Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is 'Sola Fide' incomplete Christianity?? Part 1

     Another wrestling match I had on my conversion trail was the doctrine of 'Sola Fide' or faith alone.  The doctrine teaches that faith alone, that is faith in God, the sacrifice of His Son, etc., imparts the sanctifying Grace of God upon us.  Sounds like a pretty good deal.  Nothing I can do can separate me from the Grace of God, so long as I have faith.  Upon further study, however, I found this to be a hollow life?  How is it hollow?  Well, where is the evidence that I have faith?  That is to say, what can other see in me that would demonstrate the faith that I so proudly say I have?  Wouldn't having faith, given the Sanctifying Grace of God, force me to change?  Would my change compel me to imitate the life of Christ?  Would I not do things that reflected my faith?  If the answer is no, then this doctrine is enough.  However, if the answer is yes, then 'Sola Fide' as a doctrine is wrong, and I am an incomplete Christian.  These were the questions that I sought answers to.  So, I went back to the beginning (at lease, what I thought was the beginning).  Boy, was I in for a shock.
     As I looked back, I went to the oldest bible I was aware of at the time, the King James Version.  Along with that, I read Calvin and Luther in an attempt to understand faith alone.  However, I became disturbed that a majority of Luther's arguments were in response/reaction to something.  What was he so angry about?  So, I found and read his 95 Theses.  I soon discovered that he was addressing issues within the Catholic Church.  That led me to further study, which included the Douay-Rheims Bible and the Latin Vulgate.  I must admit, that the Latin Vulgate required a ton of work to start with, but proved to be perhaps the most valuable in my studies.  Upon further review, I was shocked to see that Luther had removed portions of the Bible in order to justify his viewpoint.  Let me say that again.  The Bible, which had been followed by the whole of Christendom from the Synod of Hippo in AD 393, and the Latin Vulgate which commissioned by Pope and completed by St. Jerome circa AD 400, was now, in the 1500s not really the scripture.  I was left with a big problem.  Either, the Holy Spirit allowed Christ's Church to be in heresy from its inception, and waited until 1500 years later to correct this, sending countless souls to their damnation, or, a singular person decided that he no longer wanted to follow that, and decided to change it up.  So, in one decision, Luther decided he knew better that 1500 years of the Church, and the split was on.  What would prompt a man to do such a thing?  In my humble estimation, it was pride.  As human beings, we hate rules.  Any authority placed over us, or that we are subject to, makes us uncomfortable.  We throw words like liberty, discrimination, patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, freedom, choice, free will, epiphany, etc. in order to justify what we are doing.  In our pride, we are will fully disobeying the Word of God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Reread that last sentence and allow it to sink in.  What do we do and justify in our minds as righteous and correct, that is direct opposition to Jesus Christ, and His Bride, the Church?
     That shook me to the core of who I am.  So, I began to read and pray.  As I searched the Holy Scriptures again, I finally found a passage about faith alone.  And then I read it, and realized that it is repudiated as incorrect and incomplete.  This was a big discovery, that then started me on a wonderful journey to the truth.

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