We all know that some people saying that they are Christian or Catholic, don’t even belive in God and most don’t even attend mass or Church regulary. There are 1.2 billion self proclaimed Catholics and 2.2 billion self proclaimed Christians. How many orthodox Catholics and Christians approximately like me and you are there?
There may even be one less “real” Christian than I think there is!
I too would love to know this. :rolleyes:
I read on New Advent in an article on their homepage that the number of those who follow/believe in all the teachings of the Church is something like <5%, and, if you count up all the US Catholics who have ever spent a single dollar at a Catholic bookstore or volunteered at their parish, it’s only around 1.5 million.
Our Church needs prayers indeed.
Ummm…do you have any proof that what I underlined and bolded? If someone denounces God, then they wouldn’t say they were Catholic/Christian. :shrug:
Even the most devout Catholics/Christians are sinners. If someone messes up, that still makes them Catholic/Christian.
There seem to be an awful lot of politicians and other celebs who claim to be Christian or Catholic but support things quite contrary to Church doctrine. I could mention one prominent Congress person who claims to be devout Catholic but recently accepted the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood for work in support of abortion.:shrug:
I understand that. But the OP said that people claim to be Catholic/Christian but don’t believe in God. I’m not saying that people don’t sin or follow Church teaching like they are supposed to. I’m saying that I’m sure these people, even when they are blatantly going against The Church, aren’t denouncing God. They still believe, they just may have a distorted view. I have never heard of a person who has said, “I’m a Catholic/Christian, but I don’t believe in God.”
Only God knows individuals’ hearts. You and I cannot know for sure who is a “real” Christian. We can recognize Christians “by their fruits” but even that is open to error.
Not only that, but the OP is talking about today, February 7, 2014. Maybe some–even many–of those who right now are not really living the faith will ‘wake up’ tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.
I can tell you that there were–and are, sadly-- more times than I like to admit in my life (thus far) that while I identified as Catholic and even thought myself a good practicing Catholic I was FAR from the mark. Even now when I am truly trying hard, every day, I am STILL not really, fully, following God all the time, and on the rare times I do --well, shucks, I’m only doing what I am SUPPOSED to do; it’s not like I’m even doing anything but the bare minimum!
**None ** of us are really giving our all for Christ, and maybe the best thing we can do is try harder ourselves in every way–to be educated about the faith, to live it completely in our lives and to pray to God and the saints every day that "God’s will be done through us in every way’. . .then maybe we wouldn’t need to ask about real Christians, because we’d all be too busy being real Christians.
I agree with you.
If the truth be known, other than the handful of true saints among us, there’s not a single TRUE Catholic or Christian on earth. Sometimes we’re truly Christian, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we believe firmly, sometimes we’re shaky at best. But we can change, and we do change.
We’re human, and that’s part of how we were created. If we all truly got our just deserts for every time we fell, we would all be shot at sunrise, I expect.
The premise of your statement would seem to be that when one sins, or entertains some doubt, one ceases to be a “true” Catholic. I don’t believe that to be doctrinally or theologically correct, whatever your definition of “true” may be.
I think when we freely choose to sin we are atheists at that moment. But if you mean how many Catholics, despite the many times we give in to sin, at least agree with the Church that we are doing wrong when we sin I would guess maybe about 10 percent of us.
I don’t see how this question could ever be accurately answered. How would you define “real?” That’s way too subjective, maybe a better question would be how many Catholics or Christians actually practice their religion? As evidenced by actually attending worship services regularly, following traditions, rituals, and volunteering as needed. “Realness,?” There are days I do act like a real Christian, but unfortunately there are some days I don’t. I’m a work in progress I guess…
Agreed. I also agree with Deanna83. How can you tell for sure? Some people believe that “real” or “true” Catholics are those who not only believe in the Creed but who also regularly attend mass, participate in the sacraments, read the bible, and pray daily. Others would add that a real/true Catholic goes the extra mile by evangelizing or performing acts of charity for those in need. Both are valid definitions.
And yet both must ~never~ be used as a measuring stick against our fellow Catholics. We must understand that we are not in a race to win God’s love. We already have it. The joy we feel when we express to others that we are practicing Catholics must also be accompanied with a deep sense of humility.
I’m not a model Catholic either. In fact I think I’m a rather bad role model. But I do attend mass regularly and I have more than a basic understanding of the gospels from all that free time I had last Lent to read them. Always, always I pray that I never let my pride in being a member of the Catholic Church be used as a reason to look down on anyone. There will always be someone better, someone more real and true.
If we freely choose to sin it doesn’t necessarily mean we are atheists, it just means we are human…thankfully even though we do stupid things like sin willingly, and knowingly, Christ instituted the sacrament of reconciliation to repair the damage we’ve done to our relationship with God …and, while atheists probably would not go to confession, Catholics do!
Good point. But I was only talking about the actual time when we Catholics/Christians are willingly indulging in the sin. During that time, we want nothing to do with God. So, in this way, I say that we (at least those of us who repeatedly struggle with mortal sins) are temporarily like atheists. But kind of like what you are saying, the difference between this and being a committed atheist is that we do come back. Although many who are committed atheists became that way after not coming back. The way I see it is I had my big conversion to Christianity, and since then I’ve had a lot of little conversions because of my struggles with sin.
Have you heard about “culture Catholics?” It’s a derogatory term, so I don’t use it, but it’s the most well-known term that describes Catholics who view the “Catholic” label as one of inheritance (e.g. I grew up in a Catholic household, therefore I am Catholic). I knew a couple Catholics in college (as in they were baptized and Confirmed) who completely reject the religion but call themselves Catholic out of heritage.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard it with the broader term “Christian” though.