My dear friend in Christ,
We are delighted to welcome you to CAF, where God’s singular truths can be uncovered and, God Willing, discovered.
As a point of reference; it was clever of you to pretend to be a catholic on Halloween. We have been asked these questions many times, but never in my memory by a Catholic. Still I’m grateful for the opportunity to address these issues with you. Know also that the FORUM limit’s the size of post so my replies are brief in order to address ALL of your points, and KNOW that ALL are welcome to post their views here.
[QUOTE]I need some answers.
I have been a Catholic all my life, but there have been some questions regarding the faith that have troubled me lately.
How can Catholics say that we believe in God’s grace when we believe that one goes to Heaven or Hell based on whether or not they died in a state of mortal sin? That seems to teach a works-based salvation, not a faith-based salvation. See Jn 3:16 and Eph. 2:8-9 [/QUOTE]
I’m familiar with both. May I suggest you re-read: Eph. 4:1-7 & Jn. 10:16
You have 3 Q’s touching on sin, so for the sake of brevity, allow me to combine them into ONE response.
Why do Catholics confess to a priest, when we should be confessing to God? The Bible says that only Jesus Christ is our mediator with God.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE] I took Holy Communion today even though I had been at a bar last night and got a little drunk. The reasons why I didn’t abstain was because I couldn’t find a definitive answer as to whether I had committed a mortal sin, or merely a venial sin, or if I had even sinned at all[/QUOTE]
Your questions seem to indicate a lack of the fullness of God’s bible teaching on the matter of sin: God used His priest even in the OT for sin forgiveness. READ: Lev. 5:15; 6:7 as examples. As a FYI: catholics “receive Christ,” we don’t “take him.”
SIN IS: any and all actions that oppose God’s Will and Commandments. Mt. 19:17 Jesus replied: “But if thou wilt enter into life, [HEAVEN] keep the commandments”
Emphasis, not shouting here.
[B] 1John.1 Verses 8 to 10:[/B] “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [B ]If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”[/B]
[B] 1John.5 Verses 16 to 17[/B]”If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. [B] There is sin which is mortal[/B]; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, [B] but there is sin which is not mortal. [/B]
[B] John.20 Verses 20 to 23[/B]]” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. [B][U] Jesus said to them [/U][/B] again, “Peace be with you. [B] As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” [/B] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [B][U][COLOR=”Red”][SIZE=”5″]If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained[/SIZE][/COLOR][/U][/B].”
Catholics “Confess to Priest” in humble Obedience to God’s Command and Will. God did not have to do it this way but freely choose to so that their would be not the slightest doubt that He God HAS forgiven our sins. The non-catholic way is a recent, and very human invention and not very likely; acceptable to God.
Because God can be described as: EVERY GOOD THING [AND ONLY GOOD] PERFECTED, we can know that He MUST be “fair and just.” Therefore sin must be judged according to its intent and effects. A “fib” can’t be judged like murder for example. Mortal sins are so serious that they separate one from a Personal relationship with God until the sin is Confessed and forgiven.
Venial sins can be forgiven through prayer and petition. Which is WHY at the start of Mass this is done so that one has been “perfected” and thus MADE worthy to receive Christ in Person. Matt.5:48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mortal sin can ONLY be forgiven through Sacramental Confession as the Normal Mandate of Christ.
Not everything is in the bible
. Were this actually God’s NOT man’s rule; there would be Not be a “church” today if this not true. WHY? It took about 70 years for new church to choose the OT books to be included and the NT to be authored by its CATHOLIC writers. So their was a PROLONGED period when the early church GREW W/O the aid of today’s bible. The Early NT church did what the OT Jews did and relied on Tradition, and word of mouth teaching.
1 Cor. 11 2: 2 “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you”
2 Thess. 2: 13-15 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
READ the final two verses in John 20 and 21 and you’ll discover that even the bible TELLS us that not everything is “in the bible.”
A Mortal sin MUST: 1 be serious matter 2 Know [OR SHOULD KNOW] it will be a Mortal sin 3 and desire to do it anyway.
[QUOTE] Where in the Bible does it say that we are not to take Holy Communion if we are in a state of unrepented mortal sin? Remember, if it’s not in the Bible, then it’s not doctrine.[/QUOTE]
1st Cor. 11: 23-30 [parts here] “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, Take ye, and eat: this is my body… This chalice is the new testament in my blood… Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord… For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many who sleep.” [DEAD in their MORTAL ISIN]
[QUOTE] Where in the Bible is Purgatory mentioned?[/QUOTE]
It’s NOT by Name: nor are “bible” catholic, protestant or theology BUT here it is:
Rev. 21: 27 “But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Mt. 5:26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
Matt.5: 48“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Heb. 2: 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
1 Cor. 3: 13-14 “each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done if the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, [Purgatory] though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
[QUOTE] How is not idolatry to pray to the Virgin Mary and the saints? Again, the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to our Heavenly Father. Also, how are the statute, crucifixes, rosaries, etc. not forbidden graven images? [/QUOTE]
IF Catholics actually DID what you think we do; then yes. BUT that’s not what we ARE DOING. All catholic prayer HAS GOD as the end goal. It is FAR more accurate to say that we pray THROUGH [not “to”] Mary and the Saints.
Like Moses in the Breech; Mary and the Saints INTERCED for us. Adding the merits of their own prayers ON-TOP of ours. The Hail Mary, except for the final petition can be found in it’s entirety in Lk. Chpt. One.
[QUOTE] Where in the Bible does it say that things like masturbation, cohabitation, etc. are sins? I can’t seem to find any references to these. In fact, I can’t seem to find any distinction between venial and mortal sin. James 2:10 actually seems to teach AGAINST the venial vs. moral sin doctrine[/QUOTE]
IMPOSIBLE-My friend, there is one Infallible rule for RIGHT Understanding of the bible: [emphasis not shouting] James is saying only that such HAS SINNED.
Can, may or DOES
1 bible verse, passage or teaching
INVALIDATE- make VOID or OVERRIDE another
Verse, passage or teaching
Where this not true the bible would be worthless to teach or learn ones Faith
Space [not facts] prohibit a more specific reply. But you need to understand that the Ten Commandments are CATAGORIES of sins; NOT “the entire list of possible sins.”
READ Mt. 5: 21-25 to get a hint of this by Christ Himself. BECAUSE Not everything is in the Bible [Jn 20 and 21] Christ actually GAVE His very Powers and authority to Peter [Mt. 16:18-19] and through Peter to the Church [Mk.16:14-15; Mt. 28:16-20] and THIS;
Jn 17:17-20 “Sanctify them in truth. [God can’t deny God’s own request] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [MEANS: with Christ very Own Powers and Authority] READ Mt. 10:1-8 And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me” The Power to ‘Bind and Loose” is the Power and Authority to Make Laws and regulations and GOVERN!
[QUOTE] Can a non-Catholic be saved? It seems to me that any Christian who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and doesn’t die in a state of mortal sin will be saved.[/QUOTE]
Can anyone be saved? YES! CONDITIONALLY! All salvation must and does flow through the CC [no other church / faith even existed for about 1,000+ years]
ONLY those who GOD has not granted the POSSIBILITY of Knowing Him, his One [and only One set of Faith beliefs] and One Church [all that Christ Founded and desires] MIGHT be saved outside of His Church. ANYONE and everyone who can KNOW of God, His One Faith and One Church is GRAVELY bound to advantage it. CCC #’s 780; 846; 847. The KEY here is what GOD wants; not what we choose as “better.”
[QUOTE] Can you be considered “born-again” as a Catholic? I do feel that I had a spiritual reawakening that caused me to take the Church seriously. Does that count as being born-again[/QUOTE]
Sacramental Baptism [Jn 3:5] does it and it’s affirmed in sacramental Confirmation. [Pentecost]. Wish I had more space, there’s TONS more I can share.
God Bless you!