TULIP versus ruinous Labor

Christianity isn’t as straightforward as I once thought it was. Ignorance is bliss they say. I am not sure about that but the more you learn about Christianity the more complex it gets.

True, Christ’s death on the cross and His  physical resurrection, and the grace this brought, are true unchanging tenets of the faith. Though even the physical resurrection seems to be put in the too-hard basket by some tepid Anglican priests. But leaving that aside, as an Anglican with an un-tepid minister, I really didn’t think we differed much from Roman Catholics (Catholics).

I understand that Catholics consider the bread and wine is transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ whereas we Anglicans believe they are representative of the flesh and blood. I understand that Catholics use the saints as intermediaries to God whereas we Anglicans only go through our Lord Jesus Christ. I understand that the Catholics are stuck a little bit in an indulgences time warp by setting penances for sinning; but, at the same time, I assume they also accept St Paul’s injunction that we can’t earn eternal life through our own works. All told, there is not a great deal of difference there. Nothing that would prevent me attending a Catholic church if need be, and I have.

But the question that kept popping into my mind in recent years – informed or stimulated by Bible study –  was who did Christ die to save. You can read that Christ died to save the whole world. That can’t be right because Christ tells us plainly that not all will be saved. Are the one to be saved sinless? No, because we are all sinners.

A solid enough answer is that those who turn to Christ will be saved. You can only come to the Father through me, He plainly says. A follow up question is who will turn to Christ and why? Renowned Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) believed in limited atonement. This means that Christ died only for those he died for, not for everyone. And those he died for were those chosen by God – and before they were born.

This leads me to TULIP; the five points of Calvinism.  Total Depravity (i.e., think of all people, sinful, being separated from God); Unconditional Election (God chooses without condition); Limited Atonement (as covered above); Irresistible Grace (God alone chooses and can’t be stymied); and, finally, Perseverance of the Saints (once chosen, nothing those chosen can do to fall from grace).

I’m wrestling with it all, conscious that it is not Catholic doctrine.  Or, least, I’m pretty sure it isn’t and, as such, it represents a big schism. Why wrestle with it at all? A good question. I suppose it’s better than worrying about what Albanese, Chalmers and Bowen are doing to ruin the country in the cause of combating the climate-change hoax.  

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May 18, 2024 11:42 pm

I am not happy that you should post this at this time when I’m in the process of sorting out some religious questions of my own.

Now you have added something else to worry about.

Happy Riches
Happy Riches
May 19, 2024 1:19 am

Clearly you haven’t given much thought to the more serious nature of salvation than what you have to god of this world: mammon. This world is all about the counting of coins, or digitalizing the denizens destined for doom.

FACTS is the acronym for the Arminian perspective in respect to the teachings of the Calvinists that claim Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of a few rather than the sins of all.

That the Son of God died for all, also means that He has the right to judge all for rejecting the eternal life that is offered through His death and resurrection.

If you really want to broaden your understanding of soteriology, the posts here will do just that.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
May 19, 2024 7:16 am

Jesus set us a very low bar:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.John 5:24

That is crossing over from spiritual death, ie damnation, to spiritual life, ie Heaven.

If you think this sounds easy, it’s because it actually is. This is exactly what was the criterion for Abram right at the start of the way back after fall of mankind:

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.Genesis 15:6

There’s no need to make it overcomplicated from the start. On the other hand the rest of the Bible does flesh this simple principle out, and it gives the spiritual basis for it. Plus it gives us an understanding of God’s character, His plans and what He expects of us. But the principle is very simple: believe God and His son Jesus the Messiah and you are a Christian.

The hard bit of course is then acting like a Christian!

Last edited 1 month ago by Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
May 19, 2024 7:27 am

I’ll add an analogy. To start a fire all you need is to strike a match. Simple.

If you want to find out why it works, you need advanced study in chemistry and physics as the science behind ignition and burning of a match is complex. I don’t think the full science of combustion is actually fully understood yet even by specialist combustion scientists. But normal people don’t need to know that, they just have to use the match.

May 19, 2024 7:44 am

Interesting read as I’m off to church this cold autumn morning!

May 19, 2024 10:08 am

Sunday, May 19, is Pentecost. 

Mass Readings today brought to my mind a hymn I’d grown up with:

May 19, 2024 5:16 pm

Christianity isn’t as straightforward as I once thought it was. Ignorance is bliss they say. I am not sure about that but the more you learn about Christianity the more complex it gets.

The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion are a good guide, Peter.

They also present the historic doctrine of the Church of England and world-wide Anglicanism and speak to several of the doctrinal questions you raise above.

May 19, 2024 6:59 pm

Can’t do better much better than Catholic convert Joshua Charles

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Oh, you think that, do you? Care to put it on record?x