Non-Denominational Christian interested in finding an affiliation that includes Catholic Theology

Good evening everyone. My name is Shane and I am new to the forum.

I am posting bc I was looking for some help to find an affiliation or even a denomination/church that hybrids some Catholic theology and current Roman Catholic stances.

I was born and raised in a non-denominational Christian household, but all the relatives on my mom’s side are catholic. My grandfather died last year and I saw my mom take communion at his funeral. I asked if she was identifying as a Catholic again. She then told me the only reason she began identifying as a non-denom Christian is bc when she left she was taking birth control and didn’t want to feel like a hypocrite. She had her uterus removed and said that now that she’s not having any need for birth control that there’s no reason to stop her from identifying as catholic.

My aunt works for a Catholic Ministry at a local Parrish. And after discussing some catholic view points I’ve been pretty interested in catholic beliefs matching up with current beliefs.

As a non-denom I take ideas from all forms of Christianity, including Catholicism, but not Mormonism. I also consider other Early Christian writings from 0-500 AD that didn’t make it into the morutorian canon (New Testament prior to the bible being published). I also evaluate the New Testament books based on what I learned in an upperclass history class called Early Christian Writings that went into historical facts about books in the bible as well as motivations the Romans had for deciding what would be in the canon as well as the criteria for a writing to have what our professor called “criteria for canonicity.”

In a nutshell- I have a hard time taking the bible literally. It seems than most of my Christian friends and pastors at the churches I go to are pretty literal in interpreting the bible. In my class I learned that Revelation fought tooth and nail to even make it into the canon, and that the reason they put it in is bc they believes the author john was the same john who wrote earlier int the New Testament, but that his Greek was very different and sloppier than the earlier John, so it likely shouldn’t have been put in. I also wrote a term paper about a Catholic stance that revelation is actually a description of Nero’s persecution of Christians during Rome’s marttying of Christians. We also learned that Timothy and Titus were written by Romans in the name of Timothy and Titus with a political goal of keeping women from being leaders in the church eve though in the earliest churches with Paul women were ministering and charasmatic leaders, but Rome was highly sex segregated public and private sphere so in order for the religion to flourish in Rome they had to make Christianity seem to be against women being leaders in the church eve though in Pauls churches they were. They also seem to have an agenda of respecting all authority as divinely given and to never to be challenged. Christ challenged authority, and Ephesians says to put on the armpit of God to fight wickedness in high places and positions of power. So I don’t give a lot of attention to those two books. I don’t think that creation of the earth was literally seven days and that seven days in God time may not be seven days in our understanding of time. I also entertain the idea of the Big Bang being the creating force of the universe which the Pope recently said that the Big Bang isn’t in contravention of Christianity. After talking with my aunt and grandparents they seem to have a less strict interpretation who will go to heaven saying that our Jewish and Muslim Old Testament brothers in faith will go to, which I respond to more positively as I’ve never liked the concept of hell to begin with and wish people who are just following the beliefs of their religion won’t go. I don’t know where the concept originated but I think that purgatory is a more fair way to reward people who have lived better lives and have been trained to enter heaven more promptly than people who live bad lives but still have grace and aren’t prepared to enter heaven - hit let was raised by a strict Catholic mother and though it’s debated if he was a believer personally he made mentions of the all mighty creator in his books and defended Christianity in speeches whether for poltical reasons or not. I don’t think that his atonement for the life he lived should be as instantaneous as outstanding believers such as mother Theresa.

Well that’s all I really have on some catholic viewpoints that I happen to agree with. If you have any comments, or suggestions on an affiliation for me or how I should feel about my faith or churches that would fit my current views since I really don’t identify as Catholic but not totally on board with strict literal interpretations of the bible that a majority of mainstream Christians and churches identify with, I’m open to suggestions and comments.

Thanks!

Hi Shane - I think you’d do well to explore RCIA at a Catholic parish near you. RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, so it is the process for adults who want to enter the Church, but the emphasis in the beginning of the process is on discernment and exploration, it’s perfectly acceptable to attend classes and decide not to move on to the Rites of Reception (or to decide that you’re still interested, but not yet . . .)

Catholics are NOT required to be Young Earth Creationists, despite what some who are will proclaim, loudly - in fact, the scientist who developed the “Big Bang” Theory was a Jesuit. The Catholic Church teaches that the inspired Scriptures must be read with an understanding of the context and genre of the specific text. We’re not by dogma literalists, although there is room under the tent for those who are.

Your schooling regarding the origins of some of the New Testament books sounds a lot like what I learned in school 35 years ago - actually a lot of those skeptical approaches have been dialed back in recent years, in no small part because of more recent archaelogical finds and the ongoing work on the Qumram manuscripts. But academia tends to cling to its received wisdom, so I’m not surprised the 19th/20th century factoids are still being presented as true.

Keep asking questions, and don’t be afraid of the answers. Truth can’t be damaged by honest questions. Have the courage to pray that the Lord will lead you into the Truth (rather than that you’ll find a “truth” that matches what you already think - we all try to make God in our own comfortable images, which is, of course, completely backwards…)

Also - welcome!

If you want to remain Protestant but close to Roman Catholic, there is Anglican, Episcopalian, and some branches of Lutheran. Anglican is possibly closest to Roman Catholic, then Episcopalian. Of course, you could always convert to Catholicism.

Episcopalian is one of the Christian groups that is very very far from the Roman Catholic faith also could be said for some branches of Anglican and lutheran. Sure they my have similar litergy but morally and theologicaly much differnent… I was a non denominational Christian which in a way is a series of self governing denominations. Honestly the only historical Christian faiths are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

I would recomend looking up these names on YouTube

Scott Hahn
Tim staples
Journey home ewtn

I was at a funeral in an Episcopal Church and I didn’t find too much difference between their Mass and the Roman Catholic Mass. A few Roman Catholic priests who married illicitly joined the Episcopal Church as priests.

Episcopalian churches are conflicted right now, with some adhering to the old ways, i.e. no gay women priests or bishops, but others can be very liberal and far from Catholicism except on the surface, i.e. liturgy, and Sacramental theology. So for a Protestant church, you can’t get much closer to Catholicism than Episcopalian/Anglican. Next would be the LCMS branch of Lutheranism. But it is far removed on liturgy and Sacramental theology, although still closer to Catholicism than any other branch of Protestantism.

I agree with NHinsider’s advice. :slight_smile: Seek the Truth in humility and Faith.

On this big, blue marble humans exist on there has been an eternal struggle between man and God since the devil entered the picture and put doubts in man’s/woman’s head. We have gradually cast out God from everything. There has been a deposit of faith, carried through the centuries/millenia in the scriptures, OT, and then continued after Christ, the promised Messiah, NT.

I am a cradle Catholic, whose family resisted the chaos of the modern world/modern church, and lived by old world values. I married an anti-Catholic, Pentecostal Christian, with him I journeyed Christiandom. Together we discovered that no Protestant church had the truth, only as they see it, every single pastor, every single individual had their own interpretation of the Bible.

So we are back to Adam and Eve’s dilemma, are we smarter than our Creator God? God led the chosen people and gave them a Messiah. Christ the Messiah has given us a church, the church has put together the Bible AND left a deposit of faith in tradition and the writings of the early church father’s.

The historic church is the Catholic church. (Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Roman Catholic, all came later, we share a historic oneness)

I wish you well in your travels.

There is no such thing as being close to the Church but remaining outside of it.

Christianity is a radical decision. You are either in or out. You take up your cross and follow or you don’t.

The Catholic Church is either divinely instituted or it was completely invented by men. There is no inbetween.

-Tim-

Lol, the book of Ephesians says to put on the armor of God.
But seriously i would look into RCIA and maybe start going to Mass with some of your relatives. They could probably help explain what is going on during the Liturgy.

Good Luck in your journey home!!!:slight_smile:

Your Brother in Christ,
Michael

As others have said, if you want to be Catholic without being Catholic, you might try Anglicanism. But not just any Anglicanism.

The Catholic Church does not recognize the validity of the Orders of the Church of England (the “real” Anglican Church), and, by extension, does not recognize the Orders of the Episcopal Church (which are derived from the CoE).

But some “Traditional Anglican” movements have Bishops who have been ordained (or conditionally ordained) by Bishops of uncontested validity (such as Old Catholics or PNCC). These Anglican communions make a strong case for conferring seven valid Sacraments.

Muslims, however much of good will some are, aren’t “Old Testament brothers” per se even though they have some similarly named characters, and there is far more to the book Revelation than what reflects earlier events.

There are far deeper reasons than you think why Timothy and Titus are included in Scripture (though the point you mentioned is so in passing), and the nature of respect for authority and of our battle in Ephesians are completely different from what you think not only in the Catholic Church but almost all low churches as well.

Hitler didn’t defend Christianity. Anyone can pretend to mouth vaguely theistic catch phrases, in countries and periods when they are still vaguely in vogue, in the hope of sweeping along the insufficiently grounded.

I haven’t even mentioned sacraments (a weak point for me anyway).

Be prepared for some utterly huge shocks in your travels! The Christian faith is not a designer accessory!

(NHInsider puts most of these points better than me.)

Welcome!

I am posting bc I was looking for some help to find an affiliation or even a denomination/church that hybrids some Catholic theology and current Roman Catholic stances.

This sounds dangerously like you are shopping for a religion like you select a type of apple at the grocery store. That’s not how it works. Your focus should be on what is true, and move towards that. You are setting yourself up as the final arbiter of truth, when you are not.

I was born and raised in a non-denominational Christian household, but all the relatives on my mom’s side are catholic. My grandfather died last year and I saw my mom take communion at his funeral. I asked if she was identifying as a Catholic again. She then told me the only reason she began identifying as a non-denom Christian is bc when she left she was taking birth control and didn’t want to feel like a hypocrite. She had her uterus removed and said that now that she’s not having any need for birth control that there’s no reason to stop her from identifying as catholic.

Not knowing anything more than you state here, there still appears to be a problem. Your mom seems to have come back when a particular doctrine no longer affects her personally. But she’s not admitting that she was wrong or repented of her behavior. I would encourage her to speak with a priest, because from how you describe it, she’s still not accepting what the Church teaches and still isn’t in full communion with the Church.

My aunt works for a Catholic Ministry at a local Parrish. And after discussing some catholic view points I’ve been pretty interested in catholic beliefs matching up with current beliefs.

Excellent! We welcome you. As others have noted, there is a program called RCIA for those who are interested in learning more about the Church. There is no requirement to join. I would suggest speaking with the RCIA director and look into joining the classes.

As a non-denom I take ideas from all forms of Christianity, including Catholicism, but not Mormonism.

This also sounds like YOU are the one who decides what is true or not, instead of God. This is dangerous grounds my friend.

I also consider other Early Christian writings from 0-500 AD that didn’t make it into the morutorian canon (New Testament prior to the bible being published).

Jimmy Akin has an excellent book that isn’t expensive on the writing of the early Church Fathers called The Fathers Know Best. It shows many many selections from their writings which are categorized by topic and show how the Church Fathers support Catholic teaching.

I also evaluate the New Testament books based on what I learned in an upperclass history class called Early Christian Writings that went into historical facts about books in the bible as well as motivations the Romans had for deciding what would be in the canon as well as the criteria for a writing to have what our professor called “criteria for canonicity.”

I would strongly consider learning about the NT books and other writings from other sources in addition to classes such as this. Much of academia has an antagonistic and virulent attitude toward the Church and the faith in general, and it colors their views and teaching badly.

As an aside, the canon of the Bible was set by the Church in the late 300’s at meetings of Catholic bishops in Africa (at Hippo and Carthage). The Church wanted to make sure the Mass was being celebrated the same across the whole world, so the Church decided on which books could be read during the Mass. These 73 books began to be collected together, and became known as “the books”, or bible. The Bible is a liturgical book of the Catholic Church. And the decision on which books could be read in Mass was made based upon if those books corresponded to the faith the Church already proclaimed. The authorship of Revelation (if it was the Apostle John or another early John) doesn’t change whether it should be in the canon.

In a nutshell- I have a hard time taking the bible literally. It seems than most of my Christian friends and pastors at the churches I go to are pretty literal in interpreting the bible.

All other churches will eventually have some error in them, as they have rejected the teaching authority of the Church. The Church is who Jesus promised would never fall to the gates of hell.

As to interpretation, each of the 73 books must be treated differently. They each have a different message, authors, audiences, and style. You can’t treat the collections of song and poetry in Psalms the same way you would the letter to the Romans. As to specific things, most people think they have to believe in a literal 6-24 day creation. This has never been the teaching of the Church. Catholics are free to believe this, or believe that God created the universe over millions of years, and the creation stories are allegorical tellings of God’s omnipotent and ordered creation of the universe.

Even St. Augustine in the 300’s mentioned in one of his sermons that this question about creation kept him from converting for a time. But then he heard the homily of a bishop about how the creation stories in Genesis were probably allegories, and his objection was immediately answered.

In my class I learned that Revelation fought tooth and nail to even make it into the canon, and that the reason they put it in is bc they believes the author john was the same john who wrote earlier int the New Testament, but that his Greek was very different and sloppier than the earlier John, so it likely shouldn’t have been put in.

See above my response on this question.

CONT…

I also wrote a term paper about a Catholic stance that revelation is actually a description of Nero’s persecution of Christians during Rome’s marttying of Christians.

The scenes in Revelation can be interpreted as describing the persecutions of the early Church and the destruction of the Temple in AD70, and it can also be a prophesy about the end times as well. It also has a HEAVY saturation of the Catholic mass in it, that many can miss.

We also learned that Timothy and Titus were written by Romans in the name of Timothy and Titus with a political goal of keeping women from being leaders in the church eve though in the earliest churches with Paul women were ministering and charasmatic leaders, but Rome was highly sex segregated public and private sphere so in order for the religion to flourish in Rome they had to make Christianity seem to be against women being leaders in the church eve though in Pauls churches they were.

Well, the letters of Timothy and Titus were written TO them, not by them. And this objection really bears no real weight. The points where Paul seems to be putting down women to modern ears is actually him restoring order to the Mass. It seems they were allowing anyone, including women, to give the homily and speak during the Mass. Only the deacon/priest/bishop is to give the homily, and this is true today. There also seems to be some people who were bringing pagan practices into the Church and Paul was stamping that out.

Also, Timothy was bishop of Ephesus in Turkey, and Titus was bishop in Crete. Neither was the bishop of Rome, so I fail to see why it would be a scheme by Paul (or others in his name) to make a good name for Christians in Rome when the letters weren’t sent there.

They also seem to have an agenda of respecting all authority as divinely given and to never to be challenged. Christ challenged authority, and Ephesians says to put on the armpit of God to fight wickedness in high places and positions of power. So I don’t give a lot of attention to those two books

.

Again it seems that you are the final arbiter of truth, instead of letting God hold that decision.

I don’t think that creation of the earth was literally seven days and that seven days in God time may not be seven days in our understanding of time. I also entertain the idea of the Big Bang being the creating force of the universe which the Pope recently said that the Big Bang isn’t in contravention of Christianity.

Big Bang theory was made by a priest. And note my response above about 6 day creation.

After talking with my aunt and grandparents they seem to have a less strict interpretation who will go to heaven saying that our Jewish and Muslim Old Testament brothers in faith will go to,

They MAY. We aren’t God, and He may or may not save them. It’s not our place to say they will. God may choose to save those who lived in accord with His will as best they knew how.

which I respond to more positively as I’ve never liked the concept of hell to begin with and wish people who are just following the beliefs of their religion won’t go.

The existence of hell does not depend upon your opinion of it. If people want to reject God, God will respect their decision. We must choose to love Him. He won’t force us.

I don’t know where the concept originated

From God.

but I think that purgatory is a more fair way to reward people who have lived better lives and have been trained to enter heaven more promptly than people who live bad lives but still have grace and aren’t prepared to enter heaven

Purgatory is meant to cleanse us (or purge us, where it gets its name) of our sins and attachment to sin. It’s not an alternative to hell. Those in purgatory WILL go to Heaven, they just have to be cleaned first.

  • hit let was raised by a strict Catholic mother and though it’s debated if he was a believer

No, it’s not debated by anyone who’s the least bit serious.

personally he made mentions of the all mighty creator in his books and defended Christianity in speeches whether for poltical reasons or not.

Of course it was. He also persecuted the Church horribly once in power, and looked more than once to assassinate the Pope.

I don’t think that his atonement for the life he lived should be as instantaneous as outstanding believers such as mother Theresa.

What exactly could atone for all of his sins? If he had some final repentance (which is HIGHLY doubtful) then the infinite blood of Jesus could forgive those sins, but his time in Purgatory would be immense. Most likely he is in hell, because when you have sinned as much as he has, and for as long as he did, it is very hard to turn from your sin.

Well that’s all I really have on some catholic viewpoints that I happen to agree with. If you have any comments, or suggestions on an affiliation for me or how I should feel about my faith or churches that would fit my current views since I really don’t identify as Catholic but not totally on board with strict literal interpretations of the bible that a majority of mainstream Christians and churches identify with, I’m open to suggestions and comments.

Again, welcome. Take seriously my point about setting yourself up as the decider of truth. You aren’t. God is. So first, seek Him and seek His truth. Seek Jesus who IS Truth. Keep looking and searching, and you will find the fullness of Jesus in the Catholic Church!

Good evening everyone. First of all I want to say thanks for the welcomes! I appreciate everyone who took time to reply to my thread. Also I apologize for the grammatical errors in my post and/or typos. I don’t have a computer and I use my cellphone to use the web, and I usually never type that much in a single message or text, unless I’m in front of a computer.

Thanks for suggesting RCIA. I’ve heard of it before and have actually sat in on several classes of it at my Aunt’s parrish, and listened to lecture and discussions as well watched as series of DVDs for introduction to the Catholic faith and talked with the Deacon leading the class several times about specifics and much enjoyed that.

As far as responding for responses, I’d like respond to a couple of those. The first being that I’m deciding the truth for myself and not allowing God to decide the truth for me. I think it should be noted that there are innumerable religions, faiths, and sects of faith all claiming that they have the universal truth in their versions of their doctrine about the God they follow or the nature of spirituality for their specific faith. As I mentioned before, I am a Christian, any by that I believe that Christ is the son of God, and saved me from my sins through his blood. I also have no denomination I identity with. I tagged this thread interfaith. So by default, one does have to shop around for what set of beliefs feel true them and what religion or denomination fit with what they feel to be true. I have discussions with Catholics, Christian-other, Christian-Protestants, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Baptists as of late. There is a lot deviations between Catholics and Christians, and not only between the denominations but the churches themselves. The current church I attend, the pastor was a Buddhist for 20 years before he converted, and focuses on a warm and loving approach to Christianity, and hasn’t mentioned hell or the rapture once. Others, all they talk about is fire and brimstone and the rapture. So to say I’m trying to decide what’s true for myself and not letting God decide what’s true isn’t so black and white. I am not Catholic, and don’t have an aligned stance of beliefs and teachings that I am told is God’s truths. An aspect of the Roman Catholic Church that I’ve always liked; aligned teachings and not just open teaching and beliefs that differ church to church and pastor to pastor.

The second, I’m not saying that my professor and his class are absolutely correct. But it was not a Theology class, it was a History class, and is meant to not have bias. As for Timothy and Titus, with regard to those letters, I never caught who wrote them, but from our professor taught us, is that they were what is called psuedominiously written, which he explained is writing in the name of someone else, long after the writing supposedly took place. He explained it as writing about the Civil War in Abraham Lincoln’s name in the present day and burying it somewhere dated as 1863. In this case, he said that Romans, when having a council to decide what would go into the canon, pseudonymously wrote in the name of Titus and Timothy for the reasons I explained in my first post.

As for follow up questions, I have a big one that has been on my mind. As mentioned before I’ve never liked the concept of hell and it’s been a big struggle in my faith since I was a teenager- I would voice concern to my youth minister, that God is the epitome of perfect, so his justice would be perfect, but that I have trouble agreeing with hell and that it bothered me b.c it is reminiscent of a Lucifer complex of believing in God, but not being on board with everything and possibly being disobedient.

My grandparents explained to me that it was not their opinion, but the position of the church, that Jews and Muslims will be saved. My aunt who works at the parrish echoed this. This is something that I found appealing, given my position of “it’s not for me to decide, and God knows better, so I obey and believe in it, but still don’t agree with it.”

What is the church’s current stance on damnation of Jews and Muslims? And/or what are some of your opinions on their salvation?

Thanks!

[quote=Shane400] There is a lot deviations between Catholics and Christians, and not only between the denominations but the churches themselves.
[/quote]

I appreciate your candor. But to draw a distinction between Catholics and Christians is really quite offensive. Catholics are Christians. In fact, they were the first Christians, and they remain Christian. The Catholic Church is the ONLY church that gives Protestant churches ANY existence at all. They parted ways with the Catholic Church for whatever reason, but it is their opposition to Catholicism that gives them life. Catholicism on the other hand was given life by Jesus Himself, and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

I realize you had no intention of being offensive, but I just thought I would put it out there. To make a distinction between Catholics and Christians is to reveal your bigoted first principles. (not yours, but those who draw this distinction.)

I pray God blesses you in your search for the Truth.

The possibility of salvation for non-Christians is discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 846-848, in the section with the slightly misleading title, “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”

Sounds like you are

  • Not a fundamentalist
  • Are looking for a universal Christian church
  • Believe that God is merciful
  • Can’t pin-point anything that you disagree with about the Catholic faith
  • Are near the beginning of your faith journey

May I suggest that you take a look at the Discernment of Spirits, and if you can find a retreat that offers the St Ignatius spiritual exercises, that you might find it interesting.

When you say that you want to find an affiliation that includes Catholic Theology, there are some that are compatible with the Catholic faith and others that are not. But none are going to include all of the Catholic theology except the Catholic church itself.

Hindus will tell you they are compatible
Quakers are compatible IMHO

But that does not seem to be what you want? There is no church that is going to include the full Catholic faith save the church herself.

Please keep in mind that Catholics are free to learn about other religions too. Most of us find that we grow in our faith when we look into other religions and make friends in other faiths.

So it is incumbent upon you to follow the truth and investigate which one holds the truth. You shouldn’t be deciding which one sounds best to you or the one you like best. And to be clear, universalism is condemned in the Christian faith. There is only one God, and salvation only comes through Jesus.

As I mentioned before, I am a Christian, any by that I believe that Christ is the son of God, and saved me from my sins through his blood. I also have no denomination I identity with. I tagged this thread interfaith. So by default, one does have to shop around for what set of beliefs feel true them and what religion or denomination fit with what they feel to be true.

Feelings are a very poor guide to finding truth.

I have discussions with Catholics, Christian-other, Christian-Protestants, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Baptists as of late. There is a lot deviations between Catholics and Christians, and not only between the denominations but the churches themselves. The current church I attend, the pastor was a Buddhist for 20 years before he converted, and focuses on a warm and loving approach to Christianity, and hasn’t mentioned hell or the rapture once. Others, all they talk about is fire and brimstone and the rapture.

It is dangerous when anyone focuses on only one facet to God. Some focus only on His infinite justice, and some focus only on His infinite mercy, as if these two things were separate or independent of one another. Look for the Church which proclaims the fullness of the faith, and not just one aspect. Jesus talked a lot about damnation and hell, and a lot about mercy and forgiveness, because both are related and important. You can’t ignore either one.

So to say I’m trying to decide what’s true for myself and not letting God decide what’s true isn’t so black and white. I am not Catholic, and don’t have an aligned stance of beliefs and teachings that I am told is God’s truths. An aspect of the Roman Catholic Church that I’ve always liked; aligned teachings and not just open teaching and beliefs that differ church to church and pastor to pastor.

Exactly. Our teachings do not change, and have not changed since Pentecost.

The second, I’m not saying that my professor and his class are absolutely correct. But it was not a Theology class, it was a History class, and is meant to not have bias.

It does have a bias though, a pretty blatant one.

As for Timothy and Titus, with regard to those letters, I never caught who wrote them, but from our professor taught us, is that they were what is called psuedominiously written, which he explained is writing in the name of someone else, long after the writing supposedly took place. He explained it as writing about the Civil War in Abraham Lincoln’s name in the present day and burying it somewhere dated as 1863.

The professor is teaching a theory as fact, and a laughable theory at that.

In this case, he said that Romans, when having a council to decide what would go into the canon, pseudonymously wrote in the name of Titus and Timothy for the reasons I explained in my first post.

This is also laughable, because the councils which determined the Bible were in the late 300’s, and we have early Church Fathers writing in the early 2nd century who were quoting the letters.

As for follow up questions, I have a big one that has been on my mind. As mentioned before I’ve never liked the concept of hell and it’s been a big struggle in my faith since I was a teenager- I would voice concern to my youth minister, that God is the epitome of perfect, so his justice would be perfect, but that I have trouble agreeing with hell and that it bothered me b.c it is reminiscent of a Lucifer complex of believing in God, but not being on board with everything and possibly being disobedient.

Hell is tough for us to imagine because we always believe in infinite second chances, but life on earth is temporary, and we have to make a choice at some point whether we will love God or not. We have our whole lives to decide this, but the decision must come. And at our death, the decision becomes final, and our wills are eternally fixed on either good or evil. It is sad, but many people do choose evil and reject God. God respects their decision not to love Him.

My grandparents explained to me that it was not their opinion, but the position of the church, that Jews and Muslims will be saved. My aunt who works at the parrish echoed this. This is something that I found appealing, given my position of “it’s not for me to decide, and God knows better, so I obey and believe in it, but still don’t agree with it.”

What is the church’s current stance on damnation of Jews and Muslims? And/or what are some of your opinions on their salvation?

Thanks!

The Church teaches that those who are truly ignorant of the gospel, and so have not had a chance to reject God, MAY still be saved by God if they have tried to follow God’s will as best they know how. IF they are saved, they will be saved through some mystical union with His Church.

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