Salvation and the Catholic Church
I had a conversation with a coworker today. She is Catholic and her husband is an evangelical Christian. We got to discussing how that works for their relationship and the subject of Sola Scriptura (The belif that the Holy Bible is the Divinly inspired word of God and is the only valid source of spiritual guidance.) I care very much for this person and she has been nothing but kind and gracious to me since we have started to work together. So I pray that this does not come off as mean spirited or bashing, but it is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about recently and I must confess, after our discussion and further reading on the subject, I feel that the Catholic view of salvation is much more INSTITUTION centered than CHRIST centered. Given, evangelical congregations can be guilty of this as well (thinking that only Baptists or Methodists or whatever are saved), but I has no idea how much self-promotion was built in to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE correct me if the webpage I got this information from is false or misleading. It is not my intent to misrepresent the Catholic church, but since it was a web page sponsored by Catholics, I figured it would be reliable.
Here is the web page where I have recieved the information for this blog: http://www.catholicdoors.com/courses/salvatio.htm
76. In Summary, for someone to be saved, he must,
(A) Have faith in Jesus,
(B) Be properly baptized, and (So he must have water sprinkled on him in just the right fashion? Jesus couldn’t save the person if it was done incorrectly, but he still made Jesus his lord?)
(C) Die in a state of righteousness. (Isn’t our righteousness born of Christ? Once we receive Christ, thus the holy spirit, who said “[Jesus] will be with us always unto the very end of the age” isn’t righteousness forever contained in us via the Holy Spirit? )
(D) Have faith in Jesus and the intent of converting to the Catholic faith prior to dying. While he may not have been baptized by water, he would have received the Baptism of blood or of desire. (Again, we must have the intent of converting to Catholicism in this instance in order to be saved, not just believe in Jesus. So the religion of Catholicism is necessary in addition to faith in Christ to be saved.)
77. Those who do not immediately die after having been baptized and who have committed mortal sins, their righteousness can only be achieved through the Sacrament of Confession. As such, it is true that the fullness of the means of salvation is only found in the Roman Catholic Church. (Here again the emphasis is that the means of salvation is only found in the Catholic church…this point is then refuted by the same authors in point 81)
78. The Council of Trent affirmed with certainty that all are born afflicted with the original sin that has its roots in the disobedience of Adam, a sin which is the “death of the soul.” [Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512] Because of this affirmed truth, the Roman Catholic Church has never been able to accept as truth that unbaptized infants who have died, are saved.
79. Being unable to affirm the salvation of the cherished unbaptized infants of Catholic families, nor can the Church affirm the salvation of the unbaptized infants of our separated brothers and sisters!
80. Equally, being unable to affirm the salvation of Catholics who die in a state of mortal sins, nor can the Church affirm the salvation of our separated brothers and sisters who die bearing a lifetime of sins because their faith did not enjoy the Sacrament of Confession! (Here again the emphasis is on the sacrament, not on the grace of Jesus. Basically this is saying that “If you didn’t partake in the sacrament of confession, we can not say for sure that you are saved. But if you did, you are certainly saved.” Since when is Jesus more concerned with rituals than with a person’s heart?)
81. Indeed, for Divine Justice to be manifested on earth as it is in Heaven, under exceptional circumstances, there is salvation outside the Catholic Church! (I would be interested in hearing some examples of these circumstances. Even though, as stated in point 77: “The fullness of the means of slavation is only found in the catholic church).
Perhaps the most intriguing “sound-byte” if you will to take away from this is: “the fullness of the means of salvation is only found in the Roman Catholic Church.” Which translates into (as best as I can figure out, again correct me if I am wrong) that “The fullness (or complete) means of salvation is only found in the Roman Catholic Church”.
Let me ask you something: If something is can be made COMPLETE, it must have more than one piece or component, correct?
Because to be INCOMPLETE (not full) is to infer that something is missing or not present.
If something is missing or not present, that means that what is already present is not sufficient.
If one part/component is present (faith in Christ) and one is missing (the whole “Catholic Church” part), how can Catholics possibly claim that they view faith in Christ alone is sufficient for salvation?
Not once, in the bible, did Christ say that you had to be a member of A church to be saved. In fact, one can not be considered a true member of the church (aka the body of believers) UNTIL Justification occurs and salvation is given (aka someone is saved). A person becomes a member of the church (body of believers) because they are saved, they are not saved because they became a member of the church (institution or congregation).
Imagine what Jesus would say if he were here today and heard that “His grace, via our faith, wasn’t enough”. I could only imagine the holy and justified anger that he would emote.
Again, I pray that I have not misrepresented the Catholic church. Please correct me if you see errors.
May God bless us all with wisdom, love and clarity.