Invincible ignorance; possible refutational passage?


#1

**Hi, :slight_smile: **
I’m sorry to drag this up, but I need help finding the passage in the bible (not sure if it was OT or NT, and therefore whether God the Father or God the Son said it; but there is a passage where one of Them says something along the lines that all know of Him to all the corners of the Earth…(Hmmm perhaps it is in the NT…)
**Now, I could be wrong, but wouldn’t this put a chink in the Invincible Ignorance theory? **

**I personally have never had a problem with the theory, so ****please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to start a debate; but I saw this quote recently and it got me thinking that perhaps we may not be able to use that as a defence for some people / cultures. **

Why do we seemingly have groups of people who don’t know Jesus, if God spread His message all around the world? Were these people told about God and His many gifts / wonders, and subsequently rejected it, and continued on with their lives, and we just don’t know it?

If anyone could help me with this, I’d be most appreciative.

Peace and love to you all.


#2

Are you thinking of Romans 1:18-21?

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them.

Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse;

for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.


#3

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]there is a passage where one of Them says something along the lines that all know of Him to all the corners of the Earth…(Hmmm perhaps it is in the NT…)
**Now, I could be wrong, but wouldn’t this put a chink in the Invincible Ignorance theory? **

[/quote]

Not necessarily. Even if everyone has “heard” of Jesus, that doesn’t mean that everyone would have “faith” in what they heard, for various reasons (e.g., maybe the missionaries who told them the gospel were themselves not honest people in other ways). To wit:

As we see every day among our acquaintances, the reasons why many people say no to Christ are many: disappointment, betrayal, poor catechesis, cultural and social conditioning.

Pius IX himself admitted the difficulty of delimiting the cases of invincible ignorance, stating: “Who will arrogate to himself the power to determine the limits of that ignorance according to the character and variety of peoples, of regions, of spirits and of so many other elements?” Pius IX taught us therefore a great prudence and great respect for those who do not have the gift of faith in Christ.

We are not able to understand altogether the reasons for a rejection of faith, nor can we know with certainty that someone who seems to have no faith, in fact has a very imperfect form of faith.


#4

**Catholic2003, :slight_smile: **

**Thank you, yes that is the one! **
I will need to read it again; it seems rather damning, but perhaps I need to read it some more to find the context.

Peace and love.


#5

Something else that may be helpful would be the text of paragraph 1860 of the Catechism:

“Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.”

As we see, everyone is held accountable for some of the more basic moral truths (such as the fact that murder is wrong, for instance). In this way, God is known to all corners of the earth.

Also note that St. Paul seems to indicate that these persons knew God and rejected Him willingly. He does not seem to be speaking of persons believing sincerely in other faiths, but rather to those whom willingly reject God in whatever view they hold of Him.


#6

Ahisma and Lazerlike42,

Thank you both for your insightful answers. They have helped me with this issue.

I am not Catholic, but I still appreciate the help of you fine people, and have no problem when you bring up valid ‘evidence’ on certain topics, whether from the bible or from tradition…i.e. Church fathers, etc.

Peace and love to you both and your loved ones.


#7

Although you said that the passage cited from Romans 1 was the passage you were looking for, consider this passage from Romans 10: 13For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. 18But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”


#8

[quote=Todd Easton]Although you said that the passage cited from Romans 1 was the passage you were looking for, consider this passage from Romans 10: 13For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. 18But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

[/quote]

**Hi Todd, :slight_smile: **
**You are correct! I did not realize there were two such quotes. The similarity caused me to believe the Romans 1 quote was the right one, but seeing this one makes me reazie the Romans 10 quote is the I was truly looking for. **

Thank you so very much!

Peace and love.


#9

so, which of the apostles preached in the Americas?

:confused:


#10

Hmm. It’s rare to see non-Catholics signing off with Latin signatures, especially when it is the motto of the Jesuits. :slight_smile:

AMDG is sometimes rendered as “Another Mother’s Darling Gone”, also known as the motto of the Jesuit SEMINARY :smiley:


#11

[quote=DavidFilmer]Hmm. It’s rare to see non-Catholics signing off with Latin signatures, especially when it is the motto of the Jesuits. :slight_smile:

AMDG is sometimes rendered as “Another Mother’s Darling Gone”, also known as the motto of the Jesuit SEMINARY :smiley:
[/quote]

**Hi David, :wave: **


I am about to be baptized Lutheran, but I have never discounted the possibility of ‘coming home’ to the Catholic Church.
The signature I currently have was made when I first started coming to CAF, and had every intention of becoming Catholic…
I have not changed it, as I like Latin for one thing, and the meaning of the initials remain relevent…Ad Majorum Dei Gloriam…For The Greater Glory Of God…
**Thanks for filling me in on that interesting piece of trivia; I never knew the alternate version of the initials.:smiley: **


Peace and love to you and your loved ones.


#12

[quote=Daniel Marsh]so, which of the apostles preached in the Americas?

:confused:
[/quote]

Hi Daniel, :slight_smile:

Well I’m not sure how to explain this one. Nothing is impossible to God. Perhaps He sent His Angels to spread the Good News?
I have no idea; but if Jesus says that the whole world had heard of Him, then I’m inclined to believe Him!

Peace and love to you.


#13

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]I have never discounted the possibility of ‘coming home’ to the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

There will always be a candle in the window (or, more specifically, before the Tabernacle) to welcome you home.


#14

[quote=DavidFilmer]There will always be a candle in the window (or, more specifically, before the Tabernacle) to welcome you home.
[/quote]

Thank you David; that is very sweet! :slight_smile:


#15

I am confused by this thread.

I was always of the understanding that invincible ignorance related to a person - particularly because of being brought up in either a Protestant faith or a non-Christian faith - not being able to see that the RCC is the true faith and Apostolic Church. Therefore, invincible ignorance allows for salvation outside of the church.

Yet, such people DO believe in God in some manner. The theme of this thread seems to be talking about people who do not believe that God is God or that Jesus is the Christ.

Thal59


#16

Hi Shari, my point is, scripture often uses universal language, but is limited in scope. I take the whole world to mean the whole world that they are aware of. If they did in fact know of the “new world” they would have had found a way to send missionaries.

For example, unitiarians universualists like to quote verses about salvation being for all people, but scriptures like matthew 25:46 make it plain that not all people will be saved.

Big Huggie
daniel


#17

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]Hi Daniel, :slight_smile:

Well I’m not sure how to explain this one. Nothing is impossible to God. Perhaps He sent His Angels to spread the Good News?
I have no idea; but if Jesus says that the whole world had heard of Him, then I’m inclined to believe Him!

Peace and love to you.
[/quote]

If I remember correctly, there is something about the language here that answers the question. Kind of like how it says at one point that “all of such and such place came to see”. It doesn’t really mean “all” as in every single person. Rather, it is the writer making a point that a lot of people were there. Kind of like when I say, “everyone was at the party”. I don’t really mean everyone in the entire world. I know that doesn’t definitively answer it, but it is a thought.


#18

Thal59, :slight_smile:

I apologise; you make a valid point. I am still learning so I may have made a mistake.
Please allow me a little time to formulate an answer, as I will need to do a little more reading to answer you to the best of my ability.
I thank you for being patient with me on this matter.

Peace and love.


#19

Hi Daniel, :slight_smile:

QUOTE]Hi Shari, my point is, scripture often uses universal language, but is limited in scope. I take the whole world to mean the whole world that they are aware of. If they did in fact know of the “new world” they would have had found a way to send missionaries.
For example, unitiarians universualists like to quote verses about salvation being for all people, but scriptures like matthew 25:46 make it plain that not all people will be saved.

I agree they would have sent people out to all known areas, and can appreciate the limits that must have entailed at the time.
However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that Jesus did not make Himself know to those other people via other means.
True, we know that some will not be saved, but it seems that it is a choice, not merely through ignorance. I can’t believe that God would intentionally condem a group without giving them the chance to accept / reject Him.
Unfortunately, some things are meant to remain a mystery, so I guess this is one of those things. Only God know the whole of the matter, and will judge us all accordingly.

Peace, love and hugs :slight_smile:


#20

[quote=Redbandito]If I remember correctly, there is something about the language here that answers the question. Kind of like how it says at one point that “all of such and such place came to see”. It doesn’t really mean “all” as in every single person. Rather, it is the writer making a point that a lot of people were there. Kind of like when I say, “everyone was at the party”. I don’t really mean everyone in the entire world. I know that doesn’t definitively answer it, but it is a thought.
[/quote]

Hi Redbandito, :slight_smile:
I certainly appreciate that ‘all’ may have been in a limited context.
Thanks for your thoughts. To be honest, I’m not sure what to think.
God is Just, so perhaps Invincible Ignorance is a possibility. I’m just not sure how it would really work.

Peace and love


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