Yesterday, in my history class, we were, as you might remember, discussing John Calvin and his impact on the European Family. Well, in order to accomplish this, we also had to go over some of his tenants. One of the major ones is predestination. Predestination uses biblical proof as support for Calvin’s claims that “many are called, but few are chosen.” Another claim is that because of predestination, there is no need to do works.
I then went to the 5:15 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where I had to fill in as the reader at the last second. As I was reading the reading, which happened to be from the Epistle of James, I thought to myself how ironic it was that in class we discussed predestination and the protestant belief that because of predestination, works mean nothing, and then I was later reading James refuting this same idea.
Here is the reading, taken from James 1:19-27
Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
So, its obvious here that we learn, from someone who was an apostle of Christ, one who walked the earth and learned directly from our King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, that faith without works means nothing! Predestination, which is one of their main tenants, disproved!!! [This is done more strongly later in the same letter, but to find that quote requires time which I don’t have right now.]