Originally Posted by Luvtosew
Grace, thank you, actually I have been Catholic for over 50 years, mind you a not well informed Catholic, and I did come here to learn more, of which I have learned the real meaning of communion and a lot of other stuff that I wish I hadn't , and after two years, I now consider myself a Christian without a church as of yet. I do thank you for your kind post. there are many wonderful Catholic people here so really nothing I say is any way personal to anyone, just my opinions, in such I don't think only Catholic Christians can be saved, it more depends on each individual and their relationship to God, as often I get the drift that many Catholics believe only Catholics can be saved, as well meaning as they are, but I do know where that idea stems from.
First of, I don't know any Catholic who believes only Catholics can be saved or that faith in Jesus isn't the most important determinator when we talk about someone who probably made it to heaven.
What made ya leave the Church?
I've been extensively visiting different churches (Pentecostal, Lutheran, Messianic and Catholic) and I soon came to the realisation that oftentimes different Christian groups misunderstand each other massively because they use the same words but mean different things. Its quite sad, and yet the remedy is to try to understand the others, and always give them the benefit of the doubt.
About the salvation question, the Catholic Church doesn't say who isn't saved. It does sometimes proclaim a saint, and a saint is someone who lived a remarkably virtuous life of loving Christ and neighbour .. so these we say are in heaven. But we don't say who isn't. We believe the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, so she can know that certain people are in Heaven.
The Bible says the one who believes in Christ and is baptized will be saved. When I went to the Pentecostal Church I saw that many young people were not yet baptized, however they practised something called "dedication". In the Catholic Church we believe that even people who die before they got baptized may well go to heaven, if they have the baptism of desire, or were ignorant. We do know that God is the judge because He alone knows man's heart.
But you are right that there is only one way and that is thru Christ. His Blood alone makes atonement for our sins and reconciles us with the Father.
Jesus says in the Bible: "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you". It also says: "When you confess your sins he is quick to forgive". And: Jesus breathed into the 12 and said: "receive the Holy Spirit: whatever sins you forgive on earth are forgiven in heaven..." Later in Acts we read about the first council where the Holy Spirit led the Church although Jesus had gone back to heaven.. And in year 382 - still guided by the Holy Spirit - the Catholic Church proclaimed what books belonged to Sacred Scripture and which didn't. Its interesting that up until then the Christians were guided by their local Churches, they didn't have the Bible as we know it.. yet they died for the true apostolic faith in numbers.
Anyway.. I'm glad you are here. I became a personal believer at age 21, and my soul has found its home in the Catholic Church.. so too has my intellectual side, my historical consciousness - Catholic Church is the only one, together with the orthodox - which goes way back, my reason and my sexuality.
For me the Catholic Church is the only Church that keeps and interprets the Scripture, all of it, without leaving out passages etc. I am particularly blessed through the Sacraments. Since I didn't grow up with them I know a little bit, what a great help and honour it is to go to Confession or receive the Body of our Lord (The Eucharist is main reason why I had to become Catholic).
Its furthermore clear for me that Jesus intended for an actual institution, since he choose 12 men to be apostles. And even Paul writes about structure and episcopal laying on of hands..
Anyway, I have derailed the thread.
It really would interest me what you are currently thinking of, in terms of Church.. Its not good for man to be alone... this too means that its best to have a fellowship with other believers.
Peace and shalom to you