"we should just be happy that protestants have a relationship with God?"

This question was given to me and I have kind of an idea on how to respond but would like to get your insight. Here’s what he asked.

“Is it necessary to challenge another believer in Christ? Is there a reason for it? Are we stating that one is better than the other? Or should we be simply happy about that they have made a relationship in Christ and we allow Him to judge how they developed that relationship.”

I want to express that first this’s isn’t me trying to say our religion is better in the sense that one says his sports team or brand of product is better. One of the priests at my parish once hard a homily about the sin of relativism and how some people (protestants) often fall into this thinking that all you need is a “relationship with God”. I also want to convey that we’re not forming an opinion on God but searching for the truth about him. And that we shouldn’t just let our fellow brothers in Christ stay astray but if we truly care we should help bring them to the truth.

Oh and his question was in regards to two questions I asked about how we know which books belong in the bible and how do we know we have the authority to interpret scripture.

Can anyone help me articulate these ideas into a better response?

You could answer like the old saints and point out that the truth is a person. (To get technical, the truth by definition is “something that is”. The Uncaused Cause - God - by definition: “the being that simply exists, he who is”.

Exodus 3:13 - ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, “I am He Who Is.”

John 8:58 - "Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

In wanting to give them the truth, you are wanting to give them more of God. If they lack the truth in any area, they lack God. One Church is objectively superior to all others, the Catholic Church. Not because it is filled with opinion, like you said, but because it is the only one that was founded by the Truth Himself.

Without the sacraments, they might never act in a way that would be favourable to Christ. Their souls literally depend on it. What he is saying is: “Why do you want to tell them the truth about God? Just leave them in error, save you the bother and let Him judge them”.

Only the demonic or someone who just speaks without thinking what they are saying would come out with something like that. No harm to him, but your friend is probably in the latter category.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. ***Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.***”

You should challenge them. They hold heretical beliefs and the Catholic Church is the bride and the only Church of Our Lord. There is no relationship with Jesus when a “believer” rejects the Church that He founded. Don’t get mixed up in relativism and false ecumenism. There is no salvation outside of the Church. Help those that can be helped. Those that reject you, also reject Him.

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The Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth, other denominations have elements of the truth. Having perfect orthodoxy and a perfect knowledge of the things of God is great, but worthless without charity. All things being equal, love of God and neighbour and all, I don’t see why a decent fellow who was brought up in the Church of E should stand a lesser chance of being saved than the same fellow who was, through no merit of his own, brought up in the Catholic Church. “There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” does NOT literally mean there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

I was told today of an elderly Catholic lady while suffering dementia told her non-Catholic husband’s Pentecostal pastor, “I WANT WHAT HE HAS!” And this pastor prayed over her with the “sinner’s prayer” and now she is “saved”.

Was this woman taken advantage of due to her dementia by this pastor and possibly her husband? I do not know any of them well and I was told this by third party, a non catholic third party.

As someone who has been a flopper as well for the last 5 years, mainly due to scrupulosity and just down right sinful pride and arrogance, I am not a good witness, but I did ask this person if this pastor is now proclaiming about how “we can save the catholics” from his pulpit? When I heard this news, I felt sad and also ashamed at what I have allowed to happen in my life since 2009 and I am looking forward to confession tomorrow to end this schism in my lfie and get my soul right with Christ and his one true church again.

As far as this catholic woman goes, I pray it was dementia talking. May God help us. Not only do we fight Satan, atheisim, but we fight a multitude of church going protestants on a daily basis.

Mary, pray for us.

Does this qualify as too literal (serious question btw)?

Saint Gregory the Great (590-604), Moralia: “Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.”

Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam sanctam (1302): "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Canticle of Canticles 6:8); which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5).

Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the “eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

Pope Sylvester II, Profession of Faith, June AD 991: “I believe that in Baptism all sins are forgiven, that one which was committed originally as much as those which are voluntarily committed, and I profess that outside the Catholic Church no one is saved.”

Pope Leo XII (1823–1829), Encyclical Ubi Primum: “It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members. For we have a surer word of the prophet, and in writing to you We speak wisdom among the perfect; not the wisdom of this world but the wisdom of God in a mystery. By it we are taught, and by divine faith we hold, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church… For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: ‘If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.’”

Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Allocution Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: "Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and “judgements of God” which are “a great abyss” (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive form the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever.

Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: “The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.”

Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): “By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth.”

Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 14: “They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it.”

Fourth Lateran Council (1215): “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.”

I will never pass judgement on the state of one’s soul, nor the great mercy that Our Lord is capable of flooding us with. He is the perfect judge and all will be dealt with accordingly. I don’t proclaim to know if those outside the Church are saved but I do understand that their chances of eternal salvation are greatly increased if they are in the Church rather than being outside of it.

Read this. It applies to non Catholic Christians as well as non Christians.

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_19051991_dialogue-and-proclamatio_en.html

[quote=Michael Mayo] Read this. It applies to non Catholic Christians as well as non Christians.

vatican.va/roman_curia/po…amatio_en.html
[/quote]

Maybe you gleaned something different from it than I did. So, all cultures have some truth, we dialogue, Jesus is the fullness of truth, hopefully they convert. What exactly were you hoping to convey?

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How strange that the specific teaching in Vatican II, *Lumen Gentium *#16 should be omitted:
“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.”

By way of analogy…

We should be **happy **that Haitians (or whatever poverty and famine-stricken country you would choose to insert here) have food to eat when we see bags of rice being delivered and people standing in line for their small portion, but we should want better for them.

We should not be content to leave them in their current state, we want not only to meet their most basic need, but we want them to have the best. We want all men to have life and have it abundantly, as the Scripture says. That abundance is found in the Catholic Church through the sacraments, the communion of saints, and the treasury of merit.

[quote=Abu] How strange that the specific teaching in Vatican II, Lumen Gentium #16 should be omitted:
“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.”
[/quote]

Not by design. Check out my parting comment. There is emphasis on ‘may’, and that’s risky in my opinion. The fullness of truth is in the Church and I have no confidence in other religions offering a means to salvation. The Church has been pretty clear since the beginning.

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Humility and respect.

  1. Learn to announce

Mindful of what God has already accomplished in those addressed, the Church seeks to discover the right way to announce the Good News. She takes her lead from divine pedagogy. This means learning from Jesus himself, and observing the times and seasons as prompted by the Spirit. Jesus only progressively revealed to his hearers the meaning of the Kingdom, God’s plan of salvation realized in his own mystery. Only gradually, and with infinite care, did he unveil for them the implications of his message, his identity as the Son of God, the scandal of the Cross. Even his closest disciples, as the Gospels testify, reached full faith in their Master only through their Easter experience and the gift of the Spirit. Those who wish to become disciples of Jesus today will pass through the same process of discovery and commitment. Accordingly the Church’s proclamation must be both progressive and patient, keeping pace with those who bear the message, respecting their freedom and even their “slowness to believe” (EN 79

  1. Internal difficulties
    c) **Christians who lack appreciation and respect for other believers **and their religious traditions are ill-prepared to proclaim the Gospel to them.

  2. The unity of salvation

From this mystery of unity it follows that all men and women who are saved share, though differently, in the same mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ through his Spirit. Christians know this through their faith, while others remain unaware that Jesus Christ is the source of their salvation. The mystery of salvation reaches out to them, in a way known to God, through the invisible action of the Spirit of Christ. C**oncretely, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their saviour. **(cf. AG 3,9,11).

  1. Christ established a Church as His body. We all fit into parts of that body to function according to His will. I see Christ as wanting everyone to be in that Body that He established so we can know the truth in all matters of salvation. We have a particular function to do according to the graces we have accepted so we work together as ONE body. Christ does not have a body for each church.

  2. We have a social dimension as well as a personal dimension. So does the Church. That means we have a personal prayer life and the public prayer life is the Liturgy. This Liturgy is more than just the Mass and comprises things like the Divine Office and other forms of public worship. In the Mass, the prayer is particularly that of the High Priest who is Jesus and we join with Him in that prayer to the Father in as much as we are conformed to Jesus at the moments.

  3. Many protestants say they have found Jesus. So where do they keep finding Him ? It is in the Church He founded at the Mass where He comes to us in the most personal way. That is where we REALLY find Jesus.

  4. Christ when He was here on earth after His Incarnation walked only a small part of the earth during His stay here. He left sacraments for us so He can touch us in personal ways and impart His graces directly to us. These sacraments give us His life in ways not available to people outside the Catholic Church. After all, it is His life we want because it is recognized by the Father as being that of His offspring. The sacrament of Reconciliation is also special in that we don’t need perfect contrition each time we want our sins forgiven. God is merciful in that respect and has allowed for our deficiencies in repentance through the sacrament.

  5. Christ has given His guarantee that the apostolic succession of apostles will be speaking for Him and that satan will not destroy His Church. This seems so clear in that most churches or ecclesial communities as Vat II calls them have changed their doctrines in things like marriage and abortion over the years. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth so it is impossible to have truth changed over time.

However if they are into music, fellowship, long preaching, they may have a point. I do not want to denigrate our separated brothers and sisters by saying they are inferior, but it is a prayer that we all may be one as John 17 wants us to be. Those groups have many wonderful gifts to share and do good work, but they are not the Church Christ established even though the Spirit can work through anyone at any time and the Spirit definitely does that., It will be a wonderful day when or if we finally get together. What power there will be.

[quote=Michael Mayo] Quote:

Originally Posted by aTraditionalist

Maybe you gleaned something different from it than I did. So, all cultures have some truth, we dialogue, Jesus is the fullness of truth, hopefully they convert. What exactly were you hoping to convey?

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Humility and respect.

  1. Learn to announce

Mindful of what God has already accomplished in those addressed, the Church seeks to discover the right way to announce the Good News. She takes her lead from divine pedagogy. This means learning from Jesus himself, and observing the times and seasons as prompted by the Spirit. Jesus only progressively revealed to his hearers the meaning of the Kingdom, God’s plan of salvation realized in his own mystery. Only gradually, and with infinite care, did he unveil for them the implications of his message, his identity as the Son of God, the scandal of the Cross. Even his closest disciples, as the Gospels testify, reached full faith in their Master only through their Easter experience and the gift of the Spirit. Those who wish to become disciples of Jesus today will pass through the same process of discovery and commitment. Accordingly the Church’s proclamation must be both progressive and patient, keeping pace with those who bear the message, respecting their freedom and even their “slowness to believe” (EN 79

  1. Internal difficulties
    c) Christians who lack appreciation and respect for other believers and their religious traditions are ill-prepared to proclaim the Gospel to them.

  2. The unity of salvation

From this mystery of unity it follows that all men and women who are saved share, though differently, in the same mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ through his Spirit. Christians know this through their faith, while others remain unaware that Jesus Christ is the source of their salvation. The mystery of salvation reaches out to them, in a way known to God, through the invisible action of the Spirit of Christ. Concretely, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their saviour. (cf. AG 3,9,11).

[/quote]

I mean no offense but I’m still not understanding your point. You’ve only accomplished in pointing out obvious evangelization strategies. You’ve also managed to imply that I’m not patient or respectful of others. The OP was asking us a specific set of questions in reference to heretical sects. Obviously, there must be some tact when dealing with people. On the other hand, catching flies with honey doesn’t work either. The OP should proclaim the truth and superiority of the Church. He should instruct those that are ignorant and help them weigh the information. In the end, they will accept or reject it. People thought Our Lord was nuts for teaching to eat his flesh and drink his blood. He taught that it was the way to eternal life. They walked away, and He let them go. Any opinion contrary to Our Lord’s teaching should be immediately thrown out. He spoke the truth and they rejected it and Him.

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My point is that if we challenge non Catholics with the* attitude* that we have the superior church and they are ignorant all we will do is argue with them. Far better to approach with an attitude to “live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations; collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people; share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.”

OP:“Is it necessary to challenge another believer in Christ? Is there a reason for it?”

I think “challenge” is too contentious a word. Whatever the particular “heresy”’ may be, as a Catholic we can share our view and enter into a mutaul exchange of dialgue as willing to learn as to instruct.

So I replied to him with the things I was trying to convey and with some of your ideas and he then said this

“So that brings up a great question, how do we determine they are wrong answers? I’m sure peer review isnt the best…”

I asked him why and he quoted Psalm 118:8 and then went on to say

“If the intent is to learn and become knowledgeable about seeking the truth…then learn about it and share about it. But to point out who is right or wrong…well I would consider your second question…who gives us the authority to determine…
who is right or wrong. After all, we are all men.”

I then replied “Sharing is exactly what I’m doing. How do we determine its a wrong answer and psalm 118:8 both lead to what I said earlier and my original questions. The psalm saying “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” you might take that and think well why do I go to church and listen to these people since they’re men. Most churches if you follow where they came from you’ll eventually find some human founder. However one of those churches like i said before isn’t just founded by man but our Lord himself. And as Jesus ascended into heaven he didnt shout back down to everyone “hey don’t forget to read my book.” no he entrusted the authority to teach in His name to 12 men and that they entrust the authority to teach to faithful men as well. Its not about pointing out who’s right and who’s wrong for our own sake. Its about helping others see the truth and not be lead astray or lead others astray”

Anyone have anything I could add to this. He seems to really be in the “you can’t judge people that’s rude” crowd thinking that my intent is malicious

[quote=Michael Mayo] Quote:

Originally Posted by aTraditionalist

I mean no offense but I’m still not understanding your point. You’ve only accomplished in pointing out obvious evangelization strategies. You’ve also managed to imply that I’m not patient or respectful of others. The OP was asking us a specific set of questions in reference to heretical sects. Obviously, there must be some tact when dealing with people. On the other hand, catching flies with honey doesn’t work either. The OP should proclaim the truth and superiority of the Church. He should instruct those that are ignorant and help them weigh the information. In the end, they will accept or reject it. People thought Our Lord was nuts for teaching to eat his flesh and drink his blood. He taught that it was the way to eternal life. They walked away, and He let them go. Any opinion contrary to Our Lord’s teaching should be immediately thrown out. He spoke the truth and they rejected it and Him.

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My point is that if we challenge non Catholics with the attitude that we have the superior church and they are ignorant all we will do is argue with them. Far better to approach with an attitude to “live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations; collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people; share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.”

OP:“Is it necessary to challenge another believer in Christ? Is there a reason for it?”

I think “challenge” is too contentious a word. Whatever the particular “heresy”’ may be, as a Catholic we can share our view and enter into a mutaul exchange of dialgue as willing to learn as to instruct.
[/quote]

I agree with you. I think we are just not connecting because of this medium of communication. If a heretic is purely ignorant, then dialogue works. They will hopefully do the math and convert. For the hardcore, they must be challenged and debated. If they a shred of intellectual integrity, then they will discern the truth. The rough part is nobody likes learning they are wrong or have been lied to by folks they trust. This tends to bring rejection. Regardless the approach, they will eventually accept or reject the information presented to them. People want truth. They want to be at the pinnacle of something. All people crave something more. I choose to offer it quickly and repeatedly with the context of individual situation at hand. If they don’t sense a superior alternative, then they will casually accept their inferior way as equal to the alternative. This happens a lot in our morally and religiously relative society.

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Perhaps the stronger challenging needs to be within the Catholic Church itself and the many Catholics in obvious dissent. If these people truly believe their view is held in good conscience perhaps it is best they become protestant. But that is another issue. I know many protestants and they are good strong Christians. We talk about our different views about many spiritual issues. Usually the most I can hope for is that they properly understand the Catholic view. There is almost no chance of conversion since they are so happy and fulfilled in their own churches…they (the other churches) seem complete enough for them until the Spirit leads them to deeper fulfillment. Then they might remember our happiness and peace in the life of the Catholic Church, its Sacraments and apostolic leadership.

Michael Mayo #16
My point is that if we challenge non Catholics with the attitude that we have the superior church and they are ignorant all we will do is argue with them. Far better to approach with an attitude to “live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations; collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people; share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.”
I think “challenge” is too contentious a word. Whatever the particular “heresy”’ may be, as a Catholic we can share our view and enter into a mutaul exchange of dialgue as willing to learn as to instruct.

Good points re sharing joys and sorrows etc., and the concentration on dialogue.

Now it is time to share the wisdom of St John Paul II who tackled this very problem. This quote from Blessed John Paul II in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 1984 (on Reconciliation and Penance in the mission of the Church today) is most relevant.
“Authentic dialogue, therefore, is aimed above all at the rebirth of individuals, through interior conversion and repentance, but always with profound respect for consciences and with patience and at the step-by-step pace indispensable for modern conditions.

“As the basis for this dialogue with the other Churches and Christian communities and with the other religions, and as a condition of Her credibility and effectiveness, there must be a sincere effort of permanent and renewed dialogue within the Catholic Church Herself.” (Ibid. #25)
tinyurl.com/3m2zv

‘Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life - that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. This people of God, though still in its members liable to sin, is ever growing in Christ during its pilgrimage on earth, and is guided by God’s gentle wisdom, according to His hidden designs, until it shall happily arrive at the fullness of eternal glory in the heavenly Jerusalem.’ (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 4.). Mysterium Ecclesiae, SCDF, 1973. My emphasis].

U.R. #11: “Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.
“At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.” [My emphasis].

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