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What does the Catholic Church mean by the phrase, "Outside the Church there is no salvation"
CUF ^

Posted on 06/28/2008 3:25:43 PM PDT by NYer

Issue: What does the Catholic Church mean by the phrase, "Outside the Church there is no salvation" (extra ecclesiam nulla salus)?

 

ResponsE: All salvation comes through Jesus Christ, the one Savior of the world (cf. Acts 4:12). His Holy Spirit dispenses those graces through His body, the Church. "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me" (Lk. 10:16).

 

Quoting from various documents of Vatican II and Pope Paul VI, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 776) explains:

 

As sacrament, the Church is Christ’s instrument. She is taken up by Him also as the instrument for the salvation of all, the universal sacrament of salvation, by which Christ is at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God’s love for men. The Church is the visible plan of God’s love for humanity, because God desires that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit. (see also nos. 846-848)

 

Discussion: There are two principal errors when it comes to the Church’s teaching on extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Some reject this teaching as both incorrect and arrogant. Others interpret this statement to condemn all those who are not visibly united to the Roman Catholic Church. To come to the proper understanding of this teaching, we must examine it within the context of divine Revelation and Church history. This examination will reveal that the phrase was not formulated to express who would go to heaven and who would go to hell, for only God will judge that. Rather, the phrase expresses an understanding of the Church in relation to her role in the salvation of the world.

 

Translation or Interpretation?

 

Many people translate the Latin phrase extra ecclesiam nulla salus as "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This translation does not seem entirely faithful to the Latin meaning, and contributes to the misunderstanding of the phrase.

 

The Latin word "extra" is both an adverb and preposition. Depending on its use in a sentence, the word has different meanings. When used to describe spatial relations between objects, the word is translated as "beyond" or "outside of"(e.g., beyond the creek is a tree; or, James is outside of the room). When used to describe abstract relations between concepts or intangible things, the word is commonly translated "without" (e.g., Without a method, it is difficult to teach). Within the phrase in question, extra is a preposition describing the abstract relationship of the Church to salvation. Considering the Latin nuances of the word, a proper translation would be, "Without the Church there is no salvation." This translation more accurately reflects the doctrinal meaning of the phrase.

 

Scriptural Foundations

 

In the Gospel of Mark, after the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the Eleven and gave them the commission, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk. 16:15-16).

 

In order to accept or reject the Gospel, each person must have it preached to him. If acceptance or rejection of the truth were based on private revelations given to each man, woman, and child, there would be no need for Christ to commission the Apostles to preach the Gospel. Jesus desired to reveal Himself through His body, the Church. While this passage condemns those who reject the truth, it does not condemn those who have not had the truth offered to them as Christ intends.

 

The New Testament clearly teaches that salvation is a gift offered by God in various ways to all men. Adam, Abel, and Enoch lived between the first sin and the covenant of Noah. They were bound by original sin. All are considered to be in heaven. Enoch did not even die, but was taken to God before death (Heb. 11:4-5). These men were neither baptized nor circumcised, but nonetheless saved.

 

When the gentile centurion came to Jesus in Capernaum and asked for the healing of his servant, Our Lord agreed to go to his home, but the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed" (Mt. 8:8). Jesus replied:

 

Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from East and West and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth (Mt. 8:10-13).

 

Jesus makes a clear distinction between those who are sons of the kingdom (that is, those who have knowledge of and accepted of the faith) and those who are not. He includes in the kingdom of heaven many of those who are not. Jesus graces us with His incarnation, and His presence is known through His Body, the Church. The Church carries on the work of Christ here on earth. Those to whom the Church has not preached the Good News will be judged by God in a manner known to God and tempered with His mercy. As St. Paul explains:

 

When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus (Rom. 2:14-16).

 

Sacred Tradition

 

Many people who claim that God restricts salvation to baptized Catholics cite the Fathers of the Church to prove their assertions. While space does not allow an exhaustive analysis of the Fathers, there are several necessary points to keep in mind. First, the Fathers must be understood in the context of their writings, not in the context of the one quoting them. The majority of the Fathers who wrote on this topic were concerned about those who had once believed or had heard the truth, but now rejected it. Many of them believed the entire world had heard the Gospel. Their words were not directed at those who, by no fault of their own, did not know the Gospel of Christ.

 

The Fathers do affirm the inherent danger in deliberately rejecting the Church. For example, St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote at the turn of the second century, "Be not deceived, my brethren; if anyone follows a maker of schism, he does not inherit the kingdom of God" (Letter to the Philadelphians 3:3). In the third century, St. Cyprian of Carthage wrote, "whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress [a schismatic church] is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he that forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is an alien, a worldling, and an enemy" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 6, 1). In the fourth century, St. Jerome wrote, "Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation" (Commentary on Titus 3:10-11).

 

On the other hand, many of the Fathers did write about those who were invincibly ignorant of the Gospel. Of these, the Fathers accepted that salvation was open to them, even if in a mysterious way. The Fathers recognized that the natural law of justice and virtue is written on the hearts of all men. Those who respect this law respect the Lawgiver, though they do not know Him. As St. Justin Martyr wrote in the second century:

 

We have been taught that Christ is the first-begotten of God, and we have declared Him to be the Logos of which all mankind partakes (Jn. 1:9). Those, therefore, who lived according to reason [logos] were really Christians, even though they were thought to be atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus, and others like them . . . those who lived before Christ but did not live according to reason were wicked men, and enemies of Christ, and murderers of those who did live according to reason, whereas those who lived then or who live now according to reason are Christians. Such as these can be confident and unafraid (First Apology 46).

 

In the third century, St. Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Before the coming of the Lord, philosophy was necessary for justification to the Greeks; now it is useful for piety . . . for it brought the Greeks to Christ as the Law did the Hebrews" (Miscellanies 1:5). Origen wrote, "[T]here was never a time when God did not want men to be just; He was always concerned about that. Indeed, He always provided beings endowed with reason with occasions for practicing virtue and doing what is right. In every generation the Wisdom of God descended into those souls which He found holy and made them to be prophets and friends of God" (Against Celsus 4:7). In the fifth century, St. Augustine wrote: "When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body . . . All who are within the heart are saved in the unity of the ark" (Baptism 5:28:39).

 

Magisterial Pronouncements

 

Throughout the history of the Church, the Magisterium has accepted and synthesized these teachings. Recognizing that God will judge our hearts according to the gifts we have received, invincible ignorance—that is, ignorance which cannot be overcome by ordinary means—tempers divine justice. Those who have knowledge of the truth are expected to accept it. Those who have not been given this gift will be judged according to the law written on their hearts. Two noteworthy examples of this position are found in Pope Boniface VIII’s bull Unam Sanctam (1302) and Pope Pius IX’s encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (1863).

 

Boniface VIII wrote concerning the nature of the Church and the supremacy of the Pope. He did not write concerning the damnation of those who have never heard the Gospel. After expressing the truth that there is only one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism and one Church, he explained that supreme authority of the Pope is both temporal and spiritual. He then ended by declaring: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce, that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." This is not a statement demanding that everyone know the supremacy of the Pope to be saved, but rather is a truthful claim that the Pope authority from God as the legitimate successor of St. Peter, to whom Our Lord entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

 

Pius IX clearly expressed the full teaching a century ago. His writing distinguishes between those who are invincibly ignorant and those who have willfully separated themselves from the Catholic Church:

 

There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches, and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, His supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments. Also well-known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved [without] the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior (no. 7).

 

Sacrament of Salvation

 

In an expression of the authentic Magisterium, the college of bishops further explained this doctrine in the context of Christocentric sacramental theology at Vatican II. Echoing the words of St. Paul, the Council described the Church as the Spouse and Body of Christ (Lumen Gentium, nos. 6-7). Jesus is one with His Spouse, the Church (cf. Eph. 5:32). The two form the one Body of Christ visible on earth. Christ is the Head, and He ministers through His body as the sacrament of salvation (Lumen Gentium, no. 9). To whom does He minister? Both His body and those apart from the body, that he might draw all men to Himself (ibid., no. 13). In this way, the Church dispenses to all men the graces of salvation won by Christ. Those who knowingly reject these graces are lost. Those who accept them are saved. Those who do not have the opportunity to accept the grace can be saved because of the presence of the Church in the world (cf. 1 Cor. 7:12-16). If they are saved, they are saved through the Church without their knowledge of that grace.

 

Vatican II declares:

 

[Many] of the most significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Him, belong by right to the one Church of Christ. . . . It follows that these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from the defects already mentioned, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church (Decree on Ecumenism, no. 3).

 

Come Aboard!

 

This teaching of Christ and His Church is not meant to allow indifferentism or exclusivism. Baptism and unity with the Catholic Church provide the only assurance of salvation, but not the only means. "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments" (Catechism, no. 1257, original emphasis).

 

The will of God is for "all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). To fulfill His will, Jesus commissioned the Apostles to preach the Gospel and baptize those who would embrace it (Mk. 16:16). He gave us the Sacrament of Baptism and unity with the Church as the ordinary means of salvation. By Baptism we are made sharers in the life of Christ. When we participate in the fullness of life within the Church, we remain obedient children of God with the Church as our Mother. To provide assurance for the salvation of all men, we must fulfill the command of Christ to evangelize the world and bring all into His Body, the Church.

 

Because God is not bound by the sacraments, He makes the grace of salvation available to all in ways unknown to us. This is the basis for the Church’s teaching on "Baptism of desire" (cf. Catechism, nos. 1258-60, 1281). This occurs, for example, when one seeks Baptism but dies first, or when one dies without explicit knowledge of Christ, but would have embraced the truth had it been presented. Only God can judge their souls.

The Church is the ark through which men are saved. Noah and his family were the only men saved on the ark, but even animals who had no understanding of the matter were saved with them. As the ark saved all on it, even those who had no knowledge, so does the Church, as the universal sacrament of salvation, dispense the graces won by Christ and applies them to all men of every place and condition. In a way mysterious to us, this salvation is offered to all, and God, who judges the hearts of all, will determine their destiny.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: salvation
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1 posted on 06/28/2008 3:25:44 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

A topic that often surfaces here in the FR Religion Forum.


2 posted on 06/28/2008 3:27:17 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

We discussed it briefly yesterday.


3 posted on 06/28/2008 3:32:41 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

Well, this thread will either get “lost” or have 2000+ posts by tomorrow.


4 posted on 06/28/2008 3:35:57 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee; annalex
Well, this thread will either get “lost” or have 2000+ posts by tomorrow.

ROFL!!! Do you recall the thread posted by UltraSonic entitled 'The Worship of Mary'? It is rapidly approaching 10,000 posts.

I have noticed a pattern, however. The stronger the scriptural defenses built into the actual thread, the fewer the responses. We'll have to see how this one fares.

5 posted on 06/28/2008 3:41:58 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
...What does the Catholic Church mean by the phrase, "Outside the Church there is no salvation"...

You have to go inside the building.

6 posted on 06/28/2008 3:44:30 PM PDT by FReepaholic (Me no bottom man. Me top man.)
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To: NYer

Thanks so much for the ping...


7 posted on 06/28/2008 3:46:54 PM PDT by andysandmikesmom
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To: NYer

One of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for posting.


8 posted on 06/28/2008 3:47:55 PM PDT by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: NYer

This issue is at least as misunderstood (or is it misunderestimated??) by non-Catholics (perhaps on purpose to justify certain feelings toward the Church) as Pope Benedict XVI’s statement on the defective nature of the various churches, denomination, and movements that are outside of Christ’s Church.


9 posted on 06/28/2008 3:52:33 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: NYer

Truth be told.
You will hear crickets on this thread.


10 posted on 06/28/2008 3:53:33 PM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Iron Mom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: NYer

Same attempt is used by ALL Religions: it means we are the only path to salvation.


11 posted on 06/28/2008 3:56:39 PM PDT by NoLibZone (When Shall We Have The Courage Our Founders Had? It's Time For The 2nd American Revolution.)
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To: NYer
Outside the Church Christ, there is no salvation.

Fixed it.

12 posted on 06/28/2008 4:01:41 PM PDT by rabidralph (Dems now have Oil Derangement Syndrome)
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To: FReepaholic

The “church” is just people who have been saved by Jesus Christ. That is all the “church” is - Christian people; and as nice as Christian people are, they have no power to save anyone. Only Christ saves, and that is his business, through the Holy Spirit drawing them to the person of Jesus Christ - the temple not made with human hands.

The idea that some organization of men, doing rituals, making pronouncements, collecting money and sometimes misusing it, some of them engaged in sinful behavior and some of them hiding it, can save anyone defies common sense.

Now I imagine that I’ll be advised to go and wash my mouth out with soap and water for telling the truth.


13 posted on 06/28/2008 4:03:50 PM PDT by Twinkie (TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT !!!)
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To: Twinkie

I thought the Roman Catholic Church had the franchise.


14 posted on 06/28/2008 4:16:32 PM PDT by damper99
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To: NYer
Many people translate the Latin phrase extra ecclesiam nulla salus as "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This translation does not seem is 100% entirely faithful to the Latin meaning, ultra conservatives and liberals contribute to the misunderstanding of the phrase.

The Latin word "extra" is both an adverb and preposition. Depending on its use in a sentence, the word has different meanings. When used to describe spatial relations between objects, the word is translated as "beyond" or "outside of"(e.g., beyond the creek is a tree; or, James is outside of the room). When used to describe abstract relations between concepts or intangible things, the word is commonly translated "without" (e.g., Without a method, it is difficult to teach). Within the phrase in question, extra is a preposition describing the abstract relationship of the Church to salvation. Considering the Latin nuances of the word, a proper translation would be, "Without Outside the Church there is no salvation." This translation more accurately reflects the doctrinal meaning of the phrase.

There fixed it

15 posted on 06/28/2008 4:21:03 PM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: wagglebee

my personal opinion is that no one religion is “perfect” or is “better” than any other there are bad catholics and good catholics, bad protestants and good, bad hindus and good, bad muslims and good, the list goes on. every religion has something to offer, its own salvation and people should choose the religion that best suits their individual spiritual needs. i dont think that only christians are saved, only catholics, only protestants, or only muslims or only anyone else. it all matters in how a person lives their life that determines what will happen to a person in the life to come:)


16 posted on 06/28/2008 4:39:20 PM PDT by mayu33
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To: mayu33; wagglebee; annalex
every religion has something to offer, its own salvation and people should choose the religion that best suits their individual spiritual needs.

You are not alone in this thinking but you are wrong.

History is full of men who have claimed that they came from God, or that they were gods, or that they bore messages from God - Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Christ, Lao-tze, and thousands of others, right down to the person who founded a new religion this very day. Each of them has a right to be heard and considered. But as a yardstick external to and outside of whatever is to be measured is needed, so there must be some permanent tests available to all men, all civilizations, and all ages, by which they can decide whether any of these claimants, or all of them, are justified in their claims. These tests are of two kinds: reason and history. Reason, because everyone has it, even those without faith; history, because everyone lives in it and should know something about it.

Rreason dictates that if any one of these men actually came from God, the least thing that God could do to support His claim would be to pre-announce His coming. Automobile manufacturers tell their customers when to expect a new model. If God sent anyone from Himself, or if He came Himself with a vitally important message for all men, it would seem reasonable that He would first let men know when His messenger was coming, where He would be born, where He would live, the doctrine He would teach, the enemies He would make, the program He would adopt for the future, and the manner of His death. By the extent to which the messenger conformed with these announcements, one could judge the validity of his claims.

Reason further assures us that if God did not do this, then there would be nothing to prevent any impostor from appearing in history and saying: "I come from God," or "An angel appeared to me in the desert and gave me this message." In such cases there would be no objective, historical way of testing the messenger. We would have only his word for it, and of course he could be wrong.

If a visitor came from a foreign country to Washington and said he was a diplomat, the government would aske him for his passport and other documents testifying that he represented a certan government. His papers would have to antedate his coming. If such proofs of identity are asked from delegates of other countries, reason certainly outght to do so with messengers who claim to have come from God. To each claimant, reason says: "What record was there before you were born that you were coming?"

With this test one can evaluate the claimants. Throughout the history of the ancient world, there are records of pagans, Jews, Romans and Greeks anticipating the birth of the Messiah. The Magi of the East knew of His coming. Even the Chinese had the same expectation. A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two periods: one bfore His coming, the other after it. Buddha did not do this,m nor any of the great Indian philosophers. Even those who deny God must date their attacks upon Him, AD so and so, or so many years after His coming.

A third fact separating Him from all the others is this: every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came into it to die.

If He is what He claimed to be, a Savior, a Redeemer, then we have a virile Christ and a leader worth following, especially in these difficult times.

17 posted on 06/28/2008 5:03:53 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer

This is one the many teachings that is debated within Rome as to whether they were infallible. Another question is, how evident was it that those closest to the statements understood it to require formal submission to Rome?

All told, the sad fact, which is testified to both doctrinally and empirically, is that there is seldom found salvation within Rome, which effectually promotes faith in one’s merits (”by those very works ..to have truly merited eternal life” - Trent )and the power of the church for salvation, rather than contrite repentant faith in Christ and His sinless shed blood, which while multitudes are manifestly born again by believing.

And it the church that works to convict souls of their utter inability to either escape Hell or gain Heaven by any dependence upon the works or church, but upon the Biblical Christ, that is indicative of a true church. And whose authenticity does not rest upon formal ecclesiastical linkage, any more than that of a true Jew rests upon physical genealogy to Abraham. Rather in both cases it rests upon Abrahamic type faith in the apostolic gospel of the grace of God.

And since it is upon faith in Christ that one is baptized into the church (1 Cor. 12:13), there is no one saved outside of it.


18 posted on 06/28/2008 5:50:17 PM PDT by daniel1212 ( Give your sins and life to Him who died your us and rose again. Jesus is Lord.)
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To: daniel1212

“All told, the sad fact, which is testified to both doctrinally and empirically, is that there is seldom found salvation within Rome”

Of course you use the word Rome to represent your own distorted perception.

“...and the power of the church for salvation, rather than contrite repentant faith in Christ and His sinless shed blood.”

How can you have contrite repentant faith in Christ and not attempt to live by His Laws?


19 posted on 06/28/2008 6:21:06 PM PDT by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: NYer; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

20 posted on 06/28/2008 6:32:19 PM PDT by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: NYer

“extra ecclesiam nulla salus”

Now when I was in the first grade in Catholic school, the nun told me that meant that the Greek Orthodox were going to hell because they didn’t “submit” to the Pope of Rome. How much do you want to bet I’ll never forget that or that down deep I still believe that’s what Roman and Latins believe?


21 posted on 06/28/2008 6:33:11 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: Twinkie

“The “church” is just people who have been saved by Jesus Christ. That is all the “church” is - Christian people; and as nice as Christian people are, they have no power to save anyone. Only Christ saves, and that is his business, through the Holy Spirit drawing them to the person of Jesus Christ - the temple not made with human hands.

The idea that some organization of men, doing rituals, making pronouncements, collecting money and sometimes misusing it, some of them engaged in sinful behavior and some of them hiding it, can save anyone defies common sense.”

Makes perfectly good sense to me and I hope you didn’t put soap in your mouth! It tastes nasty!!


22 posted on 06/28/2008 7:36:45 PM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: mayu33
my personal opinion is that no one religion is “perfect” or is “better” than any other

Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that, if I worshiped the moist stain on the floor beneath a urinal that it is no worse than any other religion?

23 posted on 06/28/2008 7:55:42 PM PDT by Ron Jeremy (sonic)
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To: NYer

The Catholic faith rests on two supernatural events, the Incarnation and the Resurrection of Christ. From these we logically conclude that God gave us a supernatural purpose of eternal life. Any teacher other than Christ can help in explaining why or how, but he cannot alter this reality.


24 posted on 06/28/2008 7:59:29 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: big'ol_freeper

“This issue is at least as misunderstood (or is it misunderestimated??) by non-Catholics (perhaps on purpose to justify certain feelings toward the Church) as Pope Benedict XVI’s statement on the defective nature of the various churches, denomination, and movements that are outside of Christ’s Church.”

This issue is also misunderstood by a few Catholics on FR and I am glad to see this article posted.

Mel


25 posted on 06/28/2008 9:47:37 PM PDT by melsec (A Proud Aussie)
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To: NYer
The Fathers do affirm the inherent danger in deliberately rejecting the Church. For example, St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote at the turn of the second century, "Be not deceived, my brethren; if anyone follows a maker of schism, he does not inherit the kingdom of God" (Letter to the Philadelphians 3:3). In the third century, St. Cyprian of Carthage wrote, "whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress [a schismatic church] is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he that forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is an alien, a worldling, and an enemy" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 6, 1). In the fourth century, St. Jerome wrote, "Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation" (Commentary on Titus 3:10-11).

No doubt this Apostasy worked well before the word of God was put into a book that people could read in their own language...Men wearing long robes and performing rituals made them look 'pious'...

Thank God the lies and deception are now out in the open...And yet, some people still chose religion over the words of Jesus Christ...

We have been taught that Christ is the first-begotten of God, and we have declared Him to be the Logos of which all mankind partakes (Jn. 1:9). Those, therefore, who lived according to reason [logos] were really Christians, even though they were thought to be atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus, and others like them . . . those who lived before Christ but did not live according to reason were wicked men, and enemies of Christ, and murderers of those who did live according to reason, whereas those who lived then or who live now according to reason are Christians. Such as these can be confident and unafraid (First Apology 46).

What a damnable heresy...You are a Christian ONLY if you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour...No amount of 'reason' will get you into the Body of Christ...

Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior (no. 7).

Heresy upon heresy...This could only be spoken by a unsaved person who does not know Jesus Christ...Completely unbiblical...

Baptism and unity with the Catholic Church provide the only assurance of salvation,

Sorry, there are millions of Christians who consider your religion to be another cult who have 'real' assurance of Salvation...Assurance from the word of God and the Holy Spirit...

He gave us the Sacrament of Baptism and unity with the Church as the ordinary means of salvation.

Not according to God's words...Repentance and accepting Jesus as your Saviour are the ordinary and ONLY means of Salvation...Any other way will get you into Hell...Eternal damnation...

One would be smart to 'dump' those church fathers and pick up a dime store bible and find the TRUTH...

26 posted on 06/29/2008 4:54:35 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
What a damnable heresy...You are a Christian ONLY if you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour...No amount of 'reason' will get you into the Body of Christ...

Thank you for sharing your own personal interpretation of Scripture.

27 posted on 06/29/2008 4:57:51 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
Not according to God's words...

Your personal interpretation of them.

Repentance and accepting Jesus as your Saviour are the ordinary and ONLY means of Salvation...

Sola fide is non-Scriptural error.

You mention heresy? THAT is your heresy.

28 posted on 06/29/2008 4:59:44 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
Sorry, there are millions of Christians who consider your religion to be another cult...

Many hate the Catholic Church, to be sure.

...who have 'real' assurance of Salvation...

So they have been convinced.

Assurance from the word of God and the Holy Spirit...

Sola fide is not Scriptural. It is a false tradition of men.

29 posted on 06/29/2008 5:01:59 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
One would be smart to 'dump' those church fathers and pick up a dime store bible and find the TRUTH...

That would be the conclusion of someone who has abandoned logic, reason and common sense, right?

30 posted on 06/29/2008 5:02:54 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
Thank you for sharing your own personal interpretation of Scripture.

Sorry Petronski...That's God's interpretation...We're not allowed to interpret scripture...

31 posted on 06/29/2008 5:03:27 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
...a dime store bible...

Better to splurge on an unredacted copy...you know, the kind with all 73 books.

32 posted on 06/29/2008 5:04:13 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
That's God's interpretation...

Nope.

33 posted on 06/29/2008 5:04:45 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
That would be the conclusion of someone who has abandoned logic, reason and common sense, right?

God speaks to that issue...

1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

34 posted on 06/29/2008 5:07:28 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Petronski
Sola fide is not Scriptural. It is a false tradition of men.

Who taught you that Petronski??? Did God teach you that , or~~~

35 posted on 06/29/2008 5:09:13 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool

Is God a dispensationalist?


36 posted on 06/29/2008 5:09:56 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: swmobuffalo; verga
“The “church” is just people who have been saved by Jesus Christ. That is all the “church” is - Christian people; and as nice as Christian people are, they have no power to save anyone.

Unfortunately, this definition of ‘the church’ cannot be true, unless Christ is a liar. Look at the Church in context of Scripture.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mat 5:14-15

So here Christ says His Church will be visible.

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mat 6:18

Here Christ says his Church will not be destroyed.

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:12-13

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1Tim 3:15

Here Christ says, and Paul reaffirms, that the Church will always teach the TRUTH.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."Mat 28:18-20

Again, here Jesus assures us that He is always with us, to the very end.

So Christ says His Church will not be destroyed or fall away from him, that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church to always teach the Truth, and He will always be with us. The church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth is much more than a collection of nice people who read a Bible and believe anything they want.

37 posted on 06/29/2008 5:10:49 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is an EVIL like no other, and must be ERADICATED)
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To: Iscool
Wisdom is a gift from God. Paul condemns "wisdom of this world" in that verse, not all wisdom.
38 posted on 06/29/2008 5:15:08 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
Did God teach you that...

Yes He did, through His Church, founded by God the Son and guided by God the Holy Spirit.

39 posted on 06/29/2008 5:16:07 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: FatherofFive
Unfortunately, this definition of ‘the church’ cannot be true, unless Christ is a liar.

Or, you don't have a clue what Jesus was talking about....

Jesus was talking to Jewish disciples...Not a Roman Catholic Gentile in the bunch...Jesus was speaking to individuals, not a Roman Catholic church...THAT is the context...

What about the rest of the chapter...It's all the same context...

Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Does that verse describe YOU??? And the others that go along with it???

Here Christ says his Church will not be destroyed.

No He didn't...Jesus said the 'gates of Hell' would not prevail against it...

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1Tim 3:15,/i>

The Living God is the pillar and ground of the truth, not some man-made religion...

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:12-13

Jesus was not talking to the Catholic church...Jesus was neither speaking to just the Apostles or disciples...The Holy Spirt did not come to show truth to the Catholic church...

The discourse starts in chapter 14, for those that own a bible...

Joh 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

If a man love me...Not a church...Not a pope, cardinal, bishop or priest...Not an Apostle...A man...Any man...Any man that loves God...

So Christ says His Church will not be destroyed or fall away from him, that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church to always teach the Truth, and He will always be with us. The church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth is much more than a collection of nice people who read a Bible and believe anything they want.

A guy can prove anything by the scripture if he mis-quotes enough scriptures...

40 posted on 06/29/2008 7:48:13 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: annalex
Thanks for the head-up.

I suppose that--despite my indication that I did not care to argue this point with you and your seeming agreement--nevertheless when you saw this post (perhaps you and NYer conspired to post it just now in light of Friday's discussion) you felt duty-bound to bring it to my attention in case either I was interested or the Holy Spirit wished to edify me. I hope I am always ready to receive what He has for me; anyway, I did read through it. I notice that you did not argue it personally, substituting others' arguments; I refrain from referring you to others' counterarguments.

My position remains unchanged that I do not now find it compelling to debate this with you, despite this latest provocation, beyond again affirming that I find the arguments presented to be (I shall be charitable and avoid the apt term "ludicrous") unconvincing.

However, having been thus provoked, I do take this nonargumentative liberty of asking whether you (as representing Catholics in general, if I may so dress you for this purpose) feel even any hint of discomfort at your too-lofty perch. That is, to overgeneralize, arrogating to oneself the position and role of sole avenue for salvation (again, I overgeneralize), does it not make you a bit queasy that you join thereby Satan and his prideful attempt to match God and the Pharisees' to essentially do the same? I am not suggesting anything Satanic or Pharisaic, I am pointing out the similarity of your positions: essentially, usurping God's role. You know well what happened to them. I am not suggesting a similar fate for you, I hasten to add--I believe that Catholics can be saved, even as I believe that some Protestants will not be, salvation not depending on the church but rather on the heart. But the history of those who claim they own the ball has not been to win the championship. I know, I know, the keys of the kingdom, etc., etc. As I say, I am not arguing the point. I am asking the human question: does it seem at all risky to you? Tenuous? Pretentious? Does it ever give you any pause? Should it? Just asking.

One reason I ask is that I saw that pride in my father when he converted to Catholicism late in life. He dealt with it very imperfectly, and I trust you now enough to ask, if you would be so good, whether that concerns you. One of my reasons for asking you of all people is your own experience with your wife's conversion--you would know.

NOTE TO BYSTANDERS: This is a personal question just for annalex, based on our existing relationship. I am completely uninterested in anything anyone else might care to say, so please save it.

41 posted on 06/29/2008 8:49:22 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God is, and (2) God is good?)
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To: NYer
The church, as in the building, means NOTHING. You can have a “church” anywhere. It can be outside or in a building.

It is all about belief. People that worship Christ are the “body”. The body that worships Christ is the “church”. The “church” is the “body” of believers. The “church”, as int he building or the “body” of believers, doesn't determine anyones “salvation”. It is ONLY Christ, not the “church”, that determines who is “saved” and who is not “saved”. No mortal in a position of authority determines anyones salvation. It is ONLY Christ that determines this. He sees into your heart. It's not the rituals, traditions or ceremonies you participate in that determines your alvation stauts either.

42 posted on 06/29/2008 8:56:14 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: FatherofFive

“Here Christ says, and Paul reaffirms, that the Church will always teach the TRUTH.”

No, the “church” isn’t teaching the truth. It is rare that a church teaches truth today. Christ did NOT say that nor did Paul affirm that.

The church is falling away, today. The Bible teaches this:

2Thes.2:3

[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2Tim.4:3

[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;


43 posted on 06/29/2008 9:01:28 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Iscool
Not according to God's words...Repentance and accepting Jesus as your Saviour are the ordinary and ONLY means of Salvation...Any other way will get you into Hell...Eternal damnation...

One would be smart to 'dump' those church fathers and pick up a dime store bible and find the TRUTH...

Do you have this verse in your Bible?

1Pe 3:21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Or this one: Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Dang those pesky facts

44 posted on 06/29/2008 9:02:55 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Iscool
Jesus was talking to Jewish disciples...

If they believed Jesus was Christ, they were also Christians.

Not a Roman Catholic Gentile in the bunch...

Not a Gentile in the bunch, but the only Christians at the time were Catholics.

Jesus was speaking to individuals, not a Roman Catholic church...THAT is the context...

Those individuals WERE the Catholic Church as it existed at the time.

...The Living God is the pillar and ground of the truth, not some man-made religion...

Well, first "pillar and ground of the truth" modifies "church," not "of the living God" (which is merely a prepositional phrase also modifying "church."

Second, you're right about no 'man-made religion.' The reference was to the Catholic Church, created by God the Father, founded by God the Son and guided to this day by God the Holy Spirit.

45 posted on 06/29/2008 9:07:10 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
A guy can prove anything by the scripture if he mis-quotes enough scriptures...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the dispensationalist creed.

46 posted on 06/29/2008 9:08:10 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Iscool
“One would be smart to ‘dump’ those church fathers and pick up a dime store bible and find the TRUTH...”

You are soooo right!

Precisely what some advocate here, the “church” traditions and rituals will NOT gain you anything. It's all about what is in your heart. Many are quite content to do what the Bible says NOT to do:

Matt.6:7

[7] But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Matt.15:9

[9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark.7:7

[7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

It is NOT an "interpretation issue". It's rather CLEAR for anyone who cares to follow CHRIST and not fallible mortals with a power hungry agenda.

Some prefer this:

Eph.4:14

[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

They don't want to read the Bible. They'd rather listen and follow some fallible mortal with an agenda. Truth isn't important to them and they'd rather trust IMPERFECT HUMANS to determine what they believe and where they wind up when they die - how foolish!

47 posted on 06/29/2008 9:09:38 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Iscool

You know Scripture!

Bless you and hopefully you’ll get through to the lost.


48 posted on 06/29/2008 9:10:37 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Iscool
Jesus was not talking to the Catholic church...

He certainly is: the Apostles were the Catholic Church at the time.

Jesus was neither speaking to just the Apostles or disciples...

These are Christ's words at the Last Supper. Who else was there but the Apostles?

The Holy Spirt did not come to show truth to the Catholic church...

No. The Holy Spirit came to show to the world through the Catholic Church, which at the time of the Pentecost was entirely sequestered in the upper room.

The discourse starts in chapter 14, for those that own a bible...

Hmmm. Jesus and the twelve gather for the Last Supper at the beginning of John 13, and the discourse runs through the end of John 17.

49 posted on 06/29/2008 9:15:41 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: nmh
It's rather CLEAR for anyone who cares to follow CHRIST and not fallible mortals with a power hungry agenda.

Fallible mortals such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Darby, Machen, Lindsey, LaHaye, et al.

50 posted on 06/29/2008 9:18:05 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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