My First Post

Hi All,

I though I should give a short introduction to myself before I start asking questions, as a may ask a lot of questions in the near future :slight_smile:

I am a Christian. I don’t really want to elaborate too much about myself. Suffice it to say that I am considering becoming a Catholic. However, I am also considering whether I should be Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox or Evangelical/Protestant.

All four options seem to have difficulties and positives and I am having a hard time choosing between them. I hope my time on this forum will be helpful in helping me decide whether I should be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox or Evangelical/Protestant and hopefully help me to the practical steps of being a committed member of one of those 4 options.

I am leaning more towards Catholic at the moment.

I should probably also mention that I am trying to read material that gives me answers to my questions, but sometimes I have questions that are not very common and more difficult to find answers to them as a result. So a lot of my questions may fall into this category.

[Just a final question, some of my questions may be triggered from material on non-Catholic websites, forums and books. If I have a question that is triggered from one of these sources, am I allowed to quote the source? Am I allowed to link to the source and mention who the author is and what book it is from etc? Or am I supposed to not link to it and only summarise it and leave it anonymous?

I guess what I am trying to ask is am I allowed to link to other non-Catholic pages on other websites or other non-Catholic forums? Does this apply to all sections of the forums (Non-Catholic Religions, Apologetics, Eastern Catholicism etc)?]

Welcome to CAF, NewGuy2014! Feel free to ask all the questions you like. In the “Consierge Desk” (sp?) area, you should find the rules of the road. You are not allowed to post links to sites in an attempt to swarm other forums. For references to quotes and points you are making, you are allowed to post links. But read the rule first. Regarding the section you post in, just try to fit your topics in the best area for that topic. (I.e. questions about the sinfulness of an act would go in “Moral Theology”, while questions about why Catholics venerate the Saints would go in “Apologetics”, and asking about the difference between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form Mass might go in “Liturgy” or “Traditional”, etc…Questions about how to deal with that Uncle that refuses to see you anymore because you joined a Catholic forum would go in “Family Life”. :smiley: )

Then, may I at least ask you a question: what do you mean when you say “I am a Christian?”

I don’t wish to compromise your desire to not elaborate too much upon yourself, but this term, “Christian,” has a particular meaning to Catholics. It would be helpful for Catholics here to know how you use the term.

To a Catholic, the term “Christian” means someone who has received valid Christian Baptism. According to Catholic theology, it means NOTHING else. It has nothing to do with conduct, or belief, or “goodness,” or any such thing (though many people, including Catholics, mistakenly believe some of these “extra” things are required. This is actually heresy).

If you have received valid Christian Baptism (according to Catholic theology) then we agree that you are a Christian, and this will allow us to respond to you in a more specific personalized way.

Christian Baptism is recognized as a Sacrament (actually, THE Sacrament) of the Catholic Church. But, unlike most Sacraments, the Catholic Church recognizes many Baptisms as Sacramentally valid, even if they are not conducted by a Catholic minister within a Catholic ceremony.

The Catholic Church, for example, recognizes ANY Baptism performed by ANY minister who uses water and the Trinitarian Form (something very much like, “I Batpize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”).

It does not matter if the Celebrant (the person who conducts the Baptism) is a Catholic. It does not matter if the Celebrant is a man or a woman. It does not matter how old the Celebrant is, provided s/he has attained the age of reason.

It DOES matter that the Celebrant use water. It does not matter if it is in a river, or a lake, or a pool, or it is sprinkled from a small Baptismal font using a “shell” (a type of ladle), or even the nearest sink or faucet. The celebrant may NOT use any other substance than water (s/he may not use wine or milk. for example).

It DOES matter that the Celebrant has valid intent. But that requirement is intentionally vague. The Celebrant must intend to do what the Church does in Baptism, even if the Celebrant does not understand (in any manner) WHAT that is. Intent is required, but understanding is optional.

You might consider yourself a “Christian,” but you would not be considered a “Christian” on this (Catholic) Forum unless you have received such a Christian Baptism. Knowing your Baptismal status will allow us to respond to your questions in a more specific manner.

If you are a protestant Christian, the main “obstacle” that you may face is invalid Baptism performed in some sort of Pentecostal faith. Some of these faiths practice Baptism “In the Name of the Lord Jesus,” which is not according to the Trinitarian form, and is not recognized by the Catholic Church as a valid Baptism.

Help us help you. Tell us (at least) if you have received valid Baptism as recognized by the Catholic Church, as I have described.

Generally speaking, you can certainly post links. However, try to avoid nonsense from atheistic liberal websites or avowedly anti-Catholic hate websites. Aim for the more scholarly and reasoned arguments.

Welcome NewGuy. I will accept for now your self-designation of Christian as at least meaning that you believe in God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit, whether you are baptized validly or not. I am not denigrating Catholic belief in baptism, only acknowledging your self-designation for now. Glad you are seeking information here. We have Catholics of several varieties on these Forums, Roman Catholic, Latin Rite Catholic, Orthodox Catholic and a few Eastern Orthodox (not in communion/agreement with the Vatican at this time) as well as quite a few Protestants of different denominations and a few Jewish brothers and sisters who often ask and answer questions on here, particularly questions having to do with Jewish practices or the Old Testament laws and practices or verses which are debated. We even have a few Muslims and Hindus, as well as an occasional Wiccan or self-proclaimed “Pagan”, so you’ll find quite a variety of intellectual beliefs and faiths.

Hope we are all able to help you to understand our various beliefs and the reasons why we believe these things. Enjoy your time here. I’ve been a Roman Catholic since 1950, and that’s a looong time ago, and I still learn something new here every week. All sincere questions are welcomed.

Welcome.

This is a superb forum with a great bunch of people on it. A place of true love for God.

Pray to God for guidance regarding which way you should turn. One thing to remember is that the Catholic faith is the ‘true’ faith. Started by Our Lord.

God bless you

As I was dedicated from birth not baptised, but have known and worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ nearly all my life, and intend to get baptised in the future, what would you call me?

A catechumen.

Newguy -
Allow me to add my welcome to the others. You have found what I believe is the finest resource on the web for what you are seeking - which is good answers.

I note a rather wide range of possibilities that you are considering and I would simply like to assure you that you can find many “streams” of spirituality flowing within the Catholic Church.
From the rationalism of Thomas Aquinas, to the Charismatic to the deeply mystical and monastic…The Church has room for all.

I think you will find it a rewarding experience to explore the many riches of the Church.

Peace
James

Welcome to CAF I hope you can find the answers you want. If you have an questions you want to ask in private feel free to PM me.

Hopefully.

Welcome, brother NewGuy2014! I pray that you will find the discussions here enjoyable and informative.

The LORD bless you, and keep you:
The LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The LORD lift his countenance over you, and grant you His peace.

Hi all,

As I have mentioned in my previous posts. I am considering being Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic or Evangelical but am having trouble deciding between them or how to know which one is the most true.

How can one know which is the most true and decide between them?

Hope you can help.
God bless
Please pray for me

Hi all,
Thank you for the warm welcomes and prayers/blessings. God bless you all. I may reveal more about myself later. For the time being I prefer not to reveal too much for various reasons. I have recently asked more questions in the Apologetics and Eastern Catholic sections on the Forum.
God bless.
Please pray for me

For me, the answer has always been obvious – assuming one is a believing Christian.Mt. 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will** give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven**. *And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Jesus Himself established** His Church**. He did not establish to last only until the death of Peter!
He founded it on the office of Peter - (Peter and his successors).
He promised that the “gates of hell” (Satan, the father of lies, and his domain/hell) would not prevail against it. In other words,** lies would never reign (be bound)** in His Church – only truth.

I choose to belong to the Church Jesus established, and a Church that binds only what is the truth. No Church other than the Catholic Church can trace their visible head here on earth in a direct line back to Peter.

It would be helpful to know where you are, and what kind of Christian you are now. :confused:

It would also be helpful to know how your short list includes Evangelical, which is the polar opposite of all the other Catholic faiths you listed. :confused:

First off, take some time in reading up on how both the Orthodox churches and the Catholic Churches are in rejoining in full communion with one another.

And see how close the doctrinal beliefs are between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. When you look at the doctrinal beliefs between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches and see how close they are, and how much they agree with each other compared to the Evangelical Churches. I am not sure how you decide to be evangelical. Unless you believe that somewhere between around 400AD, and 1500 AD Jesus Christ lied when he said the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church. And that the Church would be the pillar and foundation of all truth.

Then between Orthodox and Catholic, the biggest one, comes down to the authority of the Pope. And I believe when you study scripture, you find time and again, where Jesus gives Peter, authority to be the head of his Church.

I would suggest start here:

star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m3/Mod3.html

THE FOUR MARKS OF THE CHURCH
Understanding Our One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church

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