Beleiver in the church catholic…


#1

On a few posts I have stated that I have my problems with the Catholic Church and that is why I am converting to Lutheran and not Catholic. In response to this I have been asked by a few individuals to start my own thread on the issue. I have for the most part ignored these requests because I felt such a thread was unnecessary – but for fear of being rude, I decided to submit to the requests.

When I say that I have problems with the Catholic Faith I mean just that – that they are my problems and not necessarily problems with the Catholic Church. If I were to join the Catholic Church those problems in my heart would be difficult to live with… I would be bound by Cannon Law and would and should hold it dear and follow it to the best of my ability. The problem with this is is that I would be making the same error as Cain when he brought forth his sacrifice – my feelings on the issues would be empty and my compliance to them would only be to gain the Church and God’s good favor.

I do have some things to voice though on some of the behavior that I have seen by Catholic followers.

I have heard on Catholic Answers Live, this bulletin board, and others resentment towards Vatican II and some of the current issues of the Catholic Church. If you are going to hold the original Greek Church Fathers in high regard and believe their wisdom to be true then you must also put your faith in the current church fathers that their wisdom is also good and true. That is the strength of the Catholic Church.

The Lutheran Church has its strength but it is also its weakness. We have many Synods and soon we will most likely see another schism.

I am not saying that you need to agree with everything that the Church proclaims but there is a correct and respectful way to disagree. The Vatican has called for a “New Evangelization” – think about how such words and statements affect individuals that are ready to reunite with Christ.

God Bless
Shibboleth


#2

[quote=Shibboleth] – my feelings on the issues would be empty and my compliance to them would only be to gain the Church and God’s good favor.
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Duh!

Shouldn’t you be concern for God and Church more than your own feeling?

Do you think if we want to have our way we would be joining the Catholic church? Why, I’d rather be a non-denominational who doesn’t need to go to Church every Sunday and have the convenient of OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved)

The thing is, Catholic Church is the one true Church.Proclaiming the fullness of Christ till kingdom come. So as Peter said on John 6:68:

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;


Qualities for a husband I have come up with.. :)
#3

One picks a Church by deciding if it is true or not true, not by emotions that come and go.


#4

[quote=Shibboleth]When I say that I have problems with the Catholic Faith I mean just that – that they are my problems and not necessarily problems with the Catholic Church.
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Shibboleth - thank you for sharing that. That kept me away from the Church for years, and I understand where you are coming from. I didn’t have problems with the Church, I was more afraid of the problems the Church would have with me :o . But finally I had to come to peace with that and realize that it was where God’s truth was and where I had to be, whether I agreed with His plan or not. I had, finally, a choice to answer God’s call and obey, or not. What I found is that once I obeyed, the answers came easier and the truth was plainer to see.

[quote=Shibboleth]I do have some things to voice though on some of the behavior that I have seen by Catholic followers.

I have heard on Catholic Answers Live, this bulletin board, and others resentment towards Vatican II and some of the current issues of the Catholic Church. If you are going to hold the original Greek Church Fathers in high regard and believe their wisdom to be true then you must also put your faith in the current church fathers that their wisdom is also good and true. That is the strength of the Catholic Church.
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Boy do I agree with you here!! I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to hear people who think that they are being good Catholics berate the Church because it has “changed” when the reality is that to be a good Catholic one must accept the authority of the Church at all times. Once it’s been declared (and I can never get the wording right) to be true, it is. Vatican II is infallible, it’s not wrong, not improper, not going against truth. It’s hard to see people take it as “going the wrong way” when that is in itself an anti-Catholic stance :stuck_out_tongue: . I am so glad you said something. :smiley:

I’m glad you’re here, and I’m glad you are on your journey.


#5

I’ve always been deeply rooted in the catholic faith and for that I am eternally grateful. I was even more grateful when I experienced a second conversion. My second conversion involved swallowing my pride and surrendering everything to Jesus Christ and his church. It had finally dawned on me that Christ’s promises are being fulfilled and revealed in the 2000 years of Christian wisdom expressed in the catholic church. My short life and the pseudo-wisdom within me obviously paled in comparison.

I would suggest, Shibboleth, that you simply keep at what you are doing. A prayerful search for truth will lead you home to the church. If the Lord patiently waited, nudged, and loved me into total submission and surrender, then He will do the same for you.

True love of God works wonders in the heart because God pours out His grace on those who love him. You may have misgivings about the church but we all have questions about everything in life. Your questions all have answers in the church. You simply have to keep searching. I have openly examined other faith traditions (not that I’m an expert) and have found all others to be wanting.

The catholic way of life isn’t the easy road; it is instead the narrow path that leads to life. It is the only path that provides you with that precious food for the journey…the precious body and blood of the Lord, Jesus, in the Eucharist. Pray for an open mind, and pray that your heart will always be open to the will of God. The Lord wants what is best for you.

You’re in my prayers.

PAX


#6

[quote=cmom]One picks a Church by deciding if it is true or not true, not by emotions that come and go.
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EXCELLENT POINT!

We cannot let our emotions rule our decisions because our emotions change, but the truth does not. This is why so many couples get divorced. They got married solely because of their emotions, not because of the concept of what a marriage actually is (unity, sacrafice, unconditional love that is always shown but not always felt, etc) and then their emotions/feeling changed and they are left with nothing but a broken relationship.

Our emotions are too radical to be able to accuarately and consistantly decipher truth. This is why God gave us intellect. This is why so many people loose faith. Their faith is based off of what they feel, not what they know. After the “honeymoon” phase of “finding Jesus” is over and you start hitting a low, what then?

I can’t remember who said this, but someone said something to the effect of, “Faith is as dry as a bone.” And after I thought about it, it really made sense to me. If faith was always some sort of “spiritual high” how many people do you think would ever leave? Faith is more than emotions, it is knowledge also.


#7

First off I want to apologize for misspelling “believer” in the title. It will not let me go and fix the error.

By feelings I do not mean emotions. One cannot choose or find God through logic or knowledge either lest we make the mistakes of the Gnostics.

I have the utmost concern for God and the church catholic. Feelings are not irrelevant in any aspect. Catholics believe in salvation through “works.” That being the case they must be sure that those “works” are not done for the sole purpose of achieving salvation. If a person goes into confession not in repentance but only so they can say that they have confessed – they have done so emptily and have received nothing. It was not the gift that God rejected in Cain’s offering but the intention in which it was given.

I do believe that Christ set forth his Church on this Earth I do not believe that the sole ownership of that belongs to the Roman Catholic Church.

Rev 2:2 I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;


#8

Shibboleth

By having “problems” with the Catholic church, you are not any different than most if not all Catholics. These problems cover a wide spectrum from not liking a particular form of worship (even though it falls within the norms established by the church) to major moral issues such as contraception and abortion. There are many things that we hold on to, that we want to believe either because we have not been informed of the truth, or we are afraid of the consequences of acceptance of the belief. Yet we are all looking for truth in its fullest sense. You are right that the human admistrator’s of Christ’s church on earth are not perfect. Yet because Christ Himself is the true head of His true Church, we are guaranteed that the fullness of truth can be found only in the Church He established. If you accept this, then there really is no other choice.

From my own experience, there have been issues that I struggled with, naively holding on to my own beliefs over the teachings of the Church. Only after accepting the Church’s teaching out of obedience alone have I been able to fully understand and embrace the beauty of God’s plan as it is taught by the church. In these areas, I look back in horror over how stupid I was to believe that I knew better than God.

You indicated that your problems with the Church are personal, not doctrinal. If you are comfortable with discussing the specific issues that you have, I think it might be very beneficial for those participating in this forum. I wouldn’t be surprised if many that have had similar issues are able to share how they delt with or are continuing to deal with these issues.


#9

[quote=Shibboleth]I have the utmost concern for God and the church catholic. Feelings are not irrelevant in any aspect. Catholics believe in salvation through “works.” That being the case they must be sure that those “works” are not done for the sole purpose of achieving salvation. If a person goes into confession not in repentance but only so they can say that they have confessed – they have done so emptily and have received nothing. It was not the gift that God rejected in Cain’s offering but the intention in which it was given.
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There may be Catholics who believe that salvation comes through works, but that is NOT what the RCC teaches or has ever taught. More accurately, it is described as Faith plus works. James Akin explained this concept perfectly in his debate with James White on the Bible Answer Man.

The RCC has no problem with the concept of Justification by Faith Alone, IF (this is a big IF) by faith alone, you are talking about a faith working through love. If you are talking about faith through intellectual knowledge alone (faith without works/“dead” faith) then the RCC will have a problem with it. This kind of Justification by Faith Alone (Intellectual knowledge alone) was actually a heresy in the early Church called Antenomianism (sp?).

I’m sure you are already familiar with this, but in the book of James, it says that NOT by faith alone are we saved and faith without works is dead. This is what the RCC is talking about when it says faith plus works.

If you are not concerned about Church teaching, but rather, the number of Catholics who believe that their salvation is dependant on what they are doing, I would say that you are declining to join the RCC for the wrong reasons. Even James White of all people admitted that there are even Protestants who believe that their salvation is dependant on what they do. And if James White is reading this, I do admit that there are Catholics who believe this also (but wrongly so).


#10

[quote=Shibboleth]I have the utmost concern for God and the church catholic. Feelings are not irrelevant in any aspect. Catholics believe in salvation through “works.” That being the case they must be sure that those “works” are not done for the sole purpose of achieving salvation. If a person goes into confession not in repentance but only so they can say that they have confessed – they have done so emptily and have received nothing. It was not the gift that God rejected in Cain’s offering but the intention in which it was given.
[/quote]

Oops…I think I just got what you’re trying to say here. You’re trying to say that YOU would be in this situation if you were to become Catholic because you don’t think you would have the necessary belief or intent to make a valid confession, etc…In that case, I’ll pray for you.


#11

I we have good faith we will inevitable bear good fruit. This is not our work but the work of God through us.


#12

[quote=Shibboleth
]

No we don’t.
We are saved by Grace.
ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/GRACALON.htm
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#13

[quote=Shibboleth]I we have good faith we will inevitable bear good fruit. This is not our work but the work of God through us.
[/quote]

The RCC affirms this too. Every good work comes through Christ. God gives us the necessary grace to do good works (Sola Gratia). We, as humans, cannot do anything of our own power that pleases God.


#14

Now I am confused, I have heard many Catholics argue on this bulletin board against the assumption that by God’s Grace alone we are saved.


#15

I am glad that you started this thread. There are many people that have problems but are unwilling to discuss them. I think it is great that you are willing to be a part of this fourm and that you are willing to discuss your issues. It will I believe some day make you a very strong Catholic, but this can only happen if you are willing to seek God and his will, while being open to conversation. I enjoy a lot of the things you have to say and the charity you try to show helps me be a better person. I look forward to and hope to see many more of your posts even though I may not agree with them all I seem to learn from them.

Thanks again for being you, and never give up the search for him.


#16

[quote=Shibboleth]Now I am confused, I have heard many Catholics argue on this bulletin board against the assumption that by God’s Grace alone we are saved.
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We are saved by God’s grace. This is not the same as being saved by faith alone.


#17

[quote=cmom]We are saved by God’s grace. This is not the same as being saved by faith alone.
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I never said that it was, and I am sorry if I implied that. Belief is a thing of man; Grace is a thing of God. God does not need to believe he knows. A thing of man cannot save us.

Can I get a simple “yes” or “no” answer if catholics beleive that they are saved by God’s Grace alone.


#18

[quote=Shibboleth]I never said that it was, and I am sorry if I implied that. Belief is a thing of man; Grace is a thing of God. God does not need to believe he knows. A thing of man cannot save us.

Can I get a simple “yes” or “no” answer if catholics beleive that they are saved by God’s Grace alone.
[/quote]

Yes I believe I am saved by God’s grace alone, however he did not take my free will in the process.


#19

[quote=Shibboleth]Now I am confused, I have heard many Catholics argue on this bulletin board against the assumption that by God’s Grace alone we are saved.
[/quote]

Although I have not read every thread or posting on this forum, I have not run across any posts that deny that we are saved by grace alone. It is probably more appropriate to say that we are saved by grace alone, based on the merits of Jesus Christ, through faith working in love, but not by “faith alone.” This is not the only way to convey the concept but it represents a reasonable summary of catholic teaching.

The area of justification from a biblical stand point is best understood in catholic teaching. Catholic teaching encompasses all of the New Testament verses on the matter, and not just certain aspects. James Akin’s book The Salvation Controversy does an excellent job of explaining the differing views and aspects of salvation and justification. Mr. Akin is very even handed in his presentation and does a thorough job of exploring the scriptures as they apply in this context.

I highly recommend this book. I’m a slow learner so I’ve read it three times and plan to read it again. :thumbsup:


#20

Jimmy Akin is what brought me to this forum. I listen to him every Thursday on Catholic Answers Live, when I can get the reception. The man is brilliant and there are few people in this world that I respect as much as him, at least as far as opinions go.


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