Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #20

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim #20: I am a Catholic because of my friends and my family – my spiritual family

In this chapter, Kreeft presents the Roman Catholic view that salvation is more of a corporate/social/communal endeavor rather than an individual one. He equates the Roman Catholic church to Noah’s ark, with the “faithfully departed saints” onboard, who are allegedly eager to intercede and mediate on behalf of the living church members who are still attempting to attain Heaven. Kreeft states that the Protestant notion of an individual trusting in Christ for salvation is an error. He states, “We are not first saved as individuals and then invited into the Church; that is the Protestant picture. We are saved by (author’s emphasis) being incorporated into the Church, the “ark of salvation,” the holy family, the fellowship, the Communion of Saints” (p. 71). Kreeft is propagating the Catholic view that salvation is a lifelong process that begins with baptism into the “one true church” and continues by receiving the church’s sacraments and the help of Mary and the canonized saints in order to obey the Ten Commandments and church precepts so as to hopefully merit Heaven (or at least Purgatory) at the moment of death. For Catholics, the RC church IS the means to salvation.

Response

Is salvation a communal process under the auspices of the Roman Catholic church as Kreeft asserts or must each individual repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone? What does Scripture teach?

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12

The Jews also believed in a form of corporate/social/communal salvation in that they believed they were God’s children because of their common ethnicity. But John the Baptist condemned this wrong thinking:

“And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” – Matthew 3:9

If he were with us today, John the Baptist would tell Catholics, “Don’t presume you are going to Heaven because you are Catholic.” Many Catholics presume exactly that.

Billions of Catholics have died and gone to Hell because they believed, as their institutional church taught them, that salvation meant being a member of the Roman Catholic church, receiving the sacraments, seeking the intercession of Mary and the saints, and successfully obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!). The Catholic notion of saint mediators is blasphemous. There is not one example of a believer in either the Old or New Testament praying to a dead person.

While Kreeft makes claims for Roman Catholicism’s unique authority and exceptionalism, remember that the RCC also dichotomously teaches that all religionists – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and even atheists – may also merit Heaven if they are sincere in their beliefs and follow their conscience.

20 thoughts on “Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #20

  1. Jesus specifically says in Matthew 10:34-36

    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beth. Yup, the RC false gospel of works salvation doesn’t offend the lost (unless they’re atheists, but even many atheists like this current pope). But salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is a stumbling block.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow this first sentence made me have a full stop: “In this chapter, Kreeft presents the Roman Catholic view that salvation is more of a corporate/social/communal endeavor rather than an individual one” This is not a biblical view of salvation! Seeing salvatoin as communal, as in process versus justified by faith alone is not a biblical Gospel; glad you wrote this post with this “reason” Kreeft say he’s Catholic, this shows the clear dividing line! Keep these posts coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! Yup, I recall this Catholic mindset very well, as in, “I’m a Catholic so I’m OK spiritually.”

      Hard to believe I’m already halfway through this book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Answering your comment: my Saturday will be youth group and sermon prep; I’m also putting some time into research to refuting a religiously political meme and it’s taking me all over the place from the Gospels to Exodus to Jewish rabbinic research…hope to post it Monday or Tuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have praying to dead people, praying to Mary, all religions are good, a false works based gospel, and all the other unbiblical Roman Catholic practices, yet ecumenism in the Protestant church still thrives! How can the pastors be so blind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Roman Catholic apologists like Kreeft are unabashedly forthright in proclaiming and defending the RCC’s blatantly false gospel, and disparaging Protestants to boot. Many evangelical pastors are “Polezni durak,” useful fools (or idiots). I included a good quote from John MacArthur in this 4YO post, although I now avoid MacArthur because of his disturbing denial of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/polezni-durak-aka-usefool-fools/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “…remember that the RCC also dichotomously teaches that all religionists – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and even atheists – may also merit Heaven if they are sincere in their beliefs and follow their conscience.”

    Except that true believers of the Protestant ilk are anathema…

    Great series, Tom. Thank you for putting it together and in to-the-point posts. God bless you, amen! \o/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sherry, thank you very much for the encouragement and support! God bless you, too!

      RE: Except that true believers of the Protestant ilk are anathema…

      Yes, the anathemas of Trent are still officially on the books and have never been disavowed.

      Liked by 1 person

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