Friday, April 09, 2010

The Sin of Presumption


This morning I read on someone's facebook the following:

" For members of any one group to say that members of any other group will or will not "go to heaven" is presumption of the worst kind. God will judge; man's responisibility is to exercise HUMILITY, learn the TRUTH and FOLLOW it." 

he then goes on to provide an extremely typical Protestant point, namely:

'So how does anyone get to Heaven? The Bible says in the book of John chapter 3 verse 3: Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Here we go with the Protestant Heresy of Sola Fide and the Sin of Presumption.
Now for Catholics that actually know their faith this poses no problem at all for we shall soon see how completely foolish and wicked this false teaching really is.

The sin of presumption is also the same as the belief in eternal assurance; it is presuming on God's mercy. It is not just a theologically incorrect position to hold, but is also one which is deeply sinful and inspired of the Devil because it makes one proud and think that one has no need of God's further assistance. The person thinks they are already permanently “saved” and so they do not need God, the Church, the Sacraments, or anything else.

Followers of this doctrine of devils do not speak of "If we make it to Heaven" rather they say “I KNOW I will be in Heaven . . .” Catholics who are in a state of grace are assured Heaven at that moment. The sin of presumption refers to a belief that regardless of mortal sins one will still merit Heaven.

There are several passages in Holy Scripture that repudiate the "Once Saved Always Saved" position. Since
many Protestants use the King James Bible I will use quotes from this Bible although I do not be any means endorse it over the Catholic Douay-Rheims. Before I even go to the Bible however, one must realize the devil was in the state of grace and lost that grace, being sent to hell for the sin of pride.
(Just something for you to consider)

We know in the Old Testament that King David , who was holy and just, became a terrible sinner, but then repented and died a saint. He is regarded a Saint by Holy Mother the Church. King Solomon , son of King David, was wiser and achieved great holiness, fell away and became an horrendous sinner. Of course we do not know if King Solomon was saved but most authors are not optimistic. The Church does not regard him as a Saint.
In the Old Testament , Ezekiel teaches the following doctrine:

" But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die." ( Ezekiel 18: 24-26)

  Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (11:19-22), says:

"Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear, For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed least he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

It is important to note that Saint Paul was talking to believing, genuinely born again Christians who lived in Rome. He says in the same Epistle Romans

( 1:7 ) " To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be Saints..." He also says : " the mutual faith, both of you and me"

( 1:11 ). According to the "Once saved always saved" theory, these people were saved. If that was the case, why then does Saint Paul tell them to "fear" they could be cut off? The answer is, although they presently believe and are "beloved of God" they can fail to continue in his goodness and loose their salvation.

   Saint Paul teaches again that justified Christians can loose their salvation in Galatians:

" I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel." (Gal.1:6) 
In the same Epistle he says: "having begun in the spirit," now fail to "obey the truth" (Gal.3:1-3)

   Saint Paul himself feared for his own salvation: " But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: least by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." ( Cor. 9:2 )

So we see Saint Paul did not believe that because he was a believer and in the love of God, that he could not loose his salvation. We are not any better than Saint Paul and we too can loose our salvation.
From the Catholic Epistles which are called General Epistles in the King James version of the Bible we read Saint Peter's warning:

" For if they have escaped the pollution's of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in mire."
(2 Peter. 2:20-22).

This vivid allegory is so clear that a person can loose his salvation and the presumption of being already saved is un-biblical.

Saint Peter emphasizes the point even further

" Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Peter 3:17 )

Saint James exhorts the faithful:

"Keep yourselves in the love of God." (Jude 21) To keep is not to loose. St. Jude would not waste inspired words of his epistle , if it were impossible for them to fail to keep the love of God.

Now at last we see the warning Our Lord Himself gave us:

" And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matt.10:22)

Saint Cyprian (A.D. 200-258) commenting on this verse says:

" So whatever precedes the end is only a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation. It is not the final point wherein we have already gained full result of the ascent."

In Saint Luke in the Parable of the Sower our Lord gives us the different ways the Gospel is received by different people. Our concern is the second which He states:

" They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." (Luke 8:13)

One more quote from Our Lord:

" Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, , If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." (John 8:31)

The doctrine "once saved always saved" is a false and demonic doctrine, not even close to the teaching of the Lord and his Apostles. I could go on but the point is made. We can loose our salvation and to presume we cannot is not biblical and not Christian.  No one should presume they are going to heaven, however no one should give up the virtue of hope!

(see there is that sin of presumption again!)

Just a few additions from the INFALLIBLE Canons of the Council of Trent:

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. 
CANON XII.-If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema. 

CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.

CANON XVI.-If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema. 

CANON XXVII.-If any one saith, that there is no mortal sin but that of infidelity; or, that grace once received is not lost by any other sin, however grievous and enormous, save by that of infidelity ; let him be anathema.

CANON XXIX.-If any one saith, that he, who has fallen after baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is able indeed to recover the justice which he has lost, but by faith alone without the sacrament of Penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal Church-instructed by Christ and his Apostles-has hitherto professed, observed, and taugh; let him be anathema. 

CANON XXX.-If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema. 

CANON XXXIII.-If any one saith,that,by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.


Theophilus said...

Excellent blog. Congratulations!

ViaTeam said...

well done brother [T - 14 days and counting]!

The Rose Garden said...

Good blog! keep posting and keep the faith burning!