Salvation

What is the difference in Protestants being “saved” and Catholic salvation? If Catholics are Christians what are the steps they take to receive salvation. Is it at confirmation? Protestants believe Romans 10:9 & 10. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you shall be saved. I keep getting into this debate with my boyfriend and I am so confused. I grew up Protestant and am now taking RCIA classes to become Catholic. I am reading a lot but there is so many things I get confused on because of the way I was always taught. Help!!

[quote=blues01]What is the difference in Protestants being “saved” and Catholic salvation? If Catholics are Christians what are the steps they take to receive salvation. Is it at confirmation? Protestants believe Romans 10:9 & 10. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you shall be saved. I keep getting into this debate with my boyfriend and I am so confused. I grew up Protestant and am now taking RCIA classes to become Catholic. I am reading a lot but there is so many things I get confused on because of the way I was always taught. Help!!
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The main difference that I have found is that Protestants believe that once they “accept Jesus as Lord and Savior” they are “saved” right then and there! So for them that is the finish line, they have done it, the race is over for them, their salvation is now a certainty. That is why many of them can tell you exactly what day and hour they were “saved”. Most (not all) Protestants believe this, and as a result they also believe that once they are saved they cannot for any reason lose their salvation, this is the Protestant doctrine of “Once saved always saved”.

Catholics believe that we will be judged at the end of our earthly life and therefore the end of the race for us is death! That means that any one of us can fall into sin even after we have had an interior conversion. Serious sin breaks our relationship with God because when we sin, we deliberately disobey God’s will in favor of our own will. Once this happens we need to reconcile ourselves with God and that means Sacramental Confession. Serious sin kills the spirit and a good confession brings the spirit back to life, back into right relationship with God, back into sanctifying grace. So Catholic believe that it is possible to lose our salvation, and that is why we are taught to live our faith, avoid sin, and confess the sins that we commit.

That is also why the Gospel tells us that “he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 24:13). Similarly the apostle Paul tells us that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) and that those thinking they are secure, may fall (1 Cor 10:11-12)!


I know this doesn’t completely answer your question but I hope it will give you something to think about and maybe something to share with your boyfriend. Maybe you could ask him a simple question like this one: Did the Apostle Paul believe that his salvation was guaranteed him, even after his miraculous conversion? Let Paul give the answer himself: **1 Cor 9: “*****26 ***Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Our Catholic faith teaches us that a person is saved at the time of baptism. Baptism cleanses our soul of it’s stain from original sin and also the sins that a person commited in the past. A person is regenerated completely right after baptism. The Sacrament of Confirmation further strenghtens the person in his relationship with the Blessed Trinity and the stirring up of the Holy Spirit in a baptized person. A person may recieve gifts from the holy Spirit, by the granting of the same Spirit.

The Sacrament of Penance enables us to maintain our closeness to God. When we sin it affects our relationship with Christ, but Penance/ Confession restores it.

Pio

Psychologists believe that sudden uncontrollable salvation occurs when you ring a bell and give food to a dog.

At least behaviorist like Pavlov do…

[quote=Shibboleth]Psychologists believe that sudden uncontrollable salvation occurs when you ring a bell and give food to a dog.

At least behaviorist like Pavlov do…
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oh my, you have fallen off the deep end, haven’t you? :wink:

[quote=blues01]What is the difference in Protestants being “saved” and Catholic salvation? If Catholics are Christians what are the steps they take to receive salvation. Is it at confirmation? Protestants believe Romans 10:9 & 10. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you shall be saved. I keep getting into this debate with my boyfriend and I am so confused. I grew up Protestant and am now taking RCIA classes to become Catholic. I am reading a lot but there is so many things I get confused on because of the way I was always taught. Help!!
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blues, I would simply recommend you take your time with this. If you are like me, I dive into something, read everything there is and still don’t know what I think. Too many concepts, so little time. I will leave it up to the Catholics here to explain the Catholic side, as I am a baptist. There are many flavors (thinking of ice cream here) of protestants. But, we all basically adhere to one of three systems of salvation: calvinism, ariminianism or universalism.
I was going to begin to start RCIA this fall but admit that I wasn’t ready to do so for various reasons.

I think it’s important to take some inventory spiritually. Where am I at in my spiritual life? Do I have a “spiritual life”? What do I believe? Why do I believe what I do? Start with basics. Work your way from there. I wouldn’t lead you in any certain direction. If you want to find Jesus Christ, you will find Him. Or, He will find you is more like it.

“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the
Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8), but I’m also being
saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be
saved (Rom. 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15).” “I am redeemed,” answers the Catholic,
“and like the Apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2,
2 Tim. 2:11-13)–but not with a false “absolute” assurance about my own
ability to persevere (2 Cor. 13:5). And I do all this as the Catholic Church has
taught, unchanged, from the time of Christ.”

cin.org/archives/cinapol/199804/0183.html (very bottom)

The easiest way for me to explain how I understand salvation is to use the parable of the vine and the branches:

When we are baptized we become a child of God. We become a branch on the vine, a member of the mystical body of Christ. If we commit a serious sin we are cut off from the vine so to speak. We lose sanctifying grace and we become unable to receive the life giving sap that is God. If we confess our sins we heal the wound and are able to maintain life (supernatural life), the life giving sap of the vine.

Protestants and Catholics typically agree about becoming branches on the vine. The difference is that Catholics recognize that the possibility exists to be cut off from the vine and thrown into the fire. It is therefore necessary to remain in the state of sancitifying grace, through confession, so we remain a branch on the vine. If we die as a branch on the vine, we will be saved. It is a life-long endeavor.

James Akin has an excellent book called the “Salvation Controversy”. In it he outlines not only the differences between Catholics and other non-Catholic Christians, but also the similarities.

PS. Hold in there and ask God for direction. When I came back to the Church after being away from Church altogether, and then in two different Christian denominations I had many questions that were answered one by one; but I knew the Holy Spirit was driving me! And still is!

God Bless.

[quote=Chris W]The easiest way for me to explain how I understand salvation is to use the parable of the vine and the branches:

When we are baptized we become a child of God. We become a branch on the vine, a member of the mystical body of Christ. If we commit a serious sin we are cut off from the vine so to speak. We lose sanctifying grace and we become unable to receive the life giving sap that is God. If we confess our sins we heal the wound and are able to maintain life (supernatural life), the life giving sap of the vine.

Protestants and Catholics typically agree about becoming branches on the vine. The difference is that Catholics recognize that the possibility exists to be cut off from the vine and thrown into the fire. It is therefore necessary to remain in the state of sancitifying grace, through confession, so we remain a branch on the vine. If we die as a branch on the vine, we will be saved. It is a life-long endeavor.
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Protestants and Catholics typically agree about becoming branches on the vine. The difference is that Catholics recognize that the possibility exists to be cut off from the vine and thrown into the fire. It is therefore necessary to remain in the state of sancitifying grace, through confession, so we remain a branch on the vine. If we die as a branch on the vine, we will be saved. It is a life-long endeavor.

Typo, I think you mean will not be saved. If we fall out of the state of Grace (die so to speak) we will not be saved unless we repent and ask for forgiveness through confession.

[quote=martino]The main difference that I have found is that Protestants believe that once they “accept Jesus as Lord and Savior” they are “saved” right then and there! So for them that is the finish line, they have done it, the race is over for them, their salvation is now a certainty. That is why many of them can tell you exactly what day and hour they were “saved”. Most (not all) Protestants believe this, and as a result they also believe that once they are saved they cannot for any reason lose their salvation, this is the Protestant doctrine of “Once saved always saved”.

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It’s not true that for all protestants getting saved is the finish line - though I grant that many places do teach that once you’ve prayed the “sinner’s prayer” nothing can stop you getting to heaven even if you become a mass-murdering satanist with seven gay husbands living off the proceeds of bank robberies: once saved always saved taken to the extreme.

And it’s true that many protestants see salvation as a one-off event rather than a process that might begin with such an event. There’s even protestants that teach you can be cut off the vine and that it’s only the prayers of the Master keeping you from being cut off if you’re not bearing fruit for any time.

The church I’ve been attending doesn’t teach this. It teaches running the race to the end, pressing on in and towards holiness and service. I’m sure though that some of the congregation would hold to OSAS. Personally I can say I was saved in 1990, that I am being saved, and that I will be saved if I run the race… and some people think that’s a tad heretical. (JGC - good post btw)

Even on TBN there is someone who doesn’t seem to teach this. The first time I watched him carefully I was gobsmacked. Not because I disagreed with him or thought him a heretic but because what he was saying was being said on such a channel (it was actually the British God channel but he’s cropped up on TBN too).

He was preaching on how you have to do the will of the father to enter the kingdom of God, how we’re not justified by faith alone and all sorts of other things. I was amazed. So was much of his congregation. Yes he quoted Eph 2:8-9 but adding the context of the verses alluded to, and other verses, isn’t common on TBN-like television. The theology he was coming out with was, dare we say it, almost Catholic.

He was converted out of something straight into the word of faith movement but seems to be leaving that behind with a holiness sort of theology. On the other hand, the thing he was converted from was Catholicism so maybe some of the catholic truths rubbed off on him!

Time to shut up - in the process of moving to Catholicism the theology of salvation can get very confused for a while.

Blessings

Asteroid

[quote=Ontario]Typo, I think you mean will not be saved. If we fall out of the state of Grace (die so to speak) we will not be saved unless we repent and ask for forgiveness through confession.
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Sorry for the confusion. What I meant is that if we are a living branch on the vine at the time of our physical daeth, we will be saved.

I didn’t state that very well in the original post. Good catch. Thanks. :thumbsup:

Among Protestants who believe in orthodox evangelical theology, many–perhaps most–do not believe in “once saved, always saved.” That doctrine is not essential to the Protestant view of salvation.

Furthermore, many liturgical Protestants do not emphasize instantaneous conversion; but most others do.

Every conversion in the New Testament happened instantaneously. It is described as having passed from death unto life (Jn 5:24; 1 Jn 3:14) or from darkness to light (Ac. 26:18). The result is that the believer knows that he has eternal life (1 Jn 5:13). This is the water which Jesus said can satisfy the thirsty soul (Jn 4:13-14). God offers this water to everyone (Rev. 21:6; 22:1, 17).

[quote=martino] Their salvation is now a certainty. That is why many of them can tell you exactly what day and hour they were “saved”.
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I can tell you the day and hour because I was there when it happened. When you pass from darkness to light, you know it and your life will show it.

[quote=Kevan]Among Protestants who believe in orthodox evangelical theology, many–perhaps most–do not believe in “once saved, always saved.” That doctrine is not essential to the Protestant view of salvation.

Furthermore, many liturgical Protestants do not emphasize instantaneous conversion; but most others do.

Every conversion in the New Testament happened instantaneously. It is described as having passed from death unto life (Jn 5:24; 1 Jn 3:14) or from darkness to light (Ac. 26:18). The result is that the believer knows that he has eternal life (1 Jn 5:13). This is the water which Jesus said can satisfy the thirsty soul (Jn 4:13-14). God offers this water to everyone (Rev. 21:6; 22:1, 17).

I can tell you the day and hour because I was there when it happened. When you pass from darkness to light, you know it and your life will show it.
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I cannot tell you when the I was ‘saved’ because I was an infant at my baptism. Sometime in my early teens I rejected the salvation that God held before me. I can within a week tell you exactly when I stopped rejecting God. I can definitely say that I passed from darkness to light. I have since been a much happier person in my life and my only fear of dying anymore has to deal with the how well my family would be supported if it happened.

[quote=Kevan]I can tell you the day and hour because I was there when it happened. When you pass from darkness to light, you know it and your life will show it.
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Interesting. I believe you about what you experienced. If this was when you were baptized, thereby becoming a child of God, your experience makes good sense, and you did indeed pass from darkness to light. This is described as life-changing by many people. And it certainly is life changing.

However, I would caution that this experience does not ensure that you will not fall from grace in the future. Adam and Eve were created in the light of which you speak (Santifying Grace) yet they fell. It does not diminish the power of what happened on that day, for you to recognize that salvation is a life-long process.

Peace,
Chris W

[quote=Chris W]If this was when you were baptized, thereby becoming a child of God, your experience makes good sense, and you did indeed pass from darkness to light.
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And if it was not when I was baptized, you mean to imply that it does not make good sense and I did not pass from death to life?

This is described as life-changing by many people. And it certainly is life changing.

Among the “many people” who describe it so, remember to include the writers of Scripture, who state precisely that again and again. Vast multitudes undergo baptism and have no changed life. The resulting sense of inner emptiness draws people to churches where the new birth is real.

It does not diminish the power of what happened on that day, for you to recognize that salvation is a life-long process.

Living is a process; coming to life is instantaneous. Without the new birth, all the “process” is just going through the motions.

[quote=Kevan]And if it was not when I was baptized, you mean to imply that it does not make good sense and I did not pass from death to life?
Among the “many people” who describe it so, remember to include the writers of Scripture, who state precisely that again and again. Vast multitudes undergo baptism and have no changed life. The resulting sense of inner emptiness draws people to churches where the new birth is real.Living is a process; coming to life is instantaneous. Without the new birth, all the “process” is just going through the motions.
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The Scripture tells us that “he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 24:13), that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) and that those thinking they are secure, may fall (1 Cor 10:11-12)!
Let Paul give the answer himself: **1 Cor 9: “*****26 ***Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Dominus Vobiscum.

[quote=RBushlow]The Scripture tells us that “he who endures to the end will be saved.”
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I wonder why this keeps coming up. I stated clearly in post #13 above that the idea of once saved, always saved is not intrinsic to the Protestant view of salvation. Yet members keep posting arguments against that idea.

Compare it to physical life. Suppose someone believes that he cannot commit suicide while another believes that he can. In neither case are they addressing the fact that one cannot make progress in life until he has life, and that is the fact which my posts have been maintaining.

Talking about the importance of “progress” can obscure the fact that nobody is going to progress into a state of grace. One becomes a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), old things pass away, all things become new–then progress in holiness can be realized.

I think Protestant versus Catholic soteriology (the set of doctrines concerning salvation) can be characterized this way:

Protestant: imputation (Christ’s righteousness is assigned to us), also called forensic justification (we are legally declared just)

Catholic: infusion (we are infused with grace to become just)

Catholics sometimes pejoratively refer to the forensic view as a legal fiction (incendiary language and contrary to charity).

Now of course this is a bit of a straw man. Few in either camp would hold exclusively to either means of justification (though true Calvinists would doubtless hold to imputation alone in terms of what is required for salvation).

I tend to cut the Gordian knot by taking the Eastern view here (theosis): we are divinized by sacramental grace – partaking of the divine energies to become what we are designed to become – immortal, fully human beings. Dynamic process is paramount, not sin and “states” (which are more static by definition :rolleyes: ). And of course divinizaton is contingent on the incarnation: God the Son divinized human nature by becoming one of us. We participate in the redemption sacramentally and ascetically (pious practices). So this soteriology tends to be quite comprehensive, including the notions of imputation and infusion, but so much more!

Just call me an Orthophile.

Cheers,

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