Q: To ATS' Christian Protestants of ALL types, denominational or not...

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posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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Recent Coptic texts have inspired some quite lively threads lately here on ATS......

regarding how Jesus actually lived, and the dusty tomes that 'describe' it from the pov of centuries LATER.

One issue that has been presented is how Protestants see "faith" -- compared to, contrasted with, or compelling -- "good works." One of our quite esteemed members asserts:

I assure you that many, if not most, Protestants would disagree with you..


I was raised in the High Episcopal faith, which is the original "Protestant" church (as a child of the Church of England -- though there is a slight difference between Anglican, High Episcopal, and Episcopal).

I contend that Protestants of the oldest and most main-stream sects certainly do believe that doing good for the benefit of others is very, very important.

So, consider this question, and I look forward to being enlightened as to whether I understand correctly, or need to revise my theodatabase.....
(new word)....

Please assist me in this endeavor to learn!
Thanks,
~wild
edit on 23-9-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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You do good works because you are saved, not to earn salvation.

That is my view of the importance of them in Protestant faiths.

The whole you will know the tree by its fruits, if the tree has no fruit, than well it should question if it really is "saved"



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

. . . Protestants see "faith" -- compared to, contrasted with, or compelling -- "good works."

It is good works vs. works of the Law (meaning the Old Testament laws, many of which don't help anyone but just presents a show, and could be very detrimental to anyone not of the same cult).
The New Testament, through the parable of the Good Samaritan, taught us that everyone is our neighbor.
edit on 23-9-2012 by jmdewey60 because: add Bible quote: "For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:06 PM
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Here is a copy of my previous assertion of said "belief"
original post here, in technicolor! :

"There are differences of opinion on what "sola fide" really means. Sola fide

First of all, the idea is that one receives the Holy Spirit and THEREFORE is COMPELLED NATURALLY to do good works. The good works automatically spring from the Holy Spirit. It does not mean to all Protestants that all one has to do is say "I believe in Christ." It is fully expected that in receiving/accepting Christ, one will do good things for others as Jesus (and lots of other prophets) suggested.

There is also a semantic/interpretative debate on the subject:
There is a semantic component to this debate as well, which has gained new attention in the past century. Both Latin and English have two words to describe convictions: one is more intellectual (English belief, Latin verb credo) and one carries implications of "faithfulness" (English faith, Latin fides). But Greek and German have only one (German Glaube, Greek pistis).

Some historians have suggested that this semantic issue caused some of the disagreement:[citation needed] perhaps Luther's supporters may have understood "salvation by faith alone" to mean "salvation by being faithful to Christ", while his opponents understood him to mean "salvation by intellectual belief in Christ". Since there are passages in Luther's works that could be taken to support either of these meanings, both sides were able to quote passages from Luther defending their interpretation of what he meant.


The position that justification is by faith alone has often been charged with promoting antinomianism, in which salvific faith need not be a type that will produce works of obedience to Christ, which is a view most who hold to sola fide reject, invoking many authorities from the past and present in concurrence.

Martin Luther, who opposed antinomianism, is recorded as stating, “Works are necessary for salvation but they do not cause salvation; for faith alone gives life.”[22]

In his Introduction to Romans, Luther stated that saving faith is,

a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever...Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! [23]

Scottish theologian John Murray of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, asserted,

“Faith alone justifies but a justified person with faith alone would be a monstrosity which never exists in the kingdom of grace. Faith works itself out through love (Gal. 5:6). And Faith without works is dead (James 2:17-20).”

“It is living faith that justifies and living faith unites to Christ both in the virtue of his death and in the power of his resurrection. No one has entrusted himself to Christ for deliverance from the guilt of sin who has not also entrusted himself to him for deliverance from the power of sin.”[24] [25]

Contemporary evangelical theologian R. C. Sproul writes,

The relationship of faith and good works is one that may be distinguished but never separated...if good works do not follow from our profession of faith, it is a clear indication that we do not possess justifying faith. The Reformed formula is, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone.”[26]

Dr. Michael Horton (theologian) concurs by saying,

This debate, therefore, is not over the question of whether God renews us and initiates a process of gradual growth in holiness throughout the course of our lives. ‘We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone,’ Luther stated, and this recurring affirmation of the new birth and sanctification as necessarily linked to justification leads one to wonder how the caricatures continue to be perpetuated without foundation.[27]


It clearly is not assumed -- neither by most sincere Protestants (whether members of congregations or leaders), nor by theologians past and present -- that one can simply say "I believe" and meanwhile act like a jerk and/or inflict harm on others with no worry of consequences.

I believe the idea is that we are not expected to be PERFECT, but to do our level best to live up to Christ's teachings, while allowing for the fact that as humans, we will, and do, make mistakes....these may be mistakes of omission or mistakes of behavior. Didn't do the right thing, OR did the wrong thing. In any case, it's always assumed we screw up."



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 

That is my understanding as well, benrl. Thanks for contributing!



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Ahhh!!! I see, a whole new "intention" of the word 'works'!! Excellent. So, the "good works" were originally alluding to Law requirements, and not "charity"? Am I understand you correctly?

Thanks for that!



@ all:
It would help me further if you would please state with which (if any) denomination you identify?



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 

You do good works because you are saved, not to earn salvation.

For an example, imagine being in prison and going to a parole board review.
How do you "earn" your release?
You can't, there is no set of "works" you can do to earn it, and your amount of punishment is really not the central concern.
What is, is what kind of person you are, are you reformed, are you a threat to society?
Good works, along with the absence of bad actions, can be evidence of your current sociological condition but by themselves "earn" you nothing.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

I believe the idea is that we are not expected to be PERFECT, but to do our level best to live up to Christ's teachings, while allowing for the fact that as humans, we will, and do, make mistakes....these may be mistakes of omission or mistakes of behavior. Didn't do the right thing, OR did the wrong thing. In any case, it's always assumed we screw up.
Looking at the technicolor version, it looks like what I just quoted is not something you quoted from somewhere, but your own opinion.
My comment on that would be that all this fails without the insertion of the spirit into the equation, meaning the spirit of God. Without that, then none of that trying will be successful, but the other thing is that the spirit arrives to us only through the intermediary of Jesus who did do works that really earned something, but he was uniquely qualified to do those works by an infilling that we are no capable of getting, being pure mortal, where in comparison, Jesus was already the son of God, as the person he was before ever even being born as a human.
edit on 23-9-2012 by jmdewey60 because: add Bible quote: "For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

So, the "good works" were originally alluding to Law requirements, and not "charity"?

It is used both ways, but the context counts, so watch out for people who will do things like quote half a verse from Paul, where they hide or ignore the context.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


When I do what might be called "good works" or help people just for the sake of helping, I don't have some scripture from a mainstream religion as my motivating force. I help, not because I think I've been "saved" or need to be "saved," rather just because I can. If you can help people with something and it costs you nothing but time, where's the problem? It doesn't matter if it's loading wood, building a wall, fixing a car or a computer or whatever, if it brings a smile to their face and relieves some of the pressure of this stupid world, it's help.

Personally I think all mainstream religions are bogus, indoctrinating mind control scams to fleece their subscribers. Mainstream religions are not about personal spiritual growth, they are about colonialization or domestication of the mind and the growth of only the "church."

Cheers - Dave



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
Recent Coptic texts have inspired some quite lively threads lately here on ATS......

regarding how Jesus actually lived, and the dusty tomes that 'describe' it from the pov of centuries LATER.

One issue that has been presented is how Protestants see "faith" -- compared to, contrasted with, or compelling -- "good works." One of our quite esteemed members asserts:

I assure you that many, if not most, Protestants would disagree with you..


I was raised in the High Episcopal faith, which is the original "Protestant" church (as a child of the Church of England -- though there is a slight difference between Anglican, High Episcopal, and Episcopal).

I contend that to Protestants of the oldest and most main-stream sects certainly do believe that doing good for the benefit of others is very, very important.

So, consider this question, and I look forward to being enlightened as to whether I understand correctly, or need to revise my theodatabase.....
(new word)....

Please assist me in this endeavor to learn!
Thanks,
~wild


What was the question?



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


What is, is what kind of person you are, are you reformed, are you a threat to society?
Good works, along with the absence of bad actions, can be evidence of your current sociological condition but by themselves "earn" you nothing.

Got it. Duly notated.
Please, jm, with what 'denomination' (if any) do you affiliate?

I was baptized as an infant, at my christening. Later, confirmed into the Church. I've always been confused by the "we are not worthy so much as to pick up the crumbs from under thy table" bit....what did I do? I was a little girl! What did I FAIL to do? I did everything I was told!

Still, I was raised to believe that my baptism and confirmation into the church made me a bona-fide member ("initiate", if you like). It really was not explained to me that this meant I was supposed to, or automatically going to, do good things for others; I was just always like that.


As I said earlier, I'd sure like to know with which denominations my courteous respondents identify.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by bobs_uruncle
 

. . . fixing a car or a computer or whatever, if it brings a smile to their face . . .

What if every time you did that, they gave you dirty looks and called you names and threw rocks at your car as you drove off.
That is the difference that a real Christian would represent, though I doubt there are all that many and a lot like you describe, in name only.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

Please, jm, with what 'denomination' (if any) do you affiliate?

I'm Seventh Day Adventist, which is where I get a lot of my ideas, especially about who gets into heaven, where you need to be a fit citizen, which you learn in this life.
edit on 23-9-2012 by jmdewey60 because: add Bible quote: "For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by EnochWasRight
 


What was the question?

How do you (if you are Protestant) think of 'sola fide' as it speaks to 'good works'?

I was brought up to believe that good works are just the right thing to do. Someone asserted that Protestants "think" faith alone is adequate and no good works are necessary. Others think that 'works' are something that naturally extend themselves when one has received "grace".

It seems to me that there is a question regarding whether it's enough to just say "I believe, okay fine", or whether behaving in a way that Jesus would have behaved is also important/required/expected...or not.....or irrelevant (invalid) altogether.

What do you believe?



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by bobs_uruncle
 


When I do what might be called "good works" or help people just for the sake of helping, I don't have some scripture from a mainstream religion as my motivating force. I help, not because I think I've been "saved" or need to be "saved," rather just because I can. If you can help people with something and it costs you nothing but time, where's the problem? It doesn't matter if it's loading wood, building a wall, fixing a car or a computer or whatever, if it brings a smile to their face and relieves some of the pressure of this stupid world, it's help.

I entirely agree with you, uncle.
Thanks for your response.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by jmdewey60
reply to post by bobs_uruncle
 

. . . fixing a car or a computer or whatever, if it brings a smile to their face . . .

What if every time you did that, they gave you dirty looks and called you names and threw rocks at your car as you drove off.
That is the difference that a real Christian would represent, though I doubt there are all that many and a lot like you describe, in name only.


I guess you wouldn't know until the good deeds done, so I'd probably do it anyway and find out later. If things went south with dirty looks, who cares. Now if it were rocks, there's always the M4, the R5 or DE44, it's all good ;-) I'll only turn the other cheek if there's no personal physical damage involved.

I've helped out a lot of people who have screwed me around afterwards, it doesn't mean that what I did was wrong or wasted and it certainly doesn't take away from the help I gave freely without expecting anything in return. Those people just didn't appreciate the time or effort put into helping them and that's part of human nature, you know the, "But what have you done for me today?" attitude. And that doesn't mean they're bad people, just misguided or too stressed or have too many other problems to be able to deal with the long term effects of simple kindness.

If you don't like the idea of, or don't want to deal with, dirty looks and rocks, there is always anonymity or do nothing and be considered useless while whatever psychological sore festers. However, sometimes it means more if you make the effort and know what you did was right and selfless, because no one else knows.

Believe me that I know both sides after working for the military in the killing fields of Africa. The harm you do follows you through all of your life and the lives you negatively impacted, you carry the good you do with you and it's not a heavy load.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by bobs_uruncle
 


I've helped out a lot of people who have screwed me around afterwards, it doesn't mean that what I did was wrong or wasted and it certainly doesn't take away from the help I gave freely without expecting anything in return.
Wow. Me, too.

Those people just didn't appreciate the time or effort put into helping them and that's part of human nature, you know the, "But what have you done for me today?" attitude. And that doesn't mean they're bad people, just misguided or too stressed or have too many other problems to be able to deal with the long term effects of simple kindness.


Glad to know I'm not the only one.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

Only last night I was looking up a quote from Pilgrim's Progress (for the sake of a thread on Faith and Works in James, which I'm doing next week).
In that passage, Bunyan is very disapproving of a character who spends all his time talking about religion and doesn't actually match his lifestyle up to his talk.
I think mainstream Protestantism would agree that you need to live your life in accordance with your Faith.




edit on 23-9-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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Those texts are heresies. Written several centuries after the fact in the coptic gnostic (Alexandria Egypt) language ripped from bits of the gnostic "gospel of Thomas".

Dr. Michael Brown addresses newly discovered gnostic texts

Works don't save you without Christ your works are like a stinking rag before Father. As the temple once purified the gold that was brought in to it, so to does Christ purify us so that our works can be of him in selflessness and not of ourselves in selfishness.
edit on 23-9-2012 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)





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