Only Catholics commit mortal sin? not Protestants?


#1

This question has been raised before, and I sort of remember reading it, but I can’t seem to find it on the search, so I’ll ask my own version:

Mortal sin requires three elements: full knowledge, grave matter, and free consent. If any one of these 3 elements is missing, there is no mortal sin.

Based on that, wouldn’t it be true that there is essentially no such thing as mortal sin for anyone other than Catholics? Can’t one argue that, since he isnt Catholic, his church doesnt teach mortal sin (OSAS) and therefore he did not have full knowledge?

For example: if a Catholic masturbates, and he does so knowing it’s a mortal sin, and consents freely to doing it, he has indeed committed a mortal sin. But a Protestant, who has been taught that NOTHING can cause him to lose his salvation, freely decides to masturbate, thinking that it doesnt affect his salvation. Has he committed mortal sin?

Or does “full knowledge” refer to the fact that something is a “big sin” not necessarily that a particular sin can make you lose salvation?

Is it much more dangerous to be Catholic than Protestant?

Help.


#2

that’s just silly. So if you are a Protestant, you have no chance of going to hell because it’s impossible to commit mortal sin?

Full knowledge means that you know something is a sin and you do it anyway. Just because you don’t know that there are three aspects to a mortal sin, that does not get you off the hook. Full knowledge is knowledge that the act is sinful. Now, mortal sins for some are not mortal sins for others. Protestants are probably more eligible for God’s mercy on certain matters, because they’re not likely to hear moral objections as we are, but natural law is written on the hearts of men. Inside, a person knows what a grave sin is. It’s best to just avoid sin altogether and leave the judgment calls to God.

Interesting question, though.


#3

from what i knew, for a sin to be mortal, you had to know it is a sin, have time to reflect on it, and still do it anyways… i didnt think the “size” of the sin made a difference, if i do something small, even tho i konw it is a sin, have time to think about it, and do it anyways, as small as it is, i have directly offended God, right? but because of their ignorance to the issue, beleiving OSAS, God will give his grace because they simply did not know… and to answer your question, no its not more dangerous to be catholic, but it is much harder… but Jesus never siad it would be easy


#4

[quote=sweetchuck]It’s best to just avoid sin altogether and leave the judgment calls to God.
QUOTE] Now, there is a wise statement for **all **of us!!
[/quote]


#5

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]…Or does “full knowledge” refer to the fact that something is a “big sin” not necessarily that a particular sin can make you lose salvation?
[/quote]

I’d have to go with this line of reasoning. If they know in their hearts its a serious sin and willingly do it anyway, then the sin mortally wounds their relationship with God. For the “invincibly ignorant” non-Catholic without Sacramental Confession, I believe this would require perfect contrition to restore their relationship with God.

But did they know in their hearts it was a serious sin? What if they really didn’t? That’s a tough one.

In the end, for all those outside the visible Church, it’s going to come down to Jesus Christ reading their hearts…were they* really* invincibly ignorant of these truths, or did they willfully reject them for selfish reasons? It’s a fine line…He will know - I sure don’t.

Is it much more dangerous to be Catholic than Protestant?

Much is expected of us because much is given - but that which is given is given to help us attain that which is expected. In fact, I’d say that which is given in Christ’s Church so far exceeds that which is expected, it is much much much more dangerous to be Protestant than Catholic. In the ways of the Lord, ignorance is not bliss :wink:

Peace,

DustinsDad


#6

Dont’ forget a few things:

(1) Some things can’t be appealed to ignorance because they are written in the hearts of every man; i.e. principles of the natural law. Everyone with reason knows that murder and adultery, for instance, are grave matter.

(2) We have the sacrament of reconciliation. In that sense, we are much more blessed.

(3) To whom much is given, much is expected.

from what i knew, for a sin to be mortal, you had to know it is a sin, have time to reflect on it, and still do it anyways… i didnt think the “size” of the sin made a difference, if i do something small, even tho i konw it is a sin, have time to think about it, and do it anyways, as small as it is, i have directly offended God, right?

Every sin offends God, but not all sin is mortal. The Bible is clear on this. The sin must be objectively grave your you sincerely believe that it is grave, but do it anyway with full knowledge and consent. So the “size” is indeed a factor.


#7

of course Protestants can commit mortal sin–full knowledge means knowledge about the particular sin–not whether or not their church teaches mortal sin or not—


#8

Well, being a former Pentecostal (yes, I claim that spiritual heritage as instrumental towards Catholicism), the stance on mortal sin has been viewed that ‘all sin is offensive to God’ to taking every sin as equal towards God.

Forgiveness is already done by the mercy of Jesus, just like the prodigal son; all the son needed to do, was to come back, and literally this is the case!


#9

It is true that to whom much is given (Catholics) from them much is expected. (BTW, I wrote that before reading porthos11’s and DustinsDad’s response. Great Minds and all that :slight_smile: )

Still, God’s law is written in every human heart, so based on that I think everyone is capable of the full knowledge that mortal sin entails. I don’t think the definition of mortal sin requires the knowledge that one can lose one’s salvation, only knowledge that the act is gravely sinful (or bad, for those who don’t explicitly have the concept of sin).

Coming back to the question “is being Catholic dangerous”, I understand the question but we need to look at the positive side. We have been given the most explicit warnings of what is bad for us, the best preventative medicines to avoid injuring ourselves, and the finest emergency care to repair any damage we still do to ourselves. We have knowledge, prevention and cure.


#10

I’ll let the scriptures answer:

Romans 2
12]
All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
13] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
14] When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
15] They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts **accuse **or perhaps excuse them
16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
17]

God’s laws are written on all mens hearts such that none are excused from the requirements of the law. Some who are not in the Church formally and who are even “gentiles” however do follow that law written on their hearts, which is the grace of God working in them.

Blessings


#11

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]This question has been raised before, and I sort of remember reading it, but I can’t seem to find it on the search, so I’ll ask my own version:

Mortal sin requires three elements: full knowledge, grave matter, and free consent. If any one of these 3 elements is missing, there is no mortal sin.

Based on that, wouldn’t it be true that there is essentially no such thing as mortal sin for anyone other than Catholics? Can’t one argue that, since he isnt Catholic, his church doesnt teach mortal sin (OSAS) and therefore he did not have full knowledge?

For example: if a Catholic masturbates, and he does so knowing it’s a mortal sin, and consents freely to doing it, he has indeed committed a mortal sin. But a Protestant, who has been taught that NOTHING can cause him to lose his salvation, freely decides to masturbate, thinking that it doesnt affect his salvation. Has he committed mortal sin?

Or does “full knowledge” refer to the fact that something is a “big sin” not necessarily that a particular sin can make you lose salvation?

Is it much more dangerous to be Catholic than Protestant?

Help.
[/quote]

It seems to me that protestants do know when they have commited a “Mortal Sin”. Usually the Mortal Sins are any violation of the ten commandments. Protestants know what the ten commandments are, they know that violating them is a grave sin. Just because they don’t know the Catholic definition of “Mortal Sin”, it doesn’t mean, that they don’t know, that they have commited a grave sin.

In summary the protestants have commited a grave sin, they know it, and they haven’t confessed it through the Sacrament of reconciliation. I would they say they are the ones who are in grave danger. Catholics, receive, clear, forgiveness after confessing.

Chipper


#12

“Is it much more dangerous to be Catholic than Protestant?”

Without the sacraments your question would be understandable. But with the grace of God in the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist it is far more dangerous to be Protestant, even though we will be judged more harshly.


#13

[quote=silverwings_88]Well, being a former Pentecostal (yes, I claim that spiritual heritage as instrumental towards Catholicism), the stance on mortal sin has been viewed that ‘all sin is offensive to God’ to taking every sin as equal towards God.

!
[/quote]

I was taught, as a Protestant, that all sins are the same in the eyes of GOd. In theory stealing a penny was as bad as murdering someone. (I say in theory because I don’t think that most Protestants emotionally believe this) Therefore wouldn’t **all **a Protestants sins be mortal not venial, at least through a Protestant’s reasoning? Therefore it seems more dangerous to be Protestant doesn’t it.:confused: It is very confusing isn’t it. That’s why I normally leave such questions to God, it all just gives me a headache.


#14

[quote=deb1]I was taught, as a Protestant, that all sins are the same in the eyes of GOd. In theory stealing a penny was as bad as murdering someone. (I say in theory because I don’t think that most Protestants emotionally believe this) Therefore wouldn’t **all **a Protestants sins be mortal not venial, at least through a Protestant’s reasoning? Therefore it seems more dangerous to be Protestant doesn’t it.:confused: It is very confusing isn’t it. That’s why I normally leave such questions to God, it all just gives me a headache.
[/quote]

I was taught the same thing. So simplistic…


#15

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]But a Protestant, who has been taught that NOTHING can cause him to lose his salvation, freely decides to masturbate, thinking that it doesnt affect his salvation. Has he committed mortal sin?
[/quote]

I’m a Prot, and I’ve commited lots of mortal sins! :slight_smile:

Then again, I also recognize the self-destruction of OSAS.


#16

[quote=Sgt Sweaters]I was taught the same thing. So simplistic…
[/quote]

Yes, I thought the same thing… I’m not thankful that sins exist, but I AM thankful that there is a difference between venial and mortal sin, because if not, I would have been not in communion of God…

:bounce: Alleluia! Praise the LORD!! :smiley:

Then there is the forgiveness factor; w/o the sacrament of Reconciliation, then how does one know that they are forgiven from God? And if they are, how does one know that it isn’t a sin against the Spirit? It seems to be left easier for a Protestant to sin as well, if taken in that context… :confused:


#17

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