Question for Catholics/Trinitarians

My question is:

How do you guys view christian sects like the Ebionites and others who didnt accept Jesus(peace be upon him) as diety but more as great messenger/prophet?

Are they infidels heading towards punishment or saved?

Mainstream Christians consider any group that doesn’t believe in the Trinity to be non-Christian by definition. The Trinity is an essential and foundational Christian doctrine, taught from the time of the earliest Church.

If Jesus were not God, and only a man, His sacrifice on the cross would not have been near powerful enough to save the world. All the sacrifices offered by the Jewish people up until the time of Jesus, and all the righteous living they practiced, were not enough. Only the death of God the Son would suffice to pay the price for sin, and allow people to come into right relationship with God.

Only God knows who is going to Hell, because only He is the Judge. However, to be sure of salvation, you must trust in the death and resurrection of God the Son to save you. That’s pretty much the central message of Christianity. :slight_smile:

Nobody is going to be held guilty for that unless they know Who Jesus is and then deliberately choose to reject Him. People who are invincibly ignorant that Jesus is God can be saved from hell even though they never accepted Him.

[quote=Catechism of the Catholic Church 1260] “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.” Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

[quote=CCC 841] The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330


They are certainly not Christian in sense that they do not accept Christ as God. That is a fundamental aspect of our faith.

Can you be a good Muslim and reject Muhammad as a prophet?

And… would you be an infidel heading towards punishment or saved? Where does the line of tolerance exist?

I think that this is an important distinction. Many Christian teachers that I’ve met believe that Jesus is the Son of God (metaphorically), but he is not God the Son. He is very close to the heart of God, and He is capable of revealing God to us in ways no average man could, but they reject the traditional understanding of the Triune God.

Thanks for the replies. Its clear that believing Jesus(PBUH) to be god is compulsory part of Christianity.
To answer the questions of Gary and Fabius:
Yes, in islam every muslim is commanded to believe in Prophet Jesus, Prophet Muhammad PBUH and all prophets beside them.
Believing in the miracle birth of Jesus pbuh and that he is the messiah are also fundamental aspects of our faith.

  1. Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers saying, "We believe in some but reject others,’’ and wish to adopt a way in between.) (151. They are in truth disbelievers.

The reason why i asked this question is because at work there is this african christian we talk a lot about religion. I asked him weither they worship Jesus son of Mary, he answered: No we worship God only. Jesus is his son, but not divine.

I would say that such teachers are not Christian, but some other religion. Belief in the Triune God is the broadest and most basic definition of a Christian.


Whether they will be punished or not is up to God and depends on whether they believe what they do in good faith or not.

I would qualify the statement of my fellow-Christians to say that such groups deny a basic teaching of historic Christianity. I’m uncomfortable with saying simply “they aren’t Christians.”

But essentially, they are arguably no more Christians than you guys are:p. Islam is traditionally considered a “Christian heresy.”

Perhaps the best analogy for Muslims would be the Ahmadiyya movement, which claims to be Islamic but is not considered Islamic by many Muslims because they claim things for their founder which mainstream Muslims consider blasphemous.

More extreme examples (perhaps better corresponding to the differences between Christianity and Islam) would be the Druze or the Bahai, both of which are offshoots of your religion.


Hardly. I’d say that belief in Jesus is the broadest and most basic definition.


Mormans believe in Jesus. Muslims believe in Jesus. I’ve never heard anyone consider them to be Christians.

Even some atheists believe Christ existed and was just a nice, albeit misguided, man with a vision of world peace.

“Belief in Jesus” would entail too many qualifiers such that it would lose any utility as a “definition” of Christianity.

Other than Mormons themselves, I’m not aware of any other group that considers Mormons to be Christians.

I new tons of Mormans when I lived in Kansas City and none of them every claimed to be Christians. They claimed that Mormanism had a lot in common with Christianity, but I don’t recall anyone trying to argue that they were, in fact, a Christian.

Direct evidence is almost always better than anecdotal evidence: Are Mormons Christians?

Well, it depends what your purpose is.

It wouldn’t be hard to qualify this to mean something like “basing your religion on the person and/or teachings of Jesus.”

I obviously don’t just mean “believing that Jesus existed.”

Mormons would definitely be Christians by this definition, and Muslims not really but sort of on the margin. Which I think is just right *if *we’re really going for the broadest possible definition.

There’s also something to be said for having a much narrower definition of what the essential teachings of the faith we profess are.

I’m not the one who used the phrase “broadest and most basic.” I’m just saying that the Trinity certainly isn’t the broadest and most basic.

Allegra, lots of Christians consider Mormons to be Christians. It’s a serious debate in the Christian circles I’m familiar with. And I think it’s a semantic one. I think Catholics have the best approach by narrowing it down to valid baptism. Mormons aren’t validly baptized (though I believe it took the CDF a while to come to this conclusion and there was an early, tentative positive conclusion before a later negative one). And that very much has to do with the fact that while they speak of Father, Son, and Spirit, what they mean by this is clearly something quite other than the orthodox Christian Trinity.

So I would not say without qualification that Mormons are Christians–or that they aren’t. It depends on your definition. By the broadest definition they are, but not necessarily by the *best *definition from a theological point of view.

As for Muslims: early medieval Christians spoke of Islam as a Christian heresy. It’s not that outlandish.


Well, I stand corrected. I had never heard of Mormans or Muslims claiming the title of Christian before. I think that the definition they are using is deliberately deceptive. (I’m refering to the Morman site, not Muslims.) I agree that the best definition from a theological sense is those that share a common Baptism.

I understand your point. However, we’re arguing about where to draw the line, so I don’t accept that we move the line to include outliers. For me, and I understand you may disagree, the broadest definition of “Christianity” would necessarily include belief in the Nicene formulation of the Trinity (e.g., Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed Protestantism, etc.). I would draw the line to exclude those who do not hold to this belief.

And as you mention in your post, there are ongoing debates about whether Mormons are Christians. In other words, there are debates about whether to include them in this definition of “Christianity.” There are no debates (of which I’m aware) concerning whether those who subscribe to the Trinitarian formula are Christians.

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