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Roman Catholicism » Converts From Catholicism To Protestant

Are You Saved? - What Do You Mean by That?

Ask any Protestant "Are you Saved?" and he will say either yes or no with an outside chance he would say "Yes but I am in a backslided condition". Ask any Catholic if he is saved he always says "I do not know."

To the Protestant, an answer of "I don't know" is absolute proof that he is not saved.

Of all the very learned Catholic experts on justification and the Catholic faith, they all seem to miss what "saved" means to Protestants when they ask "Are you saved?"

I have been a "saved" Protestant since I asked Jesus to save me when I was just a child of about five, some fifty plus years ago. I may not have known any of the Catholic theology of justification but I know what the question means, "Are you saved?".

When I grew up, there was no classification as "Evangelical Christians". Even though I first went to an Evangelical Free Church, it was the name of the denomination coming from Norway.

In fact the specific church was first called the Vroom Street Norwegian Evangelical Free Church. "Vroom" was the name of the street the church was on in Jersey City, NJ. The church eventually dropped the word "Norwegian" from the name. The word "free" had to do with not being a state church rather than any theological meaning.

Back in 1957, I participated in the Billy Graham New York City meeting where new converts came forward to get "saved".

I have recently started reading the Catholic Catechism and have completed reading it through. I have also read a few other Catholic books including Rome Sweet Home and Journeys Home and some others.

I have difficulty understanding why Catholics cannot seem to get the meaning of the Protestant's question of "Are you saved?". It is quite clear that the Bible uses the word "saved" to mean a number of different things depending on the context. If you are sick and need to be healed, the phrase "save the sick" clearly means to get healed of the sickness. If your town is surrounded by enemy soldiers and friendly army comes to "save you", that has nothing to do with the Protestant question.

Salvation is like a train ride to heaven. The Catholic doctrines hold that you are not saved until the train arrives in heaven. The Protestants also agree that ultimate salvation occurs when we arrive in heaven. Protestants hold that you are saved when you first get on the train, at that point when you first make your commitment.

Catholics do not use the word "saved" when you get on the train because you can get off the train and never get to heaven. The Protestants have three different concepts (held by different groups) about getting off the train. The first is that if you ever get off the train, that is evidence that you were never on the train. That theory is called the "perseverence of the saints". The second is that if you "backslide", you still get to heaven but "by the skin of your teeth" because they believe "once saved, always saved". The third is that if you get off the train, you have to get back on to either get saved again or restored to fellowship (again different groups hold differently.)

In all cases, the Protestants hold that getting on the train is a specific spiritual act which they call getting "saved". The Protestant question of "Are you saved?" simply means "Did you get on that train that will take you to heaven if you do not get off it?".

The Catholic Catechism says that if you are not baptized, you cannot pray the "Our Father" because God is not your father. According to the Catholic Catechism, getting baptized is becoming a child of God. That is being "born again". You are born out of your mother's womb as your first birth and being baptized is being spiritually born into God's family so you can then call God your Father.

Protestants hold baptism to be an outward act that signifies an inward experience. The Catholic doctrine does not separate the outward act from the inward experience but combines them using the term of "Sacrament" to indicate that the two aspects, outward and inward, are both inseparable.

The Catholic Catechism states that the words said at baptism must be "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." When I was baptized, some forty plus years ago, the words said were: "Upon your statement of faith, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The statement of faith was an informal personal testimony that was given be each candidate for baptism as he entered the baptismal.

The Catholic Catechism states that the Apostle's Creed is the baptismal creed that all adult candidates must both affirm and honestly believe in order for their baptism to be valid in the sight of God.

While the Protestants consider the moment you first believe as the point of salvation, when anyone affirms the Apostle's Creed and honestly believes it, he cannot help but be "saved" according to the Protestant's definition of the term "saved".

Thus when a Catholic is asked by a Protestant, "Are you saved?" the answer must be a resounding "yes, definitely" and then further affirm that salvation be reciting the Apostle's Creed and tell the Protestant that you firmly believe every word and you are no question a child of God and that God is truly your Father.

Then feel free to wonder whether that Protestant will "stay on the train" and make it to heaven and be ultimately saved himself. Wonder it to yourself but do not say it out loud.

Doug Johnson has been writing and online publishing Christian and Social Conservative articles since the 1990's on http://www.IndependentChristian.org/

Doug has been a Bible believing Evangelical Christian since childhood. He has been received into fellowship with the Evangelical Free Church, the Plymouth Brethern, the Assembly of God, the American Baptist, and the Southern Baptist.

In the early 2000's, he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church after careful study of the Catholic Catechism and the Bible. He believes Catholics and Bible believing Protestants should build on what they have in common rather than looking at what is different.

He is presently helping to establish the Independent Christian On-Line Academy at: http://www.ICOLA.us

Doug has an online retail wallpaper business at: http://www.TheWallpaperPirate.com/

Doug is available as a consultant and or speaker. To reach him, use the Contact Us page at any of the above websites.

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