Invincible ignorance...?


#1

“Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. “
-Matthew 10:14-15

Mark 6:11 and Luke 10:10-12 are similar.

If we assume that the people of the houses or towns Our Lord mentions don’t receive/listen to the Apostles (i.e., receive the Gospel) because they are invincibly ignorant…doesn’t this argue against the idea that one who DOES NOT accept Christ because of invincible ignorance can still be saved? :confused:


#2

Keep in mind that these towns were Jewish. Anyone who refused the apostles were violating the Law; indeed, they were committing a great act of inhospitality which would be condemned even in non-Jewish areas.

Thus it goes far beyond simply refusing to recognize the apostles as the followers of the true Messiah. As with Sodom and Gomorrah, those who would coldly refuse the weary traveler without possessions, without food and drink and shelter, were depraved by any standard.


#3

If someone is “invincibly ignorant” of Jesus, and unrepentantly does evil,… he’s toast.

If someone is “invincibly ignorant” of Jesus, and does “good”, he MAY “be saved”,… as only God can judge the soul.

BUT,… the odds are VERY slight that this man’s “good” coincides overly well with God’s “good”, and on this planet it’s very rare that anyone is truly “invincibly ignorant” of Jesus.

Therefore,… it’s a long LONG shot that the “invincible ignorance” defense is a good “vehicle” to rely on for salvation.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#4

That passage has to do with them committing a sin againt God by refusing to hear–in other words, it was voluntary ignorance. Plus, it was a grave sin against charity to refuse the peaceful greeting of the Apostles.

As for ignorance that excuses, Jesus also says this:

John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees, who were with him, heard: and they said unto him: Are we also blind? 41 Jesus said to them: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.

41 “If you were blind”… If you were invincibly ignorant, and had neither read the scriptures, nor seen my miracles, you would not be guilty of the sin of infidelity: but now, as you boast of your knowledge of the scriptures, you are inexcusable.

(commentary from Bishop Challoner in the DRV)


#5

. “
-Matthew 10:14-15

Mark 6:11 and Luke 10:10-12 are similar.

If we assume that the people of the houses or towns Our Lord mentions don’t receive/listen to the Apostles (i.e., receive the Gospel) because they are invincibly ignorant…doesn’t this argue against the idea that one who DOES NOT accept Christ because of invincible ignorance can still be saved? :confused:If the Gospel is presented to them and they reject it…their blood is on their own heads.

Invincible ignorance is actually not applicable to most of the people who try to bandy the term around.


#6

Hi,

Where did the CC come up with the idea of invincable ignorance?:confused:


#7

Does not the doctrine of invicible ignorance apply in the following hypothetical?

A boy is born into an Evangelical household in rural Tennessee. He is raised in such a way that he fears Catholicism; he is taught many falsehoods (Mary worship; saint worship; pope worship), and so on. He never sets foot in a Catholic Church throughout his childhood and adolescence.

Being not especially motivated, he does not do well in school. His public school curriculum does nothing to edify him about the Church or its history – in fact, many things he learns reinforce his beliefs (Crusades; Pope Joan legend; Inquisition; Vatican inaction during the Holocaust). He does not go to college, but ends up taking over his father’s automotive shop.

He works 16 hour days, gets home in time to have some dinner and watch a little TV before he goes to bed – never any time or energy to read.

One day, he sees a Rosary hanging from the rearview mirror of a car he’s repairing. The customer sees our guy notice the Rosary and roll his eyes in contempt. The customer says, “I guess you’re not Catholic, huh?” and our guy responds, “No – I’m a Christian.”

The Catholic – faithful, but not well-read – tries to start up a discussion, but is overmatched by our mechanic’s ability to spout Scripture that “contradicts” the Church’s teachings – things he’s been taught and has repeated for over 20 years – and the Catholic gives up and says, “I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

Then, a meteor plunges directly into the building, utterly destroying it and the two would-be apologists.

OK, I’m being a little extreme here, but truly the point is valid: if our guy’s only exposure to the Truth is through a Catholic who is ill-equipped to illuminate it, doesn’t that constitute invincible ignorance, given the depths of his indoctrination?

Peace,
Dante


#8

CCC-1793 is a place to start your search.

(( Please do see the link, as more context is available that way. ))

CCC:
PART THREE - LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE - MAN’S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER ONE - THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
ARTICLE 6 - MORAL CONSCIENCE
(line) IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT
1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

Historically, how the Church came to this doctrine, is a question for someone more intimate with how the “hows” are arrived at to answer.

I can give my opinion, though,… which is that there MUST be some way by which a severely isolated human being who is “gifted” in matters of doing good and avoiding/fighting evil to be favored with salvation by God.

We could call that “way”, invincible ignorance.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#9

Invincible ignorance doesn’t GUARANTEE that “the ignorant” will be saved,… just that there is MORE of a possibility of him being saved than someone who actively rejects Christ.

Only God decides who is saved, therefore, our speculating on who gets saved and who doesn’t is largely irrelevant to much of anything,… unless we specifically say that he CAN’T be saved, which is evil, as it is usurping God’s sole claim to pronounce judgement on a soul.

Now,… what is it that you’re really getting at by asking this question of yours? What are you trying to clarify in regards to doctrine?

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#10

I’m not asking whether the hypothetical Evangelical (hey, that rhymes!) mechanic is saved or not; I’m asking whether the situation I outlined might constitute invincible ignorance.

This was in response to Church Militant, who commented that, if one hears and rejects the Gospel, his blood is on his own hands. What I’m trying to do is demonstrate a situation in which one’s personal circumstances as well as the circumstances of his hearing the Gospel (in my example, the Truth is ineffectively communicated) could be factors that make one’s ignorance invincible – at least, until other factors overcome these difficulties.

Peace,
Dante


#11

Thank you:thumbsup: Hopefully someone will be able to answer where the CC arrived at this and when.


#12

The person is NOT invincibly ignorant, because he knows of Jesus Christ, yet hasn’t “done his research” to come to a FULLER understanding of The Church.

Does that mean he’s “damned”? That’s up to God.
If he were invincibly ignorant, is he saved? That’s up to God.

“Truth ineffectively communicated” is essentially the same as “truth NOT communicated”, except in as much as the “ineffective” communication is a HINT at the truth.

Now, if the HINT can’t be acted upon, because of THE METEOR, for example, then the now-dead person will be judged with that in mind.

If someone thinks that they’re “covered” (protected from damnation) by invicible ignorance, they probably aren’t, because their “thinking” is really “hoping” which is really their knowing that they haven’t done the work of investigation that they should have done.

If someone doesn’t think they’re covered by invincible ignorance, then they either are (truly clueless) or aren’t (actively seeking), but in either case it’s only a matter between them and God, so why do we care?

We, of course, DO care,… but only inasmuch as it’s our job to make them “not covered” by invincible ignorance.

Is this a good thing? We’re commanded to do that by God, who is incapable of doing or promoting evil, therefore it is a good thing.


#13

where does the bible say that S&G repented? If they did not repent then you can make an argument for them being saved via invincible ingonarce.

If those who listened to Jesus are worse off then then those who have not heard of him, then does that mean that those who did not hear of him are then saved? Or does this text indicate that there are deeper levels in hell?

note: many bible onlyist do not believe in different levels in hell.


#14

In modern times, the concept of invinicible ignorance was an outgrowth of the “anonymous christian” teaching of one karl rahner.

google.com/search?hl=en&q=anonymous+christian++karl+rahner+invincible+ignorance

concerning history see
romancatholicism.org/exonerating-pelagius.pdf

64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:c4hB4Bs9higJ:www.romancatholicism.org/exonerating-pelagius.pdf+anonymous+christian+karl+rahner+invincible+ignorance&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us

google.com/search?hl=en&q=anonymous+christian++karl+rahner+invincible+ignorance


#15

OK, so this thread is good because it addresses some questions that I have about invincible igorance and those outside of the Church (e.g. Protestants). Specifically, since those who are invincibly ignorant do not have access to the Sacraments (with the exception of Baptism which is valid assuming the Trinitarian formula is used) how are they saved? I have read that since all salvation comes through the Church (the Catholic Church) they are saved through the Church … this sounds like church-speak to me … what EXACTLY does that mean? I am just just trying to get a better understanding of the Church’s teaching on this since Vatican II muddied the waters considerably on this issue.

Thanks!


#16

Thanks Daniel


#17

Protest-ants are LEAST likely of all people to be “invincibly ignorant” because they are SO CLOSE to a full understanding of Christ that they have no excuse whatsoever for not going the next very small step into the Church (Catholic).

Protest-ants are, though, MOST likely to be “saved” (ultimately) of all non-fully-Catholic people because of that same proximity.

Specifically, since those who are invincibly ignorant do not have access to the Sacraments (with the exception of Baptism which is valid assuming the Trinitarian formula is used) how are they saved?

Technically, they are (ultimately) “saved”… “in a mysterious way” known only to God.

It is not for us to know “how”, any more than for us to know “when” Jesus will return.

The “how” is God’s job. Your job is to tell all people the “probabilities” of salvation, and that the best hope is through the fullest resource.

I have read that since all salvation comes through the Church (the Catholic Church) they are saved through the Church … this sounds like church-speak to me … what EXACTLY does that mean?

It means “Christ’s body saves souls”.

How it does that, and who is “of the body sufficiently” is not our problem, and we are obsessing on illicit “gnosticism” if we try to do God’s job, and not our own.

I am just just trying to get a better understanding of the Church’s teaching on this since Vatican II muddied the waters considerably on this issue.

Thanks!

Vatican II did not muddy the water. It merely restated the theologically obvious.

And that “obviousness” is: Spread the Word and leave God to do what only He can do.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#18

I’m assuming you meant the term “invincible ignorance”?

Because the concept was in the Church from the earliest:

**Luke 12:48 **
*But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.
*
John 15:21-24
But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake: because they know not him who sent me. If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

1 Timothy 1:13
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.


#19

I know that in the eyes of Catholics, Christians, and all theists, that I am, indeed, invincibly ignorant of the divine. That could change, but I would call that highly improbable. Even so I strive to conduct myself in the most charitable and humble way I know how, even though I am by nature a skeptic, and by preference a kindly mocker.

It is good to know that I am explicitly not to be automatically considered among the damned by my fellow human beings, according to your faith, nor treated as such. Please continue to let that guide you when you speak with unbelievers.


#20

Let me address two profound misconceptions that you have embraced as truth:

  1. Based on your words, you are not ignorant of the Truth – most definitely not to an invincible extent. Rather, you are rejecting the truth. For one thing, one cannot be invincibly ignorant of something which one is holds in enough contempt to mock on a discussion forum devoted solely to the discussion of that very topic. For another thing, one cannot proclaim oneself to be invincibly ignorant; that is a logical contradiction.

  2. Nobody is to be considered among the damned, because no man can judge the state of another’s soul. Nonetheless, we are endowed with the ability to know right from wrong, and we are given an earthly authority (the Church) to guide us in that knowledge, and we are given a mandate to spread the word to others. Given all of this, we can and should determine when someone is acting in a way that could damn them, and try to bring them to the Truth.

Peace,
Dante


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