Are Protestants Christians?
Protestants, Salvation, and the Catholic Church


Date: 08-20-1998 / From: JIM JEFFCOAT / To: P / Conf: FidoNet RCatholic

On or about 08-12-1998, P wrote this to Jim Jeffcoat:

PP> See my post to Lionel Binnie on the -De Fide- teachings of the Church.

If I'm to understand Tim correctly, it is also _de fide_ teaching that:

1. Only Catholics can be saved;

2. Non Catholics are therefore necessarily condemned;

3. Anyone who so much as _says_ that the vernacular can replace Latin for Mass falls under "anathema".

P > We need to straighten you out on what Catholics are supposed to believe.

You've sure been trying for years now. :-)

P > Ask the question again in clear terms and I will do some research.

My question was simply this: You stated previously that, since Vatican II, whether to use Latin for Mass or not is simply a matter of taste. Tim stated that it is _not_ a matter of taste, but orthodox Catholic doctrine _mandates_ that Latin be used. Which of you is correct?

....

In the first place, if you listen to Hank any significant amount of time at all, you should be well aware that he REPEATEDLY tells people to go to the Scriptures and check out what he says, and NOT to accept his views just because he says so. Therefore "Sola Hanegraaff" is a contradiction in terms, for were I to embrace such a belief I would be going against what Hanegraaff himself says. Secondly, my basic doctrinal views have remained unchanged since long before I ever heard of Hank Hanegraaff, or even Walter Martin for that matter. And I was an occasional CRI listener back when Dr. Martin was still alive.... so we are talking about quite a number of years.

And finally, it so happens I don't agree with Hank on everything, by any means. He is a good Christian brother, a wonderful apologist, and a dedicated defender of the Christian faith. But he is human and can be wrong just like anyone else. (I happen to disagree strongly with his position on ECT, for example).

I really wish you'd get past your apparant belief that I am spoon-fed all my information from CRI and am unable to think for myself. That's not the case at all.

PP> BTW, I include the Christian Research Institute as a link on the Official R_Catholic web site because they do good work on the wacko Evangelical and Fundamentalist groups and preachers that are out there, and their information on cults is good.

It seems ironic that you're so eager to laud CRI as a reputable, scholarly organization that does such good work, except where their views don't agree with yours. If, in fact, their views and research on Catholicism are unsound, unscholarly, or even downright dishonest, then how could they be trusted in any area?

....

JEJ

* Origin: J.C. Computer Want Ad BBS OP,KS. (1:280/105.0)


Date: 09-03-1998 / From: P / To: JIM JEFFCOAT / Conf: RCatholic

PP> I will state the following in response: It is -De Fide- that (1) Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation

PP> This statement has been confirmed numerous times by Councils and Popes. Why? Salvation is received from Christ by and through His Mystical Body on earth, there is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, called "the Catholic Church" from the very beginning, and anyone outside that one visible Church is outside the Body of Christ

JJ> This is in direct conflict with the teachings of Vatican II.

No, it is not. If you think it is, I would ask you to demonstrate it from the documents of Vatican II (or the new Catechism). See below. For the rest of your messages, and the ones from RandG Wood I will need this 3-day weekend to spend some time giving you guys some definitions of terms needed for clarification in this fascinating new discussion.

A couple of terms need to be defined: "salvation" and "Church" and "Body of Christ" are the most important. It seems we already had this discussion last year -- to be available as VISIBLE.ZIP and INFAL.ZIP and UNSANC.ZIP at Members.Aol.Com/P when I can upload them! Also hope to finish my new series on the "Sabbath subject" since I have collected enough documentation on that to thoroughly answer Tony Lee.

BTW, Tim Rivera (in his parting series of posts, bye Tim, sniff) and I are in complete agreement on the issue of -Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus- (Outside the Church, No Salvation), since we only affirm the constant Faith of the Catholic Church on this, defined by numerous Councils and Popes. Tim has answered the questions brought up in here the same way I have (with a somewhat harsher tone), and he has gone into some detail on Baptism. The question of the salvation of the individual always comes down to whether or not the person dies in "the state of grace" which only God knows for certain. On that we agree.

Concerning Vatican II, salvation and the Church (the Body of Christ), to prove me wrong, show me where Protestants are called in the documents (1) "members of the Catholic Church" or (2) "members of the one universal Church of Christ" or (3) "members of the Mystical Body of Christ" or even (4) "part of the Mystical Body of Christ" or similar language.

That is never used of those non-Catholic Christians separated from the Catholic Church in the documents of Vatican II. Yes, they are called "Christians", they are called "brothers", they are called "separated brethren" (Decree on Ecumenism 3) but never members of the Church or members of the Body of Christ. Hence, according to Vatican II, they are FORMALLY or STRICTLY "outside the Church" and "outside the Body of Christ." But as those same documents point out, by the Sacrament of Baptism and their faith in Christ they are RELATED TO (imperfect communion) the Catholic Church and the one Body of Christ.

BTW, as for Scott Hahn supposedly disagreeing with myself or Tim Rivera on the issue, I have a tape of him (with Gerry Matatics and Steve Wood) affirming "Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation" (1991) and in his latest book Catholic For A Reason (Emmaus Road, 1998) --

"SALVATION AND THE CHURCH...By establishing the New Covenant, Christ founded ONE Church -- through His own resurrected body -- as an extension of His Incarnation and the Trinity's life. The Catholic Church is the universal Family of God, OUTSIDE OF WHICH THERE IS NO SALVATION. This teaching does not condemn anyone. Rather, it simply clarifies the essential meaning of salvation and the Church. Since the essence of salvation is the life of divine sonship, to speak of salvation outside of God's family, the Church, is to confuse things greatly -- since being OUTSIDE God's family is precisely what we need to be saved from." (Hahn, page 11)

If there really WERE a million Scott Hahns writing books like the outstanding new apologetics book Catholic For A Reason the world would be a much better place. Can't say that about Bill Lenhart, dude.

Note: the question of someone's ultimate salvation is another issue -- what I am asking for is documentation for your statement that what I have written above is in conflict or contradiction to the documents of Vatican II (or the Catechism of the Catholic Church based on VatII). Show me where in the documents I am wrong or have misunderstood them, and we can discuss what you bring up. As for Fr. Richard McBrien, give me some time to read your previous posts from him. I have a few articles from This Rock magazine I can dig up on his quasi-heretical ideas, and his censure by the Church for mistakes in some of his books.

More this weekend.

* OLX 2.1 TD * I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church


Date: 09-03-1998 / From: RANDG WOOD / To: P / Conf: RCatholic

Hi, Phil:

You reported:

P > into evangelical thinking. As so often happens, the CONVERTS teach the cradle Catholics so very much about appreciating our own faith."-- Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

P > 5. Justification as Divine Sonship: Is "Faith Alone" Justifiable? / Richard A. White, Ph.D. (Marquette Univ and CONVERT)

P > 7. The Family that Learns Together, Yearns Together: The Liturgy as Family Pedagogy / Sean Innerst (CONVERT)

I capitalized the word, "CONVERT", because in a Christian context this word can only mean, "a person who has changed from being a NON-CHRISTIAN, and has become a CHRISTIAN".

May I suggest what logical conclusion this use of this term in this document leads to?

*****************************************************************

(1) I take it this book must surely have the official stamp of approval of the Roman Catholic Church.

(1.1) Therefore I assume what it says above may be taken as official Roman Catholic teaching.

(2) I assume that the persons described as "CONVERT" are former Protestants, not former agnostics, atheists or pagans.

(2.1) Therefore I conclude that the people who chose this word believe Protestants are -NOT- Christians!

(3) Therefore, based on (1.1) and (2.1), I conclude that the Roman Catholic Church officially concurs in this belief; i.e., PROTESTANTS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS!

WHEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: if Roman Catholics teach that Protestants are not Christians, there is no good reason for Protestants to teach that Roman Catholics are Christians! HENCE, back to "heretics" vs "great Babylon" relationships.

*****************************************************************

HOWEVER, contrary to the above -LOGICAL- conclusion, I keep meeting Roman Catholics, including here in this echo, who certainly -seem- to accept myself as a Christian.

FURTHERMORE, I myself have met many Roman Catholics, including here in this echo, who certainly seem to me to be Christians. And this is not a term I use lightly, either!

Umm, Phil, these data do not compute.

Confused in Canada. -- Ralph * Ralph & Gene Ann Wood

* Origin: Encode Online Orillia,Ont.705-327-7629 (1:229/618)


Date: 09-05-1998 / From: P / To: RANDG WOOD / Conf: RCatholic

RW> Hi, Phil:

Hey Fresh Manna dude, sorry I did not get back with your other post, I did receive your new questions, but noticed that Tim Rivera was discussing with you on the same subject and wanted to give him a chance to answer. Don't want to overload you. Tim is off to college so I'll now pick up where he left off. Sorry if I offended you below.

RW> I capitalized the word, "CONVERT", because in a Christian context this word can only mean, "a person who has changed from being a NON-CHRISTIAN, and has become a CHRISTIAN".

Well, I can understand you maybe taking offense at my use of the word "convert" -- but as I said before you need to read official Catholic sources to know what we mean by the terminology. I understand you would rather hear it from living and breathing Catholics, but the clear teaching you find "in the books" would really be a great help to you.

The term "convert" is not meant to imply that Evangelicals before becoming Catholics were never "Christians" to begin with -- Catholics officially accept all Protestants as Christian brethren (though "separated brethren") and they are called "Christians" and "brothers" by the documents of Vatican II (Decree on Ecumenism, 3) and by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 817 ff -- see also the discussion on the nature of the Church and Body of Christ, 748-945.

When one becomes a Roman Catholic, they are considered and normally called "converts" no matter their background: atheists, pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Protestant, Orthodox, First Church of the Doors, the Second Church of Ozzy Osbourne, the Third Church of Ratt (sorry, that's an inside joke to John Jancewicz, our beloved Co-Moderator).

Anyone who becomes a Catholic who was never a Catholic (or if you insist "Roman Catholic") is a "convert" -- a "convert" to the original One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ, i.e. the Catholic Church -- with no offense intended to you personally. If one is raised Catholic, then left the Catholic Church to join a Protestant church or non-Christian religion, and comes back later in life to the Catholic Church, they are called "reverts" (to use the terminology of Marcus Grodi and The Coming Home Network). More on Marcus Grodi later.

RW> May I suggest what logical conclusion this use of this term in this document leads to?

RW> (1) I take it this book must surely have the official stamp of approval of the Roman Catholic Church. (1.1) Therefore I assume what it says above may be taken as official Roman Catholic teaching.

One correction. A book such as Catholic For A Reason although it contains the official "Imprimatur" (let it be printed) and "Nihil Obstat" (Nothing Objectionable to Catholic doctrine) it cannot properly be called "official Roman Catholic teaching". These books are certainly a great help in understanding Catholic teaching and apologetics, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (and other Ecumenical Councils) are more properly called "official Roman Catholic teaching." Get me, chief?

RW> (2) I assume that the persons described as "CONVERT" are former Protestants, not former agnostics, atheists or pagans. (2.1) Therefore I conclude that the people who chose this word believe Protestants are -NOT- Christians! (3) Therefore, based on (1.1) and (2.1), I conclude that the Roman Catholic Church officially concurs in this belief; i.e., PROTESTANTS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS!

Logical fallacy alert! This only follows logically if officially Catholics teach that "only Catholics are Christians" -- which we don't. See Vatican II (Decree on Ecumenism 3) where Protestants and other non-Catholics like the Orthodox, are called "Christians" and "brothers" although "separated brethren" -- separated from the Catholic Church.

What can be concluded logically is: PROTESTANTS ARE NOT CATHOLICS.

RW> WHEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: if Roman Catholics teach that Protestants are not Christians, there is no good reason for Protestants to teach that Roman Catholics are Christians! HENCE, back to "heretics" vs "great Babylon" relationships.

RW> HOWEVER, contrary to the above -LOGICAL- conclusion, I keep meeting Roman Catholics, including here in this echo, who certainly -seem- to accept myself as a Christian.

This Roman Catholic included. If you define "Christian" as someone who trusts Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, and depends entirely on Him for salvation, then I have no problem with accepting you as a Christian brother. That does not mean we still have serious and crucial differences on the nature and necessity of the Church -- which is something we can discuss or debate later if you like.

Heck, I'll mail you a copy of Catholic For A Reason along with the stories, tapes and videos of many celebrated recent "converts" to the Catholic Church from Evangelical Protestantism: Thomas Howard, Scott Hahn, Gerry Matatics, Steve Wood, Steve Ray, Dave Currie, Dave Palm, Ken Howell, Ken Craycraft, and many more...

* OLX 2.1 TD * And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us -- John 1:14


Date: 08-25-1998 / From: MARTIN EBLE / To: JIM JEFFCOAT / Conf: RCatholic

Jim Jeffcoat to P:

JJ> If I'm to understand Tim correctly, it is also _de fide_ teaching that:

JJ> 1. Only Catholics can be saved;

The teaching is "outside the Church there is no salvation". Therefore, only those in the Church can be saved.

JJ> 2. Non Catholics are therefore necessarily condemned;

No, those outside the Church are condemned. For example, in the Roman Canon mention is made of Abel, Abraham, Melchisedech, none of whom apparently were Catholic. In the Litany of the Saints, intercession is asked of "Omnes sancti Patriarchae et Prophetae", "All Holy Patriarchs and Prophets".

JJ> 3. Anyone who so much as _says_ that the vernacular can replace Latin for Mass falls under "anathema".

I believe the original anathema was attached to denying that the Church could lawfully mandate Latin, along the lines of the Anglican Articles of Religion. Since the Church has always had rites in which languages other than Latin are used, including various "vernaculars", it could hardly anathematize everyone not using Latin.

* Origin: The I.O. Board Anderson, IN (1:2255/10)


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