“Saved? I don’t need to be saved!”

In my Friday “Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist” series, I get into some heavy-duty comparative theology, but sometimes a simple, anecdotal story can be quite illustrative.

I have five older sisters who were brought up in Roman Catholicism and attended Catholic grammar school and high school just as I did. Four of the sisters are now self-proclaimed atheists or agnostics, while the fifth sister still identifies somewhat as a Catholic and enjoys going to mass occasionally, mainly because the rituals and ceremonies evoke pleasant childhood memories for her.

One day, this sister came over for dinner and the conversation turned to spiritual matters. In our discussion, I shared that we are all sinners and deserve eternal punishment, but the Good News is that God so loved us, He sent Jesus Christ, God the Son,* to pay for our sins and that we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior by faith alone.

My sister immediately responded with a good measure of emotional indignation, saying, “I don’t need to be saved!” She claimed that she was a good person and did not need a Savior. Her self-righteous remarks exemplified the thinking of Catholics and Catholicism in general. While the Roman Catholic church does refer to Jesus Christ as “Savior,” it teaches its members that they must essentially save themselves via sacramental grace (for those who still bother to avail themselves of the sacraments) and good works. The bottom line for Catholics is merit. Catholics believe they are basically good people who deserve to go to Heaven. They will tell you that, while they are not perfect, they do a fairly decent job of obeying the Ten Commandments. After all, they haven’t killed anyone or robbed a bank, etc., etc.

Accept Jesus Christ as Savior? Such a thought is offensive to Catholics. They know that their church technically refers to Jesus Christ as “Savior,” but they surely don’t believe that they themselves need to be saved.

*In addition to her belief that she doesn’t need a Savior, this particular semi-practicing Catholic sister also declared that she does not believe that Jesus was/is God. Catholics generally have a very shallow grasp of their church’s theology and/or knowledge of the Bible.

“30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:30-31

31 thoughts on ““Saved? I don’t need to be saved!”

  1. Oh, boy! I have had that mindset myself about being a “good person”!! (Boy was I a terrible judge 😬)And I HEAR that exact same thing from our RC friends/relatives now! When I say I understand your thinking that way because I have, too until God showed me John 14:6 (I tell them what it says) they go into the “well the Bible isn’t always accurate” 😞 .Which I have used that in my defense too… I just shake the dust til the next time.- and pray someone else comes along and backs up God’s truth to them that He already lovingly allowed me to share.
    They aren’t HEARING the Word of God.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sure, I was the same way, thinking I was a pretty good person. But hearing a person say they’re pretty good and don’t need a Savior is so alien to me now. I can’t obey the Ten Commandments for one day let alone a lifetime as Catholics generally claim to be able to.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on I ONCE WAS LOST and commented:

    John 14:6
    6 *Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    * Whether one believes this verse of scripture or not will not wipe out the fact the Jesus SAID this so it is TRUTH ❤️🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mandy! I appreciate your support and I said a prayer for your BILs. It’s been so long, 37 years since left Catholicism and accepted Christ, but I remember very well the mindset of trying to merit salvation and thinking I did a pretty good job of obeying the Ten Commandments. Thank you! Yes, it’s encouraging to see new cases of the virus starting to dip down. We’ve had 71 deaths in our county so far, but downstate in NYC there’s been 10,000 deaths.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow your sister reaction reminds me of some of the evangelistic conversations I’ve had in Southern California campus evangelism where Catholics say they don’t need to be saved; and some get annoyed saying they are a sinner since they go to mass, etc. Its like they are deficient even in their own theology, since they don’t think they have sin to cancel out with their pursuit of sacraments; and of course they are totally off with understanding the sinfulness of their sins and that its also sin to be self-righteous! I just prayed for your sisters’ salvation but the nominal Catholic and your secularized sisters. I guess this past week I’ve prayed a lot for you but then again I”m encourage you use dinners to witness to family members!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your prayers, brother! Much appreciated. Catholicism is an enigma. On the one hand people talk about “Catholic guilt,” how Catholics feel overburdened by trying to adhere to their legalistic religious system, but on the other hand they greatly minimize their sin and justify themselves by saying such things as they never killed anyone. I also think it’s fair to say that “Catholic guilt” isn’t what it used to be when I was a child.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I can so relate to your witnessing to your sister. My “baby” brother couldn’t accept the concept that there are none righteous. So painful. We witness as the Lord leads, pray, and wait on the Lord… I always say until the breath leaves their body or mine should I go first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Cathy. Yes, it’s frustrating witnessing to Catholic family members who believe as they have been taught that people are “basically good” rather than depraved sinners as the Bible teaches. A popular phrase in Catholicism is souls are “wounded” and only need to be helped to be made strong and sound. Yes, we pray and witness as the Lord provides opportunities.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Your sister’s response reminded me of my mother’s, long ago, “Dont try and save me, I like my life the way it is.”
    I won’t be over that heartbreaking comment until she repents and reconciles with God.
    Thank you Tom for sharing personally. Press on brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth. The indifference (and sometimes outright hostility) of lost family members to the Good News is frustrating and sad. All we can do is pray and wait for the next opportunity.

      Liked by 2 people

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