Accepting Christ as Lord and Savior


#1

I’m a Catholic and am part of a Christian homeschool co-op for the last year. The founder, an Orthodox Evangelical, is putting together a statement of faith for the group and has asked for my input b/c as a she knows that some of my views differ from hers. I can agree with all the statements she has come up with, with the exception of one that is somewhat troubling to me. That is:

We believe that each person must repent, turn away from his sins, and accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

I don’t disagree with it entirely, but the part about accepting Christ as Lord and Savior somewhat troubles me, in that what if someone is never given the opportunity to know Jesus (i.e. a young child raised in a different religion, American Indians prior to colonial settlement, etc). Could someone help me to better understand what the Catholic Church’s stance is on “accepting Christ as Lord and Savior”?

God bless,
Georgea


#2

CCC 846-848 should help clarify the Church’s position.

Also, what is the purpose of this “statement of faith”? Why does the homeschool co-op want this, need this, etc?

Did you ask her the intent of this statement? Is she meaning that a person who does not explicitly become a Christian cannot be saved?

Perhaps the Joint Declaration on Justification would help with some verbiage for you.


#3

Catholics are saved by baptism as the Bible makes clear. Ironically, “Bible Christians” rely on the non-biblical recitation of a sinner’s prayer to judge themselves saved.

My wife and I are pulling the plug on just such a non-Catholic homeschool co-op. You might prayerfully consider meeting with the leader to express your view that non-Catholics do not need to recite their prayer to be saved on the basis of the Bible’s teaching on baptism.

If they do not accept your position, then they are saying in effect that you are not saved and not Christian.

Shake the dust from your feet.


#4

Well, you’re saying you’re a Catholic. Are you what they call a cradle Catholic? If so, you were claimed in the name of Christ at your infant Baptism, then you ‘accepted’ Christ as your Lord and Saviour when you came to the age of reason, and were confirmed into the Church and at last had your first Holy Communion/Eucharist.

If you were an adult convert, like me, it can get fairly complex, depending on what religion, if any, you came FROM. For instance, during most of my adult life, I was a Buddhist, but when I was a teenager, I was baptised at a 4 square Baptist Church, and during that ceremony I was ‘born again’ and took Jesus and my personal Lord and Saviour in their sense of it. It’s probably true enough. When I was Buddhist, I never renounced Christ. I just added Buddhist practice. Now I am solely Catholic. As a Catholic, I reaffirmed my acceptance of Christ as my Lord and Saviour, just as a cradle Catholic youngster. I was confirmed, sealed, and took my first Communion/Eucharist.

As Catholics we ‘accept’ Jesus Christ, and are ‘born again’ every single Sunday!!! When we take the Lord and Saviour into ourselves, the very Body of Christ! Happy are we who are called to His Supper!

So…you can tell your friend that you have accepted Christ in every way that you can accept Christ, and you continue to do so on a constant basis.

The one tricky thing to look for is the word ‘saved’, because we have a little bit different concept of that. I wish I could see the letter you’re talking about.

It’s a little odd that a school group wants a “statement of faith” to begin with, unless their co-op only allows a particular religion. Why don’t you show them this:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfilment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

See if you can sign this, and whether that will satisfy their needs. That way you know that you are not committing heresy.

Worth a try. At a bare minimum, you can not agree to anything which would contradict anything above in any way.

Otherwise, I’d find a new co-op.

Peace be with you,

Steven


#5

Thanks to everyone for your feedback. To give a little more clarification, the co-op has been around for 10 years. I joined it bc at the time, I didn’t know of any Catholic co-ops.

The founder’s children are getting older and she wants something that captures the Evangelical foundation of the school. This is now being done in a “founding” statement, which came out of the desire to have a statement of faith. Now the path forward has both.

With several Catholic families in the group, she doesn’t want us to one day be praying the Hail Mary at morning prayer after she leaves the co-op. I can understand that a bit - If I started a Catholic co-op, I wouldn’t want it to turn Protestant after I left.

That said, I joined it with the understanding that it was Christian and Christian is a much broader term than Evangelical. It seems to me like my family won’t fit here in the long run and I will need to find a Catholic co-op. For now, though, the Catholic co-ops seem to focus primarily on older children and my oldest is only 5.

I quoted a few paragraphs from the CCC 847-848 and hopefully she will understand my concerns with her stmt and the position of the Catholic Church.

I copied the entire statement of faith below. If you think there is something else that I should be concerned with as a Catholic, please let me know. I know that the founder has worked very hard to make this something all Christians are comfortable with and outside the one statement on “accepting Christ and Lord and Savior”, I feel like as a Catholic, I am comfortable with her other statements.

Here’s it is:

We believe the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ’s (Agape) love, which is greater than any differences we possess, and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.

We believe in one God, the Creator of all things, who reveals himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, that the Bible, Old and New Testaments is the inspired, infallible Word of God.

We believe in Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man at the same time, who became like us to bring about our salvation.

We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, provided for the atonement of our sins by His substitutionary death on the Cross, was bodily resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit, ascended back to the right hand of God the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for us.

We believe that each person must repent, turn away from his sins, and accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict men, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers through our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that individual doctrinal differences which may exist aside from these foundational beliefs should not hinder the unity of Christian home educators


#6

Georgea, the understanding of Our Lord’s death as substitutionary is not in agreement with Catholic theology. This post and the ones that follow it by “whosebob” is an excellent presentation on the difference between Catholic and Calvinist theology on the subject:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=1690409&postcount=26


#7

This is your problem sentance here. Not the repenting and turning away part. You can’t agree to this. I think the rest corresponds with Carholicism.

I REALLY recommend the Nicene Creed. You can’t go wrong!

Peace,

Steven


#8

What you describe is the heart of the problem in ecunemical fellowship with non-Catholics. They will state that they are ‘non-denominational’, yet their unifying principles are actually based in the Evangelical approach. They consider the born again experience to be the heart of Christianity, and this involves “accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior”. This is a totally Evangelical catch phrase. It is a theological statement that describes salvation by faith alone that is non-Sacramental in nature.

Thus, their concept of ‘non-denominational’ involves accepting their theology, and non-reliance on an institutional, hierarchial faith. Instead it is a faith centered entirely on the individual. This is very different than the Catholic faith.

In order to associate with such a group, we Catholics are expected to not express anything uniquely Catholic, and to keep our mouths shut when uniquely Evangelical concepts are brought up. In my opinion, it’s time for the Catholics in your group to form your own co-op.


#9

what is an Orthodox Evangelical? some fascinating explanations come to mind

the basic statement of belief shared by all Christians is the Apostles Creed.


#10

FCEGM,

It’s funny you bring this up…When I first read the statement of faith, the word “substitionary” stuck out to me, but within the context of the rest of the statement, it seemed a minor point and I thought I could accept it. I didn’t fully understand what was meant by it and I appreciate the link you sent.

I read the whosebob post and it was helpful in showing what Evangelicals mean by substitutionary death of Jesus. Could you explain (or is there something you could refer me to that would clarify) the Catholic position on Jesus’ death and what it means? I apologize if this was in the post and I missed it.

Thanks and God bless,
Georgea


#11

Perhaps your hesitation at accepting the statement “accept Christ as Lord and Savior” can be resolvied by considering this.

The identifying characteristic of a person who accepts Christ as Lord and Savior is not that they stand up and say “I accept Chist as my Lord and Savior” but rather that they live their lives according to the teaching and example of Jesus.

As Jesus says "None of those who say ‘Lord, Lord’ will inherit God’s kingdom but only those who do the will of my Father in heaven.

I would add that Pope John XXIII stated and Pope Paul II emphatically restated regarding non-Catholic Christians that “that which seperates us is far less than that which unites us.” I hope that you can successfully continue your cooperation with other Christians. I believe such cooperation will one day lead to all of us to being able to recognize our common purpose of reaching for God’s kingdom.

Peace,

Jim


#12

Hello,

As a non-Catholic Christian, I am actually amazed that any Christian could not agree with such a statement.

Actually, flabbergasted and saddened…


#13

Atemi, Why not show the full statement of the OP?!?

I don’t disagree with it entirely, but the part about accepting Christ as Lord and Savior somewhat troubles me, **in that what if someone is never given the opportunity to know Jesus (i.e. a young child raised in a different religion, American Indians prior to colonial settlement, etc). Could someone help me to better understand what the Catholic Church’s stance is on “accepting Christ as Lord and Savior”?:frowning:

**


#14

Because it is already in the OP.

LOL. Why else?

I was only commenting on the particular statement of faith the poster had issue with:

“We believe that each person must repent, turn away from his sins, and accept Christ as Lord and Savior.”

Are you also saying you have trouble agreeing with it?

The poster didn’t say they had a problem with the first two statements, but only the last.

That is very troubling.


#15

By clipping the post, you change the context and belittle the OP.

I’m not convinced by your laughing it off that you were doing anything other than seeking to make sport of the poster.

If your intentions were pure, then I offer my apologies in advance for thinking ill of you.


#16

Catholics do accept Jesus the Christ as our Lord and savior. I would recommend either the Nicene or the Apostles creed. Why re-invent the wheel?
Nicene Creed
We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

Apostles creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.


#17

With over a thousand posts here on CA, I can see you have experience with posting.

There is no responsibility whatsoever that respondents quote the entire OP to comment on part.

That is silly, nor will I start that practice now.

I’m not convinced by your laughing it off that you were doing anything other than seeking to make sport of the poster.

If your intentions were pure, then I offer my apologies in advance for thinking ill of you.

Maybe you should of thought of that before you posted.

I made no “sport” of the poster. Nonsense.

Apology accepted. :wink:


#18

Only to the extent that she wanted further clarification about what the Church’s stance is on people who have never heard of Christ. She was not discounting the efficacy of accepting Christ as Savior.

Perhaps you were in a hurry and did not read her entire post, and thus, were confused about her intent. :shrug:

No need to be saddened. Catholics are absolutely crazy about Jesus. He is everything to us, and all that we have comes from Him.

Peace,

petra


#19

Georgea, I think these posts, also by “whosebob”, give the Catholic understanding;

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=1690415#post1690415


#20

The problem with the use of the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed (as Catholics know it) is the use of catholic in the creed. While it is a lower case catholic instead of Catholic, it could still be misinterpreted by those who aren’t well versed with the meaning of Catholic.
Also, the Nicene mentions the communion of Saints, a belief that is unique to the CC, and not usually recognized by many Protestants (if I am wrong on that, let me know!)


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