A Question for Catholics


My next door neighbor is a older man that is a widower and lives a quiet live be himself. He was raised Catholic and goes to mass every week. He believes that he is going to heaven because he was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church and goes to mass every week. However he knows nothing about what the Bible teaches. I have asked him what the Bible teaches about baptism or other doctrines of the of the Bible and he has no answers at all. In fact he does not even want to talk about Jesus Christ. So when he dies where will he go, heaven or hell?

forever Baptist


Only Jesus makes the determination as to who goes where (“The Father has appointed Me judge of all men”). Good Christians, Catholics included, should not speculate on the fate of another’s soul.

In my opinion, whether he discusses it or not, he only has to know and live two things: Love God and love his neighbor. Everything else is an attempt to teach us how to do that. Don’t get bogged down in intellectual details.


His final destination is up to God. Do you think it’s possible that he thinks your trying to turn him into a Baptist :smiley: ? Perhaps thats why he’s avoiding conversation. If he’s gone to thousands of Masses then he’s heard scripture readings and homilies by the thousand by now, just FYI. I’m sure he knows who Jesus is even if he believes the Church is the authority and not the bible that the Catholic Church compiled.



I don’t often discuss my faith with folks I know want to convert me…in fact, I am sure they think I am very much like this man you are describing. The reason I don’t is because I believe in evangelizing by example. When people ask me why I did something or how I would handle something, then I tell them. But as far as straight out evangelizing…not my calling. I would rather live a good life and be hope for someone else by my actions than beat them over the head with a Bible. This guy is busy living his faith not yapping about it…my advice is to let him be.


So is it your belief that doctrine saves one? That getting into heaven requires an entrance exam? What’s the passing grade?

Welcome to simple faith. This man is doing what he understands to be God’s will. He has faith that if he believes in God and obeys His Church then God will fulfill His promise of salvation. And that bothers you?

Oh, and he most certainly knows about what the bible says. He hears more scripture in each Mass than Protestants hear in their worship services (this according to former Protestants who have compared the two). But you approach the bible as a textbook, and you say he hasn’t learned the material. Well, his life will judge that, not which doctrines he can rattle off.


As usual, you seem to say it best. I think that the crux of Protestantism is what I bolded and underlined. Thank you.


The Bible doesn’t say that whoever reads this book will have eternal life. What does the Bible teach on salvation?


He sounds a little like my Dad. He was not very big about talking his faith to others. He lived his faith. Keep in mind actions speak louder then words. He was an example to me, and my siblings on how a Catholic (Christian) should live. He was very humble, prayerful, and would give the shirt off his back to help others. You are not judged only by your faith, but also the fruits of your faith.

God bless,


just because he does not want to talk to you about what he knows or does not know, or what he believes or does not believe, does not give you the ability to discern what, in fact he does know or believe. We are probably best served by allowing people, especially older persons who have lived their entire lives in Christian service to the Church, family and community to have their own spirituality and not disturb them with our questions and comments.


like everyone else he will be faced with the question posed by Jesus the just judge: when you saw Me hungry did you feed me, when you saw me naked did you clothe me, when you saw my sick or in prison or homeless did you help me?


Thanks for being concerned about him. Many Catholics have not memorized the bible per chapter & verse like many other Christians. Therefore, we sometimes feel uncomfortable when our fellow Christians start a conversation asking us for verses to support our beliefs.

Memorizing the bible is not required for salvation. We pray that he has eternal life when he dies, but it is not our place to judge. God bless.


And it does say that

“…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you… and I will raise him up on the last day…”

Sound like the man has found a most personal relationship with the Lord… each week in Mass and the Eucharist.

I wish that all evangelism included the witness to John 6, and the actual words of Christ.

The question for Catholics perhaps should be why don’t we all evangelize in this way… with reverence to the Eucharist like the widower neighbor?



Whether he goes to heaven or hell depends on factors (like the grace of God) that we cannot see, so there is no point in guessing. Let us run the race before US.

If you were to seem interested in discussing salvation issues with me as my neighbor, I’d probably not wish to talk religion with you either. I’ve had too many people with similar conversation interests pound away at me about how I am damned. Frequently they have an agenda, one that does not include actually talking to eachother. Since I would have to continue living next to you in relative peace, why mess that up? I’d close the conversation down and share minimal information. This guy might have done just that.


He does know that I am Baptist. For all I know he may think that I am a JW. Heaven forbid.



No! I believe that God gave us His Word to lead us to Jesus Christ and to guild us in our walk with Him. It is your responsibity to study the Bible and let it speak to us. Jereimiah said "thy Word is in my heart as a flaming fire: (20:9) We need to have Gods Word hid in your Hearts, Psalm 119;10 Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. Knowing gods word helps us not sin. This is why we Baptist make memorizing scripture so important.

forever Baptist


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And I believe that Jesus is the word and that the Church is his body. That is why Catholics make listening to Christ so important! Such as…"…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you… and I will raise him up on the last day…"

God is the word, we need to give him a place in our hearts…



Please, allischalmers, how many good and faithful Christians were there before a word of the New Testament was even written!

I’m sure many of them were about as intellectual as your neighbour, not being able to quote chapter and verse to back up their beliefs (they didn’t HAVE chapter and verse to quote for heaven’s sake!)

Nonetheless they bore as good a fruit as any -

a) they understood that Jesus died as a sacrifice to atone for their sins and open heaven to them;

b) they loved God with all their heart soul and strength and their neighbour as themselves, and tried their utmost to live lives free of sin and repent when they did wrong;

c) and they went every Sunday to receive His body and blood under the appearance of bread and wine, and knew and understood it as such, having faith in His words spoken through the priest and recorded in John 6.

How can you presume that your neighbour isn’t as good a Christian as yourself? Jesus is the WORD, the ‘words’ of the Bible are secondary.


Speculating on the fate of a neighbor whom you believe not to be as wise as you is, in my estimation, a reflection of the most serious of the “Seven Deadly Sins”: pride. Is that really the road you want to go down? Instead of comparing yourself to this man, consider what he might have to offer you that you are currently lacking in your own spiritual journey.


My guess is he is politely trying to tell you to mind your own self-rightious business.

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