You don't need to believe in Christ to be saved?

#21

What happens to an unbaptized baby? We can only pray and place them in God’s merciful hands.

What happens to those who are exposed to the gospel but do not hear? We can only pray and beg for God’s mercy.

God Bless,
Maria

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#22

[quote=Melchior] 1ke,

I don’t see how this makes modern Jews any different from first century Jews. They had plenty of room to claim invinsible ignorance.
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Certainly, there are many Jews (and others) throughout all the ages who are invincibly ignorant.

[quote=Melchior] Scripture makes it clear then we are without excuse when we reject Christ.
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Correction: We are without excuse when we reject Christ and the Church** knowing ** they are true.

[quote=Melchior] But are you going to tell me they are not responsible for their sins because others sinned against them?
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We are all responsible for our sins. That is not the same thing as being consigned to Hell.

[quote=Melchior] Scripture and tradition do not give us acceptable categories and unnacceptable ones for rejecting Christ. He Himself was pretty clear on the matter.
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Believe as you will, I disagree and so does the Church.

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#23

Luke 6: 36,37

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.

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#24

[quote=Melchior]Bob,

So what scripture says doesn’t matter? It can be contradicted. Please don’t insult me with a “Well you are Protestant so you cannot possibly understand anything that Jesus said nonsense”.

Mel
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I am sorry-I didnt know you are a Protestant. But OTH hand please dont put words in my mouth. I didnt say what scripture said was doesnt matter-what i said was that our** personal interpretation** of scripture is irelevant when discussing the issue from a Catholic viewpoint. We believe in obedience to the teachings of the Church-the church teaches that Jews are not automatically condemned to Hell. As a Catholic I must accpet that OR question whether I am in the right Church

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#25

[quote=Melchior]Bob,

So what scripture says doesn’t matter? It can be contradicted. Please don’t insult me with a “Well you are Protestant so you cannot possibly understand anything that Jesus said nonsense”.

Then why should anyone believe in Jesus if they can be saved without Him? I don’t know who is in Hell or not. But I do not that Jews do not, in fact, keep the Covenant God made with Abraham unless they accept the New Covenant. Why was St. Paul so concerned with seeing His Jewish brethren accepting Jesus as Messiah if they did not need him? You can say the Church says so. But that does not answer my question or the apparent contradiction. an you address that directly?

Mel
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You cant be saved without him. But that does not mean that we need to know him and acknowledge his name. ALL salvation is through the Catholic Church, the Church Christ founded to carry on his ministry after his accension. You reject the Church but i would not presime to state that mans you are going to hell for rejecting the one true Church. Not to offend you but the term “invincible ignorance” apples to our non Catholic but Christian bretjern also.

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#26

[quote=Mickey]Luke 6: 36,37

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
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I love that verse. It speaks to how we are to act towards others. Respectfully, it is not relavent to my question since I have condemned no one. The verse addresses interpersonal relationships. It does not say everyone who is nice but rejects Christ will be saved.

Here is the question, folks. If someone has heard the Gospel and understands the message and freely chooses to reject it how can they be saved when Jesus said they cannot? I am not asking about the ingnorant or those who have not heard. I am asking about those who have heard and understood and still rejected. Of course we should hope for them. But that is different than assuming they are saved because they are nice unbelievers. Why have a church at all if one does not need to be united to Christ at all (in any objective sense)?

Mel

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#27

[quote=estesbob]You cant be saved without him. But that does not mean that we need to know him and acknowledge his name. ALL salvation is through the Catholic Church, the Church Christ founded to carry on his ministry after his accension. You reject the Church but i would not presime to state that mans you are going to hell for rejecting the one true Church. Not to offend you but the term “invincible ignorance” apples to our non Catholic but Christian bretjern also.
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Thanks for your clarification in your previous post.

I was born into the Catholic Church but left for Evangelical Protestantims in my teens. I am in my 30’s now. And I am aware that Christians outsie of the Catholic church are in a different category than non-Christians. Honestly, I am at a point of leaning towards Catholicism. I am an Anglo-Catholic. But it is this new ambiguity that puts such rigors on the Catholic for Salvation while given a free pass to those who reject Christ (actively or passively) that so bothers me. I cannot reconcile what Jesus, Peter and Paul said and preached with this seemingly new twist on those outside the Church. I mean these ideas, if we are going to be honest, are pretty recent and were unknown in the Catholicism that my mother and elder brothers and sisters grew up with.

This is compounded with the rage at Protestants I see on this board quite often. I mean they embrace Christ (at least the Evangelicals and conservatice ones). I would think given all that has been said in this thread that the idea of people “coming home” seems kind of silly. Let’s be honest. It is much easier to stay on the straight and narrow if you are a commited Baptist or Presbyterian than it is a Catholic. Evangelicals are far more commited to fellowship and accountabillity and take there faith quite seriously on the whole. Why then would you want someone, say in the Archdiocese of Boston to leave a secure Christian environment with tremendous support for them and their children to leave such a solidly Christian world to enter into the Roman Catholic community in an area where the most you can hope for by way of community a “Peace be with you” and a handshake.

Given all that has been said - shouldn’t you folks be encouraging the Baptist to be the best Baptist he can be?

My Catholic mom has much more peace that her two Evangelical sons are in a state of Grace and will see Christ than her 6 other children who are catholic in name only. Why should she feel any different? She knows at least two of her kids love Jesus and strive to follow him. Why should she encourage her practicing Christian children to change anything? Seriously I want to know. The generic because of the “fullness of the faith” seems pretty empty if one doesn’t even need to believe in Christ or receive the Sacraments.

I am writing this from a state of puzzlement not animosity.

Mel

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#28

How do you know they have freely chose to reject it? Can you read hearts?

[quote=Melchior] I am asking about those who have heard and understood and still rejected.
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How do you know that they have heard and understood and still rejected? Can you read hearts?

Acts 4:12 says that salvation is found in no one other than Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” This verse and many others make it abundantly clear that Christ is the only Savior of the world. That is precisely why the Church says that its existence in the world is necessary for salvation: because we would not know of Christ had it not been for the Church. In Acts 4:12, Peter is pointing to Christ as the Savior, but he does so as an authoritative witness to Christ, as his chosen apostle. The people to whom Peter was preaching would not know of Christ except through his witness as the leader of the Church. So we can say that the proclamation of Christ by the Church is necessary for salvation. Outside of Christ there is no salvation and, by implication, outside the Church there is no salvation.

The Catholic Church insists on salvation only through Christ because it is the unchanging witness of Scripture and Christian Tradition. We cannot surrender the centrality of Christ or the Church without abandoning our faith and heritage. But…… there may be people who are united to Christ while not being aware of it. We don’t say that we know there are such people. We say that, because we don’t know if those outside the Church are cut off from Christ.

Catholic Answers

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#29

[quote=Melchior]Given all that has been said - shouldn’t you folks be encouraging the Baptist to be the best Baptist he can be?

My Catholic mom has much more peace that her two Evangelical sons are in a state of Grace and will see Christ than her 6 other children who are catholic in name only. Why should she feel any different? She knows at least two of her kids love Jesus and strive to follow him. Why should she encourage her practicing Christian children to change anything? Seriously I want to know. The generic because of the “fullness of the faith” seems pretty empty if one doesn’t even need to believe in Christ or receive the Sacraments.

I am writing this from a state of puzzlement not animosity.

Mel
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I think the problem is that your Mother (and Perhaps you) are confusing the actions of individuals in the Church with the actual teachings of the Church. The Church does encourage Baptists to be the best Baptists they can be WHILE acknowledging that their being a Baptist severely limits their ability to know the WHOLE TRUTH. The Church teaches that non-catholic Christian denominations all have a part of the truth-but again not the whole truth. The Church also does not teach in any way shape or form that non-catholic Christians are condemned to hell.

I think you can see this in action is the way Catholics evangelize. Most of us consider our Faith to be a Faith of attraction , not of promotion. I want YOU to become a Catholic not becuase I fear your immortal soul is in danger but because I want you to experience the great joy and spritual fullfillement that comes from being part of the One True Church and being able to experience "THE TRUTH in all its fullness

This morning I held our Lord and Savior in my hands and then, as commanded, ate his body and drank his blood. It just just not get any better than that.

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#30

[quote=Mickey]How do you know they have freely chose to reject it? Can you read hearts?

How do you know that they have heard and understood and still rejected? Can you read hearts?

Acts 4:12 says that salvation is found in no one other than Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” This verse and many others make it abundantly clear that Christ is the only Savior of the world. That is precisely why the Church says that its existence in the world is necessary for salvation: because we would not know of Christ had it not been for the Church. In Acts 4:12, Peter is pointing to Christ as the Savior, but he does so as an authoritative witness to Christ, as his chosen apostle. The people to whom Peter was preaching would not know of Christ except through his witness as the leader of the Church. So we can say that the proclamation of Christ by the Church is necessary for salvation. Outside of Christ there is no salvation and, by implication, outside the Church there is no salvation.

The Catholic Church insists on salvation only through Christ because it is the unchanging witness of Scripture and Christian Tradition. We cannot surrender the centrality of Christ or the Church without abandoning our faith and heritage. But…… there may be people who are united to Christ while not being aware of it. We don’t say that we know there are such people. We say that, because we don’t know if those outside the Church are cut off from Christ.

Catholic Answers
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Mickey,

Let’ s assume the obvious. You are being a bit unrealistic. We can know if they tell us they don’t believe the message. You are confusing categories. I am not concerned with what I know or don’t know. I am asking if they do reject (let’s assume they do and avoid this “you don’t know their hearts stuff” - exceptions always make bad law). For the sake of getting to the real issue pretend God has given us special insight and we know someone has rejected Christ. Why should we assume they are saved given the mountain of scripture and patrisitc writing to the contrary?

What I am hearing is that there are exceptions to the rule. But again, exceptions make bad law. Pro-aborts argue from exceptions. I am only refering the the normal means of salvation nothing more nothing less.

Is a man saved by following Christ after being united to him by faith and baptism? Or is he not? If you say yes but there may be exceptions to the normal means of grace known only to God then. Fine. But you seem to be making the exception the rule.

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#31

Mickey,

The Catholic Church insists on salvation only through Christ because it is the unchanging witness of Scripture and Christian Tradition. We cannot surrender the centrality of Christ or the Church without abandoning our faith and heritage. But…… there may be people who are united to Christ while not being aware of it. We don’t say that we know there are such people. We say that, because we don’t know if those outside the Church are cut off from Christ.

This is what I was looking for. Shouldn’t this have been emphasized from the beggining? And given what Father G said. Isn’t it fair to say he went beyond this by saying he believes that virtuous Jews *will * be saved instead of might be saved?

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#32

I think there has been a miscommunication here Mel. The Catholic Church believes that salvation is through Christ only. We are in agreement with you. However, it is not our place to judge someone even if they proclaim as an atheist from the rooftops, that they don’t believe in Jesus. The key here, as you said, is hope. We hope that these individuals will come to an understanding and belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even if it is on their deathbed–the laborer in the eleventh hour is paid the same wages as those in the first. If you have ever listened to other Fr Groeschel programs, you know that he is the farthest thing from a liberal priest who teaches incorrect doctrine. Yet he has immense love for everyone—Christians and non-Christians alike. We are called to love one another and have faith and hope that all will accept Jesus as their Savior so that we may share the joys of heaven in eternity.

God bless you,
Mickey

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#33

[quote=Melchior]Mickey,

This is what I was looking for. Shouldn’t this have been emphasized from the beggining? And given what Father G said. Isn’t it fair to say he went beyond this by saying he believes that virtuous Jews *will *be saved instead of might be saved?
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The problem is that we are not in agreement of what exactoly it is he said. However if he said virtuos Jew I think he was puting the emphasis in the wroing place. I would prefer he had said virtuos ,God fearing, faithful Jew.

Another thing to keep in mind is regardless of what he said he was spaeking for himslef-not the Church.

BTW-I dont mean to start a discussion on what fear of the Lord is other tha one should not take “God fearing” literally.

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#34

[quote=estesbob]Well I didnt see what he said but the doctine does not say that anyone who has been exposed to the Gospel and rejects it is going to Hell. I believe the term used is invincible ignorance and if through invincible ignorance one still rejects the gospel that does not man they are condemned to hell.

I have a very good friend who is Jewish. His family has been Jewish going back thousands of years. There is no way he is going to convert to Chrisitanity. IMO there is also no way he is automatically condemned to hell. he and his family have the kept the Covenant God made with Noah, Abraham, Moses et al 1,000s of years ago.
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That covenant is no salvific and has been replaced.

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#35

I’ve noticed that Fr. Groshel (not sure if I’m spelling it right) is very sympathetic to Jews. maybe it’s because of where he grew up. but I don’t think he speaks for the Church. I go to a very consertative Catholic Church and that is NOT a teaching that is pramoted. I read the vatican II document that was quoted and it seems that it doesn’t say what Fr. G was saying either. I will make a suggestion also, post this question on the “ask an appologest” forum. one of the people who work here can give you a much more educated answer.

You are right, this is something that angers a lot of protestants and I pray that it doesn’t push you away from the church. I am with you also, on this. I guarintee you that a rabbi who is FRIENDS with a priest has heard the truth and has looked at it through an educated perspective and has rejected it openly. What troubles me, also is what some Jews say about Jesus. this guy might not say these things (at least not to Fr. G) but there is this hubrew catholec connection group here and I really don’t like it much, but what can you do. anyway, thay had this Jewish guy come and talk about how the “our father” can be traced back to an old Jewish prayer. but he talked about that for like ten mintues and then when on saying HORRIBLE things about Mary and Jesus! is he saved??? I SERIOUSLY doubt it!

Also, Jews to not practice the old covenant properly becuase they no longer do sacrafices.

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#36

[quote=SueKrum]I’ve noticed that Fr. Groshel (not sure if I’m spelling it right) is very sympathetic to Jews. maybe it’s because of where he grew up. but I don’t think he speaks for the Church. I go to a very consertative Catholic Church and that is NOT a teaching that is pramoted. I read the vatican II document that was quoted and it seems that it doesn’t say what Fr. G was saying either. I will make a suggestion also, post this question on the “ask an appologest” forum. one of the people who work here can give you a much more educated answer.

You are right, this is something that angers a lot of protestants and I pray that it doesn’t push you away from the church. I am with you also, on this. I guarintee you that a rabbi who is FRIENDS with a priest has heard the truth and has looked at it through an educated perspective and has rejected it openly. What troubles me, also is what some Jews say about Jesus. this guy might not say these things (at least not to Fr. G) but there is this hubrew catholec connection group here and I really don’t like it much, but what can you do. anyway, thay had this Jewish guy come and talk about how the “our father” can be traced back to an old Jewish prayer. but he talked about that for like ten mintues and then when on saying HORRIBLE things about Mary and Jesus! is he saved??? I SERIOUSLY doubt it!

Also, Jews to not practice the old covenant properly becuase they no longer do sacrafices.
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Thanks, Sue.

This is a post the makes sense to me (not that I don’t appreciate everyone elses comments as well - I do).

I meant to make the same point about Jews not practicing animal sacrifice as well. But I forgot to as I got lost in all my bloviating. :o

Mel

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#37

[quote=SueKrum]I guarintee you that a rabbi who is FRIENDS with a priest has heard the truth and has looked at it through an educated perspective and has rejected it openly.
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Do you know this for a fact? If he has rejected it, do you know for certain that he will not have a conversion of heart before he dies? Have** faith** that these people will come to know Jesus. Have hope that they will indeed have a conversion of heart. And last but not least, have abundant **love **for them so that they will embrace the truth.

Faith, hope, and love!

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#38

[quote=bigdawg]That covenant is no salvific and has been replaced.
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Genesis 9

*Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” *

  • 12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13*

Can you show me where the discliamers are in these passages?

Of course being catholic we are also bound by the teachings of the Church who has state unequivocably that being Jewsih doe not condemn one to hell

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#39

[quote=estesbob]Genesis 9

*Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” *

  • 12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13*

Can you show me where the discliamers are in these passages?

Of course being catholic we are also bound by the teachings of the Church who has state unequivocably that being Jewsih doe not condemn one to hell
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I believe he was referring to the Mosaic Covenant. The Abrahamic is the New Covenant fullfilled in Christ.

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#40

Mickey,
I’m not saying that he won’t change his heart. but as it stands right (since he’s a rabbi) he hasn’t changed his heart. It would we wonderful if he did. it would be a powerful testament to the Jews that would ge great! but as it is right now (at least given the evidance that we have) he has not. so I’m saying that it appears to us that he has rejected the gospil, so good man, or no, he’s not coverd by the blood of jesus. He’s heard to word, but as of right now, he has not taken it to his heart.

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