[quote=JackPaul]Listen, you Catholics seem a little pretentious to me. If you love Jesus and you have accepted him as your Lord and Savior, then what difference does it make what religion you practice? You seem to get caught up in what you do rather than who you do it for. If you have accepted Jesus and you pray to him, then are all those works going to get you any closer to Heaven? I think that you missed the point and you need to sit down with a priest and find out where your priorities should lie. You are misdirecting your attention… You seem to put too much into the Church and forget about the One who began the whole thing. So, why don’t you realize, that all you need to do is accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and dedicate your time serving him rather than some man made church and religion?
The reason why it matters is because the Church of Christ is united in doctrine, not merely in the false claims of “core beliefs” that no one can seem to define with any kind of authority. Since the Holy Spirit cannot teach error, not every church is guided by the Holy Spirit. Two conflincting doctrines cannot both be true.
To borrow a line from Church Militant “There is no ‘Christianity-Lite’.”
Scripture speaks clearly on unity in doctrine, unity which Jesus desires:
John 17:22 “And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one”
Here Paul stresses unity in doctrine:
1Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. "
And again showing unity of faith:
Eph 4:3-5 “Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
And again in verse 14-15:
“That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:” (Christ is mentioned again as the head of the church in Eph 5:23. To be united in doctrine is to be united to the Church, of which Christ is the head.)
Again Paul stresses unity in orthodoxy as he exhorts Timothy to keep the faithful from learning error:
1Ti 1:3 “As I desired thee to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some not to teach otherwise,”
Paul again teaches Timothy about the dangers of conflicting doctrines:
1Ti 4:1 “Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,”
Paul now tells Titus about unity in doctrine:
Titus 1:9 “Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.”
There were no conflicting doctrines in the early Church as seen in acts:
Acts 4:32 “And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them.”
From Dominus Iesus:
- With the coming of the Saviour Jesus Christ, God has willed that the Church founded by him be the instrument for the salvation of all humanity (cf. Acts 17:30-31).90 This truth of faith does not lessen the sincere respect which the Church has for the religions of the world, but at the same time, it rules out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another’”.91 If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation.92 However, “all the children of the Church should nevertheless remember that their exalted condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word, and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be more severely judged”.
Obviously, orthodoxy in doctrine matters.
If we forsake the search for truth for the sake of community, then we are no better than the servant who was given the gold coin who hid it in a napkin. We must always respond to the initial grace of faith and continue to strive for a fuller understanding of truth and never become complacent, or lazy and hide it in a napkin.
That response owed to the initial grace of faith requires works, my friend. It is not the works by themsleves that gets us to heaven, but the obedience to God’s will that enriched our good fruit.