Are you saved if you are nontrinitarian?

If you believe the scriptures to be the word of God, and The Lord Jesus Christ to be the savior, but reject the Athansian Creed, and are nontrinitarian, are you saved?

By definition, no.
But who am I to say?

A nontrinitarian believes in a different type of God than the true, triune God, so maybe not?

The question “are you saved?” is one that a Catholic wouldn’t typically ask. Most often, it is heard from someone who believes in the (non-Catholic) Christian doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” Catholics believe that baptism brings justification, and salvation is a process that happens throughout one’s life. One can turn away from God, and lose one’s salvation. Therefore, the question “are you saved?” is one that can only be answered at one point in a person’s life… once they have died and have been judged by Jesus. :wink:

To your particular question, though: is salvation possible for one who does not believe in the Catholic faith? You mention a non-trinitarian belief. Most likely, this means that the person is not baptized (or, if baptized, has fallen away from the Christian faith). If not baptized, then there’s the possibility of salvation – the Church doesn’t teach that only Catholics or only Christians may be saved. If he was baptized Christian and later fell away, then the question becomes ‘why’ and ‘when’ the separation from the faith occurred – did this person ever become well catechized in the faith? Are there circumstances surrounding his rejection of Christianity that lessen his culpability for the rejection? If so, then salvation is possible (but, as in the case of the unbaptized, it’s not normative – it’s not a question we as humans can answer; rather, the person’s salvation is purely a matter of the mercy of God). On the other hand, if this person were an adult Catholic who fully understood the Catholic faith, but rejected it nevertheless, then his salvation would be in serious jeopardy.

Hope this helps!


This may help:
If one is misled by, and truly convicted of, error – but with all sincerity of (limited human) reason but not a spirit of rebellion, one is commended to the Mercy of God.

You are “saved” by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit (i.e. Baptism by Jesus (in the person of his disciples) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and Confirmation, wherein you are granted the fullness of the Spirit. You are given new birth with God as your Father, citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom, and the Holy Spirit animating your new life. Being saved is “done to you”.

Many people do not understand what is done to them until a much later date that the event done to them, and largely because they do not trust the authority of the person doing it to them. How many question whether their sins were truly forgiven after having heard absolution by the priest? How many still find it hard to understand the body of Christ is what they are eating at the Eucharist? These events happened, but how long until one “gets it”.

There is, though, a point of conscious refusal of things - but usually a conscious refusal also means “walking away” from what is refused. Walking out of the confessional (or never going in) because you consciously refuse to accept that a human like yourself can grant you forgiveness, or walking out of Mass when you hear the priest telling you to look at the Lamb of God who takes away your sins, but you see “bread” and a “cup of wine” in his hands, or refusal to confess and declare the words of the creed at Mass, saying that that is not true.

Not understanding is one thing, refusing to have someone do something to you (baptize you, forgive you, feed you bread from heaven), “save you” is another thing.

The Church saved you when it baptized you, forgives and feeds you. If you neglect or reject the action of the church on you - “how can anyone neglect such a great salvation?”

John Martin

If one believes in the Holy Scriptures, how does one reject the Trinity?

How does one then define the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

3 separate beings? (like Mormons do).

To believe that there is more than one God rejects the very nature of God.

There is only one God

Extra ecclesia nullam salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, and neither are those who deny the Trinity are saved. There is no Son without the Father or without the Holy Ghost.

May God bless you richly.

I know of one faith and they seem to make the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost as being a manifestation of one Supreme being. That’s Oneness Pentecostalism; a much different concept that as I would see the Mormons as having.

Hello and thank you for a challenging question! Your question led me to other questions. :slight_smile: The first, I wondered what you meant by “saved” as that can meaning different things to different people. Second, I wondered how you came to be “nontrinitarian.”

May God bless your journey to understand Him better!

Hey, Marie.

The doctrine of the Trinity can certainly be supported by Scripture but it isn’t explicitly laid out. I would not think it unreasonable that one could read the Scriptures and miss the Trinity very easily. It is only by reading the Scriptures through the lens of Catholic Tradition that the Trinity begins to become clarified. It was a truth the Church possessed before the New Testament was even written. That’s what I love about our Church.

It is not a complex question. It is a question of being with our Lord or not. Either you’re with him or you’re against him. Nontrinitarian heretics are separated from Our Lord, which is why they’re heretics.

Be careful. None of us can say who is saved and who is not. In order to deny the Trinity one must understand that which he is denying. Only God knows the human heart and he desires that none be lost. Each of us relies on God’s mercy and that is where we place our hope for all people. Everything you said is true but it deserves some attention in order to be understood properly.
When one posts statements such as this without the rest of the story it is no wonder that many reject Catholicism.

In fact, we believe people can be saved who have never heard the word “Trinity”.

Welcome to CAF, Hyrum.

In order to answer your question it would be important to understand exactly what you reject in the Creed and in the doctrine of the Trinity. In other words, do you understand what you are rejecting?

Maybe you could give us your understanding of what you think we believe about the Trinity and we could go from there.



Thank you, Steve.

I wonder if we weren’t all heretics at one time or another, in one way or another and in need of answers to those questions that challenged us so that we could move forward in our faith.

I for one would say that the poster who used the term heretic should be cautious indeed in using that term as it is a loaded hand grenade and should be used cautiously.

I would agree with those who have said "who can say? ". I have a question though about your scenario of the adult Catholic… if they know what the CC teaches about the Church, mortal sin and other faith matters, but do not follow the teachings because they are not convinced, is their salvation in serious jeopardy according to Catholics and the Church? In re-reading some posts I guess John Martin might have been touching on this in his post referencing about conscience and walking away.

Explanation CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Athanasian Creed , CCC 266 ,

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity…”

That creed states articles of our faith to believe in, they are NOT suggestions

Athanasius is not teacing anything new Re: one must hold to the Catholic Faith for salvation.

for example

Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch from ~69 a.d. to ~107 a.d. He was ordained by the apostles, and was a direct disciple of St John. Ignatius in his writings uses “Catholic Church” in his writings.
*]St Ignatius, uses Catholic Church (ch 8) Epistle to the Smyrnæans of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians (ch 3)

Boy, did you ever get him good. :rolleyes:

I have a friend who is a “Oneness Pentecostal”, I have actually come to understand some of the tenets of their faith.

Take how we Catholics and probably most other Christians are baptized, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” but Oneness NonTrinitarian Pentecostals might say, “wait, there are places in the Bible where one is baptized only in the name of Jesus Christ”.

But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Acts 2:38

Most Christians baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”[19] (following the Great Commission), but some baptize in Jesus’ name only.

It is interesting.

I forget but actually oneness Pentecostalism and what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach is suppose to be a lot like 2 teachings that were around back in the days of the early church, I can remember them now. Jansenism? Or something was one of them. So the principles these people use are not always that new.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit