The War on Salvation: Religion v. The Bible

The War on Salvation:

Religion v. The Bible

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (10.1)

 Strictly from the standpoint of analysis, it matters little whether one is a “Christian” or not. One not need be a Christian in order to understand what it is that “Christians” believe. Knowing what it is that Christianity actually states; is entirely different than believing that that which Christianity states is in fact true.

The actual Greek word translated here in Ephesians as “grace” is: “5485 charis; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act…” (10.2)

A fair definition of grace, is receiving something of positive value that is not deserved. This is in contrast to mercy; which is not receiving something of negative value that is deserved.

Here we are told by Paul that we are saved by “grace” “through” “faith.” This sounds suspiciously more like payment, rather than any type of grace. Meaning; if you believe, then your payment is salvation. Here it at first appears that the “work” is the faith that creates the imbalance; and the balance for this “work” is the granting of salvation. This of course would not be grace, and most certainly would then not qualify as any type of “gift.” Rather; salvation would clearly be the result of “works;”—notwithstanding that any possibility of this cause-effect relationship existing, is clearly negated at the end of the citation.
The key word here is: “through.” Here “through” is “1223 dia; a prim. prep. denoting a channel of an act; through (in very wide applications…”(10.3)

Thus the balancing of an existing imbalance by obtaining salvation; is not the result of any imbalance that may be caused by faith. Faith merely provides the channel by which salvation is obtained. The imbalance already exists and has existed since Calvary. Faith merely provides a channel for salvation; and in no way contributes to any pre-existing imbalance caused by faith; which is then resolved or balanced by the granting of salvation. When a channel is provided in a dam for water to escape, there are no pumps involved. There is no energy involved other than that required for the provision of the channel. The imbalance already exists, and the water will flow once the channel is provided. We are likewise told by Paul that salvation; like this water, will flow once there is a channel; and that Faith provides that channel. Here faith in and of itself does not in any way “pay for” or create any imbalance, which salvation then balances—as the imbalance already exists. This is why salvation is both grace and a gift as it is “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

It is true that faith can create many imbalances in many areas, which can then be balanced many different positive ways. But salvation is not one of these.

Similarly; we are told that salvation is: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” “Works” is: “2041 ĕrgŏn; from a prim. (but obsol.) ĕrgō (to work); to toil (as an effort or occupation) by impl. an act.”(10.4) Erg is the root of the word ergonomics. An “erg” is a unit used for the measurement of energy.

Thus we are told that there is no imbalance caused or possible by works or ĕrgŏn, whose balancing mechanism could possibly be salvation. Just as is the case with faith; works can also create many imbalances in many areas, which can then be balanced many different ways. But again, salvation is not one of these.

“It ain't bragging if you can do it.”—Dizzy Dean(10.5)

This is quite true. It is not bragging if you can do it—but it is boasting if you can do it. A boast represents that which is; while a brag; (braggadocio); represents that which is not.
The actual word translated in Ephesians 2:9 as “boast” is: “2744 kauchaŏmai; from some (obsol.) base akin to that of auchĕō (to boast) and 2172; to vaunt (in a good or bad sense)…”(10.6)

Thus when Paul tells us: “Not of works, lest any man should boast;” this confirms the falsity of any “works” related cause for salvation. “Any man” can surely brag about salvation being the result of his works; but of course this represents falsehood—because Paul tells us that he (“any man”) can’t actually boast about it, because he “cannot do it;” as salvation is unrelated to works.

Ephesians 2:4 tells us:

“But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,”(10.7)

Mercy is: “1656 ĕlĕŏs; of uncert. affin.; compassion (human or divine espec. active)”(10.8)

Titus 3:5 tells us:

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us, by
the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”(10.9)

Here in Titus, Paul is reaffirming that not by any works; even works of righteousness; are we saved, but “according to his mercy.” The introduction of mercy here is also actually: “1656 ĕlĕŏs; of uncert. affin.; compassion (human or divine espec. active).”(10.10)

Earlier in Ephesians, it was charis, translated as “grace;” which was a causative factor. Here in Titus, the same is so for mercy. Thus salvation is described as both grace, i.e.; receiving something of positive value (salvation) that is not deserved; and also mercy; i.e.; not receiving something of negative value (eternal separation from God) that is or would otherwise be deserved.

What is a “mortal sin?”
According to Colin B. Donovan, STL, from etwn.com:

“Mortal sin is called mortal because it is the ‘spiritual’ death of the soul (separation from God). If we are in the state of grace it loses this supernatural life for us. If we die without repenting we will lose Him for eternity.” (10.11)

Here Donovan seems to be stating that mortal sin will alter the “state of grace;” i.e.; salvation by justification; to that state which was prior to obtaining said “state of grace.” This seems to be a variant of the common definition of justification. Justification is often considered to mean: “just as though one never sinned.” Here Donovan seems to make a similar argument with respect to the commission of a mortal sin. According to Donovan, it seems that mortal sin is: “just as though one never received salvation.”

Thus by only minor extension, although works cannot in any way provide salvation; it seems that according to Donovan, certain works can remove salvation or this “state of grace.”

However Paul just told us that it is faith and not works which provides the channel for salvation; and that salvation is unrelated to works. Given this channel provided by faith, salvation will flow of its own accord, without any additional action. Since it is faith alone that opens this channel and not works; it must be asked as to the mechanism whereby this channel can be blocked by works. The answer is that it cannot, as no relationship exists between works, and the establishment of this channel for salvation/justification.

However; Donovan provides an “out” for the commission of mortal sin—repenting.

According to Donovan, “repenting” is:

“receiving the Sacrament of Penance we are restored to His friendship. Catholics are not allowed to receive Communion if they have unconfessed mortal sins.”(10.12)

The root or the “pent” part of repent is the “Latin penitire, to regret.”(10.13)

But the word is not “pent” but rather repent. This could reasonably be defined as not to regret, but rather to regret again. The word repentance does not generally mean to receive any type of Sacrament; and neither does it generally mean to make any type of formal confession to any third party.

According to “aboutcatholics.com:”

"Mortal’ means death; they are sins that cause death to the soul. Mortal sins completely sever one’s relationship with God and the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Confession) is necessary to restore this relationship.”(10.14)

So it seems that although according to Paul, salvation cannot be obtained by any type of works; righteous or otherwise; according to others, it somehow can nevertheless be removed by works; if and when said works constitute a mortal sin. If merely for the purposes of discussion, this is stipulated to be true; it must be asked as to what the change in status is? Meaning; what is the difference between one who is unsaved; and one who is or “was” saved, but then his “works” were such that a commission of a mortal sin occurred?

Paul tells us that salvation has nothing to do with works, but only faith. There is no cause-effect relationship between works and salvation. Rather; it is faith that opens this dia or channel, whereby salvation is then delivered. Like merely opening the front door, and there is an automatic pizza delivery at no cost—because a lifetime of pizza has already been paid for. All that is required is an opening for delivery. Paul tells us that salvation does not represent any type of payment or “karma;” but rather is a gift of grace or mercy or “compassion”—depending upon one’s perspective. The availability of salvation is like potential energy, which requires only a dia or channel; here the channel provided by faith, and faith alone.

So if one is unsaved, all that is required is this dia or channel; which is created by faith, and faith alone; and whose existence is completely unrelated to any works. This is Paul’s position. But others claim, that although this may be true; works that fit into the “mortal sin” category, can remove this salvation. And according to this same theory, maintaining this dia or channel with faith, is now insufficient to maintain or restore said saved status. Presumably, mortal sin now blocks this dia or channel, and despite the fact that faith alone originally provided this dia or channel, said blockage cannot be removed by faith alone—unlike the “original” blockage. Instead: “Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Confession)” is necessary to “reopen” this channel, or “restore this relationship.”

What is “commonly called confession,” consists of the works of seeking out and “confessing” one’s sins to a third party, and thus not directly to God. Said third party then advises as to what the penance for this mortal and other sin commission is to be—and these works usually consist of some level of repetitive prayer. Once these works are all completed, the presumed blockage is removed, the “petitioner” is “good to go” in the salvation department—at least until next time.

It remains unclear as to the logic behind the theory regarding precisely how it is that although faith alone, and not any works, is sufficient to provide this dia or channel; but nevertheless works are required in order to maintain or restore this channel. It also remains unclear as to how it is; that although God provides salvation the first time, any future provision of salvation (assuming it actually can be lost by works) cannot be provided by God alone; but rather now requires a man to assist Him. It is likewise unclear as to why it is that initial gift of salvation is completely unrelated to works; but any “subsequent” provision of salvation requires works, and thus must be and is paid for.

This theory also seems patently unfair. According to Paul, even those such as Hitler, Stalin, Tojo and others; even if locked in a bunker alone; were alone capable of receiving salvation in the last seconds of their life, simply by faith. But one who had already received salvation by faith, and was also alone and locked in the same or a similar bunker; would be in big trouble, had they committed any sin characterized as mortal after being saved. In the absence of any third party, how could these purported required works take place?
Donovan goes on to cite 1 Cor. 6:9-10 in support of this.(10.15)

1 Cor. 6:9-10 tells us:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,
nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”(10.16)

This sounds quite supportive of Donovan’s position—unless and until the very next verse (1 Cor. 6:11) is read.

1 Cor. 6:11 then tells us:

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”(10.17)

According to Fox News in March of 2008:

“After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization… The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice.”(10.18)

The two most interesting new “mortal” sins seem to be “being obscenely rich” and “causing social injustice;” as these; unlike sins such as murder or adultery; are not binaries.
It is unclear as to the difference between “being rich” and “being obscenely rich.” Likewise it is unclear as to who it is that makes this determination, or precisely how this determination is made. The threshold for the aforementioned mortal sins murder and adultery are clear. Without some type of corpse, there can be no murder. And with respect to adultery as commonly understood, there has to be—well there either is or is not binary evidence. But being “obscenely rich” as opposed to just “rich” is not a binary, but rather an “analog,” as well as a subjective determination.
In the absence of clear and objective standards adjusted for inflation; the average person simply cannot determine if or when they cross the threshold from merely being rich, to “being obscenely rich.”
It should be noted that with respect to the love of money, 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil:
which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”(10.19)

But it should also be noted that with respect to the very money itself, Ecclesiastes 10:19 tells us:

“A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry:
but money answereth all things.”(10.20)

Thus this mortal sin of “being obscenely rich,” (having an obscenely large amount of money), means that someone committing this new mortal sin; simultaneously and necessarily then also has an obscenely large amount of answers—at least according to Ecclesiastes.

It is also unclear as to the remedy for “being obscenely rich.” This is not a singular event that has a definable ending, such as murder or adultery as commonly understood. One can “repent” in both the literal and “Sacramental” sense, to a fait accompli. But being “rich;” irrespective of the level of obscenity; is an ongoing issue. If one gives his wealth away for good reason, this would result in only a temporary diminution of the level of wealth to that which is considered below the “obscene” level. Once karma, or F = MA and equal and opposite reactions occur, the level of wealth will once again pierce this “obscene” threshold resulting in an even higher degree of “obscenity;”—perhaps an even greater “mortal sin.” It seems that the only true way to avoid continual commission of this mortal sin; would be to give away some portion of the wealth for reasons that are not good, thereby incurring negative karma or loss.

It also must be asked how this new mortal sin comports with Deuteronomy 28:2?

Deuteronomy 28:2 tells us:

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee,
if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”(10.21)

It seems that hearkening “unto the voice of the Lord thy God,” could easily result in blessings which will result in a level of wealth well beyond the “obscene” level. Here God would have to be careful as to make certain that the level which will “overtake thee,” consistently remains below the man determined “obscene” level—else it would be God Himself who would become an “accessory before the fact” to the commission, and continued commission of this “mortal sin.”

The new mortal sin of “causing social injustice;” is even more difficult to understand. It seems that the “woe to(s)” contained in Isaiah and elsewhere “cover” those who are in power—irrespective of the seemingly consistent ignoring of this admonition by the same. Here it seems that this “causing social injustice;” mortal sin is not limited to those who violate their fiduciary responsibilities to those who trusted them, and willfully granted them the same. Rather; it seems that this sin can be committed by anyone at any time.

Is it “causing social injustice;” to get the best price possible on a new car? After all, there are ramifications to the seller for the buyer willfully paying the seller less than one can. Is it “causing social injustice;” to drive a vehicle that others cannot afford? Is it “causing social injustice;” to not feed the hungry?

After all Matthew 25:40 tells us:

“Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me.”(10.22)

But the person who does not feed the hungry, did not cause them to become hungry. Assuming that hunger falls into the “social injustice” category, the causative factor lies outside of the person who encountered the hungry person. Rather it is the failure to provide a remedy to the pre-existing seeming injustice of hunger to which this passage refers. Can it be stated that failing to remedy “social injustice” is the same as “causing social injustice?” And how can it be determined that the state of hunger is in itself a “social injustice?”

It must also be remembered that 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 tells us:

"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you,
that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly,
working not at all, but are busybodies.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”(10.23)

Here it seems that the state of hunger is not any type of social injustice, but rather justice—at least according to Paul. Choosing to be one of the “busybodies,” instead of working, is choosing non-productivity. Is it social justice to consume the efforts of others because of this choice—assuming it is a choice? Meaning; that one is capable of some level of productivity; but chooses not to; and relies upon consuming the fruits of the labors of others in order to survive. How is this justice to the worker?

It seems that that “causing social injustice” can also be pretty much what anyone determines it to be. And this is especially serious here, in that it is a mortal sin that is the penalty. How can a “lay person” reliably decide what constitutes violations of such a serious nature? One best then rely upon and trust others as experts to decide what constitutes this sin, and then behave accordingly. Does this sound a bit familiar?

While conducting research for this tome, interviews were conducted with one who was taught Catholicism by Dominican nuns many years ago. This person; (hereafter “he”); recounted other behaviors taught as “mortal sins” at that time. One was failure to attend church on Sunday or any “Holy Day of Obligation.” Eating meat on Fridays was another, although this was later changed.

He was also taught that receiving Holy Communion on nine consecutive “First Fridays,” would guarantee that he could not die without a priest at his side. As a child he did in fact do this; and then made a lifelong commitment to stay away from priests.

No efforts are being made here to in any way disparage any religion or religious beliefs. To the contrary, religions have been instrumental in disseminating the knowledge about the availability of salvation—irrespective of any deviations from what was originally taught. But although the ends of religion and statism may sometimes be entirely different, there seem to be striking resemblances in the means—if it can be stipulated that each is primarily concerned with a different realm.

The statists are concerned with that which is in the material realm. More likely than not, they do not in any way seriously believe in any type of existence in any other realm. They promulgate very serious penalties here and now if one does not behave in a manner to their liking. The use of their here is in contradistinction to “just” laws, where there “their liking” means with the agreement of the citizenry.
The “religious folk” are concerned with not merely the material realm, but also eternal existence in another (the immaterial) realm. They promulgate penalties in this immaterial realm if one does not behave on a manner to their liking in this realm. But here “their” liking is supposed to be based upon a higher authority; i.e.; to God’s liking, as per His written word. And some of this is in fact quite commendable. Proffering obedience to The Commandments (of which there are not ten), represents good instruction.

However even God Himself; at least in Exodus 20; did not require obedience, but rather only that we shâmar; or keep these Commandments. As previously discussed, “Keep” or shâmar does not mean obey, but rather to guard them as though surrounded by a hedge of thorns. One “keeps” one’s car in a garage for protection.

Men are asked to keep these Commandments at the ready when “decision making time” arrives; and incorporate these as instructions into the same. God did not engage in interference of man’s free will even to the extent of requiring obedience to His Commandments—at least at the time He announced them. There is that mess afterwards with “Hebrew slaves” and such; but the authenticity of this is highly suspect. Man is free to obey or disobey His Commandments, and will receive a return in accordance with his choices.

But religions often do that which even God himself would not do. Religions often attempt to not influence behavior by the provision of knowledge; but coerce behavior by promulgating severe penalties in the thereafter, for failure to engage in the type of “works” religions prefer in the here and now. This is compulsion at best, manipulation at worst; and although the ends of upright behavior are commendable, these means are not of God. Religions often create “clear and present dangers” to salvation, when no such danger can reasonably even be derived from His Word.

Sometimes this is done with best of intentions, and sometimes not. There are those who truly care so much, that these types of judgmental errors occur. But it must be asked that if these intentions were used as pavement; where would the road lead? Intentions alone were insufficient to prevent higher incidences of illegal drug use by those who completed the “program.”  And of course there are those who are merely utilizing religion instead of politics for statist type control. And of these, some in fact utilize both.

Most believe that “judgment day” is where or when that immaterial part of man is to be judged. A more compelling argument is that “judgment day” is not when a man is judged; but rather where or when man receives his judgment—with the actual judging having occurred prior to this. This judgment is a binary. Either that immaterial part is to be reunited with it source, or it is not.

Excerpt from “Statists Saving One” Chapter 10 “The Pseudo-Statists” Copyright © 2017 Quadrakoff Publications Group, LLC All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-1-948219-00-6

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

10.1 King James Bible (Ephesians 2:8-9)
10.2 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 77 (Greek)
10.3 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 22 (Greek)
10.4 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 32 (Greek)
10.5 Dean, Dizzy retrieved 5/17 https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dizzydean379853.html)
10.6 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 41 (Greek)
10.7 King James Bible (Ephesians 2:4)
10.8 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 27 (Greek)
10.9 King James Bible (Titus 3:5)
10.10 Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. © 1890 James Strong, Madison, NJ p. 27 (Greek)
10.11 Donovan, Colin B., retrieved 5/17 https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/mortal_versus_venial.htm
10.12 Donovan, Colin B., retrieved 5/17 https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/mortal_versus_venial.htm
10.13 Etymology Online, retrieved 5/17 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Repent
10.14 retrieved 5/17 http://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/mortal-sins/
10.15 Donovan, Colin B., retrieved 5/17 https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/mortal_versus_venial.htm
10.16 King James Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
10.17 King James Bible (1 Corinthians 6:11)
10.18 Fox News retrieved 5/17 http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/03/11/vatican-adds-seven-new-deadly-sins-including-damaging-environment-and-drug.html
10.19 King James Bible (1 Timothy 6::10)
10.20 King James Bible (Ecclesiastes 10:19)
10:21 King James Bible (Deuteronomy 28:2)
10.22 King James Bible (Matthew 25:40)
10.23 King James Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

 

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