What are your thoughts on the doctrine of the Fewness of the Saved?


#1

The doctrine of the Fewness of the Saved has been constantly taught by the Church for time immemorial.

It has never been infallibly defined, though it has never been condemned, so thus is a traditional teaching of the Catholic Church.

The doctrine teaches that the majority of mankind is damned … even the majority of Catholics.

Our Lord even said, “many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16)

I personally think it’s a very important doctrine that needs to be preached. Far too many Catholics today believe that everyone goes to heaven now as long as you’re a good person.


#2

I find it odd that he posted as a banned user. I'm assuming he was banned after he posted?

Anyways, I don't think this is Church doctrine at all...


#3

=trad_catholic33;10438774]The doctrine of the Fewness of the Saved has been constantly taught by the Church for time immemorial.

It has never been infallibly defined, though it has never been condemned, so thus is a traditional teaching of the Catholic Church.

The doctrine teaches that the majority of mankind is damned … even the majority of Catholics.

Our Lord even said, “many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16)

I personally think it’s a very important doctrine that needs to be preached. Far too many Catholics today believe that everyone goes to heaven now as long as you’re a good person.

Some time ago I went through a private exercise. I asked myself to inventory how many people I KNEW who i THOUGHT were headed to heaven.

It was spooky:o

Few seemed headed in the right direction [not playing God] just acknowledging what seems obvious by life-style choices. I have NO doubt about it’s truth.:eek:.


#4

I pray that no one is sent to Hell. But, I also think a lot of religion in our times (even certain groups within Catholicism) don't want to dwell on the struggles necessary to attain salvation, so a lot of talk about God's infinite grace and desire for all to enter into the Kingdom is made - not that these are not true statements, but the focus probably should be on the difficulties.

Honestly, I hold out hope for a straight shot to Heaven (can't see any other way but a martyr's death for that, and not too many angry, persecuting Romans currently...), but I really strive for Purgatory, since I know God's going to have a lot of scrubbing to do!


#5

I always thought that this was something that the Jehovahs Witnesses believed, not us Catholics. I was always taught that if you repented at the moment of death-even if only saying “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner” one would be saved!
This completely negates the concept that only the few will be saved.


#6

No, Jesus says that very few are saved
"How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leads to life: and few there are that find it!"


#7

I think maybe because few really believe in hell:shrug:


#8

Jesus DOES say some rather grim things that imply that few are saved and many walk the wide road to destruction. But I’m not aware of the CHURCH saying any such thing. One could hopefully interpret the sayings of Jesus in a manner that understands Him to mean that left to our own devices (without Grace), humanity follows the wide road… Too bad the OP is banned, because some more references would be nice. In the meantime, it’s not appropriate to call this assertion a “doctrine” unless that can be documented.


#9

[quote="manualman, post:8, topic:317223"]
Jesus DOES say some rather grim things that imply that few are saved and many walk the wide road to destruction. But I'm not aware of the CHURCH saying any such thing. One could hopefully interpret the sayings of Jesus in a manner that understands Him to mean that left to our own devices (without Grace), humanity follows the wide road.... Too bad the OP is banned, because some more references would be nice. In the meantime, it's not appropriate to call this assertion a "doctrine" unless that can be documented.

[/quote]

I ascribe to this thought as well. We've proven time and time again that without guidance, we're apt to pick the worst choice available to us, often because it's the easiest. I hope that's what he meant at least, because I know several non-Catholics who are good people that I hope to meet again after my death.


#10

One can believe many are saved. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote, in Spe Salvi, that it’s possible most souls go to Purgatory. I was told he said something similar when asked a question not too long ago.

If you ask me, outright, I will simply say, I don’t know. I trust in God’s mercy, and work to help others and improve my life to please Him.


#11

In my reading of the bible over the years I have never come across much that would indicate that most people choose heaven.
God is infinitely merciful. But he is also infinitely just.
Some of us will lead horrible lives yet repent on our deathbeds. (I'm thinking of the parable where a landowner hires some men in the morning, some in the evening, and some and hour or so before the end of the day. Yet they all receive the same wage. I've always thought that that was partially a hint as to who goes to heaven.)
How many times does our Lord speak about those who he will not even recognize? Jesus talks about hell a lot. I wonder why we don't hear much about hell from the pulpit.


#12

You can find lots in the Bible to support the idea that many go to Hell, and that most go to Heaven. Does my neighbor, who beats his wife (hypothetical), end up in the same place as Hitler? Does the college student who routinely has sexual relations outside of marriage end up the same way as a mass killer?

I would say that most people are, in the end, good. We sin, to be sure. But most people will help their neighbor in need, give to the poor, help out their community on Saturday, accept God as God, be faithful to their spouse, raise their children respectably, and confront evil when they see it. Yes, they commit sins of impurity and drunkenness and intemperance and anger. But, when the go to bed and wake up the next day, they are fundamentally good, honest, hardworking people aware of their own faults who feel a need for guidance. Are the pits of hell really filling up with these types? Somehow, that doesn’t seem in keeping with what we know.

I suspect the argument that most people accumulate varying levels of temporal punishment, but are eventually sufficiently cleaned of their sins to enter Heaven to be the most accurate.


#13

[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:2, topic:317223"]
I find it odd that he posted as a banned user. I'm assuming he was banned after he posted?

Anyways, I don't think this is Church doctrine at all...

[/quote]

It was possibly for this: forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10438255&postcount=1


#14

[quote="mburn16, post:12, topic:317223"]

I suspect the argument that most people accumulate varying levels of temporal punishment, but are eventually sufficiently cleaned of their sins to enter Heaven to be the most accurate.

[/quote]

I agree with you, and glad that I'm not God! :D


#15

[quote="trad_catholic33, post:1, topic:317223"]

I personally think it's a very important doctrine that needs to be preached. Far too many Catholics today believe that everyone goes to heaven now as long as you're a good person.

[/quote]

Jesus was quite clear on how it is that people will be judged, and He didn't mention anything about religion, simply read Matt. 25:31-46

But Jesus also warned that to those to whom much was given, much will be required. As it is, Catholics were given the full treasure of sanctifying grace through the Seven Sacraments, thus I would think that a Catholic might be held to a much higher standard than non-Catholics. Also, I don't believe most people go straight to heaven, but instead go through a painful purification in Purgatory. Jesus did not call on His followers to aim for Purgatory, but rather to aim for heaven, where nothing imperfect can enter. Thus Jesus warned about ending up in prison where one will remain until everything owed is paid back:

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." Matt. 5:25

As for eternal damnation,those who go to hell are those who chose to serve themselves through sin and selfishness. Here is a short video showing how Jesus said He will judge us. WATCH VIDEO


#16

It might be this poster was previously banned under a different name and came back using the new name but if he still used the same computer the tech guys should be able to detect that and ban again. I’m speculating.

Anyway, what he is posting about is not Church doctrine.


#17

I would ask this:

Knowing what Christ went through, knowing that Christ was the only son of God. Could we truly view God to be infinitely loving and merciful if the the redemption offered through his sacrifice, by man’s nature, made it almost impossible to achieve anyway?


#18

[quote="mburn16, post:17, topic:317223"]
I would ask this:

Knowing what Christ went through, knowing that Christ was the only son of God. Could we truly view God to be infinitely loving and merciful if the the redemption offered through his sacrifice, by man's nature, made it almost impossible to achieve anyway?

[/quote]

I think that a large part of the agony in the garden was Christ knowing that he would suffer physically, be mocked and then killed in a horrid way ... and yet so many millions of people who he was sacrificing himself for would ignore him and mock him down through the centuries.
We are the ones who make salvation impossible to achieve. God did what was necessary and merciful, but how many in this world (Catholics included) genuinely respond? How many people repent of their sin and actually make a permanent change in their lives? How many people actually put God first, others second, and themselves third? When suffering comes to us how many people accept it as a gift?
We are really a messed up bunch. (I may be the worst of the lot as I tend to 'live in my head' rather than in the world.)


#19

Why is salvation almost impossible to achieve?


#20

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