Reblog: Faith Alone?

Steve lays out some interesting (and factual) points about Christian faith and works. Great post!

Uncommon Sense

On Medium.com I read this: “This tenet (Faith Alone), which is a core part of not only the Reformation but the post-Reformation waves of evangelical organizations that came after, is theologically sound and correct.”

This may be “theologically correct and sound” but it is a pure invention of Paul and not what Jesus taught so is not, or should not be, a foundation of Christianity.

The author of the above also wrote: “So we have Faith and Works. Faith is the fact of belief in Christ and the things you do to reaffirm and intensify that faith and commitment. Works are the things you do to mitigate and absolve sin.” This shows that they have bought into Paul’s scheme hook, line, and sinker. What Jesus taught was that one needed to repent, that is acknowledge one’s sins, and then love God by following his commandments. So, works are not…

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26 thoughts on “Reblog: Faith Alone?

  1. As Steve said, the religion has more to do with Paul than with Jesus. They should call it “Paulianity”.

    In Ephesians 2, where Paul says that it is faith, not works, we read:

    “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    But what is Christian fundamentalism, other than boasting about faith?

    It seems to me that they have just about everything wrong. Jesus said “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Faith should imply following the teachings of Jesus. And if they actually had that kind of faith, they would not be so consumed with hatred toward others.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think Steve is absolutely correct: Paul of Tarsus invented Christianity.
    I always found it to be an amazing fact that Paul, in the few letters that we know he actually wrote (I think only 7 are undisputed.) hardly mentions Jesus at all. He’s too busy bashing women and gays and all those danged Gentiles who refuse to follow his rules!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Agreed. Paul made up “Christianity” out of whole cloth. In my opinion, Paul was a charlatan and a con man. His assertion that he was a Pharisee is absolute nonsense. He was born and bred in Tarsus in Anatolia, he would have had to spend years and years if he truly was a student of Gamaliel, an absolute giant of contemporaneous Judaism. His idea of vicarious salvation by human sacrifice would have been revolting to a Jew like Jesus.

    Jesus and his brother James both speak to your works as a means to salvation. Jesus even told people not to pray in public but in private, unlike the holier-than-thou evangelicals of today. He also taught that people should sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor and needy. Try pointing THAT out to Joel Osteen!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Jesus taught that the new birth was an outcome of a turn to faith in his resurrected life. That I am literally born of his Spirit, the Spirit of God.
    ‘Good works’ are the byproduct of God’s work- an outcome of his life in me. Paul addressed ‘works of the law,’ works done apart from God’s Spirit.

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    • How do you know what Jesus taught? As with all believers, you are ASSUMING that what is written in that VERY OLD book contains actual FACTS about a itinerant Hebrew preacher.

      Further, Jesus did NOT teach about the new birth … PAUL did. And it is very clear in the bible itself that his teachings were directed to the Gentile community, whose beliefs were far, far different than the Jews.

      You really need to read some books beside the bible. You might learn something about your faith and how it all got started.

      Liked by 3 people

        • Yes, I will agree this is the theme that runs throughout the Bible. But the question is … why do you believe this? Why do you base your entire life on a story (and this is all it is) found in a centuries old book?

          Further, you talk about “relationship.” Relationships are between PEOPLE, not between you and characters found in a book.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re splitting hairs over Paul and his teaching?

    The same people who declared Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to be Holy Scripture, also approved the writings of Paul.

    They all have the same value as far as canonized scripture is concerned.

    Are they in conflict? Just about. Most of the infallible word of God is.

    To appreciate Paul, you have to understand Romans chapter seven. Paul sees it as necessary that Christians understand that Christ giving His body as the fulfillment of the demand of the law that sin must be reconciled by a blood offering has set them free from the law. They no longer have to support the priesthood, who collected their offerings, and they no longer have to give their tithing in support of the temple and its priests.

    “Damn,” said the preachers, “we can’t have that shit.”

    We don’t have much understanding of Romans chapter seven because it just isn’t taught much. If it is, expect heavy gloss.
    When you start messing around in the accounting end of religion you are stepping in doo-doo.

    If you feel a need to challenge Paul’s teaching, then by default, you admit there is some real value in it.

    If you are a religious person, let me remind you that the canonization of the scripture rests, not with God, but with the Council of Nicea. A bunch of bishops in various states of sobriety and reality met to determine what you believe today.

    I’m not sure that they ever declared Jesus to be a real person.

    Just saying.

    Shall we call another synod? Would Christ Jesus Himself survive the scrutiny of today’s society?

    I wish I had more exclamation marks than question marks, but it’s me. OK?

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      • History. The early church was filled with conflicting, even violent disputes over many points, many pretty core doctrines. It was politically convenient for the empire to tamp thingsdown

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        • Sure, the early church had many different Christianities with different interpretations over the nature of Jesus, etc. But from what sources did you or cag get the idea that the Council of Nicaea established the Biblical Canon?

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        • From my book:

          Jewish leaders canonized the 39 books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) c. 250 BCE, but it was not until the end of the third century that agreement was finally reached about what would become the “official” books of the New Testament.

          This task was taken up by a group of early church fathers who reviewed all existing manuscripts,14 including the Apocryphal writings, to determine which should be “authorized” as sacred text and which should be ignored as heretical (most intertestamental writings15). As would be expected among human agents, there were a myriad of opinions with each person promoting his specific belief, agenda, and point of view.

          Finally, the group came up with a set of criteria to assist their decision- making, including: was it written by an apostle, was it written in the first century, did it teach apostolic faith, did the writer claim inspiration. However, as one scholar points out, without the original manuscripts, there is no way of proving any of these criteria. Nonetheless, based on what they had, a vote was taken and a “canonized” version of the New Testament emerged, including the familiar four gospels.

          But this is not the end of the story. Over the intervening years, additional councils formed and further discussions and debates were held. Some writings approved by the third century group were found to be heretical by later reviewers and were removed from the canon. Others were added. In fact, even today Bible scholars question whether particular books in the current Bible are sacred text. In addition, the Bible used by the Roman Catholic Church (and some eastern Christian churches) includes books that are rejected by Protestants.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Disclosure: Former Catholic.

    I never bought the “by faith alone” mantra. I always thought scripture alone (sola scriptura) was the reformation thumper’s battle cry. But I don’t remember back that far.

    In this case, I also see a common misunderstanding and errant definition of “works.” In Steve’s quote it says, “Works are the things you do to mitigate and absolve sin.” Wrong! That is penance.

    Works are what we do – period. They are not the proverbial “thoughts and prayers.” Feed the sick, clothe the naked, etc. Those are works. Nothing to do with sin or the absolving thereof.

    All 10 Commandments are and imply works. The alleged teaching of Jesus: works.

    I always thought the faith alone and once saved always saved nonsense was for lazy Protestants, all of whom are going straight to hell. 🙂

    (sarcastic snicker)

    Liked by 3 people

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