exclusive rights to heaven...

When i first became orthodox I was adamant that I was guided there by god because he was trying to tell me it was the only true church of christ. God isn’t stupid first off! I have to say all our debates and attempts to put forth arguments that our church or your church will be the one and only source of salvation are absolutely futile. As galileo demonstrated, no matter how you drop the stone and how you believe, it still falls the same way and his theory is explaiining it. God does what he wills and no personal argument as to why one church is better than another at achieving salvation will determine what god does for us humans. I will repeat, God is not stupid!!! He knows us, he knows the sincerity of our faith and he knows whether we believe in the key tenets of christianity and follow the gospel to the best of our ability, indeed it is confusing for us mere mortals and I think paul explains it best. Whether one believes in the filioque or some other subtle difference in the faiths is irrelevant. i’ve seen people call catholic miracles satanic, saints in the catholic church demon inspired. How can anybody say this without assuming the role of judge! I myself have had trouble with this. Don’t forget the thief on the cross next to christ next time when you point your finger, i will try that too. Amen…

I like the thief on the Cross. I like the Centurion, the Temple official, the Samaritan, and all the others the Jesus points to over and over again as having strong faith.

As you say, God knows us and whether we are good, and if we are sincere. He also knows if we put his Gospel into action, if we love one another as He loves us.

Almost every religion constructs a labyrinth of rules for getting into heaven, and plays God in claiming they know who will get there. I think many of those who get to heaven will be amazed at who is there with them.

I think your approach is exactly right. Listen to what Jesus tells you, live as He wishes us to live, and you will be on the right path. Good luck in your journey of faith and may God bless you all along the way.

Interesting topic.

Myself, I tend to reserve “hardcore” argument and apologetics for when we Catholics or I personally are challenged in a doctrinal or dogmatic sense, as on another forum where Catholics are considered non-Christians, Satan-worshipers and all sorts of other vile nonsense.

I guess the goal, in part, of any organized religion is to clearly define how to achieve salvation and establish a moral code by which its members are to abide. How detailed this is defined is quite variable; compare, for instance, the Roman Catholic Church Catechism to something like some of the Universalist Churches that I’ve seen online. Roman Catholics are seen as “rule-oriented” while others’ faith is too vaguely defined to get a sense of what they’re all about.

:shrug:

Yes, this is a great danger for Christians…

And that’s exactly why. Many of the Jews had the same attitude - they were the Chosen People, and they wanted to keep God to themselves. Meanwhile, they themselves had no love for God, they thought they were justified simply because they were Jews, as many Christians do now. And so this warning, like the rest of the OT and Gospels, is for us:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)

No disagreement there :slight_smile:

That too is one of my favorite verses from the Bible, and reminds us that even the closest of Jesus’ disciples often errored in trying to dismiss those who they thought were unworthy of His attention. There are too many self-righteous people who think THEY KNOW who will get into heaven and who won’t.

None of us is in a position to judge another person based on their religion or beliefs. That is up to God.

As galileo demonstrated, no matter how you drop the stone and how you believe, it still falls the same way and his theory is explaiining it.

Galileo and a stone dropping is not theologicly relevant.

God does what he wills and no personal argument as to why one church is better than another at achieving salvation will determine what god does for us humans. I will repeat, God is not stupid!!!

I know he’s not stupid and I know He does what He will. He has also given “the keys to Heaven” to Peter the “rock” on which He founded His church.

He knows us, he knows the sincerity of our faith and he knows whether we believe in the key tenets of christianity and follow the gospel to the best of our ability,

How is rejecting His church following Christianity’s key tenents? .

Don’t forget the thief on the cross next to christ next time when you point your finger,

How is tha relevant? He embraced the true faith

To Timbothefiveth:

Regarding your quotes from and response to orthodoxperson:

*As galileo demonstrated, no matter how you drop the stone and how you believe, it still falls the same way and his theory is explaiining it."

(You said): “Galileo and a stone dropping is not theologicly relevant.”*

I think orthodoxperson was using an analogy here, not equating Galileo’s experiment with gravity as theology. The point is (I think): No matter what you think you know to be the truth, God will make the decision, and it won’t necessarily be based on any one church’s doctrine.

“God does what he wills and no personal argument as to why one church is better than another at achieving salvation will determine what god does for us humans. I will repeat, God is not stupid!!!”

(You said): “I know he’s not stupid and I know He does what He will. He has also given “the keys to Heaven” to Peter the “rock” on which He founded His church.”

If Peter has the keys to Heaven, will he open the gates for anyone who humbly and faithfully follows Jesus, no matter what their religious label is? orthodoxperson is saying yes (and I agree).

“He knows us, he knows the sincerity of our faith and he knows whether we believe in the key tenets of christianity and follow the gospel to the best of our ability,”

(You said): “How is rejecting His church following Christianity’s key tenents?”

The argument here is that God knows what is in our hearts, and whether we truly lived the Gospel. Many people believe that allegiance to any one church is not necessary for salvation. You shouldn’t equate that with “rejecting His church”; rather it means that there may be more than one path that a Christian can follow, and the one orthodoxperson is taking is somewhat different than yours. You may be surprised when you BOTH reach your intended destination.

“Don’t forget the thief on the cross next to christ next time when you point your finger”

(You said): “How is that relevant? He embraced the true faith.”

It is VERY relevant. Was the thief baptized? Did he profess any creed? Did he take any instruction? Very unlikely. At that moment, he was not a Catholic, not Orthodox, not anything. He was saved because he recognized who and what Jesus was, and asked for His forgivenenss, to “remember” him, a man who suffered on a cross next to Jesus.

In fact, if you say the thief was saved because he “embraced the true faith”, you are contradicting yourself, since you are then agreeing that a person does not have to “belong” to a particular church to be saved, but just has to recognize and believe in Jesus as the Lord.

Almost everyone believes that their way is the best way. The problem occurs when they believe their way is the ONLY way.

The meaning of “chosen people” has to do with the additional commandments which the Jew takes upon himself and has nothing to do with “keeping God to ourselves” or with exclusive rights to heaven. Judaism teaches that all men are equal and that it is easier for the gentile to get to the world to come then for the Jew as the gentile has only to follow the seven Noahide commandments.

Now I am hardly an expert as to Christianity and the interpretation of your scriptures but it would appear that this particular quote concerns Torah in its wider sense. Judaism uniquely elevated laws dealing not only with man’s relationship to God but also man’s relationship to man as an integral part of the Jewish religion. The complexity and the nuances of understanding these laws as well as the demand for universal male literacy was not found among the general pagan population - the main community for the spread of the Christian religion.

You make a good Jewish apologist. :thumbsup: But sorry, I’m going to go with the Word of God. The Jews were the Chosen People because it was through them that the Messiah, the Son of God came into the world - “for salvation is from the Jews” (see Isaiah). That is a beautiful truth that I hope you come to love, before you stand before our Lord and Judge, Jesus Christ. God bless.

All of that said, and yet truth can’t contradict truth. These small differences are important. You want to say that so long as someone believes in the “key tenets” of Christianity, what else you believe doesn’t matter.

Can all Christians agree on what the “key tenets” are, and what the correct belief on the tenets is?

Read the Catechism on other Christian denominations. You might be surprised that the CC doesn’t say what you think it does about those who don’t accept the fullness of the truth that is the CC.

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