I really appreciate an honest and open dialogue like this. Thank you total relism.
I’ve not time to watch this debate for now, but I’ll answer the questions below (since you’re asking for a Catholic perspective).
The Gospel message - the heart and soul of it - is that Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Why did he die? Because our sins merited death and only death will be satisfactory as payment for sin.
Why did he die for us? So that we might turn from our sins, embrace Him, and follow Him into eternal life.
What must I do to be saved?
In one sense, we are already saved - Jesus Christ accomplished a work that no one else can do, and once done never needs to be done again. But that wasn’t the end of His work in us - what He has finished we must cling to. He calls us repeatedly - in the books of the Gospel, in the Epistles (through His workers who wrote them), and through the Church (which I call His Church without trying to imply that He doesn’t work through non-Catholic churches as well), as well as through the Spirit - to live holy and loving lives, to participate in the ministry of forgiveness by taking our sins to Him as well as by forgiving others, and to continually set ourselves apart for God.
We are saved by Grace, the reception of Which is intimate and hidden. Neither can I know one’s Faith. It is not mine to know or be able to judge if one is saved, including myself. I should view myself with the most critical eye so that I don’t deceive myself into thinking that Christ’s work in me is complete. I don’t know the content of another’s heart so I cannot judge another. I can look upon the content of another’s life, however, and ask if they have allowed their faith into a part of their life that appears to be closed to the Lord.
While I can see their good works I do not know if they perform them out of gratitude, Faith or obedience, all of which are marks of a Christian, or if they perform them for recognition or to get a tax break, which is no different than how a non-believer would perform them. Probably the most faithful Christian performs such good works secretly and I’d never know the good they do. But we must be careful not to think that someone has a close walk with the Lord merely because he or she is nice to other people; if you really get to know someone and find they live a humble and clean life, one that is holy and loving, I think that is a better indication than just being friendly to me.
What I can see is whether they have been baptized, and I doubt the salvation of any who have not been baptized either as an infant or as an adult. Again, the Lord knows the content of the Heart, and the Lord calls us to baptism, so if one says he believes and has never been baptized, I’d say to him to be baptized right away as Scripture calls us to be.
As for Protestant (or non-denominational, since many who are non-denominational don’t think of themselves as Protestant) churches, rather than people, I can judge the content of their theology. If they adhere to a statement of faith or, for example, the Augsberg Confession, that gives me a starting point.
Are they internally consistent? For example, if they point to Scripture to support the pastor’s self-professed power to raise the dead in order to receive revelations, I know this is a false teaching because Scripture does not allow such necromancy (though Scripture doesn’t prevent the Lord from sending messengers as He wishes, for example Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration). Don’t laugh - my wife’s aunt attends such a ‘church’, and the pastors often wear Native American dress and incorporate elements of tribal dancing in their charismatic worship.
Do they reject a ‘core’ teaching? I think all Christians agree that Faith is required for salvation, even if we differ on what constitutes a Faith that saves. Is mental assent sufficient, or does one need to change one’s life in accordance with that Faith? I attended, briefly, a church that taught that your rank in Heaven has to do with how many people you’ve evangelized and converted.
I hope this gives a better idea. I think that, when you’re talking with Catholics and non-Catholics in your family, one of the best things to remember is that you’re called to evangelize, not necessarily to proselytize. Proselytizing tells them what they believe is wrong and what you believe is right. Evangelizing sends them deeper into Christ from wherever they are. Do they find Him in the Scriptures? Talk Scripture and encourage them to read and pray it daily. Do they find Him in the Eucharist? Talk about John 6 and ask what being able to receive the Body and Blood means to them. Do they find Him in inspirational prayer? Ask what their favorite prayers are, and for times when their prayers have been answered. Do they find Him in works of mercy and charity? Ask them how they see the face of Christ in the poor, the sick, or the hurting. If whatever you do makes them think more deeply on Jesus Christ, you have done the Lord’s work in that brief conversation more than walking the Roman Road with them.