Can We Be Saved Without the Church? | Blog | Think Theology

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, said Cyprian of Carthage: “Outside of the Church, there is no salvation.” Even more provocatively: “he cannot have God as Father who doesn’t have the Church as Mother.” Emphatic stuff.

Source: Can We Be Saved Without the Church? | Blog | Think Theology

A Patristic quote that is most often misunderstood by evangelicals.

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3 thoughts on “Can We Be Saved Without the Church? | Blog | Think Theology

  1. Desigur ca articolul are argumente pe care le respect. Regretatul Ioan Alexandru de-a carui mintuire nu ma indoiesc spunea: nu te poti mintui singur, fara neamul tau. Aceasta narozie ortodoxa are si ea tilcul ei. Dar ambele afirmatii sunt incorecte. Individualismul evanghelic dublat de cel capitalist a facut rau ecclesiei. Dar reinvierea dictonului lui Ciprian este mai degraba riscant decit folositor. Daca definim mintuirea ca incluzind si conceptul de sfintenie, atunci si mai mult avem nevoie de biserica. Dar prima intrebabare din nebunia post-moderna e si care e biserica ce mintuie? Sincretismul diavolesc si apostat care-a cuprins o multime de biserici evanghelice? Ba bisericile evanghelice nici macar nu-s considerate biserici de catolicism si/sau ortodoxism; cum ar putea deci sa mintuiasca? Institutionarile draconice ce-au condus la inchizitie, razboaie religioase? Cele ce-au impus limba slava romanilor ca sa nu priceapa nimic din tot ce era la biserica? Cea care-a ascuns Biblia de popor sute de ani? Sau protestantismul bintuit de ateism, umanism si hedonism? Ce-o fi fost pe vremea luI Ciprian stiti dvs bine. Care biserica e indispensabila mintuirii? Iar biserica nu este mama noastra pt simpul fapt ca biserica e doar mireasa, iar nunta apare tirziu in Apocalipsa. Desigur metaforele se pot reinterpreta la nesfirsit. Sunt de-acord ca ecclesia este cruciala in viata noastra de sfintenie si ca in interiorul ei am fost si eu mintuit dar pina la urma minturea o realizeaza Dumnezeu prin credinta in jertfa Mintuitorui “carele pt noi si pt a noastra mintuire S-a dat in zilele lui Pilat din Pont”.
    Nu, nu neg un sens profund si subtil al acelui dicton, dar la confuzia bisericeasca actuala aceasta afirmatie ne pune in riscul suprins atit de bine de dictonul romanesc: “pina la Dumnezeu ne maninca sfintii!”

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    • Desigur, confuzia confesionala este un risc. Dar necesitatea de a contracara religia individualista a omului modern merita acest risc.
      Si, desigur, dictonul lui Ciprian a fost formulat inaintea oricarei schisme, deci nu se refera la confesiuni, ci la ‘trupul mistic al lui Cristos’.

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  2. I see the importance of the church and even the teaching of Jesus and the other authors of the bible. My concern is the possibility of this statement placing the church as equal to God – a 4th member of the “Trinity”. I think it is possible to be saved by Jesus alone – the expression of God’s love. There are the exceptional cases of completely underground Christians in extremely persecuted contexts.

    An important question that needs to be addressed is “what us the church?” I would have to say that I am a follower of Jesus despite the church, and despite some specific pastors, despite many recognised as evangelical leaders. I know that there are good congregations and good leaders out there, but in some situations one needs to find “the church” outside of the institutional church.

    Personally, I have remained a follower of Jesus thanks in large part to a loosely connected group of other Jesus followers – several friends from World Vision, a group of men that I have met with every Friday morning for 13+ years, a couple of friends who also question the religion they have found in the institutional church. I would even include you, Danut, in my “church”.

    I am thankful for some of the teaching I received in the church, but I have met and experienced Jesus outside of the institutional church. I pray for the millions who have painfully left the institutional church. I pray they will find fellowship, love and support outside of the institutional church. I pray they will experience Jesus in deep ways and will be deeply assured of salvation outside of the institutional church

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