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The Pope & Salvation: Or Why Believing In Jesus Is Not Enough


sethosayher
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http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass:_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445

 

 

So the pope made a splash yesterday when he stated that even non-believers could go to heaven, including atheists and members of other faiths. People reacted as if the Pope had singlehandedly revised one of the ancient tenants of Christianity, but Catholics well-read in the theology of their church know that this has been the official stance of the Church since Vatican II. 

 

Growing up in a Pentecostal Church meant I was exposed to a very different view of salvation. It was caustic, exclusionary, and declared that one had to be "born-again" and have a personal relationship with Jesus to warrant eternal life. I always thought it was crazy that a person with genuine love for his fellow man could be condemned to eternal hellfire for the "crime" of not professing belief in Jesus. I see absolutely no moral value in the mere act of believing in Jesus, and cannot fathom how Christians can rationalize good non-christians being condemned to eternal suffering because of their decision to not believe. 

 

So I've always been partial to the Catholic view. What do you guys think?

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Since I don't believe in the biblical God anymore, this currently makes no difference to me. I don't need a pope dangling heavenly carrots in front of me to want to be a good person.

Although it's a nice thing to declare in some respects, one aspect of my past faith was that no matter how much of a shitty person you are or were, you could still be saved. This kinda puts the emphasis back on works, which results in people judging each other and themselves according to 'have I done anything to make me better than everyone else today?' 'What if I'm such a bad person that even an atheist goes to heaven before me?' etc. etc.

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So who really gets into heaven? There are some churches that believe they are the only denomination that has the truth. The pope, on the other hand, believes anyone can go to heaven as long as they are good. So who is right? How good do you have to be before God lets you into heaven? What exactly do you have to believe and/ or act?

 

The disagreements between Christians among basic beliefs such as salvation, the relationship between faith and works, etc. is what lead me to do so much church hopping when I was a Christian. I wanted to know who really had the truth.

 

Now I find it impossible to believe in a loving, fair God who would send some people to heaven and others to hell based on standards he does not even make clear in his own holy book. The book of Romans seems to make the case that salvation comes through believing in Jesus. The book of James, however, states that faith without works is dead.

 

There are also thousands of religions in the world. If God wanted people to know how to get close to Him, why would He make things so confusing and make religion look more like a man created entity?

 

These questions have no answers and they are part of why I left the faith.

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Don't care at all what the pope says, but it's fun to see my evangelical friends shit themselves about such statements in this age of "christian political brotherhood" where even Billy Graham decreed Mormons were no longer a cult...for political expediency!  It's really difficult for the honest, fundamentalist Bible believers to swallow their pride and ride the hypocrisy of embracing groups only 30 years ago they detested as cults and antichrists! hehe

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http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass:_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445

 

 

So the pope made a splash yesterday when he stated that even non-believers could go to heaven, including atheists and members of other faiths. People reacted as if the Pope had singlehandedly revised one of the ancient tenants of Christianity, but Catholics well-read in the theology of their church know that this has been the official stance of the Church since Vatican II. 

 

Growing up in a Pentecostal Church meant I was exposed to a very different view of salvation. It was caustic, exclusionary, and declared that one had to be "born-again" and have a personal relationship with Jesus to warrant eternal life. I always thought it was crazy that a person with genuine love for his fellow man could be condemned to eternal hellfire for the "crime" of not professing belief in Jesus. I see absolutely no moral value in the mere act of believing in Jesus, and cannot fathom how Christians can rationalize good non-christians being condemned to eternal suffering because of their decision to not believe. 

 

So I've always been partial to the Catholic view. What do you guys think?

 

Even atheists are redeemed by Jesus. My Catholic FB friends must hear about this. lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So who really gets into heaven? There are some churches that believe they are the only denomination that has the truth....

 

Reminds me of a joke that my former (Lutheran) pastor actually used in a sermon on this very topic (to encourage us to accept other Christians who might be wrong on some minor theological issues, as we could be wrong too):

 

One day a man dies, who was a devout Christian. Saint Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and gives him a tour of Heaven. As the tour goes on, Saint Peter points out all the different Christians. "There's the Catholics, there's the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians", and so forth. As they come to a closed off room in the far corner of heaven, Saint Peter motions for the man to come closer and whispers. "Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Lutherans and they think they're the only ones in Heaven."

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So who really gets into heaven? There are some churches that believe they are the only denomination that has the truth....

 

Reminds me of a joke that my former (Lutheran) pastor actually used in a sermon on this very topic (to encourage us to accept other Christians who might be wrong on some minor theological issues, as we could be wrong too):

 

One day a man dies, who was a devout Christian. Saint Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and gives him a tour of Heaven. As the tour goes on, Saint Peter points out all the different Christians. "There's the Catholics, there's the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians", and so forth. As they come to a closed off room in the far corner of heaven, Saint Peter motions for the man to come closer and whispers. "Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Lutherans and they think they're the only ones in Heaven."

 

 

Funny you should mention that. I heard that same joke, only worded a little differently at the catholic church i once sat in on for awhile. From what i've seen, and read about, every single faction in xtianity says they're the ones with the "truth." There's no way they can all be right. When you think about it that way, it all looks like an epic pissing contest.

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