Why are the opinions of our ultimate destiny after death so varied? I recently had a relationship with a Baptist girl and from what i’ve learned they believe that the Heaven and Hell argument is very cut and dry and that there is a thin line seperating the two. Why? They believe you either except the Bible as the only source of truth and accept Jesus Christ as you only ultimate savior or you will suffer an eternal death. That doing anything at all outside of that will guarantee you an eternal death and suffering. They believe there is no other way. Well there are too many people out there that have not had the opportunity to know Christ and there is just an enormouse percentage of people who have no relationship with Christ for a huge variety of reasons that are not necessarily selfish or negative and according to what honestly seems like most baptists i come across, these people are doomed. Us Catholics believe in purgatory which I personally see as an opportunity to accept God even after death. I believe that God will present himself to us in this life or the next but that he ultimately will not just give up on and shun you into hell because you failed accept certain things throughout your life on Earth. I dont understand why people see the need to just openly shun non-believers or those who are having problems with faith. The closed-mindness makes me so angry its almost intolerable.
I don’t understand it either…as a Quaker, I beleive the Light Within, the Seed of God, That of God is in each of us…it is through the grace of God at work in each life and how one responds to this Light that makes the difference. Most Friends who are members of unprogrammed Meetings tend to be more “universalist” in belief…we have no idea in many instances how the grace of God is at work in an individual life…but the Seed of God indwells them just the same…this “Light which enlightens every man” is at work in each of us and how we respond to this Light Within is what is important.
Friends talk of “speaking to that of God” in one another…seeking to connect to the Spirit which is at work in each of us removes much of the “tension” of “who is fit for the Kingdom of God” and who is not…each of us must seek to find “that of God” in one another…and allow God to do His own work…it is not how others respond to us that matters…it is how we respond to them that sets us apart as the People of God.
They don’t believe in invinsible ignorance, that’s why…
btw, I thought I should clarify something, - the Church doesn’t teach that purgatory is a “second chance”. It’s only for the saved. If someone has rejected Christ, they’re not getting another chance to accept Him, they’ll probably go to hell not purgatory. HOWEVER…the whole point is that we don’t know who has rejected Him and who has not, and there are people who’ve never heard of Him, and we should just pray for them and leave them to God’s mercy
I guess that’s the difference…the Baptists say, these people are definitely going to hell. The Catholic Church leaves this judgement up to God.
Also, there’s the idea that God will judge us based on what we did know and understand, not on what we didn’t. So if someone never really understood Christianity, they’ll find out about it in purgatory perhaps and get a chance to accept it. It’s not like God will “shun” them at all as you said. God never leaves us, only we leave Him. People who go to hell go there because they have rejected God in their hearts, because they refuse to repent of sin, not because of ignorance or something like that.
That being said, we should tell people about Christ, but that’s to glorify Him and so that people would be able to know Him and be in His Church in this life, not because someone who’s never heard His name is FOR SURE going to hell… we simply don’t know that. People who don’t know about God have less graces cause they don’t have faith or the Sacraments or the Church or the Bible but there is hope for them too.
I’m no expert on Baptist but I do know a few things. One of those things is that Baptist, by definition are Autonomous Local Churches. They do not have a higher authority above at the local level. For that reason, no two local congregations will be exactly the same in belief and practice, but many are very close. For example, among Baptist one congregation may be Calvinistic while the next may be Arminian. One may be covenant, the other dispensationalist. Some liberal, some conservative. There are low Baptist and high Baptist. Primitive and Liturgical.
One thing they all agree on is Biblical authority. Creeds, such as the Apostles Creed are accepted as long as it agrees with scripture. (The Apostles Creed is in agreement with the Bible by the way). Adult baptism by immersion, Communion is a memorial, the individual must confess sin and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior to become a member, there are two church offices, pastor and deacon and or elders, Priesthood of the believer.
Hope this helps and I’m sure someone will add to this.
PS for the above reasons it is not easy to say “All Baptists believe this”
Baptist view of salvation is primarily different than the Catholic view. First of most baptist hold to 2 reformers foundational beliefs in Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Truth is in scriptures alone and Salvation is through Faith in Jesus Alone. Catholics differ in that they believe there are two primary sources of truth that God has given the body of believers 1) the scriptures (bible) and 2) the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which carries forward the deposit of faith (Tradition). In actuality it is the Church that passes both forms which the truth is dispenced so in fact one source. The faith aspect will be put forward this way by baptist. You must believe and accept Jesus in your heart (being born again) in which case you are immediately justified and saved. Apart from that Baptist will tell you that everything else or apart from that consept is works based. Now there are many types of baptist. My experience tells me that most baptist hold to a Calvinistic point of view which is summed in the TULIP consept. With regard to the elect God choses those from before the foundation of the world to be elect and those not chosen are destined to hell. Strangly enough most baptist that hold this view don’t hold (or claim to hold) to double predestination ie if God predestined those to be saved then he predestined those to go to hell. However, once a person is elect there is nothing that person can do to not be elect covered under their irrististable grace (I in TULIP). No matter what sins they commit ultimately they are forgiven. Pergatory for baptist is perceived as works based because you are “paying” for your sins when Jesus already did that on the cross. Catholic salvation is more involved but also suprisingly simple. Simply put Christ is able to forgive you completely by his opperation on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Often Christ wants us to make ammends for the things we did so that our healing process can occur like in the case of Zachius volunteering to pay back 4 x to those people he stole from. Does this mean Jesus has not forgiven us? No contrary we are now acting on our salvation and should our entire lives so we are at once saved and continually being saved and will be saved once all is done. Salvation is more encompassing with Catholic soteriology. At any point we can be rebellious and become apostate which is why Paul tells us to “strive” for that goal which is heaven. I find these are the very basic conseptual differences between Catholics and Baptist.
I’d say that’s pretty accurate!
I used to be a Protestant and believed it that way too, but I think the Catholic view is more in accordance with historical Christianity and well, with Scripture… Jesus tells us, it’s not enough to call Him “Lord, Lord” we must do what He says.
Baptists typically believe that once you’ve “accepted Christ” through faith that’s it you’re saved forever. Some of them think you can fall away, and others think you can’t, and if you do you were never a “true believer”. (that’s confusing though! it’s like we don’t even know if we’re “true believers” or not…some people end up “accepting Christ” many times just for that).
I just wanted to say that my understanding is that those people who never came to know the Truth will be judge by their hearts and will go to heaven according to their ability to do God’s will but will not meet God. But those who came in contact with the Truth and still refused to accept it wont be saved. Purgatory is the place where we are cleanse from sin that is not mortal sin but it is not a second chase to accept Christ. At least that is what I understand
Can you go into a little more detail about the shunning that you experienced? You say you had a relationship with this individual but then you were shunned. Why does this make you mad? Did you feel that you were unfairly treated by this girl and her family? Who was doing the actual shunning and how were they doing it?
I know many Baptists and for the most part they are very friendly. But that doesn’t mean that they will allow you to marry them or have a serious romantic relationship. But many religions and faiths have that in common, would you not agree?
I think that’s correct, but what do you mean by “will not meet God”?
I was a “fallen away” Baptist up until last Easter when I came into the Catholic Church. My experience is that some Baptists use those repeated professions of faith as a sort of “Protestant confession.”
I might be wrong about this because I don’t remember what book I was reading during Bible study the other day but I kind of remember it said they won’t get to see God or may be it was in one of the revelations of Saint Bridget that says that their souls will be in a place where there is no suffering but they won’t see God sounds like limbo to me, I am sorry I can’t tell for sure.
that’s great that you came into the Church!!
hmm I think that might be true about “Protestant confession”, I think somewhere deep inside we all know that it helps to repent of sin and to come back to God after we’ve strayed from Him… and we all stray at some point, I mean, we all sin, it’s not like we’re not “true believers” if we struggle with holiness. We’re just to keep on working out our salvation with fear and trembling for it’s God who works in us
hmm I haven’t heard anything like this, well I tend to think that they’ll probably be purified in Purgatory too and after Purgatory we’ll all be perfect and able to see God…however, maybe I’m wrong who knows lol!
…Why are the opinions of our ultimate destiny after death so varied?…they believe that the Heaven and Hell argument is very cut and dry and that there is a thin line seperating the two. Why?..
Us Catholics believe in purgatory which I personally see as an opportunity to accept God even after death. I believe that God will present himself to us in this life or the next but that he ultimately will not just give up on and shun you into hell because you failed accept certain things throughout your life on Earth. I dont understand why people see the need to just openly shun non-believers or those who are having problems with faith. The closed-mindness makes me so angry its almost intolerable.
First, the reason for the numerous varied opinions on salvation…is why Our Lord Jesus founded one Church with Peter, the Rock, (The Pope) as his foundation and vicar (His visible head on earth) and the apostles (bishops in communion with Peter)…to carry out His Great Commission
**The Great Commission–Matthew 28: 16-20 (English Standard Version)
“16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19** Go** therefore and make disciples of** all nations**, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
There is only one true teaching on salvation – heaven and hell – and it resides in the Catholic Church…guided by the Pope and the bishops in communion with him through the Magisterium (the teaching voice) of the Church. The rest…are just opinions…maybe sincere and honest ideas…maybe well thought out and reasoned…maybe having some real Truth in them…but in the end…they are just opinions…and opinions are kind of like “fanny’s”…everyone has one…and most of them…!
Second, your Baptist friend is more correct than not on “Heaven and Hell”…although the line between them is not “thin” but very “bold”…or maybe ‘narrow and wide is the best way to say it…Jesus’ words:
Matthew 7: 13-14 (English Standard Version)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Third, read below what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says (emphasis mine).(1) Purgatory is not an opportunity to accept God after death:
1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin.
(2) Here is what the** CCC** says about hell and who will be going there,and why:
[INDENT]**IV. HELL **
1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we **cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: **" … "To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, …where…
1036 The** affirmations of Sacred Scripture **and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."618
1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:621
[INDENT]NOTE: Look at Matthew (chapters) 5-7…the Sermon on the Mount…the Greatest Sermon ever preached…bar none! most remember the first part of Chapter 5…the Beatitudes or Chapter 6…the Lords Prayer…or Chapter 7…not judging others…but if you read it through…you swill notice that Jesus speaks about hell (in various names)…at least five times…Jesus said that Hell exists and many will go there. Here is how Jesus ends His great sermon:
[INDENT]Matt 7:28-29( English Standard Version).
28And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was** teaching them as one who had authorit**y, and not as their scribes."
[/INDENT][/INDENT]Hope this is good food for thought…my best advice…always look it up…in the CCC.
After reading through this thread I now understand why some of you have difficulties with Baptists. And my guess it is not just Baptists you have diffuculties with.
Enlighten us please.
I was wondering why there are so many shootings in Baptist/Protestant churches. Just recently the Sunday school teacher was charged with murder in the death of a 7 year old, she was the daughter of a Baptist minister. Then there was the wife who killed her Baptist minister husband not too long ago. Then before that the guy that walked in and shot the preacher through the bible and killed him at his church. Then those poor horrible senseless shootings of the Quaker children, etc…is there a message here??
No more of a message than with Josef Fritzl being Catholic or Priest in Boston being abusive. To use these cases as an attempt to invalidate a belief is disingenuios. It means that there are people who are given to sin in all walks of life.
But it is different. It is senseless murders and shootings in the Protestant churches. Too many if you ask me. Which BTW has NOTHING to do with abuses in the CC as they are NOT murder. I am talking murder here in a lot of these churches and that’s all I am talking about. Murder is different than abuses.
It’s no different. There are murderers in the CC. Such as Father Lavigne in Springfield Mass or Father Gerald Robinson or a multitude of others catholic murderers. I stand by what I said to bring up this violence is disengenous. I can show were Catholics have murdered others. People who are given to sin permiate all walks of life. ITs a bad premise to debate on.