[quote=chris molter]Take your premise to its logical conclusion, though. Can we see the fruits of the Spirit in our Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Wicca, and Atheist brothers? Yes, we certainly can. All good comes from God. When a secular humanist cares for the sick, feeds the hungry, etc. he is doing God’s will, whether he knows it or not. The concept of Natural Law goes hand in hand with this. It certainly doesn’t mean we should all become syncretists or pantheists and abandon the unique salvific gift from Jesus, just as seeing the fruits of the spirit in our separated bretheren doesn’t mean we ought to follow them into their heresies.
I can see this completely. I don’t seek to follow heresy, what I am seeking are people that are in tune with their walk with Christ. If worship is to be communal and worship is part of every aspect of our lives then our lives cannot be spent in compartmentalizing. Now I am at work. Now I go to church. There should be a holistic approach to our lives. It has been my experience that Catholic’s in general do not do this. We go down our check list and smile. I went to Mass, I went to confession, another week in the green. Instead of the Mass and prayer and Sacramental graces effecting a change to the way we think or act. A common Catholic dig at Protestantism is that there are 10,000 to 33,000 different denominations all saying different things, as if that’s some sort of hint at disunity. My parish has 7,000 families in it and I can get as many different ideas from all of them too. What’s the difference? Because we fall under the umbrella of Catholic that’s OK but Protestants don’t so it’s not OK? Pantheists and pagans don’t profess the One God revealed to mankind in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, every Protestant Christian does. Comparing the two isn’t a fair comparison.
[quote=chris molter]If a Catholic truly understands what the Church teaches, then he’s not going to leave the Church for any other community of believers no matter how much he likes their “style” or how “on fire” they are. If he did so, he certainly would be sinning by causing scandal and abandoning full communion with the body of Christ.
I don’t know if this is true or not. This is similar to the OSAS argument that says that if a person after being saved falls away he wasn’t really saved anyway.
[quote=chris molter]This is another idea entirely. Catholics are not forbidden to associate with non Catholics, or even to pray with them. However, the goal of such ecumenism should be to bring those separated from the Catholic Church into further understanding of her teachings and closer to full communion.
I think I am really seeing for the first time in my life “Catholic Guilt.” I have always heard about it in jest. I had always thought how incredibly unhealthy.
Chris, Thank you for your time and serious efforts to get your points across. I do appreciate it.