Faith without Works is Dead
Trust Only the Catholic Church?
Of course others tried to convince me, like the Catholic Church did, that works are necessary for Salvation. In fact, they often quoted James, who wrote: “Faith without works is dead”. The only problem is that most people who quote James in this context are missing the point entirely: James never said that faith without works ceases to exist, he’s simply saying that unless someone with faith shows that faith through their actions, their faith will not inspire others. It’s like the idea of hiding your light under a basket, the light itself doesn’t go out — it still burns brightly — but no one outside of the basket can see it.
You can learn more about the true meaning of what James meant by reading “Faith Without Works is Dead”.
I talked to other teachers in the RCIA program and I began to express my questions about what we were taught and what we were teaching. I was concerned about apparent differences between the Holy Scripture and the teachings, the traditions, and most importantly the visible actions of the Catholic Church. I sought guidance from the other educators and our program leader. I told them about my brother’s efforts to get me to look closer at the Holy Scripture and to compare it carefully with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
At first, they shook their heads in disbelief. Then they expressed pity for him because he had “fallen away from the church”. Next, they tried to comfort me and tell me that he was actually misguided and that my brother was just “being misled”. They assured me that he had simply fallen in with the “wrong sort of people” who really couldn’t possibly understand Scripture. After all, they said, the Ctholic Church reserved the sole authority to interpret God’s Word. They reminded me that I was taught that I had to place all of my trust in the Catholic Church. We all prayed together that my brother would have his eyes “re-opened” and he would come back to catholic life.
There I was, still at that time just about as blind as anyone on this earth to God’s true plan for our Salvation, and I was praying for my brother’s return to the very organized religion that had so far, unknown to me, kept me from receiving the true Gift.
For the first time in my life, I began to doubt that I was Saved.
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