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Darren10

Pope Francis Said That You Don't Have To Believe In God To Get To Heaven?

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I'm no expert neither, but my understanding is that the Pope is not teaching anything not already canonized by the Catholic Church but this concept may be taught differently by different authorities within the Catholic Church. See Reverend Rosica's statement in response to the Pope's letter. Rosica outright eternally condemns any and all who do not join and remain in the Holy Roman Catholic Church. (Not remaining applies to you, why me ;) ). The Pope, however, is the primary authoirty on Catholic doctrine and I think he was clarifying a teaching of the Catholic Church.

Sounds very much like what happens in our church.
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Boring sacrament meeting talks.

 

That's when I giggle the most. If I'm ever blessed to sit next to you during Sacrament I'll give you a few tips.

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He was, most likely, referring to this statement from the Second Vatican Council (as quoted in the Catechism)—

 

"Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."

 

Thanks for the reference. I think The similarity here is that under LDS theology, one must receive the covenants and rituals under the holy priesthood of God in order to receive the highest point of salvation. These ordinances, rituals, and covenants are found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So while I know of no definitive statement by the LDS Church that people must be "Mormon" to be saved, essentially, one must receive the ordinances found only in Mormonism for the highest degree of salvation.

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Pope Francis Said That You Don't Have To Believe In God To Get To Heaven?

 

Which heaven and do you have to spend a stint in hell to get there?

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Which heaven and do you have to spend a stint in hell to get there?

Maybe a stint in purgatory.  

 

This is what I understand is the full text of what the Pope wrote:

 

You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.

 

"God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart."  In other words if atheists go to God with a sincere and contrite heart they can be saved.  If they go in any other way they won't make it.  Salvation comes through Christ, but you have to recognize him as Saviour.  If in his/her final moments an atheist turns to God with a sincere and contrite heart, that atheist can go to heaven.  Our duty is to pray that everyone will turn to God in such a manner they can be saved.   We are not in any position to judge whether or not a person has been saved.  The reality is that God, even in our final moments, can draw us to him.  If we respond positively we can be saved.

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In the LDS view there is no death bed repentence. Those that didn't have the opportunity to have the Gospel fully taught to them in this life, will receive that opportunity in the next.

 

We mere mortals don't have the authority to decide if/when an individual has had the opportunity to be fully taught the Gospel.

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In the LDS view there is no death bed repentence. Those that didn't have the opportunity to have the Gospel fully taught to them in this life, will receive that opportunity in the next.

 

We mere mortals don't have the authority to decide if/when an individual has had the opportunity to be fully taught the Gospel.

What exactly would be the difference between death bed repentance and after death repentance?  You don't believe a person can repent and turn to God as they are dying?  Isn't that limiting God's power to save someone?  It seems to me the full gospel is very simple.  Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead.  Anyone who exercises faith in that should be in pretty good shape.  Everything else is just an apendage.

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The confusion revolves around a misunderstanding of what is taking place. We are judged on the truths we have been given. The repentance necessary is for not living those truths; one that has not received the fullness is not penalized for not having that opportunity. Do you see the difference?

The ordinances are assured for all. How we live by the truths given is where choice is so important. I don't think there is repentance after this life.

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The confusion revolves around a misunderstanding of what is taking place. We are judged on the truths we have been given. The repentance necessary is for not living those truths; one that has not received the fullness is not penalized for not having that opportunity. Do you see the difference?

The ordinances are assured for all. How we live by the truths given is where choice is so important. I don't think there is repentance after this life.

Can a person who has reached the age of reason be baptized without repentance?  So could a person in the afterlife receive the gospel without repentance?  And since all of us sin in some form after reaching the age of reason, wouldn't a person always need to repent before receiving the gospel?  Isn't knowing we shouldn't lie or steal just an understanding we are given without respect to our understanding of the gospel as a matter of natural law? An atheist would need to come to God with a contrite heart to be accepted no matter what kind of knowledge he/she had prior to death.

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"Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience." = "Never lie to yourself". Seems totally compatible to me....

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I think after we die is the only way we "know" anything. God, our Father in Heaven would be an all-knowing judge one you can't possibly decieve. Based upon that I believe anyone could receive complete salvation if given complete knowledge after death of God and Jesus. If one were to reject it then I suppose they would probably go to hell by choice.

 

Just because Elder So and So knock on the door and want to discuss the church with you and you aren't converted does not constitute a rejection of Christ simply because  Elder So and So "knows" the truth. He may passionately and rightfully believe to "know" which is fine, but his heart and knowledge is not the same as the faith and "knowledge" given to another.

 

To me it seems so Calvinistic and making no sense that some people of faith claim to "know" everything God knows and make God's judgements here on earth about who goes to Hell. It's almost blasphemous when you think of it.

 

I once had a group of friends shun me for years because I didn't go on a mission. One of them had wanted badly to apologize for years to me after having a major crisis of faith. When she did see me at wedding reception, she ran up and bear-hugged me almost knocking me over, much to the chagrin of my DW. She apologized and I simply told her not to worry about it, and that it was something that happend. 

 

I don't know what happens when we die and no one else really does either. I have belief in what happens and pretty much so does everyone else. No one though can make the final judgement except God.

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Maybe a stint in purgatory.  

 

This is what I understand is the full text of what the Pope wrote:

 

 

 

 

"God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart."  In other words if atheists go to God with a sincere and contrite heart they can be saved.  If they go in any other way they won't make it.  Salvation comes through Christ, but you have to recognize him as Saviour.  If in his/her final moments an atheist turns to God with a sincere and contrite heart, that atheist can go to heaven.  Our duty is to pray that everyone will turn to God in such a manner they can be saved.   We are not in any position to judge whether or not a person has been saved.  The reality is that God, even in our final moments, can draw us to him.  If we respond positively we can be saved.

 

In other words all his atheism will be forgotten when someone stops being an atheist

 

Maybe a stint in purgatory.  

 

This is what I understand is the full text of what the Pope wrote:

 

 

 

 

"God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart."  In other words if atheists go to God with a sincere and contrite heart they can be saved.  If they go in any other way they won't make it.  Salvation comes through Christ, but you have to recognize him as Saviour.  If in his/her final moments an atheist turns to God with a sincere and contrite heart, that atheist can go to heaven.  Our duty is to pray that everyone will turn to God in such a manner they can be saved.   We are not in any position to judge whether or not a person has been saved.  The reality is that God, even in our final moments, can draw us to him.  If we respond positively we can be saved.

 

 

 

If that is what the pope said, fine. Who ever taught that the atheist who would "go to God with a sincere and contrite heart," would be damned? I can't think of any religion between Salt Lake, Mecca, Jerusalem, Geneva, or Rome that ever said atheists can't change their minds. Do atheists think that we teach that if they become theists who sincerely go to God with contrition, there is still no hope? Who hasn't flirted with atheism at some point in their life? That would damn just about all of us. Like the current pope (apparently), and every pope for the last 2,000 years, I believe that those who "go to God with a sincere and contrite heart...can be saved."

 

The headline isn't really warranted if this is the context. Its a strange "atheist" that "goes to God with a sincere and contrite heart". I don't call a person who does that an atheist.

Edited by 3DOP
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If that is what the pope said, fine. Who ever taught that the atheist who would "go to God with a sincere and contrite heart," would be damned? I can't think of any religion between Salt Lake, Mecca, Jerusalem, Geneva, or Rome that ever said atheists can't change their minds. Do atheists think that we teach that if they become theists who sincerely go to God with contrition, there is still no hope? Who hasn't flirted with atheism at some point in their life? That would damn just about all of us. Like the current pope (apparently), and every pope for the last 2,000 years, I believe that those who "go to God with a sincere and contrite heart...can be saved."

 

The headline isn't really warranted if this is the context. Its a strange "atheist" that "goes to God with a sincere and contrite heart". I don't call a person who does that an atheist.

 

The article I linked to did portray the Pope saying that atheists, remaining atheistic, may get to heaven. Upon further investigating, Pope Francis was really saying that a repentant atheist may get there and that all sin previous to his/her coming unto God moment would e based upon sinning against his/her own conscience. Coming unto God with a , as the LDS doctrines declare, "broken heart and contrite spirit", may indeed be the recipent of God's infinite mercy and be eternally blessed for it.

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I think Vatican II clarified this point. 3DOP, is that correct?

 

Vatican I is pretty clear:

If any one shall have said that the one true God, our Creator and our Lord, cannot be known with certitude by those things which have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema.

 

First Vatican Council, Session III, Apr. 24, 1870, Canon 1 on Revelation.

 

That is how the Church speaks when She intends to make a teaching forever binding. Such strong words are rarely used in the life of the Church. It may be that we have gone 143 years now and this is the last time they were used. "Anathema", as many understand, means accursed. It would seem difficult to reconcile one being at the same time saved and accursed.  

 

Here is how the Church speaks when She has offered the faithful non-binding, but serious speculations for us to respectfully ponder:

 

"There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the church's infallible teaching authority.

 

 

Pope Paul VI, General Audience of Dec. 1, 1966, speaking of the recently concluded Second Vatican Council.

 

So in general, I would suggest that Vatican II did not overturn, much less clarify, what was already made binding at the First Vatican Council. I do not see anything in Vatican II in regards to atheism that cannot be reconciled with Vatican I. But if someone should propose that there is conflict, the Vatican I canon is a "solemn dogmatic definition backed by the church's infallible authority."

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Pope Francis assures sceptics: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

 

This article explains that Pope Francis emphasized that all people when they do good come closerto Christ and may find eternal redemption.

 

 

Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!

 

So, we have that and just to be clear, reverend Thomas Rosica is NOT a spokesperson for the Catholic Church as news outlets have reported:

 

 

Catholic Church confirms atheists still go to hell, after Pope Francis suggests they might go to heaven

 

With all this said, my thoughts turn to LDS doctrines of "hell". If I'm not mistaken "hell" which is Sheol in Hebrew was understood as a place where souls are temporarily held and then released for God's final judgment. Under Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, it was taught and it is understood today that the souls will be released because Christ overcame death and thus unlocked the gates of hell and allowed all persons to be resurrected. The resurrection of the body, ergo, the reunification of the body and spirit is, according to Doctrine and Covenants, a redemption of the soul. That this redemption is for all unconditionally. It is pure mercy that Jesus did this for all mankind.

 

But then there is the redemption from sin. That is, unmistakably, from the blood of the Lamb of God. Jesus Christ taught that all *must* believe in Him to be saved and under LDS theology, the gospel of Jesus Christ will be taught to all those who did not accept it in mortality. This way, literally all who have lived or are alive all will be taught about Jesus Christ and after accepting Him, how to come unto Him under covenant. As Peter declared, the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached unto those who are dead. With this understanding, all individuals, even atheists, will be taught about Jesus Christ, have a choice to receive Him as their personal Lord and Savior, and be shown how to fully and completely come unto Him through the priesthood authority.

 

I actually see lots of commonalities between what Pope Francis and Reverend Thomas Rosica said regarding "believers" and "non believers" and eternal salvation as taught by the LDS Church. What are your thoughts?

It seems to me everyone, even including Billy Graham have moderated their positions. Bu Calvinists remain firm, all but the pre-selected are going to hell.
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It seems to me everyone, even including Billy Graham have moderated their positions. Bu Calvinists remain firm, all but the pre-selected are going to hell.

 

Hi Pa Pa,

 

I guess I haven't seen anyone change much. "Pre-selected" is not Calvinistic terminology. I am afraid the phrase makes it sound worse than what they really believe. It seems to imply that God arbitrarily chooses some for heaven and others for hell without reference to their own beliefs and actions. In the interest of being fair, I must admit that Catholics are not far from what I understand to be the Calvinist view. Catholics sometimes use the term "divine predilection" to signify those individuals who God foresaw would be saved. Predestination/divine predilection (or "pre-selection" if you will) can and must be reconciled with "possible salvation for all":

 

The scope of this book from beginning to end is the reconciliation of the two principles of divine predilection [what you call "pre-selected"] and possible salvation for all.

 

 

Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Predestination, TAN Publishers (1998), p. viii, Preface

 

So one question and one admission Pa Pa:

 

1) When has Billy Graham, Catholics, Calvinists or anybody else taught that atheists who "turn to God" are unable to be saved?

 

2) If you guys despise Calvinists for believing in predestination, I am afraid you can't think very highly of us Catholics either. I know that I am firm. Those not "pre-selected" go to Hell.

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3DOP;

 

My understanding of Calvinism is that despite what you do on earth, God has already selected those who are saved and those who are damned. If you're talking foreknowledge than there is no difference between Calvinism and Mormonism regarding this "pre-selection" of souls. Mormons absolutely believe in God's omniscience. However, I do not think omniscience alone was the limit of Calvinistic beliefs. My understanding is that God did arbitrarily select those to save and those to damn, and not just on a small scale.  

 

In our Confession, Chapter 3, Sections 3, 4, and 7, we have this description of it: "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life and others foreordained to everlasting death" (3). "These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished" (4).

indent.gif"The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice" (7).

 

The first and second sections of this tract prove absolutely this sad but stubborn fact, that no sinner ever truly regenerates himself. One sufficient reason is, that none ever wish to do it, but always prefer, while left to themselves by God, to remain as they are, self-willed and worldly. That is to say, no sinner ever makes himself choose God and holiness, because every principle of his soul goes infallibly to decide the opposite preference...

 

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/dabney/5points.htm

 

My understanding of Catholicism is that free choice is for everyone and Mormons could not agree more. There's also this regarding Calvinism (same link):

 

But we cannot admit that Christ died as fully and in the same sense for Judas as he did for Saul of Tarsus. Here we are bound to assert that, while the expiation is infinite, redemption is particular. The irrefragable grounds on which we prove that the redemption is particular are these: From the doctrines of unconditional election, and the covenant of grace. (The argument is one, for the covenant of grace is but one aspect of election.) The Scriptures tell us that those who are to be saved in Christ are a number definitely elected and given to him from eternity to be redeemed by his mediation. How can anything be plainer from this than that there was a purpose in God's expiation, as to them, other than that it was as to the rest of mankind? (See the Scriptures regarding the immutability of God's purposes—Isa. 46:10; 2 Tim. 2:19.)
indent.gifIf God ever intended to save any soul in Christ (and he has a definite intention to save or not to save toward souls), that soul will certainly be saved (Jn. 10:27-28; 6:37-40). Hence, all whom God ever intended to save in Christ will be saved. But some souls will never be saved; therefore some souls God never intended to be saved by Christ's atonement...

 

I placed in red what I find to be a "yucky part" in this soteriological belief. Mormons will NOT agree that Christ's atonement was only for a select people but it was done for all and frankly that was precisely what Pope Francis was telling the atheist.

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3DOP;

 

My understanding of Calvinism is that despite what you do on earth, God has already selected those who are saved and those who are damned. If you're talking foreknowledge than there is no difference between Calvinism and Mormonism regarding this "pre-selection" of souls. Mormons absolutely believe in God's omniscience. However, I do not think omniscience alone was the limit of Calvinistic beliefs. My understanding is that God did arbitrarily select those to save and those to damn, and not just on a small scale.  

 

 

 

 

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/dabney/5points.htm

 

My understanding of Catholicism is that free choice is for everyone and Mormons could not agree more. There's also this regarding Calvinism (same link):

 

 

 

 

I placed in red what I find to be a "yucky part" in this soteriological belief. Mormons will NOT agree that Christ's atonement was only for a select people but it was done for all and frankly that was precisely what Pope Francis was telling the atheist.

 

 

Darren...Okay. I concede. I was wrong. That's pretty bad. I forgot. Limited Atonement. Thanks for the correction.

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Darren,

 

If I may explain. I have a soft spot for Calvinism. Sometimes it appears to soften my brain! Its hard to explain and I won't try, but from where I had been theologically, it was an intermediate step on my journey to Rome.

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Darren,

If I may explain. I have a soft spot for Calvinism. Sometimes it appears to soften my brain! Its hard to explain and I won't try, but from where I had been theologically, it was an intermediate step on my journey to Rome.

Travel well, my friend, and may it bring you forever closer to God.

Edited by Darren10
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Darren,

 

If I may explain. I have a soft spot for Calvinism. Sometimes it appears to soften my brain! Its hard to explain and I won't try, but from where I had been theologically, it was an intermediate step on my journey to Rome.

That isn't all that surprising, to me.  If I recall correctly, a lot of what appears in Calvinism had its first appearance in Augustine.

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He was, most likely, referring to this statement from the Second Vatican Council (as quoted in the Catechism)—

 

"Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."

This leaves open the possibility that even a Catholic who has left the church could be saved because they never gained a correct understanding of the Catholic Church's teachings.

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This leaves open the possibility that even a Catholic who has left the church could be saved because they never gained a correct understanding of the Catholic Church's teachings.

 

I believe God is amenable to all those whom repent. But simple repentence alone isn't enough. There is a difference between one who dies without the knowledge of Christ; and those knowing of Christ and putting off their repentence.

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I believe God is amenable to all those whom repent. But simple repentence alone isn't enough. There is a difference between one who dies without the knowledge of Christ; and those knowing of Christ and putting off their repentence.

 

 

This pertains to two of the conditions for what Catholics call "mortal sin" — 

 

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

 

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

If, to use the language of Lumen Gentium, refusing either to enter or remain in the Catholic Church qualifies as "grave matter," there still exists the question of whether a moral subject who has committed this act has indeed met the conditions of full knowledge and "a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice." The qualification of "through no fault of their own" presupposes these conditions. The Catechism does note that "[a]lthough we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God;" which makes sense considering that without disclosure, the conscience of another is opaque to us.

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This leaves open the possibility that even a Catholic who has left the church could be saved because they never gained a correct understanding of the Catholic Church's teachings.

 

That, I believe, would be covered by the following from the same source:

 

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

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