Salvation, Fundamentalist vs Catholic


Someone posted a fundamentalist view of salvation in another post, but everyone missed the errors in the first few verses. And it degenerated into a shouting match in the way of speaking. I would like to discuss this fundamentalist view
which I have heard often before in a more direct answer to the points made.
First, Catholic Church teachings originated with Jesus, who taught EVERYTHING to his apostles and who handed down EVERYTHING through His Church. So no Catholic Church teaching began with interpretation of scripture, they all came directly from Jesus. Thus, the Church interprets scripture according to these teachings that have been handed down.

It started.
The Church teaches that since ONLY Jesus can judge us, and we can’t judge ourselves, we cannot be 100% sure where we will go. The bible is a witness to this teaching.
1Cor 3
"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

Notice he says his conscience is clear. That means he does believe he is in mortal sin. In the same way, if we know we are not in mortal sin, than we can be reasonably sure we can go to heaven, but not 100% sure, because we cannot judge ourselves. It is Jesus who judges.

But, of course, we must constantly do penance, pray and obey. St. Paul writes
1 Corinthians 9:27
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Thus, he knew he could easily loose his salvation if he did not do mortification.
The Church teaches that the only way we can know for 100% that we will go to heaven is if God gives us some private revaltion that this will be the case.

Here is some more he posted.


Ro 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Ro 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” **

Actually the bible also calls many people righteous, for example, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zacahria and many others.
Roman 3:10 was referring to the Jewish nation as a whole, not individuals.

**"This all began with the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. God created them perfect, there was no death or sorrow. God told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God and as a result, sin entered into the world. The pain which this world sees is the result of sin.


This again is far out. According to this view, everyone ended up in hell til Jesus came.
Jesus did not come to give us a chance not to go to hell. After all, Moses and Elias were not in hell. Lazarus was not in hell. The Church teaches and made it clear that unless a person either rejected God or died in mortal sin, they would not end up in hell. They would end up in limbo, not hell. And, after Jesus died and rose, then those in limbo would enter heaven.
Jesus came to free us from our sins in this life, so we could live a fairly happy and a holy life and free us from original sin, so that when we died, we could go to heaven, not just limbo, and be in union with God forever.


He continued.
**A sin is a crime against God, just as if you steal something at the store, it is punishable by going to jail. It’s the same thing with sin. Even if we lie one time, the punishment is hell, which is a prison for those who commit crimes against God.
Notice he does not distinguish between mortal and venial sin. Lets assume mortal sin is the case here.
No matter how well you live your life from then on, you have already committed a sin which will be punished if you are not pardoned. If you commit a crime, and then live as a good citizen you still will go to jail for the crime you committed. Right? Just as the president can pardon a crime so you won’t go to jail, Jesus can pardon your sins so that you do not go to hell, and can go to heaven when you die."
We didn’t need Jesus to pardon our sins. The Jews could repent and God would forgive them, and if they died repentant, they would not go to hell when they died.
So again. Jesus did not come to save us from the fires of hell, othewise everyone would have been in hell till He came.

Ro 10:9,10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {power: or, the right, or, privilege}
** You cannot get to heaven by being a good person, going to church, baptism or any other way other than by turning to Jesus and asking Him to forgive you for your sins and save you. While these are good things to do, some people believe that they will get to heaven if they do these things, but the bible says that there is only one way to heaven and that is through receiving what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you. **

Many many errors here.
First he assumes, because he was taught, that **confession is made unto salvation." **means to go to heaven.

Jesus came to save us, that is free us from orginal sin and especially to free us from the inclination to sin. When we receive the grace of salvation, we are freed from the complulsion, the inclination to sin. We are freed from concupisence. But, not totally of course… Thus salvation does not mean final salvation, but the beginning of salvation, when we are saved, freed, from the slavery of sin.

But, this is why Jesus came, to liberate us from everything that oppresses us, especially sin. Jesus came to free us from the slavery of sin. The Law of Moses couldn’t save, in the sense that it did not give the grace to free people from the slavery of sin. Even Moses and David committed murder. But, they could repent before they died and escape hell. But, during their lives they were still bound by sin.
By His death and resurrection Jesus merited the grace that frees us from the slavery of sin, so that we can live fairly happy lives on this earth and not under the slavery of sin, and so we can be in union with God in heaven when we die. We receive this grace first in baptism. That is why Jesus said, “he who believes and is baptized will be saved”, meaning that those who believe the Gospel the Church teaches and are baptized will be freed from the slavery of sin.
But, since baptizm does not take away all the inclination to sin, Jesus gives us the other sacraments. But, especially the Eucharist. It is through the Eucharist the we receive most of the grace to take away our slavery to sin. That is why the Church teaches the mass continues the work of salvation. It continues to make available the grace that preserves us , or saves us, from sin. That is the primary purpose of the mass, to give us the grace to free us from the slavery of sin. So we DO go to mass to get something out of it. We go to mass to ask for this grace that saves us from the inclination to sin and that increases our love for Jesus.

But, since we still have a free will, we can always choose to sin and thus rebel against God.
So we do have to obey God to enter heaven. There can be no unrepentant sin in heaven. That is why Jesus said, "if you wish to enter life, keep the commandments."
So, even though we have been freed from the slavery of sin, we still have a free will and can sin mortally, thus lose our salvation and die and go to hell.

I will answer the rest of the other errors as I have time.


Salvation seems to be a confused term in Protestantism.
By salvation Jesus usually means to be liberated from everything that oppresses us, especially sin.

The Church teaches:
As the kernel and center of His Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One, in the joy of knowing God and being known by Him, of seeing Him, and of being given over to Him.
Evangelium nuntiandi
Pope Paul VI

Naturally, if we continue in this liberation from sin, then when we die, we will obtain eternal salvation.
But again, Jesus seems to emphasize the beginning of salvation as the main purpose for which He came:

“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,” Luke 4:14, 17-21).

We were captives to sin, blinded by sin, oppressed by sin. Thus Jesus came to free us from sin, by taking away our inclination to sin and by increasing our love of God.

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. "
** Matthew 20: 28**

“For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

A ransom is something of value given to free a prisoner, a captive or a slave. Jesus considered us prisoners to sin, captives to sin, slaves to sin. That is why He gave His life as a ransom. His life was the thing of value that He gave up to merit the grace that frees us from the slavery of in.

“you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matt 1:21
“for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the worldJohn 12:47

Save means to rescue from injury or danger. Jesus came to rescue us from sin which injures us and from sin which puts us in danger of separating us from God. Jesus came to save us from sin, by taking away our inclination to sin and by increasing our love of God.

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
John 8:34

Jesus affirms that sin makes us a slave.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36

Jesus affirms that He came to free us from the slavery to sin.


St. Paul teaches the same.

      "Our old self was crucified with him so that...we might no longer be enslaved to sin"

Romans 6:6

16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 16-23

Again St. Paul teaches that Jesus came to free us from the slavery of sin. Thus to be saved means to be freed from the inclination to sin, from the slavery of sin, and thus freed, will lead to holiness. After death, to be saved means to be freed from the slavery of sin by being in heaven, where there is no sin.

So when St. Paul writes, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:8

He means that by grace we have been saved from the inclination to sin, from the slavery of sin, from being captives to sin, from being prisoners to sin. That indeed is a gift from God, which He merited by His death and resurrection, which we receive as grace through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

Thus Jesus came to free us from sin, by giving us the grace that takes away our inclination to sin and increases our love of God.

It does NOT mean, "for by grace we have been saved from the fires of hell."
That is not the context that Jesus has been using for salvation, nor the context St. Paul has been using. And that is NOT the teaching of the Church Jesus founded.

Jesus came to save us, that is free us from the slavery of sin, so that we could obey Him and thus enter heaven.

Jesus did not come to give us the grace to cover up our sins so that we don’t have to obey Him to enter heaven as some Protestants teach.


Not once did you mention that Jesus came to save us from the penualty of sin. Some of what you said is true, most of what you said is wrong.


dcdurel, excellent posts.

Unlike some people, we understand that the entire context of salvation is the work of the Trinity.


I left out tons of stuff. Most people know that through the grace of salvation we are made children of God, obtain the right to heaven, we are freed from the eternal penalty, which is eternal separation from God, but we are also freed from all temporal punishment, when we receive this grace at baptism, by this grace we become a member of the Church,
all sins are forgiven, makes us members of the body of Christ, etc, etc.

What I am doing is focusing on the very basic meaning of salvation as the Church teaches it and as Jesus presents it in the bible. Since the Church learned from Jesus directly, then scripture will always be in agreement.
Jesus is quite specific. He came to free us from the slavery of sin. He came to liberate us from all that oppresses us. When we are liberated from the compulsion to sin, we can then be free to live in happiness to some extent. We can then be free to do good. We are then free to be in union with God, both now and after we die for eternity.

Why do you think the Catholic faith spread so fast in the early years?  Just because it was true?  People don't care that much about truth.   It spread because of the personal benefit people could receive from Jesus.  They could be freed from hatred, alcoholism,  greed, selfishness, lust, fighting, divorce, etc. etc.   When they realized what Jesus did for them by His suffering and death, they were then moved to love Him more and more. 

Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II realized that we have lost the basic meaning of salvation. So they taught this over and over, so that we could re-learn what we once knew. Since the world is mostly living as practical athiests, then starting from the beginning like this is just what they want to hear. Many people realize they have problems in their lives caused by sin and by focusing on why Jesus came, which is to liberate all men from the bondage of these sins, then we focus on something that they want, something that will lead them back to Jesus, reconcile them with God and join His Church and then change the world for the better.

I will post more of what the Church has been trying to teach us through the popes on the next posts.


I am focusing on what the Church has been teaching since Vatican II in regards to salvation. Too often we think of salvation as something distant, only in the future, which makes no difference in our lives today. I quoted Jesus to show that salvation starts in this life and that is what He emphsized.
Now, to show that this is not just my teaching, but the constant teaching of the Church, especially being emphasized today, I will quote those who are first in authority, the Popes, and those writings they authorize.

                                The subject of proclamation is Christ who was crucified, died and is risen: through him is accomplished our full and authentic liberation from evil, sin and death; through him God bestows "new life" that is divine and eternal. This is the "Good News" which changes man and his history, and which all peoples have a right to hear.

Mission of the Redeemer
Pope John Paul II

 To the question, "why mission?" we reply with the Church's faith and experience that true liberation consists in opening oneself to the love of Christ. In him, and only in him, are we set free from all alienation and doubt, from slavery to the power of sin and death. Christ is truly "our peace" (Eph 2:14); "the love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14), giving meaning and joy to our life.

**Mission of the Redeemer **
Pope John Paul II

 Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ's redemptive act, but to man's will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act.

Veritatis splendor
Pope John Paul II

 Before the Redemption, mankind was enslaved by sin, inclined to dominate rather than serve, living for self and not for others. But by the mystery of his Cross and Resurrection, we have been given the freedom and grace to live no longer for ourselves but for him. What a wonderful gift from Christ, our Saviour!  

It was precisely for this reason that Christ died for all of us, to liberate us from the bond of selfishness from which by ourselves we could never escape, to make us free, and to enable us to live for him. This is the gift which Christ won for all of us: clergy, religious, laity.
**Address of Pope John Paul II **
to Clergy, Religious People and Laity
Cathedral of Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
Tuesday, 8 May 1984

 It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer (cf. Jn 19:34), that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God's holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships.  

Veritatis splendor
Pope John Paul II


It would be a pernicious illusion to claim that one is acting in accordance with the Gospel without receiving strength from Christ himself in the Eucharist, the sacrament he instituted for this purpose. Such a claim would be a radically anti-Gospel attitude of self-sufficiency.
Priests Are Ordained to Celebrate Mass
General Audience — May 12, 1993
Pope John Paul II

  1. The message of Jesus about God is Good News for humanity. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God; (328) a new and definitive intervention by God, with a transforming power equal and even superior to his creation of the world. (329) In this sense, “Christ proclaims salvation as the outstanding element and, as it were, the central point of his Good News. This is the great gift of God which is to be considered as comprising not merely liberation from all those things by which man is oppressed, but especially liberation from sin and from the domination of the evil one, a liberation which incorporates that gladness enjoyed by every man who knows God and is known by him, who sees God and who surrenders himself trustingly to him”. (330) Catechesis transmits this message of the Kingdom, so central to the preaching of Jesus. In doing so, the message “is gradually deepened, developed in its implicit consequences”, (331) and thus manifests its great repercussions for man and the world.

“Jesus answered the Roman governor’s questions by declaring that he was a king, but not of this world (cf. Jn 18: 36). He did not come to rule over peoples and territories but to set people free from the slavery of sin and to reconcile them with God.”
**POPE BENEDICT XVI, Angelus Saint Peter’s Square Sunday, 26 November 2006 **

From the teachings of the Popes, we can now go back and find that this has been a constant teaching of the Church. The central point of the Gospel is that Jesus came for our salvation, that is,to liberate us from sin, and to liberate us from everything else that oppresses us.

[size=2]211. By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that “I AM”.” [23][/size]
Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  1. Christians believe that "the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator’s love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one…"
    Catechism of the Catholic Church.


[size=2]549. By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, [274] Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, [275] but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God’s sons and causes all forms of human bondage. [276][/size]
Catechism of the Catholic Church.

601.“He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”
The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin.
Catechism of the Catholic Church.

GOSPEL: (short definition)
422. ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.’ This is 'the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’
Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jesus Christ, redeemer of mankind. Christ paid the price of his own sacrificial death on the cross to ransom us, to set us free from the slavery of sin, thus achieving our redemption.
Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

But if we consider the meaning of the salvation of the entire human race, those words are still more applicable to Christians, who are liberated by God not from the bondage of Egypt, but from the slavery of sin and the powers of darkness, and are translated into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Roman Catechism, Part 3

One of the memorial acclamations at mass
** “Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the World.”**
Notice that the prayer says Jesus is the Savior of the World, because “you have set us free.”
Again, the primary meaning of Savior is one who sets us free, free from the slavery of sin, free from the inclination to sin. Savior means one who frees us from the inclination to sin. He does this by His grace, primarily through the Eucharist, which reduces the inclination to sin and increases our love of Him so that we don’t want to sin. The end result is freedom from the slavery of sin.

Jesus founded His Church so that we could carry on this work of salvation. Though His teachings, as defined in the Catechism, and some as witnessed through scripture

people can learn how to be liberated from the sins that oppress them. Through His Church, through the sacraments, esp. the Eucharist, they can receive this grace that liberates them from the inclination to sin.

Through the moral teachings of the Church, they will know how to live lives free from the slavery of sin.

No other religion in the world can offer this, for no other religion has God as its immediate founder.


Does anyone have any comments on why
I seldom hear these teachings today anywhere else by
Catholic teachers, experts, scholars, theologians.???


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit