GOOD!!! I used to go to a “non-denominational” church as well (at the same time attending masses with my dad) and I made the same choice it looks like you’re considering.
I was baptized Lutheran, but always went to a non-denominational church during middle school and high school, so I have pretty much been protestant my whole life. We never talked about Catholics in my youth group, because my church taught us about faith in Christ being the most important thing about being a Christian. As far as we knew, the Catholics had it, so we didn’t need to worry about it.
That, as you mentioned below, is actually fairly rare for “non-denominational” churches, which tend to lean towards fundamentalism.
One thing that bothers me is that from what I have been reading, it seems that the Catholic Church seems to be more lenient to the idea of non-Christians, (i.e. Buddhists, Muslims, even atheists) of being saved than Protestants. The one thing that brought me closer to the Catholic Church was the idea of there being salvation for those who do not hear about or even do not come to accept Jesus, but I was surprised at the idea that some people without Christ might have a better chance at being saved than those who believe in Him in a different way (the Protestant way). Is this true?
no, not true. the person with the highest moral culpability has the hardest time being saved. Thus fully educated catholics of strong character must always strive to act according to the word of God. Those in ignorance of the word of God, well, we trust in God’s mercy to forgive them for never being properly educated on the church.
This entails 2 things: ignorance born through never having heard, or never having PROPERLY heard explanation of church teachings. and second, the wholehearted attempt to follow as best as possible the moral law as they understand it in their belief structure. So if the pigmy on the african island never hears about God, but he firmly believes his coconut tree is divine and provides his moral law, worships it with all his heart as he understands best to do, so then we entrust him to the mercy of God. In the same way, if our protestant bretherin who believe wholeheartedly that their way is correct and are never PROPERLY exposed to catholic truth in such a way as that a reasonable person would realize and follow truth, yet they continue to worship and avoid sin to the best of their ability, so we likewise trust in God’s mercy equally to the trust we have for our pigmy on the island.
In my experiences, the Protestants I have known have never had a problem with Catholics and feel that we are all part of the Body of Christ, which I always believed as well. But I was shocked to hear so many fundamentalist Christian groups claim that Catholics are going to hell. This is something I simply cannot believe.
If you’re going to become Catholic, get used to it. It’s suprisingly common to be told such things as:
- you’re going to hell
- you worship the pope/mary/whore of babalon/waifer god
- you’re all idolitors
- you follow man-made traditions over the bible
All of these, and more, will be said to you, and all of them are patently untrue. Just remember, if you decide to become Catholic: blessed are you when you are persecuted in My Name.
It seems like there are so many sites and books that make this claim and Biblically back up the argument that Catholic beliefs do not line up with The Bible. Some of their arguments are well done as far as I can tell, but I simply cannot accept their belief that Catholics of all people are not saved…Are there any books or websites that offer a Catholic rebuttal to these fundamentalist arguments against the RCC?
There really aren’t. 99.9% of arguments against the catholic church’s ACTUAL teachings are based on
- false exegisis (improper understanding of a particular verse),
- incomplete exegisis (trying to discern meaning from a verse without consideration for other verses which may lend context or clarify),
- or improper translation (such as the use of the word repetitive prayer rather than the appropriate word “babble”)
The MAJORITY of arguments against “Catholic beliefs” are spot-on… with one minor problem: they aren’t ACTUALLY what catholics believe. We agree, it would be wrong to worship a statue, a pope, Mary, angels, saints, etc. That’s why we DON’T worship them… and yet SO MANY people claim we do. It would be wrong to think that each communion is a NEW sacrifice of the Christ, but we don’t think that either. etc and so on and so forth.
I hope that helps to clear things up. If you have more questions just drop me a line via message. a great resource would be your local RCIA teacher as well. You could sit through the course and learn, if at the end you want to be catholic, GREAT, but if not, then you’ve still gained knowledge as to what catholics actually believe.