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Essays for Lent/Easter: Salvation Outside the Church?
StayCatholic.com ^ | 2001 | Sebastian R. Fama

Posted on 04/23/2012 6:04:14 PM PDT by Salvation

 

Salvation Outside the Church?

by Sebastian R. Fama

One of the Catholic Church's most controversial teachings is the doctrine of "No Salvation outside the Church." The controversy stems from a misunderstanding of what the Church really means by this. The doctrine has been stated a number of times throughout Church History. One such time was in 1302 when Pope Boniface VIII wrote the following in "Unum Sanctum:" "That there is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church we are compelled by faith to believe and hold, and we firmly believe in her and sincerely confess her, outside of whom there is neither salvation nor remission of sins…. In her there is 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism'" (Ephesians 4:5) (no. 1).

It appears that the Church is saying that only Catholics can go to heaven or that Catholics are better than everyone else. However, neither view would be correct. The Church is simply acknowledging the fact that Jesus formulated one plan of salvation. If that is true, then it follows that all other plans are false. The Church is merely declaring that she believes her teachings to be true. Certainly that should be expected of any religion. After all, if you didn't believe that your teachings were true, why would you believe them?

But if only the Catholic Church has the complete plan of salvation, how would it be possible for a non-Catholic to get to heaven? Vatican Council II addressed this point in its "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium)," "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience those too may achieve eternal salvation" (no. 16). In short, those who are truly unaware of what God requires of them are not held responsible; rather they are judged by what they did with the truth they had.

Ironically, many Bible Christians have their own version of "No Salvation outside the Church". They believe that unless a person accepts Christ as personal Lord and Savior he or she is headed for hell. No allowances are made for people who don't know any better. The Catholic Church rightly portrays God as both just and merciful as opposed to legalistic.

Traditionalists view God in the same way that Bible Christians do. They believe that God makes no exceptions. Do it right or you are lost. In this case if you are not Catholic you have no chance for salvation. They reject Vatican II's qualification of the doctrine. They contend that Vatican II ignored earlier councils and introduced something new. Thus it is invalid and to be ignored. This of course is false. The Church's teachings before and after the council are the same.

Prior to Vatican II, children were taught the faith from the Baltimore Catechisms. In Catechism number 3, on page 106 question 185, and page 39 question 69, you will find the following:

185. Who is punished in hell?

Those are punished in hell who die in mortal sin; they are deprived of the vision of God  and suffer dreadful torments, especially that of fire, for all eternity.

69. What three things are necessary to make a sin mortal?

To make a sin mortal these three things are necessary: First, the thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong; second, the sinner must know that it is seriously wrong; third, the sinner must fully consent to it.

So only a mortal sin can damn you to hell. And in order to be guilty of a mortal sin, you must know that you are committing one! Hence, if you don't know, you are not guilty. Jesus Himself teaches this very thing in John 9:40-41 where He says to the Pharisees: "Some of the Pharisees near Him heard this, and they said to Him, 'Are we also blind?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say 'we see,' your guilt remains.'" In other words because they knew better they were guilty of sin. Had they not known better, they would not have been guilty.

Prior to Vatican II Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical "On Promotion of False Doctrines (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore)," said the following:

We all know that those who suffer from invincible ignorance with regard to our holy religion, if they carefully keep the precepts of the natural law which have been written by God in the hearts of all men, if they are prepared to obey God, and if they lead a virtuous and dutiful life, can, by the power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life. For God, who knows completely the minds and souls, the thoughts and habits of all men, will not permit, in accord with His infinite goodness and mercy, anyone who is not guilty of a voluntary fault to suffer eternal punishment (no. 7).

He said essentially the same thing in "On the Church in Austria (Singulari Quidam);"

It must, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only ark of salvation, and that whoever does not enter it will perish in the flood. On the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who are affected by ignorance of the true religion, if it is invincible ignorance, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord (no. 7).

The invincibly ignorant would not include those who think that all religions are the same. That would be indifference. Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6), not a way. The person who is invincibly ignorant honestly believes, though erroneously, that he is going the right way.

St. Augustine's position is also consistent with Vatican II. "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 Church] in heart are saved in the unity of the ark (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 5:28 [39] [A.D. 394]).

Clement of Rome, a contemporary of the Apostles, wrote, "Let us go through all generations and learn that in generation after generation the Master has given a place of repentance for those willing to turn to him. Those who repented for their sins, appeased God in praying, and received salvation, even though they were aliens to God" (Letter to the Corinthians, no. 7 [AD 95]).

Paul clearly teaches that we are judged by our intentions. "Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God" (1 Corinthians 4:5).

He expands on this in Romans 2:13-16, "For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. 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 that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus."

Their conflicting thoughts would accuse them if they suspected but ignored the fact that God required them to be members of His Church. As Vatican II put it in it's "Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity (Ad Gentes Divinitus)," "Hence, those cannot be saved, who knowing that the Catholic Church was founded through Jesus Christ, by God, as something necessary, still refuse to enter it or remain in it" (no. 7). Their conflicting thoughts would excuse them if they truly sought God but were unaware of this requirement.

Dissenting Catholics, Traditionalist or otherwise, would do well to read the letter of the Holy Office concerning Fr. Leonard Feeney, who dissented on this issue back in 1949. It states in part, "But this dogma [No Salvation outside the Church] is to be understood as the Church itself understands it. For our Savior did not leave it to private judgment to explain what is contained in the deposit of faith, but to the doctrinal authority of the Church."

Copyright © 2001 StayCatholic.com



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; salvation
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To: Salvation

The subject is hotter than one about prophecy.

God’s the judge, won’t it be a surprise who made it to
Heaven.

Everyone is saved through or by the Catholic Church. The
Catholic Church is the source for Christ’s teachings, come down from the Apostles.

This is the New Covenant.


51 posted on 04/24/2012 1:18:25 AM PDT by stpio
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To: Salvation
"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation" (no. 16). In short, those who are truly unaware of what God requires of them are not held responsible; rather they are judged by what they did with the truth they had."

What a bunch of heretical malarkey.

Here is God's Word on the matter...

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:18-21).

~~~

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. ( Romans 3:19)

All who come into this world under the federal headship of Adam, whether they've heard the Gospel or not, are condemned already. Only salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ can remedy this.

52 posted on 04/24/2012 1:35:50 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?)
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To: Salvation
"On the heaven, purgatory or hell question — no one knows. The priest was right."

"This day shalt thou be WITH ME in Paradise"

Dang ... I .. and we all ... are no better, worse in fact, than a condemned man ON the gallows.

(death bed conversion?)

There goes all that "live for the Lord" stuff

53 posted on 04/24/2012 1:57:23 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: gghd
"God decides fault. God will decide whether you get into heaven or not."

Yep ... already has ...

"No man cometh unto the father but by me"

Not the church (ecclesia)

54 posted on 04/24/2012 2:11:18 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: EnglishCon

Look for the fruit. If one is repentant, it is an ongoing battle to overcome those fleshly desires.

Our earthly fathers, while not perfect, are a picture of our heavenly father. I messed up several times growing up, but I was never tossed out of the family.

Better example. My pastor has adopted a child. That child is now a permanent member of the family. When I confessed that I was a sinner and needed Christ as my savior, I was adopted. One of the fruits of that is that I daily fight against my sinful desires. I will fail from time to time, but I am not going to be tossed out, I cannot lose my salvation, as I see it for the gift it is, and desire to please Him who saved me. His sacrifice was not a “get out of hell free” card that allows my to continue sinning.

One who has me desire to repent was most likely not really adopted into Gods family. If there is no true desire to be member of Gods family, god does not force you.


55 posted on 04/24/2012 2:52:00 AM PDT by The Bard (http://www.myfbc.com)
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To: The Bard

Exactly, dear friend.

We will sin, because we are flesh and blood as well as spirit.

In some ways I envy your faith and strength - I personally need the structure of the Church to face my sins fully.

While I know the Lord is good and forgives and sustains, I can’t forgive myself for falling short on my own. start to feel unworthy, which makes me less likely to confront failings, which makes me feel even more unworthy.


56 posted on 04/24/2012 3:09:46 AM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: Celtic Cross
>>So what happens to CynicalRhinoTusk? After all, he has never known Jesus, at least not in the conventional sense.<<

Let me get this straight. You think that those who have never heard of Jesus but lived good lives went to heaven right?

Now, they were “in a small village in Africa” and they all lived good lives and were going to heaven. But you do gooders read that Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel so you pass the collection plate, put the money together with other do gooders and send a missionary down to “do God’s work”. The “villagers” don’t much cotton to this new fangled idea and send the missionary packing and reject any talk of some foreigner who is supposed to “save them”. Now we know that anyone who rejects Jesus is going to hell right? So what you and the rest of the do gooders just did was condemn a bunch of people that would have gone to heaven to hell? Is that what your telling me?

57 posted on 04/24/2012 5:04:18 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear; Celtic Cross
Bear, you just found the fly in the ointment.

That part of the doctrine was developed because there were some in the pre Christian world like Cicero, Plato, and such that were greatly admired by the early Church. Many of the Early Church Fathers could not see how one who had such a strong moral code that they taught and lived out, but had no knowledge of Christ, would be damned.

It is like saying all the children killed by abortion went to heaven. Simply put, we can't say that. We are not allowed to with the information revealed to us to say that. We can hope for a merciful God to look on those little ones, but if you say all aborted children went to heaven you make abortion a good thing. Because if a mother is going to kill her child, the likelihood of her raising that child to know and follow God was not very good. That child had a decent chance of going to hell, and him or her being killed pre birth saved them.

Same with the “Village in Africa” mind game. We can hope for God's mercy, but with the information given to us the likelihood is that those villagers were not going to make it to heaven.

58 posted on 04/24/2012 6:40:44 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum; Celtic Cross
>> We can hope for God's mercy, but with the information given to us the likelihood is that those villagers were not going to make it to heaven.<<

That’s correct. Many like to revert to human emotionalism which is unscriptural. Catholics can’t have it both ways. Here is what Tertullian said which is basically the RCC view of original sin.

"Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame." Tertullian, On the Soul, 40 (A.D. 208).

Catholics can’t believe that man must be “born again in Christ” to be saved and that those who are not “born again” can also be saved.

59 posted on 04/24/2012 7:03:48 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear; Celtic Cross
Its not just a “Catholic” problem. Lutheran doctrine also addresses this in part.

The point is that while a villager in Africa may truly seek to know God, but not have all the information. God MAY choose to save that person because of their heart. However, we CAN'T know that, or even expect that, to happen. We also can't say that God wouldn't save that person because of no fault of their own. All we can say is that since we don't know God, we don't have enough information. God is merciful, but he is also just. Everyone likes to forget that.

The only path to God is through Jesus. We pretty much all agree on that. We agree that those villagers in Africa should have the Gospel preached to them, and that has a much higher possibility of getting them to heaven than a possibility not directly mentioned in the Bible developed to answer a “what if?” question.

Now for Catholics, that field is narrowed to those who are full members of the Roman Catholic church (even non Roman rites are suspect to some theologians). There are and were good reasons for that doctrine to develop. Much like most Christians in the US would put Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses outside the pale of the “Church”.

The danger is that you have to start asking yourself, what saves a man? The church as an earthly body? (Which the Catholics don't really teach) Just Jesus (what about the Mormans or muslims who have a very different picture of what and who Jesus is)? That is the question we must all answer, and work out in fear and trembling.

60 posted on 04/24/2012 7:20:49 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: knarf

Hmmm, must be a voice from the dead by saying, “Yep,...already...has’ in relation to the comments on this thread.

OR

Someone that thinks they are God? “but by me”

Roman Catholic Church teaches ‘free will’ & we creatures are not Gods. There is only one God in Heaven & God is revealed to us as The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit.


61 posted on 04/24/2012 7:45:28 AM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: All; Salvation

http://eternalsecurity.us/


62 posted on 04/24/2012 7:51:55 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: WhoHuhWhat

Thank you for your reply.


63 posted on 04/24/2012 7:59:30 AM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: CynicalBear

This is for anyone commenting on the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is possible to find the >actual teachings of the Catholic Church on the Internet. The Vatican has a website.

According to the Catholic Church, people are “Born Again” at Baptism. There are >three ways to be Baptized into the ‘Body of Jesus Christ.’ = 1. By Water (Typical Baptism),

2. By Blood (A Martyr’s death for the sake of Jesus Christ. An example of martyrs dying for the sake of Jesus in the Bible is all the children killed by King Herod. The Catholic Church calls all these children ‘The Holy Innocents.’ Please notice that the children killed by King Herod had >No knowledge of Jesus Christ.)

3. The Baptism by Desire. A Catholic dictionary = ‘The equivalent of sacramental baptism of water which in God’s providence is sufficient to enable a person to obtain the state of grace and to save his or her soul. According to the Church’s teaching, “those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but neverthe less seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience-—those too may achieve eternal salvation.’ If that quote sounds familiar, its because it’s also in the article that leads this thread.

The person posting the article with the Moniker: salvation, has an enormous number of links >already posted on freerepublic that explain Catholic teaching. Salvation has real good links here on freerepublic. +Salvation is backed-up by folks that can pray the most powerful prayer offered to God.


64 posted on 04/24/2012 12:25:52 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: EnglishCon
You are quite correct that we cannot earn our way to salvation. It is a gift, freely given, that all we need do is accept. That, to me, is a cop out. I can accept the Lord into my heart then go on a killing spree with a clear conscience. To me, once you accept the gift of salvation, you have a duty to attempt to live up to it. We can not, as we are only human, but we both can and should try.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your use of the term "cop out" is curious, since I did not in any way condone the idea that we accept the Lord "then go on a killing spree with a clear conscience". My contention is that, per Holy Scripture, we are not saved by ANY works that we do - with which you said you concurred - and that must in turn mean we are not KEPT saved by works we do either. You see, to me, it is a cop out to say we are saved by God's grace and then turn around and say BUT you have to do this, that, and not do this, that in order to remain saved. That kind of reasoning comes from the false doctrine of infused grace rather than imparted grace.

The difference between these two really boils down to what must "we" do to be saved - since being saved is NOT a temporary condition. Either you have eternal life and are born again or you are condemned. There is no middle ground. We are born from above or we are still dead in our trespasses and sins. The real question, then, is what does Scripture say? Peter had that question asked of him, "What must I do to be saved?", when he was miraculously freed from prison. The jailer was so terrified but what he saw with his own eyes, that he wanted whatever Peter had. Did Peter answer him with, "Go to my church and do everything they tell you to do and if you did it all right, when you die you may be saved."? NO! He said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." All that other stuff about not sinning or not intentionally sinning is man-made distraction from the truth of the Good News - that God creates within us a NEW nature and we are changed from the inside. That doesn't happen because we are good enough first, but by God's grace that he pours upon us when we come to him in faith.

65 posted on 04/24/2012 2:04:36 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: redgolum; CynicalBear
The point is that while a villager in Africa may truly seek to know God, but not have all the information. God MAY choose to save that person because of their heart. However, we CAN'T know that, or even expect that, to happen. We also can't say that God wouldn't save that person because of no fault of their own. All we can say is that since we don't know God, we don't have enough information. God is merciful, but he is also just. Everyone likes to forget that. The only path to God is through Jesus. We pretty much all agree on that. We agree that those villagers in Africa should have the Gospel preached to them, and that has a much higher possibility of getting them to heaven than a possibility not directly mentioned in the Bible developed to answer a “what if?” question.

But Scripture DOES answer the question, in many places. Who was Abram? He was a man from Ur of the Chaldees (perhaps Iraq) who sought the TRUE God. His people worshipped multiple false gods, and he rejected that because God revealed the truth to him. He answered the call of Almighty God who tells us all:

"But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee. (I Chronicles 28:9)

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)

The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psalm 22:26)

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17)

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (Lamentations 3:25)

For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. (Ezekial 34:11)

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:7,8)

That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (Acts 15:17)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That to me sure seems like God is letting it be known that no one has an excuse for not knowing the truth - because if he earnestly seeks it, God will get it to him. As for the aborted babies or those that die as children, they are covered under the merciful grace of God - how can they not be? There is ONLY one true God and he has made a way for mankind to be redeemed from his sins, no person will be judged because he didn't know - ALL people will know and those who refuse the light of truth will be condemned - justly. Shall not the God of all the earth do right?

66 posted on 04/24/2012 3:08:10 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
>>As for the aborted babies or those that die as children, they are covered under the merciful grace of God - how can they not be?<<

So you don’t believe that all of mankind inherits the sin of Adam thereby needing redemption? Where in scripture is it said that babies of those who have rejected God are saved?

67 posted on 04/24/2012 3:27:29 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: gghd
>>An example of martyrs dying for the sake of Jesus in the Bible is all the children killed by King Herod.<<

So all the children killed by Herod died for Jesus? I think not. They died because of Jesus but not for Jesus. If that’s a teaching of the CC it’s one of the many ways they have gone totally off track.

68 posted on 04/24/2012 3:50:33 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear
You are trying to figure out a question that we can't answer. My african villager question was hypothetical -- Who but God knows what happens to people who have never known Him?

The stance of the Catholic Church is just that -- Nobody but God can know.

69 posted on 04/24/2012 4:33:53 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: Salvation
Phil 2:12 - work out your salvation in fear and trembling

You don't know what that means, do you???

70 posted on 04/24/2012 4:59:18 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: boatbums

Ah, my apologies! I meant that I personally consider the concept of “accept the Lord once and that is all you need to do” a bit of a cop out.
Not because I reject the truth that ONLY through Christ may you be saved, but because I know myself well enough to know that, without the rituals and obligations of the Church, I would slowly slide away from the Lord again.

Thank you for the wonderfully thoughtful answer!


71 posted on 04/24/2012 5:50:11 PM PDT by EnglishCon (Gingrich/Santorum 2012.)
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To: CynicalBear

My original comment to you was in answer to your comment about how you created a contradiction about ‘born again’ where there is NO contradiction in Catholic teaching at all.

Praise God you have accepted the Catholic Church teaching about being born again in Baptism. + How a person can be Baptized by Water, Blood, or Desire. NO longer are you arguing about ‘born again.’

You have now seized on >MY use of language of whether the ‘Holy Innocents’ died “for Jesus” or as you prefer it to be said, ‘because of Jesus.’

It appears to me that you may be commenting on this thread just for the sake of >argument. The thread is about “Salvation” through Jesus Christ. To create ‘Arguments’ about Salvation is not a road to Heaven.

May God Bless you.


72 posted on 04/24/2012 6:02:34 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: gghd
>> NO longer are you arguing about ‘born again.’<<

There was no sense in debating born again with you. A person is born again the minute He accepts Jesus as his only source of salvation. It has nothing to do with an action of man.

>> To create ‘Arguments’ about Salvation is not a road to Heaven.<<

Clarifying what is needed for salvation is indeed important in the “road to heaven”. Those who were killed by Herod did not die “for” Jesus. They died because of Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus. Your intimation that they were saved because they died because Herod was attempting to kill Jesus is not correct. To die “for” Jesus is to imply that one died believing in Jesus. Those killed by Herod did not that we know of.

73 posted on 04/24/2012 6:25:07 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear

CynicalBear, I receive cryptic comments from you without a full revelation about your theology.

Please provide a link to your church documents as it would help in understanding >what you are creating ‘arguments’ about.

Clarification is important when discussing the proper road to Heaven. What is the Name of your church? & Where can I find your church documents on the Internet?


74 posted on 04/24/2012 6:32:47 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: gghd

Read scripture and you will be reading what I believe. I belong to no earthly organized “church”. I belong to the church that all those who believe in Christ alone belong to “the bride of Christ”.


75 posted on 04/24/2012 6:38:33 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: boatbums
God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That to me sure seems like God is letting it be known that no one has an excuse for not knowing the truth - because if he earnestly seeks it, God will get it to him. As for the aborted babies or those that die as children, they are covered under the merciful grace of God - how can they not be? There is ONLY one true God and he has made a way for mankind to be redeemed from his sins, no person will be judged because he didn't know - ALL people will know and those who refuse the light of truth will be condemned - justly. Shall not the God of all the earth do right?

Abraham is an interesting case, but you are playing a bit fast and loose, IMHO, with the situation. Abram wasn't that far removed from the Deluge, and (if you believe the Genesis genealogies) was within living memory of the sons of Shem. He probably had some idea of who and what God is from those who were his people. The story of the Flood in the epic of Gilgamesh hint at that, as does the religion of the Magi (which wasn't as clear cut at that time, but there is some evidence for it back before the Jews were forced into Persia). So Abram might have had contact with early worshipers of God pre Covenant. Remember, Moses's father in law was a priest, and not a pagan one.

Now, Josephus does say that Abram worshiped the gods of the Chaldean's before turning away from them in search of God (or as the Roman's and Greek termed it, the GodHead). That may also be the case. Either way, God choose to reveal Himself directly to Abram. That wouldn't be the case for the village in Africa (or as my old pastor termed it, the germanic hordes on the plains of what is now Russia).

Now, for abortion, you need to really think your position through, and research what the Vatican has said about unbaptized babies who die. They have stated, rather explicitly, that Limbo as a concept is not doctrine. They have also said that while God is merciful, you can't say that all children who die unbaptized go to heaven. As I said earlier, that makes abortion a good thing, almost a saving sacrament for the child.

Sadly, I have heard more than a few people say just that. Aborted babies are better off since they go straight to heaven, and therefore it is a good thing. How one dies, and when, does not directly affect getting into heaven. Now, as a personal thing, I will never tell someone who has had an abortion and repented that their child is in hell. I can't. The horrifying thing to me is that while we can hope for God's mercy, we can't know where they went. For a still born child, I was taught that the love of God of the parents will work on that child even in the womb. But can we say that for a deliberate abortion? I don't know. No one on this side of the pale does I'm afraid.

And think of this. If all babies killed by abortion went straight to heaven, wouldn't the devil want to STOP abortion?

76 posted on 04/24/2012 6:39:48 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: CynicalBear

Your answer explains why you seem to seek arguments with other people about Catholic teaching & this article on this thread.

Jesus Christ did NOT walk the Holy Lands handing out ‘Bibles.’ Jesus Christ created a Church. & Out of that Church, God gave us our Bible.

God wants you to gather with other Christians & attend any church. Catholic teaching recognizes that Salvation through Jesus Christ is available to >everyone.

No one can be argued into Heaven. May God Bless you.


77 posted on 04/24/2012 7:07:10 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: gghd
>> Your answer explains why you seem to seek arguments with other people about Catholic teaching & this article on this thread.<<

I simply point to error.

>> God wants you to gather with other Christians<<

Why would you assume I don’t?

78 posted on 04/24/2012 7:12:15 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear

May God Bless you.


79 posted on 04/24/2012 7:18:18 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: EnglishCon

“Ah, my apologies! I meant that I personally consider the concept of “accept the Lord once and that is all you need to do” a bit of a cop out.
Not because I reject the truth that ONLY through Christ may you be saved, but because I know myself well enough to know that, without the rituals and obligations of the Church, I would slowly slide away from the Lord again.”

~ ~ ~

Really....

OSAS is more than a “cop out”, it’s a false teaching.
So is the “altar call” justifies you and the “prosperity
gospel”, the third lie.

You are so correct, we need the authority of the Church.
That’s how Our Lord set it up.

Sharing a NON-CATHOLIC Christian message from Heaven.
There is one end time, Jesus is preparing everyone to
accept the true faith.

~ ~ ~

an excerpt...

April 1, 2012

Message to Kevin Barrett

Will You Let Me Take You Through the Fires of Purification?

...Oh hear Me, My people. Why do you listen to the hirelings and false teachers and prophets? Did I not say in My word that not all that say to me ‘Lord’ ‘Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, save those that do the will of the Father who is in heaven? Then why do you still go about doing your own will and tell yourselves that you are My bride? My people, you have been lied to by the enemy of your soul. Seek Me in these things. Surely I will reveal My truth to you. I love you, My dear children, and it is My desire that each of you share My throne with Me. But unfortunately only a remnant shall overcome. For too many have listened to the lies told by the false shepherds and prophets. THEY SPEAK OF HOW YOU EACH ARE ALREADY CLEANSED AND ADORNED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS SIMPLY BY YOUR BELIEF ON MY NAME. These are all lies, My people. For does not My word say that he who DOES righteousness is righteous? Yes, My people, you are made righteous by your faith in Me, but it is fulfilled by your obedience to My voice. IT IS NOT IMPUTED TO YOU BY A ONE-TIME CONFESSION OF MY NAME. Oh, My people, you have been lied to. Read My word for yourselves. Why listen to those that fatten themselves by fleecing My sheep? I have not sent many of the shepherds that are out there. They have sent themselves for their own glory and their own profit. Oh, My people, did I not say in My word to judge them by their fruit? Then where is the fruit, My people? Oh, but those that have itching ears care not about the fruit. THEY WANT TO BE TOLD ALL IS WELL AND THAT THEY SHALL PROSPER if they simply believe on My name and My promises. Lies, lies, lies, I tell you.

http://hearhisheart.wordpress.com/author/hearhisheart/


80 posted on 04/24/2012 7:30:10 PM PDT by stpio
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To: CynicalBear
So you don’t believe that all of mankind inherits the sin of Adam thereby needing redemption? Where in scripture is it said that babies of those who have rejected God are saved?

Yes, all mankind DOES inherit the sin nature and without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross for sin, none of us could be saved. So, we all need redemption. The question, to me, is whether or not certain humans are exempt from the "faith" part of the grace of God. Can an unborn baby or a born one, even, before coming to an age or mental state that is capable of understanding that be exempt? I look at the many ways that God demonstrates His mercy and love - and He says He is not willing that ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance those that are able to, at least.

From what God has revealed about Himself, I would say that He holds no one accountable that cannot understand this. Who you are born to does not automatically condemn you nor save you - but each person must make a decision FOR Christ. I've heard the excuse that to say innocent babies go to heaven somehow excuses infanticide or abortion, I reject that because murder is NEVER a good thing and those who participate in it WILL answer to God. I used to think that aborted babies' souls would just be sent back to earth in another body, but I don't think that is true anymore - too close to the belief in reincarnation. Now THAT might be a plausible excuse if it were true but murder of innocents is NEVER sanctioned by God.

You asked where Scripture says babies born of those who have rejected God are saved - it doesn't. I challenge you back to show me where ANY innocents are eternally damned because of the actions of their relatives. Our God is a just God, and that would not be justice. His mercy covers the innocent.

81 posted on 04/24/2012 8:25:02 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: redgolum
My point about Abram/Abraham was simply that God can and does reach all those who diligently seek Him. All those verses were written thousands of years ago, and if He was speaking the truth then, how much more so is it true today with EVERY tribe and nation and people being reached by the Gospel? We had a speaker in college that talked about the "Gospel of the Stars". It was pretty interesting in light of the Psalm that says the "heavens declare the glory of God". Each of the constellations "spoke" of the plan of salvation in some form and people understood this many thousands of years ago.

As to the salvation of innocents - God is merciful and just. No person will be in hell who did not consciously reject God's grace to be saved. That excludes "unbaptized" babies that die after birth or through abortion. There were some early church fathers who DID teach that babies who died without baptism would be damned, the Catholic Church has changed her doctrines on this over the years. They came up with a fictitious place called "Limbo" in order to console those who lost babies through miscarriage. I do not believe such a place exists but that ALL innocents go directly to heaven at death.

To say such a doctrine "encourages" infanticide or abortion is the height of cynicism. Murder is murder and God will judge it. Anyone who would kill their own child under such an idea is mentally unbalanced in the first place. To contend Satan would NOT want abortion if all babies went to heaven, is also a strange idea. Satan thinks he is god, the first born are always dedicated to the true God, most first abortions ARE the first born child. Satan is a "murderer from the beginning" and ALL that he tries to do is to usurp God's will and plans. I think Satan thinks he gets far more out of abortion than to care that those children go to heaven. I have no doubt that they are covered under the mercy and grace of God, because He IS merciful and they are innocent.

82 posted on 04/24/2012 8:50:44 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: gghd; CynicalBear
Jesus Christ did NOT walk the Holy Lands handing out ‘Bibles.’ Jesus Christ created a Church. & Out of that Church, God gave us our Bible.

I've seen this statement several times, and I just MUST say it is probably the lamest thing I've seen in a while. Jesus walked the earth preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God and those that were hand selected by Him to continue to speak what he taught them wrote down those teachings so that ALL people would have an objective, Divinely-inspired and infallible resource after they were gone. They also hand selected followers that would continue to preach the same truth as Jesus taught them. That same Holy Scripture in the New Testament time had as its predecessor, the Old Testament which was also divinely inspired and authoritative. Jesus saves people through His sacrifice on the cross and those who receive Him become a member of His body, called the "church" - a called-out assembly.

This is a good article that explains the differences between how Roman Catholics see this succession and how non-Catholics do http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/06/the-rise-of-rome-in-a-nutshell/. One of the points it brings out, that is relevant to this discussion is:

    Jesus handed his teaching over to twelve Apostles. The Apostles were authorities in the early church. When they spoke, people listened. Why? Because they were trained by Christ. They were witnesses of his death, burial, and resurrection. They carried unique authority in the establishment of the church.

    So far, so good? Protestants and Catholics agree to this point. The next step is that the Apostles passed on their faith to others. Easy enough. The Apostles commissioned others to be leaders and authorities in the church. They handed over the faith to followers, like Timothy, who were approved in both their life and teaching. This created a succession of faith and teaching. They would often call this “laying on of hands.” With this “system” in place, the church maintained a safeguard against rogue expressions of the Christian faith. This is why Paul warned about commissioning people too hastily (1 Tim. 5:22).

    Again, to this point both Protestants and Catholics agree. We need to pass on the faith. We need to commission others that have been approved. There needs to be accountability. However, the departure comes when we begin to define not only what this succession of authority is, but what it does. Again, we agree that it is the duty of the church to pass on the faith once for all handed to the saints (Jude 3). We agree that the church is the “pillar of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). We also agree that all in this succession are saints and a part of the church. However, Catholics believe that in order for this succession to be valid, it has to be seen as primarily a succession in person. Protestants, on the other hand, believe that the primary issue involved it is a succession in teaching, doctrine, and practice. Therefore, Roman Catholics focus on the one to whom the succession is given, while Protestants focus on the teaching and doctrine itself, believing that the person who receives the succession is instrumental, not integral.

    Therefore, in essence, for the Roman Catholic, the persons in succession define the Gospel and make up the institutional church which presides over the Gospel. Hence, Catholics have the Pope and the magisterium of bishops (as represented by the fellows in the graph that follow the apostles). For the Protestant, on the other hand, it is the other way around. Only to the degree that the person is in succession with right teaching are they in apostolic succession. A hasty “laying on of hands” is possible, and can damage both the doctrine and reputation of the church.

    This is why Protestants are continually going back to the source – the Bible – for final authority (sola Scriptura) and why Roman Catholics are continually going to the institution for final authority.

    But there is one more way in which the chasm is further widened between Roman Catholics and Protestants with regard to the issue of apostolic succession. For the Roman Catholic, in order for this institution to have ultimate authority, it must possess the gift of infallibility. For the Protestant, the person upon whom the hands are laid (along with the institution, which is made up of a bunch of fellas upon whom hands have been laid) is fallible. Only the Apostles’ teaching is not. For the Protestant, apostolic succession is a safeguard to the Gospel, but it must be continually tested by the Scriptures.

I hope you will read the whole article.

83 posted on 04/24/2012 9:12:23 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: stpio

I don’t know who it was who was speaking to this “Kevin Barrett”, but it was NOT the Lord Jesus Christ.


84 posted on 04/24/2012 9:30:14 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

Thank you for sending me a comment.

What church do you attend?

What is your church website that has church documents that I can read?

I have learned that many people post on freerepublic with their own opinions about Christianity.

Please let us look your church documents so we can understand whatever theological point you seem to be making.


85 posted on 04/24/2012 9:42:07 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: gghd
What church do you attend? What is your church website that has church documents that I can read? I have learned that many people post on freerepublic with their own opinions about Christianity. Please let us look your church documents so we can understand whatever theological point you seem to be making.

I really do not understand your purpose in asking for such personal information. Whatever theological point I try to make I make it using Holy Scripture as my source of authority. Unlike Roman Catholics, many of us here are not bound at the hip to a religious institution that tells us what to believe. I believe what the Apostles believed because they wrote down for us what Jesus taught them both while he was physically present with them for three years as well as when he ascended to heaven through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit indwells all believers and leads us into the truth of Scripture.

I fellowship with a Southern Baptist Church locally but have also attended nondenominational churches in other places I lived. There is not too much difference between the two and their Statements of Faith are nearly identical. I am not at all afraid of people stating their own opinions about Christianity as it is not as if there is nothing with which to discern correct vs. incorrect doctrine. That is why God gave us the Bible. The "church" - the body of Christ - is supposed to be the upholder and supporter of the truth of God and, like the "noble Bereans", we are all advised to search the Scriptures to know if what church leaders teach is true and not the "blind leading the blind". Much of what we do on these threads is discuss our views about various topics as they come up. I know I am edified by these exchanges and I hope others are as well. Thank you for your comments.

86 posted on 04/24/2012 10:19:58 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums

Thank you for your reply. & Thank you for attending a Southern Baptist Church which is a strong >pro-life church.

There are literally thousands of different churches that claim the Bible as their source of what they believe. & Within those many churches, the people will argue about the >true meaning of scripture.

Sometimes on freerepublic, folks seem to post comments from the ‘Sunday-Stay-At-Home’ church. The doctrines expressed seem to be whatever suits their fancy that day.

Doctor Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Divinity School has a column that I read occasionally. Praise God for Pro-life & pro-traditional morality> churches.

I’m a Roman Catholic & I am obligated to believe Catholic Doctrines. If you have any questions, I’ll try to point out Catholic Doctrines to the best of my ability. +Obviously, I believe you should be attending a Catholic Church.


87 posted on 04/24/2012 11:20:52 PM PDT by gghd (A Pro-life Palinista & a member of the NRA)
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To: boatbums

“I don’t know who it was who was speaking to this “Kevin Barrett”, but it was NOT the Lord Jesus Christ.”

~ ~ ~

Uh oh, denying your own prophets now? Teasing you boatbums. Kevin receives teaching messages, serious messages from Our Lord.

OSAS - nope

One time “ALTAR CALL” justifies - no way

the “PROSPERITY GOSPEL” - false

What is it you didn’t agree with about the words in
caps written in the message? There were three sentences in caps. Or is it the title of the message about purification?


88 posted on 04/24/2012 11:38:50 PM PDT by stpio
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To: boatbums

Then you don’t believe in original sin? Which sect do you belong to?

Again, you are not thinking this through. Saying all aborted children get to heaven makes abortion a net good. Not all of them, if they were born and grew up, would be saved.

So if then why be pro life? It is like the popular (and wrong) statement that those who die in a public and horrific way (think the Twin Towers) get a free pass to heaven.


89 posted on 04/25/2012 4:29:16 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: boatbums
>>The question, to me, is whether or not certain humans are exempt from the "faith" part of the grace of God.<<

From the time of Adam it is clear that all of mankind is “lost in sin”. The sin of Adam and Eve separated them and all of mankind from God. From that time forward God established a system whereby man could renew that relationship and escape the judgment because of that original sin. He selected only those who were faithful to Him and their offspring as His people. For instance, the promise was to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob not to Abraham, Isaac, and Esau. One can imagine the offspring of Esau who some would say were unaware or “innocent”. They did however suffer the condemnation brought about by condemnation of Esau.

Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world to proclaim the gospel to the lost. Think about it. If those people were “exempt” because they hadn’t heard and thus were “not held accountable” but were saved because of His “unwillingness that any should perish” why would Christ have instructed the apostles to go to them? If it’s true that because they hadn’t heard they are not “held accountable” and are given grace why would we need to have missionaries? They were “under grace” anyway. If missionaries go in and “proclaim the gospel” and they reject that teaching they are then lost. Do missionaries go out to saved people to give them the opportunity to become lost?

There weren’t just adults condemned and killed by the flood. When Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed it was the entire population, not just the adults.

Children of God’s people are covered by the faith of the fathers until the age of accountability just as it was in the Old Testament. The urgency to tell those who have not heard of Christ is because they and their offspring are lost. If they were not “held accountable” until they rejected Christ it would be cruel to go tell them. The urgency is that they are lost until they accept Christ.

90 posted on 04/25/2012 6:48:29 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: redgolum; CynicalBear
Then you don’t believe in original sin? Which sect do you belong to? Again, you are not thinking this through. Saying all aborted children get to heaven makes abortion a net good. Not all of them, if they were born and grew up, would be saved. So if then why be pro life? It is like the popular (and wrong) statement that those who die in a public and horrific way (think the Twin Towers) get a free pass to heaven.

What "sect" do I belong to??? I already stated I accepted that the sin nature from Adam passed down to all mankind and that all stand condemned because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. My contention that God's mercy and grace cover the aborted and those who, through no fault of their own, i.e.; little children, the mentally handicapped, are covered under that mercy of God and they are NOT sent to hell. Any and all others MUST come to God through faith in Christ. You say not all of the aborted would come to Christ when they grew up is really a moot point since they CANNOT grow up and come to Christ. Don't you think God knew ahead of time those that would be born and be held accountable? How do you deal with all those souls that die through miscarriage, ones that ONLY God can even know?

I just cannot get over your attack that saying God saves those who are aborted makes abortion a "net good". That is disgusting to even say so. By your reasoning, should parents baptize their baby first before they kill it? Would that then be also a "net good". Do you see where such logic leads? My ONLY contention is that the mercy of God covers the innocents. They are NOT condemned to hell if they could not have the ability to believe in Christ. This in no way gives anyone a free pass but is probably the MOST pro-life position one can have. I am not speaking here of sane, self-aware humans but of the truly innocent lives that God will not send to hell but will take with him to heaven.

All those Egyptian babies that died when the Angel of Death killed the first born on that first Passover were NOT sent to hell. That would make God unjust and he IS a just and righteous God. His nature is mercy so those who are innocent and die are covered under the blood of Christ through the grace of God. Now I realize that Scripture does not directly address this, but we CAN know enough about the goodness and grace of God - that it is His will that ALL be saved - to believe that the aborted, the babies that die soon after birth and those who have no capability to mentally receive the Gospel will be in heaven. God is good, "The Judge of all the earth always does right" (cf Gen 18:25)... in mercy and grace or even in judgment. Psalms 145:9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

From the site http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna56.htm:

    Westminster Confession of Faith (1646): Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

    London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689): Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. The provided Scripture reference for this section, which emphasizes that God does what He pleases, is...

      John 3:3, 5-6, 8 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." ... 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ... 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (NIV)

    Isn't it great to know that our God is sovereign over all, and that He chooses, and that He is good?! Psalms 135:3-6 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. 4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession. 5 I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. 6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. (NIV)


91 posted on 04/26/2012 7:20:56 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
So you are a Calvinist. Which means you believe in double election, and in effect not much free will. In that case, infanticide or not makes little difference since they would go to heaven, or not, no matter what.

Miscarriage is a different thing than abortion. Again, we can't know, but if they parents were Christian we may hope for that child to be saved. But we can't know.

As with the mentally ill, my cousin has worked with Downs syndrome adults for most of his life. They often have a very clear view of God, better than most. I know of others who have imbalances, who struggle daily with it, and also love and try to follow God. Their suffering brings them closer to God in ways that I don't fully understand.

But we have to be careful in labeling people innocent if there is such a thing as Original Sin. If you believe in that, there are no innocents. We have been conceived in sin.

92 posted on 04/27/2012 6:30:57 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: boatbums
>> All those Egyptian babies that died when the Angel of Death killed the first born on that first Passover were NOT sent to hell.<<

I always shudder at statements like that. How far does one carry that thought? Are all babies of the heathen saved? What about the babies of Muslims, or other not Christian beliefs? Like you said, there is no scriptural basis for that belief. Basing a belief on human emotion or desires is ill advised.

93 posted on 04/27/2012 7:34:56 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: redgolum
But we have to be careful in labeling people innocent if there is such a thing as Original Sin. If you believe in that, there are no innocents. We have been conceived in sin.

No, I am NOT a Calvinist! I often get in disagreements with Calvinists on the RF threads. Let me just TRY to clarify once again that I am not saying I "label" people nor do I know the hearts of others. Only God knows if there is true innocence and my only contention is that God is merciful, not willing that ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved. There ARE humans that have no capability to understand repentance, their need for it nor that Christ is our savior. This includes - obviously - the unborn, newborn, children at very young ages and those mentally incapable. The circumstances of a person's birth parents does NOT automatically condemn them OR redeem them.

You can believe that God would condemn for eternity an innocent aborted unborn baby (meaning: they never personally committed sin) if you desire but I will continue to trust that the God of all the earth will do right. They are covered under the grace of God. Yes, we are ALL born under sin but there is a difference in how God deals with innocents than the culpable. Please, do not imagine that somehow this makes me think infanticide and abortion make no difference. They are horrible and evil sins that those who DO them will answer to God - but, by the same token, to believe that those victims of infanticide and abortion are twice cursed by a God that sends them to hell to suffer for all eternity AFTER they are murdered by humans makes YOUR God NO ONE I want to know. I'm done discussing this subject with you.

94 posted on 04/27/2012 6:49:54 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: redgolum
But we have to be careful in labeling people innocent if there is such a thing as Original Sin. If you believe in that, there are no innocents. We have been conceived in sin.

No, I am NOT a Calvinist! I often get in disagreements with Calvinists on the RF threads. Let me just TRY to clarify once again that I am not saying I "label" people nor do I know the hearts of others. Only God knows if there is true innocence and my only contention is that God is merciful, not willing that ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved. There ARE humans that have no capability to understand repentance, their need for it nor that Christ is our savior. This includes - obviously - the unborn, newborn, children at very young ages and those mentally incapable. The circumstances of a person's birth parents does NOT automatically condemn them OR redeem them.

You can believe that God would condemn for eternity an innocent aborted unborn baby (meaning: they never personally committed sin) if you desire but I will continue to trust that the God of all the earth will do right. They are covered under the grace of God. Yes, we are ALL born under sin but there is a difference in how God deals with innocents than the culpable. Please, do not imagine that somehow this makes me think infanticide and abortion make no difference. They are horrible and evil sins that those who DO them will answer to God - but, by the same token, to believe that those victims of infanticide and abortion are twice cursed by a God that sends them to hell to suffer for all eternity AFTER they are murdered by humans makes YOUR God NO ONE I want to know. I'm done discussing this subject with you.

95 posted on 04/27/2012 6:52:35 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: CynicalBear
>> All those Egyptian babies that died when the Angel of Death killed the first born on that first Passover were NOT sent to hell.<<

I always shudder at statements like that. How far does one carry that thought? Are all babies of the heathen saved? What about the babies of Muslims, or other not Christian beliefs? Like you said, there is no scriptural basis for that belief. Basing a belief on human emotion or desires is ill advised.

Why would talking about the grace of God that is so great that he will not condemn an innocent baby who dies to an eternity in hell make you shudder? Thinking our God would do so makes me shudder. Can any and all people come to saving faith in Christ no matter what their parents believed? What kind of God would send innocent babies who were killed before they even knew right from wrong to an eternity of suffering in hell? Yes, Scripture isn't precise about this subject, but from what it DOES say, I choose to trust that the God of all the earth does right and He is good.

96 posted on 04/27/2012 7:10:56 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
>> Why would talking about the grace of God that is so great that he will not condemn an innocent baby who dies to an eternity in hell make you shudder?<<

Because its espousing beliefs not based on scripture. In fact, more evidence exists to refute.

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

John 3:18 He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

What about children of believers?

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Thus the urgency to tell all who will listen.

97 posted on 04/27/2012 7:32:48 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear
Because its espousing beliefs not based on scripture. In fact, more evidence exists to refute. Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, John 3:18 He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. What about children of believers? Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Thus the urgency to tell all who will listen.

I seldom disagree with you on anything, CB, but I can't help but think I am not making myself clear enough on this issue. I totally agree that we have all sinned, that we sin because we are sinners, that even a baby has inherited the sin nature. My ONLY contention is that it is God's grace that covers those who, through NO fault of their own, cannot believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, this is extremely limited and only means those who are personally innocent of acts of sin. An unborn baby who is aborted had NO chance to even believe or not believe so the grace of a just and merciful God covers their sin through the blood of Christ. God, who knows the end from the beginning, already knows who will be born and who will not make it to birth. He also knows all those who cannot understand their sinful state and their need for a savior - those with mental handicaps. Don't you believe He has made a provision for them? Why would He allow conception to take place at all for a baby He knows will be aborted and then send them to hell? That makes no sense at all if God is just and merciful. Babies die every day through miscarriage, starvation, abuse, disease, etc., yet God allowed them to exist even if only for a short time.

None of those Scripture verses address this question, and the one you gave where Peter told the jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and your house does NOT mean his family automatically gets saved based upon the man's faith. Each one of them also must believe. By the same token, babies who die to unsaved parents are no more condemned by their parent's rejection of Christ than the jailer's children were saved through his faith. EVERY person - who can - must individually come to faith in Christ to be saved. Those who are not able to because of age or mental disability - and ONLY God knows - are covered under the blood of Christ. It is not much different than the Old Testament saints, who did not personally believe in Jesus Christ - because he had not come yet - but were still saved through faith in God's redemption plan.

We may not agree about this issue, and I accept you as a brother in Christ because of your personal faith in Christ. I respect your right to think for yourself and I know you do the same for me. We WILL know one day who is right. I'm okay with that.

98 posted on 04/27/2012 11:47:01 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
>> I seldom disagree with you on anything, CB, but I can't help but think I am not making myself clear enough on this issue.<<

We agree on most everything and have shown that often. You have indeed made yourself clear and you are not alone in your belief. It’s just that scripture makes it clear, at least to me, that all were lost because of Adam’s sin and only those who have put their faith in God have been saved. From examples such as Noah and his family, Lot and his family we see that it was the faith of the father that saved the family. The jailor was told that if he believed his house would be saved. I believe it’s the faith of the father that covers the innocents until the age of accountability. Christ told us to preach the gospel to the lost. If those who have not heard are saved by God’s grace why would we need to go tell them of the gospel?

99 posted on 04/28/2012 6:10:17 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear
The jailor was told that if he believed his house would be saved. I believe it’s the faith of the father that covers the innocents until the age of accountability. Christ told us to preach the gospel to the lost. If those who have not heard are saved by God’s grace why would we need to go tell them of the gospel?

The jailer's family would be saved only when they each received Christ as Savior. The jailer's faith had NO benefit for his wife or grown sons and daughters if they refused, did it? What you want to accept for "believers'" families, I accept for the truly innocent of ALL people. I will say this once again - I am NOT speaking of self aware and mentally able people - but ONLY those such as babies who die before birth or after (but before they know right from wrong). Lot and his family were saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Noah and his, were saved from the flood. But NONE of them can be saved from eternal damnation if they reject the grace of God. It is this grace that I believe saves the innocents.

I understand the Reformed doctrine of the "elect" being saved and it applying to their families as well. I reject that only because the elect are all those who are saved and they got saved by a personal choice of faith in Christ. God knew before the world existed all those who would be saved and all those who would be lost and he created them anyway. This in no way means that God intentionally created beings to send them to hell for his own purposes. It means each and every person, if they are able, can receive the truth and be saved and God knows all those who will. This doesn't mean he created them without giving them a will but, even though he knows who will or won't, he STILL created them so that "in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:7) It is this kindness and grace that moves me to believe that God will not condemn the innocent to hell.

100 posted on 04/28/2012 2:37:01 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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