Everything Is A Sin For A Catholic

I am currently going throug the RCIA process to convert from Lutheran to Catholic. This whole process has really changed my life and I am very excited to share my new beliefs and faith with others. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear about it. I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t very smart. I made a lot of stupid decisions and my reputation precedes me. As a new Catholic, I’m trying to start over and really live my life the way Jesus intends us to. It’s very difficult for people to swallow that fact - it ends up being a joke to most. Nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt and thinks you can change. As a christian, I’m taught that I should care about others and try to show them the light… but in this instance, I just don’t see how that’s possible. :mad:

[quote=UCallMeJess]I am currently going throug the RCIA process to convert from Lutheran to Catholic. This whole process has really changed my life and I am very excited to share my new beliefs and faith with others. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear about it. I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t very smart. I made a lot of stupid decisions and my reputation precedes me. As a new Catholic, I’m trying to start over and really live my life the way Jesus intends us to. It’s very difficult for people to swallow that fact - it ends up being a joke to most. Nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt and thinks you can change. As a christian, I’m taught that I should care about others and try to show them the light… but in this instance, I just don’t see how that’s possible. :mad:
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Ask them - like what? Then you have an open door to tell them why Catholics know something is a sin and share Catholic teachings if you wish.

[quote=UCallMeJess]I am currently going throug the RCIA process to convert from Lutheran to Catholic. This whole process has really changed my life and I am very excited to share my new beliefs and faith with others. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear about it. I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t very smart. I made a lot of stupid decisions and my reputation precedes me. As a new Catholic, I’m trying to start over and really live my life the way Jesus intends us to. It’s very difficult for people to swallow that fact - it ends up being a joke to most. Nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt and thinks you can change. As a christian, I’m taught that I should care about others and try to show them the light… but in this instance, I just don’t see how that’s possible. :mad:
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Actually, this person has it all wrong. God made us in His Image, made us “very good”, and put us in dominion as stewards of His Creation as we are told in the very beginning of Scripture. Throughout and within all of creation He gave us the gifts of creation to be enjoyed with pleasure. For instance, sex is a holy gift but lust is its perversion. Food is for our nourishment and even enjoyment but gluttony is partaking of it in excess. Our innate desire to be successful and make the most of our gifts is good but greed is partaking in excess and envy is wanting w/o effort.

My point is that pleasure and seeking pleasure is good. It is a sin when it is perverted or done in excess or becomes a god or a distraction from God.

**Preach the Gospel,
and sometimes use words.
**–St Francis of Assisi

I didn’t live the best life in the world either. Today I am an Obedient Daughter of the Holy Mother Church. I live a pretty full life and it is not full of sin - I still struggle, we all do, but it is hardly full of sin.

When someone says something to you that is cruel - like “everything is a sin to a Catholic” I say in a loud and joking voice “AAUUGGH you just broke the 8th Commandment!” and watch them try and figure out what they did…then when everyone stops laughing I just tell them that anytime they want to learn about my faith I am more than willing to share what I know, that if they ask me a question I don’t have the answer to I will find out and I let it go at that.

Listen, being a Catholic is not easy…if it was, everyone would be one…

Don’t let rude comments get to you. After all, if you led a very different lifestyle from one of pursuing holiness before you decided to clean up your act some people are going to want to see proof before taking it seriously. And the best proof in the world is to simply live the life of a Christian before them. So, laugh when people make such remarks, and let it go. In time they will see the witness of your life and may even start coming to you with their problems. And you’ll be ready to help them, as others were willing to help you.

[quote=UCallMeJess]I I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

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we have the same 10 commandments as everybody else, same gospel teachings of Jesus, same beatitudes, just because the rest of the denominations decided to rewrite the commandments doesn’t mean a thing. Until the 1930s every Christian denomination condemned premarital sex, divorce, birth control and homosexuality. Since then it has been a downward spiral.

What is different is that we have assurance of forgiveness through the sacrament of confession and assurance that through the sacraments we return to a state of sanctifying grace. What is different about Catholic theology vs. that of the Protestant reformers is the teaching that man is inherently good and can aspire to sainthood thorugh the grace of Jesus. The reformers taught that man is inherently evil and base and can become good only when his sins are “covered” by the grace of Christ.

I did an exercise with my junior high religious ed group last year that seemed to hit home with them.

I had them pair up, then take turns with blindfolds on trying to get through a maze of chairs and tables. The partner leading them could not touch them, but just guide them with their voice. They could also lead them through well, or misguide them so they’d hit obstacles. Then they took their blindfolds off and made it through the maze just fine.

After they sat down, I asked them about their experience and how hard it was to just listen to someone’s voice and get through the maze and how sometimes the voice led them astray. With the blindfold off, however, they could easily get through.

The maze is the world of sin and temptation. If we listen to someone’s voice we trust, we might make it through most of the obstacles. If we listen to someone who leads us astray, we could really be in big trouble. But, if we have the Light of Christ (able to see without blindfolds), then we can get through this maze (life) much easier.

Then I talked about traffic rules and asked if they could tell me what driving would be like without rules. Of course, they agreed that it would be dangerous and scarey.

I reminded them that God’s commandments are like traffic rules. They are not there because He just wants to rule over us; they are there to keep us safe from harm.

Maybe this will help you in the future with comments from others.

[quote=UCallMeJess]I am currently going throug the RCIA process to convert from Lutheran to Catholic. This whole process has really changed my life and I am very excited to share my new beliefs and faith with others. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear about it. I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t very smart. I made a lot of stupid decisions and my reputation precedes me. As a new Catholic, I’m trying to start over and really live my life the way Jesus intends us to. It’s very difficult for people to swallow that fact - it ends up being a joke to most. Nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt and thinks you can change. As a christian, I’m taught that I should care about others and try to show them the light… but in this instance, I just don’t see how that’s possible. :mad:
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Get ready! You’re bound to get a lot more of this as you continue in your walk with Christ. Anybody who turns his life around is subject to invidious skepticism from those who have known you “before.” God willing, you will grow in wisdom and stature and in the grace of God, and your life will be your greatest witness.

[quote=UCallMeJess]… “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond…
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Maybe the best thing to do is respond by saying “Not true.” Catholics believe - unlike protestants - that humanity is basically good and that although we have a wounded nature we reject the protestant notion of utter depravity.

Remind your friend that “sin” is simply conduct that is offensive to God. The same rules apply to everyone where sin is concerned - not just to Catholics. The Catholic Church is being honest and upfront by declaring what is, and what is not, conduct that is offensive to God.

You guys are the greatest - I can’t believe the response I got! This really helped me put things into perspective. If this ever happens in the future, I’ll have a much better idea how to handle it.

[quote=UCallMeJess]I am currently going throug the RCIA process to convert from Lutheran to Catholic. This whole process has really changed my life and I am very excited to share my new beliefs and faith with others. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to hear about it. I got into a conversation with some co-workers today about lust. Out of the blue, someone said that “everything is a sin for a Catholic.” That really upset me and I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t very smart. I made a lot of stupid decisions and my reputation precedes me. As a new Catholic, I’m trying to start over and really live my life the way Jesus intends us to. It’s very difficult for people to swallow that fact - it ends up being a joke to most. Nobody gives you the benefit of the doubt and thinks you can change. As a christian, I’m taught that I should care about others and try to show them the light… but in this instance, I just don’t see how that’s possible. :mad:
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You should’ve told him that’s an exageration. You should’ve pointed out to him about the Amish, Muslims, and some Evangelical groups. Some Evangelical protestants believe alcohol and dancing are sins. There are many other sects that are very strict. The Jehovah’s Wittnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions, etc. Also, you could’ve asked him to back up his claim with evidence, then explain why those things are sins. If I were you I’d be armed to be able to defend against attacks on the doctrines of contraception being a sin, masturbation, lustful thoughts, etc. Those are most likely what he was refering to.

Anyone that would make such a broad-brush statement is hardly speaking from an informed position, and you should immediately call him on it. “Oh, really? Everything?” Put them on the defensive by pointing out (in a calm, charitable way) the absurdity of their statement. If they are embarassed enough (nobody likes to be thought of as ignorant), they may temper their statements in the future.

As far as being insecure as to your past:

1 Peter 4: 1 - 5
1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God. 3 Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not now join them in the same wild profligacy, and they abuse you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1 Peter 1:13-23
13 Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake. 21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

Jess
Lord have Mercy on them!..continue to walk your new life with Christ and they will see what a christian is really like. Actions sometimes “do” speek louder than words…keep up the good work and people will notice.

UCallMeJesus:

Chesterton said that when Christendom split not only did the vices run amock, but the virtues ran even wilder.

What he meant by this is that Christendom for better or worse at least had one set of moral guidelines, after the Reformation the result was each group felt that it was up to them to qualify wrong or right.

If your life reflects your interior life with Christ, it doesn’t matter what background you come from, in fact I’d argue that it would even be more dramatic when people see someone change from debauchery to purity…without words, that in and of itself is a testament.

Keep pushing forward. One thing you’ll realize about being a Catholic is that you will come into persecution as Christ prophesied…but he also said BLESSED ARE YOU IF YOU ARE HATED FOR MY SAKE.

in XT.

Puzzleannie,

Where can I find a document(s) that explain the Catholic teaching that all people are basically good?

Thanks…

[quote=ahimsaman72]Puzzleannie,

Where can I find a document(s) that explain the Catholic teaching that all people are basically good?

Thanks…
[/quote]

Genesis when God said that He made man in His image and that it was “very good.” It is in their sinfulness that they begin to distance themselves from God and distort their image.

[quote=Orionthehunter]Genesis when God said that He made man in His image and that it was “very good.” It is in their sinfulness that they begin to distance themselves from God and distort their image.
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Yes, I’ve read Genesis many times and understand that passage. But if this is a foundational part of Catholic theology then I would expect some documents that explain this teaching in detail. That’s what I am asking for. I didn’t know if the Catechism explained this or if it was in some Vatican pronouncements.

The reason I ask is to understand the Catholic idea of sin and nature of man as opposed to the protestant understanding that most have of human nature being naturally depraved because of the sin of Adam and Eve that Scripture details as being passed on to their descendants (original sin). There are verses of Scripture that say for example:

Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

[quote=ahimsaman72]Puzzleannie,

Where can I find a document(s) that explain the Catholic teaching that all people are basically good?

Thanks…
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Catholics believe that human nature is, essentially, good—but it is flawed. This is found in Genesis. The task we have is to rise above the flaws and be transformed by following Christ—we become more truly human by holiness, not less human. This is in contrast to Luther’s concept of human nature as a “dungheap covered by snow”. (The snow being God’s grace). The “dungheap” is not transformed, it is merely covered.

Think of it this way: Catholicism’s concept of our human nature is a bit analogous to a beautiful statue that is embedded in clay (beautiful because it was made by God—it didn’t make itself). By cooperating with the grace that God gives us; seeking holiness; using the tools that God gave us (the Church); we gradually get rid of the clay and expose our more truly human natures. In contrast, the “dungheap covered by snow” concept seems to leave the dungheap unaffected.

[quote=Sherlock]Catholics believe that human nature is, essentially, good—but it is flawed. This is found in Genesis. The task we have is to rise above the flaws and be transformed by following Christ—we become more truly human by holiness, not less human. This is in contrast to Luther’s concept of human nature as a “dungheap covered by snow”. (The snow being God’s grace). The “dungheap” is not transformed, it is merely covered.

Think of it this way: Catholicism’s concept of our human nature is a bit analogous to a beautiful statue that is embedded in clay (beautiful because it was made by God—it didn’t make itself). By cooperating with the grace that God gives us; seeking holiness; using the tools that God gave us (the Church); we gradually get rid of the clay and expose our more truly human natures. In contrast, the “dungheap covered by snow” concept seems to leave the dungheap unaffected.
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It’s interesting that you explain it this way. In Buddhism the philosophy is that inside each human is Buddha nature (Mahayana tradition). That is, everyone has the ability to liberate themselves by shedding their attachments to the world and thoughts and attaining nirvana - absolute release.

So, in Catholicism you could say that by shedding sinful behavior and thoughts (eliminating them through God’s grace) that one reverts back to their true nature - or the original nature of Adam and Eve. Is that a correct assumption or am I misunderstanding here?

My theology growing up says that human nature is corrupted and we are unable to please God because of original sin (which of course we contracted from Adam and Eve). I realize this is based on the ideas of Calvinism which is why I was taught this and believed the Bible teaches this. I still believe this according to what Scripture tells me.

Maybe I should start another thread to deal with this. :slight_smile: and I just have:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=1069802#post1069802

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