I'm not a Catholic, but I hear many Christians say Catholics (most, not all, depending on their specific beliefs) are not really Christian, and that they go to hell. I really don't have a big opinion on the matter though.
Any opinions on this?
The joke's version of St. Pete.
You know that this thread started with Protestants speculating about whether any Catholics were going to Heaven, not vice versa, right?
I was here from the beginning -- but I think you're talking to Nick.
Jesus said, "I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me." (John14:6)
One is not a Christian simply by virtue of Church membership. One is a Christian only when one has admitted one is a sinner, cannot get into Heaven on one's own abilities and merits, is lost without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, AND has asked God to do in one's heart, that which only He can do. One must believe that Jesus Christ is Who He says He is, and that He is the ONLY way into Heaven.
People do not go to hell because of what they've done. Things we've done, that God said to not do, are merely outward manifestations of the inner problem in one's heart: SIN. No one has ever been or will ever be good enough to secure God's approval. Who among us has loved God 100% of every single second of their life? If you haven't, you've broken Commandment #1. Who among us has loved, honored and obeyed their parents, 100% of every second of their life? If you haven't, you've broken Commandment #5. One sin is all that's required to make one imperfect, and in need of Jesus Christ. Without Christ, one is lost. Therefore, one goes to hell because of what one has NOT done: One goes to hell when one dies because one has NOT asked God to do in one's heart, that which only He can do.
Many people who are members of the Catholic church are just as saved as Billy Graham. Many people who are members of Baptist Churches are just as lost as the devil himself.
Well said. I am a 'saved' Catholic.
Just as your children say they 'hate' you and you still love them with every ounce of your being, just as when your children do something wrong you give them a 'time-out' and then forgive them, just as you love your children God loves you. Don't you, when your children appologize or say "I love you", give them a huge hug and a kiss? Doesn't it fill your heart when your young child gives you a full body hug with arms wrapped around you?
I am Catholic, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't other christian religions grow out of Catholicism? So wouldn't that make Catholicism the first christian faith? I recall from one of my history class that once the Catholic faith was enforced and made mandatory (in I think England), others tried to reform it ( which the Church didnt like) and created their own followings and religion.
"didn't other christian religions grow out of Catholicism"
Our Eastern brethren would disagree with you
"Catholicism the first christian faith"
That's kind of the whole debate. "Christian" does appear in the Bible, in connection with the teaching of those who knew Jesus Christ in the flesh outside the sacraments, and those who knew those who knew Jesus. This whole thing is who still believes and acts like those people.
The Roman Catholic Church persecuted non-Roman Catholics throughout Europe from CE 325-ish into the nineteenth century. There were "own followings and religion" in Europe throughout that time. Some we can trace contemporary religious communities to; some we can't. The mainline-oldline Protestants trace their non-Roman Catholic history to the 16th century. The evangelicals Mike M. is upset with claim a history distinct from the mainline-oldline denominations.
I think even this Catholic would disagree with him. Some say Catholisism didn't arise until Constantine in about 30AD and the term 'Catholic' was first used by St. Ignacius about the same time. Prior to that it was simply Christianity. Until the Council of Nicea (325AD), which supposedly hammered out the inconsistencies of the various 'sects' bibles by throwing out some of the books there was not even a single Catholic Bible but several. So the debate rages on.
I was taught in Catholic school that the Catholic Church began after pentecost when the Apostles were sent out to spread the faith. Also since Saint Peter is the first pope, I've also heard that this is when it began. I can see where the debate is now.
Even with that, the Church broke apart with the formation of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches. They, with their legitimate lines to the Apostles, were present in the Church from the beginning... We and they parted ways, but we can't really claim to predate them.
The Apostles did not self-identify as "Roman Catholic" in any way, shape or form. They maybe had a feeling of community as an "Ekklesia" which is a word we translate as church but at that time could have denoted a political organization. Neither did Peter, or any one in the 1st century, use the term "Pope" or Papa or any Latin, Greek, or Hebrew equivalent.
So it gets kind of murky claiming that the Catholic Church began in AD 30. My interpretation is that the Catholic Church coalesced as an organization much later, and then decided that its roots lay farther in the past, stemming from Peter directly, in order to boost legitimacy.
And even as a Catholic I am very confident knowing this and still holding my faith in the Church as an institution.
I think it's fair to say that Catholicism did not exist before around 30AD, that is, before the events of Easter Week -- 240 years before Constantine :o !
Per Wikipedia, St. Ignatius used the term "Catholic" in 107 AD. Of course, it's just a term, and means "universal."
I don't think these things are particularly controversial.