[quote="Cryptic1, post:14, topic:263625"]
Actually my friend, there is nothing wrong with you or with your sudden questioning of the faith.
I totally agree. Questioning one's faith is healthy and helps one to be brought closer to God
What is wrong here is that the abuses and scandals within the church have been tolerated for as long as they have by those in positions of authority--the priests, bishops, the pope, and yes, even the body of Christ.
The abuses and scandals within the Church is horrible but you cannot isolate that to just the Catholic Church. Also to assume that the Popes and others in authority tolerated it is inaccurate and unjustified. Yes some knew (and they are being dealt with) but not all were aware of the situation.
While Catholics are quick to jump to the defense of their priests and religious, they need to also heed the voices of the victims who, like Jesus, were as innocent lambs led to the slaughter.
Cryptic1, I would humbly suggest you read the statements from many Catholics especially the pope on the abuses going on within the Church. Also, the voices of the victims have been heard and are being acted on. The pope himself has even met with victims, listen to them and cried with them.
Being a Protestant/ Evangelical does not make you immune to abuses carried how. In fact Pastors have a higher rate of abuse than priests you just don't hear it since the faith community isn't global as the Catholic Church.
You are searching for the truth and are on the verge of finding it. All the questions that come to mind are only there because you see a disparity between what you have been taught to believe and what you see. So though you may think you have lost your mind, my friend, you have actually found it.
Questioning your faith is good. Doubt is from the Devil.
There is no disparity within Christ Church He established on earth (the Catholic Church) however, outside of His Church there is too much disparity and that is why there are over 40,000 Christian denominations. Christ and His Church is not meant to be divided. Satan divides.
Some people prefer organized religions (like the Catholic church), while others lean towards a more non traditional type religion (like the Christian Pentecostal, Evangelical churches). As long as you recognize and follow Jesus as Savior and make him Lord of your life in every way, he will lead you on the path to your salvation.
In the end, it will not be about which church you belonged to or what good works you accomplished, but rather who you belonged to (Jesus Christ) and how much you loved.
Christ established His Church on earth and gave authority to His Apostles for a reason. Christ said to Peter “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. “ Matthew 16:18-19 To be outside of the Church Christ established is entering uncertain waters.
We are warned about strange teachings and the one you propose is one that was not around in the time of Christ nor for the first 1800+ years of Christianity.
Stay strong mikeyrobbie and seek the answers to your questions and pray pray pray!
God Bless you brother and do not despair!