Can bad doctrine send you to Hell?

nodenom's picture

The few assembled on this forum are proof enough that Roman Catholics and Protestants and Mormons and JW's will never agree on certain points of doctrine. In fact within each denomination, you will also find disagreement.
This comes as no surprise since we are all still pretty messed up people. A large percentage of confessing 'christians' still suffer the same troubles as non christians as we play out our own little dramas we think important.

Now the question "how much wrong doctrine, dogma etc. must we embrace to lose our salvation"? In fact, can we lose our salvation by embracing wrong doctrine or do we just put ourselves in danger of never seeing the full life Christ has provided manifesting in our lives?

Will we ever see 'His kingdom come and His will being done' or will we just play our pitiful little parts on this stage and never see what could have been?

JeffLogan's picture

And that is why we have this exchange

Response to: I still think you miss the difference in Catholicism.
Submitted by michael_legna on Thu, 2009-02-05 15:06.

jqlogan said -
Just wanted to add one thing about obedience. Obedience to secular authorities is typically not driven by love. But obedience to God MUST be, I repeat, MUST be purely out of love.

ML said -
The Church is not a secular authority and obedience to it is obedience to the Gospel and to Christ and so is done out of love.

jqlogan said -
Because God is love he cannot accept a forced obedience, a forced worship. He can only accept obedience and worship which is freely given by the perfectly untethered free will of the individual.

ML said -
The Church does not force obedience either and can only accept obedience freely given.

jqlogan writes -
I am sure there are many who love the church as an extension of Jesus and that is a wonderful thing. I believe God will accept that type of indirect obedience to a point. But a love of church above Christ would be idolatry.

jqlogan said -
This is why God chose something so silly as preaching to win souls to His kingdom. God approaches us through our minds. He appeals to our reasoning.

ML said -
It is also why God chose something so silly as the Church to send preachers out to do the preaching to win souls to His kingdom. God approaches us through our minds and by appealing to our reasoning by sending out those to preach the Gospel - that is why the Church was established. Scripture tells us it is by hearing a properly preached understanding of the Gospel that one comes to believe, not by reading and interpreting on our own.

jqlogan writes -
The church indeed has the mission to reach the world with the gospel. But without the members the church is nothing. The early church used the same scriptures to make arguments against the teachings of the Jewish leaders. Jesus asked Nicodemus, "Are you a teacher of Israel and don't know these things?" So while it may have sufficed us to accept the preaching of men in times past it now behooves us to search the scriptures for ourselves to see if what they are telling us is indeed proper. This is a privilege we have today that was not afforded our ancestors when they were prohibited from owning Bibles in their common language for fear they would misinterpret them. So since we have this privilege today we should eagerly exercise it.

jqlogan said -
The concern of the Protestant is that the Catholic strives to obey the church precepts in order to obtain salvation. This is no different from the Hebrews who tried to obey God's law to earn salvation.

ML said -
It is very different, because the Hebrews tried to obey so as to earn salvation and Catholics strive to obey the Church precepts as a means of accessing graces to assist us in molding our will to the divine will and thus properly accept the freely offered gift of salvation since scripture tells us we must obey the Gospel to obtain salvation. I am sorry you cannot see this difference.

jqlogan said -
The only thing missing with the Hebrews appears to be faith. The scripture tells us they lacked faith. (Heb 4:2). It wasn't wrong for them to obey the law but they thought that by so doing they had a part in their salvation. Thus, they came to rely more and more on what they could do rather than on God. And over time they actually lost site of God until they eventually rejected Jesus.

jqlogan said -
But Galatians 3 and Romans 3 make it very clear that righteousness does not come from observing a law but comes only by faith in Jesus.

ML said -
NO it doesn't. In fact it never says "only by faith" anywhere in these writings. It only contrasts faith against works aimed at earning salvation, it never even contrasts faith with works of love, let alone separating faith so as to be alone. In fact there is only one place in all of scripture where the concept of faith only is found and that is in James where it says we are not saved by faith alone.

Jas 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

jqlogan said -
Ok, perhaps it doesn't say "only." But the distinction is clearly made between faith and works with the conclusion that righteousness does not come by works but it does come by faith. That exclusionary language implies "only" by faith and "not" by works. James is referring to a cursory profession of belief and not true faith in Jesus. He is explaining that true faith begets works and he does so to condemn those who preached a message of only believe without corresponding works. But I think we are mixing justification which is imputed to us and only comes by faith, and sanctification which involved an impartation of the divine nature.

jqlogan said -
It would seem that our Catholic friends are telling us we have it backwards; that one must first be obedient and then by those good works comes perfect faith. While the Protestant says, Nay! But first comes faith and then obedience.

ML said -
But the second approach has that which is imperfect and dead generating those acts which perfect it and enliven it. This is completely backwards as nothing which is dead can produce fruit and fruit cannot perfect a dead plant.

jqlogan writes -
Not at all. If Christ dwells in our hearts by faith then it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me that "generates" those acts. In fact, Paul says that without Christ we are reprobates. And, the Lord testifies of us that we cannot do good because we are accustomed to doing evil. So it can only be by the Holy Spirit that we do any good works. If this is not the case then perhaps given enough time man would have worked things out without God.

jqlogan said -
The first method relies on what the individual can do to help himself. The second method relies completely upon what Jesus will do to help the sinner.

ML said -
No the first relies on the grace of God and man cooperating with that grace in order to accept the free gift which depends completely on Christ to have made its offer possible.

jqlogan writes -
Yes, but Romans 8:7 tells us that the carnal mind is enmity against God and is not subject to His law; neither indeed can be. So God can't even work with this carnal nature. That is why a man must be born again. He must receive a spiritual nature which God can work with. Now I must ask, How does a man obtain this spiritual nature? And even if that question is answered the first question still remains. What would cause a carnal mind to even seek to come into subjection to God whom he is at war with? We must conclude that God reached out to man when man was totally helpless and unaware of his condition.

Scripture says, "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one." Romans 3:10-12 (ASV). And again Paul writes, "For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life." Romans 5:10 (ASV).

What these scripture tell us is that when God came seeking after man he didn't find anyone who was seeking after God. In fact, he found that every one of His creation was His enemy. Paul says we were reconciled to God while we were His enemies. How can that be? If your proposition is to be believed then at some point man had to lay down his hatred of God and comprehend that if He was going to be reconciled to God he must do some good thing in order to accept the gift. But if a man works for something his reward is considered a debt and not a gift. But if a man doesn't work for it then it is a gift. As scriptures says, "to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works..." Romans 4:4-6 (ASV).

Whatever James has to say in this regard must be reconciled to these very plain statements from the apostle Paul who understood the matter of grace all too well. For Paul was definitely not seeking after Jesus when he was upon his mission to wipe out those early Christians. Yet, at that moment when Paul was Christ's most zealous enemy, Jesus called him. Now if you can show some good work that Paul did in his conversion you may begin to gain a little favor.

BTW, in an early reply you suggested that I was less than civil in my remarks concerning the ignorant masses. You do understand the difference between ignorance and stupidity, right? Being ignorant is not a derogatory statement in and of itself. To be ignorant simply means to not know. We are all ignorant of many things and you have never hesitated to point out my ignorance regarding matter of Catholic faith.


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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."




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