Why I Hate “Faith Alone”

Matthew Olson

Matthew Olson

Matthew Olson is a student in the Diocese of Little Rock. He converted to Catholicism in 2012.

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21 thoughts on “Why I Hate “Faith Alone””

  1. The message you proclaim, Matthew, is a difficult one for those who are stuck in their Protestant roots. It is a frightening thought to consider the Catholic side for our Protestant brothers and sisters since they have heard much erroneous information about the “errors” of the Catholic Church. Continue to proclaim your message, and proclaim boldly. We keep you daily in our prayers.

    1Cor 9:16-18
    If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an
    obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment. Honestly, I had a really rough day today, and this nice gesture from you reminded me that it’s all worth it.

      I will continue to pray for you. Dominus vobiscum (“The Lord be with you”). 🙂

  2. Hi Matthew,
    Sorry to hear you had a rough day!
    I was directed to your blog, through it being reposted on a fb group, so be assured you are being read.
    Given that, I’m pretty concerned that your quote from Luther is not a good representation of what he actually wrote – can I humbly suggest you read the original source and try to understand it?
    My other concern is that you do not appear to understand the historic doctrine of ‘sola fide’. Therefore I would suggest (again, humbly!) you do a little reading to correctly grasp this doctrine?

    Whenever a Jehovah’s witness tells me they do not believe in the Trinity (as they did just half an hour before I read your post), I always ask them what they understand the idea of the Trinity to be. Invariably they say they don’t know, or they start talking about ‘three gods’. Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, let’s both try hard not to fall into the trap of rejecting what we have not well understood.

    God bless and I hope your week improves!

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Which quote are you referring to? If you are referring to the “God in himself is cruel and bad” quote, I have received feedback on that, and it basically boils down to that Martin Luther liked to pit the Son against the Father quite a bit. As I understand, he saw the Father as representing rules and punishment, and the Son as the One who steps in and saves us — which, of course, is a twisted view. (And I included two links in the citations that seem to show that he held this view.) I made sure that all quotes were not taken out of context.

      As for sola fide, I understand the history of it, and I know that there are slight variations of it. In the end, I have found that the doctrine — practically speaking — leads to permissiblity of evil.

      May God bless you, as well! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Food for Thought: ‘Faith Alone’ | At the end of the day

  4. We share a hatred of this sola.

    IMHO, it and the sola scriptura heresy are the stillborn offspring of a then nascent relativism that has produced as fruit a rejection of legitimate authority, indifference to morality and the fragmentation of the Body of Christ. If we acknowledge the trend of the last four hundred years or so, the mainstream protestant denominations, having cleaved themselves from Holy Mother Church by embracing heresy, have continually divided and are now dissipating at an astonishing rate.

    Though I am grateful for my upbringing, the illogicality of sola fides (and sola scriptura) led me out of the protestant community in which I was raised, and the other protestant communities in which I searched in vain for coherent teaching, to the Catholic Church.

    “By their fruits… .” A fuller treatment of Luther’s teaching would further confirm the hypothesis that the solas are illogical. That said, one need not exhaustively examine Luther’s intentions or fully cite his teaching to reject the consequences of his teaching. One merely needs to point to the fallout of Luther’s and the other reformers’ truncated religion(s) which has/have led to the disintegration of protestant religion and western civilization. False entitlements to abortion, euthanasia and sexual immorality, for example, are signs of consciences emancipated from the moral authority of the Church and, ironically, Holy Scripture by the aforementioned damnable ‘solas’.

  5. Well said, Matthew. I always think of Matthew 19:16-22 when the sola fide argument comes up. I know most use this parable to teach the evils of being rich, but I always think of it in terms of salvation. When the rich man asked “What must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus did not reply “say the sinner’s prayer, then accept me as your personal Lord and Savior.” He told the man to keep the commandments, and then to sell all he owned and follow him. Protestants love to quote Paul, but sometimes I think they forget to listen to Jesus.

    1. The rich man did not follow Jesus for one reason only – he did not believe in Jesus sufficiently. This is Luther’s point: Good works will follow belief and faith (in God) like night follows day. The difference is that these good works are not done with the clenched fist of fear – but with a warm gratitude that one could be of service.

      Whilst in a state of disbelief and lack of faith the rich man was never going to part with his riches. Just because he kept the commandments etc etc doesn’t mean that he believed in Christ.

      1. Still doesn’t change the response Jesus said. Jesus never called the rich man out for not having enough faith. Not all good works come out of warm fuzzy feelings. You do it not out of fear either. Sometimes doing good deeds is hard, but you do it anyway out of love. Just because you love and believe in Jesus doesn’t mean good deeds will come flowing out of you with ease.

        I know several Protestants who claim to be “saved” but are promiscuous. From the ones I have spoken to, all they need is to believe is in professing faith in Jesus. How you live your life does not matter. If it did, it would be perceived as “earning” one’s salvation. Luther may say that good works should flow from a true belief in God, and that if there are no good works, then one’s faith is not true… but that just proves Catholic doctrine, that our faith is justified through our works. Faith without works is dead does not mean do good works to earn salvation, but that you do good works because of a love and faith in Christ. It is not always going to be easy or flow naturally, but they also are not done out of fear.

      2. Great discussion…

        How you live your life is THE only honest measure of one’s faith in Christ – so it certainly does matter how you live. You can’t be promiscuous and claim to have faith in Christ at the same time – talk is cheap.

        [I can say I look like Brad Pit – but that doesn’t make it so].

        Living in error is corrected at the root (effortlessly) by having faith in God – which is challenging. We don’t fix the error and then go to God – that would be like getting healthy before we go to the doctor.

        To me its a little like this: if (say) you thought there was reason to suspect there might be gold buried in your backyard – you might be prepared to dig in parts and have a look. A bit half-hearted. But if you knew in your heart and were fully persuaded there was gold buried there – you would be out there night and day. It wouldn’t be an effort – because you would know it will be well worth it.

        Its the same with Christ – so I disagree with you…. If you believe in his words absolutely, then works are always easy and will flow naturally…”My yoke is easy and my burden is light…”

        Nice to discuss.

      3. If we take a concordance and look up every occurrence of the word “faith,” we come up with an undeniable fact the only time the phrase “faith alone” is used in the entire Bible is when it is condemned (James 2:24).

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  7. Despite you beliefs about someone else’s foundational religious tenets, the use of word “hate” is simply vile and disrespectful…you can make your point without “hate”‘ even used metaphorically.

      1. your right we should not hate error or sin, this is not charitable towards the devil and his minions.

  8. Pingback: Why I Hate “Faith Alone” | Answering Protestants

  9. Dear Christian,

    Someone has convinced you that a square can be a circle. Someone has convinced you that the blood-thirsty, psychopathic god of the Old Testament is the same being as the loving, compassionate Jesus of the Gospels.

    Squares can never be circles.

    Your belief system is an ancient middle-eastern superstition. If you choose to continue to hold onto it that is certainly your right. However, you are teaching this superstition to little children. Please consider what you are doing. These children deserve to know the Truth.

    I encourage you to watch this five minute video on this subject:

    Best wishes,

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