Left the Church


#1

Hi everyone,

I have a friend who was a convert to the Catholic faith (from Protestantism) and was fairly fervent (and was Catholic for at least a few years).

Recently, she has left the Catholic faith after reading (Book 1) of Neal Donald Walsch’s “Conversations with God”. See here for an article on the book:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversations_with_God

She says she no longer believes in Hell, sin, judgment, and she does believe in reincarnation. She also claims that she has much greater joy now in her life and is closer to God. She also says she has greater love for humanity. One of the questions she asked me is how could she be experiencing such joy (and she might also say, “grace”) in her life if (as she recognizes) she is outside the Church? And thus I am posting that question to see what everyone thinks. She does not go to Mass anymore, by the way.


#2

This is unfortunate. Many have been deceived by these books. It is gnosticism to the extreme. Light a candle at Church and pray for her.

… a little apologetics might not hurt either! :smiley:


#3

She isn’t just outside the Holy Catholic Church, she appears to be outside Christianity altogether.

She isn’t closer to God, quite the contrary.

Anyone can f-e-e-e-e-l that they’re close to God. A neo-Pagan New Age hippie sitting on a rock in the desert can feeeeeeeel close to God. But feelings are unreliable. Only by being in the Holy Catholic Church can one truly be close to God…have a true relationship with Christ.


#4

anyone can FEEL happy happy joyous about being in any state. However, that’s not the focus of religion… REJOICE in the Lord does not mean a constant state of psuedo bliss similar to a drugged out high. The feelings of “joy” we get when we stray from the church are temporal in nature, they are earthly joy, and, of course, joy in earthly things is not inspired by God. Furthermore, joy in such silly concepts as reincarnation and no hell is brought on by Satan… of COURSE he wants you to feel joyful in falling into heresies and blasphemies.


#5

She is at that “delightful” point (in her history) where she’s been tittilated by the serpent about the fruit, has grasped the gorgeous fruit, can smell the fruit, anticipates the joys of what is to come in her “knowing” (gnosis), but has not yet tasted the bitter realization of what she’s just done.

These are the precepts of Walsch’s “ideology”:
[LIST=1]
*]We are all One.
*]There’s Enough.
*]There’s Nothing We Have [an obligation] to Do.
*]Ours Is Not A Better Way, Ours Is Merely Another Way.[/LIST]Look familiar?

See the dangers of any “gnostic religion”, or Buddhism/Hinduism, and the like.

Sounds like the next big “Secret” to me…!

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#6

Jer 17:9 -

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?


#7

Some of the most seemingly happy and nice people I’ve ever known were agnostic, athiest or pagan.
Jesus never promised us a rose garden (to borrow a phrase) here on earth.
He DID however promise us ETERNAL happiness after we LEAVE this earth - for those who follow HIM, that is . . .


#8

Thanks for the responses so far, I appreciate it. She may be looking at some of them, as I sent her the link to this thread.


#9

I understand why you think and speak this way, I would have had a similar or perhaps even stronger response had our roles been reversed. I am happy for the zeal you possess for our Lord. That you would speak so bluntly what you believe is what I would say is evidence of your zeal for Him. May our Lord continue to bless you so. Not so long ago I would have resented and taken quite personally these type of words directed towards me. Now I am able to see them somewhat indifferently, they are only words, and besides, I do not think I would be wrong in thinking that you had the best of intentions in speaking them.
You are on the path that seems right to you and I am on the path that seems right to me. Truly I do understand your obligation to speak or think like this, and beyond that, I think you are right for doing so. However, it being right for you, does not automatically make it so for me. So these words will not produce the effect that you perhaps are hoping for in me. I do not intend to return to the Church, I cannot be encouraged into submission and repentance, no matter how well intentioned anyone may be.
I do though retain my love of the Catholic Church, the beauty of the liturgy, the lives of the Saints, the well meaning folks, like you, who think and are willing to speak the truth as you see it to be. And beyond that, I will be forever grateful for the Catholic Church, it has played a big part of my getting here. I could never resent her, nor could I resent you.
But how did I get from there to here? Mostly it is still a mystery to me I am working at figuring out. I will say that I didn’t believe the book Conversations with God when I first read it and I only read a chapter or two before just jumping around, wondering if there was to be any thing of value to me in it. But when I came upon these words, " you don’t want to know the Truth, you want to know the truth as you understand it. This is the greatest barrier to your enlightenment. You think you already understand how it is. So you agree with everything you see or hear or read that falls into the paradigm of your understanding, and reject everything which does not. And this you call being open to the teachings. Alas, you can never be open to the teachings so long as you are closed to everything save your own truth ." And while this is not written in full context, these are the words that most moved me.
Know that I do not expect or even hope you will see these words as true. I share them as I know they were true to me and sent me into a deeper soul searching. I questioned everything, even the existence of God. But obviously there is extensive evidence that our Lord exists. I believe that we both love and worship the one true God, and through this, I sincerely care for you and hope that our Lord may greatly bless you.
My final thought to share is this. If our Lord sends me straight to hell upon my death, I will have at least had this short life to serve Him and love Him in joy and without fear.[size=][size=][/size][/size]


#10

Why, then, take that chance? The words you quoted seem to apply to your new understanding of God, but then ask yourself this question (as is the basis for the book you read): Was my Catholic faith that limiting? Obviously, you believe so, and this book has opened you up to a fuller “enlightenment” in your quest to be closer to God.

Another thing you said:

There is only one Truth out there; Catholics such as myself believe that Truth is found in the revelations of God through Jesus Christ. What you’re expressing is not Truth, but rather personal feelings. This is what is called relativism. It’s the one thing that plagues our society and breaks down moral behaviors and attitudes. You’ve just been seduced by someone’s moral relativism.


#11

I do not believe it to be a chance or I would be much to fearful to take it. I know there are many who think it is a chance though and it is for your sakes did I say that. I think it would be stupid of me to think hell awaited me for my choice and still choose it. :slight_smile:
But even if I am wrong, it is still worth it to be able to love and serve our Lord from this place.

Up until recently I believed that nothing was relative in regard to our Lord. Absolute truth, true for everyone. I held that firmly. But I found things of our Lord outside that absolute truth but out of fear I held onto that absolute truth for years. Now I believe that all things are relative. Even things regarding our Lord.

I do not believe that it is relativism that breaks down moral behaviors and attitudes, I believe it is fear.


#12

I like this, and totally agree.
I would even go so far to say that love is all there is, when fear is not in the way.


#13

I believe that it is far better for a person to leave the Church than to cling on out of ignorance or out of an obsession with trying to hammer the Church into conforming to that person’s own individual will.

That person has free will. We can’t change that. The energy we spend in hanging on when people want us to let go – that energy can be much better spent committing ourselves to prayer, sanctification, and works of faith.

There is much for us to submit to each and every one of us. Let the Holy Spirit guide the lost back to us if that’s where they want to go. And let the Holy Spirit guide us to strengthen the Church.

Our Pope has said that the Church must get smaller to get stronger. How complicated is that?

As Catholics we must know by now that we cannot evangelize by banging folks over the head with doctrine. We can only try our very best to live good Catholic lives and to hold up the joy of Salvation for the world to see. If people are truly interested, then they will see what we have and they will want it.

And they will come home.

God bless your friend who left. God bless you. God bless us all.


#14

Every pop star has love for humanity. The question is whether you have enough love to spend ten minutes in conversation with the lonely old lady next door.

However a sincere paganism might be better than a conventional and not deeply felt Catholicism. Your friend’s journey is dangerous, because when those outside the Church try to be good they invariably become a threat to other people, but it doesn’t sound hopeless by any means. Maybe she needs to burn a few joss sticks before she realises that “Yeah, man, that’s where it’s at. That pattern.” isn’t going anywhere. Nor is vegetarianism and animal rights. If you don’t believe in judgement who gets to decide what you will be reincarnated as? The silliness and contradiction is everywhere, but you need a bit of insight to wake up to it.


#15

One of the questions she asked me is how could she be experiencing such joy (and she might also say, “grace”) in her life if (as she recognizes) she is outside the Church?
Because satan is deceiving her.


#16

It’s funny…the Bible states quite a bit about sin. Even if you are not Catholic…Jesus’ discussion about sin, Heaven, Hell…it’s pretty poignant. I have always looked at other denominations as lacking mirrors. The RCC holds a mirror up to my face daily…and do I like who is staring back at me? I would rather be accountable, than not see my sins, and do something to change.:o Falling and repenting is only granted through God’s grace…I am grateful that God cares about me* that *much, to hold a mirror up to my face, daily. If I were in a faith that had no mirrors, I would know that it was self centered, and not God-centered.


#17

Again, thanks everyone for your responses and your prayers, I appreciate it. God bless.


#18

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