Who does the church say a "Christian" is

What would be the churches official postion on who is a Protestant and who is a non Christian such as lds

Is it only the trinity ?

As I understand it, from a Catholic perspective, having a valid baptism (even if it’s a baptism of desire, or baptism of blood) is the prerequisite. I very well could be wrong.

Someone who is Christian, according to the Catholic Church, is anyone who has faith in Christ as Lord and is not heretical in their teachings and is baptized. So, like Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox are all considered Christians. When you go astray from that like with the heresies of Jehovah’s Witnesses or the LDS, then you are not considered a Christian by the Church even if you still believe in Christ. I may be off there but I think thats about right :slight_smile:

A validly baptized person is a Christian.

The Church determines what constitutes valid baptism. In some cases, such as Mormon baptism, the Church has ruled that it is not a Christian baptim.

Thankfully the Catholic church does not get to decide who is “Christian” or not…by the definitions provided in this thread, I am not a Christian…but I am, by identification, confession, belief in Christ…I just do not participate in the “outward rituals”…the “outward rituals” do not make one a Christian…one can perform, accept, receive all the rituals in the world, and still not be Christian…a follower of Jesus of Nazareth…I am a follower of Jeus of Nazareth…what the Catholic church thinks of my “Christian status” has no bearing on how I live, believe and conduct my affairs.

On the Last Day, it will not be the Catholic church who determines my Eternal Destiny…so why should they determine how I identify myself?:shrug:

“Oneness” Pentecostals reject the traditional doctrine of the Holy Trinity and baptize “in the name of Jesus” alone instead of “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. I’ve met some Baptists who say that baptism isn’t needed except if someone was previously baptized in the Catholic Church :whacky:. And then there are some Protestant denominations such as Salvation Army that don’t do any of the sacraments at all. According to Catholic teaching, those who were not validly baptized into the Christian faith would not be considered Christians. There might be other Protestants who may have invalid baptism or none at all such as some “non-denominationals” since their beliefs would probably depend on what the pastor at each local congregation preaches.

Asked this question a while back and it fits nicely into this thread:
How much can a person “get wrong” (in regards to docrtine) and still be “right” (considered a Christian)?

There is some truth in what you say, but there is also a tendency towards being simply dismissive of the Church which Jesus promised to build beginning with Peter, the rock. Consequently, I’m going to give you the full measure of “Why Be Catholic?”

The Necessity of Being Catholic (Condensed)
by James Akin

  1. To be saved it is necessary to be a Christian.
  2. To be a Christian it is necessary to be a member of Christ’s Church.
  3. To be a member of Christ’s Church it is necessary to be a member of the Catholic Church.
  4. To be a member of the Catholic Church it is necessary to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
  5. Therefore, it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

In this argument, the necessities are all normative necessities and the kind of membership being discussed is formal membership. The argument has a logically valid form (in fact, it expresses a variation on what is known as the “hypothetical syllogism” argument form), meaning that the truth of its conclusion depends only on the truth of the premises it contains.

When a Protestant objects to the above argument, it will be to the third proposition – that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded. Both sides agree on the other three points. While it is beyond the scope of this article to give a full proof of the third proposition (this is one of the major tasks of Catholic apologetics), we can offer a limited proof.

Both Protestants and Catholics agree that Christ founded some Church and that this Church will remain forever (Matt. 16:18). The question is whether this Church is a visible communion that can be identified or whether is it a purely spiritual communion made up of all the saved. If it is a visible communion, the Catholic Church is the only plausible candidate, since only this Church extends back far enough (the Eastern Orthodox communion did not finally break with Rome until the 1450s, a mere sixty years before the Protestant Reformation). We can thus give a limited argument for the third proposition by showing the Church Christ founded is a visible communion.

This is proven in Matthew 16:17-19, the passage in which Christ promised the gates of hell would never prevail against his Church (meaning that it would always exist). Several factors in the text show he was talking about a visible communion.

First, Jesus made Peter head of this Church (Matt. 16:18), yet Jesus was certainly not making Peter the head of an invisible Church. It is Christ’s own prerogative to be head of the invisible communion of Christians stretching from heaven to earth (Eph. 5:23). Therefore, he must have made Peter the head of a visible, earthly church. (We will not argue here that Jesus made Peter the head; even if one disagrees, the remaining arguments prove our case.)

Second, Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:19), which are for use in Church government (compare Isa. 22:22 – the only Old Testament parallel to this verse). But one cannot govern an invisible communion of believers, only a visible one.

Third, Jesus gave Peter the power of binding and loosing (Matt. 16:19), which Matthew 18:17-18 indicates is used in Church discipline. But one cannot exercise Church discipline over an invisible body. Indeed, Matt. 18:17-18 refers it to public excommunication, in which an individual is treated by the church as “a gentile or a tax collector” (that is, as an unbeliever).

Fourth, Jesus explicitly stated that Peter would exercise the power of binding and loosing on earth. This shows his authority is an earthly one, over an earthly Church.

Fifth, Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church (Matt. 16:18), meaning that it would never perish. But it would be ridiculous to promise that an invisible Church would not pass out of existence since some of the Church’s members are in heaven and Christ’s heavenly Church cannot pass away by its very nature. Only a visible, earthly communion needs a promise that it will never perish.

There are thus abundant reasons to conclude that the Church Jesus was discussing in Matthew 16:17-19 was a visible communion of believers, and, since only the Catholic Church goes back that far, only it can be the one Christ founded.

You mean the Orthodox?:slight_smile:


Also one Pope said “if you are baptized in the Name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit you are a Catholic”

God bless
Merry Christmas

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