A bit confused


#1

I am a bit confused about WHAT exactly is the church’s teaching on salvation. I hear a lot of confusing and mixed messages.

Earlier this summer we saw the document issued by the vatican reiterating the church’s stance on being the true, full faith Jesus created. I hear a lot of “salvation comes through the church”. Yet at the same time I get mixed messages about invincible ignorance and through this thread about how non-catholics and other christians and even non-christians will be judged. And I just can’t seem to reconcile it all together.

We’re taught that we have to be baptized to be a part of the body of Christ. And that the catholic church has the fullness of faith. That salvation comes through the church and the sacraments. Yet I don’t know what to think about other christians, protestants that don’t have the fullness of faith. And what to tell them about salvation and the church. Or what to think about non-christians.

And as far as invincible ignorance. Can we really apply that to protestants that know the gospels and the word of God? Can that really be applied to christians that know what catholics claim but yet reject the catholic faith? What about those who walk away from the faith and choose to be protestant instead?

And how exactly are those who don’t have the sacraments going to be able to be in the state of grace required for salvation? Without the eucharist, without the sacrament of confession for the forgiveness of sins, how do these people get to the state of grace necessary and maintain it?

I am torn. On one hand I believe that the church and the sacraments are very necessary for salvation. On the other hand I get these mixed messages and get confused. I know some very holy protestants that do the Lord’s work, I have a hard time reconciling what to believe about them. And I would hope that God would grant them salvation even outside the church.

I just don’t know.


#2

There is salvation outside of the Church, the Bible has already covered what it takes to receive salvation, and the Catholic Church does not have the authority to change what God has already given to us… simple fact.

Scripture says that to receive salvation you must have faith, and if you don’t have faith you aren’t receiving the entire reward that came from Jesus’ death.


#3

This dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church itself understands it.

Muede, I don’t think you properly understand this teaching.

Here is a good explanation by Fr. Ray Ryland

catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0512fea3.asp


#4

The Bible sums up what the Church teaches quite nicely. We are saved by God’s grace. How do we receive grace? Well, that is where the arguing begins. The bottom line is that Catholics believe we are actually sanctified by God, and that over our lifetimes, our souls are given grace by God. We receive this grace as a free gift of God through the merits of Jesus Christ. God gives us initial graces so that we can have faith in Christ for no one can come to Jesus without being drawn by the Father. We receive grace at our baptism where we become “clothed in Christ” (gal 3:27). We also recieve other actual graces through the Sacraments **which we receive through our faith **(see Eph 2:8).

However, it is possible to sever our relationship with God through mortal sin (see 1 John 5:17). Thanks be to God, Our Lord Jesus gave the Apostles to “bind and loose” our sins. So we can turn to the successors of the Apostles, our Priests, in the Sacrament of Confession. If we repent, we are forgiven by Christ through the priest, and are once again in a state of Grace. If we die in a state of Grace we are saved, if we die in a state of mortal sin, we go to hell.

As far as invincible ignorance is concerned, I think it is best to let God be the judge of souls. The Church says “those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ or His Church, may be saved”. First of all, let me clearly say that it is only through Jesus that any saving will be done. So let’s say a Jewish or Muslim person has done their best to be a “doer of the law” but they have not heard the gospel, Jesus may, in the final moments of their lives, give them extraordinary grace so that they believe. St. Faustina, whose writings are not binding on the Church, does say this happens. That brings me a lot of peace, because I happen to believe St. Faustina was the real deal. Putting that aside, you asked about our protestant friends. They definitely receive grace through their faith. But they do not receive the graces from the Sacraments and they do not confess their sins in the manner which Jesus arranged. Still, only God knows if they have true contrition for their sins, so we are not to judge them. On the other hand, Jesus said not all who say “Lord, Lord” will be received. A frightening prospect for those who believe a one time profession in Christ saves them.

Baptism is where we are born again through water and Spirit. Jesus said we must be born again of water and Spirit. It’s importance cannot be overstated. Baptism, now saves you, according to Peter. Does this mean that water saves us and not Jesus? Of course not! However, it is through baptism that we receive the regenerative washing. This is the real cleansing away of original sin. Many object to infant baptism, but see the link I posted and you can see where this is clearly scriptural. Especially in light of Col 2:11 where we see the comparisons of circumcision (Old Covenant) and baptism (New Covenant). Circumcision was done in infancy. Baptism is also done through faith, by the way. In the case of infants, it is the faith of the parents-- just as in the Old Covenant with circumcision. (Protestants sometimes do not recognize that the Old Covenant was God’s way of preparing His people for Christ)

I hope this helps. I would recommend reading the catechism for further info. It is pretty easy to read. Here is a link to the catechism online and here is a link to the compendium.


#5

Here is a link that has Scripture quotes on salvation, with Catholic commentary and exerpts from ECFs

scripturecatholic.com/salvation.html


#6

The church teaches Jesus open to us a path for salvation. Upon our death we are judged as to wether we achieved a life worth of salvation.

Earlier this summer we saw the document issued by the vatican reiterating the church’s stance on being the true, full faith Jesus created. I hear a lot of “salvation comes through the church”.

the church mission is to deliever Jesus’ message through out time

Yet at the same time I get mixed messages about invincible ignorance and through this thread about how non-catholics and other christians and even non-christians will be judged.

just ignor the thread though Della gave good advise

And I just can’t seem to reconcile it all together.

We’re taught that we have to be baptized to be a part of the body of Christ.

there are 3 forms which include Baptism by Desire

And that the catholic church has the fullness of faith. That salvation comes through the church and the sacraments.

Yes this is keeping with Jesus’ teachings

Yet I don’t know what to think about other christians, protestants that don’t have the fullness of faith.

many protestants promise salvation with a self proclaimed authority

And what to tell them about salvation and the church. Or what to think about non-christians.

The Church teaches others maybe baptised through desire and thus saved

And as far as invincible ignorance. Can we really apply that to protestants that know the gospels and the word of God? Can that really be applied to christians that know what catholics claim but yet reject the catholic faith? What about those who walk away from the faith and choose to be protestant instead?

when walking away from the Church the risk is walking away from part of God’s instruction and thus chosing to not fulfill part of your obligation.

And how exactly are those who don’t have the sacraments going to be able to be in the state of grace required for salvation? Without the eucharist, without the sacrament of confession for the forgiveness of sins, how do these people get to the state of grace necessary and maintain it?

Baptism of Desire

I am torn. On one hand I believe that the church and the sacraments are very necessary for salvation. On the other hand I get these mixed messages and get confused. I know some very holy protestants that do the Lord’s work, I have a hard time reconciling what to believe about them. And I would hope that God would grant them salvation even outside the church.

I just don’t know.


#7

Read *The Salvation Controversy *by James Akin, a former Protestant, available from Catholic Answers.:thumbsup:


#8

That’s modern manners. You are most unlikely to know any holy Protestants. There are a few morally serious Protestants, though not many. If they are holy it most likely as the Pharisees were holy, although that isn’t as negative as it sounds. The Pharisees were good men, but not good enough for Jesus. Teacher spends a lot of time with the boy who has just below what it takes to get into Oxford.

The Church has always said two contradictory things, There is no salvation outside the Church, but no-one is known for certain to be lost. Even for suicides, prayers are permitted, encouraged even.
Let’s say an examination board allows a retake. Teacher will be very unwilling to reveal the existence of this retake, because it means that he and the boys will have to work through the summer holidays. He wants everyone to pass first time. So he gets all vague when the boys ask him “is it really necessary to complete this homework to pass?”.


#9

I think you need to clarify what Baptism of Desire is. From the CCC (emphasis mine):

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

This seems to apply to those who make a conscious decision to join the Body of Christ but who die before they are able to do so. Whether it applies to non-Catholics who live virtuous lives but never seek to join the Church is unclear.

Peace,
Dante


#10

Concerning catechism
1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

We (our RCIA) have always taught this includes lifelong Protestants who do not truly “known” the Church. Whether they believe the Protestant church is equal, or believe the untruths often spread by Protestants. If that is incorrect please let me know.


#11

Agreed – the Church does recognize Protestant baptisms, and the CCC even says “many elements of sanctification and truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church (819)”.

But we’re talking here about baptism of desire, which the CCC seems to limit to catechumens who have not been baptized, but who have an “explicit desire” and who die before it can be actualized.

Peace,
Dante


#12

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