I have a friend who is a Baptist & she is always talking about this person or that person “got saved”; like it is a one time event. She said a friend “got saved” but the person rarely attends church, hasn’t amended their life, and just because they went up to the front of the church & said a few words with the minister, she said they are “saved”. She doesn’t think that I am “saved” as a Catholic. She said I can be “saved” by praying some words. I don’t understand this mentality. Also, she talks all the time about being “born again”. I’m not sure I understand that concept either. I am a devout Catholic convert. I’ve been baptized, I attend Mass, I go to Confession, I do all the things I believe (and Catholicism teaches) I need to do in order to be in a state of grace. She also talks about “being raptured” away from here during the end times. Can any protestants out there explain to me these concepts? When I talk with her, I’d like to understand better what these concepts mean to Protestants, so that I may better explain our doctrine on these issues in relation to her understanding. Thanks.
I would ask her since she believes in sola scriptora where does she find that in the bible
I would also aks her to explain
1 Tim 3:15
But at the same time I wouldn’t discount her conversion to christ or anyone else’s. With god all things are possible
You’re running into standard Arminian fundamentalist kanguage, Regina. I would just chslkenge her presuppositions with Sctipture.
I used to attend a baptist church when I was younger and it was big on this style of thinking. It’s not biblically based, of course. It really is just a matter of it being easier to believe because it’s easier to achieve. It’s scary to acknowledge parts of scripture that talk about difficult it is to follow the narrow path or how not everyone that calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Though I don’t want to generalize, in my experience, groups like this are big on “well I have faith” and don’t really understand that faith is belief in the unseen and not supposed to be blind.
Sometimes when they are this intense, I just accept them and love them, and if the relationship is still there and they have gotten to know me and see how I live my faith…then I try to find parallels, and then share.
My former Baptist friend now Catholic, but not totally orthodox then, asked me about the Assumption of Mary into heaven.
So I drew on the spiritual doctors of the Church, in my case, Theresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, and Catherine of Siena and used different language to explain how one goes to heaven. She said then, that is how Baptists believe!
Problem with language. And i think, outside of clergy corruption prior to Reformation, this was the bottom issue. I remember reading Catherine who lived in the 1300’s speak that it is Christ’s grace who saves us. We can have all sorts of faith, but it is the grace of Christ, freely given…and then we are not puppets, we do our work by responding to the demands of the Gospel and following Jesus and hopefully, enduring to the end to meet Him in heaven.
One needs, among other things, to realize this is not held universally by Baptists, not even by all Southern Baptists. There are lots of views of what it is to be “saved” even among those who talk about being “saved”.
To some, it means you will go to heaven no matter what you do once you “accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior”. To others it means also living a different life consistent with that. To some, failure to act morally means you really weren’t “saved” to begin with. It didn’t “take” in other words. To some, you can be “saved” more than once.
When someone declares to you that he/she is “saved” you always need to inquire what he/she means by that, because they don’t all mean the same thing when they say it.
Very true, Ridge.
It sounds like she suffers from Easy Believism and Premil Dispensationalism, both of which are fairly common in many areas of American Christianity. Neither have any true concept of salvation within them.
We’re definitely not saved by going up and getting our “ticket punched.” That’s unfortunately an offshoot of the Second Great Awakening and the “new methods” developed under men like Charles Finney and continually developed into what they are today.
I wrote a post on “what exactly constitutes getting saved” in another thread, so I’ll link to there if you’re curious about it, Regina. If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them in this thread.
There is alot of work by Catholics starting in the American Deep South to reach out to such believers, build relationships. Don’t know how long such approach to faith will be around so many years from now.
I live in the NW and have heard some people use the word, ‘saved’ here as well.
When I and my co-religionists say that “He or she got saved” what we mean is the initial conversion. By initial conversion, I mean the person had a come to Jesus moment and for the first time (or maybe for a second time if they had previously backslide) the person has accepted Christ as their lord and savior, and repented of sin. Provided that the person continues in this new decision and faith, they will continue to work out their salvation with the Lord and surrender more and more of themselves to the Holy Spirit, thereby continuing to experience deeper consecration, deeper holiness, and deeper spiritual power.
That is what I mean by “getting saved.” The term is loaded, and Protestants can give this phrase many different nuances depending on their own religious background and viewpoints.
Sounds like she believes in Once Saved, Always Saved. This is something I don’t believe. I also don’t believe that simply saying a “Sinner’s Prayer” saves anyone. A “Sinner’s Prayer” is not a magical formula. The condition of the heart is far more important than the words that come out of someone’s mouth.
That being said, you don’t give details on how long it has been since said friend “got saved.” If it is recent, they may have not really had time or teaching enough to mend their life. People who “get saved” in my church (if they have had a true conversion) do amend their lives and start attending church, etc. However, they don’t become angels over night, and it takes a while for babes in Christ to grow to maturity.
So, while it sounds like she is talking about Once Saved, Always Saved, she may not be.
I don’t understand this mentality either, especially from a Protestant. It sounds like she is giving a “Sinner’s Prayer” magical power. I don’t understand this mentality either. If you say a prayer all you have done is said a prayer. If it is not accompanied with true faith and true repentance, saying a few words will not accomplish anything.
And if you are Catholic and you already have put your faith and trust in Christ and you have already repented of your sin, and you have continued in your faith and repentance, then how will saying a something like “Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you died on the cross for my sins and bla, bla, bla” going to make a difference, unless you think saying a “Sinner’s Prayer” is some kind of magical incantation to get to heaven. This mentality might be Baptist, but it surely isn’t Protestant.
Simply put, being “born again” or having had a “new birth” simply means one has had a conscious conversion to Christianity. By this I don’t mean one was simply baptized or one became an “official member” of a church. I mean someone has come to know Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. If you have made Jesus Lord and Savior, then I consider that having been born again.
She is a premillennial dispensationalist. She believes that Christ’s Second Coming will be 1) personal (he will return himself in glory), 2) imminent (no one can known exactly when but all the signs point to it being soon).
When he comes, he will “rapture” the church. All Christians will be taken up to heaven in the blink of an eye. We will be “caught up” to meet Jesus in the air. Meanwhile, the earth and all those “Left Behind” will go through 7 years of tribulation. After 7 years of tribulation, Christ and all the saints with him, will return to earth to rule and reign for a thousand years.
That’s the best I can do, though I don’t think I agree with her on “getting saved.” That just goes to show that Protestants can mean different things even when using the same terms.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to help enlighten me on what my friend may be speaking of. I really appreciate it all your answers, and you’ve done a great deal to help me understand. Thanks again, & may peace find you all.
Some people unfortunately use OSAS as a “Get out of hell free” card.
Faith is the start, works are the result of said faith.
All theological discussions and arguments aside, I do not understand how the concept of “once saved, always saved” makes even good common sense to anyone. :shrug: So you go up to the pastor and say a certain prayer and you are saved forever, no matter what? I mean, does that even sound logical or reasonable?
^ The Calvinists I’ve talked to say that “once saved, always saved” is true, and people who leave the faith, stop going to church, etc. were never saved in the first place.
The problem is that nobody knows if they’re really saved or not because nobody can see their own future. They can say they’re saved and will never leave the faith all they want, but many devout Christians later become atheists, agnostics or deists.
And the other groups I’ve spoken with believe that being “saved” is basically a free pass. Once you’ve “accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior” then you’re automatically getting into heaven, no matter how much you sin (even if you do not repent) because Jesus will forgive you because you’ve accepted him.
The problem with this philosophy is obviously you cannot be forgiven if you’re not sorry for what you did because that means given the choice or a do-over, you’d do the sin again.
I agree with you it isn’t logical. The practical results of this kind of theology is that you get a church filled with backsliders and those who have never even been converted at all (they’ve just claimed that they’ve been born again on the basis of a confession of faith with no inward change at all) who have been deceived into thinking that it doesn’t matter what they do because they are going to heaven anyway.
All talk of holiness and consecration and conforming to the image of Christ becomes useless as a result of subscribing to this theology. While I don’t believe in “works righteousness,” I also do believe that holiness of life is non-negotiable. This Once Saved, Always Saved mess makes a mockery of true faith and true conversion.
“Once Saved Always Saved” is different than Perseverance of the Saints. OSAS is the get-your-ticket-punched salvation, Perseverance says that once you are regenerated by God, God will sanctify you and mold you as a believer until the day of your justification. They aren’t really equatable.
That’s why the apostle John wrote: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 Jn 2:19). If one is justified by Christ, they truly are redeemed, as the apostle Paul wrote that absolutely nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro 8:39), and likewise that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Php 1:6). This is the great assurance of protection in the hands of God.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. [Colossians 3:3-4]
Absolutely true. Repentance means a lot more than just feeling bad - it means a complete change. This is where Easy Believism and OSAS teachings fall into great error. They for an “on the spot” sting of the conscience, rather than a true regeneration brought about by the Holy Spirit, thus leading to confession and repentance. Again, another unfortunate aftermath of the Second Great Awakening.
Scripture says the just man sins 7 times a day.
And St. Paul acknowledges the body wants to sin, but the spirit doesn’t, so there is this constant inner battle, in spite of being Christian.
That is why Christ provided us the Daily Sacrifice to atone for daily sins, and blessings to the daily communicants who go to Mass every day. I know them and their lives are filled with great peace.
When an Evangelical Christians talk about “getting saved”, it’s a phrase that has its own unique definition that can be a confusing concept for us catholics (I don’t mean just Roman Catholics here, but catholic-type spirituality in general, in its many shapes and forms). “Getting saved” is usually a powerful experience for the believer, and an experience that these Christians feel is necessary for salvation. It’s that moment in a person’s life where they admit that they’re a sinner and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. Often you will hear stories about a person’s life before they “got saved” and believed, many times this experience will be shared at a church service in front of the congregation, where a person will get up and “witness” or “share testimony”, explaining how God changed their life and the work He is doing now.
From my conversations with evangelical/baptist/pentecostal/etc. friends, they have a hard time understanding that some people, particularly those raised in a church who have just always believed, don’t have this big conversion experience that evangelicals feel is necessary. To them, it’s that new conviction of faith that saves them. For Baptists, adult baptism is part of the overall experience… for others, baptism is simply a public profession of faith, but not necessary for salvation. Often they say that Catholics aren’t saved because they don’t have that big “getting saved” moment – most were raised in Church, baptised as babies, and have always believed that Christ is their savior.
(I’ll go off on a tangent here and say that some churches actually guilt you into “getting saved” by frequent altar calls. This was my experience in the church I grew up in and left at 14 to convert to Catholicism. At Sunday school, we’d have altar calls where you would come forward and accept Jesus into your heart. Those who didn’t participate were looked down upon, and because of that, I must have “gotten saved” at least 20 times as a kid!)
Back to your question, being “born again” is essentially the same as “getting saved” in this context. That may not be true for all evangelicals, but they meant about the same thing in the church of my childhood. The Rapture is kind of a big deal to them because they believe that Jesus will come back and take all real true Christians to heaven. The specifics of this vary, depending on the denomination. Some think that this will happen before a period of Tribulation, where the non-Christians will be left behind to suffer under the rule of the anti-Christ. Others think Christians will be here for part of the Tribulation, and then Christ will come Rapture them. And still others think that Christ will come at the end of the Tribulation. It’s actually a very complicated concept, but I would seriously recommend reading Will Catholics Be Left Behind?
The book was written by a former Protestant who converted to Catholicism, and it’s one of the best books I’ve found that talks about the Catholic view of the end of the world. It also goes into detail about all the various evangelical beliefs on the End Times, the Rapture, Tribulation, etc. – it shows how those beliefs became popular, and why they are wrong.
So getting saved is not being saved but a gaga euphoric feeling of wanting to be saved.
And born again is not not being born again by water and the Spirit but about ‘getting saved’.
No. “Getting saved” is initial conversion, the response to the tug of the Spirit on the heart after one has encountered the proclamation of the gospel. The response is to acknowledge that Christ is Lord, he has died for our sins, and to confess that we are sinners and to ask his forgiveness assured that we are forgiven, and to “go and sin no more.”
**If **we continue to walk in this, we have assurance that we are saved and will be saved if we continue in faith and trust and obedience to Christ.
Being born again is becoming a new creation. It is being born of the Spirit. About the being born of water, you might get different answers by what that means. Simply undergoing water baptism is not being born again however. That is how evangelicals see it.