Salvation for the "rejectors?"


#1

Do people who hear about Christ and say “well that’s nice and all but in my heart I believe X religion is the right way” have a chance at salvation? I mean it does seem unfair to damn someone like this just because he or she is not Catholic or even Christian.

What if the person introducing Christ does a bad job? What if a person NEVER hears the gospel before they die?

Does the Church say they too can be saved?


#2

You will often hear that persons have to understand that they are rejecting the true Church of Christ in order for that to disqualify them from salvation. Therefore, someone who has heard but does not properly understand, as well as someone who has never heard are afforded the opportunity of salvation based on the graces they have been given. God wills the salvation of all. As well, the Bible says to whom much is given, much is expected…therefore one without knowledge, or a genuinely weak understanding of the Catholic Church could still go to heaven.

More from the early Church Fathers is here.


#3

It would seem to me that one could have an exhaustive understanding of the Catholic Church and still choose to worship God another way. In such a case, the person is not rejecting God, and I would assume, would fall under the “not understanding” doctrine. Am I wrong?


#4

Hi,
Im not sure what the CC says but the bible says:

John 3: 36

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

I know that sounds harsh but remember we look at it from a human perspective not from God’s perspective. He is pretty much telling us what His perspective is.:frowning:

I grew up learning about God and Christ and heard the salvation message for years before I actually believed. It is just a matter of God’s timing as to when the person will get it or wont.


#5

Think of it this way. You try to convince someone that it is not good to play in the street. They tell you they don’t believe that cars actually run over people. You introduce them to someone who has been hit by a car while running across the street. They still say that they are making it up. And so continue to play in the street, along comes a bus. You yell BUS!!!, they look at you and say “your nuts”!

Wack!

They are now dead however,

NOW they understand!


#6

Post Vatican II, there are two types of unbelivers. Those that have no faith and those that have a different religious faith.

In No. 16 of the dogmatic constitution “Lumen Gentium,” the Council, recalling the principle of the universal saving will of God, affirmed that those who seek God with sincerity, and make an effort under the influence of grace to do his will with works, known by the dictate of conscience, may obtain eternal salvation.

Thus, the search for the good, and the determination and will to do good works, are the products of grace.

According to the Council, no effort can take place “without grace.” That means that God is also close to those who do not know him. This same teaching is found in the pastoral constitution “Gaudium et Spes,” where in No. 22 the Council acknowledges that grace works in the hearts of all men of good will.

catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=2922


#7

Another possible take on it, which occurs to me now, is that people are called by God - regardless of their education, understanding, & etc.
Whether the person chooses to respond to that call will be the deciding factor.
e.g. St Agustine was called gradually - he probably did not understand what was happening for quite a while before he found he could respond. He, alternatively, could have ignored the call and history would be different.
A scholar was St. Agustine but each according to his lights.

The hound of heaven idea - and all that…


#8

What is sure is that everyone gets sufficient chance and sufficient opportunity. It can be increased somehow, as there’s a reason missionaries go in the world - it’s totally not idifferent whether there is Church of Christ in a given part of the world or a specific environment. But no one goes to hell just because he was unlucky.


#9

amen to this; His timing not ours.


#10

You have several different classes.

The Rejectors: They are in the worst position, by far. More probable than not that they will not be saved.

Doing a bad job: Maybe slightly in better position than the rejectors, but remember…God is involved in conversion regardless of how bad of a job we do. So they are still rejectors.

Never hear Gospel before die: In best position of the lot. Depends on how well they acted on the grace Christ gave them as their unseen savior.

But as for myself, I wish we would stop dwelling on and wringing our hands over all of the above. Everyone outside of Christ and the Holy Catholic Church is on an indirect - and uncertain - path to God. A bad position. Leave them to God to sort out.


#11

In short, yes, the Catholic Catechism does provide for that.

CCC 847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.1


#12

So what of Protestants? What if they have a Catholic explain to them about the Church etc…and in they truly still believe that being Baptist or whatever is the right way. They believe in Christ and are baptized etc. Do they get to go to the party?


#13

Yes, the catechism recognizes them as Christians through valid baptism (Mormons JWs, and Oneness Pentecostals are out of luck here).
The difference is, the Protestant churches lack the graces that are afforded in the Catholic Church. Mother Angelica gave an analogy of comparing a table containing a banquet (the Catholic Church) compared to a table containing a plate of food (Protestantism). The Protestant meal will keep you alive, but it isn’t as filling or satisfying as the Catholic faith.


#14

It depends. Remember, Catholicism doesn’t believe in “once saved, always saved” so not all baptised Catholics will be at the party.

Let’s look at the above Catechism quote again:

CCC 847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.1

This refers to knowing Christ and/or his Church. It depends on if they are outside of the Church due to their own fault.

So I suppose the next question is, “what constitutes being outside of the Church due to one’s own fault”? :confused:


#15

Rejecting the Truth damns you. Coming into contact with the Truth removes invincible ignorance. Rejecting that Truth places you outside the Chuch, outside of which there is no salvation.

But, that doesn’t mean we can say for sure one way or the other. How could we know if we presented the Truth accurately and to the fullest of our ability? How could we know if they understood the case and evidence fully to make an educated choice? We don’t. So it will only be theoretical in this life. We’ll know when we die.


#16

Jesus says the only unforgivable sin is the rejection of the Holy Spirit.

That is, if you come to realize that the Catholic Church IS THE CHURCH OF GOD ON EARTH, and then work against it, you’re screwed.

For example, from my understanding, there are people that try to acquire the Blessed Sacrament from a Mass in order to abuse it, thus abusing Jesus. THAT is an obvious insult against the Holy Spirit, because you recognize God in the Sacrament and abuse it anyway. However, if you were an Aztec priest 500 years ago, and threw away the Blessed Sacrament upon discovering it at a make-shift chapel, that wasn’t necessarily a sin against the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, I’m sure there are some confuses souls of Aztec priests that are being purified that we should all be praying for, even to this day…


#17

Hi ni8 there is always grace & mercy. The catholic church got the whole truth, it was the first church here on earth, that Peter established. As the church teachers us & what pope John paul 2 ,there is no salvation outside the church. Just remember we will also be judge on our faith 7 WORKS we do. Not all Catholics will go to heaven, & not all rejects
will go to hell there is our lords mercy
Someone that didnt here of GOD cant not bejudge if he did good. GOD is love & he loves all of us


#18

In No. 16 of the dogmatic constitution “Lumen Gentium,” the Council, recalling the principle of the universal saving will of God, affirmed that those who seek God with sincerity, and make an effort under the influence of grace to do his will with works, known by the dictate of conscience, may obtain eternal salvation.

Thus, the search for the good, and the determination and will to do good works, are the products of grace.


#19

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