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  #1  
Old Aug 21, '12, 4:03 pm
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boomerang boomerang is offline
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Default What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Sometimes I long for the days of simple belief when, as a Protestant, all I had to do to be "saved" was to declare my belief in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Wave your hands in the air and shout, "Hallelujah! I'm saved!". Alas, I returned to my Catholic roots and found out it isn't so simple. Now here's my question: As Protestants believe that declaring belief in Jesus as their "personal" (whatever that means) Lord and Savior equates to an instant passage straight to Heaven upon death, how do these sola-scriptura adherents arrive at this conclusion from scripture? Where, exactly, does scripture say that "saved" is synonymous with "going to Heaven" ? Does it say that specifically anywhere? Saved = Heaven. One and the same.

I realize that Protestants don't believe in Purgatory, so in their minds, what else could "saved" mean? It certainly doesn't mean that you're going to Hell, so "saved" must mean "Heaven" in their theology. But isn't the true meaning of "save, saved, salvation" is that you are just simply rescued from a horrible fate (like death, physical or eternal)? There is no guarantee of Heaven, just a rescue from Hell. Heaven is another story. An analogy: I save someone from drowning. Does the drowning victim's salvation automatically mean that the rest of their life is going to be a bed of roses? No, it just means that they, for now, have been rescued from certain death. That's all.

So back to my original question: How do Protestants come to the conclusion, based on sola scriptura, that they are actually going straight to Heaven upon death because they are "saved". How did the church fathers view "save, saved and salvation"? Rescue from death, or a free ride to paradise? I thank you in advance for your answers!
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  #2  
Old Aug 21, '12, 5:35 pm
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bzkoss236 bzkoss236 is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Essentially, the definition is the same for both, that is that when one is "saved" they attain a state in which they would be accepted into heaven. For Catholics, that involves being free from sin (aka. being in a state of grace). For Protestants, that involves merely stating with confidence that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

That's the simple answer.

Though, I will add that for Catholics, no one is absolutely saved until they are to actually attain life in heaven (meaning free from sin and dead). This is different than the majority Protestant view in which they feel that salvation is never lost (and if someone denies their faith later on in life, they claim that they never really had faith to begin with).
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  #3  
Old Aug 22, '12, 12:50 am
Mystophilus Mystophilus is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Quote:
Originally Posted by bzkoss236 View Post
Though, I will add that for Catholics, no one is absolutely saved until they are to actually attain life in heaven (meaning free from sin and dead). This is different than the majority Protestant view in which they feel that salvation is never lost (and if someone denies their faith later on in life, they claim that they never really had faith to begin with).
I am not so sure that OSAS is the majority Protestant view (or whether anyone has done the research necessary to establish what is), and I do know a fair few Protestants have no time for that view at all. I suspect that it is merely another of those cases in which the loudest voices appear to be more prevalent than they truly are.
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  #4  
Old Aug 22, '12, 4:09 am
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Pope St. Clement the first wrote on being saved as a exhortation to repentance, in the 7th Chapter of what is called his First Epistle to the Corinthians.

Against Heresies, S. Irenaeus, Book 4, Ch. 36, n. 3

Letter 73[74], S. Cyprian, n. 11 stresses the unity in which the Sacrament saves.

Letter 75[69], S. Cyprian, n. 2 church is one

Dialogue against the Luciferians, S. Jerome, n. 22 the church is diverse and cosmopolitan like the different animals that cover the earth in the ark of Noah
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Old Aug 22, '12, 8:30 am
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bzkoss236 bzkoss236 is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystophilus View Post
I suspect that it is merely another of those cases in which the loudest voices appear to be more prevalent than they truly are.
Probably. My assumption was based on the majority of my friends and other Protestants I've come in contact with, which consists primarily of Baptists, "Non-denom" (closet hipster Baptists who don't like labels), Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and a few actual non-denoms (like my fiance).
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  #6  
Old Aug 22, '12, 9:00 am
Taestron Taestron is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

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Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
Sometimes I long for the days of simple belief when, as a Protestant, all I had to do to be "saved" was to declare my belief in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Wave your hands in the air and shout, "Hallelujah! I'm saved!". Alas, I returned to my Catholic roots and found out it isn't so simple. Now here's my question: As Protestants believe that declaring belief in Jesus as their "personal" (whatever that means) Lord and Savior equates to an instant passage straight to Heaven upon death, how do these sola-scriptura adherents arrive at this conclusion from scripture? Where, exactly, does scripture say that "saved" is synonymous with "going to Heaven" ? Does it say that specifically anywhere? Saved = Heaven. One and the same.

I realize that Protestants don't believe in Purgatory, so in their minds, what else could "saved" mean? It certainly doesn't mean that you're going to Hell, so "saved" must mean "Heaven" in their theology. But isn't the true meaning of "save, saved, salvation" is that you are just simply rescued from a horrible fate (like death, physical or eternal)? There is no guarantee of Heaven, just a rescue from Hell. Heaven is another story. An analogy: I save someone from drowning. Does the drowning victim's salvation automatically mean that the rest of their life is going to be a bed of roses? No, it just means that they, for now, have been rescued from certain death. That's all.

So back to my original question: How do Protestants come to the conclusion, based on sola scriptura, that they are actually going straight to Heaven upon death because they are "saved". How did the church fathers view "save, saved and salvation"? Rescue from death, or a free ride to paradise? I thank you in advance for your answers!
I won't doubt that many Protestants view salvation as some sort of "eternal life insurance" but this view is actually a red herring when you consider most official Protestant theologies. It is a little like the accusation that Catholics worship Mary. I have heard many sermons preaching against this notion that salvation is merely getting to heaven.

Salvation is not just being saved from hell. We are saved into something, namely the Body of Christ, the Church. I assume that Catholics and Protestants are no different on this point.

As to your specific question, the view of the soul's instantaneous arrival in heaven upon death is probably influenced by many factors: the rise and misunderstanding of the doctrine of "soul sleep," the rejection of Purgatory as a biblical concept, verses like Luke 23:43 which could be seen to indicate being immediately introduced in the presence of God, a reading of Revelation which seems to indicate that the dead will be in heaven before the general resurrection. These all probably play a part in the notion of "getting saved."
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  #7  
Old Aug 22, '12, 4:06 pm
Edward H Edward H is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

God finishes His saving of us when we die.

This avoids the whole time warp continuum problem that our Protestant brothers struggle with, e.g., predestination, OSAS, etc.
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Old Aug 23, '12, 1:49 am
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Smile Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Yet the truth, especially according to the Word of God, is that Christianity has never been as "simple" as modern n-Cs have led people to believe.

I have written a couple of articles on this for my blog.

How Is A Catholic Saved?
Who REALLY Preaches "A Different Gospel"?
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  #9  
Old Aug 23, '12, 9:57 am
Verbum Verbum is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Hi Boomerang,

We are saved by faith and baptism. But the story does not end there.

If I give you a pair of tickets to the superbowl, you might phone everyone you know and shout, "I'm going to the Superbowl!"

In the same way, once baptized, you are correct in saying "I'm saved!"

But a tlcket to the Superbowl does not bring you there. You have to make your way there. In the same way, baptism is your ticket to heaven, but getting there (with God's help) is your responsibility. If you stray from the path, you have ways to get back on the straight and narrow. Only if you persevere in God's friendship until the end will you be finally saved. That is the grace of perseverance.

Has this been helpful?

Verbum
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  #10  
Old Aug 23, '12, 2:45 pm
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boomerang boomerang is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbum View Post
Hi Boomerang,

We are saved by faith and baptism. But the story does not end there.

If I give you a pair of tickets to the superbowl, you might phone everyone you know and shout, "I'm going to the Superbowl!"

In the same way, once baptized, you are correct in saying "I'm saved!"

But a tlcket to the Superbowl does not bring you there. You have to make your way there. In the same way, baptism is your ticket to heaven, but getting there (with God's help) is your responsibility. If you stray from the path, you have ways to get back on the straight and narrow. Only if you persevere in God's friendship until the end will you be finally saved. That is the grace of perseverance.

Has this been helpful?

Verbum
Yes, that was very helpful. The best analogy I've heard yet. But I was just wondering, without having to do an exhaustive search through the New Testament, is where does it say specifically that our belief gets us straight to heaven without having to do anything else? This seems to be what the evangelicals and non-denoms believe. I don't think it's anywhere in the bible except for perhaps the story of the good thief ("today you will be with me in paradise"). But the good thief might be the exception to the rule.
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  #11  
Old Aug 23, '12, 5:16 pm
Catholic Dude Catholic Dude is online now
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

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Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
Now here's my question: As Protestants believe that declaring belief in Jesus as their "personal" (whatever that means) Lord and Savior equates to an instant passage straight to Heaven upon death, how do these sola-scriptura adherents arrive at this conclusion from scripture?
They misunderstand Scripture, thinking being "saved" is a synonym with "your spot in Heaven is secured".

Quote:
Where, exactly, does scripture say that "saved" is synonymous with "going to Heaven" ? Does it say that specifically anywhere? Saved = Heaven. One and the same.
Nowhere. So you are very observant and right to point this out!
The doctrine of Sola Fide has (mistakenly) conflated conversion with final salvation (e.g. Mat 24:12-13; Rom 8:24; 10:9-10; 13:11b; 1 Cor 10:1-6; 15:2; 1 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim 4:7-8).

Quote:
So back to my original question: How do Protestants come to the conclusion, based on sola scriptura, that they are actually going straight to Heaven upon death because they are "saved".
It is because they misunderstand what it means to be saved in the first place. In the Protestant mind, salvation is about scoring a 100% on their exam, thus making them worthy to get a diploma. Since sin has prevented man from scoring a 100%, Protestants teach that Jesus had to take the test, score 100%, and by believing Jesus did this for us (faith alone) God "imputes" this A+ to our account and says we are worthy of a diploma. In the Catholic mind (and the Bible) the view of Salvation is very different. In the Catholic mind, Salvation is defined as entering into a relationship with the Trinity and growing in this relationship. Through the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our Souls, we are Adopted children of God, and we are to grow up in this adoption until we mature enough to be ready to inherit the estate.

Once you understand this, it all makes sense. This is why Protestants believe in Eternal Security (OSAS), because salvation isn't about being in a relationship but rather passing a test. While Protestants believe being in a relationship with Jesus is crucial and required for Christians, they see this as not what defines salvation but only as a consequence of already being saved.

When the Bible speaks of believing and receiving "eternal life" as a result, Protestants mistake this to mean "scoring 100%", not realizing that to receive eternal life is actually the Eternal God indwelling in your soul that only is extinguished by mortal sin (see 1 Jn 3:15)!

You would greatly enjoy this 2-page apologetics article.
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  #12  
Old Aug 23, '12, 11:50 pm
stevekehl stevekehl is offline
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Waving hands in the air, saying Amen and hallelujah, and confessing Christ won't save you. Neither will confession, communion, pennance or mass. All these are meaningless without faith in Christ. Without faith you are just bragging about sins to a friend, eating a snack, doing community service and sitting through a lecture. If you think your works are somehow impressing God you are wrong.

Iaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
It does no good to exchange the Law of Moses for the Law of the Church.
If I love my earthly father I don't want to embarrass him with bad behavior, the same is true for my heavenly Father. If I am grateful for what Jesus has done for me, why do I want to cause Him pain with my sin. I don't need a law to tell me right from wrong, and I have never met a sincere Christian who said they got saved so they could live in sin and then go to heaven. Accepting Christ as your Savior and being baptized means you are a new creation and have put the old man to death. Paul says we have become new creations in Christ and our lives have to evidence that, living a new way that is different from the way we lived before being saved.
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Old Aug 24, '12, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

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It does no good to exchange the Law of Moses for the Law of the Church.
Did you just add words to the Bible? You cannot just go inventing doctrines.
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Old Aug 25, '12, 2:46 am
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Cool Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekehl View Post
Waving hands in the air, saying Amen and hallelujah, and confessing Christ won't save you. Neither will confession, communion, pennance or mass. All these are meaningless without faith in Christ. Without faith you are just bragging about sins to a friend, eating a snack, doing community service and sitting through a lecture. If you think your works are somehow impressing God you are wrong.
And you think that we Catholics do all of that without faith in Christ? The Catholic faith is the most Biblical Christian faith on the planet. Most n-Cs preach and teach a modern and different gospel and their services have almost no semblance of what the New Testament early church believed and practiced.

Please carefully read and study the following articles that I have researched and written on these related topics.

Who REALLY Preaches "A Different Gospel"?
How Is A Catholic Saved?
"I Find No Sacraments In the Bible" he said.
What Was Authentic Early Christian Worship Really Like?
Catholic Confession
Scriptures About Penance
Refuting the fundamental modern error of Sola Scriptura.
A Favorite Quote

Your post shows a terrible lack of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith and is a classic expression of the modern n-C error of Sola Fide.

John Martignoni has a whole Bible study on this as well as this short and concise bit from his
2-Minute Apologetics which speaks to this issue and says...
Quote:
Many Protestants believe we are saved by Faith Alone and they say Catholic believe they can “work” their way into Heaven. How do you answer that?

First of all, I ask them to show me where in the Catechism, the official teaching of the Catholic Church, does it teach that we can “work” our way into Heaven? They can’t, because it doesn’t. The Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever, taught a doctrine of salvation by works...that we can “work” our way into Heaven.

Second, I ask them to show me where in the Bible does it teach that we are saved by “faith alone.” They can’t, because it doesn’t. The only place in all of Scripture where the phrase “Faith Alone” appears, is in James...James 2:24, where it says that we are not...not...justified (or saved) by faith alone
.
So, one of the two main pillars of Protestantism...the doctrine of salvation by faith alone...not only doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the Bible actually says the exact opposite - that we are not saved by faith alone

Third, I ask them that if works have nothing to do with our salvation...then how come every passage in the N.T. that I know of that talks about judgment says we will be judged by our works, not by whether or not we have faith alone? We see this in Rom 2, Matthew 15 and 16, 1 Ptr 1, Rev 20 and 22, 2 Cor 5, and many, many more verses.

Fourth, I ask them that if we are saved by faith alone, why does 1 Cor 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

As Catholics we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing, apart from God’s grace, to receive the free gift of salvation. We also believe, however, that we have to respond to God’s grace. Protestants believe that, too. However, many Protestants believe that the only response necessary is an act of faith; whereas, Catholics believe a response of faith and works is necessary...or, as the Bible puts it in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumsion is of any avail, but faith working through love...faith working through love...just as the Church teaches.
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Last edited by Church Militant; Aug 25, '12 at 3:00 am.
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  #15  
Old Aug 25, '12, 11:18 am
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Default Re: What does it mean to be "saved"? Catholic vs. Protestant

I am not an academic, and I'm always sticking my neck out to say things.

I'm not sure if I am explaining this correctly. I agree with the preceding post about the actual teaching of the Catholic Church.

I would like to point out the precedents of the Old Testament, because I think they have to be considered in any total answer.

The Jews reckon 613 commandments in the OT. We can run with that idea. These enumerate things they had to do and things they were not to do.

Now, an explicit list was not developed in the NT, but some general examples were illustrated there, like "no circumcision."

Here's where my simplistic explanation begins. 613 commands to be observed every minute of every day gives you a hint about what kind of righteous life we need to live,and how we are to be concerned with our salvation.

Now, Benedict XVi and Scott Hahn have, I expect, explained this academically and scripturally much better than this, but this is my intuitive explanation.

And, I would add, the pride and presumption of OSAS makes me queasy. Didn't Dietrich Bonhoeffer call this kind of (protestant) talk "easy grace" or something like that? He says it's unbiblical and ungospely to talk that way -- in his book The Cost of Discipleship. I think he was saying he thought people may have died unsaved, because of their superficial beliefs.
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