Educating excatholic4christ on Atheists

There is a Protestant blogger on wordpress named Tom,  ( https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/ ) who is a convert to “Christianity” from Catholicism. Before criticizing him, I will commend him for his efforts against Catholicism. He is extremely cunning and crafty in the way he misrepresents and distorts the Catholic Church’s doctrine.

For instance, Tom has a knack for talking about some um…”fake news”, if you will, saying that Pope Francis teaches that atheists can get to heaven by being “good”.

In his article Catholicism’s Feast of the Ascension and why it makes absolutely no sense Tom says:

“But who can blame the 65% of American Catholics who won’t be attending obligatory mass on Thursday when their pope fallaciously claims even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good”?”

Tom writes in his article Dead bones religion:

“Many Catholics legitimately ask themselves, “Why bother?,” when their pope teaches that even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good.” ”

I am not sure if Tom is confusing Francis’ homily on redemption with salvation.

Vatican Radio says in an article  ( http://en.radiovaticana.va/storico/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445 ) :

“(Vatican Radio) “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:

“Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.” “

Tom, redemption is by no means the same as salvation. Christ’s Redemption made is possible for humanity to enter Heaven. The Redemption did not “save” everyone in the sense that everyone is in Heaven, and this is not what Francis said.

The thing I have to discredit Tom for is that when discussing the topic with me, he never cited where Francis supposedly made this claim. One cannot create a truth when there is none. Thank you.

— Pat

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Educating excatholic4christ on Atheists

  1. I can’t say that I know exactly what the Pope said on the matter, but I think this type terminology might be a little misleading. As I understand the Catholic teaching on these matters: Jesus’ death and resurrection redeemed the entire world. That is, the eternal cost of every person’s sin had been paid. But not everyone will be saved, even though they are redeemed. But everyone who is saved is saved by Jesus – without exception.

    When dealing with people like atheists, Catholics say that they can go to heaven. But they can only go to heaven because of Jesus, even if they don’t believe in him. This would be similar to a baby being saved by a medicine that his parents give him. The baby wouldn’t know how he is saved, only that he is saved.

    Similarly, if you have an atheist, who, through know fault of his own, never came to a knowledge of Jesus and his saving power, God will judge him according to how he acted with what knowledge he was given. This doesn’t mean that an atheist can earn his way into heaven (as it sounds like the accusations against the Pope are implying). This means that God “will repay each person according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6), and the God’s grace will be applied to each according to his judgement. This doesn’t mean that man can earn his salvation.

    That is my understanding of the Catholic position on the matter. Without proper clarification, the Pope’s comment could sound as though he means that atheists can earn their way into heaven by being good. This opens the questions as to how we are saved (by faith, works, or works). But that is a much larger topic.

    God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat, Tom did not misrepresent Francis’ views and this is the point. Francis often gives the impression of being a universalist in quotes from many sources.

    To address whether someone can be redeemed and yet not saved, I believe Matthew 1 addresses this in giving the reason why the Lord was named Jesus. He saved His people, not the whole world. Saved = redeemed.

    18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was thus, When as his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy Ghost.
    19 Then Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
    20 But while he thought these things, behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, the son of David, fear not to take Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the holy Ghost.
    21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

    And, here it is plain that if you are redeemed then you are forgiven – saved:

    Colossians 1:13-14 1599 Geneva Bible
    13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,
    14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, that is, the forgiveness of sins.

    Like

  3. Hi Patrick,
    From what I have observed of Pope Francesco he has made some pretty questionable remarks, but I would find it extremely hard to believe that he said that athiests can get to Heaven by doing good works. Now, I believe that, athiest, Catholic, Protestant, anyone, will not get to Heaven merely by good works. I am sure you will agree with me on that, Patrick.
    Just like Martin Luther and Christians in general, the Catholic Church is overdone by other denominations and the media. Unfortunately this is out of our control and all we can do is stick to the truth and to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
    So fake articles will come up, for sure. But I think it is safe to say, that I am in full concurrence with Patrick here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Francis has made questionable statements, and his advisors should stress the fact of thinking before speaking.

      A lot of this problem is the media distortion on his actual statement. He said that everyone is redeemed, he didn’t say that everyone will enter Heaven. And yes, Catholics do not believe that works will save.

      Like

  4. Pat,

    It’s true that doing good is the duty of every person, as Pope Francis said. But do human beings really want to or have to?

    Pope Francis is contradicting the Epistle to the Romans, which the Douay-Rheims translates this way:

    Romans 3

    9 What then? Do we excel them [the Jews]? No, not so. For we have charged both Jews, and Greeks, that they are all under sin.
    10 As it is written: There is not any man just.
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12 All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one.
    13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have dealt deceitfully. The venom of asps is under their lips.
    14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
    15 Their feet swift to shed blood:
    16 Destruction and misery in their ways:
    17 And the way of peace they have not known:
    18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    Tom is an honest man whom other ex-Catholics such as myself, and other Christians too, recognize for his integrity.

    Like

    • Tom, when dealing with Francis’ remark on atheists is not being honest. Did Francis say that atheists can go to heaven by being “good”? No. He said that everyone, including atheists, are redeemed. Not that they can go to Heaven without believing in God. That is where Tom misrepresents what Francis said.

      Like

      • Pat, Tom keeps up with Francis’ remarks – Francis has been teaching the same things elsewhere, a kind of universalism that I’m familiar with from my religion classes in Catholic school during Vatican II. It’s there in many of his comments. We were exposed to the notion that some people were unconsciously “Catholic” because they walked by the light they had. At the same time we were taught that only Catholics were saved. The distinction between “redemption” and “salvation” seems artificial. You can’t be redeemed but not “saved”.

        Like

      • When I say “saved” I mean that you will go to Heaven at the end of life. By Christ’s death on the cross did he not redeem the Human race from the sin of Adam that kept them from Heaven?

        The fact remains that Francis said everyone is redeemed — he did not say that atheists can enter heaven by being good. Is the statement not correct? Tom misrepresented the quote.

        Like

      • I wish Tom would take a look at this to voice his opinion, but it appears that he has marked my comments “spam” after he could not tell me where and when Francis apparently taught that atheist can go to Heaven by being good.

        Like

    • I have read Tom’s blog too, and not only does he have many facts wrong and place the foundation on his faith in the hole-ridden premise of Sola Scriptura, he appears to have a serious lack of humility.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s