pro_universal's reasons for leavin the Catholic Church


#1

Ok. All things being equal when you say that the Catholic Church does not posesses the truth you base your affirmation on what exactly? The doctrine? Or just a “feeling”?

Three things: the incoherence of the doctrine, the behavior of its membership, and my personal feeling that God is not with the Church in the full sense.

If it’s about the teachings I would be interested, if you don’t mind, to know what exactly were the teachings you disagreed with and why. That, I think, would finally be an worthwile discussion.

Well, a big thing is the trinity. It seems to me in retrospect a hasty attempt to reconcile the Jewish tradition of monotheism with man-worship. Deifying good leaders is a natural tendency for humans, and the trinity seems to be a product of that rather than a product of revelation to me.

Quote:
Maybe a new thread on this would be a good idea so that in the future we will avoid overlapping discutions on unrelated threads.

Good idea. I’ll watch for it.

Alex.


#2

My reasons are as follows:

  1. I simply do not perceive the hand of God in the Church anymore. When I was younger and understood less about the Church’s teachings, I felt more connected to God than I have as an adult Catholic. Learning more about my Church and history left me feeling less spiritually connected to God.

  2. The theology itself was something I could not honestly believe anymore. The fact of the matter is, the trinity does not make sense to anyone who doesn’t already believe it. It is not a logical doctrine, and while I acknowledge that God is beyond understanding…this isn’t the case with the trinity. The trinity is easy to understand; it’s just contradictory, that’s what makes it so tough for outsiders to accept that it makes sense.

  3. The history of the Church does not seem to fit one that has the full truth of God. Too many wars, too many mistakes, and too much intolerance.

  4. The structure looks like “spiritual licensing” to me. I do not agree that God limits his substance and distributes it to authorized persons only, on the basis of ritual transfer.

  5. The behavior of the average Catholic is not remotely like anything a first century Jew would recognize as good and moral. I realize that times change, but it’s apparent to me that Christianity in general is simply debasing itself to the point that whatever morals rule the day, are the morals conveniently taught by Christianity.

There’s a short list.


#3

Pro, I respect you for following your conscience. I pray that God leads you on your journey for the Truth.
I have no doubt that Jesus loves you and will not abandon you no matter what.

Take Care


#4

you fail to explain…you only complain. The Catholic Church is full of complainers…does not affect the divine nature of Jesus’ Church. As a complainer, you show your ignorance. Try it again, read some good books…what have you to lose?

peace


#5

Three things: the incoherence of the doctrine, the behavior of its membership, and my personal feeling that God is not with the Church in the full sense.

I will start from end to beginning:

  1. Personal feelings.

This is the weakest reason of all to leave the faith. Personal feeling is one of the most deceiving things because it can obliterate reason and present you a distorted image of an objective reality. It’s like giving up reason for mood swings.
Feelings change, and basing you faith on them is to build your faith on shifting sands.

  1. Behaviour of its membership.

Suppose I am an atheist and I decide one day that I believe in God and then I look at the behaviour of any of the present day religions in order to pick the right religion for me - then most probably I would remain an atheist. That’s the second weakest argument I could expect from somebody.

  1. The incoherence of the doctrine

I will speak for the moment only for the “big thing” you mentioned

Well, a big thing is the trinity. It seems to me in retrospect a hasty attempt to reconcile the Jewish tradition of monotheism with man-worship. Deifying good leaders is a natural tendency for humans, and the trinity seems to be a product of that rather than a product of revelation to me.

The Trinity was the name the Church Fathers put on the aspect about God that was revealed trough Jesus Christ.
If you read the Scripture (assuming you don’t consider them corrupted - and if you do it’s an entirely different ball game) Jesus does and accepts things that only makes sense if He is God :

  • forgiveness of sins - thing that any Jew knew God alone can do;

  • accepts worship - Thomas, after the Resurrection, says to Him “My Lord and My God”. Jesus didn’t rebuke him for saying a thing that for any Jew would be a blasphemy.

  • His own death sentence was mainly based on the accusation that He considers Himself to be God.

Of course, He avoids saying directly that He is God and it’s pretty understandable why He didn’t: all His teachings were already a tough nut to crack even for the learned of the time. Even today you will probably get more than a stare from an orthodox Jew if you tell him God is a Trinity…

This is illustrated in Mark 2:22:

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins

  • this is to tell that the new revelations will actually be a change in doctring for the Jews, something which was improbably to happen in an jiffie…

The Trinity is a revealed truth and has less to do with concern about how easily believable it is from the point of view of the faithful. Jesus Himself had enough tough times instituting the Eucharist for example - when most of the disciples following Him just left when hearing they have to “drink His blood and eat His flesh”. Nevertheless relying the truth was of more importance for Him than loosing popularity.

Alex.


#6

Since all Christian denominations believe in the Trinity, the only alternative is Islam.

But Islam also has a history of wars and intolerance.


#7

Just to remind those who will post on this thread that I would like to see an honest discussion about Pro’s reasons and I want to stress the importance of being informative rather than critical…

Thanks,
Alex.


#8

In all honesty, pro universal, since we can agree that truth does not change and God does not change, and all other things are merely passing things, with no root in eternity, then if you lost that sense of spirituality that you once had, the problem then would be with you and not the Church. Without regard to what people do in the Church or their behaviors is irrelevant as far as your relationship with God goes. One cannot stand before God and say hey, it’s everybody else’s fault look at what they do.
If the theology was true for you before, then you are the one who is false now. The core theology of the Church does not change. So obviously it did not become false, but you allowed yourself to betray it. It is a conscious thing you know. These days people allow themselves in the name of conscience to entertain false ideas opposed to Church teaching due to a misunderstanding of the Vatican II catechism teaching on conscience. Fact is if it wars with one’s conscience then one’s conscience is at fault for the Catechism is true. Better to reject that which leads away from the Church simply right out of hand then play around with Satan. A better part of hedonism is indulging in doubt.


#9

#10

Maybe because focusing too much on study you forgot to pray a bit ?

History is murky and it’s all about human misery. It’s an objective reality. Switching religions will not make it any sweeter nor will fix anything. Every religion has its skeletons in the closet. By changing you religion you only change the perspective on who’s considered evil and who’s considered rigtheous. You’re just playing a mirror game.
Your focus should be instead on what can get you above this misery.

  1. The theology itself was something I could not honestly believe anymore. The fact of the matter is, the trinity does not make sense to anyone who doesn’t already believe it. It is not a logical doctrine, and while I acknowledge that God is beyond understanding…this isn’t the case with the trinity. The trinity is easy to understand; it’s just contradictory, that’s what makes it so tough for outsiders to accept that it makes sense.

It’s a big mistake to assume that believable = true. On my opinion Jesus was relying truth and wasn’t trying to the sell the truth.

The Trinity was the ultimate reality He was trying to make known and He wasn’t trying to “dumb it down” to be believable. By doing this He actually ran contrary to what somebody would expect from a guy who just wants to jumpstart a religion and gain popularity; and the Jews were quite a tough auditorium when it came to matters of monoteistic belief.

  1. The history of the Church does not seem to fit one that has the full truth of God. Too many wars, too many mistakes, and too much intolerance.

I fondly remember when you defended Muslims on a lot of threads (a commendable thing after all ) and I did not hear you questioning Islam, for example, on the same issues you question Catholicism (wars, mistakes, intolerance) - and they did all these mistakes too - if you carefully study their history.
God’s Truth and Reality is not subordinate to our human tantrum tempers. After all, using the same stick to measure every religion, you will find that none to qualifies as The One…

  1. The structure looks like “spiritual licensing” to me. I do not agree that God limits his substance and distributes it to authorized persons only, on the basis of ritual transfer.

You probably reffer to laying of hands and Apostolic Succession?

God doesn’t limit His substance but note that He only chose certain people to further His plans at the right moments in history - it wasn’t like everybody was entitled to de everything they pleased in His name…

And because we talk about succession note that the first “ritual transfer” was when Aaron and his descendants received priesthood from God. So this was first patented in Judaism ™ :D…

  1. The behavior of the average Catholic is not remotely like anything a first century Jew would recognize as good and moral. I realize that times change, but it’s apparent to me that Christianity in general is simply debasing itself to the point that whatever morals rule the day, are the morals conveniently taught by Christianity.

There’s a short list.

You are confusing secularism with Christianity.

The Church stands by it’s moral teachings regardless of the fashions of the day.

You can accuse the Church of many shortcomings but not of compromising on its teachings reagardless of how vocal some of its members are.

And from the point of view of a Christian that’s not even news… It is known that Christ will have his second coming to judge. That implies that not everything will be just fine and dandy until that day… “au contraire” like the French say… :slight_smile:

Alex.


#11

By changing you religion you only change the perspective on who’s considered evil and who’s considered rigtheous. You’re just playing a mirror game.
Your focus should be instead on what can get you above this misery

My focus certainly is on that, and that is why I am no longer Catholic.

It’s a big mistake to assume that believable = true. On my opinion Jesus was relying truth and wasn’t trying to the sell the truth.

Sure, but ask yourself this: Would a just God make salvation dependent in a significant way on believing in a doctrine which no rational mind can conclude is coherent?

It’s my opinion that Jesus was a good person whose followers got carried away and decided that he was God. Then, they came up with a hasty doctrine so that they could still claim to be Jews. To consider how successful this doctrine has been in convincing Jews that the trinity is an orthodox concept, you need only ask an Orthodox Jew what the Jewish faith says about a God with a body.

(wars, mistakes, intolerance) - and they did all these mistakes too - if you carefully study their history.

The difference is that the history is juxtaposed. When Muslims had religious government, their society was the most tolerant of religious diversity of the two. When Christians had religious government, they fought endless wars over orthodoxy.

Now that Christianity does not govern anywhere, the religious wars are over. Now that Islamic governments have collapsed to be replaced by secularists, there is war in the Muslim world.

One society only found peace by giving up religious authority. The other found war by giving up religious authority. What does that tell you about the religions?

God doesn’t limit His substance but note that He only chose certain people to further His plans at the right moments in history - it wasn’t like everybody was entitled to de everything they pleased in His name…

Well, that’s certainly a convenient explanation. It’s always possible, but I am not inclined to believe God’s plan is to have a form of “spiritual intellectual property” over his grace.

Religions that have creeds that anyone can repeat to repeat the truth are one thing. This is a religion where the actual blood of God can only be brought about by certain, licensed individuals. It is restrictive in a way that other faiths are not.

The Church stands by it’s moral teachings regardless of the fashions of the day.

I disagree. The concept of holy war was once a moral teaching in Christianity; it has been discarded. The death penalty for heresy and apostasy was also once the moral teaching; it has been discarded. Officially blaming Jews for the murder of Jesus was once official teaching…it has been discarded. The idea that the Church commands all secular authority is also gone.

The Church’s program of action today is not something a medieval Catholic would recognize. I think it’s quite untrue to say that it hasn’t changed. The creeds are the same, sure…but the rules that come with them are so radically different I don’t see what’s the same sometimes.

You can accuse the Church of many shortcomings but not of compromising on its teachings reagardless of how vocal some of its members are.

With exceptions, the Church’s moral philosophy is very good. Instructions on how to live life modestly and encouragment to do so are excellent qualities of the Church’s teaching. I fully support it.

But I don’t think it possesses the full truth.

Thank you Alex, btw, for making this such an open and respectful discussion. I really appreciate it.


#12

Dear Pro universal,

I have seen your posts as a lurker for half a year now.

Were you really ever wanting to be a Catholic? I mean that. I am not judging you or condeming you, but just being honest here—

You never sounded comfortable with Catholic thought- and that is okay, I wish of course that was not the case- and I pray for you a lot!!!

But , don’t pull my leg. You really dont need an excuse to deny the Church, you only have to excommunicate yourself -----

or just pull out. I think you are a very thoughtful person and I like your passion – but no one wants to see you conflicted or not happy in the Church-

Just be sure you are right- I don’t say that as a threat, I ask you to challenge yourself to really be convinced that you have made the correct choice-

Beacause I love you brother, and want only good for you, and wish you rest from this agony.

IMHO, that is right where you are now. You are in the best place, that is a community of believers - and even though I dont like your views-

You are my brother. I would die for you.


#13

Catholics do not believe God is an accountant that just sits up there an counts the doctrines a guy believed in while he was alive and bases his salvation on this thing alone. There are plenty of instances when the intention of the person was what matteres the most.

And I will give you just one example, and if you insist I will give you many others:

  • Baptism - mandatory in Christianity - that’s what makes a person share in Christ. Without it a person isn’t saved If you look at it superficially it would be a matter of splitting people in two categories : baptized and unbaptized and send the later into eternal punishment. But it is not like this at all.
    You you spend some time studying this you will probably be surprised to find out that there are different ways a person is considered baptized:

  • Baptism of blood - a person is considered baptized if he came to believe in Christ but was martyred before having a chance of being baptized. In this case he migth not even have and ideea what baptism is !

  • Baptism of intention - a person becomes a believer but dies before having a chance of being baptized. If before he died he resolved in his hart to become a christian then he is considered baptized

  • Ignorance - the person did not know that has to be baptized, but behaved and abided by Jesus’s teachings. If that person dies then it is considered as if he/she was baptized.

Hey! even pagans, with the right intention, can baptize somebody into the Christian faith! What do you make of that !..

Even muslims do not agree on a lot of their doctrines - this is probably why some of them took Jihad simply as a way to slit the throats of those they do not agree with. Others believe otherwise. And - yes - they believe that we, as Christians are doomed. So from their point of view we’re as good as toasted if we don’t become muslims!

But if you study the doctrines and the catechism, you will probably be surprised to find out that Catholics (at least those that know the Church’s teachings) in no way will tell you that you’re irremediably lost if you are a muslim for example! Because we believe that anybody can be saved.
And this is where the Church teachings about Invincible Ignorance. A person that doesn’t know about Jesus’ teachings can be saved if that person tries his best and follows the natural laws and does not kill or steal etc.

The baptism was just one example. So by no means God will judge us based on our knowledge of doctrines. Otherwise even a human can write a simple computer program that will sort out who’s a sinner and who’s not and if one gets to Paradise or in the front seat near the cauldron downstairs :D. But the Church does not teach that !

I will continue the rest in a different post because there are too many characters in my post it seems… :slight_smile:

Alex.


#14

[quote=pro]Would a just God make salvation dependent in a significant way on believing in a doctrine which no rational mind can conclude is coherent?
[/quote]

Just wondering… would that include the doctrine of being rewarded with hurs in heaven for dying in the cause of killing disbelievers for Allah?


#15

Sure, but ask yourself this: Would a just God make salvation dependent in a significant way on believing in a doctrine which no rational mind can conclude is coherent?

Why is “reason” enthroned as supreme in such matters? If God is totally transcendent, I don’t see how the limited human mind is the absolute measuring stick on the nature of God.

It’s my opinion that Jesus was a good person whose followers got carried away and decided that he was God. Then, they came up with a hasty doctrine so that they could still claim to be Jews. To consider how successful this doctrine has been in convincing Jews that the trinity is an orthodox concept, you need only ask an Orthodox Jew what the Jewish faith says about a God with a body.

There is no need to convince the Jews that the Trinity is orthodox, that is the way it is and hopefully someday they will realize that the Messiah has already come and will come again.

The difference is that the history is juxtaposed. When Muslims had religious government, their society was the most tolerant of religious diversity of the two. When Christians had religious government, they fought endless wars over orthodoxy.

Government style doesn’t determine the truth of doctrine. Furthermore, Islamic gov’t weren’t exactly “tollerant” of “religious diversity”. They don’t mind religions like Judaism (which doesn’t seek converts) but they aren’t so cool with religions that seek converts (like Christianity).


#16

There’s a difference between transcendence and logical inconsistency. Reason isn’t enthroned, but it certainly was created for a reason, so to speak. Why did God give us brains, and then give us a notion of theology that is completely contrary to anything your brain can grasp as logically consistent?

I’m not enshrining reason. Beyond reason is fine…contrary to reason is a different matter, and that’s what I object to in the trinity.

There is no need to convince the Jews that the Trinity is orthodox, that is the way it is and hopefully someday they will realize that the Messiah has already come and will come again.

It’s not just unorthodox; the idea of a God with a face is and always has been blasphemy in the Jewish tradition. That is a strong indicator that the deification of Jesus was the product of his personal effect on people, and not any relationship to Jewish prophecies of God. This is really a common story…even bad people sometimes get made into Gods by their followers (think of Manson like cults.) I think we can all agree that we have every reason to believe Jesus was a good person; it’s therefore not surprising, nor a sign of any divine intervention, that people wanted to deify him.

Government style doesn’t determine the truth of doctrine. Furthermore, Islamic gov’t weren’t exactly “tollerant” of “religious diversity”. They don’t mind religions like Judaism (which doesn’t seek converts) but they aren’t so cool with religions that seek converts (like Christianity).

Well, they were much more tolerant of Jews than Christianity ever has been, that’s true. But they also tolerated differences within their own religion…sometimes significant difference. Christianity, when it ruled, never could manage that feat. There was always a law on orthodoxy and an army to fight anyone who didn’t agree.


#17

Actually, with this you are seizing on what I consider to be the best points about Catholicism, as a religion on its own and compared to the other Christian sects.

Unfortunately, belief in Jesus as your savior is a crucial part of the theology. As much as we’ve tried, there’s just no way to get around that fact…it’s possible it doesn’t matter, but it is clearly central to salvation. I ignored that when I was Catholic in order to speak out for the good in Islam on this board…and was swiftly corrected by a long list of posters.

Theological arguments aside, it’s clear that adherence to the doctrine matters to the community. Just look at some of the things people say to me here when I mention I’m not Catholic anymore, or if I dare say something good about Muslims.


#18

See post #5 on this thread

The difference is that the history is juxtaposed. When Muslims had religious government, their society was the most tolerant of religious diversity of the two. When Christians had religious government, they fought endless wars over orthodoxy.

Oh, but if you talk about figthing over doctrines, it’s enough to take a peek at the sunni vs. shia shouting match. And they do bomb each other’s mosques over this whenever somebody thinks he’s more orthodox then the rest. Hey ! This is the world we live in!..

I cannot speak for others, but me, being a Romanian I am quite familiar with the impact of Islam in the Balkans.

And it wasn’t pretty!

Almost all of the medieval rulers in that region had to figth the Muslims in order to survive! To give you one example, one of the rulers of Moldavia : Stephen III Musat fougth, if I remember exactly, 42 wars with the Ottomans (he actually built a church for each war he won and I know they are about 42 in number…); whenever he could not afford to pay jizziah the muslims were at his doorsteps invading and burining down churches. And poor Stephen never thougth of invading anybodyelse’s country or provoking the ottomans… and this was only during his rule of 47 years! … Looks like he had a very busy agenda in his relationship with muslims :D… A war with muslims every 1.10 years :D…

About muslims tolerance I suggest asking the Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, to name a few. Just ask about them and you will be amazed at the downpour of love and fondness they feel for Islam even after a couple of hundred years :D…

Well, that’s certainly a convenient explanation. It’s always possible, but I am not inclined to believe God’s plan is to have a form of “spiritual intellectual property” over his grace.

Religions that have creeds that anyone can repeat to repeat the truth are one thing. This is a religion where the actual blood of God can only be brought about by certain, licensed individuals. It is restrictive in a way that other faiths are not.

Does the fact that only certain individuals have this ministry sounds amazing to you? To draw a comparison with Islam, using the same logic, one has to wander why God (from the Islamic perspective) chose only Mohammed as prophet and did not give the knowledge to all muslims? Or better yet - what need is for Imams anyway - do they hold intelectula property over Islam?..

In God’s ministry not everybody has the same role. There is an office of teaching, an office of prophet, etc. Just look at the Old Testament : Moses and Aaaron had two different offices. The first was a prophet and the second a priest!

I think you bougth in an amalgam of secular beliefs and feminist-like propaganda . Only from a feminist I would expect arguments of this type: man is equal with women in the sense that their roles are interchangeable. Or to put it in our context - all men are equal before God therefore everybody is a priest. This is a silly argument!..

(To be continued…) :smiley:

Alex.


#19

To no longer be Catholic is your free choice. To have opposing opinions in contrast to your view of Islam is also free choice. It’s a forum, remember?


#20

So… should I understand that the perfect religion/comunity would be one without doctrines ? :D… I can hardly believe you will find such a religion.
Islam for example - are their doctrines important to them? I would argue that - yes -they are ! Doctrines are defining what a religion is teaching !

It would be actually interesting if you can find at least one religion without doctrines !

And what do poeple voicing their opinion on Islam have to do with the doctrines of the Church ? The Church’s doctrines are not subrodinated to individual opinions.

Alex.


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