Conversing in Grace vs. Proud Refutations


#1

I am a divorced and remarried Protestant and potential convert who is convicted of Catholic truth. In my first marriage, my wife left me to marry a man who she had an adulterous relationship with for some time. I waited for God to return her to me. When she became pregnant, I felt the Lord released me from her. I told God that I was willing to never get married again, if that was what was best for my children. I felt that his response was that there are some aspects of his character that are only possible to manifest through marriage.

Now, I realize that those of the Catholic tradition may not receive my testimony [above] as spiritual–they may not believe it–and I also understand that it does nothing to mitigate what the Catholic Church teaches about the sacrament of marriage.

What concerns me, when reading the forum, is the manner in which the issue of divorced and remarried people [whether Catholic or non-Catholic] is discussed: more specifically, what I perceive as the flippant and morally superior tone of many commenting, as they apparently attempt to ‘defend the faith’.

I am not asking anyone to alter their convictions or asking the church to alter its teachings. What I most definitely AM asking is the those who are not in this situation remember that they are dealing with actual HUMAN BEINGS and children of God. Such a fact might presuppose that such conversations are conducted in grace and humility before God.

Paul and Barnabas were followed around by a woman with a spirit of divination whose public proclamation was as follows: “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation, (Acts 16:17).” However, after many days, Paul turned, rebuked her, and cast a demon(s) out of her with these words: “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her, (Acts 16:18).”

What I gather from this passage is that there is a need for the repentant to be more than correct in their assertions [for was not the woman with the spirit of divination correct in her assertion?]: we must speak out of a right heart and mind (spirit) before God.

For those who want to represent Catholicism well [to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike], it might be prudent to consider this truth.


#2

This is a social network website…it often has opinions, even though equally as often tempered with church teaching…but usually more personal opinion than anything else.

See the disclaimer at the bottom of the page about official apologetic views here.

Talk to a priest.


#3

We are battle-worn. shell-shocked. Catholics have had to play defense so often and for so long that the battle can negatively affect us. This is the interwebz, a crowd of strangers where almost anything can be shouted out. That can be both good and bad; both edifying and corrosive to one’s faith journey.

Sadly, defending the faith can also sound like triumphalism. When one finds that pearl of great price, a certain exuberance ensues. This can come across as several different things - not all good.

Ferret out those with charitable replies here and focus on that charity - as love is primary in Christianity. We all fail each day at this, but a faith-filled heart can and will overlook those human flaws.

As to the faith, a dispassionate look is sometimes the best. For this purpose there are innumerable publications that teach the beliefs of the faith and the reasons for those beliefs.

There are 1.2 billion reasons not to be Catholic, and only one in favor: Jesus Christ, in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

As the venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen quipped:

“If you should ever find the perfect Church, do not join it. You will ruin it.”


#4

You speak from a Protestant perspective.

It may pay you to understand the Catholic Church stance on marriage and divorce.
You also need to forgive your wife, rather then airing sins of others.

We don’t orphan Bible passages and use them to argue points.

If you convert, you will become immersed in Catholic culture and view things through a Catholic lens


#5

“You speak from a Protestant perspective.”

[Response belittles by dealing with a person, not as a person, but as a category. It is no different than telling someone that they are not qualified to engage in conversation with you on the basis of their race or culture. Pope Francis argues that we should never forget that we are dealing with a “person” (a human being created by God).]

“It may pay you to understand the Catholic Church stance on marriage and divorce.”

[I perfectly understand the teaching. In fact, I also realize that, while divine law is immutable, ecclesiastical law is wholly under the authority of the church: and therefore, the practice of how these situations are dealt with could be handled differently. There is no Catholic admonition against, and it is not sin, to converse about the theology of the church. Such discussions have no power to corrupt truth or impede the ability of Christ to affect our hearts: thinking otherwise is to put the power of God in subjection to the whims and will of man. Serial pedophiles can continue to receive communion and die in the church, but a divorced and remarried couple cannot. Cut it however you like, but don’t be mollified and shocked that people notice this and talk about it.]

“You also need to forgive your wife, rather then airing sins of others.”

[I have forgiven my wife, Mr. Negative Assumption. Also, there is no public airing of anything, as the post is anonymous.]

“We don’t orphan Bible passages and use them to argue points.”

[It’s good to understand the immediate context of a passage, as well as the principal themes of books, and how topics are dealt with throughout the whole counsel of God. Is your point that we should only reference the bible when doing all of those things? Or do you believe that brothers and sisters in the faith are not approved by God to share out of their hearts concerning the meaning of these things? Can we learn from the following orphaned verse? “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man,” (Colossians 4:16).]


#6

“If you convert, you will become immersed in Catholic culture and view things through a Catholic lens.”

[Interesting. Here is a view of things from Pope Benedict (from his collection of writings in Behold the Pierced One ) speaking of divorced and remarried Catholics: “If this is how things are, what are we to say of the many Christians who believe and hope in the Lord, who yearn for the gift of his body but cannot receive the sacrament?” He notes that there is an interior communion that is possible without participating in the sacramental Eucharist–that communion is too often taken too lightly and familiarly by the faithful who are eligible to partake–and that a Eucharistic fast for a short time might actually improve people’s ability to make spiritual progress. He also notes the surprising act by a saint at the end of his life: “Here I am struck by a consideration of a more general and pastoral kind. When Augustine sensed his death approaching, he ‘excommunicated’ himself and undertook public penance. In his last days he manifested his solidarity with public sinners who seek for pardon and grace through the renunciation of communion.” Apparently, I am in company with St. Augustine.]

On a final note, brethren, if I do “convert and am immersed in Catholic culture,” I will be certain to reach out to those who are suffering, as our Lord has done, and extend the mercy and grace of God to them to the best of my ability.

I am morally superior to no one, and there is no doubt that I greatly need to grow in humility. That said, the point of my initial post remains valid in my mind. Anyone can disagree, but to do so charitably is to extend a basic level of respect that indicates a true reverence for God. Amen.


#7

I appreciate your attitude and heart and reply.:smile:


#8

You totally missed my point. You speak from the Protestant perspective, meaning Protestant culture.
Why would you feel belittled by that? It makes no sense. It’s got nothing to do with what you claim.

See there you go, changing the subject. How can you know what is in the heart of a sinner.
It’s about how the Catholic Church views marriage and divorce . It’s not about criminals. . And btw if someone is receiving the Eucharist and they are in mortal sin, that’s between them and God. Whatever the unconfessed mortal sin. They are not in a state of grace.

Practising Catholics are expected to conform to God and His Church. And make no apologies for that.
A divorced and remarried couple have options, the first being annulments .

Then stop airing all the she did this and that dirty laundry. Move on. That’s what true forgiveness is about. We are all sinners
You included.

Orphaning bible passages and using them to prove points, win arguments, justify actions, is a grave misuse of Sacred Scripture. Catholics have Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Bible forms part of our Liturgy of the Word.
The immediate context of a bible passage is found in where it is, ie book, chapter, neighbouring passages, socio economic and political context of the time it was written in. And most of all, how God is telling us He loves us in His Word.


#9

And that is what being Catholic is all about. We are a community, a communion of Saints. We are the Body of the Church. We share in Christ’s Priesthood.

I wish you well and suggest even if you don’t convert to the one true church, you can still reach out. In fact no timeline or start date is required for reaching out


#10

Can you condense the point of your original post down to a sentence. There seem to be a few topics and points in your initial post


#11

Roseeurekacross, I appreciate the fact that you are being more personal. Thank you.


#12

“You speak from the Protestant perspective, meaning Protestant culture.”

Half of my family is Catholic. Beyond that, all Catholics and all Protestants are not the same: I am arguing for dealing with the person, as a person first, just as Pope Francis does.

“And btw if someone is receiving the Eucharist and they are in mortal sin, that’s between them and God. Whatever the unconfessed mortal sin. They are not in a state of grace.”

This is a great point. I agree. This is also an argument for leaving communion between the individual and God, as the Apostle Paul suggests when he commands us to “examine ourselves.” The fact that Catholicism is true, does not mean it is perfect. It does mean that we should submit to the teachings of the church. I am willing to do that. I would think that that would be looked upon favorably by Catholics. Of course, in heaven, the separated brethren and the Catholic believer will all be together. There is an inherent implication in this fact that should affect how we inter-relate.

My point about serial pedophiles is this: the head has to assume the same degree of sacrifice and responsibility for the reputation of the church, as they expect from the laity. If divorced and remarried laity must be denied communion for the good of the whole, then the head should be willing to defrock and excommunicate pedophiles priests. Of course, you might add, “Why conflate the issues?” My answer is that I both agree and disagree. I disagree in that we are commanded to always seek after justice. I agree, in that, we have to accept the state of things, as they are. I am not wholly in disagreement with you. Reasonable people can disagree.

“We are all sinners. You included.”

Honestly, you shouldn’t say stuff like that. Every saved believer knows this. You come off as a moral paragon when you talk like that.

“Orphaning bible passages and using them to prove points, win arguments, justify actions, is a grave misuse of Sacred Scripture … The immediate context of a bible passage is found in where it is, ie book, chapter, neighbouring passages, socio economic and political context of the time it was written in. And most of all, how God is telling us He loves us in His Word.”

You’re judging my intent. Worse, you’re impugning my intent, suggesting that it is malicious. You could make that claim any time that someone references scripture.
I’ll take your Hermeneutics 101 lesson under advisement. You do realize that you are quoting a bible scripture [“God is love,” from 1 John 4:8] to prove a point, win an argument, or justify your actions, correct?

“And that is what being Catholic is all about. We are a community, a communion of Saints. We are the Body of the Church. We share in Christ’s Priesthood. I wish you well and suggest even if you don’t convert to the one true church, you can still reach out. In fact no timeline or start date is required for reaching out.”

All this is wonderful, Roseeurekacross: you should write like this all the time!


#13

“Can you condense the point of your original post down to a sentence?”

Here it is! [From the original post: I am not asking anyone to alter their convictions or asking the church to alter its teachings. What I most definitely AM asking is the those who are not in this situation remember that they are dealing with actual HUMAN BEINGS and children of God. Such a fact might presuppose that such conversations are conducted in grace and humility before God."

Put more simply, as a single sentence: “Be cool, dudes and dudettes.”

Roseeurkeacross, "Thank you for your input. I appreciate you taking the time to converse with me and will prayerfully consider all you say. Love you in the Lord.


#14

Having not read any history of your posts, or what others have said to you so far, may I suggest the following reading for you.

From: Canon law made easy

Re: questions that come up on annulment

  1. Marriage and annulment

  2. Ex remarried in the Church with no annulment ?

  3. children input in annulment?

  4. why can’t he get married in the Church if he’s go an annulment

  5. can an annulment take place if the ex-spouse won’t cooperate

  6. can an annulment happen If the spouse doesn’t know about it

  7. why would a non Catholic seek an annulment

  8. can a parish priest annul this marriage

  9. what if the other spouse doesn’t want an annulment

  10. why do annulments take so long


closed #15

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