Being a Christian in general


OK, can I accuse you of being psychic and plagiarizing my life story at the same time? :wink:


May I ask one more question of all the folks who responded to my thread before? If a person who is Catholic but experimented with Protestantism for awhile, returns to Mass and confesses, then takes the Eucharist, if that person is not 100% convinced of all the little rocks i spoke of in my first post, but agrees with all the so-called “big rocks”, is that person now doing it God’s way by trusting that the Catholic church has it right and that individual does not know the whole story? I.e. Trusting the Catholic Church to be correct in matters of theology, and realizing that I am only 60 years old and the Church is 2000 years old. In other words, to accept that the Church knows what she is doing, while I myself sort it out point by point. Is it fine to then attend Mass and confess and receive the Eucharist, having never renounced my Catholic faith to begin with?


Yes, if a person has the attitude that they don’t understand all the “little rocks” but that they trust that the Catholic Church is guided by God and does not teach error, and are open to understanding the teaching of the Church on all the “little rocks”, then that person is doing all that the Church asks of him.


Thank you. I finally got it right!!! Will be at Mass this Sunday but confession before. Thanks to all of you…my Protestant Experiment is over with.


First of all, as others have pointed out, ANYONE can come to Mass. The doors are open, everyone is welcome - Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, witches, Elvis’s, and green little men. Just by attending a Mass does not make you a Catholic, you are a warmly welcomed visitor. It is only the Eucharist at Mass that is reserved for Catholics in a state of grace.

By confession you may receive the Eucharist. And as with your quote above, confess a need for wisdom and understanding of the “little rocks”.

You may even desire to set an appointment with your pastor for your confession, as you may have many questions on these little rocks that unfortunately would not fit into a ‘normal’ confession time-frame. I am sure your Confessor would great appreciate it, as would others behind you in line :wink:

Welcome Back!


I will do just that.


There are a few reasons why the Pastor was wrong in partaking of the Eucharist: First of all, when one receives the Eucharist the Minister of Communion says “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ”, and the recepient says “Amen”. That "Amen is a statement of belief–that you believe that you are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ as the Catholic Church believes. When someone says “Amen” to that knowing that he does not believe as the Church believes, he is not telling the truth. One should never assent to something they do not believe.

Secondly, Protestants and Catholics are not in communion with each other. We may be in agreement on the basic doctrines of Christianity, but we are not in agreement on many of the others, the Eucharist, the rest of the Sacraments, the authority of the Pope, etc. Communion means just that: our Communion with Christ and our communion with all other Catholics in the Church. We are not just a “Me and Jesus” religion. We are a community of believers, united in our Faith.

And a third reason is this: the Pastor most likely knew that Catholics do not share Communion with Protestants and ask them not to receive Communion at Mass. And yet he did it anyway. That is just plain disrespectful and is not in the “Spirit of Christianity.” Christians do not behave like this. One does not go to someone’s house as a guest and act against house rules. One respects the wishes of the host.

I think the Elder had a better grip on things than the Pastor.


It appears so. Strictly speaking, in accordance with custom, it was not customary for Jesus to have entered into drinking and eating with sinners. Everyone is a sinner, but these people he ate with were, it appears in Scripture, especially sinful. But in the spirit of God, He entered the houses anyway, and spent time with them. Anyone from 2000 years ago, any impartial onlooker, would have shaken his or her head in utter disgust. Wouldn’t they have? So the rules of what to do, and where to do it, were sort of put aside in favor of doing something in the spirit of Christianity. It was disrespectful of the sinners in Jesus’ time to have sat there with Him knowing who He was, and yet he did not ask that they leave. A hundred other examples could be cited. In strict observance of the rules and regulations set forth, Jesus should not have even been talking with the woman at the well. But he did. He did not observe the customs and traditions and rules of His age. The spirit of Christianity overrode all that, at the time. Many people came to be healed by Jesus. His own disciples tired of it and turned people away. But Jesus told them to come anyway and be healed. He showed by example. So many times, we see the rules and regulations, the ordinances, the forbidden activities, the violation of tradition and the disrespect. But sometimes the overriding sentiment and action is that of a Christian showing respect, taking the Eucharist as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, whether literal or symbolic, instead of remaining seated and thus rejecting our Lord. But I know it is not seen that way. Believe me, I understand. No need to explain. I do understand that what is done in the spirit of Christ may still be very very wrong.


Welcome back to the real Church of Pentecost and Acts. :slight_smile:


VociMike, have you ever heard of or do you know much about the OLD CATHOLIC church? And Orthodox Church in America? I had never heard of them til the other night and it is very interesting. I should start a new thread in another area of the forum, I think. Shouldn’t I? What would it come under?


The Old Catholic Church is a group that split off from the Catholic Church after Vatican Council I (1870). The Orthodox Church in America is an Eastern Orthodox Church. Neither of them are in union with the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), and where the Bishop of Rome is found, there is found the Church founded by Christ.


First of all, you ARE a Catholic. There are no steps for you to go through. If you did not complete your Sacraments of Initiation (receive Confirmation for example) then after you returned to the Church you could pursue that.

No, of course not. Why would you think that? All are welcome at Mass, including non-Catholics.

You must refrain from receiving the Eucharist until such time as you are reconciled to the Church and have gone to Confession.

You are encouraged to attend Mass and participate in all other respects.


In a word, yes.

If you don’t understand all the teachings, but give assent to them (i.e., abide by them and continue learning about them) you are doing what the Church asks.

We all learn and grow our entire lives. Continue to be open to the Holy Spirit, educate yourself on what the Church teaches and why, and know that God protects the Church from teaching error.

When we disagree with the Church it is not the Church that is wrong, it is our understanding. Therefore, if you continue to strive to understand her teachings and do not go against any of them you are fine.


Thank you for posting this!!!

And now my day is complete, Praise the Lord!!!

God Bless all of you! :slight_smile:


I agree that Peter’s response is very important "“To whom else will we go? You have the words of everlasting life?”

And agree with dcb188 and others that there can appear to be big rocks, and little rocks. The real presence would be for me a big rock, non-negotiable.

Another poster made a good point that when entering the Church one is representing that they adhere to all the Church’s teachings. To reject a teaching and enter would be false witness. At the same time, keeping someone out over pebbles might be seen as contributing to division among the Church, and may be difficult to square with Scriptures such as:

1 Peter 5:1-3 "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.


Mt 13:28-30 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

As a cradle Catholic, baptized as an infant, never leaving the Church, and not disagreeing with pebbles until recently, I have not been in the situation of entering and disagreeing.

May God bless you with wisdom and understanding,



I praise God for your return. Welcome back aboard the “Barque of Peter.”


First of all, Welcome Back! There were many excellent replies and suggestions posted to your questions.

I would like to add a couple of thoughts. A Catholic who does NOT agree will ALL Catholic dogma is really a Protestant or a heretic. Unfortunately there are a number of Catholics who attend Mass and receive Communion but do not believe in many of the “small rocks” and even some of the “big rocks” as you describe. This is very shameful! There are people who were baptised Catholic believe much of what the Church teaches but don’t attend Mass at all but still call themselves “Catholic”. This also is very shameful!! (They technically ARE Catholic but non-practicing.)

Your thought process and questioning shows why there are so many Protestant denominations today. They all have their own set of big and little “rocks” that they believe in or reject, with no two sets exactly alike. One of the beautiful things about the Catholic Church is the authority given to it by Jesus to firmly and clearly uphold and teach the faith and beliefs given to us by God.

Rich P.


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