It’s never an easy thing admitting one has believed a lie. The anger comes not so much from the lie, but that one has been gullible enough to buy into it. I suppose it is anger directed more toward oneself. But being lied to creates a vigilance that determines that I will not be fooled a second time. Many times the people passing on the lie do not know or mean to do so, they are just too lazy to check out the truth of it. So, I suppose some of it is anger at one’s self for lazy research.
The first lie I discovered concerned infant baptism. ’Infant baptism’, I was told, ‘was a creation that was absent in the early centuries of the Church.’ In fact, the Church had been baptizing infants from the beginning. A simple reading of Early Church history reveals this. Nobody questioned it until the sixteenth century.
The second lie that angered me was discovering many of the ‘heroic’ tales of Protestants of the past were ‘embellished‘, if not outright fabricated. I used to treasure “Foxes Martyrs of the World”. Many Christians would never dare question its authenticity any more than they would question the Bible itself. Discovering that John Foxe was safely abroad, writing his propaganda in Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Basle, during Mary Tudor’s reign was an eye-opener for me. He falsified and twisted the course of events. It disturbed me to learn that the Great Awakening was invented, not by historians but by eighteenth-century evangelicals who were skillful and enthusiastic religious promoters. The Great Awakening was a planned, not a spontaneous event. The embellishment of events by ‘trusted’ historians was devastating.
The third lie that angered me was the accusation that Catholics believe they can attain our own salvation without Christ, through works. I have never met a Catholic in their right mind who believes they are ‘working their way to Heaven.’ The Catholic Church teaches that one must have Faith to be saved. Without that, no one is saved. Grace alone (not faith alone) lets us recognize Christ and we are made capable through grace to respond to Him, that is, meet Him through faith, and then to cooperate with Him: bring forth fruit and glorify Him. Faith without works is dead, being alone.Works without faith are of no value. Faith without works is dead. Faith, joined with works, demonstrates that Grace is present. Faith precedes works, but faith without works is not the kind that saves. So, faith saves, but faith without works is not faith at all. It’s a neglected gift that gets us nowhere.
There are many other falsehoods too numerous to mention. But for me, these three angered me the most.
Feel free to add your own.