The Catholic Church believes that salvation is open to all since G-d is a G-d of both justice and mercy. However, whoever is saved, is saved by means of Jesus and the teachings of the Church. The latter, which consist largely of the Sacraments, offer Catholics a unique opportunity for salvation. Still, being Catholic, even if one is devout, does not assure one of salvation, since no one is worthy of salvation. (It may, in fact, put more responsibility on the individual since they were given more understanding of the true faith.) This is because salvation cannot be merited or earned but is by the grace of G-d alone. That grace, for Catholics, would include both faith, received by the Holy Spirit, as well as charity. The former is not considered complete according to Jesus’ teaching without the latter.
Judaism believes more in moral behavior than in faith per se. It is more an orthoprax religion than an orthodox one. That moral behavior, in the form of sincere good works toward others, is the best indication of doing G-d’s will, even if one’s faith in G-d is not so strong and even if one does not believe in G-d. While, for Orthodox Jews, following as many of the 613 Torah commandments as possible is important since it means one is following G-d’s Will, it is also understood that all humans are imperfect and are subject to sin. Sin can always be atoned for, however, by means of repentance toward G-d and one’s fellow man. This atonement can indeed bring one closer to G-d than if one had not sinned. The ultimate goal in Judaism is to reconcile one’s own will with that of G-d to such an extent that helping others can be accomplished without the slightest thought of achieving “merit points” toward salvation. In fact, Jews leave their salvation up to G-d and are told to concentrate only on the present world in an attempt to make it better and holier.
Meltzerboy, your concise exposition is very nice! Even your explanation of the moral behavior is very profound, and it is in a way found in the Catholic teachings: “from my works I will show you my faith”. I think very few Catholics understand just how strong is the tie between Christianity and Judaism, and I think we should be studying this to great depths, for often lack of knowledge in this field leads to lack of understanding of our very doctrine.
I wasn’t judging, I was just curious. I tend to be very philosopical I suppose, and I guess I think about all things very deeply. I’m not self assured of my place in the Kingdom of Heaven, if it is the Will of God that l burn in the pit then so be it. But I like to be knowledgeable about Christian teachings, including Salvation of people who are not myself. :shrug:
I would hope that Anne Frank, who died in a concentration camp, would have received God’s mercy as she was murdered by the Nazis for just being a Jew (though she died of fever, they did not treat her with medicine…they just let her die). :mad:
I’m like you, I like to contemplate on stuff. I’m not saying you are judging, but don’t you think this time pondering about things is better spent and better served pondering your own salvation? There is much to be done by each and everyone of us to ensure each of our own salvation.
That’s my problem I suppose - I’m one of those people who likes to think about “what-ifs”. I usually don’t stop pondering until I have an answer, and these questions do seem to pop up often. It would have bugged me for a long time if I didn’t know the church’s views on this question.
The old covenant (the Mosaic covenant) has been revoked. The covenant of Abraham is irrevocable, but all it’s promises have been fulfilled, except for it’s salvific promises which became the new covenant. Accordingly, if Jews reject the new covenant and membership of the Catholic Church they cannot be saved.
I’ve always thought that Jews who accept Christ at His second coming will be saved (though it would probably be the FIRST coming of the Messiah from the Jewish perspective). Is it an insult to orthodox Judaism to connect Jesus Christ with the Messiah (as far as the end times is concerned)?