Our faith without believing in the resurrection of Christ is nothing. Resurrection is possible because of crucifiction and death. Denying this things are the same as denying Jesus Christ. The Jews who crucified Jesus was a people of "good faith". Saul was a person with "good faith" before he met the light of Christ on the road to Damascus. This thing doesn�t happen accidentally. There are energies behind everything that occurs in the physical. Solomae put it correctly in the following quote:
In the case of the rejection of the Christ through the death of Jesus, the men who were in power (Jews) at that time sought to keep that power; anything that threatened to give liberation to the people was viewed as threat. As soon as they had the thought that Jesus' teaching could potentially undermine their power, the unseen forces in the non-physical realms entered into their consciousness and took over. These leaders became a vehicle for the unseen lower energies to play out their control in the physical realm .
The denial of Christ by Jews has been prophesied but God has entered unconditional Covenant with them since the time of Abraham. I believe they will accept Christ as their messiah at the end of end time. There is a popular belief among those who are spiritually seeking that all paths lead to the same place. While this sounds loving, uplifting and peaceful, it is in direct opposition to Jesus� statement �He that is not with me is against me; and he that does not gather with me will scatter.� (Luke 11:23). This is a very strong statement on the part of Jesus, virtually saying that even being neutral is tantamount to being against him.
w.c, you can call me what you want the only way to God is through Christ; denying his crucifiction and resurrection is the same as denying him. To accept and following him we need faith. The faith can be implicit or explicit. If God see the seed of implicit faith in us he surely lead us to Christ and explicit faith regardless in which religion we belong.
No Grace, as far as I can see you are incorrect, at least from a Catholic theological pov, which doesn't describe denial of salvation to Jews or Moslems, Buddhists or Hindus, who don't believe in Christ's death and resurrection. So it is one thing for you to share what you believe, but unfounded to make your assertion based upon Catholic theology. Many do not reach explicit faith in Christ, and most Catholic theologians aren't making the argument that explicit faith, as such, is necessary for the salvation of souls who live in good conscience according to the promptings of natural grace with which all human beings are endowed. I believe Phil has already made that point earlier in this thread.
We do have a thread going on this topic here, among other places. I made the point that the rejection of an opportunity for explicit faith would invalidate the existence of implicit faith. Of course, that opportunity needs to be credible, and only God can really judge if that's the case. This is one of the problems with Islam, as I noted above: their teaching on Jesus has innoculated them against explicit Christian faith, and so missionary endeavors into the Moslem world have largely been ineffective.
What's important to acknowledge, however, is that it's still possible that Moslems would be operating out of an implicit faith that, were it not for the skewed teachings on Christ that they received, could flower into explicit faith. So the obstacle to explicit faith isn't necessarily a hardening of the heart against the Gospel, or a preference for sin -- both of which are enormously problemmatic re. salvation. To the extent that Moslems do operate out of an authentic implicit faith, they come under the saving grace of Christ, who works not only through the Christian religion, but wherever we see the fruits of the Spirit being manifest.
I know this might all sound like theological sophistry, but I believe it's congruent with the Catholic Church's teaching on this topic. Whatever the case, it is Jesus who saves, whether he is formally recognized or not.
w.c, I'm just reflecting my personal opinion. None of my posts are based upon Catholic theology. My understanding of implicit/explicit faith can be different from Catholic theology. However, it is not Catholic or any theology which determine weather I'm correct or not. I have already put my reservation on this issue on another thread where we discussed this issue in length. So, my opinion here is not new. According to my understanding, if a person search God sincerly, openly and honestly implicit faith is already on place. I believe salvation is possible only through the acceptance of Jesus Christ. Therefore, God will not see the person with implicit faith to continue worship other Gods. Sooner or later he will lead the person to Christ and explicit faith.
Whatever the case, it is Jesus who saves, whether he is formally recognized or not.
It might be helpful here to recall the three approaches re. religion and salvation.
A. Exclusivist -- believes that one's religion is the only way and anything outside is lost. Explicit faith only saves.
This would describe fundamentalist and most evangelical Christians, and also Islam.
B. Inclusivist - recognizes that the truth proclaimed in one's religion goes beyond that religion and can be accessed by others who do not belong to that religion via an implicit faith in such truth.
Catholicism takes this view, as do most Protestant traditions.
C. Pluralist - believes that there are many pathways to God and that no religion can claim to have the whole truth.
This is a very popular position these days, especially among New Age/Hindu types.
People often confuse Inclucivism with Pluralism, but there is a difference. Christian inclusivists (such as myself) believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, but do not believe that his saving work is restricted to the Christian religion alone.
Phil, I never said Christian religion is the only way. I said Christ is the only way. Believing and following Christ has nothing to do with organized religion. Explicit faith for me is not the same as Christian religion. Explicit faith for me is to accept Christ at conscious level, this can be done with or without Church.
Do you think the person with implicit faith doesn't need to accept Christ at conscious level to be saved?
Grace, I was just trying to show the different ways of looking at this issue, and the exclusivit, inclusivist, pluralist comparisons seemed to be relevant.
The Church teaches that people with implicit faith can be saved even if they do not come to explicit faith (conscious acceptance of Christ, commitment to him, etc.). Many will never even hear of Christ, and others will hear a distortion of the Gospel (e.g., Islamic teaching on Christ). Nevertheless, they can and do have living contact with him, even though they might never consciously recognize Jesus to be the reality.
Hi Phil, Hi WC
For the record, I agree with what Phil said above.
The word of God said spirit discernment is a gift of God and it is mainly for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:7). In our discussion on Islam on this thread I feel responsible to share what I intuit about Islam.
Since I became aware of the gift of spirit discernment I have observed many things which are normally hidden for eyes. It has been very beneficial for the growth of my spirituality. It helps me to walk in spirit. Everything on the earth is simply a reflection of the unseen energies which are battling for planetary dominance in the unseen realms. Likewise every symbol we see represents something from the energetic reality. This reality can be good or bad spirit. Every symbols, pictures, images and icons I see reflects different energies. What I feel from the symbol and icon of Christianity is holiness. These symbols are consisting of Cross, image of Christ, Maria and saints etc. But when it comes to the symbol of Islam I feel impure energies. Especially from their leaders emanates very bad spirit. This indicates the source behind Islam is not pure. I�m not saying all Moslems reflect this bad spirits. What I intuit is totally independent of my mind. I hope this can be helpful when we evaluate Islam.
I am honestly in agreement with the concept of implicit faith and I don't really want to talk about who is going to heaven and who is going to hell, because I feel Jesus told us not to do this. But what the Bible says is the the way is narrow and few find it. This has always concerned me as it makes it seem that not all that many people are really saved.
So what I am saying is that yes, people can be saved through implicit faith. But I don't know if that means a lot of people will be saved through implicit faith. And while I think there are elements in other religions that point to Christ and the true God, they are still false systems and do not hold the whole truth and as Jesus says, a little leaven leavens the whole batch!
The context of Jesus' description of the narrow way is important to remember. The passages before and after this saying emphasize growth and healing, not a black and white forecast for salvation. Even the later verses that speak of those who do the Father's will to enter the kingdom were probably understood in the early church, which drew the canon of Scripture together, as arising out of the two great commandments, neither of which human beings can fulfill perfectly.
The linch pin is whether we've allowed Jesus to know us, as in Matthew 7:23. His knowing us comes in various degrees, just as it did among his disciples. This emphasis on being known by Jesus makes more sense in context with the encouragement not to worry, to be generous of heart (chapter 6), found along with the humility of the murderous Centurion (chapter 7). There is much more about healing through Him in these chapters than about getting it right.
Read the opening paragraphs of this piece, where the author quotes at length from the Koran re. Jihad and martyrdom. It seems that once an enemy of Islam is identified and jihad declared, all bets are off concerning the likelihood that some will engage as suicide bombers.
This is a great concern to me, and one that has not been assuaged by exegetes who would "spiritualize" jihad or contextualize it with other concerns. There clearly are theologies/mentalities where these concerns do not trump the glorious prospects that come with martyrdom. This is the urgent issue for Islam to work out within itself, IMO, else the religion will become viewed with more suspicion than has already developed.
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