Catholic By Choice

July 23, 2014 | 78 comments

In the modern Jewish tradition, converts to Judaism are often called Jews by Choice, which indicates that they were not born to Jewish families but chose to become Jews. A few years ago, I listened to a roundtable discussion on conversion to Judaism by Jewish converts. One gentleman participated in the discussion only very reluctantly and after concerted effort by the organizer to persuade him to attend at all. His ordinary practice was to refrain from mentioning to anyone that he was a convert to Judaism, to such an extent that he had a ready response for whenever a fellow Jew would remark that his surname did not "sound Jewish." In the years since his conversion, he had experienced some prejudice for being a convert from his co-religionists, and solved the problem by no longer mentioning his conversion.

Not long ago, I remembered this story when I once again experienced prejudice directed at me by cradle Catholics for being a convert to Catholicism. I had published an essay on the brown scapular. That essay, in which I sought to clear up common misunderstandings about the brown scapular and thereby promote a healthy devotion to it, opened this way:

Soon after becoming a Catholic, I started collecting "Catholicana" to hang about my neck. Eventually I was wearing a brown scapular, a crucifix, and a "dog tag" chain with twenty or more holy medals. No joke, people could always tell when I was approaching by the clinking of my medals. I liked to think of that necklace as my "cloud of witnesses." One day the chain broke, and I never replaced it. The only sacramental I continued to wear was my brown scapular.

The blog post was well received, for the most part, but some of those who objected could not limit themselves to disagreeing with the assertions I made (which would have been entirely fair), but chose to focus on my mention of being a convert. Here is a small sampling of comments that came in:

Is everyone [who] works for Catholic Answers a convert? . . . At Catholic Answers it often seems like a competition you have to be more Catholic than anyone. I think it would be a good idea if you left that at the door when you came in.

(Nota bene: No, not everyone who works for Catholic Answers is a convert. Some are converts, some are cradle Catholics.)

Another gentleman made his point more succinctly:

You can always tell a convert, but you can't [tell] 'em much!

I started to sympathize with the Jewish convert who resolved to never again mention his status as a Jew by Choice.

The prodigal's return

To some extent, I feel some sympathy for the exasperation sometimes felt by cradle Catholics, who have been Catholic all their lives, toward converts to the faith. No one makes a big deal over the cradle Catholics' lifelong devotion to their faith, their efforts to grow in understanding of it, and their steadfastness in handing down to their own children the spiritual heritage they willingly accepted from their parents.

For the convert however, especially those converts of some stature in their previous churches or other religious traditions, celebrations break out at the announcement of his decision to become Catholic. Radio shows and television shows call to book appearances so that he can share his testimony. Sometimes there are book deals or opportunities to take his story on the road to conferences and other Catholic events.

There can also be resentment when converts become teachers of the faith. Who do these upstarts think they are, anyway, to think they can explain to the cradle Catholics a religious tradition to which converts have only recently committed themselves (and some of them after a lifetime of believing and propagating anti-Catholicism!)?

Perhaps cradle Catholic discontent at the fuss made over converts begins to sound like Christ's parable of the two brothers (cf. Luke 15:11–32), in which the younger son is welcomed home by his father after leaving home and squandering the inheritance he demanded from his father (Luke 15:12). Not only that, but the prodigal is given a lavish celebration in honor of his return—much to the annoyance and resentment of his elder brother, who complains to his father that his father never seemed to care much about his own loyalty (Luke 15:29–30).

But although the elder brother does not seem to be a sympathetic character in this parable, mainly because of his churlish refusal to join the celebration or even to acknowledge his brother as his brother (Luke 15:27–28, 30), it is only just to acknowledge that his reasons for why he is angry are not entirely unsympathetic. And if his younger brother then went on to teach his elder brother how to be a better son to their father, we can only imagine that the elder brother would not be an eager student.

The loyal son's failing

Personally, I always gravitated to the elder brother in this parable, and for a long time did not understand why, even granted the father's undeniable love for his first son (Luke 15:31), the elder son appears to be the villain of this piece. When I read the first volume of Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI, a piece to this puzzle snapped into place. The Pope Emeritus made this observation about the elder son, bringing to light a hidden agenda:

The older brother knows nothing of the inner transformations and wanderings experienced by the younger brother, of his journey into distant parts, of his fall and his new self-discovery. He sees only injustice. And this betrays the fact that he too had secretly dreamed of a freedom without limits, that his obedience has made him inwardly bitter, and that he has no awareness of the grace of being at home, of the true freedom that he enjoys as a son. "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours" (Luke 15:31) [pp. 208–209].

The elder son's failing is that he subconsciously wanted what the younger son had—the presumed freedom to do whatever he wished, and then to come back home with no noticeable consequences. And not just no consequences, but a welcome-home party, new clothes, jewelry, and the reinstatement of his status as a son.

Is it possible that some cradle Catholics can subconsciously envy converts' "adventures," wishing that they too had an exciting story of faith to tell and longing for a captive audience to pat them on the back and treat them as returning heroes?

If so, then perhaps it is worth noting that conversion is rarely exciting or adventurous while it is occurring. Converts usually have to deal with serious hardships during their conversion process, and some of those hardships (such as dealing with non-Catholic family members) can continue to be a cross for converts to carry for years to come. There is in fact a great grace to be recognized in having received the faith as a family heritage; to having been raised within a Catholic culture (even if that culture is limited to one's own family); to never having had to wonder where your spiritual home is or if it even exists.

Everyone's a convert

We can't neglect to recognize though that no one, not even those raised Catholic all their lives, is "born Catholic." Each and every Catholic is a convert, including those brought into the faith by their parents soon after their birth. And each and every Catholic, no matter how long they have been a Catholic, either is or will have to become a Catholic by Choice. As I wrote last year in a blog post about conversion:

I firmly believe that, sooner or later, each and every convert to the Catholic faith—whether that person chose to become Catholic as an adult or was brought into the faith as a baby by his parents—is going to have to face the scandal that the Church is not what he believed it to be when he signed up. The test will be whether he will persevere because he knows it to be the Church Christ founded, or whether he will fall away because he decides it is merely a human institution that has disappointed him.

For every St. Augustine, who comes to the Catholic faith as an adult after decades of wanderlust through various spiritual traditions, there will always be a St. Francis of Assisi, raised Catholic from infancy but who experiences a dramatic "conversion" of heart and soul that alters the course of the rest of his life. For every St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who defied her pagan family and their tribe's entire way of life to seek out baptism from the Jesuit missionaries, there will always be a St. Clare of Assisi, who defied her Catholic family and their plans for her to seek out the vocation to which God called her.

All in the family

Sometimes tensions can rise between cradle Catholics and converts, but both sides should keep one thing in mind: We're all one family. Maybe not always a happy family, maybe occasionally unhappy in our own way (à la Anna Karenina), but family. At the reception for those newly received into the Church on Easter Vigil 1996, the priest who baptized and confirmed me that night made a point of gesturing to the crowd in the social hall and then telling me, "You're just as much a Catholic now as everyone here."

I never forgot that remark, and I think it applies to all who profess the Catholic faith. No matter how we came into the Church, no matter how well or how poorly we practice the faith, no matter the challenges we face in living out our faith, we are all Catholics—no more, no less. No Catholic should be hesitant to tell his story, to share how he came to faith, whether it was within the family that raised him or after a journey outside the Church. Every testimony is valuable because it is the unique story of how Christ has worked in that person's life.

Before he was elected Pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was once asked, "How many ways are there to God?" The then-prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, commonly believed to have been a modern "grand inquisitor," responded:

As many as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one (Salt of the Earth, p. 32).

Note: A version of this essay originally appeared on the blog, Peace, Joy, Pancakes (6/25/14). It is republished here with permission.


Michelle Arnold is a staff apologist at Catholic Answers. You can visit her personal blog or contact her online through Facebook.
Home At Last (Digital)
Home At Last is a collection from Catholic Answers of eleven distinct and often startling accounts of conversion.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Enna Rosa Aizpuru Rodríguez - Mexico, Mexico

Hi Michelle, sad to hear the prejudice you face from cradle catholics. I am a cradle catholic myself but because I'm serious about my faith I always feel a little more "in sync" with converts (at least from the ones I know over the internet, I don't really know many converts in person) because they have gone through this process that involves not only spiritual but an intelectual part too. They often know more about their faith than most cradle catholics and I love that, I love discussing my faith with people that are as passionate about it as I am, and many times cradle catholics just don't appreciate the whole richness of what catholicism is really about (even I sometimes have dissed about scapulars or some not obligatory but enriching catholic practices). And it actually took me some time to really appreciate the richness of my faith, I live in a country in which most people identify as catholic but don't know much about their faith or have a bad use of scapulars, medals and have a terrible understanding of saint intercession. This is mostly why I used to diss about this kind of practices (mostly because they were used more as superstitious practices instead for spiritual growth). Which is why I feel more comfortable with converts rather than the big percentage of cradle catholics that I know, many of them consider themselves catholic but support abortion, contraception, etc. My experience with most cradle catholics in my homeland is one filled with ignorance and indifference, more of a social thing. Which honestly makes me cringe.

July 23, 2014 at 10:04 am PST
#2  Marty Goforth - Davidson, North Carolina

Great article.

By far the greatest source of frustration for me as a Catholic convert has been the amount of in-fighting that occurs in our Church. You've got the pro and anti-Vatican II camps, those with kids in Mass and those without, veil or no veil, hands raised during the Our Father or hands to the sides... AHHHH! It's enough to drive someone crazy! But of course even the Apostles fell into petty bickering amongst themselves about who was the greatest, who would sit on Jesus left and right hand in Heaven, etc - and with God Himself standing right in front of them.

If the potential divisions within the body of Christ aren't proof positive of our fallen nature and how much we NEED God's grace through our whole lives, every minute of every day, I don't know what else could be.

Mary Mother of God, pray for your children.

July 23, 2014 at 10:08 am PST
#3  Harry Ehmann - Bedford, Texas

My mother was the first to introduce me to the cliche, "converts make the best Catholics". But is it a cliche if it's really true? I love converts and all they bring to Christs Church. I certainly don't feel my place is usurped by their addition. On the contrary it gives me a feeling of assurance. As a cradle Catholic my catecheses was spotty at best. I got all the solemnity, piety and love for Christ but missed the enthusiasm and joy that my converted brothers and sisters bring to our Catholic faith. I'm already so grateful for all the contributions converts have made to my knowledge of my faith through Catholic Answers and even in my parish where my Little Rock Bible Study is facilitated by an ex-Baptist. I say the more the merrier, there's room for everyone!

July 23, 2014 at 10:36 am PST
#4  James Scott - Sullivan, Missouri

I've found that most Catholic converts know their faith better than many "cradle Catholics". "Catholics by Choice", studied and chose to be Catholic, while "cradle Catholics" just inherited it. The Church needs more "Catholics by Choice" like Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, etc. and less "cradle Catholics" like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, etc.

July 23, 2014 at 11:11 am PST
#5  Michael Krones - orlando, Florida

This is a good article. As always, you manage to write logically and clearly about the subject at hand. As a cradle Catholic who went through a period of searching in college, I know what it is like to learn about the faith as an adult. The apologists, both cradle and convert, on this site and authors like Scott Hahn helped me fall in love with the doctrine of the church. I just wanted to add that we SHOULD celebrate converts because they remind us we are a missionary church. We are supposed to bring people closer to God and in to His Church. I see the missionary zeal of Protestant churches and hope we can build on cultural Catholicism to a welcoming and missionary one. Anyway, I always enjoy your articles. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

July 23, 2014 at 11:47 am PST
#6  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Baptized Catholic to non-practicing parents here. Did the Protestant thing the last 10 years (introduced to super-fun-rock-band church from 2nd husband) and now am Catholic (only in my heart as I haven't gone through RCIA yet).

Divorced and re-married, so quite the mess to untangle...but cannot wait until I can partake in the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist...even if it's not until my death bed.

I'm thinking a pre-Vatican II Tridentine Latin Mass is best...Norvo Ordo is too much like Protestant "services".

July 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm PST
#7  David Biddulph - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Wow - I just can't imagine being negative about a fellow Catholic being a convert.

I think we have a larger than average number of converts in our parish - I think it would be fatal to the community if the attitude you encountered were common here.

It was a convert, who became a priest, that led me to more deeply learning and embracing our faith. I think converts bring a much needed energy to the community. Too many of us cradle Catholics are ho-hum about the faith.

I wish cradle Catholics would become a minority in the near future - that would mean we're winning hearts for Christ!

July 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm PST
#8  David Sullivan - Lynnwood, Washington

I'm a recent convert and I've experienced nothing by sincere and enthusiastic welcome. The response, "Welcome home!" is pretty common.

I was an Evangelical for 35+ years. In Evangelicalism, converts are very common. There's no tradition to speak of, so there's no cultural identity that's passed on from parents to children the way it is in the Catholic Church (or in a lot of mainline Protestant denominations).

I have mixed feelings on the status of us converts. I've often felt a bit "inferior" to cradle Catholics in that the culture of Catholicism is new to me and not inbred. I feel sometimes as if I'm still trying to fit in and that someone will call me out on some liturgical faux pas. On the other hand, I agree that converts—Catholics by choice—often have a deeper commitment to the orthodox faith than the average cradle Catholic. I imagine that there are many fewer liberal Catholics among converts than among cradle Catholics.

For me to swim the Tiber took a great deal of research, study, prayer, self-questioning, "coming to my senses" and then coming to my senses, etc. By that way, I came to a deep appreciation of what the Church teaches and why. I've embraced the Catholic faith wholeheartedly and with both eyes open. It's been a wonderful journey and I feel closer to Christ now than I ever did as an Evangelical.

July 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm PST
#9  Kathleen Bisson - Ottawa, Ontario

Hello Michelle,

Thank you so much for this article, something I have found is that those who try to mend this problem can sometimes fall into the trap of pretending that there are no differences between converts and cradle Catholics, and I am glad that this is not the case here. I myself am a cradle catholic yet most of my friends are converts. I have found this shows me a very interesting view of the church community, one that when we come together and openly share our strengths, we support each other's weaknesses. I find that as a cradle catholic it is hard to fight the temptation to be hostile towards converts, though not for the reasons you mentioned ( although those are of course real problems). I have found that many converts I have met discount the experiences and point of view of cradle Catholics easily, because it does not mesh with why they converted, or how they converted, or on the flip side are quick to judge cradle Catholics for not being as passionate about the faith as they are. I have also found that cradle Catholics don't always understand what it's like to convert very quickly (as most of the converts I have met did), while converts do not understand what it is like to grow into the faith, at a slower pace, as many cradle Catholics have. I think we both need to realize that when others have had different experiences than us, they go through different struggles, and joys, and as the ones already in the church it is our job as cradle Catholics to take the first step.

July 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm PST
#10  Dennis Gaudet - Arlington, Massachusetts

*****

July 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm PST
#11  Dennis Gaudet - Arlington, Massachusetts

I enjoyed the article and found it insightful, but I feel compelled to "defend" cradle Catholics, being one myself.

We are not all wishy-washy, ho-hum about our faith. Many do know their faith and have experienced growth in the faith. And expressing a wish that cradle Catholics would be someday a minority in our church is certainly counter-productive and in my opinion hurtful and does nothing to create community.

I can understand the difficulty some converts experience. I like to compare it as marrying into a family. As the new family member you now have to learn the family "history", the way the family does certain things, and the "shorthand" language. As the in-laws, we have a responsibility to welcome the new family member and make them feel a part of the family as soon as possible. Many times we do, many times we don't.

However, this works both ways. I have to be honest that my experiences with converts have not always been positive. Some have the superior attitude of a "reformed smoker" and immediately begin telling everyone else they are doing it wrong. Also, some have never left their "traditions" completely so just because they see something unusual to THEM does not mean it is automatically heretical.

A little hint: if a cradle Catholic tells you that "you are more Catholic than the Pope" -- it's not meant as a compliment.

Understanding needs to be present on both sides.

July 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm PST
#12  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

When there are over a billion people in the Church there is sure to be a critic here and there for everything. For me, as a cradle Catholic revert, I have a huge appreciation for converts. They always inspire me and their stories warm my heart. Most have had to sacrifice so much, even family and friends, to take that leap of faith. If any one dare to ever complain about a convert they are complaining to the Holy Spirit as well, for it is the Holy Spirit that called them or is calling them into the Church and that has set that soul on fire with a burning love of their new Home. (Hi Debbie, still keeping you in my prayers, and thanks for your help dealing with you know who on that other blog :)

July 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm PST
#13  Wesley Vincent - Pomfret Center, Connecticut

I prefer the phrase "convert of conviction" for myself. You must admit that converts do often bring a level of enthusiasm that is unfamiliar to some lifelong Catholics but my experience has been only welcoming.

July 24, 2014 at 10:59 am PST
#14  Jerry Kirkpatrick - Huron, Tennessee

Naturalized Citizens often have a better grasp of U.S. history than those born in this country. I was baptized Catholic shortly after birth and attended Catholic school from grammar school through college. Still went on a prolonged journey of faith til coming back to the Catholic Church in my 60s. Now I teach RCIA and weep tears of joy at the Catechumens' thirst for knowledge.

July 24, 2014 at 11:38 am PST
#15  Arturo Ortiz - Anaheim, California

Thanks for this article. I have always admired converts' eagerness and openness for the truth. I sure never diss any convert to the Catholic Faith and I find that practice quite confusing, especially when we Catholics believe that all salvation comes from the Church, and yet we get jealous over a convert to the Catholic Faith? Rather we should be inspired by converts who are often those with the greatest zeal for the faith.

Many cradle Catholics I know don't know even the basics of the Catholic faith. I was one of them, who let myself become a lukewarm and inactive Catholic for various years. I even doubted the Faith for about a year before I came back and started practicing the Catholic Faith.

It was only when I really started to know the fullness and beauty of the Faith that I started to appreciate it. Many people know me for being quite rough and rigid with various people (Just ask my immediate family) but it is only because I know what I was missing out with. This is also to a great extent why I am often quick to defending the origins of various sacramentals and devotions which you mentioned in your recent articles.

I am actually discerning the priesthood right now because it is what I feel God is calling me to do, as well as because I love the Church that much. (Please keep me in your prayers)

God Bless
Arturo Ortiz

July 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm PST
#16  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

You will be in my prayers. =)

July 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm PST
#17  Arturo Ortiz - Anaheim, California

Ged

Thank a lot, greatly appreciated

July 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm PST
#18  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

No! Michelle

Those who made those comments in the former blog post in defence of which you quickly wrote this present one, did so not because you are a convert but because you sound like a modernist to them in that particular blog post.

July 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm PST
#19  Amiel Neis - Cebu, Cebu

Tim,

I have a very difficult situation with my family, my brother and his wife have abandoned the catholic faith and it seems that there is no turning back from them, please tell me how to say a little word from them.

July 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm PST
#20  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Hi Amiel, take a look at CatholicsComeHome.org
God bless. =)

July 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm PST
#21  David Biddulph - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dennis:

"expressing a wish that cradle Catholics would be someday a minority in our church"

YES, if we became a minority that would mean we have a huge number of people coming into the church. This is what the new evangelization is all about - set Catholics on fire with their faith and then send them out into the world!

"does nothing to create community"

But it does, it brings more people to the faith. If cradle Catholics became the minority, it would only be for one, two, or three generations. The early church was able to create community - weren't they?

July 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm PST
#22  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

David Biddulph

Your argument is so feeble and therefore unacceptable. What we need is another St. Francises of Assisi and St. Augustines of Hippo. That is, true converts both from within and from without. Once we all are truely converted there will be no more need of where we came from. The Church does not need "cultural" catholics who are there merely because they were born into catholic families, communities or lands and far less does She need noncomformist foreigners who refuse to slough off their former "man" and who bring "hearthen gods" into the fold, just in the name of conversion by choice. Do you not know that majority of converts today never see or know any real difference between where they are coming from and where they have come to. In fact most of them are the "mixt multitude" which the Sacred Scripture talked about in Numbers 11:4 ( Douay Rheims). Based on what I have seen and conversion stories I have read (cf Chnetwork.org) their conversion are mere change of state. There is no penitence which usully and ought to accompany true conversion. By this I do not mean sorrowing for moral sins which they may have been able to overcome but grieving for not having walked the path God himself mapped out for the human race to come to him. In a nut shell not all noncradle catholics are converts in the real, theological and ecclesiastical sense of the word. All needs conversion, cradle and noncradle alike.

July 29, 2014 at 4:00 am PST
#23  David Biddulph - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Usulor Kenneth

My argument is feeble? Do you not believe that the New Evangelization is about evangelizing those Catholics that are only sacramentalized? Do you not believe that evangelized Catholics can't help but be attractive to others? Do you not believe that we should "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations"?

"I have read (cf Chnetwork.org) their conversion are mere change of state. There is no penitence which usully and ought to accompany true conversion."

Be careful, only God knows what is in our heart. We can know that things people do are wrong, and should be corrected - with charity. We are not to judge people's hearts:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."

The converts I know are wonderfully committed Catholics. They know the faith far better than "average" cradle Catholics. I know, I was one. Church was just a ticket punch, something I had to do because it was one of the rules.

Thankfully, God put people in my life to help me reach the point I'm at today. Some of them cradle Catholics, some converts. Having found my faith and understanding that I GET to go to Mass every Sunday, I want all my fellow Catholics to understand this. That is why I am working on the New Evangelization and this is why I am overjoyed for each and every conversion - cradle Catholics or convert.

July 29, 2014 at 6:47 am PST
#24  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Dear David Biddulph,

Yes your argument is feeble and I know “that the New Evangelization is about evangelizing those Catholics” and not much more about making converts from without. That means that the Church does not wish that “cradle Catholics would become a minority in the near future”.
Having said that let me comment on your statement “Catholics that are only sacramentalized”. I wish to tell you that this is a protestant or anti-catholic polemical statement frequently but erroneously used against us. And you are protestantly using it here. That is why I said in my comment #22 above that some converts from without bring "hearthen gods" into the fold. I want to let you know that its meaning is the opposite of what you meant in your comment #23 above. To be sacramentalised in the sense in which it usually framed means to be deeply involved in and be inundated by the idea, knowledge, love and reception of the sacraments in other to be saved. Now tell me, what other end has Christ in instituting the sacraments other that? Are the sacraments not from Christ? Are they not the words of God which ”are spirit and life?” Are they not the opera operatio means means of salvation God has graciously given us? Are they not the “power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”. And be it known to you that those who receive the sacraments of the Lord unworthily are not sacramentalised at all because they are receiving death unto themselves (cf 1Cor. 11:27,29). Therefore all those who receive the sacraments out of ignorance of their own making but more especially unworthily are not sacramentalised. In fact God wants all men to be sacramentalised. Remember God cannot be separated from his sacraments otherwise the sacrament cannot work. Therefore all those who are truly and deeply involved in and are inundated by the idea, knowledge, love and reception of the sacraments are at the same time truly and deeply involved in and are inundated by the idea, knowledge, love and reception of God in their heart. My dear, to be sacramentalised is a welcome positive thing and not negative one.
On the issue of judging converts, I did so based on their own words not on my mere assumption. Again I have not passed any judgment of condemnation on them. That is left to the supreme judge, Jesus Christ our Lord on the last day.
Thank you and may God bless you with more knowledge and love of the faith. Amen.

July 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm PST
#25  David Biddulph - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Usulor

“Catholics that are only sacramentalized”. I wish to tell you that this is a protestant or anti-catholic polemical statement frequently but erroneously used against us. And you are protestantly using it here."

No, I am speaking from experience. I also don't consider Thomas Aquinas and Ralph Martin to be protestants - do you? Please see "The Post-Christendom Sacramental Crisis: The Wisdom of Thomas Aquinas" by Ralph Martin (http://www.renewalministries.net/files/freeliterature/novaetvetera11_1martin_(2).pdf) about the blocking of the fruitfulness of the sacraments.

I received my sacraments: First Confession, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Matrimony. Yet I was NOT evangelized. Yes, the sacraments made a permanent mark on my soul, but ignorance was blocking the fruitfulness of these sacraments. My catechesis was seriously lacking. We weren't "allowed" to sing at Mass - those who sang were stared at until their discomfort silenced them or made them go to a different church. After I was married, I was attended Mass infrequently - I felt bad that I didn't follow the rule to go to Mass, but's that was all.

Thanks to God, I was led to the fullness of the faith. He started by sending me my wife, who kept me from completely going off the rails. Next, he sent obnoxious neighbors to me - these neighbors caused my wife to insist we move. When we moved, our new community had a church unlike any other I'd ever encountered. I loved going to Mass at St. John Neumann and participating in all the outreach ministries we did. And yet, I was still woefully ignorant of my faith.

I was laid off by AT&T following their acquisition by SBC. We moved to a another state, in our new community we had a church that was good, but not on fire with the Holy Spirit, it was full of cliques. I was miserable, I desperately missed our old community and church. Then we found a small church and WOW. It had the wonderful welcoming culture we'd had at St. John Neumann's. But I continued to be ignorant of the faith.

A new priest came to our parish, Fr. Nott started a bible study group that met while our children were attending catechism classes. We studied the readings from Sunday Mass and discussed them. Fr. Nott sparked a desire in me to learn more. I dug out a bible from our moving boxes, then I bought an Oxford annotated RSV bible with "Apocrypha". Then I heard about and bought a New Jerusalem Bible with extensive footnotes and a Cathechism, then the Ignatius New Testament Study Bible and so on.

I have come to understand that I don't "have to" attend Mass every Sunday - I GET to attend Mass every Sunday (and those days I manage get up early enough to go to daily Mass before work).

Then I was invited to attend a Cursillo weekend. This gave me insights into the faith and into myself. It also gave me the courage to trust in the Holy Spirit. I'd been drawn to prison ministry, but I felt inadequate to the task. Sure I'd done a lot of studying, but I no apologist. I was no great orator. Well, I didn't need to be - the Holy Spirit guides me as I speak to the prisoners. When I am weak [inadequate], then I am strong!

There is no doubt that the fruits of the sacraments are much greater now that I am more knowledgeable and fully cooperating with God's Grace.

July 30, 2014 at 8:56 am PST
#26  Lee Olson - FPO, Armed Forces Pacific

This is a great article and I have learned so much from it and from the comments that so many have left. It may seem funny, but ever since I received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and the Eucharist 4 years ago, I have never really felt like a convert. I don't feel like a cradle Catholic since I was a Protestant for 54 years and I am still, and probably always will be, encountering new things and growing in my Faith, but it doesn't feel like I converted from or to anything. To me it just feels like I have come home, that I now know answers to the questions that I have had for years from reading the Bible, that I am now in the One True Church that Jesus himself founded and who wants all Christians to be part of, and I never have to question the doctrine and teachings again.
I kind of look on my years as a Protestant with some feeling of regret that I was kept away from the whole truth for so long and I look on cradle Catholics, not with envy or jealousy, but with the realization that they have been so very blessed to have been born into and raised in the Church.
I have never received anything but love and respect from my fellow Catholics when they have found out I wasn't originally Catholic; maybe a look of surprise now and then, but always love and respect.

July 30, 2014 at 7:12 pm PST
#27  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Debbie. So there is no contemporary music in any catholic churches? And the CCM invasion is a plague in protestant churches, i agree. Your mess can be untangled if you confess and repent and receive Gods forgiveness. THen you can attend communion in a christian church instead of waiting until you "deserve" to be allowed to receive it from an apostate Roman church where you are being told you are outside Gods mercy due to your marital status. I pray you do that.

Dear Lee. Jesus did not found the religious bureaucracy called the Roman Catholic church. The church is the body of christians, not some hierarchical authoritarian priestly society. Those 54 years you "wasted" as a protestant (not that being a protestant is the goal by the way) have made you the only person in this comment section to mention the name of Jesus. Everyone here has converted to a "church". Where does Christ ask you to convert to a church? He asks for you to accept Him. You were close to the truth before and maybe you should consider going back.

The goal is not to be a catholic or a protestant. Both choices lead to hell. The goal is to know Jesus and that is done by faith, accepting Calvary's sacrifice ONCE and for ALL made for sinners who will receive Him.

I am not catholic, protestant, baptist etc. Merely a blood bought sinner who has accepted Jesus Christ by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8. There is no church in this verse. There are no good works in it. There are no so called sacraments in it. Tell me what you need to be right with God beyond this verse.

August 14, 2014 at 11:45 am PST
#28  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Confess, repent, and receive God's forgiveness. That is what we Christian Catholics do and have been doing since Christ founded our Church over 2000 years ago. We don't stop there, we also worship Christ just the way He commanded us to do at the Last Supper. All over the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year we are proclaiming the death and resurection of our Lord, we don't go to just hear the Scriptures, we go to live the Scriptures by receiving the real body and blood of our Savior, not a symbol. There is no greater gift to the world! We don't have to settle for just the Word, we don't have to pretend, we have both the Word and the Word made Flesh!!!

An apostate Roman church? While the center of our Church may be in Rome, because that is where the great Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul went and were martyred, our Church is not Roman, we are the Catholic Church, we are universal and are one, holy, and apostolic.

No one is outside of God's mercy, no one. However, God's mercy does not give a free ticket to disobey His teachings and do as we please. It is the duty of the Church as comissioned by Christ to uphold His teachings, and that includes his teachings on holy matrimony.

No Jesus did not found a bureaucracy, he founded a heirarchy, making a distinction between the authority of the Apostles over that of the laity. Catholic
Is a desription of this Church founded by Christ and was used as early as 107 AD to describe Her. We are Catholics, not Roman Catholics.

Jesus is the Church, we belong to His Bride, His mystical Body. We are not individual churches, we are ONE, for though we are many, we are ONE body and ONE spirit in Christ. From the beginning Christ wanted unity in belief and in worship. He prayed we would be one and the Apostles preached unity. We Catholics are ONE in both the Gospel and worship.

Christ founded a Church, not to be invisible but for us to be a part of it, and to be obedient to this Church. If two brothers disagree where are they to take it as a last resort to settle it....the Church. Who is the pillar and foundation of the truth....the Church. What Church? Your individual church, or your neighbors? No! The Church founded by Christ with the rightfuly commisioned Apostolic successors. Accepting Christ is accepting His Church, His Body, and His Bride!

Only an opinion that both protestant and catholic lead to hell.

Yes there was ONE sacrifice. This ONE sacrifice was and is perpetual so that all believers, past, present and future can be redeemed by the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ isn't a has been, it is also here and now and will be for eternity. The sacrifice of Christ will never be turned off, thus the reason He is at an altar in Revelations.

Ephisians 2:8 is not the only verse in Scripture, all of Scripture is needed or God would not have given it to us. There is Church in Scripture, there are sacraments in Scripture and there are good works in Scripture. After all how are we to love one another as COMMANDED by Christ with out good works?

That's what private interpretation does, it is all over these blogs, a different belief for every different person who opposes the Catholic Church. Here we go again lol.

August 17, 2014 at 6:46 am PST
#29  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

But the private interpretation of the Roman Catholic Church is good though? I notice you tow the company line with no scripture to back it up.
Jesus is not the church my friend. Nor is he the bride.

August 18, 2014 at 9:06 am PST
#30  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

When the apostles taught they taught as one, not acting as individuals. If you want to sling Scripture back and forth we can, but you know that your going to look at it as YOU see fit and what ever the Magisterium of the Catholic Church teaches you will have issues with. And what the Catholic Church preaches is not private, the Church was commisioned by Christ to preach the Gospel to the whole world, and She (the Bride) has.

August 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm PST
#31  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

And by the way, its the Catholic Church, not the Roman Catholic Church.

August 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm PST
#32  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

From the website catholic.org
HOMECATHOLIC LIFEPOPES
Popes of the Roman Catholic Church

So now we have to argue over the name? A Roman Catholic is a Catholic is a Roman Catholic.
Whatever....

Regarding slinging scriptures back and forth, I have not seen anyone I have had discussions with use one verse yet. Which is the core of the problem. I view Scripture as supreme and you view the massive volumes of the "magisterium" as trumping Scripture.

I will agree with the RC church when it teaches what is in the Bible, and I will disagree when it doesn't. In Acts 17:10-11 we see the Jews at Berea examining the Scriptures for themselves to see if Paul preached truth. How come they weren't instructed to go to a priest or a pope for truth? Since the Catholic church was there from the start right?

When Paul confronted Peter because he was teaching error regarding gentile converts, is that what you mean about teaching as one? Just wondering how Paul could confront the "first pope" and correct him.

Perhaps Christ did not build a church out of priests/nuns/popes but out of simple believers who trust him. At least that's the idea one gets from reading the Bible.

Thanks

August 19, 2014 at 7:01 am PST
#33  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

That is a website Perry, not an official Church document or an official Church website. As I said, we are the Catholic Church and not the Roman Catholic Church. The term is not used by the Church and is a modern term confined to the English laungage. You will not find the term included in any of the Councils official documents about the Church herself. There are references to the Roman curia, the Roman missal, the Roman rite, etc., but when the adjective is applied to the Church herself, it refers to the Diocese of Rome only. To help you understand more fully, we are also made up of the Byzantine, Cahaldean, Maronite, and other Oriental rites which are part of the Catholic Church today as in the past. I'm not arguing over a name, just setting the record straight when you made an error.

August 20, 2014 at 5:56 am PST
#34  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

I am occasionally wrong.

August 20, 2014 at 7:31 am PST
#35  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Your not really wrong Perry, just misinformed by others who have a biased opinion against Catholics. You possess a rare trait on these blogs, humility, which is something I could use more of at times. Thank you.

August 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm PST
#36  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Thanks Christopher. I don't know if I am that humble as some of my comments are rather blunt and apparently offensive. But as long as I have you fooled I will say I am rather proud of my humility!! LOL.

August 21, 2014 at 6:18 am PST
#37  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Are you an ex Catholic or just someone who formed an opinion based on what others have said? I was raised Catholic, left in my teens and took over 25 years to return.

August 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm PST
#38  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

And humility is something to be proud of in a world of hard headed people, I try but usually fall short with a little irish temper in me lol.

August 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm PST
#39  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

I am a born again christian. I believe we are lumped into the category of Protestant by Catholics. I have heard a lot about a lot of faiths over the years, but I do my own research. I actually looked at a talk Fulton Sheen gave and agreed with 97% of it, but from what I have read and seen I have to say as non offensively as possible that the current form of the Catholic church is apostate and rather cultish. As I have been reading most of the differing doctrines that get discusses are 1. not found in the Bible, and 2. weren't even held by the early church Fathers. Apparently for instance, Augustine was sola Scriptura and did not believe in the real presence.
Why am I on this blog? I don't know. Maybe to challenge people to think through what they believe. Hopefully my reasons are to get people to see Christ and not to bash catholics. I am not interested in bashing catholics but I am offended by the catholic church and the outright heresey it teaches.

You know it all sounds,smells, and looks good, but the question is, is it true? There is just too many places where catholic doctrine departs radically from God's Word. I for one don't want to believe anything that isn't true, even if my favorite church teaches it. Matter of fact, I attend a church where I do not agree 100% with their doctrine and am rather vocal about it. Yet I enjoy the worship (traditional) and feel that the one or two points we disagree on are not worth dividing over.

Anyway, the most important thing is to have a relationship with Christ and not to fight over doctrine. But doctrine does define who we are so it is worth discussing.

Blessings on you,

Perry

August 22, 2014 at 7:16 am PST
#40  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

First of all what do you mean by born again? Do you believe in once saved always saved? What Christian doesn't believe they have to have a relationship with Christ? What do you not agree with with Fulten Sheen? And I see you over there stiring up trouble about our Blessed Mother. Don't really believe you are here but to stir up trouble, but oh well, let it begin.

August 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm PST
#41  Amy McVey - Washington, District Of Columbia

I am a cradle Catholic and you never need to explain your passion to me! Converts, especially from another Christian denomination, make awesome teachers with a zest for the faith and for God that is often missing in those of us who were born into it. It was not until I was close to half a century old that I really understood the greatness of the gift my convert mother and cradle father gave to me when they made sure I was baptized a Catholic.

August 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm PST
#42  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher If I am just here to stir up trouble I should leave. I found the site while doing research and I believe there is more error than one can shake a stick at. Maybe it's a way to reach out to people who are mistaken. If I am correct then maybe I can stir up something good. If I am wrong, then eventually I will go away and you all can keep agreeing with each other.
That said, I said I agreed with about 97% of what Sheen said in the video I saw. I would like to listen to more as time allows.

Lets talk salvation. RCC says it occurs at baptism correct? Catholics do not detect a need to be saved but think it is a lifelong affair which hopefully doesn't get messed up before death by some mortal sin.
What does Jesus say? John 3:1-15. "Ye must be born again...." There must be trust placed in Christ and this is called the New Birth which is a changing of our old nature to a new one. It is salvation. A judicial sentence of Not Guilty placed on us by God. And once it is done it is forever done. "Once saved always saved" if you will. After this transformation comes a lifetime of "working out our salvation" which means acting like a christian. Doing good works, witnessing to others, being like Christ. This is how we "prove" we are saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 By grace you are saved through faith and not of works...... I really dont understand why RCs can't understand this. If you look at the entirety of Scripture you see that salvation is a free unearned gift which changes us from darkness to life. We do our good deeds to please Christ and demonstrate He lives within us. There is no system such as the one erected by the RCC. It is a simple faith and life. Not a complex works based satisfy the massive rules of the bureaucratic church. That is not what the Bible teaches.
Now Catholics get thrown off by this once saved business and say "what about those who stray from the faith?" The parable of the sower addresses this. Some seed falls on good ground, some on ground where it takes root and then fades, and some on poor ground. There are many who think they are christians, or say they are, but they sure don't live like it. That's where the validity of works appears. They will know you by your fruit which is produced in your life.

And yes, I am working on a reply to Mr Staples which I do hope you will find worth reading.

Peace!

August 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm PST
#43  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Once again, we are not the RCC, we are the Catholic Church, thought you understood that but it looks like old habits are hard to break. Please, out of respect, just call us Catholics because that is what we are, most of us on here do not belong to the diocese of Rome.

No the Catholic Church does not proclaim salvation occurs at baptism. Yes salvation takes a lifetime commitment to Christ, not a one and done deal. When you are presumptious and call youself saved, you are kicking God off His judgement seat and taking His place. Who's is the judge, you or God? As a Catholic we believe God is the judge of our salvation and that God the Father never forces us to love Him and never takes away our free will. We are not saved until our souls rest in heaven and God says so. If you think you are the judge and not God then there is no need for further conversation because you are already taking His place.

It is obvious you do not believe in 90% of Fulton Sheen believes, but rather in 99% percent of the classic Protestant arguments. From this and your other blogs this is obvious, your not fooling anyone but yourself.

August 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm PST
#44  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Christopher,

RCC is a lot easier to type then Catholic so bear with me. You serve the Roman Pope though so it is a little confusing.

Does not the CC (how's that?) teach baptism cleanses original sin and places one in church membership? Then you get to spend a lifetime going to mass to earn credits. Is not that why CCs were taught to go to mass every day?? To gain merit?

God is the Author and Giver of Salvation and in His Word He offers justification from sin by placing one's faith in Christ.
John 3:16-18 "the one who believes is NOT condemned"
Romans 4:25 "raised for our justification"
***** 3:5-7 "we have been justified"
Our move from condemned to justified is a one time act. When I call myself saved I am taking God at His Word, not acting as judge. God said in Ephes 2:8-9 "By grace are ye saved, it is the GIFT of God." When I accept the gift it is mine. And don't tell me I can lose it like a birthday gift. We aren't talking about a play toy. God has given a gift and He says No man can pluck us out of His hand.
Where sir, does God say we are not saved until we reach heaven. I would like a verse on that.

Like most Catholics, I believe you are confusing justification and sanctification. Justification is a forensic legal term regarding guilt or innocence. When God the Judge says Not Guilty, how do you reverse His verdict?

My classic Protestant arguments are all derived from Holy Scripture so just because they are Protestant doesn't make them invalid.
By the way, has it ever occurred to any catholics, that had their church not been selling indulgences and lying to people about getting souls out of purgatory for a few bucks so that they could build massive cathedrals and live like princes with their popes enjoying prostitutes that there might never have been a Protestant movement in the first place? Catholics like to fight us Protestants but they never wonder why we are here in the first place. Luther was so disgusted by his visit to Rome because he saw it for what it was. A power hungry bureaucracy disguised as a religious movement.
I often wonder why people continue to support such a system.

So how do you know if you are saved? You have to wait until you get there? Seems sketchy to me especially in light of I John 5:13 "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." Really, do catholics read the Bible these days? What does your priest say about this verse? Am I just fooling myself because I believe what is plainly written in the Bible?

I urge you to examine yourself and see if you are truly a member of God's church. Have you accepted Christ as your Saviour?
I hope so.

Perry

August 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm PST
#45  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, no we do not serve the Roman Pope, we serve Christ, just as he does. He happens to be the rightfully ordained Bishop of Rome, the successor to St. Peter whom Christ appointed to shepherd his flock here on earth.

Yes CC is more correct, thank you.

You seem to be familiar with Scripture (at least selectively) and the need to be baptized is in your Bible as clearly as it is mine.

We do not go to Mass to "earn credits," you have it all wrong. The short answer is we go because it is the way Christ wanted to be worshiped, in a liturgy that is a fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover. It is there we remember our baptismal promises, call to mind and repent of our sins, ask for and receive mercy from our Lord. We profess our faith, we proclaim glory to God in the Highest and to the Holy Spirit, and Jesus our King.We hear Old Testament Scriptures, Psalms, Epistles, and Gospels. We meditate on the Scriptures. We profess Christ as the Lamb of God, say the Lord's prayer, and we receive the Real Presence of Christ, His Body and Blood for the atonement of our sins. We sing songs of praise to God, and we worship in unity with our brothers and sisters around the world in communion and perfect harmony with the angels and saints in heaven. Yes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year our Lord is praised as we proclaim His death and resurrection. If I gave you the long answer we would be here a while. That sums it up, and if you need an early example of this read Justin Martyrs description he gave to the Roman authorities just before they lopped his head off, around 150 AD.

August 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm PST
#46  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Let me save you some trouble Perry, just a little from an early Christian, Justin Martyr, who was highly intelligent, a Christian of good character, a brave, faithful and courageous man, a man that was very familiar with those schooled by the Apostles.

"And this food is called among us ?????????? [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone."

August 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm PST
#47  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

The question marks above was the Geek word for Eucharist, either my computer or this site could not decipher.

August 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm PST
#48  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher
Why does something like this from the Converts Catechism exist??

I recognize the Holy Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all...and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Christ. ...This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess... until the last breath of life....

What's the purpose of such an oath??? I really don't understand how a person could ever utter such words. Unless they were uttered to Christ I could never say such a thing about a man, a denomination, a political party, a country. Maybe noone uses it but why would anyone ever write it?

August 27, 2014 at 11:08 am PST
#49  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

That's a silly question Perry, it is an oath from an individual. You do not have to understand, the oath does not involve you one bit, it is between the person who made it and God. Why would you waste your time worrying about oaths of other Christians? You seem disturbed and desperate to be concerned over something so miniscule.

August 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm PST
#50  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

I don't know Christopher….Because it was an example of someone swearing allegiance to the pope I happened across right after you told me catholics don't swear allegiance to the pope??? Maybe that's why…. Priests swear to obey the pope when ordained. Kind of an interesting thing for a follower of Christ to do don't you think?

I am glad you think swearing to obey a man in a "church" that says no one can be saved outside of it is a little thing. It's the same little thing all cults have in common. We are the only way to God. Without us you cannot come to God. I think the Mormons and the Moonies and the Jehovahs Witnesses, and maybe Jim Jones and the catholics have a lot in common along that line.

August 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm PST
#51  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Here you go... I too swear allegiance to Christ, His Church, and to people on earth, such as Moses, Abraham, St. Peter, all the Apostles (except Judas), and Blessed Mary....yeah buddy, what a terrible thing huh Perry! Darn humans playing a part in God's plan for our salvation. What are we to do? Can you say anything else as ignorant? Guess you baptized your self huh? Are you married? Guess you did that by yourself too. Oh my, I bet you swear alligiance to the Bible! You better swear alligiance to the authors and to those who determined it was Scripture and passed it down to you, otherwise you have NOTHING about Christ! Oaths are not so bad after all, are they?

August 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm PST
#52  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher
I haven't sworn allegiance to anyone. You might say i have to Christ since I accepted Him as my Saviour and Lord. I am wondering at your logic though. Why do you think I don't believe humans played a part in helping others know Christ? That's what I am trying to do now. You are making stuff up, man. Marry myself?
I don't swear allegiance to the Bible. I read it, and attempt to live it, and try to use it to form my beliefs. And nowhere in the BIble are we told to swear allegiance to some almighty leader of a "church" or to saints or anyone else.
Regarding oaths, the Bible says not to swear by anything. Not anything on earth or in heaven but to let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Hope that helps you.

August 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm PST
#53  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, we Catholics also accept Christ as our Savior, it isn't a new concept, we have been doing it for over 2000 years, since Christ founded our Church. You have to have an alligience to the Bible to believe it is true, how else do you know Christ? When we promise our self to be obedient to the Church it is an oath to Christ, Christ is the head of our Church, a concept that is foriegn to you. Christ said the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, if you can not remain obedient to the truth, you do not remain obedient to Christ. You are also using what one person said only to bolster your position. And yes, what you replied does help, it further shows me how petty and silly of an argument it is, it shows desperation to disprove our Catholic faith.Go ahead, what's next! The papacy, Blessed Mary, the Bible, the Eucharist, confession, idols, etc...

August 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm PST
#54  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher

1. Define "church"
2. Read John 14 : 6 and reevaluate your statement "Christ said the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth..."
3. When did you accept Christ as your Savior?

Take care,

Perry

August 31, 2014 at 9:59 pm PST
#55  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Upon Christ command -Trinatarian baptism and always staying in the Body of Christ beyond our Christmation

...(1 Peter 2:21) Hi Perry, can you elaborate how to follow Christ? How can we validate faithfulness?

Good day.

September 1, 2014 at 1:26 am PST
#56  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry,

The Church is ONE (Rom. 12:5, Cor. 10:17)

The Church is HOLY (Eph. 5:25-27, Rev. 19:7-8)

The Church is CATHOLIC (Matt. 28:19-20, Rev. 5:9-10)

The Church is APOSTOLIC (Eph. 2:19-20)

I say amen and alleluia to John 14:6. Jesus is the way, the life and the truth!!! That's exactly why He gave us a Church, so that we may know the truth about Him, thus the reason for 1 Timothy 3:15, so we would know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth!!! Scripture and Church go together, for they BOTH are Divine.

When did I accept Christ as my Savior? Even as a child I accepted Christ as my Savior. I had very faithful and loving parents who taught me who Christ was. I also attended a Catholic school that taught me all about Christ. I never had a reason not to believe or not to accept Christ as my Savior. It is like this...when I hit my teens Christ didn't leave me, I left Him, never completely but close enough. I let go of Christ's hand and held the secular worlds hand. If you only knew what brought me back and why!!! Let's put it this way, I am firmly planted in my faith and the Lord has my full attention now. Accepting Christ as my Savior wasn't a one time moment, it has been a life long bond filled with many miracles and conversions. Although there has been many "wow" moments with Christ, my relationship is not just based on those, it is also like my relationship with my parents, I didn't just wake up one day and have an emotional moment and say "oh my gosh, I have parents!" No sir Perry, I always knew them and always accepted them with all of my love and all of my heart, even when I rebelled!

September 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm PST
#57  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Ged

Well thats a new one on me. I had to research "Christmation". Since it isn't mentioned in the Bible I was at a loss there. But I see what it is now--a made up ceremony with no Scriptural basis. So after you have your original sin removed with water baptism (this is nowhere mentioned in the Bible by the way), you get another sign where the Holy Spirit is imparted (also not a Biblically taught doctrine).

I will be glad to discuss I Peter with you, but first, tell me where in the Bible you have ever read of someone receiving "Christmation"? Maybe you would also be willing to tell me when everyone who was ever recorded as having received baptism was baptised. Was it before or after faith? Was it as an infant or an adult?

You have a choice. elieve what you read in the Bible or believe what a man made system of theology teaches you.

Thanks

September 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm PST
#58  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher

That's fantastic that you accepted Christ at an early age!! Me too and like you I did a bit of wandering.

Perhaps I wasn't clear though. My question is better phrased as "who is the church". I agree the church is one, holy, catholic (as in universal, not Roman) but if I say the word "church" what am I referring to?

Thanks

September 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm PST
#59  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, I have no idea what you would be referring to as "church." My guess is you would believe the church to be invisible or having gone apostate. For me it is a Divine institution founded by Christ to teach and profess what Christ handed down to the Apostles, via oral tradition (Apostolic Tradition) then written tradition (Sacred Scripture).

September 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm PST
#60  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Hi Perry,

"Bible alone" ideology is also new-trend this days. I had to debunk it, since it is not mention in the bible. I see it as made-up belief with no scriptural basis. So is faith alone and also work alone. Then you believe that you have your past, present, and future sins removed, by recitation of Sinner's prayer? (this is nowhere mentioned in the Bible by the way, but has its roots in Protestantism).

I will also be glad to discuss my friend, but you first tell me regarding not only 1 Peter 2:21, but also the validation of faithfulness. Maybe you would also tell me if (in your opinion about) religion is necessary? Presently, are those who committed sins (sins past, present and future were forgiven in the past:born-again point) after there born-again (based on denominational ideas) point, "really" born again? (Yes/No) Then do "born-again" really got saved? Is the bible your "sole" rule of Faith.

You have "a" choice. believe in the Catholic Church, where it is the "One and only" Church that can trace its root back to Christ, Peter, Paul, other apostles, and his successors, OR that the bible landed in your hand and create "a" church (denomination is more proper)??? which is it?

September 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm PST
#61  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher

I think that is one of the primary differences between RCs and protestants. To you the church is a huge monolithic and hierarchical institution separated into clergy and laity. I find it most revealing that you place Apostolic Tradition in front of Sacred Scripture. Tha would be another huge difference between RCs and protestants.
You know the Holy Scriptures contain the Apostolic Tradition don't you? The canon of Scripture has been closed and we are not to add or subtract from it.
The word "church" in the BIble is ecclesia which means a called out assembly. If you read where this term is used it is interesting that it is always used to address a local church and its elders, but never to a single entity ruling over all headquartered in Rome. There was a church in Rome, in Corinth, in Jerusalem etc.
The church is made up of saints. True believers are saints, therefore the church is those who believe in Christ. What we refer to as church is a misuse of the word.
And that is why I ask, because RCs do not even understand the biblical concept of church. The church meets in a building but christians do not technically "go to church."
Your authority is what you call the church. My authority is what God says in His Word. Hence we will never arrive at any agreement when we cannot agree on the terms.
I will never use any authority other than the Bible as I live my life. You will always go by what your priest or your pope or catholic tradition. If you look at the time when Jesus was on earth you will see that this same battle was fought between the Jewish religion and its Tradition against Christ and the New Covenant.
It is interesting to me that the inspired Word of God which claims inerrancy for itself is not good enough for catholics. No, you have decided to give more importance to the opinions of men because they claim to have authority over you.

Thanks
Perry

September 4, 2014 at 8:11 am PST
#62  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dear Ged

So prior to Jesus' time, Bible alone would be called the Old Testament. The idea has been around for awhile. The Bible says in II Tim 3:16 that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of Godb may be complete, equipped for every good work." Notice there is nothing about tradition or church teaching. The Bible says the Bible is enough. So how you see it really is not the issue.

Regarding faith, Ephes 2:8-9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Here we see that faith and grace are the operative principles and not works. And not church, and not tradition. This is what the book that landed in my hand which claims to be the Word of God says.

Regarding the so called Sinner's Prayer the Bible says in Rom 10:9, "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” This is where the Bible says if you confess and believe you will be saved.

I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. " Notice it says "all". Christians must continually confess our sins but we have been positionally made righteous once we are saved. Notice it does NOT require "christmation" but repentance and belief.

A christian has been made righteous in God's eyes through the once for all sacrifice of Christ but we break our fellowship with God when we sin. So we must confess when we sin. Yet we are still saved. The Bible does not teach that a person becomes unsaved when they sin.

We all have a choice but it is not between the Roman Catholic church which does not trace its roots to Christ. Christ founded His church, not the Roman Catholic church. Christ appointed no pope. You can argue that all you want but it is not in the Bible.
Our choice, is between living life rejecting Christ or accepting Christ. Religion is not required. Faith in Christ is required. When the Day of Judgement comes God will not ask if you were a good Catholic or Protestant. He will ask did you accept my Son? The answer to that question determines if you will be in heaven or hell for eternity. Surely that is more important than whether I am a catholic or a protestant?

You have put yourself in the position of defending the Roman Catholic (or is it Eastern Rite or Orthodox, or some other splinter of catholicism?) versus the revealed Word of God. I will cast my future on the infallible Word of God over a bunch of men in a "church".

Thanks

September 4, 2014 at 8:40 am PST
#63  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, I know you LP's like to view the "church" as having no authority and no difference between clergy and laity. In order to do so you have to ignore Scripture and early church history. I do not place Apostolic Tradition in front of Scripture, they are equal and both Divine. I said there were Apostles before any NT was written, both are equal.

Yes I know Scripture contains Apostolic Tradition...and succession. My question to you is who closed the canon of Scripture? Laity? Naw, not at all.

Yes there were churches all over, but they were one. Were the Apostles divided? Naw, not at all.

Yes the church is made up of believers. Believers of what? That would be what the Apostles delivered, Apostolic Tradition.

Tell Justin Martyr Christians didn't go to "church." Tell Ignatius Christians didn't go to "church."

God's authority was the "church."

You are right, we will never come to an agreement when you ignore Scripture and history. I do not want to agree with you, but rather Jesus Christ, the founder of my Church and my Savior.

September 4, 2014 at 7:52 pm PST
#64  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

PS...The Word of God is good enough for us Catholics, but that wasn't all Christ had to offer, He offered us a Church, a place to worship Him and receive His precious Body and Blood.

September 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm PST
#65  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Chrisopher
Well I said you place Tradition above Scripture because that's the way you phrased it. How can oral tradition be equal to Scripture? If God's Word is inspired and tradition contradicts it then who decides?

You know if you read I & II Peter you would think that the supposed first pope would mention some of the things that are so important in catholicism, like succession or Peter's primacy. Yet he does not. He seems to place himself as an equal to the other elders in the different churches. But catholic tradition contradicts that.

Who presided over the council in Jerusalem? The first "pope" or the Lord's brother (oops I meant second cousin once removed cuz brother doesn't really mean brother)? It was James, not Peter. Kind of strange isn't it that the man Jesus just appointed pope isn't even in charge.

Early church history is a foggy mist into which RC has worked a very hard to fabricate (and impossible to prove) list of popes. Sorry but the history isn't there.

If you read the Bible you see that the churches were independently ruled by bishop/elders and deacons. That's it. There is no centralized authority figure in the Bible (except for Christ). But RC tradition contradicts this.

Were the apostles divided? Hmmmm, Gal 2:11 Peter gets rebuked by Paul. Now, I know the RCC explains this away, but it is what it is. Certainly they were united around the Truth though.

If you are going to accuse me of ignoring Scripture then you will need to be specific. It is you who are in that position because you devalue Scripture. Not you, but the RCC. All I am going on is Scripture. I have no denomination to defend. I have no holy mother church to defend. I am seeking to know what I should do based on what I read in the Bible.

People can disagree on what a passage means but we have to at least give an honest reading (and compare with the rest of Scripture) to see what the entire completed Word of God reveals.

Seriously Christopher, I am not trying to win you to my views. I am asking why you believe some things which are not clearly revealed and supported throughout the BIble. Jesus never founded any church other than His own. He did not ever set up a system of priests,nuns,monks,popes etc. He tore that system down. You should read the BIble and see if you can find any of what the RCC teaches.

Tim Staples likes to attack me because I repeatedly ask him to give me a verse showing we are to pray to Mary for instance. He thinks that one does not need a verse in order to do that. OR he thinks that a verse that says we are to pray for one another does the job. Seriously, be honest with yourself and read the Bible and see if you come away with the honest impression that you should be praying to a dead person. But RC tradition contradicts the Bible here too.

My question is this. Are you going to believe the Bible or the continually changing tradition? What is more important to you? The Roman Catholic Church or the Truth. And please don't tell me tradition doesn't change because these doctrines of papal infallibility, Mary's sinlessness, etc are relatively recent inventions.

You have to realize that there are two camps. One says the Bible is all we need. The other says the Bible plus our special revelation is what we need. In that camp reside the Catholic Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and a host of others. What is it that is not in the Bible that a person needs to be a christian and to follow Jesus? How is the Bible insufficient ?

Have a great day,

Perry

September 5, 2014 at 4:51 am PST
#66  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, I never placed Tradition above Scripture. You are biased so you automatically assumed I did. This often happens with those who oppose the Catholic faith, when a word that sounds Catholic comes up it triggers a negative response.

Your partiality shows, you keep attaching the word Roman on to Catholic Church, your bias will not let you get past your error. You continue to be condescending by attaching an incorrect stigma to our Church. I understand why people like you do it, it is because it makes the pope look like he rules with an iron fist, a sole authoritarian instead of part of a Magisterium who is a servant of God, the spiritual leader he is.

Perhaps you should read my post again, because no where did I use the word above. I did however place Apostolic Tradition before NT Scripture, and that is because the Apostles came before a single word of NT Scripture was written. That isn’t my order of doing things, that was the Divine order, God chose it to be that way. I would never put one above the other because they both are Divine works of God, not to be separated, but to fit together as one.

September 7, 2014 at 8:51 am PST
#67  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher,
From Catholic Answers "Within the Catholic Church there are a number of individual churches, sometimes called rites. One of these is the Roman rite or Roman church. It includes most of the Catholics in the Western world. A Roman Catholic is a Catholic who is a member of the Roman rite."

You live in the western world, apparently you are Roman Catholic. Does it make a difference? If you were Eastern Orthodox I suppose it would, but you are a Roman Catholic.

Whether you place tradition above Scripture is not the issue. Your church does. Biased? After much research I have learned that the Catholic Church places Tradition above the Scriptures.
The pope always ruled with an iron fist. His power has been curtailed by recent history (Henry the VIII, Reformation) but I have no doubt if the CC could have its way it would rule that way again.

Not to quibble, but the vast majority of Scripture was written before the Apostles came on the scene. We call it the Old Testament.

You haven't answered any of the questions I posed. But regarding bias, let me ask you. If you found out that the Catholic church was wrong would you leave it? I know you don't think it is wrong, I am asking you if you would leave it if you found out is was wrong or are you more devoted to the institution of catholicism than the truth?

Perry

September 8, 2014 at 8:34 am PST
#68  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Yes it makes a difference because when discussing faith and morals we are ONE Catholic Church. If we were talking about disciplines such as music, vestments, and customs then such would apply to different rites. Yes I belong to the Roman rite, but we are discussing topics not just central to the Roman rite, but for the Catholic Church as a whole.

It is an issue if you tell me I placed Tradition above Scripture when I did not do so. We as Catholics place both Apostlolic Tradition and Scripture together and as equal because both are Divine. If you seperate the two you are acting against the will of almighty God.

September 16, 2014 at 4:30 am PST
#69  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Christopher
Problem is there is no such thing as ONE catholic church. Take Eastern Orthodox for instance. How about all the folks who insist that mass be only said in Latin? How come all those good catholic abortion supporting politicians still receiving communion? How about all those cafeteria catholics?

Regarding tradition, apostolic tradition is what was handed down to us by the apostles. This is what is written in the Bible. We have the Apostolic Tradition written for us.
Your church however, wishes to say that this is a continuing process and that tradition is still being given and is elevated above Scripture. This is how the relatively recent (mid 1800's) doctrine of Mary gets to be approved doctrine. The problem is and always will be, that your church believes things that are not clearly revealed or taught in the Bible.

It is a neat system though. Once you believe that a man in a funny hat can give you commands that you must believe (even when not taught by the Apostles in the Bible) then you too can make up a religion. Your made up religion can teach you to confess your sins to another man who will absolve you, to pray to dead people, that you become "saved" when water is poured on your head as an infant, to worship Mary, to have papal infallibility, etc etc etc.

II Timothy 3:16. All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God MAY BE COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I don't see any Tradition in that verse do you? I think you should seriously consider why you follow a religion that has so much man made baggage that cannot be plainly seen in Scripture. If you place yourself on a deserted island and have only a Bible with you, will you set up a religion that looks like the Catholic one? No, for that you need years of twisting verses, adding man made tradition, and setting up a vast hierarchy filled with rules which the "faithful" must obey at their peril.

September 18, 2014 at 8:35 am PST
#70  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, language and customs have not a thing to do with belief. As Catholics we share ONE belief. God knows all languages, so if we use Latin, Greek, Spanish, English, etc.. it doesn't matter. Perhaps you forgot what the word Catholic actually means and why it was applied to the Church established by Jesus Christ as early as 70AD.

As far as individuals go, the Catholic Church is one, but not every individual is one. There will always be individuals such as Pelosi and Biden who do not follow Church teachings and feel their individualism reigns supreme. Imagine that, people who are not humble and want the Church to revolve around them!

You say.."Regarding tradition, apostolic tradition is what was handed down to us by the apostles. This is what is written in the Bible. We have the Apostolic Tradition written for us."

Where in the Bible do you see Jesus command a Bible? Where do you see a table of contents? Where does it say all Apostolic tradition is only what is written to us? Where does it say there shall be no successors to the Apostles? Where does Scripture say the Church will cease to exist with the last Apostle?

You use this as your proof..."II Timothy 3:16. All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God MAY BE COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

I have to ask...what Scripture? There was no list of NT Scripture and other writings that were to be held as canonical by the Church did not even exist yet. But of course if your intentions are to be biased against the Catholic Church that would be something that is overlooked. And by the way, since 2 Timothy 3:16 is about OT Scripture, what was the Scripture they were using? Could it have been the Septuagint? You know, the Scripture used by Jesus and the Apostles that had seven books you are probably missing.

September 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm PST
#71  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Chris

Just this week I spoke with a missionary friend of mine who told me the Catholic Church in a certain S American country has a Mayan altar in front so that the natives can keep all their bases covered. You know in case the catholic god doesn't work they can still sacrifice to the Mayan ones. "One Church" huh?
Wherever catholicism went we find that kind of accomodation to local religious practices.
Regarding Pelosi etc where is their priest, bishop, pope? Do they not ban them from communion or excommunicate them? No, they accomodate them. I believe Timothy Dolan gets accused quite forcefully by Miss Barnhardt. Where is the accountability?

Jesus quoted often from OT Scripture. We have reliable records of those books. Therefore we can deduce what the Bible was at that time without Jesus writing them down for us. Don't be ridiculous.

An Apostle was one who had seen Jesus. There were 12 minus Judas plus Paul. All had seen Jesus. They are the only ones mentioned as being Apostles. There is much available online regarding the canon of Scripture and how we got it.

It is up to you to prove that there are more apostles and that there is continuing revelation. You might get a clue from Rev 22:18. Some say it only applies to Revelation but the principle is there.

My question to you is since we have the Bible why do you feel you need more? Why do you believe things that are in your churches tradition but not in the Bible? Do my seven missing books have anything to say about faith that is not already sufficiently revealed in God's Word? Again, catholics have a lot in common with Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses. You all have your additional texts and sources of revelation which conflict with Holy Scripture and that's where you seem to place all your confidence.

Perry

October 3, 2014 at 10:27 am PST
#72  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, your thoughts on the Mayan altar stuff, simply laughable. I have no doubt the truth is far from what your imagination leads you to believe. How about the name of the Catholic Church, or did that casualy slip your friends mind?

Regarding Pelosi etc. being banned from communion or excommunicated, gee I wonder where there is a church (Catholic or Protestant) without sinners? I certainly do not agree with the stance of people like Pelosi or Biden, but I also do not know if they have gone to confession either, and neither does the priest. The Catholic Church's teachings are VERY clear on matters such as abortion and homosexuality, what individuals do, and whether or not they have repented, well, that is between them and God.

You still did not answer my question...where in Scripture did Jesus give a command to produce a Bible? And this question pertains to New Testament Scripture, the 27 books that make up the final NT cannon. Of course I knew OT Scripture existed, that isn't what I was asking.

And of course you also can not point to where the Bible takes the place of the Church....because such Scripture does not exist and any early Christian would have thought you were a lunatic to have a Bible take the place of the Church. The truth that you ignore is that there wouldn't be a Bible without the Church, the Church with Apostolic authority, THE CHURCH founded by Christ. I tell you what Perry, if you can produce me an authoritative list of NT Scripture without the Church I would seriously consider your Bible alone notion. Since you thought my question was ridiculous, go ahead, tell me how the NT deduced itself!!!

Are you attempting to say there was no such thing as Apostolic succesion? Are you saying the Apostles did not ordain men with positions such as bishops, priests, and deacons? I'm just having a really hard time finding where the Bible takes the place of the Church, could you find that verse for me?

You asked me a fair question...since I have the Bible why do I feel like I need more. First of all I would have to say, because there is more!!! There isn't room on this blog to sufficiently answer such a question but I will give you the cliffs notes version. The biggest reason - obedience to Christ! If Christ founded a Church, and He did, then He intended for me to belong to this Church. And if Christ, the sole founder of the Church has not come back and personally ended this Church then I am oblidged to remain in Her. If you can give me a date of when Christ said there is no more Church I would be gone, out the door. All you can do is give your petty reasons as to why you don't like the Catholic Church. Not good enough...I need concrete Divine revelation!

October 4, 2014 at 5:42 am PST
#73  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Chris

I sought clarification from the person who made that statement and he said he did not make the statement. So I retract it, with apologies. It does not change the fact that the catholic church accomdates the local ccultures it seeks to convert.

WHy does there need to be a statment that we need a Bible. It is in existence. Your argument is irrelevant. Where did Jesus say we did or did not need a car, or a house, or an education? We have the Bible which is acknowledged by most christians to be complete.

Your difficulty comes from the fact that you do not know what the church is. You think that it is something called Roman or Catholic. Why don't you show me where this vast bureaucratic hierachy is erected in the Bible you say we don't need. The church is not a building or a system. It is the body of Christ. It is made up of those who trust Him. Therefore, I am the church (a little part of it) and all christians are the church for whom Christ will return to receive.

I Peter 2:5 Please notice that Peter (the man you call First Pope) says that we are the church and the we are priests. He does not say only certain special people are priests.

The Bible is God's Word. It doesn't take the place of the church. In a way Jesus is the Bible as He is the Word. The Word is eternal. So you are incorrect when you say there would be no Bible without the Church . " In the beginning was the Word..." Jn 1:1. So, it is not some "notion". The Bible wasn't deduced. It was eternally existant. It was God breathed to men who inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote it down. It is complete and sufficient for everything we need to know regarding faith.

I am not attempting to say there is no apostolic succession. I AM saying it. There were two "offices" in the early church. Bishops (Pator/teachers) and deacons. End of story. There are no priests, nuns, monks, popes. None.

Look at the entire Bible. In part of it you find a religious system with priests and sacrifices. In another part you find, the temple veil rent, the temple destoyed, the priests removed and Christ offering ONE sacrifice for the redemption of many, with every believer now a priest able to approach God directly. Jesus came to destroy the system of priests but you insist on recreating it. That is the pagan part of catholicism. Christ made a final sacrifice "It is finished" but you want to sacrifice Him over and over. Christ removed the barrier between God and man but Rome puts it right back up. Not only that but Rome creates plenty which is not even in the BIble and says "you need the church to tell you what to believe"

Christ did NOT found a church. He built a church out of ransomed sinners. He intends for you to trust Him not join a church. The date for the end of the church is future. WHen the church is complete Christ will return and take his bride to heaven. At that time the church will cease. You are obliged to repent of your sins, trust Christ for salvation, but you are nowhere told you must join a "church."
But I am pleased to hear you will consider leaving an institution which violates the Scripture in so many ways. You will be much better off when you rely on Christ and not a system devised by man.

I would suggest praying about it and reading the Bible for yourself without any comments from anyone else. I will pray that GOd will reveal the truth to you if you embark on this venture.

And sorry about that Mayan thing. I completely misheard my friend.

Perry

October 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm PST
#74  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, thank you for retracting the false accusation you made. It is unfortunate that such accusations spread like wild fire against the Catholic Church, and once a lie like that gets rolling it becomes truth in the eyes of many who already hold a grudge. And yes, the Catholic Church does respect the culture of others as it should, why do you think that is a negative against our faith? God made all kinds of folks, not just plain English white folks. Our worship (Mass) reflects our beautiful name (Catholic) and despite the many nations and wide variety of cultures, we could attend Mass anywhere in the world and fully understand what we are doing even if we do not know the laungage. It is about WHO we worship and there are no laungage or culture barriars. Imagine that....over 400,000 priests in the world, every nation, every laungage, every race, many cultures, and yet in perfect unity as servents of Christ, not just every Sunday...EVERY DAY! EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY!! 365 DAYS A YEAR!!! (Im not yelling, there is no underline option) Now add in over 1,000,000,000 of us lay folks hearing the same Scriptures, offering the same prayers, and receiving ONE Holy Eucharist!!! Yes indeed, our worship closer reflects these words of Christ spoken in the holy Godpel of St. John more than anything in the world....

JOHN 17:21-23 "...so that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me."

This isn't a modern Invented concept, the Apostles preached unity, the early Church Fathers preached it, such as Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD) when he spoke these words....

"Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: For there is ONE flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ONE cup in the union of His blood, ONE altar, as there is ONE bishop with the presbytery..."

You are right that the Church isn't a building, but you a thousand percent wrong if you think the church is each individual acting in his own accord with no unity in belief or worship. That's not how God brought His chosen people along in the Old Testament, that's not what Jesus taught, commanded, or prayed for, its not what the Apostles preached and died for, nor is it what those they appointed preached. Your concept of some "invisible church" without structure is a heresy and an invention of men in modern times. Yeppers, when diss the authority put in place by the Son of God, replace the Church founded by Christ with the Bible...then you are free to make the church anything YOU want it to be. Look around Perry, tens of thousands of denominations testify to this truth. What ever you want, its out there, take your pick. Individualism isn't a cure...it is a disease! And I ought to know since I was afflicted with it at one time too.

October 12, 2014 at 6:16 am PST
#75  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Another error, was "In a way Jesus is the Bible as He is the Word. The Word is eternal...."

Your are so grossly wrong to make this interpretation Perry..
Jesus "is no way" the Bible. Jesus is God!! The bible is the written word (letter) of God. And "Word" (Logos) of God (which you incorrectly connect it) is Jesus.

This is (heresy)one of the reason why, Jesus had built his one Church, professing One faith; the pillar and foundation of Truth!!
Again Jesus is God and not the Bible, and Bible is not Jesus (God)!

October 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm PST
#76  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

In Roman Catholicism, “the Word of God” encompasses not only the Bible, but also the Apocrypha, the Magisterium (the Church’s authority to teach and interpret divine truth), the Pope’s ex cathedra pronouncements, and an indefinite body of church tradition, some formalized in canon law and some not yet committed to writing. Whereas evangelical Protestants believe the Bible is the ultimate test of all truth, Roman Catholics believe the Church determines what is true and what is not. In effect, this makes the Church a higher authority than Scripture. -- John MacArthur.

John 1:1 Read the verse and tell me why Jesus is referred to as the Word? I am not interpreting Ged, I am reading what it says. God and His Word are intertwined. The Bible is the written version of the Word. I am not saying Jesus is the Bible. I am saying that Gods eternal Word exists within Himself.

My question to you is why do you not accept the Logos as complete and insist that your "church" is equal to the Word? If you are going to add your tradition and papal pronouncements to the list then you are equating a man's word with sacred Scripture.

October 15, 2014 at 7:15 am PST
#77  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Chris
Let's look at this often heard accusation made by catholics, that there are thousands of denominations believing whatever they want.
First, all these denominations believe the essentials. Sure they disagree (as apparently do catholics) on some issues and doctrines. But it is foolish to think that evangelical protestants don't believe in the virgin birth, deity of Christ etc etc. So your charge is meaningless.

To be one in faith does not require the same practices. There is diversity in the faith for different styles of worship etc. True faith is a simple thing. We were given a simple ceremony to observe but the catholic church has turned it into a complicated, formerly unintelligible (Latin mass), formula that is not supported in the Bible. How many rules and regulations are there in the catholic church (over 1700 I believe). Where did Jesus set up this system again?

Please provide references in Scripture that Christ started a church with a man as the all powerful head. Please provide any examples of a priest or a nun or a monk in the New Testament. Please provide a reference to the existence of any hierarchy being established or of the requirement of penance or the worship of Mary.

If you were lost on a desert island could you worship God? Could you get forgiveness for sins? I Peter 2:4 says we are made priests, living stones making up God's house. There is no mention of what has become the catholic church in Scripture. The early church did not function the way the catholic church does. Show me in Scripture where I am not allowed to approach God but through a priest.

Now you serve a man who you submit to and he is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Matter of fact I just heard in an online debate a catholic apologist admit that the pope doesn't even have to be a believer!! Wow how cool. In the past some catholic popes have been homosexual, have had concubines, one was even a woman, there were even more than one at a time, and you say that that is God's design. That a system where a man has a prostitute but is the leader of the church, and yet he can speak infallibly for God is the system God set up for us. Please.

You are afraid to be responsible to God alone using just His Word as your guide. You want the church to tell you what to believe. Do you let a political party tell you how to vote? Do you let someone tell you what job you will have? But when it comes to faith you can't trust God and take Him at His Word. All your faith is in the catholic "church".

The true church is invisible. It is made up of individual believers who don't have a requirement that they all belong to the same denomination. Please give me a reference that shows I must belong to a man made system which can have all the perverts it wants in office but still be true?

You know what all those protestant denominations do when they discover the rare pervert in the pulpit? They kick them out. They don't cover for them like the catholic church did.

Yet the catholic church has always been plagued with homosexuals/pedophiles throughout history. Why? Could it just be that the system is incorrect? Please show where a "priest" is supposed to be celibate? That is a catholic tradition not supported in Scripture.

The burden is on you to prove from Scripture what you believe.

Thanks

Perry

October 15, 2014 at 7:58 am PST
#78  Ged Narvaez - Daraga, Albay

Perry, if you're going to assert again (heretical stance) that the bible is Jesus, confusingly assume because he is truly "The Word of God". Then I beg to disagree that Jesus, our God, comprises the bible, tradition and magisterium.!! It's not what you think we may think of!

No, you have gone wrong "about who is God"- due to the Sola Scriptura invention. It was from your last post (It's a record straight from you). Having said that..why did you miss-out the most important (GOD)???

When the Pope (Vicar of Christ) and the bishops held ecumenical council, they bind doctrines not in there capacity(Luke 22:32). Christ promised the protection of Holy spirit will guide them into All Truth (John 16:13) and Christ instructed the Church to preach everything he taught (Matt. 28:19–20)(John 21:15–17).
That mandate and promise guarantee the Church will never fall away from the truth (Matt. 16:18, 1 Tim. 3:15).

So, it is not correct for you to insist that we insist that the Church is "above" the "Word".

Also, we remind you " In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words CCC109"

I can say, if you make interpretations, there must be unity, And this is because there is only One Truth, One Faith, One Church, One Baptism, One mind and One Spirit!

You have to reconsider, that you don't know God??? Is he a Trinity for you?? or "in a way the bible??"

October 16, 2014 at 1:32 am PST

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