I think that they have “bet the house” so to speak, on the fact that their way is THE WAY. I went to non-denominational bible schools for a couple of years in elementary and through jr high, even though my family was catholic. From my experience, most protestants have very little understanding of the Catholic Faith and thanks to inept catechism, most cradle catholics know little more.
In a nut shell, they believe that once saved, always saved. That Jesus’ dying on the cross was enough, we don’t need confession, communion, baptism, works of mercy, etc. Now, for the average every day human being in today’s western culture that theos is much “easier”, if you will, than being a good Catholic in our modern secular culture.
Having stated that on these forums before, I have been repremanded by some catholics. Their argument was that actually being catholic makes it easier for one to obtain heaven because the church offers us the tools, (ie, the sacraments) to do so. That is true, and believing it (which I do) is one thing, but practicing it in the world is another. For some, in particular fallen away catholics) it’s easier to take the “I am saved, no matter what” road.
A protestant friend asked me once if I was going to heaven. I said “I don’t know, but I pray that I am”. This was shocking to her, she on the other hand, knows she’s going to heaven. When, I asked her how she can be so sure? “I am saved”. So then I said, “well what if you commit a serious sin, such as theft, murder, etc?” Her reply, “Once you ask Jesus into your heart and are saved you are always saved. Jesus already died for your sins”.
How can I argue with that? I think that this way of thinking excuses us from really taking responsibility for our souls. It doesn’t force us to have to recognize our sinful nature and realize that we are in constant struggle to live a holy life. I think this is why protestant thinking is so attractive to most people today, there is a perceived lessoning of suffering for a relationship with Christ. It’s just plain easier.