|From Catholic Memes|
I chose John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Clearly this s bare-bones, but to me the message of Christianity is that God loves you, to the extent of giving up His Son, so that He can be with you.
My friend chose Romans 10:9 as the summation of Christianity:
if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.He considers the most important thing about Christianity to be that all you have to do is believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and you are saved, regardless of anything else.
It seems that he, and in fact all of the Protestants that I've met, when discussing the faith, concentrate only on the parts that differentiate them from the Catholic faith. Perhaps this comes from 500 years of tradition of assuming everyone is Christian, and they just need to be taught the errors of their ways if they are Catholic. Perhaps it is a way to keep themselves and their friends from slipping into Catholic ways of thought. But it does make it hard for me to agree with them on any statement of faith, even when quoting the Bible, because the quotes are always cherry picked, out of context, to emphasize something that a Catholic can't affirm.
What do I need to do to be saved? My friend quotes Romans 10:9 and says "that is all." What about Baptism (1 Peter 3:21 "Baptism now saves you") - nobody uses that sound bite, and yet it is equally true. What about Luke 18:22 "go and sell all that you have and give the money to the poor"? I haven't heard anyone quote that as the only thing you need for salvation. Or John 14:21 "Keep the commandments..." Or 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "evildoers will not enter the kingdom."
The thing is, you can't define something like salvation in a sound bite - even one taken from the Bible. Even though our little modern minds are satisfied with sound bites and memes, reality and God are much more complicated than any one liner. And Amen! How sad would life be if the entire meaning of our existence could be summed up in a sound bite!