Who is a Child of God?

Full Question

Who is a Child of God?


In a strict sense, any baptized Christian is a child of God and thus a member of his Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1265-71, 1997).  For through baptism we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).  The baptized are members of “a chosen race . . . God’s own people” (1 Pet.2:9; cf. 1 Cor. 12:12ff.; Rom. 12:4-5).  And thus each believer has a guardian angel (CCC 336; cf. Mt. 18:10).

In a wider sense, because everyone is made in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen.1:27-28) and God desires that all human beings be saved (2 Pet. 3:9; Jn. 3:16-17), all human persons can be said to be children of God.  And yet we can’t fall into religious indifferentism.  On the salvation of non-Catholics, see CCC 846-48).

By Tom Nash



  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Just think about how evil this god is. Billions of people who aren’t baptized Christians go to Hell. The passages in the catechism Tom Nash refers to are as follows:
    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
    There is much to discuss here, including the line that says this affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church, as this seems to contradict the catechism when it indicates that aborted, miscarried and stillborns who are stupid enough to die before baptism are denied salvation, and who could be more innocent or helpless than that? The Church’s response to this is that you are allowed to believe in Limbo, as suburb of Hell without all the wailing and moaning – but it’s not official doctrine, or you are allowed to hope that the Catholic god isn’t a complete monster. This is not an article of faith. You are not allowed to pretend to know that these unbaptized innocents will be saved, you may only hope this.
    But let’s look at what it does say. It says that if you know of Jesus and his Church – in other words if you live in any part of the world that has media – then you must be baptized or you’re screwed. Every Jew who’s heard of Christianity, every Muslim, every Hindu, every Buddhist who has the rudimentary concept of Christianity is going to Hell if they do not get baptized? When the catechism suggests that seeking god may save you, what god are they referring to? Is Vishnu included? Allah? For the crime of having selected ones parents in the wrong country in the wrong religion, it appears that the Catholic god sends billions of people to eternal torment. Where exactly is the “good news” of Jesus?

    Did you know that prior to Jesus we all went to Sheol (later translated to the pagan word Hell) where we were essentially dead until the end of time. Many Jews believed you were dead forever, but many others believed that at the end of time we would be wakened, judged and rewarded with a renewed garden paradise, or simply destroyed. Fair enough. You’re dead, you’re awakened, you’re judged and you’re dead again. No muss, no fuss. After the “good news” of Jesus however, we are to be judged immediately upon death, and if found wanting, sent to billions and trillions of eternal years of torture and torment. How exactly has our condition improved?
    How could you worship a god who would be so evil, who would exercise such disproportionate justice which flies in the face of the biblical commands to that effect? Is the Catholic god really that evil, or is it possible that the the Church got it’s god all wrong? If they were starting over, would they create such a vicious god all over again? Sigh. Probably so.

  2. Peter Aiello Reply

    Christians are children of God because we are parts of the Body of Christ who is the Son of God. I can’t think of anywhere in Scripture that tell us that we are children of God because we are made in His image.

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