Better to be a religious Protestant than a nominal Catholic?


#1

I’ve come across people in the blogosphere that think it is better to be an “on-fire” Protestant than just a nominal Catholic that goes through the motions without thinking about it all too much. Is it better not to be lukewarm?


#2

Definitely.

Because I consider myself a protestant still this may sound a bit biased - but look at a person like Billy Graham. The man has dedicated his entire life to God…I’d like to think he’s better than Joe Catholic who just goes through the motions during mass.

Even if I eventually become Catholic, my opinion on this probably won’t change.


#3

[quote=David B]I’ve come across people in the blogosphere that think it is better to be an “on-fire” Protestant than just a nominal Catholic that goes through the motions without thinking about it all too much. Is it better not to be lukewarm?
[/quote]

The Holy Eucharist will transform the lukewarm Catholic into a living witness for Christ. One should not abandon the Holy Mystery of the Real Presence.


#4

[quote=David B]I’ve come across people in the blogosphere that think it is better to be an “on-fire” Protestant than just a nominal Catholic that goes through the motions without thinking about it all too much. Is it better not to be lukewarm?
[/quote]

If the on-fire Protestant is Protestant through no fault of his own, then yeah, it’s better to be that I think. On the other hand, if he is Protestant through his own fault, the two are probably in the same boat.


#5

Please define “luke-warm.” Catholics have some things that no preotestants have: most notably, the Eucharist. Now, if by “nominal Catholic” you mean somebody whome doesn’t believe in the miracle of the Eucharist, woe to them! Otherwise, the decision becomes more difficult. It become a matter of, “Is it better to be passionately wrong, or apathetically right?” I find, however, that most “nominal Catholics” tend also to to not really believe in all of the churches teachings (note, this is not to say that those who would be “cafeteria catholics” are all nominal in that part of the faith which they believe, that’s for another thread). And when this is the case, the passionate protestant might be in a better position (depending on the flavor of protestant). Then again, this could be like asking whether the person who has never heard the Truth is in a better position than the one whom has and disregards it. It’s a good question, but I really need to know more specifics to post more. Do you have a specific scenario in mind?


#6

[quote=EquusNomVeritas]Now, if by “nominal Catholic” you mean somebody whome doesn’t believe in the miracle of the Eucharist, woe to them!
[/quote]

If a Catholic does not beleive in the Real Presence, they are not even nominal–they are not Catholic at all.


#7

[quote=Mickey]If a Catholic does not beleive in the Real Presence, they are not even nominal–they are not Catholic at all.
[/quote]

Hmm, yes, that’s true, but are we referring to nominal Catholics as people who actually are Catholic or people who only claim to be Catholic?


#8

[quote=EquusNomVeritas]Hmm, yes, that’s true, but are we referring to nominal Catholics as people who actually are Catholic or people who only claim to be Catholic?
[/quote]

Although people might have different takes on the idea of a nominal Catholic I think of it more or less as the Christmas and Easter crowd, or those that maybe just want to make sure there children receive the sacraments to make mom happy or whatever. I suppose even weekly worshippers who do the bare minimum could also fall under this category as well.


#9

In the Chicago Trib today - front page - was a smiling picture of a woman who had 2 children via artificial insemination. She said she was a “regular, church going Catholic” but that she believed in a woman’s right to choose, was all for stem cell research & had no problem going against her Church’s stance on way her children were conceived. That’s what I’d call a nominal Catholic.

I’d take an on-fire Pro Life Evangelical over her any day of the week.


#10

[quote=David B]Although people might have different takes on the idea of a nominal Catholic I think of it more or less as the Christmas and Easter crowd, or those that maybe just want to make sure there children receive the sacraments to make mom happy or whatever. I suppose even weekly worshippers who do the bare minimum could also fall under this category as well.
[/quote]

Um, from the sound of this, you sound like “nominal” could be not-really-believing the sacraments beyond perhaps kind-of, at least in the case of the people putting their kids through to make their parents happy. Some people will do quite a bit to make their parents happy, in this case perhaps putting their kids through a sacraments system that they have little or no belief in. Also, there are problems such as believing some of the sacraments- for example, communion but not reconciliation (as presented by the Church). It seems that the church has people recieve the sacrement of reconciliation as a pre-requisite to communion (at least, where I’m from the former is a part of the preparatory program for the latter). In any case, what for the sake of clarity, how would you classify a person who goes to church just to make their parents happy (for example, so that their kids can recieve the sacraments).
In any case, the Eucharist pretty well trumps anything that Protestants have, provided that the reciever really believes in it. If the reciever only “nominally” believes in the True Presence, they are actually in perhaps in a worse position than the protestants. Protestants may not have the Eucharist, but the fact that they are commited to God generally goes a long way for their favor, too (provided that they aren’t the type of prostestants that persecute, literally or figuratively, Catholics). At the very least, the truly passionate protestant believers will end up in Purgatory.


#11

[quote=EquusNomVeritas]Um, from the sound of this, you sound like “nominal” could be not-really-believing the sacraments beyond perhaps kind-of, at least in the case of the people putting their kids through to make their parents happy. Some people will do quite a bit to make their parents happy, in this case perhaps putting their kids through a sacraments system that they have little or no belief in. Also, there are problems such as believing some of the sacraments- for example, communion but not reconciliation (as presented by the Church). It seems that the church has people recieve the sacrement of reconciliation as a pre-requisite to communion (at least, where I’m from the former is a part of the preparatory program for the latter). In any case, what for the sake of clarity, how would you classify a person who goes to church just to make their parents happy (for example, so that their kids can recieve the sacraments).

[/quote]

Yes. Disturbing stuff. Communion lines are long, and confession lines are short. Any “nominal” Catholic who reads this thread should understand that if they receive the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin, they are receiving unworthily and have committed yet another mortal sin. Woe indeed! Please nominal Catholics–go to confession! It is a beautiful Sacrament.


#12

[quote=carol marie]In the Chicago Trib today - front page - was a smiling picture of a woman who had 2 children via artificial insemination. She said she was a “regular, church going Catholic” but that she believed in a woman’s right to choose, was all for stem cell research & had no problem going against her Church’s stance on way her children were conceived. That’s what I’d call a nominal Catholic.

I’d take an on-fire Pro Life Evangelical over her any day of the week.
[/quote]

She may call herself Catholic, but she is not really Catholic. The pro life Evangelical has definitely trumped her.


#13

A nominal Catholic is a Catholic in name only. It is someone who never goes to church and hardly ever prays. It is be someone who does even consider the teachings of Christ in every day life

A religious Protestant is someone who attends church regularly, prays every day and takes the teachings of Christ seriously.

It is better to be a religious Protestant than a nominal Catholic.


#14

[quote=Chris Jacobsen]A nominal Catholic is a Catholic in name only. It is someone who never goes to church and hardly ever prays. It is be someone who does [not] even consider the teachings of Christ in every day life
A religious Protestant is someone who attends church regularly, prays every day and takes the teachings of Christ seriously.
It is better to be a religious Protestant than a nominal Catholic.
[/quote]

Amen, amen. When we’re all lined up in front of the pearly gates, there will be plenty of lukewarm Catholics who will be surprised to find themselves waaayyyy beneath the “on-fire” Protestants.

*Rev 3:14-17 To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write this: "The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s *creation, says this:
*"I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. *
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."


#15

[quote=David B]I’ve come across people in the blogosphere that think it is better to be an “on-fire” Protestant than just a nominal Catholic that goes through the motions without thinking about it all too much. Is it better not to be lukewarm?
[/quote]

Yes, Christ spits the lukewarm out of His mouth. Fr. Corapi has preached on this very subject. The nominal Catholic is an example of dead faith = no works. The on-fire Protestant, if invincibly ignorant (and who really knows how to define that?) is doing his best to follow Christ according to the dictates of his conscience. He is in much better shape, he is the one seeking to become more Christ-like, as best as he knows how. The lapsed Catholic probably hasn’t prayed in a few weeks… :frowning:


#16

[quote=Mickey]Yes. Disturbing stuff. Communion lines are long, and confession lines are short. Any “nominal” Catholic who reads this thread should understand that if they receive the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin, they are receiving unworthily and have committed yet another mortal sin. Woe indeed! Please nominal Catholics–go to confession! It is a beautiful Sacrament.
[/quote]

Not to be nitpicky…but… if they do not know that receiving unworthily is a grave matter, then they do not have mortal sin on their conscience.

For a LONG time, when I was much more ignorant than now, I thought that the phrase, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed” forgave me of all my sins and made me worthy. Boy was I in for a surprise!
The nominal Catholic is probably uncatechized, and probably has no idea what he is doing.


#17

[quote=Mickey]Yes. Disturbing stuff. Communion lines are long, and confession lines are short. Any “nominal” Catholic who reads this thread should understand that if they receive the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin, they are receiving unworthily and have committed yet another mortal sin. Woe indeed! Please nominal Catholics–go to confession! It is a beautiful Sacrament.
[/quote]

yea, you’re right it is a great sacrament. You have just made me realize that i’m a big sinner. GBU


#18

[quote=Character Zero]Not to be nitpicky…but… if they do not know that receiving unworthily is a grave matter, then they do not have mortal sin on their conscience.

For a LONG time, when I was much more ignorant than now, I thought that the phrase, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed” forgave me of all my sins and made me worthy. Boy was I in for a surprise!
The nominal Catholic is probably uncatechized, and probably has no idea what he is doing.
[/quote]

You are correct. At one time I was a poorly catechized "nominal’ Catholic. Yet any time I did attend Mass, I would receive. Then one day, my priest gave a sermon on receiving unworthily. You can imagine my remorse. That sermon was the steppingstone to my change of heart. I began regular confessions and never miss Liturgy!
Good point Character Zero!


#19

[quote=ronald]yea, you’re right it is a great sacrament. You have just made me realize that i’m a big sinner. GBU
[/quote]

We are all big sinners! Welcome to the human race. :smiley:

Oops! I’m off topic. Sorry David. :o


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