Islamics - Hindus- Buddhists - saved without Christian Faith??


#1

I watched a program on EWTN tonight hosted by Auxilliary Bishop Laun in a series titled “In the light of faith” subtitled “Arent other religions as good”.

He appeared to me to propound the following :

God will save (from eternal damnation) Hindus, Muslims and adherents of all religions (Wicca? Spiritualism? Satanism?)which contain elements of the “truth” . Really all religious faiths are like a kind of “Super Best Friends” whose face and style differs depending on where you are on Earth.

He stated that this was the Dogma of the Catholic Church.

I dont understand. What then is the point of Baptism, monogamous marriage, Eucharist, Rosary, pro life/ anti abortion, the Papacy, the Church, Priests, Dogma, Theology , Faith , Apologetics? If merely being “good” in some manner why bother with any of this? Good works - eg charity are all that is neccesary.

This smacks of : new age moral relativism , cultural relativism, syncretism, and oddly hypercalvinism - God chooses in some seemingly abstract manner those to save - the elect - and condemns the rest therefore it is pointless evangelising.It doesnt matter what sin one commits after regeneration justification and salvation because “Once Saved Always Saved”. Where is the redemption paid for by Christ? I accept that God wants all to be saved but the Gospels make it clear not all will be. If Doctrine and Faith in Christ are unnessecary - why bother?

The Bible seems quite SPECIFIC that ONLY those who believe in Christ, accept that He is part of the TRINITY, was CRUCIFIED and RESURRECTED, and paid the price for mankind’s original and actual SIN - but ONLY if one believes in Him. Is he right/ Should we simply accept Islam as Truth?
(NB God is all powerful and does what he wants - obviously - but what is the point of Christ if a man who worships a Cow in India or has to dance around a black box worshiping a borrowed Moon God recieves eternal life?)
I ask as a former Calvinist. I have been talking to lay Catholics and doing a lot of praying reading and meditating and was coming to an acceptance of Catholicism . However this has deeply disturbed me as I havent read anything like the above not either in the Church Fathers writings, or those of more modern authours.


#2

Dear Re,

I did not see the program and cannot comment on it. Certainly, the Church does not teach relativism or new age theology. In acknowledging the possibility of non-Christians attaining salvation, the Church is not in any way denying the truth of the Gospel. Maybe this can help.

There were two workmen who attempted to dig a separate ditch to a distant point. They expected to be paid but didn’t know much more than that. The first man took a pick and a shovel and began. The second man, a half mile away began to prepare to dig, but happened to meet the owner who gave him instructions, including the purpose for the ditch and several power tools to enable him to do a good job. In two weeks he was finished. A month an a half later he met the first man who had just finished his ditch. The first man asked where he could fine the owner in order to be paid. But the second man said, “You didn’t use the proper tools, you don’t know the purpose of the ditch and you don’t even know the owner. You didn’t follow the proper instructions and you expect to be paid?” The first man objected, “But I dug the ditch!”

I realize that all analogies limp. But I think you get the idea. The first man represents those people who don’t have the benefit of Revelation and the grace of the sacraments, but lived a virtuous life, even though it was much more difficult for them. The second man represents those who have the benefit of the faith and the graces bestowed through the Church.

Virtue is not easy for anybody. We can’t’ assume that because some people don’t have the faith that therefore virtue is easier for them. It is actually more difficult. The Church is not saying that ALL Hindus and ALL Buddhists, etc. are going to march right into heaven. They too must dig the ditch! But if they do, even without the considerable helps that we have, God will not turn them away. This is not new age relativism. It is the Savior paying those who started work at the end of the day the same wage as those who worked all day. His love is like that! All real love is expansive. It doesn’t measure. It’s not tit for tat. Who paid Him for his passion? Certainly not us!

Please read this on the early Church Fathers and this subject:

catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

Also write again if you have further questions. You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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