Natural Law of Concience


#1

General Protestant theology has that if one has no knowledge of Christ (through their own ignorance, or geographical location, race etc.) that one can never get to heaven, no matterr what. They are automatically bound for hell. This would include all in 3rd world counties, separate continents (especially before modern travel) etc., etc., ad infinitum.

My understanding of Catholic theology is that what Paul is saying in Romans 2:12-14, is that, through no fault of their own, they can adhere to the law written on their hearts (Conscience - Natural Moral Law - C.C.C. #'s 1954-1960) and have a *possibility *of salvation. Through no fault of their own, they did not receive the gospel, but followed God - to the best of their ability - in their hearts. Of course, once one hears the gospel, they are obligated to explore, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to believe. If they do not, then they are in mortal error.

Of course I do not promote this, and do not present it as a work-around in promoting Catholicism.

I have been having (friendly, and over coffee) debates with a couple of Protestant’s (one a pastor), and do not want to misrepresent Catholicism.

Is this correct?


#2

[quote=Hibernian]General Protestant theology has that if one has no knowledge of Christ (through their own ignorance, or geographical location, race etc.) that one can never get to heaven, no matterr what. They are automatically bound for hell. This would include all in 3rd world counties, separate continents (especially before modern travel) etc., etc., ad infinitum.
[/quote]

I am a protestant, and I tend to believe that no one comes to the Father except through Christ. Then again, I also believe that God is merciful and just, and will look into the hearts of each of us on the last day. I believe the Holy Spirit can find His way into the most difficult to reach places.

[quote=Hibernian]Of course, once one hears the gospel, they are obligated to explore, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to believe. If they do not, then they are in mortal error.
[/quote]

Often times this is used as a reason to oppose missions, however Matt 24:14 says, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (NASB) So not going out to them isn’t an option. The Bible says they will all be reached, and only then will Christ return.


#3

First, I am Methodist, so I can’t give you a Catholic answer, but your question put me in mind of my grandmother, who always said that people are “judged according to the light they have”. I never thought of it as being either Protestant or Catholic theology, just God’s merciful provision…
On the other hand, I have to say that Joy has a good point about not using this as an excuse not to do missions work.(If only because I don’t want to have to explain to God why I just kept my mouth shut when someone was needing/wanting spiritual counsel.
Anyhow, I will be looking forward to the answers that you get!! I think that this is a very important subject for all of us who follow Jesus Christ!!


#4

[quote=Zooey]First, I am Methodist, so I can’t give you a Catholic answer, but your question put me in mind of my grandmother, who always said that people are “judged according to the light they have”. I never thought of it as being either Protestant or Catholic theology, just God’s merciful provision…
On the other hand, I have to say that Joy has a good point about not using this as an excuse not to do missions work.(If only because I don’t want to have to explain to God why I just kept my mouth shut when someone was needing/wanting spiritual counsel.
Anyhow, I will be looking forward to the answers that you get!! I think that this is a very important subject for all of us who follow Jesus Christ!!
[/quote]

Hi Zooey,
I just kind of tagged on to your post. I hope that is ok with you.
I believe that all people will one day not only believe in Christ but will bend the knee to Him and worship and we will be judged on works. Works are the things you do during your life span of how many years, that are prompted by the Holy Spirit. He has been poured out on all the world. All can follow who are not to busy, who take the time to listen, who change direction even at inappropriate times to follow His leading. Some one in the darkest forests may have a lot more “work” than a bishop. We dont know. All sin will be caste away and not remembered.Our sin affects our quality of life now. We only have to look in the mirror. I do.
Well what is the point of all this.
Well in being a Christian we are blessed if we follow His leading. Many proclaim Christ as many Jews claimed Abraham, but Christ says those who hear His voice and obey, are His. The rest belong to their father satan.
What is a blessed Christian. Man, peace joy constant saving in all things, victory, gaining that promotion, being successful in life, health , family, in fact in all things do we live abundantly and on top of all this, because we actively participate we will have more works than the others and will have the postions of glory in heaven. That is a powerful reason to seek Him as early as you can in your life.
walk in love
edwinG


#5

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