphasize to Luther was that the only predestination that matters is the predestination of the Christ. As soon as you start thinking about my predestination, you start thinking about whether or not I can do anything, and you've negated the work of Christ.
     
  11. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Amen we cannot earn grace or salvation. If given the ability and opportunity would a person who has a saving faith obey and do good works and would a person who has a saving faith be without obedience and good works?
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    We aren't fruit pickers. That is the mistake that Reformed Christians sometimes make. That can become just another way to smuggle works-righteousness back into religion. Remember, for us its all about Christ, not our works.
     
  13. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    What’s your interpretation of John 15:1-10?
     
  14. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    It's true but what I said is also true. We do good works in Christ, but good works are not the ultimate measure of a Christian.

    Luther really broke the back of the Church to dominate and control. That is why the pure preaching of the Gospel is so necessary, because religion is no better than the people running it, which is to say, evil. Perhaps a necessary evil- we don't exactly deny Calvin's sensus divinitatis, the innate need for humans to be "spiritual", but we should not think our religious piety makes us righteous before God.

    I think that's why I have the Ship of Fools by Bosch as my avatar, because I think church and religion shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's not what Christ saves us for.

    On the other hand, you will find alot of Calvinists who think very differently, in very "churchly" terms. They actually have a potentially very magisterial view of the Church, something we do not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  15. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Personally I believe the true measure of a Christian is love. Looking at Matthew 25:41-43, James 2:14-16, and John 15:10-13 I believe in all these cases Love is the determining factor in whether or not a person will receive salvation. Of course along with believing and trusting in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To me it appears obedience to the two most important commandments is necessary for salvation according to these passages of scripture.
     
  16. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    The command to love is an invitation to love, from a Lutheran perspective. It's not "necessary" in the sense of a legal obligation, but it's more like an invitation from a loving parent.

    There is a beautiful post-communion prayer we use at our congregation that talks about God holding us like a mother and carrying us, filled with biblical imagery. I think that's a good metaphor for us for the Christian life. Or as St. Therese of Lisieux described her own spirituality, she wanted Jesus to be her "elevator to heaven" (she had seen elevators in France in the big cities, even though they were a new thing). It's simply not focused on what we do, but what God does.
     
  17. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    I couldn’t explain John 15 either when I believed in faith alone and OSAS. That’s why I had to reevaluate my beliefs. I do believe in faith alone just in another aspect.
     
  18. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    We don't believe in OSAS.
     
  19. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    QUOTE="jinc1019, post: 73795621, member: 304650"]Hello,

    I've been a Christian for nearly a decade, but I haven't been able to settle on a denomination. I think the two denominations that come the closest to the teachings of the Apostles are Lutheranism and Calvinism, but there are a few issues that I have yet to be able to settle. One is related to "falling away."

    I know Lutherans believe people can come to a truly justifying faith but then fall away later on. In some cases, these people never come back to faith and die in unbelief.

    My question is: According to Lutheran theology, why do Christians fall away?

    This is one of my biggest issues with Lutheranism. If Christians can fall away, there must be some reason for it, but all the reasons I can think of (environment, biological, etc.) can all be traced back to God's initial creative act. Consider Adam and Eve, for example. They chose to reject God, but God is the one who created them and He did so with perfect foreknowledge. Doesn't that mean God created Adam and Eve in such a way that he knew they would fall away, and thus desire it? The same could be said of every single Christian who has ever lived. That would mean those who fall away do so because God desires them to fall away, which violates specific passages of scripture that state clearly God does NOT desire Christians to fall away.

    In Calvinism, the answer is simple: Christians don't fall away. That doesn't mean Calvinists are correct, of course, but it is very clear.

    Any guidance on this issue would be very helpful. Thanks in advance![/QUOTE
    ===============================
    Did God desire Adam and Chavah (Eve) to be kicked out of the Garden and banned ?

    Did God desire the whole world to be so wicked He had to destroy all but 8 people ?

    People have free will - why did God give people free will ? I for one am not going to argue against Him, rather rejoice in the experiential full true knowledge and life of Jesus granted by sheer grace,
    and I don't want to harden my heart and fall away....
    Deuteronomy 1:26-38; Psalm 95:6-11; Hebrews 3 ... - Bible Study Tools
    https://www.biblestudytools.com/passage/?q=deuteronomio+1:26...95...
    7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, ...
     
  20. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Asking sinners to evaluate the quality of fruit from other sinners is the blind leading the blind. Which is why trying to scour your brother's good deeds to see if they "measure up", to try and measure another's "fruit" as it were, is a meaningless and worthless thing.

    At the end of all things there is only One who will divide the tares and wheat, the goats and sheep--and we aren't Him.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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