****I keep seeing posts about “The One True Faith” not in relation to Christianity but in relation to Roman Catholicism. How then do Roman Catholics view other branches of the Christian faith? Can non Roman Catholics also be true and good Christians?
Of course Protestants can be good Christians and can go to Heaven. The Catholic Church recognizes this. The Catholic Church has the Sacraments that give us grace and make Heaven attainable for us. By receiving the sacraments, AND living the way that the sacraments call on us to lead, Heaven becomes a straighter path.
I am not so arrogant as to believe that all Roman Catholics who receive the sacraments will go to Heaven. The sacraments must become a part of our minds, hearts, and actions. To paraphrase James, “you must also walk the walk.”
Protestants who “walk the walk” can attain their Heavenly rewards as well.
Are Protestants good Christians?
They can be. Just as a Catholic can be a good Christian.
First of all, no one can separate “Catholicism” from “Christianity”.
Second, any Catholic/protestant can be a good or bad Christian.
I think I know more Catholics who are “poor” christians than I know non-Catholics who are “poor” christians.
However, history teaches us that for 1500 years there was no difference between christian and Catholic… just levels of intensity or faith… there was only one Church… the Catholic Church founded by Christ, orignally referred to as*** The Way***, and then around 100AD referred to as Catholic.
There is no Roman Catholic Church… but there is the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Perhaps the thread could be titled, What Makes a Good Christian?
If that were the question, the answer would have to include :
only the one who believes(obeys) all, repeat all, that Christ taught (first orally, then much of which came through the Scriptures of the NT written by Catholic human authors and the Divine Holy Spirit.
By necessity, this would include John 6… the source and the summit of the Faith… the Eucharist.
I guess the “argument” could then be made that one is not a christian if one does not believe correctly in the Real Presence.
Many do not, and have mentally walked away… this includes both Catholics and non-Catholics… some out of ignorance, some by being mislead, and some because God has not opened their eyes yet.
We need to pray for all… that all might be one.
i know this may sound offensive but in my personal opinion i believe that protestants become “good christians” when they unite themselves with the catholic church. alot of people are too quick to say “I would rather see a good protestant than a cafeteria catholic” but in my personal opinion both are equaly bad. i believe that there are many protestants who love the Lord but i think that they would be much better christians if they were in the true church
Objectively speaking they are living in grave sins–heresy and schism. These sins separate the baptized from the Body of Christ. One separated from the Church cannot be saved. However, if a Baptized person embraces schism and heresy through no fault of his own, he will not sever himself from the Church and therefore may be saved.
All need to return to the one fold where they can follow Jesus as He desires and therefore be more assure of their salvation.
Interesting question. I suspect you will get a varying array of answers on this one. The Church says that protestants are our separated brethren. I think many of them live very good and moral lives and sincerely love and believe in Christ. Is that enough to be a good Christian? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that they do what they think Christ wants them to do–primarily have faith in Him and live charitbly, etc. However, most of them are unaware that that because they do not belong to the Church Christ founded, they are being disobedient. That is not being a good Christian. Further, they have cut themselves off from Sacraments that He made available to mankind for sanctification…especially the Eucharist and Reconcilliation. This means that they do not receive the special graces associated with these Sacraments. This is a huge loss for non-Catholic Christians. This also has an effect on their “goodness” from my point of view.
These non-Catholic Christians are indeed good, so much as what they know–which stems from personal interpretation of scripture. They try to be obedient with the information that they have. So, to coin a phrase, they get an A for effort. However, they are, in fact, being disobedient to the Lord by refusing His Church. That is a grave matter. If the Lord searches their hearts and finds that they refused His Church and His Sacraments through no fault of their own, they still can attain salvation…which, I suppose, would mean that they were “good” enough. How much slack the Lord will give for “ignorance” of His Church is up to Him. I honestly don’t know. But when I see some of the protestant posters around here, I know they are loving and serving the Lord the best they know how. Some of the protestants around here put some of the Catholics to shame as far as behavior is concerned. However, I know plenty of Catholics that put Protestants to shame as far as behavior is concerned too.
Like MrS said, we need to pray for unity for the Christian people.
There are some protestants who are better Christians than some Catholics.
Although, I have yet to hear of a protestant who is “saintly”. I believe there is a level of piety and holiness (aka sanctity) that is not attainable as long as the person remains detached from the true faith.
that’s debatable, as a heretic, he could be toast.
What do you know about John Wesley? He was a very pious and Godly man. There are many devout and Godly men and women of Protestant persuasions, John Wesley is just one noted example. You could also look to Bonhoeffer or to Billy Graham…or to folks that I know in my life and, if you looked, I am sure you could find in yours.
The question might be too general to answer…
This is why,
I have personally never know of one person who I would consider a saint who is Protestant. Looking through history I see none, but I do see some very nice people.
John Wesley seemed a very kind and hard working man, maybe like Ghandi. Maybe I don’t know enough history.
Kindness, a willingness to save souls, stand up for injustice, preaching the Love of God, all are not what make people saints as Hindus, Buddhists, Protestants and Catholics all have done this. People need to do a bit more and that is change themselves for God’s truth.
Billy Graham, who probably has brought many to Jesus seems like a very nice man, probably a better man than most Catholics sitting in the pews. Many so called Catholics aren’t Christians either they just call themselves Catholic but adhere to their own personal made belief system.
So as a Roman Catholic I would say some Protestants are good people, now Christians that takes a little more examination.
A Protestant can be a Christian if he doesn’t deny God’s truth and is always willing to affirm it, even if it is Catholic. If someone has too much pride to believe in a truth* of the faith that is presented to them just because it is Catholic then they really aren’t Christian but just a person who want to believe what they want to believe. (essentially a self worshipper)
A Christian is someone who affirms God’s truth and is willing to change for God.
*I said truth because if it was just a belief then it really doesn’t matter.
I have met 2 Protestants who have done this when I talked to them and their openness of heart and honesty lead me to admit that they are good Christians who are seeking truth.
(I have spoken to about 90 Protestants in long conversations and about 15 Pastors)
This is just my personal experience, your results might vary.
Most people have a very immature understanding of their faith and many times do not want to investigate it or talk deeply about it.
That was extremely uncharitable. John Wesley never was a Catholic, so he was not excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He was a priest in the Church of England until his death.
Can non Roman Catholics also be true and good Christians?
I agree with everything you have said.
It is true that lots of Catholics do not even try to find out about their faith, they think 'Oh I am catholic/KSC/etc etc therefore, I do not have to be charitable. If one is RC one is automatically guaranteed a passport to heaven.
It is of course not for us to judge, but I have known of Catholics to do some really uncharitable things and still believe that it is ok because they are catholic.
That said, I have met some really heroic catholics. I once got on an empty bus bar one lady sitting at the back. I felt a warmth radiating from her. I asked her if she was catholic. Felt a bit silly but somehow just knew she was, never seen her in my life before. She smiled opened her handbag and showed me her Rosary!! How did I know? Her peace and holiness radiated from her.
Billy Graham is on record as saying he believes in a lot of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
I think that if someone genuinely believes that Christ is the Son of God, that He died to save us and rose again, lives a good life and tries to achieve the Christian ideal then they ARE good Christians and worthy of the name Christian and numbered among the Saints
I keep seeing posts about “The One True Faith” not in relation to Christianity but in relation to Roman Catholicism. How then do Roman Catholics view other branches of the Christian faith? Can non Roman Catholics also be true and good Christians?Depends on the person CP. Just as I would have to say the same about Jews. (Fortunately I have been blessed with many great Jewish friends and acquaintances, as well as n-Cs)
You need to broaden your understanding of what is a Saint of God. All faithful Christians are saints whether they are canonized or not. A famous Anglican childrens’ hymn often sung on All Saints Day says it well:
I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brace and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus’ sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there’s not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn’t be one too.
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too.
Isn’t it rather presumptuous to be classify people as “good” or “bad” Christians? Especially when we don’t have the ability to read hearts and minds?
If that’s true, then either you know a lot more Catholics than you do Protestants or there is something wrong in So. Mich. I am a Catholic in a very Protestant part of the country, and my experience is very different from yours. I would readily grant that there are a very large number of very devout protestants whom I would never hesitate to call “good Christians”. But I will also say Catholics, at least where I live, are much more predictably so.