((Apologies in advance if I have placed this in the wrong topic.))
I’d like to disclaimer my own post by first mentioning that sometimes I come across as brasher than I mean. If, in this post or others, I come across as being dismissive or so on of a particular precept, I’m not doing it out of malice, but more likely that I’m “not getting it”.
With that aside, I begin: I’m a largely self-educated Christian of no particular denomination (but discerning a conversion to Catholicism) with a bit of guidance from my significant other, a Baptist. Around a year or two ago, I began to feel the need for something more in my life, which is what started me looking toward Christ (in high school I was an Athiest of a somewhat militant bent). It’s taken me at least this long to finally accept as much as I have, which to my eyes seems to be Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God incarnate, as the core tenant of the Christian faith, with all other tenants secondary
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you are), I’m of a fairly liberal bent and I’ve been unable to separate that socio-political bias from my religious views, which seems to interfere with some of the tenants of Catholicism, particularly where teaching on abortion, birth control, and homosexuality are concerned. So, First Question: While I, personally, would never council a woman toward an abortion, or engage in a homosexual act, is it okay that I am reluctant to push people away from doing this? and Second Question: It is my belief that, in lieu of anything biblical that I have seen regarding this matter, it is more responsible of me/others to use a condom/medical contraceptives rather than to bring a child into the world when they are unprepared to raise that child. How sinful is this stance?
I’m also something of a quiet Christian, if that makes any sense. I am uncomfortable confessing my faith without some sort of mask to hide behind, such as an internet persona. I feel that this is somewhat supported by a passage (I believe in the Gospel of Matthew, but I’m often mistaken) which reads to the effect that we are not to pray in the streets, as the hypocrites do, but practice our faith in private. Third Question: Is this stance inherently flawed? Should I be more willing to initiate conversations on the matter of faith? I should note that I don’t (often) deny my faith when asked, but I do try and avoid the issue.
The final question is somewhat more fundamental to Catholicism and is the major sticking point on my thoughts of conversion. Fourth Question: I have seen no biblical support for the veneration of Mary and of Saints. While I accept many other teachings of the Church about sacraments and transubstantiation, I am not sure how I feel about this veneration. What about it does not detract from the worship to God, Whom we shall have no others before Him?
I’m sure there’s more, but I wouldn’t want to overdo it with the questions right out of the gate!