First I will answer your question are Catholic believers saved but it will come in two parts. Please be patient with this answer if you could. First part: Yes, there are Catholic believers out there that are saved. I am on of them. I was raised Catholic and got saved in July 1997. Second part: I no longer label myself Catholic, as being Catholic is part of my past. It will always be a part of me, but it does not define me. God defines me. I say that because Catholic is just a label for a religion. And I am not part of a religion. I have a personal relationship with God, and being Catholic has no part of that. A relationship is a relationship. God did not label the “religion” when He made the the Israelites the people of God.
What I mean by labels is there are many labels for the material of tissue. There is Scotts, Puffs, Kleenex, but they are all tissue. That is how Christianity is kind of labeled. There are Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals but they all worship the same God, just in different ways. Some ways seen as being right and seen as being wrong by others.
I no longer label myself, because God does not label me. When people ask me what I am. I always say a child of God. Because that is what I am to God. I do go to a church, and that is the First Church of the Nazarene, but I don’t label myself a Nazarenite because I go there. I am just a child of God.
Now on to deep answers.
No matter what Catholics tell you, it is as plain as day. They worship Mary and idols. I say this because I know. I was Catholic. I never say I worshiped idols or Mary. I fought dearly for what I believed in. I would say “NO!, we don’t worship Mary. We respect her and honor her.” I believed that when I was younger right up until my salvation and even a bit after it. I will explain this more in a second. One thing I was conditioned for that response. See it kind of like this. If you are taught the alphabet by someone wrong, you grow up learning that it is right, regardless on what others try to tell you. The person that taught you (parents, loved one, etc) is right and others are wrong. The only way a person will correct that issues is to put all things aside and search for the truth, as I did. And once I found the truth, it was very hard for me to “relearn my alphabet” the right way.
I was taught to be Catholic since I was 5 years old. It was all I had ever known. It was part of my life, so you can understand my confusion and fear when God moved me to leave all that I had ever known. I was very lucky at the age of 5 that my Gram told me that if I ever had any problems that I was to share it with Jesus as she pointed to a picture on my bedroom wall. And that I did. When I was put down for a nap, I told Jesus I wasn’t tired and didn’t think I needed a nap. When I started school, I share with Him all the friends I made, even asking Him if he had lots of friends. I grew up talking to Jesus as if He was always there with me. So has my Catholic education grew, my love for Jesus grew more.
I was very devout. I went to Mass, even to the point of daily mass, prayed my rosary several times a day, and carried it in my pocket always to have it near me. I prayed and talked to God. I sang to Him. I even was moved to become a Nun, because it was in my heart to serve the Lord. It was the most natural thing to do. I had to choose serving my Lord or living my life. I didn’t think I could have a both. Again, it is how a Catholic is raised.
When I became an adult, my faith became more deeper to the point, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted more of Jesus. I was going to Mass everyday and talking to Him all the time, as I normally did, but my outside life was failing apart. After a particular very hard day, I came home, and changed in my bathroom, talking to Jesus asking Him what I was doing wrong that my life was so horrible. I went to Mass, I prayed the Rosary. I even tithed! I cried about it and said I couldn’t do it anymore. I was done. Jesus was going to have to push me along, drag me, maybe even carry me, because I was done. He could take over, because I was doing it all wrong. I then had a sudden urge to kneel and confess every sin I had ever committed in my life. When I was done, I was crying flat on my face on the floor. Suddenly I stopped crying and that was odd. Very odd. So I started to start sniffling and work up a “cry” again because my life was horrible. Then I found myself laughing! I thought I had lost it and went crazy. I just walked in living room and watched TV. It wasn’t until days later that I realized I was different. I was changed but didn’t know how or why.
I was 23 years old.
Of course, I shared this with Jesus and I went and dug out the Bible that my brother had given me years before. I started reading it.
Now for the main part of story. The important part. The very important part. I am sorry it took so long. I had to give you an background so you might understand.
I read in the Bible in the Ten Commandments about not worship idols of wood and stone. I asked God what He meant. I didn’t do that. I even rehashed to Him about honoring Mary and the Saints. I had always looked up to the saints as role models, but I didn’t worship them. I didn’t get my answer in the confines of my bedroom. God waited for the right time to show me.
During Mass that Saturday, there was a feast of Mary and they had her statue up there and then they had us say a prayer. And in the middle of the prayer, God opened my eyes. It was as if He lifted the scales from my blind eyes, and I saw what He saw. I looked around and saw all the people around me praying to a block of wood in the shape of a woman! I saw the adoration in the eyes of those all around me for that piece of wood. And then I saw motions (the sign of the cross) done as if meant something which all it was is repeated motions. It meant nothing It meant nothing to God.
What I saw for the first time with unblinded eyes, made me sick. I mean physically sick that I left the service right then, and stumbled out into the sunlight. I feel ill, that I had been doing the one thing that God detested. Me! A person that loved God so much and wanted to serve Him with all my heart. I had been doing the worst thing I could have thought possible!
God told me that I needed to leave the church. It scared me that God wanted me to leave my church, the only church I had ever knew. I loved God, so I did as He wished. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. I had to relearn my “alphabet” the right way with God.
I didn’t have a church for a while. I was just hanging alone with God and my Bible. A lost Catholic, which was no longer really a Catholic. What was I to label myself. I had always had a label. God said I didn’t didn’t need a label. I was His that that is all that mattered. My parents thought I had joined a cult, once they figured out I had left the church. I was almost like Paul when he got saved. He was by himself before he reemerged into the Jewish Christian community. he spend time with God and God alone. I had no born again Christian to help me with my walk. No Catholic understood what I was going through. I was very much alone. Just with God.
Please be very open minded when I say this if you can. Yes, The first church of Jesus were catholic. Look at the definition.
1. all-inclusive: including or concerned with all people
2. useful to all: useful or interesting to a wide range of people
3. all-embracing: interested in or sympathetic to a wide range of things
[14th century. Via Latin< Greek katholikos "universal" < katholou "in general" < kata "in regard to" + holos "whole"]
The first church of Jesus were a group of Christian what were once Jews, Christian what were once pagan Romans, and Christian what were once pagan Gentiles. Thus they were Catholic. The Christian were Catholic: an all-inclusive, wide range, all embracing group of universal people that believed that Jesus was the Savor. Understand?
The Catholic religion as it is nowadays is nothing like it once was. A sect of followers added things, changed things, adopted things, which became what is is today. I would know I have read a lot about it cause I loved my religion and its history. Sometimes I wonder if I loved my religion more then I loved my God. Did you know that with each Pope, they had added something to the religion? It might be a new title for Mary, or a belief or a tradition. It has been going on for so long that the religion itself as forgotten why or the actually history of it.
I found Jesus and admitted my detestable ways only because I yearned for the truth and searched for the truth! And God made sure I found the truth. I only turn to the Bible and never to Man, because man will always warp things. We are not perfect, but God is. And if you ask God, God will answer you and show you more answers in His Word.
I am sorry this was so long. If you have any questions at all, please email me. I would be glad to share what God has shown me and told even when I was Catholic and when I became saved.