A thought occurred to me the other day, and I thought I would see what others on this board had to say about it. Many Protestants believe in “once saved, always saved,” that once we have made our profession of faith in Christ, we never lose the presence of God in our lives, and we are guaranteed Heaven. Catholics believe that this “saved state,” which we enter at baptism, can be lost many times in our lives through mortal sin, and is only restored through confession (or an act of perfect contrition).
I would like to compare this to marriage. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is permanent, and that nothing the man or woman in question does after the marriage can change this. In other words, the Catholic Church believes in “once married, always married” (in this life, anyway). By contrast, many Protestants believe that unrepentant adultery, or perhaps some other serious sin against the spouse, can end a marriage.
If a person falls into a sinful lifestyle after becoming a Christian, the Catholic might say that this person has likely lost his or her salvation, that his or her saved state has ended (temporarily, at any rate). A OSAS-believing Protestant might say that the person was never actually saved to begin with.
If a person divorces and remarries, the Protestant will likely say that the individual ceased to be married (i.e. they lost their married state), but then entered into the married state again. The Catholic will likely look to a Church investigation that may determine the original marriage never existed (i.e. the person was never married to begin with).
The parallels are interesting to me, as it seems that the Catholic attitude about salvation is similiar to the Protestant attitude about marriage, and the Catholic attitude about marriage is similiar to the Protestant attitude about salvation.
Also, I find it interesting that the Catholic Church seems to believe that the bond between a husband and wife is stronger (to the point of being completely unbreakable) than the bond between God and the Christian (which can be broken with every mortal sin).
Any thoughts on all of this? I mean no offense to anyone; I just thought this line of reasoning was worthy of discussion.