Skip to comments.Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!
Posted on 05/24/2013 2:25:17 AM PDT by DaveMSmith
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.
However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ.
Francis based his homily on the message of Christ to his disciples taken from the Gospel of Mark. Francis delivered his message by sharing a story of a Catholic who asked a priest if atheists were saved by Christ.
"They complain," Francis said, "If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good." He explained that Jesus corrected them, "Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good."
The disciples, Pope Francis explained, "were a little intolerant," closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that "those who do not have the truth, cannot do good." "This was wrong... Jesus broadens the horizon." Pope Francis said, "The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation."
"Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio.
"Just do good" was his challenge, "and we'll find a meeting point."
(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...
My take is the Pope is looking for a starting point - Charity and Goodwill first and faith will grow from there. If one looks to do good (with the implication they will reject evil), then the 'faith of a mustard seed' can be planted.
Looking at 12 step programs, I see this all the time - they all are programs of repentance. I believe once started, the Lord will guide us to eternal life, thus salvation - whatever we call Him.
BTW. the 'heaven' in the title is from the source, catholic.org - that's why I added salvation to the keywords.
"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them,This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:28,29)
For an atheist to do the work of God he must first cease to be an atheist.
Eternal LIFE is not salvation?
Because I'm pretty sure both Scripture and Church Sacred Tradition make it clear that it is in Baptism that we become children or sons of God. We may all be made in the image and likeness of God but that doesn't necessarily mean we are all children of God. Once again, it is in accepting His Son that we become part of God's Family. Atheists (and others ) have not done that (yet).
Hopefully I'm just reading you wrong but just in case...
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
Seems like he is just stating what the Bible already tells us - Jesus died for ALL of us and ALL of our sins. ANYONE who seeks him and confesses their sinfulness and acknowledges Him as Lord and Savior can be saved.
It would seem that his gist was that Christ saves you - not any particular religion or institution. I find it refreshing to see a Pope who doesn't consider membership in the Catholic Church to be a requirement for salvation. The use of "catholic" in the Apostle's Creed had nothing to do with the Catholic Church - it was a term for open-to-all/all-purpose, etc.
He sounds more like an American to me...in a good way, that is.
Honestly, the Pope should stop speaking off the cuff and write, edit and re-edit his homilies. They are all over the internet/the world these days...and they will be misconstrued.
Revelation 14:11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
The funny thing is that I first heard this quote reported to be my an atheist (who had no reason to make this up), except that he didn't mention the part about going to heaven, probably because he has no interest in it (and doesn't believe it's there any way).
Regardless, most of what is being called "wrong" here is simply a misunderstanding of what he is saying. IMHO, I do think that his comment about children of God is wrong (although I do hope I am also just misunderstanding him).
Luke 10:25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Eternal LIFE is not salvation?
And Jesus answer to the man was the key part:
What is written in the Law? he replied. How do you read it?
He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind[c]; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live.
Well, that simply was not the export of what he said.
He attempted to lead us to believe that even an atheist could be saved.
The nature of their belief is at odds with the gift of salvation and God’s word.
I’ll. Take the box Carol Meryl is standing in front of.
LOL....I’ll predict another 1,100 post count of Bible Tug-of-War between Bible only Christians and Catholics.
How’s your baby?
I’m of the unorthodox view that a person who’s never heard the gospel might be granted grace at judgment based on his heart (longing to know the God he hadn’t been formally introduced to); however, if a person has consciously rejected God out of human pride, I really don’t see any number of “good” works offsetting that.
Actually, it's funny you quote that verse - Swedenborg says it is the fate of those who are of faith divorced from charity that falsify the Word.