Man Made Rules?

This question is for those who have left the Catholic Church for another Christian Church and for those who are non-Catholic Christians who refuse to worship God in the Catholic Church.

I would like to know why you left the Catholic Church for another church or why you refuse to worship God in the Catholic Church?

A friend of mine has left her Catholic Church for a non-denominational church stating that she left because the Catholic Church has too many man made rules. But, when asked to give more detail she just really couldn’t give me any other examples except for the fasting rules during Lent and that the amount of money we give to the church is between us and God and that there is no need to use envelopes for the collections. ?

actually every church seems to have man-made rules. Some churches forbid dancing or going to the movies. where is that in the Bible? Or in tradition? as for rules of fasting what is wrong with fasting? even those staunch anti-catholic Puritans did that. Mosern evangelicals are getting too soft. Me included.

Firstly are you Cajun or a hillbilly? There is a world of difference; Cajuns are the Acadian Exiles who were packed on to coffin ships and deported from land we had worked for a hundred and fifty years because the British usurpers didn’t approve of our Catholicism. Hillbillies are hicks who live in the hills.

Back on topic though Christ gave the apostles authority to enforce their rules as divine. So yes, their are many man made God approved & enforced rules in the Catholic faith.

I’m in the second group - non-Catholic - but I do not refuse to worship God in the Catholic Church. I’ve done it often. I am not in communion with the Bishop of Rome, however, not because of man-made rules, per se. I am not in communion with him because I believe that the power and supremacy he claims for himself over the whole Church is not extant in scripture or the early councils.
Some might say that’s man-made rules. I consider it a doctrinal issue.


Your friend is appaently blind to the obvious;she herself is now attending a man-made church, which in itself has its own man-made rules. Go figure?

Sure, the Catholic Church has LOTS of man-made rules.

*]Every diocese must have a finance council containing professionals who can advise the bishop on money matters. Every parish must have a finance council containing professionals who can advise the pastor.
*]Any priest accused of wrongdoing is allowed a chance to defend himself.
*]Anyone who steals from the Church is to be removed from office.
*]When a bishop leaves office, someone is appointed to watch over the diocese until a successor is appointed.
And there are plenty of man-made rules regarding religious observance, too.

*]Everyone goes to Mass on Easter, Christmas, and other holy days of obligation.
*]Anyone who wants to publish a translation of the Bible has to run the translation past the Church’s Scripture experts to make sure that the Word of God has been translated correctly.
*]Only clergy can preach the homily.
*]Priests are to say Mass every day.
The first set is a set of examples of rules that any organization has to have to be run well. The idea of sit-back-and-just-assume-that-nothing-will-go-wrong-with-the-organization is simply wrong.

The second set is a set of examples of rules respecting the duties of faithful Catholics. There’s nothing wrong with adopting such rules (see Romans 13 for Biblical authority of the Church to establish rules). After all, could a church actually say “We’ll hold our worship services whenever someone stops by and asks”? No; they say “Services are held at such-and-such a time.” That’s a man-made rule.

What you cannot do is elevate the man-made rules above the divine ones (e.g., holding to sola scriptura when the Bible says not to). So tell your friend: man-made rules are fine, as long as the divine law is obeyed first.

I can speak as a revert. I grew up in the 1970’s and I left the Catholic church when I was young. I didn’t know or understand the teachings. I had very little training so when other churches reached out and began telling me what was wrong with the Catholic church and that they were where to find Jesus and the truth, I bought it. I know a lot of people talk about the importance of good catechism and some say we don’t need it. We need it. Of course, I know I could have studied then and looked into but I didn’t. It was after I left and began to starve for truth and began to study church history on my own that God led me home.

I believe it was St. Dominic who said when he saw people in his time leaving the Catholic church and following Albigensian heresy that if people were taught well the truth they would not follow lies. I guess we need to get more grounded in our faith, which is really funny that people still don’t understand the truths of the Catholic church since we are in the information age and we can find out a lot today. It’s important for us to study our faith.

Non-denominational evangelical churches don’t just pull people from Catholic churches but other mainline denominations also. As far as rules go, people like the feeling they can do whatever they want and they don’t have to obey or follow any rules, to just do what they want, so that type of theology tickles peoples ears and draws them to it.

We need to pray.

The Protestant churches that I’m familiar with in my area require their congregants to attend a class before becoming a member of the church. In principle, I don’t see how this requirement is any different than penitential observances such as fasting, the example given by your friend.

In any event, fasting (in the US) is not “required” except for two days of the year: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. But, this is no different than the Southern Baptist’s obligation to abstain from alcohol (and the SBC has even passed resolutions on fasting).

Non-denominational churches like Lakewood Church (here in Houston) “require” their members to give 10%. To be sure, Pastor Osteen doesn’t have any way to enforce this rule, except to suggest the following:

“…to be successful in your walk with God, commit to honor God with your finances. When you commit to give the Lord the first 10% of your income, God promises He will pour out blessings you cannot contain. Tithing is the first key to financial prosperity.”

In other words, a Lakewood Church-goer who does not tithe will not be successful in her walk with God, and she will miss out on financial prosperity. Sounds like a rule to me!

I used to think the Catholic Church had a lot of “man made” rules as well, primarily because I didn’t dig very deep into the Catholic faith and therefore didn’t understand how valuable and lovely some of these “man made” rules were.

But people often want to have an emotional and psychological confirmation of what they believe in. Often times, Catholicism has been perceived as giving information, “demands,” tradition, but no real emotional fulfillment of the promise of Christ. Evangelicalism especially sometimes appears vibrant, and often times people will search an emotional high to go there. This isn’t to say there aren’t intellectual Evangelicals, there most certainly are, but in growing up within that environment, I’ve often heard “I felt an emotional wave” or “I felt dead inside previously” or something of that nature which encourages conversion. I’ve hardly ever heard “I read and compared the theologies pound for pound and became convinced of the truth of Evangelicalism.”

Often the trouble in Evangelicalism begins once Church history is studied, and all of a sudden, a massive 1500 year gap appears out of nowhere.

That is a very good point and what people don’t often realize is that the Evangelical churches have to keep coming up with ways and ideas to give people these emotional waves.Thus enters entertainment. I remember one pastor told the congregation during his sermon that the hardest Christians they have reaching are those who have been there a while because the feeling of “being fed” dwindles after so long.

There is no set amount for tithing in the Catholic Church. It is all left up to the person to decide what they can give. But the envelopes can be an easy way to track your donations. My church gives me a copy at the end of the year. I used it for tax purposes.

Honestly, half the time a Protestant complains about the Catholic Church’s “man-made rules” it turns out that they’re complaining about things that the Bible explicitly commands.

[INDENT]“The Catholic Church invented confession.” No, it comes from Scripture.

“Mary couldn’t be assumed into Heaven; that’s impossible.” No, Scripture tells us of two other such examples.

“There’s no such thing as priests and bishops in the New Testament. The Catholic Church made them up.” No, they’re explicitly described in the New Testament.[/INDENT]
Et cetera.

Once you dig down and find so-called “man-made rules” that really are man-made, it always turns out that they’re mere disciplinary institutions (meat on Fridays, priests saying Mass once a day, the pre-Communion fast, etc.), not doctrine or dogma.

In my own, personal, humble opinion, of course.

I have trouble with the doctrine of papal infallibility. I would welcome the structure and unity of teaching but yes, I believe he is capable of error, even if it may be very unlikely.

The other difficulty would be leaving my church family (unless we were all brought in together!)

Life would be vastly different if Luther hadn’t gone to Rome, or Johann Tetzel had stayed in Poland!

And it is very understood you have trouble. The doctrine of infallibility does not teach or declare the pope is an infallible human. It states he is infallible in matters of faith and morals. Would you not state the writers of the OT/NT were infallible or fallible when teaching about God?

I think it fair to say that this type of Protestant is certainly not very thoughtful about their faith. They are the sort whose opposition to the Catholic Church amounts to personal preference, and they are not unlike those who appreciate the Church because of things like the beauty of the mass or the grandiose old churches. Not liking the way that bishops dress is not a sufficient reason to restrain oneself from being Catholic; and unfortunately, such reasons are often enough for many folks.

Perhaps a more legitimate set of reasons, might be the assumption that much of the Doctrines and Dogmas of the Church have, in fact, been invented out of whole cloth by depraved and mistaken men. Envelopes are one thing; the Marian Dogmas are quite another. “Man-made” in Protestantese usually refers to that sort of thing.

As 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

AND the next verse adds “so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Which would lead me to trust in the teaching and preaching of God’s servants/pastors/priests in as much as they are relying on Scripture. And of course the glaring fact is that mere men canonized the Scriptures into the Bible we know anyway - were they inspired? Yes.

I’m doing a good job arguing with myself! :o

I’m so obstinate and stubborn I would probably argue with a burning bush…

I find the ‘rule’ about tithing in the Catholic Church interesting. Mainly because as a protestant I head a sermon every single week about giving. In the 3 years I’ve been Catholic I don’t recall a single one - unless you count the pastor asking at the end of mass last week for people to keep in mind that our church is heritage listed and it needs some restoration.

Okay but 2 Tim 3:16 does not say:" ONLY scripture is God-breathed…"

Likewise,when and where does the NT teach that after all the apostles died,that oral Traditions would cease and everything is binded to written scripture alone? Scripture teaches us to hold fast to all traditions…oral and penned in 2 Tess.

You are missing the point. The NT apparently had to be infallible or else we are in deep trouble in trusting the sacred scriptures. Thus,why would God cease to guide His church leaders in matters of faith and morals,after scripture was all penned?

in our Catholic parish, we have many collections other than our weekly tithe. we have the building church fund, CRS, for building a well in nigeria, Peter’s Pence, St. Vincent de Paul, and many others. since i have become Catholic, weekly i receive requests for donations from numerous charities that i had never heard of until i became Catholic. in the Catholic church, we usually don’t have homilies about tithing like they might do in the protestant churches. my daughter-in-law stopped going to her protestant church because week after week the sermons were on the importance of tithing. she felt like they were speaking directly to her. my problem right now is that i am experiencing financial difficulties and i would love to donate to the church and certain charities, but can’t until i begin working again.

i really dislike all of the finger pointing back and forth between the Catholic church and the protestant churches. the protestant churches are still helping people be good Christian people and to lead Christian lives and to serve God and their community. i believe that there are many good Christian people who are not Catholic. i know many will disagree, but the Catholic Church have their rules and the protestant churches have their own rules,
but, as long we are worshiping the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we re all one Christian community.

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