What if you had born into another religion?

Hi All,

If we had been born into another religion, we would likely now be in that religion. i.e. if this forum was based in Pakistan and we were born to muslim families, we would likely follow Islam.

Would you be destined to hell if born into the “wrong” faith, or do different rules apply?

If you are born a Christian and later come to doubt it, would this mean you would burn in hell? Is it therefore greater burden to be born a Christian that in another faith?

Does this prove that religion is a product of our environment and is culturally determined?

If we were born into atheist families, and there are plenty of these here in the UK, we may not even believe in God at all. What chance of heaven do the 90% of UK people get who dont attend church or a mosque. Or do they get into heaven simply for living a good life.

It does not add up to me. Or am I misunderstanding? thanks

The Church teaching is that one who is invincibly ignorant, i.e. has no exposure or “fair chance” (so to say) to hear the truth, cannot be faulted for not adhering to it. They are still expected to follow the principles of natural law, however, as that is inscribed on every heart regardless of the environment.

[BIBLEDRB]Luke 12:35-48[/BIBLEDRB]

A person does have to deal with the consequences of being affected by someone else’s decisions. But that is not cause for destiny.

Think about someone being hit by a car. That person does not have control of the car but must deal with the outcome.

No matter where we live and who our parents are, we do have guidance, lessons, and teachings to wade through and find truth.

What decision God will make for a particular soul, is not something we have in specificity.

There are rules that are clear about the consequence of specific actions though.

The key is understanding the rules in light of truth and therefore a translation to be learned, not a translation we make up on our own.

Good question. All throughout Catholic theology, including the theology of sin, is the principle that one cannot be guilty of something one is ignorant of. In the same way it is impossible for a non-Catholic to be guilty of the mortal sin of not going to Mass on the Holy Days of Obligation (because he has no idea that he is supposed to) or for a Muslim who has never heard anything about Catholic morals to be guilty of sinning in his polygamous marriage, someone raised in a non-Catholic family could very well have only been exposed in a very prejudiced, biased, or inaccurate way to the fullness of Christ’s Truth, and, as a result, may not be culpable for their un-belief when they die. In fact, one could make the argument that a country like Norway is now not unlike pre-colonial Papua New Guinea. So many of its people are so lacking of any knowledge of anything even closely resembling the Truth that, if they follow the promptings of their conscience, which is the Natural Law inscribed in all of us, they may yet enter the Kingdom of God.

This is all true, however we also have an obligation to search for the truth. God gave us an intellect to be used. When we have doubts, we can’t just say “I’m not sure about this” and then do absolutely nothing about it. We are obligated to search for truth, to do anything less would be unresponsible and slothful.

I can’t say that I would have found Catholicism. That is why I am very happy I was born into the Church. I am happy my parents insisted on giving me a Catholic education. Your question does raise the point - there are many people born outside of the Church, and we have been giving the task of evangelizing to them. I should get on that!

I do not believe the statsitics back up the assumption that people born into a religion stay in that religion.

I’m sure God factors all that in on Judgment Day, though.

Well I was born into another religion (Protestantism). Kinda proves your point wrong.

I was born into a family that does not believe in God…here i am, a very happy Catholic :slight_smile: im still the only one who believes

=Dave B_;11282489]Hi All,

If we had been born into another religion, we would likely now be in that religion. i.e. if this forum was based in Pakistan and we were born to muslim families, we would likely follow Islam.

Would you be destined to hell if born into the “wrong” faith, or do different rules apply?

If you are born a Christian and later come to doubt it, would this mean you would burn in hell? Is it therefore greater burden to be born a Christian that in another faith?

Does this prove that religion is a product of our environment and is culturally determined?

If we were born into atheist families, and there are plenty of these here in the UK, we may not even believe in God at all. What chance of heaven do the 90% of UK people get who dont attend church or a mosque. Or do they get into heaven simply for living a good life.

It does not add up to me. Or am I misunderstanding? thanks

HERE DEAR FRIEND IS THE SHORT ANSWER [but if you wnat more infor just contact me]

The answer is CONDITIONALLY NO!

God who can be described as" ALL GOOD THINGS [and only good thing] PERFECTED"

Thus God commits Himself to OFFER “sufficient grace” for everyones POSSIBLE salvation. BUT this grace can be denied, or misused.

God WILL Judge based on WHAT HE MAKES POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE TO KNOW:thumbsup: NOT WHAT ONE CHOOSES TO BELIEVE OR ACCEPT.

So one born into a different faith who HAS HAD NO OPPORTUNITY to know Christ as Savior will be judged on their charity.

One who CHOOSES to deny Christ; because of pride, ego, life-style choices will not be afforded salvation wihout Repentance and conversion.

SEE the cathechism #'s 780, 846 & 847
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

If further info is needed please request it:)

Luke 12: 47-48:
And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.

They are judged according to the life that was handed to them. The only visible ark on the planet is the Catholic Church. All other salvation is invisible and they are received or not received into the Church according God’s infallible discretion. When all visible and invisible member’s of Christ Church are drawn together, the rest will go away into eternal punishment.

Well… .I was born an agnostic. But I understand the question.

Frankly, the next best thing to being Christin would to be Jewish.

Dave B,

I feel only a member of the Catholic clergy can properly answer your questions. :shrug:

Based upon my own experience, God takes many forms, so if one is born outside Catholicism, one can still feel the presence of God while remaining ignorant of him.

In my own life, the Holy Spirit entered me when I was four years old, three years before I started attending Catechism and Mass. My experience of the Holy Spirit intensified, of course, while I attended Church.

As for those who doubt, I believe the Holy Spirit doesn’t pack up and leave simply because his human host has decided to entertain contrary thoughts and feelings.

I was born into another religion. It was the religion of secular agnosticism. But when I got old enough I questioned the meaning of life and questioned my assumptions and then decided to take a leap of faith and become Catholic after much meditation and soul searching.

Catechism of the Catholic Church answers this well,

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence 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.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

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.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

Richard Dawkins - “What if you’re wrong?” South Park

what if you were born into another religion?

dawkins address’s that issue–

youtu.be/fPJQw-x-xho

Hello Dave,

 Catholicism and Christianity in general is a test based religion.  The actual components of the test vary with each sect and also vary over time.  Your post assumes that life is a test where afterwards, based on some criteria, where after we die we are placed in some environment appropriate to are beliefs, or actions during our lives on earth.

 If instead our life here is one of many learning experiences, (reincarnation), then all of your above questions can be answered logically.  First off heaven and hell are not places.  People don't go to heaven, they grow to heaven.  

No you won’t go to hell or heaven for being in the right/wrong faith. You will not burn in hell for doubting your faith. What is proof for one person may not be proof for someone else. Personally I think it proves that test based faith systems usually create requirements which are conducive to the faith. Living a good life will help them to grow to heaven.

I have thought about this a lot
I have never been a follower and very independent along with being fairly well educated.

To me personally atheism made zero logic.

I had no idea jesus claimed to be God until I heard it in an evangelical church when I was 28 even know I was raised catholic. (very minimally)
Before that I thought all religions where equal and I could just pick what ever I liked as long as I was a “good person”

At that point I searched all world religions and found the majority could be broken down into three major groups
Heritage (born in to it). Judaism, Hinduism
Or
Historical revisionist, Mormonism, Protestant, Islam(Islam is basically a Christian heresy)
Or
Fulfillment, catholic and eastern orthodox are the only main stream religions I could find that take an ancient practice such as looking for a messiah and have no historical lapse.

This all said if I was born Jewish it would probably be hardest for me to be catholic because I would be still waiting for the messiah

If there a 1.2 billion Catholics out of a world population of 7.1 billion, 85% of the world is not Catholic. Plus a large proportion of those 1.2 billion baptised Catholics are not practising.

So I think it fair to say, the vast majority of people in the world are not Catholics.

I think that the Protestant offshoots are just other denominations, all within Christianity.

My point was that if you were born into a religion, you would *likely *remain in that religion.

I think that is likely on this forum, that many people are cradle to grave catholics, a minority of converts, and a minority from other faiths.

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.