Can a Catholic who believes in God but is raised to believe they can also pray to Mary go to heaven as long as they sincerely believe that Jesus Christ died for their sins? For some reason I seem to struggle with this today knowing my family is all Catholic but myself a Baptist.
Thanks for your question. Your concern in this matter regarding your family is understandable and commendable. The key here is understanding the biblical object of faith.
Scripture makes clear that faith for salvation is in Jesus alone (John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Acts 10:43; 16:31). Acts 4:12 states clearly, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” A split trust reveals a mistrust in Christ alone. Just as a man straddling two adjacent chairs is mistrusting the sturdiness of each individual chair alone to support his weight, so depending on Jesus plus something else reveals a mistrust in Christ.
If someone is looking to Jesus and Mary, it reveals a lack of dependence on Jesus. The split trust reveals that an acceptance of the fact that Jesus Christ died for his sins or her sins is merely an intellectual assent, not dependence upon the Savior. It is believing about without believing on. The emphasis in Scripture is to believe in (or on) Jesus.
Interestingly, Mary said “Whatsover he [Jesus] saith to you, do it” (John 2:5). Jesus said plainly, “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Perhaps this might be a way to open the subject with your loved ones.
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