I’m an Anglican and know that within our denomination there is much to be improved on. (For instance, I think there is much to be learnt from Catholics regarding a higher view of Mary in response to the verse “…henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”)
However, I subscribe to the words of Billy Graham “'By all means look for the perfect church, and when you find it, join it. But remember, when you join it, it ceases to be perfect!”
One who seeks the perfect Church will have to wait a very long time (until death) to find it.
Hence the question, do you think there is value instead in staying in your own church and in the words of Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see”?
So long as the changes you are trying to foster are “Truth” - then yes - but the problem in the protestant communions is that there is generally no mechanism for determining if it is you or some other who has this actual truth.
Look at Acts 15 where two sides believed they had the Truth and fought each other to a standstill. Not even St Paul was able to resolve the matter. It had to be resolved by a higher Church council…And the determination of that council was binding upon ALL Christians Everywhere. None were free to reject the council’s decision. Protestantism contains no such mechanism as evidenced by the many brands and flavors available.
I feel that if your church’s focus is Christ, then stay and make the change. Lately I’m wishing I’d stayed in the Baptist Church. The focus was solely on God, Christ, Holy Spirit and how to live our lives according to the Bible and Christ’s example. Now, in my particular parish, all I hear about is the organization of the Church and what our priest taught his school kids that week. I’m seriously missing Bible sermons…
I can appreciate your desire for good sermons. The best ones are on EWTN. I do wish more parish priests would be instructed on how to give good sermons. A skill that is seriously lacking with many.
However, please remember why you became a Catholic. Was it because of the Eucharist? You are receiving the BODY AND BLOOD according to Christ’s teachings as stated in the Bible. You cannot possibly be closer to God on this earth than by receiving the Eucharist and you may do so daily.
No. No amount of human effort is going to change one of the many man-made churches into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We can’t out-do Jesus, or re-establish what he has already established. Personally, I think Protestantism has already suffered the same fate as the Tower of Babel, although many are too focused on their own local congregation to notice. We are much better off trying to discover the Truth, and follow, regardless of cost.
Change your denomination into, what? The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church? That already exists, and the only way into it is through the gate Christ established; conversion. Your clergy can adopt and teach every Catholic belief and God bless them for it, but they can’t become true priests except by ordination at the hands of a successor of the Apostles.
Christ, Who is Perfect, founded the Catholic Church. Who founded the others? The link above is eye opening.
Humans, being imperfect, have the Church’s Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation when we fail.
Also, I believe you would enjoy the website for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The Holy See has provided a way for Anglicans to return to the Church Christ Founded.
One is comforted to know of the Catholic Church’s proper Apostolic Succession and valid Holy Orders, among countless other graces and means to salvation, joy and peace with our Dear Jesus. Sacraments, history, tradition, the wisdom of the Magisterium, these are what we seek to help us work* towards *perfection.
There was no other Church for over 1500 years. That is a good place to begin contemplating where we are in our faith journey. So much history shows us that nationalism (and Henry VIII’s wish for his many divorces) as well as the myriad problems involved with “personal interpretation of scripture” are at the heart of all the thousands of protestant denominations which cannot agree with each other.
The above link speaks to these issues. Do we want a church founded by a mere human or founded by The Divine Christ? Do we want a church founded on political viewpoints or personal agendas? No, we long for Christ’s Divine Church. In Her, we need not to be perfect to enter, but to allow Christ’s grace to work within us.
We are the Church that stands for life and is not afraid to speak of it. We are the Church Christ Founded. It is not that we are above others, it is Christ who is Perfect who gave His life for the Church.
**Christ Himself answered your question: **
In handing the keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter, Christ spoke of Holy Church, “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Christ knew we would be assailed from within and without. Human perfection? Difficult, but we are told* to strive for it *within the Ark of the Church. “Be ye therefore perfect as I am perfect.”
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation are meant to help us through. The Mass is the center of our Faith. “We consume Him so that He consumes us,” is the famous saying. We need proper Apostolic Succession, begun with Christ’s words to Peter, in order to avail ourselves of this joy.
I am sorry that I couldn’t put two links in this one reply. I tried to retrieve the latter one and lost the first.) I’ll reply again with the link regarding the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
I am a convert from a U.S. Episcopalian denomination, (from 2004,) before this Ordinariate was completed. It’s a wonderful way to reach out to Anglicans across the world seeking to be reconciled with Holy Church. Many are already returning Home!
It is good that our Protestant brothers and sisters are teaching people about who Jesus is by their good sermons so long as they are truthful, but I agree with this post, remember why you became Catholic. . . we have the treasure!
Also remember that Priests are human beings just as we are and like each individual, each receive different gifts and talents to build up the Church.
Perhaps you, Sandalwood, are being called by God not to leave the Catholic Church, but perhaps to lead a Bible Study or Bible Study Ministry in your current Parish Church or go to Mass at other Catholic Churches in your area because each Parish in a Community are different as some are more vibrant than others. Good luck in your spiritual journey home!
Nicely put. Conversion. I remember the first time that I heard that word many years ago by a “born again Christian”, I thought in order for me to have a conversion, I had to leave my Catholic Church for the Assembly of God! I think in our Catholic Churches, we need to hear our Priests talking more about what is conversion, what conversion does and that we have many conversions that are all meant to lead us home!
If one faces the possibility of divorce, and, if male, the loss of one’s children to one of the stranger sects, it is better to temporarily hang on with the status quo and take it slowly in hopes that the spouse will follow.
Wow. I see you have identified yourself as an Anglican. Do you live in the USA? Most Anglicans in America identify themselves as Episcopals. Since the Episcopal church is in its last death rattle, it’s highly unlikely it can be salvaged. They have embraced sin wholeheartedly by ordaining active homosexuals/lesbians as Bishops. What is left of the Episcopal church is years of lawsuits regarding real property instead of the ‘real presence’. I have a wonderful friend who lives in Pennsylvania and he never knows from Sunday to Sunday if his church will be open for worship.
It looks as if those who have broken away from the Episcopal church do identify as Anglicans and are aligning themselves with other breakaway believers. I personally lost any hope that Anglicanism as it is known throughout the world would survive with the departure of J.I. Packer.
Realistically, it’s very unlikely that the Episcopal church will survive. What do you do with the likes of John Shelby Spong who denies the virgin birth and even the resurrection of Jesus on the third day? In effect, that’s the same as denying the Deity of Christ. Or the fact that Spong has declared the the Apostle Paul was gay? Once sin is embraced as acceptable conduct, I don’t personally believe that the Risen Savior will bless it. But of course, Jesus may have other plans, yes?
I do admire loyalty. I will pray for you. Everyone needs a church home.