Thursday, October 20, 2011

Only Member's of the RCC are SAVED?

I thought it would be interesting to see if all members of the Roman Catholic Church had the same belief as my Christian Brother Michael regarding "Salvation".

Michael is a very outspoken member of the RCC on all doctrines and traditions.  Michael has the Christian blog "BREAD OF LIFE" and just recently posted the following teachings on "WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?"  Click "here" and read what Michael has to say, then let me know what God is saying to you regarding His free gift of Salvation.

Then I want you to answer this simple question:  In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to Heaven?


Elder Barnes said...

Well in response to your question, this is something I posted on my blog a while back.

You can also check out a page about it on,

Elder Barnes,

Ryan said...

Hey, just read your post- I thought its rather odd that at one time or another nearly every denomination of Christianity likes to claim exclusivity... I think this makes for an interesting psychological perspective into the mindset of a long history of church leaders.

Although regarded as decidedly 'liberal', the film Kingdom of Heaven actually makes some excellent points on this notion. This all stems down to what the point of Christianity is, after all...

is it merely eternal insurance? Is it just a device for spiritual power?

Personally, I believe that its our very hearts, souls, minds an everyday lives that Jesus is after. Whether collectively inside corporate worship and fellowship, or personally, it is through the love of Jesus, living and active- through the voice of God in real life, the Bible and through each other, that we are changed for the better. And one day, through the gradual formation each day we live in Love, that we change into the citizens of heaven we'll all one day be.

Long story short, God doesnt really care what denomination you are- he cares about how you live in and with him, and other people. Everything else is dogma.. :)

Anonymous said...

Well....if you follow The sermon on The Mount,and if you love God above all things,and after that your neighbour as yourself you just might have a good chance!!!!
As a Catholic I know that I must follow and believe the teaching of Christ's Church,frequent the Sacraments,give aid to the poor,love the seemingly unloveable,not just for hope of heaven,but simply for the love of God.Catholicism is a great gift from God,and so, because much has been given to me,much will be required.....

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Lloyd, Thanks for the thought-provoking post! I'm an evangelical, born-again Christian, not a Roman Catholic, so I believe that salvation is a freely given gift of God. It is given to all those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ as the perfect sacrifice to pay our sin debt, Who rose from the dead so that all who trust Him have eternal life. Salvation is through faith alone through grace alone, not by works. Adding baptism, communion, or anything else to Christ's perfect, completed work on the cross implies that His sacrifice was not enough. If that's the case, why did He cry, "It is finished!" And how could the repentant thief on the cross who trusted Christ as Lord go to Paradise, as Jesus promised He would, without the time to be baptized, take communion, or do a single good work? I have expanded on this on my blog page, How Can We Know God Exists and If We’ll Go to Heaven?:

Thanks as always for your posts that honor God's Word and His truth.

God bless,

Word in the Hand said...

Well there is a joke that has St Peter showing someone around Heaven and they come to a big house with a tall wall around it - St Peter says - they're the Catholics - they think they are the only ones here!
And I am a Roman Catholic! However, my faith gives me a structure in which I can live a life that Jesus teaches me to live - with Sacraments and traditions that support that life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church includes the belief that Heaven is open to many - there are so many rooms in my Father's house. Do I think that we are the only ones getting to Heaven? No, there is no guarantee of anyone getting to Heaven simply because of the organisation they belong to. And imagine the idea that Ghandi doesn't get to heaven?
Pre-Vatican II the Church taught it was just us but since Vatican II the document Lumen Gentium acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can work in all people - even atheists and agnostics.
Follow the two great Commandments, make it a personal relationship with the Lord, do your best and don't be afraid to ask for forgiveness.
I believe

Gorges Smythe said...

I realize that this isn't what you asked for, but ANY church that claims to be the "only one" is just after your money.

Ian Curtis said...

"I am the Way, truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but through me." so says our Lord who desired personal faith in Him sas the singular requisite to be saved; that is, to enter Heaven and stand in God's presence. Without said faith in Christ, being born again by the Holy Spirit, you will not enter Heaven because you have not trusted solely in God's only Son. This is the message of salvation in Scripture and God has seen fit to give no other. If I want to enter Heaven and be with God I have been told the way: through faith in Christ who paid the penalty for my sin that through Him alone I might have eternal life. This is His promise to all who come to Him in faith. If Jesus was correct about this then we can ill afford to casually disregard His words in favor of a many ways to heaven approach. Thanks for the post, Lloyd.

Billy Joe said...

Salvation is knowledge of God. We may perform good deeds but without knowledge of God our acts are not sanctified and holy. He has given us of His Spirit that we might be the Sons of God. It is His Spirit that gives us eternal life. We know that when we love one another we have His Spirit within us and the fruits of the Spirit are in the world through us by His Grace. God is love and God is eternal in the past and eternal in the future. When we love, we are eternal through Him.

But knowledge of God isn't just in the mind, but through the heart. If it's just in my mind, I'm just skating on the surface, sitting on the fence.

“Neither doth My earth nor My heaven contain Me, but the heart of My faithful servant containeth Me.”

Salvation is knowing HIm and obeying His commandments out of love for His beauty.

Laurie Collett said...

Ian -- well said! Jesus Christ is the only Way. Gandhi may have been a "good" person by human standards, but Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. No one, not even Gandhi, can depend on their own goodness to earn salvation, only on Christ's perfect sacrifice. The Bible is clear and unequivocal on this. The way to Heaven is narrow and singular, not broad and all-inclusive (Matthew 7:14)
Laurie Collett, Saved by Grace

fuzzys dad said...

John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

susanwalkergirl said...

Well said Fuzzy's Dad!

I disagree with Roman Catholic doctrine and don't believe it lines up with the Bible.

One thing that struck me when reading Michael's blog was that he took some the scriptures that give evidence of true faith and said that we need to do those things to be saved.

I have been saved by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone. It is a work of God not of man, least anyone should boast.

John MacArthur has a great series that he did on the Roman Catholic church. They are available for download at Grace to You. It's stunning and eye opening to hear the doctrines of the Catholic church and the history of the church.

Thanks for sharing the link.

Blessings in Christ...Susan

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Religions cannot assure salvation. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as we accept Him as our Lord and savior and surrendering our lives to Him can assure salvation. It is not on what we do or what church we join can assure salvation for us. Salvation is a grace, a gift from God. We only have to accept the gift by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ can we be saved. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Pilgrim said...

Let us not forget that we are all pilgrims on this journey through this short life...we can do with a few more companions...we can do more with seeing a bit more of God in others. As part of the one human race, let us be thankful and focus on our grounds of commonality...Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, there is only one Truth. The Catholic faith traces back to St Peter, the first Pope. This is not to say that the church of Rome is is not...the twelve disciples themselves are not perfect, yet the greater power of God always prevailed...if God is for us...who can be against us. Despite so much challenges and testing, the Roman Catholic Church has been around for is up to all of us to reflect on why the Church has survived through the ages. God Bless One and the end of the day, God loved them all...we are sinners all the same.

Frank Blasi said...

I am a former Roman Catholic who was coverted to Jesus Christ in 1973. After growing up as a Catholic, I had to "unlearn" then "re-learn" just about everything to do with my relationship with God, especially the love of God, something I found hard to grasp at first.
But why?
Because Catholicism teaches the doctrines of Purgatory (a temporary Hell)for every venial sins committed, and eternity in Hell if one dies with a mortal sin unconfessed. In other words, it was impossible for me to go straight to Heaven after death. Just where was the line drawn between venial and mortal sin?
Little wonder that during my teenage years I actually hated God and declared myself an atheist, and I have personally known other former Catholics go the same way.
But since I came to the Lord by faith, I slowly realised what the faith was all about and reading the Bible became a passion in itself.
Now I believe that anyone who has in his heart had called out to the Lord for mercy, he has received it. (Romans 10:13).
I personally believe that their are Catholics who are saved, even if they may not realise that their salvation is eternal.
Why not read my blogs on this subject, especially on eternal security of the believer. Click on the link,
and look through the archives.

dfish said...

It was Peter himself who said "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." His statement agrees with Jesus' statement in John 14:6 that there is no other way of salvation but by Jesus. If you believe Peter was the first Pope, how could can you believe both he and jesus were wrong?

The Write Girl said...

I haven't had a chance to read the article you linked but I must say I am touched by your backstory on your profile page. I admire you for living a God filled and spiritual life and creating a beautiful family. You have a touching story and I appreciate the time you took to check out my site. What must I do to go to heaven? I think the most important thing is to love. Have a great weekend.

Maisy Shenzii Mckenzie said...

hey ive read your posts i love them all
its all about some truth of life which many people deny and dont even care and i appreciate that through the blog you can raise your voice so that it reaches to these persons (in a positive way)

I may not be catholic i would rather say im in hindus culture But that doesn't mean i dnt believe in christ..!! I believe in christ and in the bible and i really love all your posts :)

Bless you, Maisy ^^

Rhonda said...

Jesus Christ stated I am the way truth and life ... there is no other way ....if Baptism is necessary to receive Salvation then Jesus lied to the thief on the cross...when he said ye shall be with him in paradise....the thief recognized "The Christ that was within the body of the man Jesus" and he recognized self as corrupt...regardless of what "demonination" one professed it is always a "heart matter"...when our spiritual eyes are opened to truth it always sets us free to be one with Jesus Christ the way truth and life of eternal life in God

PJ said...

Hey Lloyd! Remember me? I'm the one who always tries to write a comment of a few sentences and ends up writing a book! LOL! Anyway, I visited the "Bread of Life" and left him a "comment" (book) and lesson on how to be saved. I'll try to make my answer to your question as short as possible, but you know me.

As I told Him, he had left out one of the most important books and scriptures for salvation, which is Acts 2:38. Repent, be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus' Christ for the remission of your sins, and you Shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (emphasis is mine). I then explained that being saved is also a life time journey of living for God, not just "lip service" saying I accept Jesus as my Saviour and going on. I quoted Acts 4:12 ( no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (paraphrasing). I told him the only "specific" church a person has to belong to is as a member of Jesus' Christ's body. That it doesn't matter what church you attend as long as you Live for Jesus, abide by God's Word, and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course I think I went into more detail with him, but basically that's what I told him. To be saved we must believe in the Doctrine of Christ.

Thank you for allowing me to get on my soap box and speak my piece. (Well, I tried to make it short! LOL!)

God Bless,

Gold Speck said...

The goal of salvation, for me, has little to do with going to heaven. It is to know Christ, and to be conformed to his likeness. Heaven is certainly too holy a place for a sinner like me. I would be nothing but pollution defiling its sacred dimensions. If God would grant that I be surrendered to the flames of hell, even there, I would not escape His sweet Presence.. as He is All in all. And I would adore Him forever from the place I deserve.
But regarding the RCC blog: The historic Church is salvation. The ark that Noah entered into with his family is a type of the Church. Noah refers typologically to Christ. This is a common theme in the early Christian writings. I happen to be an Orthodox Christian, but I have deep respect for our fellow servants among the RCC. It is not ours to know who shall be saved... this is known to God alone. But salvation is not the bi-product of "Me, my Bible, and Jesus". Salvation is a relationship that consists within the life of the community of the Apostolic Church that Jesus established.

Jane said...

I've been quite confused in the last 3 to 4 years about doctrines etc. I'm also very disappointed with believers who don't walk the talk. I also feel that I've failed as a Christian myself because I can't love fearlessly. I'm now quite dry spiritually, but I know I'm saved because Jesus died for my sins and I've believed, it was God who'd saved me through Christ and in Christ, and He has sealed me with His Holy Spirit. So that's it.

Lloyd said...

Barnes – I want to thank you for your comments. I have visited your blog and respect your personal point of view regarding your religion. I would like to ask you in the love of Christ to view the two video’s on Mormonism that are located on the right sidebar of my blog. My prayers are always going out to all of the LDS Churches membership. God bless, Lloyd

Ryan – I have never watched the movie “Kingdom of Heaven”. I do agree with you that, “God doesn’t really care what denomination you are…” The Bible is very clear that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what church or denomination you belong to or how good you are, it’s all about God’s free gift of Salvation. Bottom line: You must have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in order to make it to Heaven.

Anonymous – Thank you for visiting and commenting. As I explained to Ryan, “It doesn’t matter what church or denomination you belong to or how good you are, it’s all about God’s free gift of Salvation. Bottom line: You must have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in order to make it to Heaven. “

Laurie – Thanks so much for your visit and comments. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Sometimes folks make it so difficult for themselves and carry such heavy burdens when it comes to God’s free gift of Salvation.

Word in the Hand – Thank you so much for your visit and comments. Please read some of my posts on Salvation. God wants His children to know that they have “Eternal Life” which is guaranteed when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. It does not matter what denomination you are or if you are a member of the RCC… It’s all about Jesus.

Gorges – Thanks for your visit and comments. When a non-believer is out looking for the truth about Jesus, God and Heaven… it is very discouraging when there are so many churches that claim to be the only “true church”. I can personally see why so many folks are turning away from organized religion because it stress’ more on a membership then on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ian – I want to personally thank you for your visit and comments. You have nailed it on the head regarding what the Bible says about Salvation. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. With Jesus we have Hope – Without Jesus there is no Hope!

Billy Joe – Thanks so much for your visit and comments. Having a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus it the only way for us sinner’s to make it to Heaven. Amen.

Laurie – Thank you very much for your visit and comments. I can’t add anything else to what you have already said. Jesus is the only way!

fuzzys dad – Amen. Thanks for the visit and scripture that says it all.

susanwalkergirl – Thank you for your visit and comments. Amen. Well said.

Mel Avila Alarilla – Thank you for your visit and comments. Amen. I can’t think of anything else to add. Well said.

Pilgrim – Thank you so much for your visit and comments. As I have mention before, “It doesn’t matter what church or denomination you belong to or how good you are, it’s all about God’s free gift of Salvation. Bottom line: You must have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in order to make it to Heaven. “

Frank – I want to thank you for your visit and witness. The insights that you have regarding the RCC may help others understand what the truth of the Gospel really is. I agree with you that there are a lot of Catholics that are saved… they just have several burdens added when they have to worry about their salvation and whether they will be good enough to make it to Heaven. God bless.

dfish – Thank you so much for your visit and scriptures. Amen.

Lloyd said...

The Write Girl – I want to personally thank you for the visit and comments. Jesus is “Love” and when we accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, God’s Holy Spirit enters us. This guarantees that we have a place in Heaven when we die. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, I would tell you. I go and prepare a place for you. And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will return and receive you for myself, and where I am, there you may be also.

Maisy – Thank you so much for your visit and encouraging words. I have visited your blog and really enjoy reading your posts. Hope you continue to visit. God bless.

Rhonda – Thank you so much for your visit and scriptures. God bless you and Amen.

PJ – Thanks for the visit PJ. I remember you and I also visit your blog. I agree with you totally except for the baptism requirement for salvation. Please read my posts on Salvation and Heaven. God bless.

Gold Speck – I want to thank you for your visit and personal comments regarding salvation. I believe that if I had a choice between “Hell” and “Heaven”, I would take “Heaven”. Please read my posts on salvation and heaven. Our Holy God does guarantee you a place in Heaven if you will only accept His free gift of salvation. God bless.

Lloyd said...

Jane – Thank you so much for your visit and comments. I truly believe that in every Christian’s life there will come a time when we will start to feel “burned out”. I know a few years ago I began to have this feeling that organized Christian churches were only there to fleece the flock and it began to take a toll on my personal relationship with Christ. I then began to read in the book of Romans and study each chapter, verse by verse. The Holy Spirit began to re-kindle the flame I used to have and I began to experience the peace, joy, happiness and comfort I had when I first accepted my Lord and Savior into my life.

To make a long story short… I realized it was not my responsibility to “save” the world, but only to live a life where others could see Jesus in me. I still stumble now and then, but I know that God will never give up on me and that He will be there with me until the end. So, my friend in Christ, don’t be so hard on yourself and just let God work through you. God’s blessings, Lloyd

Malvenu said...

Lloyd, thank you for your posts and your comment on my blog, much appreciated (but i only just noticed it!). It was also touching to read your testimony.

If i were to reply to your question in this post, having read your testimony, and tell you that since you are not a Catholic you are going to hell, i think it would seem absurd.

I am a Catholic recently converted from evangelical Christianity and my conversion was based on my understanding of the Bible. The RCC allows for others to get to heaven as, i believe, does the Bible (Mark 9:38-40). This passage suggests to me that even though the RCC says that it is necessary to be part of the RCC there is salvation for others - 'if they are FOR Christ'. Similarly, when i converted i 'came into FULL COMMUNION with Rome', suggesting that there are some in partial communion. I didn't do as much study before converting as i would have liked to have done, so i might have got some of this wrong, but it seems biblical to me.

On a personal note i have found Christianity to be more complete and more beautiful since i became a Catholic and i truly feel part of the universal, eternal Body of Christ, whereas before, i felt part of a small, isolated group of people quite distant and detached from anything that could be considered THE Body of Christ or THE Church, and it seems to me that that is not what Christ intended.

Thank you and God bless!

Lloyd said...

Malvenu - Thank you so much for the visit and comments. It is surprising how many folks do not understand the main doctrines of the RCC before becoming a member. However, I am happy that you were able to find a "church family" where you feel more in touch with God and our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to ask you to read my sidebar "Is There Only One True Church?" and "What about different denominations?" I think there may be some discussion that you would be interested in joining. God bless, Lloyd

Gold Speck said...

I admire the gentle spirit I detect in your blogging. Thank you for recommending that I read more of your articles. I started by looking at the article about baptism and salvation. I think I see now that you and I are not quite speaking the same language.
When you think of salvation, I think (forgive me for putting words in your mouth) you have in mind being saved from hell. I think of salvation more in terms of "union with God", that is, salvation from the separation of mankind from the Life of God. This, in my perspective, is the great problem that has affected mankind since the Fall of Adam and Eve, and is the main point that salvation addresses.
Therefore, salvation is an on-going relationship in the Life of God.
In this light, when you hear someone ask, "Does baptism save you?" or "Is a person saved through baptism?", you hear "Does baptism ultimately rescue a soul from hell?" Both you and I would agree that it does not. But this question means something quite different to me, because I am looking at salvation differently. I hear the question, "Does baptism unite us to God?" I would wholeheartedly agree with I Peter 3:21 "whereunto baptism DOES also now SAVE us…". It is a part of the on-going relationship with God, therefore it is salvific by its very nature. The article posted on baptism incorrectly describes the contents of some of the passages it cites. The Bible does not say that baptism "signifies" inward cleansing, as a "sign" of union into his death and resurrection. Rather, that "we were buried with Him through baptism into death…" and "in Him you were…buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith" These verses do not deny the spiritual reality in the act of baptism, but rather affirm their efficacy for union into Christ.
The article goes on to say, "Water baptism is not necessary for salvation." But Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." -Mark 16:16 Jesus does not say the unbaptized are damned. But he certainly does affirm that faith and baptism saves.
Also, "One last thought: If someone maintains that baptism is necessary for salvation, is he adding a work, his own, to the finished work of Christ?" While it is true that man is utterly helpless and can do nothing on his own to fix his sinful condition- Nevertheless, salvation must encompass the whole person, including one's actions. The Apostle James tells us "You see then how that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." 2:23, and again in other similar statements in the same chapter.
So getting back to the question at hand,about salvation in the Church... The historic Church that Christ founded is a concrete, tangible community, just as Christ is tangible. The Church is the body of Christ. Some Christian groups have departed from this community. Ultimately, the other sheep must come home, into the communion of the Church. But God knows His own.

Malvenu said...

Lloyd, thank you for your response. I have read the sidebar on the One True Church with interest. I was encouraged to know not only that there is another Catholic out there doing as i am and saying the same things but also that he has received quite negative feedback, as i have.

I just want to make one point here, though. I said that i hadn't done enough study before converting. I did not say that it was on 'the main doctrines of the RCC' as you suggested. In a similar way to when Todd said that for the reason of the Eucharist alone it is worth converting i was 100% sure of the MAIN DOCTRINES to be able to convert even though i am aware that there are some peripheral things that i am not entirely sure what the RCC teaches.

Also, i don't understand why you said you fitted the 3 criteria Todd gave about the Church and would therefore have to face judgement about them. From what you have written it seems abundantly clear that you do not believe that the RCC is the One True Church.

I can't emphasise enough how difficult it is for evangelical Christians to "get" the RCC. One reason for this is obviously that the Reformation set the dynamic that these churches are in opposition to the RCC and i would argue that the very existence of other churches demands their continuing antagonism towards the RCC (that was certainly my experience). It seems to me that you haven't "got"/understood the RCC. I am not saying this as a criticism, i think there is a difference between studying and coming to some sort of intellectual understanding and "getting" the RCC - the difference is probably the Holy Spirit. (?)

Lloyd said...

Malvenu and Gold Speck – I want to thank you both for visiting and giving your personal opinion regarding your faith in the RCC. There will always be disagreements regarding any Christian doctrine if the elements of those doctrines have different meanings… Catholic vs. Non-Catholic definitions.

As I have mentioned in previous comments to members of the RCC, this division has been a reality for hundreds of years, but the one thing all Christians can agree upon is this: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He is the only way for a sinner like me to come before the Holy God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Please keep in mind that even though I do not agree with what the RCC teaches or stands for, I and millions of folks like me do not HATE the RCC or anyone connected with it. Only God will judge us on what we did or didn’t do in this life. God’s blessings too both of you.

sig94 said...

Lloyd - I fall upon Rom. 10:9

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Of course there's that nuisance about personal sanctification and godliness but that's another story.

Malvenu said...

Thank you, Lloyd. I appreciate your sincerity and you obvious warmth towards all Christians. However, i disagree with you, i think that there are plenty of people out there who hate the RCC (the irony being that most of them don't really know what they are talking about). Even though you disagree, at least you have taken the time to do some research.

By the way, although i'm sure he would agree with much of what the RCC teaches, Gold Speck is an orthodox Christian!

Lloyd said...

Thank you again, Malvenu for your comment. I really think the word "HATE" is a little strong for folks that disagree with RCC doctrine and beliefs. And by the way, thanks for letting me know that Gold Speck is an orthodox Christian. I am only a Child of that puts my faith totally in my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Rong said...

As a 5 point Calvanist I'm with SusanWalkerGirl, "I have been saved by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone. It is a work of God not of man, least anyone should boast."

I was raised in a devout Catholic home, Dad at 82 still unlocks the church each morning, but I left the church when I was 16. A decade later I finally got it or more importantly God finally got thru my hardened heart and gave me one of flesh. Let me tell you, that was no doing on my part. I was a prideful young man way to full of himself to be humbled on his own.

No my friends, God call us to himself thru no doing on our part and thru no particular church. The only church is the one who's people know Christ as their Lord and King.

Lloyd said...

Mike - I want to thank you for your visit and personal testimony regarding your break from the RCC.

I am not a "5 point Calvinist", but I do agree with you... "I have been saved by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone. It is a work of God not of man, least anyone should boast." God bless, Lloyd

Gold Speck said...

Mike (Rong)-
I am inspired to hear of your father's faithfulness. When the time comes that he is parted from this earthly life, may he find the gates of heaven unlocked, and be granted a rich entrance into the kingdom.

Gold Speck said...

I’m going to go out on a limb and contradict the holy James of Jerusalem who insisted that salvation includes works, and not by faith alone. (James 2:24) I will agree instead with Mike who says that salvation is by faith alone. My only stipulation is that it must be understood that there is precisely only one saving faith: the one faith of the one body of the church. (Eph.4:4,5)
Certainly, there are other faiths in the world, yet not all are the same. Each faith has its own goals. And different faiths with their corresponding different practices yield different results. The faith of the atheists, for example, is a blatant denial of God. Such a faith does not offer salvation, in fact, rejects any offer of salvation. The faith of the Buddhists is a hollow and nihilistic faith. God may very well save a Buddhist by His great mercy, but their idea of salvation has nothing in common with the salvation offered in Christ. Theirs is not a saving faith.
The only saving faith is in Christ. But which Christ? The Christ of the Mormons is not the Christ known to Christians. The Mormon Christ is a brother of Lucifer. The Christ of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the same “Light of Light, true God of true God” worshiped by Christians through the ages. This false Christ is supposedly an angelic man, and not the God-man. Therefore, this ‘Christ’ has no power to restore humanity to the Life of God. There may very well be Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses that will in the end be saved by God’s grace (only God knows), but it would not be as a result of their faith, but in spite of it.
The one saving faith that is described by the Apostle Paul is not the individualistic faith proposed so often among modern Christians. The faith of Paul is presupposed to be the one maintained in the church. These writings of Paul are, after all, addressed to the church, not to individuals. As individuals, we are condemned sinners, but together in the Church we are offered salvation. Jesus did not start a new philosophy or religion called Christianity. He founded the Church, a tangible body of believers, a community under the authority of the Apostles and their bishops after them.
After some thirteen hundred years of Christian history, the young John Calvin, like Mike, “left the church”. He began to offer radical new teachings, a new faith, and founded a new church, apart from the one founded by Christ. The God that is worshiped in the Church is “the good God who lovest mankind”. My God teaches kindness- that I must love all my enemies, even as He loves all those who hate him. But Calvin says of his ‘God’ that “by his eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction.” –Institutes of Christian Religion III:xxi,7 If Calvin’s God expects his followers to treat their enemies with kindness, He holds them to a higher standard than His distorted sense of ‘sovereignty’ allows Himself to meet. There may very well be Calvinists who in the end are saved, but it will not be on account of any of their five points, but despite them.
Are only the members of the RCC saved? The Lord may yet have sheep outside the Apostolic community. But a more appropriate question might be: Dare we test the patience and Grace of God, by neglecting the salvation he offered in the one historic Church?

Lloyd said...

Gold Speck - Thank you again for your visit and personal opinion regarding the RCC. The Bible makes it pretty clear that the only way to heaven is through Christ Jesus and that there is no other name that can save you. We can always speculate regarding other religions of the world or even Christian cults, but the bottom line is...what does the Word of God say.

The answer to the question of the post, "Are only the members of the RCC saved" is "NO". The biblical truth is that Jesus Christ came to save sinners and that John 3:16 pretty much says it all. I think that the historic church, as you are referring to, needs to be defined. It is not the RCC; it is the body of true believers throughout history that has put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. If I am totally off base on this definition then may God have mercy on my soul and the souls of millions of believers that put their trust in God's Word and not in the magisterium, traditions and doctrines of the RCC. God bless, Lloyd

Gold Speck said...

You provide your answer to the question you asked. If you already had your mind made up about the answer to your question, I am left wondering why you posed the question in the first place.
What if it could be shown that your understanding is at odds with the Bible? Would you want to know?

Lloyd said...

Gold Speck - I have shown on several of my blog posts and pages that the Bible supports that the church that Jesus built consists of all true believers that put faith in Him as their Lord and Savior. I have also shown that no where in the Bible does it mention that the RCC is the only "true church" and that one must be a member to be saved.

To answer your question: What if it could be shown that your understanding is at odds with the Bible? I would have to say, "Yes, my brother in Christ.... please point out my error." God bless, Lloyd

Gold Speck said...

Jesus commissioned some of his closest disciples in a unique manner: "…he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Jn.20:22 He did not merely think, or wish, their commission; he bestowed their authority upon them through the spoken word, and, importantly, he breathed it onto them. Throughout the spiritual activities of Jesus, the spiritual is accomplished hand-in-hand with the physical. Some people tend to draw a sharp contrast between the physical and the spiritual, but this is a somewhat artificial division. The physical is integrally bound up in the spiritual, and vice-versa. (I Cor.15:44, etc.) This is an essential aspect of the significance of the Incarnation, however scandalous it may be: We claim that the immaterial God became flesh, meat, as it were. The Uncontainable was contained within the belly of the virgin. Jesus is not merely the spiritual God having put on physical humanity, in the way that a person puts on a glove. Jesus became fully man, spiritually and physically, and he is fully God, spiritually and physically. We have a God with a body that can be touched.
The spiritual dimensions of the physical realm are especially evident in sexual activity. When two people unite their bodies physically, they are also united spiritually. We would not say that the physical reality of sexual union is merely a sign or symbol of a deeper, spiritual reality. A sexual sin is indeed a spiritual sin, but it is simultaneously a physical sin as well. The physical is spiritual. Something similar can be said of the rite of baptism. The Bible does not teach that baptism is merely an external sign of an inner reality. As with sexual intercourse, the physical act of baptism is a spiritual act: "having been buried with him in baptism, wherein you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead." Col.2:21 We were united to Christ in baptism- a salvific act. I Pet.3:21 This does not mean that all who are baptized go to heaven, and those who are not baptized are doomed. But the Bible clearly indicates the spiritual is inter-connected with this physical act.
Pentecost is the birth of the Church, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out upon the believers, gathered together under the Apostles. All those who belonged to this fellowship of faith lived happily under this divinely instituted authority. Acts 2:42 As the Church spread throughout the world, the Apostles shared their authority with elders whom they appointed- the episcopacy (the bishops) and presbytery. (need I cite the numerous N.T. references?) This gift of authority, at first received directly from Christ, was shared through the laying on of hands, a physical act which bestows an actual, spiritual gift for ministry. I Tim 4:14 From the beginning, there has been a visible community of Christians, sharing a single deposit of faith, under this single, Apostolic leadership. The Apostle who wrote John 3:16 did not have a favorable impression of those who abandoned this one community of faith. ( I John 2:18,19) It is quite a stretch to suppose that as John penned the words "whosoever believeth on him", he was granting license to live outside the authority established by "His only begotten Son". All these writings- the gospels and the epistles- were written within the context of a single community of a common faith, and written expressly to this group… the denominations didn't appear until thirteen hundred years later.

Gold Speck said...

When we read the epistles of the New Testament, written to Thessalonica and Corinth, these are letters written to communities that continue to exist even to the present day. Also, by God's grace, the churches of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and other ancient churches have remained in unbroken continuity, under the same body of leadership, from the days of the Apostles until now. During the first thousand years, the Church of Rome remained in communion with all these ancient churches.
From my perspective, the Roman Catholic Church in the form it now exists, emerged as its own, independent entity in 1054 A.D. Among other things, the churches in the east (Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, etc.) did not accept the claim of the Pope, that he wields universal jurisdiction over all Christians everywhere. (Each bishop exercises authority over his own region.) The Church had always convened in great Councils for decisions that affect the whole Church, and never relied on just one person, not even the Pope of Rome. (Note that after St. Peter had fallen temporarily into the Judaizing heresy, it was James of Jerusalem who presided over the Jerusalem Council, where the decision about this heresy was rendered. Acts 15:13) The judgments of the Councils, led in accordance with the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), are subject to the recognition of the laity throughout the world. In this way, the Church accepts only that which conforms to the one, unchanging deposit of faith that has been believed by the whole Church everywhere, at all times. (This is the meaning of the word 'catholic': from Greek 'katholikos', literally "according to the whole"- not merely 'universal', which can be misconstrued to refer to a supposed 'universal' magisterial authority.) Remember, it was upon the authority of such a Council, at Carthage 397A.D., that the Church established her canon of Scripture. (More than 300 years of Church history without need for a defined Bible!) The churches of the east also rejected a number of doctrines and practices of Rome that seemed to them to be innovations, such as purgatory, the selling of indulgences, mandatory celibacy of the presbytery, and some theological matters. The greatest tragedy in all history is that, rather than calling a Council to settle these issues, Rome separated herself, declaring all the other historic churches excommunicated.
God is merciful and loves mankind. I am confident that He will save all those who belong to Him. But I disagree that the Church currently consists of all true believers. There is a visible Church on earth- it is possible to tell whether someone is inside it or outside it. There are undoubtedly false believers within the Church, and true believers outside it. Just as "they are not all Israel, that are of Israel"(Rom.9:6), they are not all Church, that are of Church. Our Lord told us, "I have other sheep which are not of this fold: I must bring them also, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd." John 10:16 "This fold", as it has been understood, is the tangible, historic community of the Church, the 'new Israel'. The "other sheep" include true believers that are not yet part of the "one flock", the final fullness of the Church in heaven.
Orthodox Christians have an assortment of obstacles separating us from the RCC. But Catholicism retains something essential that the Protestant Christians do not. The RCC appreciates the value of continuity with the historic fellowship, the "great cloud of witnesses". Such continuity is a unifying glue. But many of the self-appointed leadership of the newly-arrived denominational communities -severed as they are from the historical leadership- have devised 'Invisible Church' theory. This theory only serves to scatter Christians, dividing them into ever-increasing numbers of denominational divisions.
Kyrie, eleison imas.

Lloyd said...

Gold Speck - I want to thank you for taking the time to explain the history of the Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic churches and your very well written comments with scripture references. I do have to admit that all of the scriptures that you cited can also be used to prove that my understanding of the "true church" that Jesus established and my understanding on how a person can obtain salvation is what God wanted His children to know when reading the Holy Bible. I think it has a lot to do with your definition of "church" and "salvation" not being the same as my definition of the same words.

The more that I study the history and the core belief system of both the Orthodox Christian Church and the Roman Catholic Church the more I realized that there really is not that much difference between the two. Both have valid holy orders and apostolic succession through the episcopacy, both celebrate the same sacraments, both believe almost exactly the same theology, both proclaim the same faith in Christ, and both belief that they are the only "true church" that Jesus established. The difference is that the Orthodox Christian Church relies on their holy clergy and theologians to interpret Holy Scripture and the Roman Catholic Church relies on the Holy See.

I find it interesting to read about how the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic split from each other in the year 1054 (The Great Schism), however, when the Protestant churches broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, beginning in the 16th century, exposing the errant beliefs of Catholicism, they were the ones that were considered the heretics. I truly believe that the reformation which produced the Protestant church was primarily a rediscovery of the authority of God's Word and the salvation which is by faith in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

So my Christian brother, I want to ask you this question: What if it could be shown that your understanding is at odds with the Bible? Would you want to know the truth? I invite you to read "What is Roman Catholicism?", "What is the Orthodox Church?" and "Protestant church vs. Catholic church?" located in the sidebar -The Truth Will Set You Free! In all conscience, you have to have some doubt as to why there was such a big split of the Christian church after the Roman government renamed it the Roman Catholic Church, instead of the Catholic Church.

As always, I want to thank you again for your visit and allowing me to share my faith with you. God bless, Lloyd

Gold Speck said...

I read the three articles you suggested that I read. I am beginning to understand that we will have to just accept that we disagree, and respectfully go our own ways. There are just so many points where we diverge from one another, I am at a loss for where we would even start. Many of the verses that you cite as proofs of your beliefs, in my opinion, do not support the conclusions you draw from them. I agree with every word of Scripture, as you say that you do. But I sharply disagree with some of your interpretations of Scripture. Evidently, you have similar sentiments toward my statements.
To illustrate, one example of many: In order to contrast your view with that of the Catholics: “The bread and wine are [merely] symbols of the body and blood of Christ...” for Scriptural support, you cite I Cor. 11:23: “This is my body...” The Greek language could have said, “This bread symbolizes my body...” if this is what Jesus had intended to say. I, similar to the Catholics, take Jesus’ words literally, at face value. You would usually take a literal interpretation of Scripture, too, but in this verse, you take his words to be figurative only. So here is one of the places of Scripture which, from the traditional point of view, bears literal witness to the historic understanding of the Eucharist. But you perceive this same verse as veritable proof of your own belief! It was foolishness for me to think that either of us could demonstrate to the other that their “understanding is at odds with the Bible.” I, like you, have read the Bible many times over, and perceive my beliefs to be in agreement with every word of it. (So much for hoping ‘sola scriptura’ could help out!) We will just go round in circles with each other, only impaling ourselves upon our own egos. (I personally have no problem saying that the body and blood are symbolized by bread and wine. This is because I do not believe that ‘symbol’ and ‘reality’ are opposed to one another. Sure, it might possibly be symbolic, but I would willingly be killed before I would ever deny the spiritual reality in the body and blood of Christ.)
I am encouraged that the RCC and Orthodox communions have a great deal in common. There also seem to be some significant differences, theological being foremost. But I am glad that they see themselves to be the true Church. As the Orthodox often say, “we know where the true Church is, but we do not know where it is not”. Outside the visible boundaries of the Orthodox Church, I am encouraged to find writers such as C.S.Lewis, who wrote from a thoroughly orthodox perspective. Everybody is at least a little bit orthodox.
Yes, it is true that the wretched and unworthy sinners among the Orthodox (I, being the worst of them all) look only to the theologians for spiritual insight. But an eight-year-old girl is sometimes the best theologian. True prayer is true theology. I look to the Fathers of the Church because they are farther along the way in the path of prayer, and in being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

Lloyd said...

Thank you Todd for taking time to explain your spiritual beliefs to me. I truly appreciate it and feel that even though we do not see things exactly the same, we both have an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It seems that throughout the centuries mankind has always had different views about what the will of God is and the truth of His Word. Sometimes I look about at all the different religions of the world, including Christianity, and understand why there are so many folks trying to find the truth about the Creator. In Christendom alone there are so many theological points of view that differ which causes a huge stumbling block to the unity of the churches of Christ. Whether a group calls themselves Roman Catholics, Christian Orthodox or any of the names used in denominationalism we as true believers still fail to unite in fellowship with all Christians of the world because of the sin of pride. The good news is that when we are all in Heaven there will be prefect unity and fellowship with our Lord Christ Jesus.

You say you look to the theologians and leaders of your church for spiritual insight into the Holy Scriptures... I, along with millions of other Christians do the same. We all are lead by the Holy Spirit in doing God's will in our lives and we depend on our church leaders to guide us when we have doubts or questions concerning God's Word. I also am a fan of C.S. Lewis and find his writings very encouraging.

Thank you again for your visit and may our Lord shine through you and your blog ministry. God bless, Lloyd