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
- 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.
- 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.