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.