[quote=BobbyBaptist]I am curious: If someone follows his conscience and sincerely believes he is doing the right thing. Can he be held guilt-free from heresy if he denies (let’s say) that the Catholic Church is the true Church but firmly believes this in his mind – is he cupable or not cupable?
I read that in order for a man to be guilty of sin (or heresy) he must be aware in his mind that he is sinning.
But what if someone were to show another that Christ is God and yet the Jew or Muslim rejects this because it appears to him this is not the case that Christ is God – is he still saved even though he has been told the truth, and, let us suppose on more than one occasion?
“Without faith it is impossible to please God”.
Deception is not a substitute for faith. Ultimately God is the final judge, but if a person is so deceived that he firmly believe error, I cannot see how he can be saved.
Heresy is a sin against the first commandment, but let’s use an example of a sin against the 5th commandment (the way the Catholic Church numbers the commandments):
Let’s say someone firmly believes God wants him to kill as many people as he can. If he went on a killing spree, would anyone truly think it would be alright, since he was deceived? that God would not punish him for his actions? I doubt it.
Anyone who rejects the truth does not have faith. If they had faith they would believe the truth. Therefore, a deceived person who rejects the truth, will not be saved because they do not have faith, and “without faith it is impossible to please God”.