True Understanding of Salvation from a Converted Catholic- Part IIMarch 9, 2010
In the previous post, I began talking about my view of salvation as a converted Catholic. Continuing on, I thought I would first share my personal testimony~
As you can see, my journey to understanding salvation was a long and twisted one. I think I share a struggle many of us, especially men, have. I believe most men have the idea we can do all things that we set our minds to. Unfortunately, we apply this to our faith life and seek to “do good things” and bear the weight of salvation upon our own shoulders rather than remembering it has already been cast upon his.
I had always been taught about the works of mercies and other doctrines and thought these were things I had to do to receive salvation. Although there may be no actual doctrine stating this as a precept of the Catholic Church, my personal experience was more of a belief in personal work to attain salvation. In reading Scripture, there is no basis for this.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will notice I enjoy using analogies or metaphors to help explain weighty doctrinal subjects. When I try to think of a way to explain how I used to view salvation and how I view it now, I often use an example of debt.
Think of every sin you have ever committed and assign a $10 fee to that sin. Now, if you were brought up Catholic or are currently Catholic, there is a doctrine teaching the differing degrees of sin. For those sins considered to be mortal sins, assign a $50 fee to those. Now, once you have a total number, consider this your debt to Christ. How will you ever pay it back?
Well, according to teachings of Catholic Doctrine, it is taught we can attain grace not just by believing in Christ, but also in believing in His Holy Catholic Church, communion of saints, forgiveness of sins, and sacramental grace. It is taught your sins are forgiven, but not totally forgotten. In essence, the pay back of this loan of sin you owe is merely postponed. You can draw the balance down by making payments on it through acts of mercy, sacramental participation, or something else you do. So, for the sake of conversation, let’s assign a $1 credit to your balance for each one of those things you do to “attain grace.”
I am quite sure I am not the only one to know I will never pay that balance off before dying. Even in the doctrine of purgatory, there is still too much of a balance I would owe Christ and would utterly remain in the purging process for half of eternity, which in essence, is not heaven and one step above hell. This is the burden those of us taught this fallacy have carried.
Truly, the debt has been paid and as described in my last post on Catholic view of justification, God does all of the work, all of the payments, and all of the erasing of debt. There is nothing we could do to earn the righteousness of God. It is a free gift, given by Christ the Savior. No more, no less.
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry.Technorati tags: christian men, blog carnival.