Does any Christian denomination deny this? [Redemption possible for Hitler?]

I realize that there are many denominations of Christianity who believe differently about fairly fundamental issues (inerrancy, faith vs works, etc.), so I’d like to ask a factual question about what seems to me the extreme core of the faith.

The hypothetical: the account of Hitler committing suicide was not true. What really happened is that just before he died, he somehow had a moment of lucidity where he realized that he had done some horrible things. He got down on his knees, prayed to Jesus, sincerely repented of his sins, and humbly and sincerely asked for Jesus to come into his heart. He had no doubt that Jesus did so, and he resolved to change his life completely, beginning by turning himself over to the Allies for whatever punishment they decided. He quickly drafted an order for the unconditional surrender of all German forces, but a fanatical aide, who felt betrayed by Hitler’s change of heart, shot Hitler and Eva Braun, destroyed the order, and then shot himself.

Also assume that Hitler had never explicitly denied the Holy Spirit.

My question: is there any denomination of Christianity that does not believe that under those circumstances, he would receive eternal life in Heaven, sooner or later, perhaps after a long time in purgatory?

Seems like a convoluted version of “If Hitler repented right before he died, would he be forgiven and go to Heaven?”

I asked a similar question about whether an evil bastard could get into heaven. Differences in denomination seem to be that ones soul may be ‘purified’ in either Purgatory or Hell before entering Heaven; or that Herr Hitler could not exist in the presence of God whilst still being an evil shithead regardless of repenting. Of course, others maintain that redemption lies sola fide; by faith alone. It’s a broad church, after all.

ETA; if he topped himself, he’s probably still bound for a pineapple up the poopenshaft in most major denominations since one cannot repent for sin or accept Christ Jesus when one is dead. Naturally some disagree, believing there are things that can help you once you’re dead - some members of the LDS have even baptised the late Fuhrer.

Well, it is, but there are reasons for the extra verbiage:

  1. I wanted to make it clear that he was sincere
  2. I wanted to eliminate the side issue of suicide
  3. I don’t want personal opinions, I want a factual answer about official doctrine.

I’m sure that there are individuals who consider themselves Christians but who could not agree to Hitler’s forgiveness, but I want to know the actual names of any denominations that make that opinion part of official doctrine.

The RCC among them, having both the notion of Purgatory and that of praying or doing other tasks for the deceased.

But Purgatory does not apply in the case of terminal unrepentance of Mortal Sin, mind you.

True repentance (not just regret or fear of damnation) and true faith in Christ, are considered the essentials of forgiveness of sin. Of course, only God really knows if your repentance and faith are true.

People who believe in predestination would reject the idea. I imagine there is a Calvinist or three around.

Can you elaborate on that? I thought predestination allowed for exactly that type of situation, i.e. something stronger than himself changing the course of his life, however brief his changed life was.

Too late to edit my last post, but unless I am completely misreading the sources I just checked, this is a classic case of predestination. If I understand Calvinism correctly, it says that EVERYONE is a sinner; Hitler may look bad to us, but compared to the perfection of God, the difference between Hitler and Gandhi is trivial. So NOBODY is saved except by the grace of God, and his decision process in whom he saves is far beyond our understanding.

Or am I completely misunderstanding both you and my sources?

Myself, having been raised non-denominational, evangelical, if not Pentecostal “born-again” Christian, the answer would be that his sincere repentance would, by the sacrifice of Christ and the grace of God, grant him a gold-ticket straight into heaven.

Simple as that.

There are some that require water (and fully immersed) baptism, and some actually many where the saved person does not go to heaven (that is the realm of angels), but to a place of paradise that was made for humans - such as the new earth.

I can’t think of any that would deny such a repentance of the heart, but that baptism issue would be a sticky point in many. (even though baptism is never stated as a condition of salvation, just baptism (and belief) guarantees salvation, the opposite is not defined ( belief but w/o baptism).

The following comments are based partly on my understanding of religious orthodoxy before the Nineteen Sixties philosophy of Universal No Exceptions Unconditional Love swept the Western World. Before then I doubt there were any Christian denominations which would consider it possible to atone for sin of the magnitude committed by Hitler.

I think the Roman Catholic Church required and still requires good works for salvation, and that each sin be confessed individually in order to be forgiven. If so, then the RCC would not have any problem opening the trap door on Hitler. The Anglican-Episcopalian Church also required good works as well as faith; being one of the most liberal of the old mainline denominations it might well have dropped the good works requirement by now.

The Lutherans originally held that faith alone was required for salvation, but I am not sure that necessarily means it is impossible to be damned on account of evil works.

I do not think the Calvinists and Baptists recognize confessional dispensation, or accept salvation by faith alone, so they would not have had any problems. The Methodists, Eastern Orthodox and various splinter groups also probably place enough emphasis on works to at least allow for the possibility of keeping Hilter from getting off scot-free.

I want to be sure I understand what you mean. I think it’s generally accepted that during the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic church would give (or sell) decrees that forgave quite a range of sins. Sometimes they covered only specific previous sins, but sometimes they were more or less a blank check even for future sins, such as forgiving anything a prospective Crusader had already done, or might do in the future, while on Crusade.

We also know that Middle Age Popes sometimes encouraged national leaders to implement bloody campaigns against their local Christian heretics, e.g. Cathars or Huguenots, and even excommunicated those who refused to take part. Charlemagne also brutally suppressed heresy or paganism, and was crowned emperor by the Pope. I would think that the slaughtered victims of those campaigns would see little difference between some of those leaders, and Hitler.

So when you say “prior to 1960,” do you still mean relatively recent times, say, no earlier than the 18th century?

“Denomination” is difficult, but clearly there are “cults”, in particular “perfectionist” cults, where obedience is important, and repentance is not.

“Chrisitianity” is another difficult one: the basic theory of the LDS is that:

I would say that the LDS used to be a cult, but it no longer, but has retained a little bit of cult theology. And I think that there are prpbably several groups that call themselves “Christion” of which that is true

Actually, forget my last post. I guess I’m only interested in current doctrine.

So, can somebody verify that current Catholic doctrine holds that a sincere believer cannot attain heaven if he has not been confessed? How would that work for, say, a soldier in Afghanistan, who in a moment of rage kills some innocent children in retaliation for their father firing at him, and sincerely repents after he has calmed down, but can only see a priest once every several months?

I guess what I mean by “denomination” is a group large enough to have a written record about it in religious encyclopedias, and that has lasted at least a century. I don’t care about cults so small that they’re essentially extended families, like the Westboro Baptist Church.

Nope, and nope. In Roman Catholic teaching, a deathbed act of repentance was always sufficient for salvation.

Suicide is a sin. Technically he died committing a sin. No heaven for Hitler or Eva.

Exodus 20:13; 21:23

Which is, of course, completely irrelevant to the hypothetical in the OP.

(Irrelevant to the hypothetical AND suicide = unredeemable is no longer the official position of many churches including RCC)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sec. 1452 says in part that Perfect Contrition “[…]remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins** if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible**.” Remember that the RCC distinguishes venial sin from mortal sin. Notice that if you can hold on until the Priest shows up you must then go ahead and use him.

Is your Contrition Perfect? God only knows :wink:

As for Baptism, AH was baptized as an infant in his native Austria. In Catholic doctrine Infant Baptizm takes care of Original Sin but you are still on the hook for the ones you rack up yourself.