For the "seperated brethren"


#1

Hey. I spent most of my formative spiritual years in Baptist Bible studies, so I don’t have big grudge against the Protestant communities. That said I was just wondering what factor is keeping the substantial amount of protestant members in this forum well, protestant? Thank you for answering.


#2

For me, it’s a number of reasons.

  1. Mostly, it’s lack of information (why would I change to a denomination I don’t know much about?) This is why I came here in the first place.

  2. I do not understand the importance of Mary and don’t see much support for this in the bible. My entire life I was taught she is more or less a “supporting actress” in the scheme of things. When you’re raised with the idea that she is simply the vessel of which Christ to came from (and nothing more, nothing less), I’m sure it would sound crazy to you too.

  3. Prayer to anything but God is still a very foreign idea to me, and still seems a bit sacreligious. I’ve yet to hear a good argument as to why I should pray to saints.

  4. I don’t get having to confess your sins to a priest. Why not cut out the middle man and head straight to the Boss himself?

  5. Excommunication. That should not be for man to decide.

Now, that’s not all of it, but I’ll keep it to that for now just for brevity’s sake.

-Jake


#3

Hi Jake!

  1. Well welcome to information central.

2./3. There is great info on Mary here too. Follow this link to get good articles that will deal with your questions on Mary and the saints. Also there is a free course called “Mary Christ’s Mother and Ours” available at this link to Catholic Home Study Service . You will be hard pressed to find a better and more authentically Catholic presentation of the Marian beliefs than this book. (I know, I have it!)

  1. Confession is one of the simplest Biblical doctrines of the Catholic Church. These 2 articles will show you what we really teach about it and that the Early Church fathers believed it too. Forgivness of Sins & Confession (Church Fathers) .

  2. Excommunication is indeed “for man to do” and you can find it in the New Testament. The most glaring case I can think of is Annanias and Sapphira in Acts 5. There are many other passages about cutting off a brother who rejects admonition after a certain amount of effort. Matthew 18:15-16 is an example right from the lips of Christ Himself. 2nd Thessalonians 3:6 says** “And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.”** (Catholics aren’t the only ones who excommunicate. I was a deacon in an Assembly of God church and left when they voted me down and excommunicated a brother who was allegedly having an extra-marital affair without ever even talking to the man about it. I pointed out that they had chosen to disobey the Word of God,and even volunteered to go see him myself, since I knew him pretty well. They rejected my counsel and did it anyway, and my family and I never went back. This was an abuse, since the whole point is to draw the guy back into reconcilliation, not cut him off cold.)

So there’s a good beginning to your answers and I hope I’ve helped you get a better understanding of what we believe. I think that you’ll find that what we teach is actually more Biblical than you have been led to believe by those who are not faithful Catholics. Even more, you will find that theer is plentious historical evidence to show that the early church was Catholic in what it believed and taught. A GREAT book along those lines is called “Surprised By Truth” by Patrick Madrid. (Yeah, I have that one too. :smiley: )
The Lord be with you.


#4

My dear brother Jake, I was being tutored else I would have replied post haste to your statement. I can only add to what blackknight covered. The Catholic Church is God’s Church. Founded by God, for God’s people. It is the “sign of salvation” to the world, those who join it are in an intimate way connected to the Lord. It is the Lord who guard’s are teachings from error and the Lord who preserves us from apostasy.

That is the basic thing to remember. Everything after will follow. So now that we have an understanding that the Catholic Church is God’s body on earth, His new Israel, lets take a look at the doctrines. I’ll concentrate on the ones that “Seperate Brethren” usually have alot of trouble with.

The Eucharist, the source, summit and center of Christian life. The font of graces, the strength of the Church. No matter how much we glorify and worship Our Lord in the Eucharist, it’s never enough. Just read John 6 with an open mind, read the tracts on Catholic.com on it. Pray, ask for God’s grace to be able to see it through His eyes.

Mary. Ever heard of “What would Jesus do?” Well how did Jesus treat His mother? He said it wasn’t His time at the wedding at Cana, yet because Mary asked Him too He complied. At the crucifixion He gave His mother to not only the Apostle He loved but to all Christians. It was Mary’s reply “yes” to the Angel Gabriel that set the plan of salvation in motion. God wouldn’t have chosen her to carry His Son unless there was no other viable candidate as He is not limited by time. The Church throughout the ages has saught Mary’s help, not only as a sister, a fellow Christian. But in a deep real sense as a Mother. We followed Christ’s words on the Cross. “Woman behold your Son, Son behold your Mother.” Mary was given as Mother of the Church at that moment. Furthermore the Church has the Charism of Infallibilty as set above. The Holy Spirit guards the Magisterium when they teach authoritavely on matters of faith and morals. So now that all the Marian doctrines have been defined we can clearly submit to God’s voice and accept it as truth. Because seriously if the Magisterium is ever proven wrong I’ll turn aetheist. But that will never happen.

Confession, see Blackknight’s reply. Just remember that Israel was a holy nation of priests, yet they too had to offer sacrifices through a priest at the temple. The same goes now, The Church is a nation of priests, as it sanctifies the world in General. A priest is special as they sanctify the Church and the World.

Well thats all I wanted to say, please come home and quick! We never know how long we have left on Earth, so please accept God’s Church. I’ll be praying for you.

Pax Vobis.


#5

[quote=twiztedseraph]Hey. I spent most of my formative spiritual years in Baptist Bible studies, so I don’t have big grudge against the Protestant communities. That said I was just wondering what factor is keeping the substantial amount of protestant members in this forum well, protestant? Thank you for answering.
[/quote]

After studying Catholicism, spending quite some time on this forum, seeing a priest and attending mass, I still had doubts and reservations. There were also family factors that played a part in my non-conversion.

I began to see that (to me anyway) it seemed the debates between Catholics and protestants in regards to doctrine were he said/they said, and were not satisfactory to me. It seemed that the truth was disguised on both sides by bias and misinformation.

I value Catholicism as well as other faiths. I just haven’t seen enough unbiased evidence to say that Catholicism is inherently better or more true than protestantism or Buddhism or other faiths.
You asked and so I told you.

Don’t kill the messenger.

Peace…


#6

Dear Jake,

I applaude your honesty and integrity. The purpose of my reply is not to answer your questions, as there are many others who will be able to give you much better information than I can, but you are looking in the right direction. If you are honestly seeking the truth, and it sounds like you are, God will reveal it to you. You are in my prayers.

Joe


#7

[quote=ahimsaman72]I began to see that (to me anyway) it seemed the debates between Catholics and protestants in regards to doctrine were he said/they said, and were not satisfactory to me. It seemed that the truth was disguised on both sides by bias and misinformation.
[/quote]

ahimsaman72,

Unfortunately this happens a lot when Catholics and non-Catholics debate the issues, and I hate to say, especially in Catholic Answers Forums. The discussions often turn into mud-slinging contests. Please don’t get discouraged. The truth of the Catholic Faith isn’t always readily apparent, but if you will prayerfully consider her claims, I believe the Holy Spirit will enable you to see them more clearly.

In Christ,
Joe


#8

[quote=jusher7281]ahimsaman72,

Unfortunately this happens a lot when Catholics and non-Catholics debate the issues, and I hate to say, especially in Catholic Answers Forums. The discussions often turn into mud-slinging contests. Please don’t get discouraged. The truth of the Catholic Faith isn’t always readily apparent, but if you will prayerfully consider her claims, I believe the Holy Spirit will enable you to see them more clearly.

In Christ,
Joe
[/quote]

Thanks Joe for your sincere and heartfelt post.

Peace…


#9

I have been talking to my friend who is Southern Baptist for a few weeks now and her MAJOR reservations are:

  1. Confession. She agrees with Streetcar in that she doesn’t see the point of going to a priest for confession.

  2. Mary and Saints. Mainly has a problem with statues and the “idol worship”.

  3. Lack of understanding of our faith. (Again, just like Streetcar mentioned). But through some conversation, we have cleared up some issues and she has come to see Catholicsm in a new light. She agrees with the fact there are alot of misconceptions about the Church.

  4. Her preference. This I think is her biggest reason for not being anything but Southern Baptist. She grew up Baptist and she would like to die Baptist, regardless of doctrinal issues. I pray more for her to be open and honest about her faith. This has been our obstacle because she confessed that she believes she is right and Catholics are wrong PERIOD, no matter if Scripture or Church history states otherwise. For example, when we were talking about OSAS and I quoted St. Paul, she replied “Who said that?..Well I don’t care what he said, only what Jesus said.” To me that showed me that we probably weren’t gonna get anywhere because she wasn’t gonna listen. Later she did admit she didn’t know her faith all too well and so I think maybe she thinks their are good arguments against Catholicsm out there, she just doesn’t know em.

So,I think that some Protestants don’t really want to hear what you have to say about Catholicsm and that makes explaining the faith abit difficult. I think Catholics can be the same way and not try to understand where Protestants derive their beliefs from (and for what reasons they hold onto them, such as family, the way they were raised, etc…) and we just go in there and begin to argue and not really move forward in evangelizing (I am guilty of this, I guess you can call it pride). Understanding first, then discussing may promote a more sincere message than just “slinging mud.” All I know is that I am gonna continue to pray for the Church, for my friends, for patience and for the Lord’s will to be done and this is where the fruits of evangelization will stem from.

Jake (streetcar), I would have to say that the attitude of being open and willing to discuss your reservations and to understand is a great blessing. Keep it up and God Bless.


#10

[quote=Roree]I have been talking to my friend who is Southern Baptist for a few weeks now and her MAJOR reservations are:

  1. Confession. She agrees with Streetcar in that she doesn’t see the point of going to a priest for confession.

  2. Mary and Saints. Mainly has a problem with statues and the “idol worship”.

  3. Lack of understanding of our faith. (Again, just like Streetcar mentioned). But through some conversation, we have cleared up some issues and she has come to see Catholicsm in a new light. She agrees with the fact there are alot of misconceptions about the Church.

  4. Her preference. This I think is her biggest reason for not being anything but Southern Baptist. She grew up Baptist and she would like to die Baptist, regardless of doctrinal issues. I pray more for her to be open and honest about her faith. This has been our obstacle because she confessed that she believes she is right and Catholics are wrong PERIOD, no matter if Scripture or Church history states otherwise. For example, when we were talking about OSAS and I quoted St. Paul, she replied “Who said that?..Well I don’t care what he said, only what Jesus said.” To me that showed me that we probably weren’t gonna get anywhere because she wasn’t gonna listen. Later she did admit she didn’t know her faith all too well and so I think maybe she thinks their are good arguments against Catholicsm out there, she just doesn’t know em.

So,I think that some Protestants don’t really want to hear what you have to say about Catholicsm and that makes explaining the faith abit difficult. I think Catholics can be the same way and not try to understand where Protestants derive their beliefs from (and for what reasons they hold onto them, such as family, the way they were raised, etc…) and we just go in there and begin to argue and not really move forward in evangelizing (I am guilty of this, I guess you can call it pride). Understanding first, then discussing may promote a more sincere message than just “slinging mud.” All I know is that I am gonna continue to pray for the Church, for my friends, for patience and for the Lord’s will to be done and this is where the fruits of evangelization will stem from.

Jake (streetcar), I would have to say that the attitude of being open and willing to discuss your reservations and to understand is a great blessing. Keep it up and God Bless.
[/quote]

And just to piggyback on what Roree has said here:

The sacraments are a big stumblingblock. Confession, absolution, Eucharist (body, soul, divinity), anointing of the sick: these are all foreign to Baptists and many other denoms.

I remember first learning about the different sacraments and being overwhelmed with the reality of their existence. I never knew they existed. I didn’t realize the depth of the priesthood involvement in Catholicism. Of course, the priesthood to a Baptist is about as foreign as a space alien.

The priesthood is seen as an offensive, authority crazed, non useful and anti-New Testament office. So, there are some real challenges and blocks to being open to Catholicism. It’s as strange to a Baptist as if he were trying to understand Hinduism.

Peace…


#11

[quote=ahimsaman72]So, there are some real challenges and blocks to being open to Catholicism. It’s as strange to a Baptist as if he were trying to understand Hinduism.
[/quote]

I was very surprised when my friend placed Catholicsm in the same category as Hinduism and Buddhism. She stated she is interested in learning about other religions other than Christianity and then mentioned the above religions. It was like she never even saw us as related. I guess that is the power of the preacher in leading his flock.


#12

[quote=Roree]I was very surprised when my friend placed Catholicsm in the same category as Hinduism and Buddhism. She stated she is interested in learning about other religions other than Christianity and then mentioned the above religions. It was like she never even saw us as related. I guess that is the power of the preacher in leading his flock.
[/quote]

Well, it’s not really that. If you compare the beliefs and practices of Baptists and Catholics, you will see why it’s a different planet with different space aliens looking each other in the eye.

Peace…


#13

I have very few quibbles with the Catholic Church. There was not an active Catholic Church within 15 miles of where I grew up, so I had no Catholic influence as a child. I did always feel a vocational call to the ordained ministry. Most of my knowledge of Catholicism came long after I was ordained as a United Methodist.

I am married, have a daughter, and my vocational call is as strong as ever. I would not be able to fulfill that calling in the Catholic Church. After continued spiritual direction, prayer, and reading Scott Hahn, etc., I have come to peace with remaining in the UMC.

O+


#14

[quote=ahimsaman72] So, there are some real challenges and blocks to being open to Catholicism. It’s as strange to a Baptist as if he were trying to understand Hinduism.

Peace…
[/quote]

AM72,

Funny you should mention this. I’m still “officially” Baptist, but actually more Hindu and Buddhist. It was Catholicism’s similarity to the liturgical faiths of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism that got me interested in Catholicism in the first place. In addition, the Catholic contemplative and philosophical traditions – as exemplified by Meister Eckhart and Origen of Alexandria – also have deep parallels to Hinduism and Buddhism. If I had remained purely Protestant, there would have been no way I would have explored Catholicism, but my exposure to the Indian religions opened my eyes to Catholicism’s and Orthodoxy’s richness.

'Nuff said.:smiley:


#15

the Catholic contemplative and philosophical traditions – as exemplified by Meister Eckhart and Origen of Alexandria – also have deep parallels to Hinduism and Buddhism

I’ve heard of Catholic mystics, but never Baptist mystics. Acceptance of mystery is important to Catholicism. Welcome. :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=Ahimsa]AM72,

Funny you should mention this. I’m still “officially” Baptist, but actually more Hindu and Buddhist. It was Catholicism’s similarity to the liturgical faiths of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism that got me interested in Catholicism in the first place. In addition, the Catholic contemplative and philosophical traditions – as exemplified by Meister Eckhart and Origen of Alexandria – also have deep parallels to Hinduism and Buddhism. If I had remained purely Protestant, there would have been no way I would have explored Catholicism, but my exposure to the Indian religions opened my eyes to Catholicism’s and Orthodoxy’s richness.

'Nuff said.:smiley:
[/quote]

Hey friend -

After I did some basic studying of world religions on my own, I realized the richness of other faiths. When I looked at my Baptist faith (I’m still on the “roll” at the Baptist Church here) and looked at Buddhism, Judaism and Catholicism I saw vast differences and felt intense yearnings for something more than I was used to. I became stifled with the conservative, literal understanding of God and the universe in my Baptist faith.

The majority of Baptists I have known in my life know little of any other faith, whether another Christian denom or different religion altogether. I was always taught that everything outside of the Baptist faith was evil and shouldn’t even be considered or studied. So, I spent the majority of my life shunning any other faith or other Christian denoms for fear of being led away from the “true” faith and burning in hell forever and ever and ever and ever…you get my point.

I have found it freeing to study other faiths, while at the same time it has left me clueless as to where I really stand in my spiritual/religious life and with “God”.

I appreciate the Catholic faith very much but find its laws and expectations of the laity to be restrictive and burdensome. However, the practices and theology are very rich and deep and full of promise. I just can’t get past some conservative issues - issues deeply important to me.

Forgive me for babbling on.

Peace to all…


#17

[quote=streetcar]For me, it’s a number of reasons.

  1. I don’t get having to confess your sins to a priest. Why not cut out the middle man and head straight to the Boss himself?

-Jake
[/quote]

Why don’t you reread the entire new testament with all of those questions on a sheet and write down every verse or paragraph that addresses them? For example, here’s the gospel of John on confessing sins to people instead of the Boss:

John 20:19-23

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the door locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said,“Peace be with you!” After he said this he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

How bizarre that Jesus would say such a thing if he actually wanted us to “go straight to the boss”.

Phil


#18

[quote=O.S. Luke]I have very few quibbles with the Catholic Church. There was not an active Catholic Church within 15 miles of where I grew up, so I had no Catholic influence as a child. I did always feel a vocational call to the ordained ministry. Most of my knowledge of Catholicism came long after I was ordained as a United Methodist.

I am married, have a daughter, and my vocational call is as strong as ever. I would not be able to fulfill that calling in the Catholic Church. After continued spiritual direction, prayer, and reading Scott Hahn, etc., I have come to peace with remaining in the UMC.

O+
[/quote]

If I may ask O, so are you a Methodist because of your ordination within the UMC or because you do not believe the Catholic Church teaches the fullness of truth? The reason I ask is because Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Alex Jones, and many others were in similar shoes as yourself (tremendous responsibilty or commitment within a congregation) BUT left that because they found the fullness of Christianity within the Catholic Church. I guess what I am getting at is (since the thread is on reasons Protestants aren’t Catholic) would you say that belonging to the Church Christ established is more important than what you feel is your vocational call? If so, is the UMC that Church? If not, how do you justify serving outside the Church He establised, or better put, how do you find peace serving outside His Church?

I hope these aren’t loaded questions and please don’t take this the wrong way. I do admire your service to the Lord, I am just curious.


#19

I have always felt that either the Catholic Church was either all good or all evil (all Christ or all anti-Christ). Much like Jesus, either all God or all crazy for thinking he was. I mean, we claim to change the substance of bread and wine to His Body and Blood. That is crazy!! But is it true? I believe so and if it is, then the Church cannot be anything less than Christ’s Church. As a Catholic, I make some very strong claims about my faith, so in my opinion I am either Christian in the fullest sense or not one at all. I guess I have trouble understanding how Catholics can be accepted as Christians, if someone doesn’t agree with what they teach, because we partake in all these mystical practices that really no other denom claims. If you accept them as Christians, do you not think it is like I just said because I don’t see the Church as a middle-of-the-road type faith. What do you think? Peace, my friend.


#20

[quote=Roree]I have always felt that either the Catholic Church was either all good or all evil (all Christ or all anti-Christ). Much like Jesus, either all God or all crazy for thinking he was. I mean, we claim to change the substance of bread and wine to His Body and Blood. That is crazy!! But is it true? I believe so and if it is, then the Church cannot be anything less than Christ’s Church. As a Catholic, I make some very strong claims about my faith, so in my opinion I am either Christian in the fullest sense or not one at all. I guess I have trouble understanding how Catholics can be accepted as Christians, if someone doesn’t agree with what they teach, because we partake in all these mystical practices that really no other denom claims. If you accept them as Christians, do you not think it is like I just said because I don’t see the Church as a middle-of-the-road type faith. What do you think? Peace, my friend.
[/quote]

If I may add my :twocents:, though the question was not addressed to me. It might be my mystical/contemplative temperament, but I don’t see the Catholic Church’s teachings in a “it’s-either-all-true-or-all-false” fashion, especially when it comes to issues that don’t touch on the essence of morality and ethics.

For instance, on the issue of transubstantiation – I don’t see how belief in it, or disbelief in it, really changes how a person would treat a hungry dog on the street. If you have a good ethical sense, you’re gonna feed that dog if you can – regardless of your position on the nature of the bread and wine after consecration.:slight_smile:


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