Religion has been one controversial issue between the Catholic Church and the so-called “born again” Christians.

The Catholic Church teaches that (true) religion can save us but the “born again” Christians say otherwise, that religion is useless.

  1. Which stand is correct?

  2. And how does religion differ from the Church?


Religion has been one controversial issue between the Catholic Church and the so-called “born again” Christians.

Just to be nitpicky, Catholics do consider themselves ‘born-again’ Christians. The cleansing waters of Holy Baptism are where we are reborn into the body of Christ. Fundamentalist Christians would be a better term IMO, but this is, of course, your party, so I’ll use your terms. Just want it noted that I do so under severe protest :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. Which stand is correct?

Of course I would say Holy Mother Church is correct.

When Fundamentalist/“Born-Again” Christians claim that religion cannot save you, they are in a sense correct, because of that extremely important adjective that you slipped into your definition above; true. TRUE Religion can/does/and will save you. The problem, as I’ve seen it, is that these “born-again” Christians have never experienced true religion. They usually think of religion (Catholicism in particular) as empty rituals, when in fact the Sacraments are so full of life, energy, spirituality and, above all, faith, that they almost cannot help but save us.

It is of course, not the rituals themselves that do save us, because the power in this religion doesn’t come from the rituals themselves. The salvation comes from Christ, who has instituted them and promised to fullfill His side of the ‘bargain’ if we do our part. Sort of like, if someone were to toss you a rope to pull you out of a pit, does the rope save you or does the person save you? The man has thrown the rope, and you must grab on.

What “Born-Again” believers see is more like being in the pit, and seeing the man at the edge who could save you, and stretching out, reaching out, and believing that He will save you. They fail, however, to grab onto the rope that He’s thrown, beleiving that having Faith that He will save them is sufficient.

  1. And how does religion differ from the Church?

The Church is the one preserving the Sacraments that Christ has instituted. To go back to the pit/rope analogy, she’d be like the case that held the rope until Christ uses it. It is through the Church that we are taught true religion, and practice that religion, but she is not, in herself, religion, simply because The Church is not the Sacraments, and True Religion is the Sacraments.


Hi Stewart!

I don’t remember if we have crossed paths before – although you post quite often from the look of thinkgs.

I am not sure what you mean by religion – I think St. Paul defines “pure religion” as acts of mercy – feeding the hungry, caring for widows and orphans. etc.
Social work.

But, if that is the definition of “religion” – it can be useless, for even if a person has given up their body to be burned – but has not love, they are empty.

I don’t recall having a conversation with protestants / evangelicals / etc. on this exact topic, so perhaps you could give us all an example of what you mean, or the context of a conversation / observation you have had from some place.

Thanks, & God bless you – I hope you find what you are looking for.


Rawb I completely agree with you.Sometimes, people will take a word like Religion and apply one meaning.The Bible does describe "true Religion"taking the scripture as a whole.:slight_smile:


Fundamentalist Christians would be a better term IMO

I feel it nessary to bring clearity to this. I am a Pentacostal Youth Minister of the Assemblies of God. To say that we are fundemantalist is utterly base. A fundamentalist is someone who follows a set of laws and rules in the hopes of salvation through it. Going to church, good works, and reading the Word of God every night. I ask you not to lump us evangelicals, Charismatics and Pentacostals in with such as the Independant Fundemental Baptists or other stricked religions. Those are religious people, in the worldly sense of the word. We have a relationship with christ, and we follow his commands because we have a raltionship with him and we love him. Just thought id clairfy.

With love,

Brendan Marchione


I think these questions are difficult to answer without first defining the term “religion”. Often times, in our world today, people will say “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” Personally, I can’t see how you can have one without the other.

The Catholic Church uses the term religion in relation to the virtue of justice. The “virtue of religion” is how we live out the virtue of justice in relation to God (CCC 1807). In other words, religion is how we “give God what is His due.”

By that definition, I’d say it’s very important to be religious!


What scripture are you talking about; Old testament, New Testament, Catholic Cannon with complete Old and New Testament, or what remains of God’s Word after Luther and the Reformers “take” out and sacrifice a tithe (7 out of 73 books) of the Catholic Cannon along with the Oral Tradition and Teaching Authority that taught it?



In my opinion this idea that some “born again” churches propose that they are not a religion but a way of life is just a marketing ploy by them to suck in the people who have had negative experiences within religion. They know that they are a religion just like every other religion deep down inside.

So concerning the difference between the church and religion is that the Roman Catholic Church is a religion based upon the true teachings of Christ and his Apostles. It takes these teachings no matter how inconvenient they are and teaches them. Where these individual “born again” communities are religions based upon the individual interpretation of biblical teachings by the primary individual of the community, the pastor.

Where in the Catholic chuch you have checks and balances concerning what is taught by the church itself there is no checks and balances in these individual groups. Typically the pastor has final say so on what is true and what isn’t. Also within a certain frame each individual has the right to personally interpret scripture to conform to their “consciousnesses”. Which truly means that each individual can define God to meet their individual outlook within the boundries setup by the Pastor. Thus what you get is that People mould God in the image they want instead of moulding themselves into the image that God wants.


Hello CentralFla.James,First let me say I am a Roman Catholic.I Love our Lord whom i have not seen and people who I do see.The Scriptures I was referring to are the complete 73 Books of our Bible.James 1:19-27 in the DR,NAB and KJV all explain what "true religion"is.Respectfully,Wardrandolph.:slight_smile:


Thanks for the clarification wardrandolph. I like your full 73.

I see that verse as an excellent rule and self assessment for “spot checking”. But I don’t see James as intending it as an all encompassing definition of “religion”.

Here is a site that gives a comprehensive Scriptural listings as well as Traditional reference for The Catholic Church’s key religious tenants based around the following themes. It is a good reference for apologetic work.

Peter is the Rock on which the Church is Built
Peter has the Keys of Authority over the Earthly Kingdom, the Church
Peter’s Keys and Papal Succession
The Church is Infallible and Supernatural
The Church is Visible and One
The Church is Hierarchical
Controversies in the Church
Tradition / Church Fathers
Peter is the Rock on which the Church is Built
The Church is called “Catholic”
The Church is Indefectible
The Church’s Ecumenical Councils are Infallible
The Church is Hierarchical (Bishops, Priests and Deacons)
The Church is Visible and One

The Church

Scripture Catholic Home Page



Thanks James.I already have this in my favorites.There may be others who can also benefit from the web-site you mentioned.May our Lord Bless You.


I have never, ever heard such a perfect and profound analogy of responding to God’s grace such as this. Thank you!


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