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Joined: 2004/11/23
Posts: 91
San Pedro, California

 Are all Catholics going to hell?

Okay guys, I've just got to bring something up that has been bugging me. I often tend to get a drift on SI that many seem to think that Catholicism is a cult on the same level as Jehovah's Witness and Mormonism. While I am not a Catholic and never have been, I readily regard them as being part of the Christian church, though a group that I don't necessarily agree with on every biblical point. Catholicism has many forms and varies widely depending upon where you are, but as far as I can tell they do agree with us Protestants on salvation by grace, no matter how easily it tends to get mixed up with some of their other lesser beliefs.

I've known so many spirit-filled, evangelical Christians that are also strong Catholics! It grieves me when I see so much Prostestant literature (pamphelets, etc, not necessarily on this site), etc, claiming terrible things about the Catholic church that are unfounded. I have met so many Protestants that really think that all true Catholics are really going to hell!

I currently live in a mostly Catholic town and many people "get saved out of Catholicism". Basically they mean that they get saved out of being a nominal Christian, being religious. That is because Catholicism happens to be the most widely accepted church around here. I also lived in the Bible belt for a few years and there are many people in the Prostestant church that are headed straight for hell as well! There are many, many people there that you will meet that have been "saved out of nominal Protestantism".

Just want to know you guy's thoughts. I'm hoping that we're not all anti-Catholic here, are we?



 2005/1/1 3:08Profile

Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354

 Re: Are all Catholics going to hell?

Simple answer: I don't think all of them are going to hell.

I agree that there are plenty "saved out of nominal protestantism" as well as plenty "saved out of Roman Catholicism." Nonetheless, I am decidedly "protestant" rather than merely "non-Catholic." Largely I "protest" against (brief list): their use of church tradition as "on par" with Scripture, their view of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ (and, indeed, at least one of them claimed to be "God on Earth"), their rejection of what's generally called "Justification by Faith", their ceremonial "re-sacrifice" of Christ at every Mass, and particularly their idolization of Mary.

But I'm not generally going to get up extra early Sunday morning to nail 95 more Theses to the local Roman Catholic church door. I'm also generally pleasant towards Catholic acquaintances (I don't really have any good friends amongst them), and don't express to them doubts about their salvation (I would if I had good reason, but I'd do that for Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. as well). If they need help, I'll gladly help them just as I would anyone. Besides, most of the ones I actually run into don't have the slightest clue about many or any of the things that bother me about the RC Church's teachings.

I rather like some of what G.K. Chesterson has said, and I'm very fond indeed of Tolkien's works on Middle Earth. Both were Catholic.

But I don't think I'll ever be quite comfortable around them in the same way as my protestant friends; the differences are too unsettling.

edit - one quote I meant to bring up but forgot, from Douglas Wilson (staunchly Reformed) : "Justification by Faith in Christ, not Justification by Faith in Justification by Faith"

 2005/1/1 3:27Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


Hi phebebird

I've known so many spirit-filled, evangelical Christians that are also strong Catholics! It grieves me when I see so much Prostestant literature (pamphelets, etc, not necessarily on this site), etc, claiming terrible things about the Catholic church that are unfounded. I have met so many Protestants that really think that all true Catholics are really going to hell!

For me the issue lies in a single 's'. Are we talking about Catholic or Catholic[b][u][i]s[/b][/u][/i]? Catholic has to do with religious system which I think is anti-christian. Catholics are people who pay allegiance to that system. Catholic or Catholicism is based on a different ultimate authority. Conservative Evangelicalism hold the Scriptures to be the final authority in matters of faith and behaviour. Catholicism holds the 'Church' to be the final authority. It claims to be the 'author' of the Bible and therefore its only legitimate interpreter.

Historically the Catholic church was against the translations of the scriptures into the vernacular because it undermined their hold on 'what God had said'. This has now been modified but the Catholic church still holds the only authoratitive interpretation of them.

Catholicism, theologically, is a closed system. You cannot be a Catholic without accepting Catholic dogma, and as salvation is historically only possible inside Peter's Barque (his boat, the Catholic church), so there is no salvation outside Catholicism. Its necessary dogma include
1. the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This teaches that Mary herself was without sin. Unless you believe this you cannot be a bona fide Catholic, and hence there is no salvation.
2. The Bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This teaches that Mary did not die (because she had no sin) and had her own private rapture. you believe this you cannot be a bona fide Catholic, and hence there is no salvation.
3.Transusbstantiation. The physical elements of the wine and the bread are transmuted into actual blood and flesh (the accidents of appearance excepted) of Christ. Catholics physically eat Christ's flesh and drink his blood. you believe this you cannot be a bona fide Catholic, and hence there is no salvation. Anyone not regularly communicating is self-excluding themselves from salvation.
4. Baptismal regeneration. An unbaptised baby can never go to heaven. Instead it goes limbus infantum. Neither heaven nor hell. Limbus infantum is next door to Limbus Patrum where Abraham and all other umbaptised saints spend their eternity. Baptim regeneration water is 'ex opere operata' which means water baptism actually effects the regeneration at that moment.
5. Priestly mediation. Sin in Catholicism is dealt with by a wide variety of rituals. Auricular confession to a priest is followed by absolution in which the priest, and he alone, absolves the sinner. The priest also administers Extreme Unction (the last rites) in which the dying person is anointed with oil and his sins absolved.
6. Purgatory. Dead Catholics do not go to heaven but to purgatory when they pay the price for their sins. The Saints created works of superrogation. That is, they were not only good enough for their own salvation but their surplus holiness has gone into the Papal treasury. Time in purgatory can be reduced by the use of Peter's keys whereby the holiness of a Saint can be transfered to reduce the sinner's purgatorial sentence.

So, including the Mass, sin is resolved by water, flour, wine, oil and fire. As distinct from the scripture which says 'without the shedding of blood'. Catholicism does not believe in the merits of Christ's death, it believes in the mediated merits of Christ's death available only through the Catholic church.

I could go on... You will say but I know many Catholics who don't believe these things and who are true believers. I don't doubt it, so do I. The problem is that it is impossible to be a 'good Catholic' and a 'good Bible believing Christian' at the same time; they are mutullly exclusive. There are many good Christians who are Catholics, but they are not 'good Catholics'

As Keith says 'most of the ones I actually run into don't have the slightest clue about many or any of the things that bother me about the RC chruch's teaching'. That is to say, they are not 'good Catholics'.

True orthodox Catholcism is anti-scriptural, and anti-Christian. But many Catholics have a genuine knowledge of the Lord and His salvation although their 'church', in the council of Trent, has said that it is impossible to know this.

Ron Bailey

 2005/1/1 6:11Profile

Joined: 2004/10/9
Posts: 97
Justin, TX



I don't believe that all Catholics are going to Hell. Only the ones who believe the teaching of the Catholic church on justification.

The Catholic Church teaches in all of its foundational documents from the Council of Trent right up until Vatican II that salvation is by dead works. I have not met a Catholic yet who has not thought that they were going to Heaven because of their good works (attending Mass, confirmation, confession, etc.).

Are they a cult? To answer that you have to define what a cult is and does. A cult teaches doctrine that is un-orthodox. If the Catholic church does not do that, I don't know what group does. Their teaching on salvation runs exactly counter to the Bible's teaching.

If that thinking is anti-Catholic, I guess I could also be accused of being anti-Protestant. Most of the mainline denominations have abandoned their Biblical moorings and have become cults as well.

Salvation is a narrow road and there are few, very few, who find it. Modern evangelical thinking tends to be so inclusive regarding the doctrine of salvation it has almost lost its meaning. Anyone who names the name of Jesus is considered a believer these days, even though He Himself said that many will come to Him in that day of judgment and say, Lord, Lord, did we not do all these incredible things in Your Name? And He will say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you."

Jon Speed

 2005/1/1 11:05Profile

Joined: 2004/11/23
Posts: 91
San Pedro, California


Thanks for all of your replies. They were enlightening. Ron, I did not know all of that stuff. I'm glad that there is less of an anti-Catholic bend on SI than I had feared. I think you are right that those Catholics that are really Christians are not very good Catholics. Catholics very often do not know everything their own church teaches (as is also often true in Protestant churches as well). Certainly the spirit-filled Catholics I've met are considered quite an anomaly by other Catholics. Anyway...

I hope I did not come across as too vehement. Anti-Catholicism is one of my very pet peeves, I realize. I guess it comes from seeing books claiming ridiculous things about the Pope being the anti-Christ and Catholicism being witchcraft, etc. I've also met a lot of very hoity-toity Protestants who really believe that stuff. It's amazing... Anyway, thanks guys. Glad to be among much more level-headed folks...


 2005/1/2 1:45Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Hi Phebe,

Had a rather long reply earlier but decide against it, the replies here more than suffice.

Was raised as a Catholic and it is true, practically everything I have learned about what the 'official' church teaches was totally foreign to me until recent years.

It's still an area that I hope to do more study on. Some of the doctrine is like reading legalese and can be very confusing.

Guess I should throw in this one bit though:

Ron's comments about;... [i]hence there is no salvation[/i]

Hasn't this been also modified now? Am under the impression that we 'protestants' are now 'accepted';

The Council is explicit when it declares that other Christians «justified by baptism in faith, are incorporated into Christ, and therefore they are rightly endowed with the name of Christian and justly recognized by the children of the Catholic Church as brothers in the Lord»


Mike Balog

 2005/1/2 2:41Profile

Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


Bro. Mike: I think the anathema pronounced by the Council of Trent on all non-Catholics (and specifically anyone who dared believe Justification by Faith) was explicitly or implicitly rescinded at Vatican II.

Sis. Phebe:

I guess it comes from seeing books claiming ridiculous things about the Pope being the anti-Christ and Catholicism being witchcraft

Well, I hope I don't appear hoity-toity, but those accusations are not entirely ungrounded. The Westminster Confession of Faith (a very widely used Confession among Reformed, especially Presbyterian, circles) originally called the Pope [i]the[/i] anti-Christ, and I agree that during that time he had a pretty good shot at it (I could explain, if desired). Since then, it appears considerably less likely, and generally churches subscribing to the WCF have amended it at that point to no longer call the Pope [i]the[/i] anti-Christ, though they probably still agree that he is [i]an[/i] anti-Christ.

As for witchcraft: the Roman Catholic church is extremely good at taking local religions and "Catholicizing" them to various degrees. You probably won't find too much occultism in the RC Church in the United States, but elsewhere it may be a different story. For example, the wife of one of my friends was raised Catholic in Brazil, and one time she had some kind of disease (I think that was the issue) and the people at the Catholic church put her in a vegetable bath and sacrificed a chicken. It was the sort of town where, if a woman wanted a little help having a child, she could go to the pagan place and ask the fertility goddess, or she could go to the Catholics who had a [i]saint[/i] for that kind of thing.

All that said, it's still quite possible to be anti-Catholic in an arrogant or otherwise wrong-spirited way. On the other hand, we should investigate accusations (against any group) before passing judgment; as the level-headed can believe false things, and the hoity-toity can occaisionally be factually correct (though that doesn't make their other behaviors right).

 2005/1/2 3:49Profile

Joined: 2004/11/23
Posts: 91
San Pedro, California


I suppose so. I know that Catholicism has long had a history of being mixed up with local witchcraft in certain parts of the world. Perhaps they are more susceptible to this because of their one-time history of discouraging their followers to read God's Word for themselves. The rest of us are, of course, not immune to getting mixed up with this sort of thing. I'll never forget a church of a mainline denomination that I knew of when I was in Sierra Leone that was all mixed up in the ever-present local witchcraft.


 2005/1/2 4:09Profile

Joined: 2004/5/13
Posts: 36


Hi phebebird,

I just want to thank philologos, for your description on catholic doctrine. I just want to say quickly, that doctrine is very important to ones faith. It is your beliefs, what you stand on, what you will die for. It is what brings unity, and true peace. It will seperate the chaff and the wheat persay. It separates the false from the truth.

Now one can say that doctrine is not as important as unity or peace, but i say no, for true unity and peace can not be rought without the truth being the mediator and governer of that unity and peace, or will not truth be compramised, and a false truth, unity and peace set in.

Many have fallen for giving in to this compramise. It is not love. True love for God is to stand on the truth, His word whether it offends or not.

phebebird you said:
"I could go on... You will say but I know many Catholics who don't believe these things and who are true believers. I don't doubt it, so do I. The problem is that it is impossible to be a 'good Catholic' and a 'good Bible believing Christian' at the same time; they are mutullly exclusive. There are many good Christians who are Catholics, but they are not 'good Catholics'"

I agree with you, if your a christian of the bible you cannot be a true catholic of the catholic doctrine.

But I say, does not the word of God say none are good, none are righteous. We are all equally, condemned to hell. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace that ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."

If one teaches the man has any work in his salvation, then one is not admiting the truth that he is doomed, destined to hell, sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, But one is decieved believing he has inheritently has some righteousness aiding and earning worthy of his salvation. Because he believes this lie, he is not recieving the gift of God the remissionof his sins but is trusting in himself, keeping him in his sins. Therefore he would not be recieving the christ of the bible but another. John 9 :41 For christ said that your sins remain if you say you see, saying that you have no sin.

It is not just another gospel, that is preached and taught by them. But there is great Idol worship, worship of dead saints, priest, the cross, and bread and wine, doing such things are an abomination to Yahweh. Also catholics teach those who are to be ministers are not to marry, are we not all ministers? 1 Tim 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 FORBIDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." This also alludes to the only ones to live holy are the priests.
They call a man their father, did not Jesus say call only your father in heaven father. Did not Jesus say their is only one mediator between man and God that man is Christ Jesus, Yet the priest, pope and every other saint almost is put as a mediator to God?
Did not Christ say do not pray like the heathens do, do not pray repititous prays, but he said your father knows what you need before you even pray. Yet Catholics are taught to pray this way.

We must treat things as they are, sin as sin, false as false, we must stand for the truth unwaivingly. We must warn, rebuke, and exhort in love.

Paul did he not warn about taking names of other people. I believe we should keep away from calling ourselves after men, im of Paul or Appollos or Im of Luther, or you get the point.

But if you call yourself something do you not reprensent what it is you call yourself. So If you call yourself a catholic, you represent all that catholicism is do you not?

Many say doctrine is not important anymore, many say unity and peace is more important than doctrine, I say without doctrine stood upon and revered there cannot be true unity and peace but only a superfical peace and unity. Lets see what the bible says: These are all scriptures talking about Jesus Christ's Doctrine:
Mt 7:28, Mt 16:12,Mt 22:33,Mr 1:22,Mr 1:27,Mr 4:2 ,Mr 11:18,Mr 12:38,Lu 4:32,Joh 7:16,Joh 7:17 ,Joh 18:19 , REV 2:14,15,24.

Ac 2:42 "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ DOCTRINE and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
Ac 13:12,Ac 17:19 , Ro 6:17 "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was DELIVERED you."
1Ti 1:3 "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach NO OTHER DOCTRINE,"
1Ti 1:10 "For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to SOUND DOCTRINE;"

1Ti 4:16 "TAKE HEED unto thyself, AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both SAVE THYSELF, AND THEM THAT HEAR THEE."
1 Tim 6:3 " 3 IF ANY MAN TEACH OTHERWISE, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the DOCTRINE which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,"

2Jo 1:9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the DOCTRINE of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son",

2Jo 1:10 "If there come any unto you, and BRING NOT THIS DOCTRINE, RECIEVE HIM NOT into your house, neither bid him God speed:"

Scripture shows the great importance of doctrine, abiding in it, heeding it, teach it and no other, do not associate with those of different doctrine, continue and hold fast to it.

Galatians 1:7 " 7 Which is not another ; but there be some that trouble you , and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we , or an angel from heaven , preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you , let him be accursed .
9 As we said before , so say I now again , If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received , let him be accursed."

Catholic is a name of a sect, or group of people that have a set of particular beliefs. Yes there may be many who profess to be a Catholic, but do not adhere to the catholic beliefs and doctrines, that may be a born again christian, but such a person only could be if he or she did not believe in catholic doctrine. For the catholic doctrine is contrary to that of the doctrine of christ. I love all people, but we must expose things for what they are, we can not compramise with sin. We cannot treat it lightly, we must expose it for what it is.

I recomend to book John Foxes book of martyers, this book will reaveal catholicism, at its roots, and will show who were true followers of christ during that time.

Study the Catholic church, all its roots, I have some good references to Books i will email any who would like that email me, [email protected]
Much of Catholicim is rooted in Paganism, and great compramise.

I just watched a meeting that the pope had i think it was year 2002? not sure anyway, he met with almost every other religous belief leader, except evangelical christian, and they all meet to have so called "peace" "unity" Believing That all there Gods, all go up to one God!

Im sure great persecution is coming.
Beware, As the words of our Lord said, you will be hated by all for MY NAMES SAKE!
There is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ the Son of God the Father.

I was raised in the catholic faith, went to catholic school, was an altar boy, it is very deceptive, seems so innocent.

Do you know the Catholic, church attempted to change the day of the sabbath? to the 7th day of the week to the 1st. Why, because the first day of the week was named Sun-day, Constatine, worship the sun. Do you know that Constatine, threatened to kill all those who would adhere to the sabbath and Gods holy days! He had quite a bit of anitsemitism, and idle worship. This is the roots of Catholacism, Gods Sabbath day can never be changed, nor his feast and festivals. Yet many have been taught nothing of them, or told they are null and void, or are only for the jews, or done away with. And we have adapted a pagan calander, and pagan celebrations, and attempted to put them with our God Yahweh. Christmas, Easter, the names of our months and days, are all pagan in origin and present. Our Lord has given us as a warning to us, all the history and instruction of our fore fathers(old testament) to heed, and instruct us.

The Lord is waking up His church, His bride, who is to be Set apart, white, and pure. A priesthood, willing to forsake all for Him, and stand for him no matter what. He is purging the threshing floor. Seek the Truth.

 2005/1/2 4:55Profile

Joined: 2004/12/31
Posts: 6
Sullivan County, New Hampshire

 Re: Are all Catholics going to hell?

Dear Phebebird-

I was born and raised a catholic, but left the church many years ago, due to questions I had regarding saints and statues, etc., among many other things. (I had no formal training regarding being "saved" at that time, but felt very strongly that at least those things were against what I had read to that point in the Bible at Vacation Bible School that a Protestant friend had been kind enough to invite me to. That's the best of my recollection regarding the beginnings of my reservations about the church.)
I finally was saved 5 years ago, and since then have done much reading in the Word, as well as having read lots on catholic doctrine, which I won't go into for its' already having been discussed here. I will say here that I fear for the salvation of my mom and siblings, none of which know the Lord and are all convinced that I'm in a cult!! Although I was not a "good" catholic, I still suffer from much of the teachings which are deeply ingrained i.e.: salvation by works, etc. I feel very strongly, as do others who've posted, that although we have to speak the Truth in love, we DO have to speak the Truth. I personally feel in my heart that it is impossible to be "saved" and remain in the catholic church. I feel that it's a contradiction, as Christ told us that we can't serve two Masters. I don't believe that it's possible to change it from within, but should strive to bring our catholic family and friends to know Christ from without.
Regarding the pope or catholic church as the antichrist, you may find it interesting to read "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hysop(?). Although you may regard that reading as a "rant", (which you seem hesitant to embrace and which I admire for your desire to be non-judgemental), I found it to be very enlightening to say the least. We have to balance our sincere desire to save others with good judgement in how to witness effectively. I can tell you from experience that my zeal (and anti-catholic sentiment) when I was saved was readily apparent to my loved ones, because I didn't temper it with a mild demeanor. I've since come to realize that that's exactly why they see me as they do. Although they admit that they don't feel I'm unbalanced, they will not be shown as of yet what I refer to as being "saved." (This burdens me because I feel that time is getting VERY short.)
Continue to love them, but try as the Spirit moves you to show them the love of Christ and how only He can save them. We all agree that not everyone in any denomination will be saved. We have to show Jesus in our walk, not just in our talk. But we can't afford to water down the Word, either, because we're doing a disservice to the lost if we do.


 2005/1/2 6:10Profile

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