Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why versions like the "King James" are no more trustworthy than the "New World" (Jehovah's witness) version

Romans 2:1 Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.
Protestant apologists (rightly) condemn Jehovah Witnesses for deliberately mistranslating John Chapter 1, verse 1;
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
Jehovah witnesses render it as "God" and "a god", in a deliberate attempt to deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ. The obvious problem they have is that the only possible rendering of the Greek word "Theos", which is the word present in both instances, is God.

When Protestants make this argument, they are making a sound, cogent and factually impenetrable argument.

Thus, they convict themselves.

The Greek root word "Charis" has a primary meaning of "Grace" and a secondary meaning of "Favor". In it's straight, simple form, it is translated as "Grace" in more than 92% of it's appearances in the New Testament in both the "King James" and "Revised Standard" versions.

So, if the Angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary (Luke 1:28) were rendered as "Favor" by the use of the root word "Charis", for the first time, in the King James, such a translation could easily- and fairly- be called into question.

However, the salutation, as rendered, is not the simple root "Charis" but the perfect, passive participle Kecharitomene. The literal translation of Luke 1:28 is "Hail thou who art completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace."

Saint Jerome translated it in the first Bible- the Latin Vulgate- as "Gratia Plenia" and the first (1609) (and still best) English version- the Douai Rheems- correctly translates "Gratia Plenia" as "full of grace".

Yet, the King James 1611, which relied heavily on the Douai, renders this salutation as "Hail, highly favored one", while commenting in the margin notes "endured with grace".

The KJV 1611 does a deliberate mistranslation of Luke 1:28. A mistranslation that, unfortunately, has been followed by many other versions.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

*BEST OF BTB #5* Fallacious arguments regarding Sola Scriptura

LionofJudah871 asks a question that is too complex to answer in a short sentence or two. Answering it gives me an opportunity to answer an argument I hear often and to explain why that argument is based on unsound logic.

Question: Does the bible say NOT to use the Word of God alone when teaching? and where does the bible say that man made doctrines are okay
The young man who asked this question is named Bryan. I have no doubt Bryan is sincere in his desire to love and serve God. He is simply very confused. He asked the question because, when challenged, (and much to his surprise), he was not able to demonstrate Sola Scriptura (The Bible alone as authority) as a foundational Scriptural premise. In fact, the precept of "The Bible alone" is not in the Bible at all. This fact, ironically enough, refutes the very doctrine Protestants attempt to use as a foundation for theological debate.

Protestants won't give this precept up easily, however. As fallacious and impossible as Sola Scriptura is, it is absolutely foundational to their way of thinking. That is because they have been ensnared in a logical spider web that they cannot break free from.

When debating a protestant on Sola Scriptura, an appeal must be made to basic logic and how a cogent argument must be constructed.

Let's break Bryan's argument down and expose why it doesn't make logical sense.

Does the bible say NOT to use......

This first argument is a logical fallacy called an "Argument from Ignorance". This argument asserts that A is true because A has not been proven false, or we cannot know if it is true. "I have a million dollars hidden in the ground because you cannot prove I don't have a million dollars in the ground"
There are all kinds of assertions we could make about the Bible using this kind of logical construction. Does the Bible say NOT to eat at McDonalds everyday? Does the Bible say NOT to roll around in the mud in your suit? Does the Bible say NOT to bet the rent money on the horse races?
Certainly, if someone advocated these as Biblical premises, you would consider the burden of proof to be on them! and rightly so. That is why, when Bryan attempted to establish "The Bible alone" as a precept, I challenged him to prove it. He could not. That certainly denies him the right to demand it as a requirement for further debate.
The burden of proof always lies with the person making an assertion. This is why "innocent until proven guilty" is such a foundational precept in our society.

the Word of God alone.....
This argument is a false or unsubstantiated premise.

Since only Fords are cars, anyone buying a Chevy isn't buying a car.
The statement is fallacious because it is based on an unsupported premise; "Only Fords are cars" When making an argument like this, the debater will insist you accept a premise that he cannot demonstrate.
In the case of Scripture, Bryan is failing to see Scripture as a necessary, yet insufficient part of God's word. He is, instead, arguing that Scripture is fully necessary and sufficient as a means of transmitting God's word, to the exclusion of all other means.
Once again, the demand must be made that he prove this premise and, once again, he cannot.

The view of the Protestant is that since Scripture= The Word of God, therefore, the Word of God always= Scripture. This argument is fallacious.

"All Corvettes are cars, therefore, all cars are Corvettes"

Besides, Scripture itself, tells us that this notion is false.

2THES 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
Here, Paul is affirming both Written Scripture and Sacred Tradition. This refutes the idea that only Scripture is the Word of God and establishes the premise that Scripture is not exclusionary truth.
Once again, you run the risk of reading more into what I am saying than what I am actually saying. To say that something is necessary but insufficient does not mean that two contradictory sources of truth can exist side by side. This is what protestants claim Catholics believe but it is unsubstantiated nonsense. Protestants demand a 'this or that' philosophy when it comes to Scripture and Tradition and the Magisterium.

It is the Bible OR The Church, as if the two are opposed. Catholics believe in the Bible AND Church authority as each provides part of the larger whole.

The need for air is absolute. We must have it. The need for water is, also, essential for life. True, also, the need for food. Since all are taken through the mouth, one might argue that the mouth is only designed to receive one of these. You could argue that I do need air but, in doing so, you have certainly not made an argument that I don't need water.

So, if you argue that Air is necessary for life, it is not the same as arguing that Air is sufficient for life. When you argue for the Bible alone, you are essentially making an argument analogous to Air alone.
when teaching?
Teaching? You quoted me Matthew 23:9 which says call no man Father yet you skipped right over Matthew 23:8 that says call no man teacher (or Rabbi in some translations). Bryan, you are not in an position to be a teacher of the scriptures to me. Please do not be offended but listen. So, far, I have already taught you that 3 things you assumed were true about the scriptures are, in fact, false.
1) That Sola Scriptura (The Bible alone) is a proven, foundational Biblical principle.
2) That the "Whore of Babylon" is the Catholic Church.
3) That calling a religious leader "Father" is a violation of scripture.
The principle of teaching must be preceded by learning and you have far too much of the latter left to do before you are ready for the former. By your own admission, you are very young in the faith. There is no shame in that. We all have to start somewhere. However, when you presume that you are ready to teach someone, such as myself, that has been studying the Christian faith for about 30 years, you do come across as a bit presumptuous.
Actually, it goes deeper than that. You see, I have read the arguments of the very early church- the very early church that gave you your Bible. Who are you that your knowledge and understanding can compare with Justin Martyr and Ignacious of Antioch and Polycarp and Jerome and Aquinas and Augustine?
For the first 1400 years of the Church, only a fraction of Christians had a Bible and for the first 384 years, no one had one! How were all those men and women saved? The were saved by the Church, Bryan. Jesus founded the CHURCH as the Pillar and foundation of all the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)

and where does the bible say that man made doctrines are okay?
It doesn't and it shouldn't. However, your premise is false. There are no man made doctrines in the Catholic Church. You assume that because you cannot simply open your Bible and see the Doctrine of The Assumption jump off the page, that it is a false, man made doctrine. This is the trap that you are in;

A is true because B is false because A is true because B is false because A is true because B is false..... and on and on and on.

The truth is just the opposite. There is nothing about what the Catholic Church teaches that I cannot show you in the very Scriptures you hold in your hand. It's all there. The Mass, the Priests, Mary's perpetual virginity, Purgatory... ALL of it.

However, I cannot show you the truth unless you are willing to open your eyes and be shown.

You are 21 years old. I have lived your lifetime more than twice. My advice to you is to heed the words of Scripture and humble yourself like a little child.

MT 11:25 At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Before you read my answers, devote yourself to prayer. Ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to examine if what I tell you is true. I make my arguments relying very heavily on the scriptures and I am willing to defend any doctrine of the Catholic faith using the scriptures. I know that Catholicism is the truth. That is not an argument boast, it is a simple summation of fact. The biblical proof of Catholicism is so beyond overwhelming as to be able to remove even the smallest shadow of a doubt from your mind.

Just as soon as you are ready to admit to yourself that you don't know everything, the Holy Spirit can use me to PROVE to you that the Catholic Church is the true church. Yes, I can prove it. There is no doubt about it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"A simple logical syllogism"

I simply love the way Catholic Answers describes the issue of whether or not Mary is the Mother of God. They state that it is an inescapably logical syllogism. They are, to be blunt, spot on.

A logical syllogism is a straightforward path of logic, to an inescapable conclusion.

My vehicle is a Chevrolet Corvette.
A Chevrolet Corvette is a car.
My vehicle is a car.
This is not tough to follow.

Yet, some fundamentalists fail miserably at this, when it comes to Mary.

Jesus is God.
Mary is the Mother of Jesus
Mary is not the Mother of God
This defies logic. Mary gave birth to a person. That person is God. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God. It just comes down to a logical syllogism that fundamentalists cannot escape.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

*BEST OF DTB #4* Daniel's 70th Week is not a future event

Daniel's 70th week prophecy (Daniel Chapter 9) reads as such:

26 And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fall: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.

This passage is explicitly referred to by Jesus in the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:15). Yet, many believed that this passage had already been fulfilled in 167 BC when Antiochus Epiphanes placed a bust of Zeus Olympius in the Jerusalem temple. Daniel 12:11 calls it by the same Greek term that Jesus uses, rendered "Desolating abomination". This is why it is so crucial to rely on the Old Testament based on the LXX to identify the best translation of the passage.

This passage was believed to have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes as recorded in 1 Maccabees 1:57:

57 On the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation upon the altar of God, and they built altars throughout all the cities of Juda round about:

Yet, Jesus is pointing to it as a future (from His vantage point) event. and the interpretive case can be clearly made in two different ways.

In the first way, verses 26 and 27 are both describing the same flow of actions, with different points of emphasis.

Let's look.

26 And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain:
(First action, fulfilled in April of 33 AD )
and the people that shall deny him shall not be his.
(Jews are no longer the chosen people of God, from the moment Jesus died, the veil in the temple was rent and the Old Covenant ended)
And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation.
(War, resulting in the final culmination of the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The people= The Romans, the leader= Titus)
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week:
(Here, HE refers back to Christ as the over arching subject of the discourse and the Covenant refers-of course- to the New Covenant)
and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fall:
(Jesus- the victim and the Sacrifice fall. That is, after 3 1/2 years of ministry)
and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.

(The abominations begin with Caligula [37 AD] and continue right up to the end. In this context, "The end" refers to the end of Jerusalem in 70 AD. )

In the second method of interpretation, we see things in a more futuist view. This view speculates a stopping of the prophetic stopwatch (Their terminology, not mine). This occurs right in the middle of verse 26, after ''the people who deny Him shall not be His", and begining with " and the people with a leader shall come". "The people"= Gog and Magog, "The leader"= Antichrist.

In their interpretation, the people who shall not be His are His and the 70th week is actually like the 280th+ week because it occurs no earlier than our imminent future. This interpretation makes Daniel a liar. Worse, it makes Jesus a liar as well.

Matthew 24: 34 Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

This is why understanding context is so very important. Context allows us to understand the structure of the Olivet discourse of Matthew Chapter 24.

The chapter is divided up this way.

V1-2 Jesus fortells the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
V3- Disciples ask 3 questions; A) When will the temple be destroyed? B) What is the sign of His returning? C) When is the end of the world?
V4-36 First question is answered.
V37-50 Second Question answered.
V51 Third Question answered.

When you understand this context, you don't fall in the (understandable) trap of reading verses 4-36 as End times verses. These verses are very easy to interpret if you remove the context of verses 1-3. Yet, it is impossible to escape the fact that the disciples start their questions relating to the fate of those particular temple buildings that they and Jesus were actually looking at- and not a future temple.

The obvious objection to this is the supernatural signs as related in verses 29-31. Yet, when you read the words of the Prophet Josephus, you realize that these were also fulfilled. In fact, this is one of the downfalls of "The Bible alone" approach to prophecy. In the 3rd verse of the 5th Chapter of his work Antiquities, Josephus proves- beyond a doubt- that Matthew Chapter 24:4-36 was fulfilled in the first century. He does so in life-like color:

Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them.
Thus there was a star (20) resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, (21) [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour.
This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.

Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner

(22) [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again.
This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them.
Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenonappeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.

Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by
night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform
their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."

But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (23) began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"

Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good
words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.
(This Jesus is not to be confused with Jesus Christ who died 33 years before)
Those who continue to insist that Daniel's 70th week has been fulfilled, do so against the plain evidence.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

*BEST OF DTB #3* Will there be a pre-tribulation rapture?

No. There most certainly will not be. I believed in this doctrine about 20 years ago but have seen the evidence to the contrary. I decided, until recently to keep an open mind and read and listen to the arguments supporting this doctrine. All the arguments that I have seen supporting this doctrine are half-baked suppositions that do not hold any water.

In short, to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, you must ignore large parts of the very scriptures you use to support it! You must also ignore Church history and reason and the very nature of God and prophecy.

First, let's talk about what the Rapture is.

The word Rapture comes from the Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible's use of the word Rapiemur, meaning to be 'caught up'. This citation is in 1 Thessalonians.

deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus
Isn't it ironic that they quote from the Latin Vulgate, yet reject the Douai Rheems which is the only version that is a direct, word for word, translation from the Vulgate? One of the premiere Rapture sites calls the error riddled King James version the "King of Bible translations"- a laughable assertion, to be sure. This sets up a dilemma. Either the Vulgate and Douai are reliable and the KJV is not or the Vulgate and Douai are not reliable and, therefore, the Rapture is not. That is the box you put yourself in if you use the Latin Vulgate to support the Pre-trib Rapture notion. (For proponents of the KJV expressly reject the Vulgate and Douai versions. ) Of course, the Vulgate supports no such notion as a pre-trib (or even mid-trib) rapture, so I am trapped in no such box.
Not all proponents of the rapture doctrine support the pre-trib position. Some insist that the rapture will occur at the middle of the tribulation period while some claim that it will occur after the tribulation.
The problem with all 3 notions is they pre-suppose a pre-millennial view. That is, they pre-suppose that the ''calling up'' of the believers will be followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth. We need to dispose of this notion first.
Scripture is very clear that the second coming of Christ will be followed by the destruction of the world.

2 Peter 10 But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up.
For Pre-millenialists, this separates the rapture from the second coming by between 1000-1007 years depending upon your position. This one fact blows the whole Pre-Millenialist view sky high. For pre-mils are unanimous in their interpretation of Matthew 23:36 and 24:34. "All these things", they insist, include the second coming of Christ.

It is not hyperbolic to say that Peter blows this contention away, especially for the pre-tribs.

You simply cannot fit the pieces together of a pre-trib rapture. Look at the diagram below. It compares the pre-trib notion of events, with what will actually occur/has occurred.

To illustate this, let's take the position of famed dispensationalist Hal Lindsey. Lindsey says

”Jesus promised us that the generation that witnessed the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland would not pass until ‘all these things’ -- including his return to Earth -- would be done. The Jewish people declared the rebirth of their nation in 1948. They recaptured Jerusalem in 1967. A Biblical generation is somewhere between 40 and 100 years, depending on whether you take the example from Abraham’s day or from the discipline of Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai. In either case, you do the arithmetic, folks. No matter how you cut it, there’s not much time left.”

{Planet Earth -- 2000 A.D.: Will Mankind Survive?, introduction}
By "His return to earth", Lindsey refers to the Second Coming. If Lindsey is correct, the Rapture and second coming, if they are separate events, must occur within the roughly 100 years following the 1948 reestablishment of Israel as a nation. Since he is a pre-trib, pre-millenialist, the second coming can be no later than about 2048. Subtracting 7 years for the tribulation, would take us to a pre-trib rapture no later than 2041, when those born when Israel was reestablished, would be 93 years old. At that point, according to the pre-millennial view, Jesus will reign on earth, from Jerusalem, for a thousand years.

This theology runs 180 degrees counter to scripture.

First, as the scripture from Peter indicates, the Second coming will not be followed by an earthly reign of Christ on earth. This dispensationalist view is also shared by cults like the Jehovah Witnesses.

The Bible is crystal clear that the second coming will be followed by the end of the world.

Matthew 13

39 And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels.3

Matthew 13 40 Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world

Matthew 13
49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.

Matthew 24

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. 31 And he shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. 32 And from the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. 33 So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors. 34 Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

So, the doctrine of a millennial reign on earth after the second coming is utter nonsense. In the same way that the doctrine of a pre-millennium rapture is untenable, so too is the notion of a pre-tribulation rapture.

The scriptures are again, crystal clear;

Matthew 24:29 * "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24:30 And then the sign of the Son of Man * will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

This is where the real trap lies for pre-trib, pre-millenialists, who say that these verses refer to the second coming but not to the rapture. For the verses that follow are verses that they use to support the rapture!

24:39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.24:40 * Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.24:41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.24:42 * Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

This pattern is true for every Biblical citation used to try and support this errant doctrine. Every time a citation is provided, the refutation is found exactly in the very chapter provided!
Take 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. Pre-trib Rapture buffs provide the following text that they insist proves a secret, pre-trib rapture;

4:16 For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven,and the dead in Christ will rise first.4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together * with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.4:18 therefore, console one another with these words.
Reading this at face value, one could be deceived into believing their doctrine. Until one reads the verse that immediatly precedes it;
4:15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, * will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
This line refutes a pre-trib rapture explicitly! For the Bible is CRYSTAL clear that the dead in Christ will not be raised until the last day!
JN 6:39 And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it (on) the last day.

JN 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (on) the last day."
JN 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.
JN 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
JN 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day."
The Church has always maintained that the last days will follow a specific series of events. First, the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. This happens first, not last and it happens while the Apostles are still alive!

Mark 9:1 He also said to them, "Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power."

After the reign of the Church on earth comes the great apostasy. This can only be interpreted as the Protestant Reformation. The seeds sown by this revolt have indeed borne the fruit of disunity and unbelief worldwide. Out of this will rise the grand deception that leads to anti-christ. Even now, large swaths of protestantism and the cults eagerly embrace the very seat of the coming anti-christ!

Next, comes the great chastisement which many will, mistakenly, interpret to be the great tribulation. They are two different periods, though both grievous.

First comes a great apostasy and then comes a short time of grace followed-then- by the Tribulation and, then, the second coming.

The proof of the time of Grace is in the gospels in many places. Here is but one;

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the
as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.

Can anyone seriously argue that the gospel is preached everywhere in the world today? No. Therefore, since we can say the second coming- or even the tribulation are close- they are not imminent.

Without an outpouring of Grace, the church has no chance of surviving the Tribulation. Just as the anti-christ will be the full pouring out of satan's demonic malevolence, so will those who boldly stand up to him be able to do so by an extraordinary outpouring of God's grace.

Unfortunately, protestants and especially dispensationalists have opened themselves up to the very deception that makes the rise of anti-christ possible. Dispensationalists have a fanatical devotion to contemporary Israel. This devotion is not Biblical. In fact, it is anti-Biblical.

This miscalculation has caused many of them to see Scripture upside down.

Many see the anti-christ coming out of a one world order, led by the Catholic Church while Christ's kingdom is set up in Jerusalem. The fact is that just the reverse is true. The anti-christ will come out of contemporary Judaism. Every single church father from the time of the apostles forward agrees on this unanimously. Anti-christ comes from the apostate jews who are sworn enemies of Christ.

It is just astounding to me that dispensationalists are duped by this. The very same Pharisaic system that reviled, persecuted and killed Christ is adored by Dispensationalists even as the Bible calls them the anti-Christs!

1JN 2:22 Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.

2JN 1:7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.

Isn't it interesting that John says those who deny that Jesus has come in the flesh are anti-christ. Yet, dispensationalists, in their rabid hatred of catholics, will apply the ''anti-christ'' label to those who affirm Christ's humanity and divinity, the Resurrection, the Incarnation and the Trinity?
They are the perfect marriage for anti-christ. For, just as the Jews denied the Messiah as being present in the Flesh, the Dispensationalists deny Him as present in the Church. Therefore, both are perfectly positioned for the great deception. This is why every Catholic has a responsibility to lead all he can to the true church. Those looking for a Rapture are going to be very sullen and depressed and frightened when it doesn't happen. They will feel that God has abandoned them. It will be up to Catholics to bring them back into the fold and help them find their faith and hope.
Many will perish in the chastisement as the rightful wrath of God is unleashed. A Holy Pope and a Holy Monarch will be raised to lead the Church back to God. There is scarcely a church father or seer in the first 800 years of Christianity that disputes this chain of events.
I believe the Chastisement will begin in my life (if it hasn't already). I doubt I will see the coming age of grace. I am certain I won't see Christ return, nor will my children. I do think it is possible my grand children could in their very late years. My great- Grand Children just may. Then again, maybe not.
Anyone sitting around waiting for a Rapture today is wasting their time. It just isn't going to happen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Non Catholicism and Anti Catholicism

I have debated Catholicism off and on for 30 years now and I have pretty much heard every attack there is on Catholicism. I also have known many people who have left the Catholic faith and many that have come into it.

These are some of my general observations.

Non-Catholics are all wrong to greater or lesser to degree. Only the Catholic Church is the fullness of truth. Yet, they are not all bad. Some are really decent and godly people who are just deceived and lacking in understanding. Since we are all judged by our works and not by faith alone (James 2:24), these too can be saved.

Their wrongness is made manifest in their disunity. There are no two non-catholics who agree on all doctrinal matters and there are no doctrinal matters on which all non-catholics agree. The body of the Protestants, sects and cults is the very definition of what Jesus called a house divided against itself.

Matthew 12:25 But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every
kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided
against itself will stand.

Of course I believe that protestantism and every form of non-Catholicism is destined to fall for just this reason. It is built on a foundation of unbelief. A house built on sand. Only the house built on the Rock can withstand the storms that will surely come (from inside and outside). Matthew 7:24-25

This is why Jesus went to such great pains to identify Peter as the Rock (Aramaic: Kephas: John 1:42, 1 Corinthians 1:12, 3:22, 9:5, 15:5, Galatians 1:18, 2:9, 2:11, 2:14. )

Protestants point to the signature passage on this doctrine, Matthew 16:18 and say See! Jesus called Simon "Petros" meaning little stone! As with most of the doctrines of fundamentalists, this silly word play is easily exposed. "Petros" is nothing more than the masculine form of the Greek word "Petra", meaning a foundational stone.

Jesus didn't call Peter "Petros", Jesus called Peter "Kephas", which is translated to "Petros". Your own Bible tells you this.

John 1:42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are
Simon the son of John; * you will be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).

The Gospel of Matthew wasn't written in Greek, it was translated into Greek.

and yet, some fundamentalists insist that the ROCK Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:18 wasn't Peter. They claim that Jesus said "You (Peter) are Petros (little stone) and upon this Petra (huge stone) I will build my church. Some claim that the huge stone refers to Jesus, Himself or to Peter's faith.

Folks, that dog just don't hunt. These kinds of linguistic gymnastics don't serve the body of Christ.
The sentence is constructed in a way that perfectly and completely refutes this nonsense.

First, Petros and Petra are nothing more than masculine and feminine versions of the same word. Indeed, I have known men named Peter and Women named Petra. I could give countless examples; Robert and Roberta, John and Joan, Reginald and Regina, Terrance and Theresa, Paul and Pauline, George and Georgette, and so on.

The translator has to assign Peter the masculine version as a proper name. If the translator were marking a distinction, he would have used the Greek word "Lithos" to address Peter and then "Petros" (masculine) to address Jesus.

Second, the word AND!

16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, * and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

You have to perform linguistic cartwheels to get around this one word!


1.(used to connect grammatically coordinate words,
phrases, or clauses) along or together with; as well as; in addition to;
besides; also; moreover: pens and pencils.
2.added to; plus: 2 and 2 are 4.
3.then: He read for an hour and went to bed.
4.also, at the same time:
to sleep and dream.
5.then again; repeatedly: He coughed and coughed.

This is where common sense must kick in. The fundamentalist argument simply defies common sense! The Conjunction AND joins together coherent segments of a sentence.

Apples taste good and I like them.

Suzy is smart and will pass the class.

I am concerned about your troubles and I want to help.

To believe the fundamentalist view of Matthew 16:18, you have to having a willing suspension of knowledge of basic sentence structure.

Apples taste good and I refuse to eat them.

Suzy is smart and she will fail.

I am concerned about your troubles and you are on your own.

You are a pebble and upon a rock I will build my church.

Contrasting would require use of the word BUT or HOWEVER or NONETHELESS. Common sense dictates this.

Third, for the translator to have intended "lithos" (little stone) as Peter's name would be confirmed by use of the Aramaic word "enva". As you see, nowhere is Peter referred to as "Enva". Yet, He is repeatedly referred to as "Kephas".

Fourth, the term tautee tee confirms this interpretation because it means on this very....

Literally... You are the Rock and upon this very Rock I will build my Church.

The wiggle room for misinterpretation simply isn't there.

Of course, these things are difficult for some to understand and, thus, not all will come to understand them but many will do the best they can with the light in them.

Others, however, rejoice in their ignorance and celebrate it with prideful arrogance and sinful derision and disdain. These will have a grievous time being saved if there is any hope for them at all. It is these that Jesus and John the Baptist railed against with fury!

MT 6:2 When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before
you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise
of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

MT 6:5 "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to
you, they have received their reward.

MT 6:16 "When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

MT 15:7 Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said:
MT 22:18 Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing me, you

MT 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

MT 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

MT 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You
pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things
of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done,
without neglecting the others.

MT 23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

MT 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.

MT 23:29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,

MT 24:51 and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

MK 7:6 He responded, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

LK 12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

LK 13:15 The Lord said to him in reply, "Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for

The anti-catholic is a special brand of hypocrite that is an outgrowth of the false doctrine of Sola Fide (Salvation by Faith Alone). They truly believe (or at least want you to think they do) that Jesus cannot see their sin because they have been saved or reborn or born-again (or whatever they are calling it these days) and are, therefore, free to condemn each and every other person who does not think exactly as they do. They have the same cold, stone heart of the pharisees and- sadly- are headed to the same fate.

Unlike the non-catholic, the anti-catholic scarcely can be saved because they don't think they need a physician. Only too late will their eyes be opened and see the covenant form of the work of salvation.

Only those who show mercy will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7). Only those who do not judge will not be judged. Further, those who do judge will be judged by the very same measure they use!

Matthew 7:2 For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with
which you measure will be measured out to you

Romans 2:1 Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes
judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.

Romans 2:3 Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such
things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Only too late will the anti-catholic learn that, not only was she wrong about doctrine but she was wrong in a far more grievous way. Even as she boasted of her salvation, God saw her hate and her gossip and treachery.

Proverbs 6: 16 There are six
things which the LORD hates,Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans,Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false
witness who utters lies,And one who spreads strife among brothers.

After she dies, she will stand in chains, howling in horrible pain and despair, her eyes ever fixed on the clear knowledge of how she reviled her fellow man and, as a consequence, the very grace that could have saved her from this terrible state that she must now forever endure.

With all self deception having fled her, she will endure this horror fully- feeling all of the pain of the fire, all of the loneliness of being forsaken of God and all of the despair that comes with the certain knowledge that She shall never even have hope of escaping these torments.

The anti-Catholic thinks in her heart that Jesus must admit her into heaven. If she lies, it is nothing. If she slanders and hates, it is a small matter. Her salvation is assured. What is a lie or a malicious attack against someone she disagrees with? If it furthers her aim of destroying a foe, all the better, right?

Ahhhh. Too late will she be reminded of the parable of the talents or of the good Samaritan.

The problem with the anti-catholic is that she hates the catholic far more than she loves Jesus Christ. If given the choice, she would probably choose hell if she found out any catholics will be in heaven. Unfortunately, she very well may get her wish.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Sola Scriptura merry-go-round. How's that working for you?

Dr. Phil McGraw uses that line when people vehemently defend their selfish behavior out of foolish pride. "How is that working for you?" The question is brilliant in it's simplicity and ability to cut to the quick.

Doctor Phil's argument is but one way the doctrine of Sola Scriptura can be debated.

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura can be disputed any number of ways.

It can be disputed-ironically enough- Scripturally. Nowhere, in the Old or New Testaments are we told that truth is based on Scripture alone. In fact, we are told the opposite.

John 5:39 You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf

2THES 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

It can be disputed logically.

You cannot make the case that the Scriptures are God's word solely based on an appeal to the Scriptures. Such an argument is nonsensical and circular. You cannot have an argument where the conclusion is in the premise. Proponents of Sola Scriptura do that all the time and they wind up making Christendom look like a kingdom of fools.

How can I know that the Bible is God's Word?
Because God's Word says so.
How do you know it's God's Word?
Because it says so in God's Word.

To fail to see the total lack of sound logic in that type of argument is to be blind.

How can I know that you are Santa Claus?
Because I said so.
How is that of any value?
Becaue I am Santa Claus!

Some Fundamentalists try to get around that by appealing to Jeremiah to support Matthew and Matthew to support Paul and Paul to support Luke etc... Thus, they are now affirming that Jeremiah and Romans and Luke are, in fact, seperate and distinct testimonies by different authors, writing in different times and different places.

That is a much more sound argument for a believer, to be sure.... but for an unbeliever, it is still found wanting.


Look.... You are presenting The Bible to me, as a singular volume. First, I must trust, as an article of faith, that each of these books was written originally by the author you state. You cannot provide the original manuscripts for these books so we cannot know for certain where they came from.

However, even if I conceeded the authorship of these books, I have no way of knowing that everything these books say is true and that God is the ultimate author of any of it unless there is some other kind of evidence that verifies it!

The Atheist has a point. He has made a very sound, logical and cogent argument.

Of course, the Fundamentalist (We will call him Matt ) will then start lecturing the Atheist about how he is going to hell because he is evil etc... At this point, the Atheist- predictably- will yawn and walk away and Matt-as is always the case- will have converted no one.

When debating someone- for the purpose of evangelism-, your arguments must be sound and credible and you must be willing to concede a strong argument from the other side, if you expect to gain their trust.

Therefore, one cannot evangelize a non-believer on the basis of Sola Scriptura and expect a positive result.

The doctrine of Sola Sciptura can be disputed historically.

Prior to Luther and the - so-called - reformers, there is zero historical evidence that any Christian Church anywhere, at any time, believed this doctrine. That is a pretty curious fact for a doctrine that is supposedly foundational to be absent from practice for the first 1500 years of the Church!

However, the most unassailable proof that Sola Scriptura is Sola Balogna is the Dr. Phil test.

"How's that working for you?"

There are 30,000 protestant denominations now that can't agree on the color of dirt! In fact, I dare say that the only doctrine that Protestants agree on today is Sola Scriptura.

On the basis of their agreement on the Bible alone, protestantism is divided on the issue of Salvation by faith alone. It is divided on the necessity of Baptism. It is divided on Rapture theology. It is divided on the Real Prescence. It is divided on the use of wine as a sacramental. It is divided on what a church hierarchy should look like. It is divided on the Trinity. It is divided on the Ressurection. It is divided on homosexuality. It is divided on abortion. It is divided on the prophetic nature of Israel. It is divided on the idea of a ministerial priesthood. It is divided on the necessity of the tithe in today's world. It is divided on whether or not Catholics are Christians. It is divided on works. It is divided on Hell. It is divided on creationism. and on and on and on.

Jesus said A house divided against itself cannot stand. Matthew 12:25.

Sola Scriptura Protestants! How is that working for you? Why not take another look at a house united? Every Roman Catholic that is in full communion believes the same thing. That is one of the Essential marks of the true church. Ephesians 4:5

Friday, April 17, 2009

*BEST OF DTB #2* Dry water and cold fire. Do Catholics believe we can earn Salvation?

In a word, no.

In fact, those who claim we do think that are making a wholly disingenuous argument based on false dilemma.

That false dilemna is that salvation is either by faith alone or by works alone.

Let's start with that with which all protestants and catholics agree.

1) Man is fallen.

2) Man cannot save himself.

3) Man needs a Savior.

4) Jesus is the only one qualified for the job.

Some Fundamentalists act as if Catholics don't understand who Salvation comes from. Ironic, since they also condemn us for the fact that we supposedly spend to much time commemorating the Crucifixion- the defining act making salvation available to us. True, the Resurrection completes it and codifies it but the Resurrection is of little value to us without the Crucifixion.

Nevertheless, all Christians agree that the availability of Salvation is manifested, to the world, through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. The price has been paid and the money put in the bank account. We call this part of the process Redemption.

Redemption is available to every person on earth. That is, there are sufficient funds in the bank to cover the salvation of every person.

Hebrews 9:12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

Yet,Catholics agree with the Apostles Paul & Peter that we must, in fact, fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ

COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,

1PT 4:13 But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.
Are Paul and Peter suggesting insufficiency in the Sanctifying power of Christ's blood? Not at all.
What they are saying is that it is not enough that Christ died for us, if we do not have faith enough to benefit from it by joining in His sacrifice.

When fundamentalists claim that Catholics believe in a weak Jesus whose blood is insufficient to forgive every sin, they are are simply whistling past the grave yard. In fact, that is actually a pretty ridiculous argument. For, if I believed that Christ is not strong enough to save me, by what means could I possibly believe that I could do it?

Yet, there are actually people who have the audacity to suggest that we Catholics think we can out save Jesus because His sacrifice just wasn't good enough. Um. We don't. The sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice to save every single man, woman and child on earth is affirmed by our assent to the doctrine of Redemption. This argument, that we believe in a weak Jesus, is a red herring created by clever liars to detract from what is the real question at hand.

The question of what Jesus is able to do is one on which all Christians can agree. Jesus can do anything with only two exceptions;

1) Sin
2) Contradict Himself, the Father or the Spirit.

The question of Salvation boils down to three essential other questions

1) What is Jesus required to do for us beyond that which He has already done?
2) What is Jesus willing to do for us beyond that which He has already done?
3) What, as a consequence, would be required of us?

The answer to the first question is emphatic. Jesus owes me nothing. If I lived a hundred thousand lifetimes, each a hundred thousand years long, I could not even hope to repay him for what he has already done for me. The very suggestion that I could, then, pay my way in to heaven is too absurd to even discuss. All the gold of all the world of all time wouldn't suffice as a down payment on the reparations of the wounds of even 1 mortal sin I have committed in my life. However, my indebtedness only amplifies the imperitive that I give Him all I can.

On question #2, Jesus has made clear to us that He is willing to make provision for sufficient funds, from the bank of redemption, to be made available to pay off our debt. This is where the first disagreement arises. Catholics would agree with all Protestants that this debt payment is not earned from us or deserved by us. We are totally dependent on the debt payer who earned the wages himself and is under no obligation to make them available to us.

The money that is used to settle this debt is called Grace. In fact, Catholics call this particular type of Grace- Sanctifying Grace because that's what it does.

ACTS 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they

ROM 3:24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,

ROM 5:2 through whom we have gained access (by faith) to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

ROM 5:17 For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.

Where we divert is that some protestants (Calvinists in particular), believe that the debt payer, rather than providing for the payment of our debt, assumes all our debts (past, present and future) as His own! This is the heretical doctrine of Salvation by imputation. Like any other false, man-made doctrine, Salvation by imputation is not without clever arguments supporting it based on Scriptures twisted and turned just the right way. Just so, it fails to withstand serious muster, as do all heresies.

Following imputation theology through to it's logical end shows that it is completely untenable in a number of respects. Let's examine one.

Imputation theology fails to deal with sin. Thus, it makes it Biblically heretical. All the way back to Cain, God tells us of the struggle against sin.

Genesis 4:7

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

All through out the Scriptures, in both the Old and New Testament, Sin is shown in terms of an obstacle you must overcome. God will help you. He will forgive your sin and help you to grow stronger against it, if you are willing to try, but He will not paint over your sin and pretend it isn't there. He will not fail to punish you if you do not fight your sin.

PHIL 2:12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Matthew 10:38 and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Luke 3:9 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Galatians 6

6:7 Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows,6:8 because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.6:9 Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.

James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Imputation theology mocks God's justice by putting God in a position of no longer punishing your sins or forgiving them. He simply pretends they are not there.

1 Thessalonians 4:6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.

Three things must be made crystal clear.
1) Sin cannot stand. God will not abide sin. Every single sin must be forgiven or punished.
2) Forgiveness of sin is impossible without sincere repentance. Repentance means to
turn away. You cannot be forgiven of your sins unless you forsake them!
3) To sin, with the expectation that your sins will be forgiven or-worse yet- that they have already have been forgiven, is to only add the sin of presumption to your previous sins.

As the Apostle Paul admonishes us; Be not deceived. God is not mocked.

So, imputation, as a theory is wrong and this creates the great quandary that is very much the division between many branches of Protestantism and the one faith of Catholicism. It is set up by false dilemmas that are at the very heart of question #3

What does the free gift of Salvation require of us?

Many protestants contend that it requires nothing of us for two reasons;
1) It cannot be a free gift if anything is required in return.
2) There cannot be anything required of us because the debt is too large and we cannot pay it.

Therefore, God must pay it in full for us or it cannot be paid.

Let's tackle the first one.

Romans 4

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." a

4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousnessb. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from worksc: 7"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

a This is a perfect example of how context provides the answer. I actually like it when fundamentalists cite this scripture because it ends up proving the Catholic case! What does it mean "Abraham believed God?" Does it mean he jumped up and said "I believe, I believe!" Does it mean he danced in the isles and sang songs about how much faith he had? No, it means that Abraham trusted in God even when it did not seem to make earthy sense to do so.
The fundamentalists contention, that all Abraham had to do was state his belief, only works to persuade those who are completely ignorant of Scripture. We can see, plainly, from scripture that just the opposite is true. Abraham was saved because of His faith but that faith could only be manifested- proven- by his works. His works saved him.
James 2
2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.2:23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God."2:24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Is James refuting Paul? No! James is explaining Paul's position. Whereas Redemption is that money in the bank that Jesus deposited to pay the debt, Justification is the point at which the person's debt is paid in full. That is, the person has become Justified before God.
b Imputational fundamentalists insist that man can never become justified before God. They insist that Jesus covers our unrighteousness with His righteousness the way a blood stain is covered by a coat of paint. In essence, the consequence of their theology is that your sin still exists but you get into heaven by hiding behind Jesus so God cannot see it.
Yet, in the very verse cited, we are told that man can be justified.
"man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked"
There are more examples;
Luke 18:14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
ACTS 13:39 in him every believer is justified.
Romans 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.
Romans 5:9 How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.
James 2:25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?
Before we can debate how a man is justified, we must, at a minimum, believe that he is. Imputation theology is finished. It is simply unworkable as an explanation of salvation. Any honest rendering of scripture contends that man- himself- undergoes a change from spiritual death to life, justifying him in the site of God. In other words, mans sin is not simply covered, it is removed.
Romans 6:4

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
Ephesians 2:5
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Colossians 2:13

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Many protestants correctly reject the doctrine of imputation and accept that God's Grace does in fact wash away our sins and make us holy enough to be Justified. This actual cleansing of the soul and removal of sin is what is called Sanctification.
Redemption provides the money, Sanctification is the payment(s) and Justification is the result. All of it comes from the beneficence of a Holy and indescribably merciful God.
Yet, let's not forget that He is also a Just God and a Sovereign God. For man to be Justified, Justice must be satisfied. Justification literally means the satisfaction of Justice. The abscence of debt or guilt.
 /ˈdʒʌstəˌfaɪ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [juhs-tuh-fahy] Show IPA verb, -fied, -fy⋅ing.
–verb (used with object)
1. to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right: The end does not always justify the means.
2. to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded: Don't try to justify his rudeness.
3. Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.4.Printing.
a. to make (a line of type) a desired length by spacing the words and letters, esp. so that full lines in a column have even margins both on the left and on the right.
b. to level and square (a strike).
Protestants who reject imputationalism and Catholics, agree that man is redeemed by Christ's sacrifice, Sanctified by His Grace and Justified by that Sanctification. Further, we agree that this occurs only because of faith and not by the merit of man nor by the works of the law. The only things in question are how the process takes place and what man must do for it to happen.
People of good will have been confused on this question for 500 years because the disobedience of Luther and the other reformers sowed that confusion. The reformers argued that Redemption, Sanctification and Jusification all occur at once and they provide Scripture that the uninformed could misinterpret to support that contention.
Romans 3:24
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:30
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Many protestants who are not imputationalists, nevertheless, reject the idea that man is able to do anything to contribute to his own salvation. They cite, for example, the same words of Paul from above.
b 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness c 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
In reading this, It would be easy to misunderstand Paul as saying that our Justification before God has nothing to do with works- that it was by faith alone. Easy that is, if James did not directly contradict that notion.
James 2
8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"
and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Is James contradicting Paul? No! He is explaining the very same doctrine that Paul taught. There are two sides to it and Paul emphasized the first, while James emphasized the second.
1) Those who carried out the works of the Mosaic law (John 1:17), without faith, cannot be saved. The works of the law, under the Old Covenant were nothing less than a symbolic participation in Christ's redemptive work. When people practiced the law, for it's own sake, they were condemned. Not one person can be saved by the law.
Paul is exorting us that Jesus is the one who saves even those who were saved through the Mosaic law because they were not saved by the Mosaic law. In fact, not one single person was saved BY the Mosaic law. All were saved by Jesus.

Acts 13:39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
Salvation passed from and through Jesus, through the Mosaic law, to the believer. The Mosaic law was but a conduit through time by which Old Testament believers could participate in New Testament salvation. When Jesus arrived, that conduit was no longer needed and the veil in the temple was torn in two, shortly before the temple itself was razed by the Romans.
2) James, on the other hand, is giving us the other side of the equation. The law of Moses is one thing, the law of God is another! Do not presume that the law of God will ever pass away.
Matthew 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
The same Scriptures that tell us that works without faith are dead tell us that faith without works is dead. The same scriptures that tell us that faith operates apart from works, tell us that faith is completed through works. You must demonstrate both or you, in fact, have neither.
We are not under the (Mosaic) law, we are under grace. Grace cleanses us, strengthens us, waters us and enables us to bring forth good fruit. Earning salvation? Don't be silly. Our works don't earn us salvation any more than the works of the Mosaic law earned Salvation.
Nevertheless, works are required for salvation. For the God who said "Thou shalt not kill" etc...'', meant it.
So, then. The question from some fundamentalists becomes ''how much work?'', ''what work?'', as if we can quantify it. If one attempts to quantify the work, they focus on the work for it's own sake and error just as the Pharisees did.
Ours is to do what we are told to do and leave the results to God. The results are not what save but the exercise of faith practiced. The exercise of works is not a contradiction of faith but the very manifestation of faith. Some protestants contend that good works are a by product of faith. Seperating works from faith is like seperating the water from the wet or the heat from the fire. You can have wet without water but you cannot have water without wet. You can have heat without fire but you cannot have fire without heat. Salvation is by faith. We do what we are told to prove we have faith.
You can say you have faith all you want but if your soul is dry and cold, your words don't mean much.