If atheists can be saved (without accepting Jesus), what kind of baptism (baptism of desire?) do they get?

According to the catechism, people who through no fault of their own do not receive the Gospel (such as isolated tribes in the tropics) but strive in their heart to do good, can be saved by God:

Trent Horn goes through this in more detail here: youtube.com/watch?v=95e71OiGjd0&list=FLP-KRGmrSqKJgqPaXb3guLg&index=27

My question is, seeing how Jesus said:

Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (JOHN 3:5)

So, what kind of “baptism” are isolated tribes in the tropics and atheists receiving who never hear the Gospel but who are still saved according to Trent Horn?

Is it a “baptism of desire” or something similar to this?

Where has anyone ever said they never convert?

It sounds like you’re thinking like a Protestant. The Catholic Church has never taught terms like “accepting Jesus as your personal savior” because that concept is not found in the New Testament…

Why are you concerned about this?

Those who are invincibly ignorant of the need for baptism may be covered by baptism of desire.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 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. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

If they are isolated tribes and no one ever reaches them, how are they supposed to convert? They can’t, and don’t.

Such people are not necessarily atheists.

We don’t know what happens to the unbaptised. There is speculation on the possibilitymof their salvation, but we can’t claim that for sure. God in His infinite mercy knows what he is doing. We much oray for such people but also not assume things about their salvation.

Atheists: modern westerners have certainly heard about Jesus. People disbelieve for different reasons. We don’t know if they can be saved, the rule above applies. Same for hoping and praying for them.

I don’t believe the Church is referring to atheists.

Why not? If one genuinely believes there is no God and turns out to be mistaken but lived their life as well as they could, why should they go to Hell because of us Christians failing to demonstrate to them God’s existence?

It’s not a matter of “living as well as you could,” it’s about seeking God. Not necessarily explicitly, mind, but still seeking that truth.

There are three valid types of baptism: water, desire, and blood. Christ’s use of the word water excludes a metaphorical baptism.

There must be the first principles of faith, hope, and charity: to trust God, to expect that He rewards those who love him, and to desire to do what He wants. These are the fruit of grace, and they are spiritual habits (as opposed to mere acts).

In a person with the use of reason, there would be signs of these habits.

NB: Just because this is theoretically possible does not mean that it is likely. In fact, if it were likely, the Great Commission would be more like the Optional Suggestion.

Is this the only way that one comes to believe in God? Through Christians? I believe the Spirit convicts and reveals. He does so through Christians, in as much as the Holy Spirit speaks through the Christians around any given non-believer. But He knocks at the door of hearts through all sorts of ways. And personally, apart from others, as well.

[quote="rcwitness]I don’t believe the Church is referring to atheists.
[/quote]

This is a radical statement :eek: You are specifically told in Hebrews 11:6, “that without faith it is impossible to please God…” Now, based on this Atheists good moral life, minus his belief/faith in God, you think this one can escape damnation?

Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832:
“Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life."

KingdomSon

Even an atheist that listens to and obeys conscience, which is “the aboriginal Vicar of Christ”, may be in the category of “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.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 1260.

It has traditionally been held by some that, just as the Lord went to Sheol to preach to Adam and the other patriarchs, matriarchs, and pre-Crucifixion faithful dead, and brought them out again, that the Lord may preach to the recent dead or not-quite-dead, or otherwise give them a chance to choose Him. In such a case, it would count as a really short catechumenate in an RCIA program run by the Lord, with a baptism of desire afterward.

But obviously it’s a lot better to be safe than sorry. We trust the Lord’s mercy on the unbaptized of all ages and times, but it’s better to be baptized during life than not. It is good to pray for the unbaptized, but it’s better to make sure people get baptized.

The Lord sent us all out to announce His kingdom and try to get people to join up. If people listen and follow the Lord, they will become better people during life, as well as being saved from the eternal “second death.” That’s a lot better than squeaking in, right at the last minute, even though it’s better to squeak in than to be lost.

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too MAY achieve eternal salvation.

The Catholic Church does not state that such individuals WILL BE SAVED. Neither does the Church claim that people are saved based on their sincerity, but then it may depend on where their sincerity is placed or how it is directed. God knows their heart. God will judge men according to the light that has been given to them, but the judgment will still be according to His grace wrought through Jesus Christ, whether they know it explicitly or not. In actuality, this does not give me much comfort knowing that out of the heart of man comes all sorts of evil. This gets trickier for the atheist because, at least theoretically, he is not even seeking God in the first place as he does not even believe God exists.

Being ignorant of the Gospel and of His Church is not the same thing as being an atheist.

Anybody dying as an atheist will not be saved. Atheism is a deliberate rejection that God exists.

Atheism has more than one meaning, but most significant, varies in imputability.

Atheism

2125 Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.61 The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion."62

Here is the entire Catechism entry for baptism of desire:

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 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. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.


In the context of our conversation, can you explain how this statement relates to a person who has died in a state of professed and unrepented atheism:
The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances.

There would have to be repentance at least by the instant of death.

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