GodFeb 27, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall
In a podcast posted to the Desiring God website on Wednesday, a listener named Jimmy asked evangelical pastor and theologian John Piper if a recently deceased friend of his who was a devout Catholic would go to Heaven.
"Will I see my friend in Heaven? Or do his theological views make this impossible?" Jimmy asked. "Can I rightfully experience Paul's 'sorrowful, yet always rejoicing' mantra, or was my friend merely a devoted husband, a wonderful friend, and a good man? In other words, do you believe devout Roman Catholics can be genuine Christians?"
Piper began his response by outlining specific doctrinal concerns he has with the Catholic Church, including their views of Scripture, the Virgin Mary, baptism, indulgences, the doctrine of justification, transubstantiation, and purgatory.
"At numerous levels, its contradictory stance toward Scripture produces a kind of religion that I fear has led many people astray, even into destruction," said Piper. However, Piper then said he believed that Catholics who were "devout" and "inconsistent" were indeed saved:
"I think there are genuine Christians who are devout and inconsistent Roman Catholics. Devout in the sense that they're earnest, serious, and sincere. Inconsistent in the sense that their true heart embrace of Jesus is better than their mental ideas or doctrines."
"If a person has a genuine encounter with the living Christ and recognizes the depth of human sinfulness and the hopelessness we are in without grace and without Christ," Piper explained, "and if they see in Jesus the substitute that God provided to bear our punishment and provide all we need for acceptance with God, and if that person throws himself on the mercy of Christ, despairing of all self-reliance, and cherishes Christ as his supreme treasure and hope for eternal life, then that person will be saved — even if many doctrinal ideas are confused or erroneous."
Enter your email