Protestants and Mortal Sin.

If the Catholic Church decides what is and is not a mortal sin then that is the way it is but if Protestants do not know something particular is a mortal sin then surly they cannot commit one.

On this basis is it easier for a Protestant to go to Heaven than a Catholic as the worst they could commit is a grave sin because they have not met all three requirements of a mortal sin or am I missing something?


No. God speaks to every heart through their conscience, giving them “actual graces” to know what is right and wrong. There may be some gray areas that can excuse morality, but over all, evil is evil, and cannot be white-washed with alibis to excuse oneself. Even little kids get a strange look on their faces when mom or dad asks them a question and they lie to them. It is inborn even in the very young.

Nelka said** : “If the Catholic Church decides what is, and is not, a mortal sin then that is the way it is
but if Protestants do not know something particular is a mortal sin, then surely they cannot commit one.”**

True, maybe.

Several Protestant denominations even believe that once a person “accepts” God into their Life, and joins the Church, that she is now SAVED, and will remain so for the rest of her Life … no matter what.

I do not know how God views this discrepancy between the Catholics and the Protestants.
But, I HAVE thought that (maybe) God will judge each Christian according to the Rules of that person’s Church.
If that’s the answer, then MANY Christians can live a less-than-Honest Life … and still make it into Heaven.

And,** “On this basis, is it easier for a Protestant to go to Heaven than a Catholic as the worst they could commit is a grave sin because they have not met all three requirements of a mortal sin…?”**

Yes, that would be the Result of it, if God proceeds like the scenario I said.

What I actually believe to be True is not quite that.
The Bible mentions a Soul crying out, “Lord, Lord !” … but God replies, "I never knew you."
This scene is (obviously) a Christian who is being sent down to Hades.
Jesus would NOT have taught that if there weren’t Christians in the Future, whose Spiritual Life is sadly Lacking.

I believe that many Catholics (as well as Protestants) will not “Make the Grade” … and be Lost.
Then, most of the devout Christians, will either move right into Heaven (a few), or for a short period of Time and Punishment in Purgatory.
And, the so-so Christians will be allowed to remain in Purgatory for a longer (or maybe, a REAL LONG) Time.

Finally, I think the emotion that gets a person into Heaven is Love.
Jesus Loves … and so should we.
Some people are just NOT loving at all … they might be polite and respectful … But …Hmm.
But, even then, God may choose to forgive that attitude if the person had cause to never be able to Love.

God knows what will Happen.
NO people know (for sure) what will Happen.
God isn’t talking about it.
People can speculate their Days away, talking about it.

It may be helpful to think about this passage from Ezekiel, Chapter 33:12-17

12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’

13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

I wonder if it actually is true that Protestants may have a better chance of getting to Heaven because they don’t really understand mortal sin whereas Catholics who later commit the same sins knowingly have little excuse.

Perhaps, while they may have a better chance at redemption, their position in Heaven would be quite a lot smaller for not living in grace in their lives.

Whatever actually happens is perfect justice. That much I am certain of. So I don’t worry too much about it. Confession is something I could not live without at this point. I hope Christ accommodates them in their error, but I definitely don’t plan on testing Him.

God can do anything He pleases, and is not bound by the Sacraments. He is not bound by anything and He can forgive and save whom He wills. It is not harder for God to save or forgive a non-Catholic than a Catholic, since He is not bound to anything.

The Catholic Church doesn’t decide what is and is not mortal sin. What is sin and what is not sin are eternal truths. For those who have been given much, much more will be asked.

It is not harder or easier for everybody and anybody to go to Heaven or Hell. A person makes a decision, and it happens.

Your premise is incorrect. Catholics also have the notion that if one does not prossess the knowledge of the severity of the sin then it’s not mortal. Remember the three criteria for mortal sin:

*]Gave matter
*]Full knowledge
*]Full consent
So if you do not know something is a mortal sin, you don’t have full knowledge. However, that doesn’t mean you can live your life with your head in the sand. It also means you can’t dismiss or ignore the natural law. There are actions that are intrinsically evil that we, as humans, just instinctually understand are wrong. It’s not the Catholic Church making up what is intrinsically evil – She is just clarifying what God has written in our hearts and minds.


Let me give an example based on my own life–I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this.

Before I was baptized (as an adult) I lived a very sinful life. I knew right and wrong, but I convinced myself that pretty much everybody gets into heaven except serial killers. After baptism/conversion, I came to my wits, which basically means that my self inflicted brainwashing was over. So would it have been easier to get into heaven before or after baptism?

I would say it’s easier after baptism. I have the sacraments and the Church to guide me. I have the fear of God to keep me on the right path. Yes, I know more now, and am more guilty when I do commit sins, but I am way less likely to commit sins, especially grave ones.

Also, I think people don’t quite understand what “full knowledge” means. Here is the catechism:

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

I would object to love being called an emotion in this context. I think when you use the word charity it is easy to see that it is more than just a feeling.

I understand that such mortal sins like murder and adultery all Christians or even all people know are truly wrong but sins like masturbation which we know is a mortal sin, if they do not know it will not be mortal to them or is that also written in our hearts?

Do we as Catholics have a moral duty to explain this to Protestants? I never know where the line between correction and judging is.

Even protestants know the 10 Commandments.

When they sin against one of those commandments, they have full knowledge that they are offending God and do so willfully.

So their sin is mortal, even though they don’t accept the label, mortal sin.

That being said, they can repent, and those who don’t, carry their sin with them to the grave and God will be their judge.



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