“Plan A or Plan B? Take your pick, no worries.” Catholicism’s wide-is-the-way.

Every time I write about the Roman Catholic church, I have to keep in mind that it wears two hats. On the one hand, it still teaches its old-school, religious legalism. It claims a person must be baptized and then must participate in the church’s sacraments in order to receive graces so that they can obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and remain in a “state of grace” so as to merit Heaven when they die. Phew! Sorry for the long-winded sentence.

But, on the other hand, the Catholic church magnanimously conceded at the Second Vatican Council that non-Catholic religionists might also be able to merit Heaven if they “follow the light they are given.” Pope Francis has subsequently said even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience.

“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.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 847

So, on one side of its mouth, Catholicism says its members must follow a formidable, exacting, legalistic process in order to possibly qualify for Heaven (with no assurance), while from the other side it says non-Catholics can get by with “following” their religion or their conscience just as long as they have a “sincere heart.”

If that’s the case, who would ever want to be Catholic? “Following one’s conscience” is a pretty fluid target. It can change like the wind. Why would people desire to constantly check off a burdensome religious to-do list if they can do what they think is right in their own eyes?

But exactly how earnest must a heart be for it to be considered “sincere”? In contrast, God’s Word says something about men’s hearts being desperately wicked:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

Catholics argue that its members have a great advantage over everyone else because only they have the eucharist and the other bona fide sacraments to assist someone seeking Heaven, but if I’m a non-Catholic and all I have to do is vaguely “follow” my religion or my conscience “with a sincere heart,” whatever that means, then the non-Catholic surely has the advantage. The 80% of Catholics who don’t attend obligatory mass on Sunday must have figured that out as well.

None of the above is Christianity. We are all sinners and we all deserve eternal punishment. But God the Son came to Earth and paid the penalty for sin. He offers you the free gift of salvation. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone!

The fact that Catholicism proclaims a very broad road to salvation that includes other works-religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., and even atheism should give every ecumenical evangelical pause. This embracing of all religions under its interfaith umbrella is a black mark upon Roman Catholicism from the Lord for all believers to see.

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-3

14 thoughts on ““Plan A or Plan B? Take your pick, no worries.” Catholicism’s wide-is-the-way.

  1. Believers are once again living in biblical times. Scripture is showing itself true. The deceiver is himself deceived, but his followers love his deception. Judgment is likely soon to begin with the household of God. There is too much untruth being spread as truth today. Appreciate you guys, Jerry Parks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. On the one hand, they were “smart” to take the lead in the interfaith movement to ensure they were in the driver’s seat, on the other hand they’ve contributed to making their own excruciatingly legalistic process unnecessary in the minds of many of their own members.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Unfortunately, I don’t disagree with SlimJim up there, but allow me to shed a little light. The CCC and Pope Francis aren’t referring to modern day atheists, or fallen away Catholics. They are referring to people who have never heard the Good News of Christ. If someone has, and has rejected it, then they cannot attain salvation.
    For example, if a Bible Belt Christian has always been taught that the Catholic Church is borderline Satanism, and never learns otherwise, then God won’t fault that person for living according to their conscience. But if a person with full knowledge of the Catholic Church’s teachings refuses to follow her out of pride or laziness, and decides to just “be a good person”, that is a totally different story.
    But you are totally right, there is a horrible lack of catechisis since Vatican II, and the Holy Father in his well-meaning ambiguity isn’t helping. God bless him….
    And God bless you too!! Thanks for starting this conversation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments, Hilary. Obviously, we are worlds apart. I don’t take Christ’s words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me” metaphorically. There is ample evidence in the New Testament to conclude that faith in Christ alone is the only way to salvation. Since you are Roman Catholic, you are obliged to believe that salvation is by sacramental grace and merit in opposition to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. James McCarthy’s “The Gospel According to Rome” does a thorough job of explaining the differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Someday, I pray that Christ will heal the divisions in His Church. I’m sure it pains Him to see how much confusion there is among those who really are trying to follow Him. I’ve had bad luck with online debate, so I’m going to leave my commentary as it stands. Thanks for taking the time to reply, and I am going to add that book to my reading list.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Hilary. I don’t particularly enjoy debating myself. Some people really relish a full-blown tug-of-war, but I would much rather focus on getting the Word out for those who are truly searching.

        Not to make this into a debate, but I would like to respond to your comment regarding unity. For Catholics, at least for the hierarchy, unity means all Christians being subordinate to the pope and worshiping in like manner, i.e., according to the Roman liturgy. I have real unity with all of my brothers and sister in the Lord who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. We may differ on various secondary beliefs and practices, but our shared faith in Christ alone unites us through the Holy Spirit. I actually see all of these secondary differences as a blessing from the Lord to prevent an authoritarian hierarchy like we see with the Vatican.

        Lord bless you as you seek Him.


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