How to respond?


#1

Hi everyone,

A protestant who is engaging in a debate with me is saying that the Church teaches that “Jesus isn’t the only way to heaven”.

I asked him for his source and this is what he said:

I have the following quotes from the catechism

“Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved.” #1260

It is saying that if you don’t know about Christ, you can still be saved as long as you do what God wants. It says that you don’t need Jesus at all for salvation. There is also this verse that states how all Muslims are saved too.

“The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The Plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”” #841

There are also so many other verses that contradict each other… but I think this is enough to show you that Catholicism states that Jesus is not the only way… even though He said that He was the only Way, the Truth, and the Light. John 14:7

I encourage you to test all things like Paul says to test all things and beware anyone who tries to deceit you through philosophy and empty deceit of the world and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)


#2

It says that you don’t need Jesus at all for salvation.

Your friend has misunderstood the text. It says that you don’t need a knowledge of Jesus Christ to be saved. Did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses or any of the Prophets, except John the Baptist, have a knowledge of Jesus? No. The Catholic Church clearly teaches that “all salvation comes from Christ.” (CCC 846) In other words, anyone who is saved is saved through Jesus Christ and the invincibly ignorant can be saved through Jesus Christ without actually knowing Him, if they otherwise do God’s will as they understand it. Those who are culpably ignorant of Jesus Christ won’t be saved.

The Church’s teaching on this matter is consistent with what St. Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:10, that the living God “is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe,” and with what St. Peter said in Acts 10:34-35, that “God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

Jesus made it clear, in Luke 12:47-48, that the ignorant will not be judged as harshly as the knowledgeable.

There is also this verse that states how all Muslims are saved too.

The Catholic Church does not teach that all Muslims are saved. In fact, the Catholic Church does not even teach that all Catholics are saved.

Again, your friend has misunderstood the text. It says that, Muslims, like everyone else, are included in God’s plan of salvation. After all, Jesus Christ died for all men, including Muslims, who, to their credit, adore the one, merciful God, the God of Abraham, the Creator and mankind’s judge on the last day, though the rest of their religion is full of error. Muslims who are invincibly ignorant of Jesus Christ can be saved through Jesus Christ without actually knowing Him, if they otherwise do God’s will as they understand it. Muslims who are culpably ignorant of Jesus Christ won’t be saved.


#3

The Catechism is of course correct, if you don’t know about Christ, but still live according to God’s ways, you can still be saved by Christ.


#4

So if you have never heard of Christ and can’t read the Gospels… you should go straight to hell?

Our first encounter with God does not originate from us… it originates from God himself, and imparts the grace needed to have faith… but faith in what??? If you have never heard of something, how can you have faith in it?

God knows our hearts, how can we say that because a kindhearted person never heard of God they can’t be saved? They may not know Him, but He certainly knows each of us and can show mercy upon anyone… so who are we to say who can be saved in that respect?

Our God is a Just God…
Our God is a merciful God
but above all he is a loving God.


#5

There is scriptural backup that says all men have no excuse about knowing God because he makes himself evident to all men. Then somewhere there is a scripture saying that If a man not knowing the law (as in old testament law) but recognizes God and does naturally the things of God he is still righteous because the law is written on his heart and conscience. I don’t have my Bible with me so I can’t recall exactly scripture and verse of these scriptures but I want to say I think they are found in the book of Romans. I would say the same principle would hold today. That there might be someone who has not heard the gospel message of Christ or know anything about him but still would be considered righteous if he was desiring Godly things and with sincerity of heart trying to do the things of God. Worldwide circulation of the Bible and the Churches influence reaching to all corners of the Earth is fairly recent. How many people knew the gospel in the world at large lets say 400 ad. Only where the Church was growing. but in theory there could be very godly men somewhere who acknowledge the existence of God and on their own be naturally doing the things of God and therefore could be considered righteous. Maybe someone who has a Bible handy can find and post those specific scriptures. :slight_smile:


#6

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