Quandry about denominations

There are many threads here that speak partly of the issues that I have found in my walk in Christ.

I have read many threads here and I can see the various tones that indicate where people reside in their thinking. I see those who hold love more valuable than pride, and I can see the people who are the polar opposite.

I am a minister and did my schooling at a Pentecostal university, but I find that this did not matter in my beliefs. I follow no man-made doctrines and I question all of them before holding them as valid.

Some good friends of mine did join the Catholic church and talked to me about the schooling that they attended there. I love the idea of the church taking time to teach in that fashion - and I don’t see it being done in Protestant churches.

Now that my introduction is done, I’ll move on.

When it comes to the truth I perceive in the Bible, I find that the Catholic faith seems to be more accurate in taking truly the message that God has given us. I am drawn to the Catholic faith more strongly than any other.

However, God has laid a purpose on my life which is to evangelize the lost and to foster love and acceptance of the brethren among those who follow Jesus.

Where I live, if I am a member of a Catholic church, I cannot do what God has given me to do. Many doors would be closed to me because of the label “Catholic.” Yes, as sad and as wrong as it is; that is how it is.

From what I read here, there are those who might think that I might not be “saved,” because I am not a member of the only Catholic church in our region. I can assure you that I follow Christ Jesus and I work to enlarge the true church - of which there is only one - and Jesus is the head of it. I have no doubts about my relationship with God.

I will join a Protestant church, but because my beliefs are not following the Protestant doctrines on some issues, I keep silent on certain questions. This requirement to be silent is not easy for me, but God has given me a love that is stronger than my desire to be “right” on issues of doctrine.

The part B of this issue is:

The only Catholic church in our area is reluctant to partner with me in evangelizing the area. (I have founded a non-profit 501©3 organization.) It seems that they are so used to being criticized by the Protestants that they are reluctant to be out in the public eye and even look at me suspiciously because I am not “Catholic.”

Truly, this has got to stop. With true faith comes love and courage.

If anyone has any thoughts on what I have written, I would like to know what they are.

Perhaps these sharings of Alex Jones, former Pentecostal minister can help?

search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=alex+jones+former+pentecostal+minister+now+a+catholic&fr=ymyy-t-999&fr2=p%3Amy%2Cm%3Asb&hspart=att&hsimp=yhs-att_001&type=att_pc_my_portal

What a beautiful life purpose. God bless you :slight_smile:
Remember that nothing is impossible with God. If God is showing you the truth, then He isn’t going to let that get in the way of spreading the gospel. Perhaps even if one door closes, another will open. If He doesn’t want you to keep silent on the truth that Jesus is Lord, then why would He want you to be silent about other truths? If He has revealed it to you, others deserve to know as well.

It is true that the most important part of our faith is what all Christians have in common- faith in Jesus and the salvation He brings us. But Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. It’s not just about being right or wrong on issues of doctrine, it is about embracing the fullness of truth, because Jesus is the truth.

Although you stated the Catholic church seems to most closely reflect the teachings of Jesus, it doesn’t seem you believe that the Catholic church is “the true church - of which there is only one”.

I am glad that you have a heart/interest for evangelization - we need more Catholics like this, since arguably the primary purpose of the Catholic church is to evangelize - but I would encourage you to look into the claim of the Catholic church being the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church Jesus founded. I am not saying your evangelization is going to be useless if you are outside the Catholic church, because I know that good can be done outside the Catholic church, and that people can be brought to seek and find our Lord and savior Jesus Christ outside the Catholic church. What I am saying, though, is that if you eventually do understand and believe that the Catholic church is the true Church, you do both yourself and others a disservice by not belonging fully to it or at least by not evangelizing in the name of Jesus and His One, True Church - it would be as if you are not evangelizing the full truth. Part of the good news of Jesus’ resurrection is that He left the Church behind so that His full teachings could be taught and passed, and for our sanctification through the Sacraments.

So again, I couldn’t tell 100% what your thoughts are about the Catholic Church being the one, true Church Jesus founded, but if you ever find yourself believing this claim the Catholic Church makes, please don’t be afraid to bring up the Catholic faith when actively evangelizing! God will reward us all richly in ways we can never imagine at the time, if we stand up for Truth and especially if we stand up for His bride, the Church!

It seems you have been here for a while though you did not post much but welcome to the Forum anyway.

A couple of things here. Thanks for saying that. Catholics read the Bible in the light of Tradition that was passed on by the apostles and therefore we may be more consistent in our understanding and interpretation of it since there is already a basis as to why we understand it.

With the rapid secularization of the world where we live today, Catholicism pride herself as remains steadfast in many current issues even at the expense of being unpopular. Thus I would take your comment as a compliment of what she is doing.

Yes, it is sad that should happen in your place but sometimes it is just a fact of life. I am consoled if I were you that you are determined to do God’s work.

It is not true that Catholics think you are not saved. In fact if you refer to our Catechism, on the contrary it says you can be saved.

818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

Inter-faith participation among Christians to evangelize could be a problem though but I have seen even this could happen for the common good of bringing Christ to the people. I have seen one of our priests join this group and he seems to be well-accepted there. Perhaps if the cause is really justified, then why not.

God bless.

Reuben

I understand that you think you will not be well received as a Catholic. But how do you know you cannot do what God has given you to do as a Catholic? Maybe God will open doors for that you don’t expect. Maybe your conversion will spark inquiries. Maybe God has other plans for you. You can’t know what will happen if you convert. You can only guess. If God is calling you to be a Catholic then in faith that is what you need to do. You’ll figure out what to do next. Keep in mind that the early Christians were not well received. But they converted the world through obedience to truth and martyrdom. If you think the Catholic church is the true church you should obey your conscience and become a member.

Good for you. You seem to have given this a lot of thought.

However, God has laid a purpose on my life which is to evangelize the lost and to foster love and acceptance of the brethren among those who follow Jesus.

Where I live, if I am a member of a Catholic church, I cannot do what God has given me to do. Many doors would be closed to me because of the label “Catholic.” Yes, as sad and as wrong as it is; that is how it is.

This troubles me. If you TRULY “find that the Catholic faith seems to be more accurate in taking truly the message that God has given us” then that label should NEVER deter you. If that is your true calling, God will help you kick open the doors.

I will join a Protestant church, but because my beliefs are not following the Protestant doctrines on some issues, I keep silent on certain questions. This requirement to be silent is not easy for me, but God has given me a love that is stronger than my desire to be “right” on issues of doctrine.

What about TRUTH? As a minister, are you not bound by God to instruct your flock on ALL issues of Faith and Morals? You are GRAVELY mistaken on one issue: You are required to SPEAK THE TRUTH - NOT REMAIN SILENT. You should not have a desire to be right - you have a DUTY to be right. It is one thing for a layman to remain silent on an issue; but as a clergyman you have no such luxury. It does not matter if you are Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. If you TRULY serve Christ, you know He requires you to be brave and tell the people what they MUST hear; not what they want to hear.

The part B of this issue is:

The only Catholic church in our area is reluctant to partner with me in evangelizing the area. (I have founded a non-profit 501©3 organization.) It seems that they are so used to being criticized by the Protestants that they are reluctant to be out in the public eye and even look at me suspiciously because I am not “Catholic.”

Truly, this has got to stop. With true faith comes love and courage.

If anyone has any thoughts on what I have written, I would like to know what they are.

Why should they partner with you? So you can evangelize people to be Protestant? So you can skip over uncomfortable truths of doctrine?

You speak of the Catholic Church where you are being reluctant to be in the public eye; while you yourself are unwilling to join the ranks and be counted with them?

You also speak of courage - how about the courage to not remain silent in your new Protestant church and speak the truth about the doctrines you disagree with? True Faith will not allow you to remain silent.

Good luck to you, sir.

I suggest you get in touch with the Coming Home Network founded by Marcus Grodi. You can find more about it on the EWTN Catholic Cable network. Marcus was a former protestant minister himself. They put no pressure on anyone, just answer your questions.
Yes we need to work together to confront the dreadful things that are going on in our country, the world. I hope that day will come soon when we can act more like brothers in faith. we should all be seeking the TRUTH, Jesus Christ. God Bless, Memaw

“more accurate in taking truly the message that God has given us…” This may be at least partly because it is ancient, and Protestantism is comparatively recent. Let me ask you something, have you truly delved into pre-Reformation Christian history? Have you made a detailed assessment of the shared, not-shared, and sometimes complicated history of the whole of ancient, apostolic Christianity?

More specifically, have you ascertained that the Catholic faith is “more accurate in taking truly the message” in comparison to Eastern Orthodoxy, in comparison to the Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox, or some forms of Oriental Orthodoxy? Keep in mind that Antioch is the place where Christians got their name- and that city is not historically Catholic or any form of Protestant. What do you know of their history and teachings, how it compares to Catholicism, and the reasons why the See of Antioch is not in communion with Rome?

Are you at all interested in exploring these sorts of questions? This type of exploration does not necessarily lend itself to the goal of asserting Rome’s superiority over everything it sees, and this may be exactly why Catholics do not fall over themselves in order to help you understand all that is apostolic in origin aside from just Rome. But it is something that I would like to nudge you toward, for the sake of being well informed and regardless of what conclusions you may draw from that sort of information. It’s good to have, whatever you may do with it.

I would encourage you to look at Anglicanism. Most Catholics know enough about it to understand it is connected to the historic church so they will listen (my experience) to what you have to say, and it is technically a Protestant denomination so you have an in with them as well. There are some good Anglican Churches (ACNA) in Florida as well.

Realistically, all evangelism is difficult. You could work the rest of your life working with either fallen away Catholics (as a Catholic) or fallen away Protestants (as a Protestant) and barely touch the number that are out there.

Good luck with your journey.

The Catholic Church has tons of ministry opportunities besides priests. There are tons of ways to spread the gospel and teach the faith. So I would say, yes some of your Protestant doors may close…but how many new doors will open?

When you pursue Christ despite the consequences, well…such faith can move mountains.

Just a few brief thoughts.

Thanks for sharing this…So often we here people say things like "Why does the Church make people wait etc. RCIA is truly a valuable thing.

When it comes to the truth I perceive in the Bible, I find that the Catholic faith seems to be more accurate in taking truly the message that God has given us. I am drawn to the Catholic faith more strongly than any other.

Good to hear.

However, God has laid a purpose on my life which is to evangelize the lost and to foster love and acceptance of the brethren among those who follow Jesus.

The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Where I live, if I am a member of a Catholic church, I cannot do what God has given me to do. Many doors would be closed to me because of the label “Catholic.” Yes, as sad and as wrong as it is; that is how it is.

I do not know you or your circumstances so take what I am about to say for what it is worth…but…I wonder - doesn’t this view show a lack of faith in God’s plan for you?

God is calling you to evangelize AND calling you to the Catholic Church. Sure some doors might be closed…but might not others be opened???

Just wondering.

The part B of this issue is:

The only Catholic church in our area is reluctant to partner with me in evangelizing the area. (I have founded a non-profit 501©3 organization.) It seems that they are so used to being criticized by the Protestants that they are reluctant to be out in the public eye and even look at me suspiciously because I am not “Catholic.”

Truly, this has got to stop. With true faith comes love and courage.

If anyone has any thoughts on what I have written, I would like to know what they are.

The only comment here is that one must be patient. God works in his own time.

Peace
James

Catholic is the Church, Christians are those who belong to it. The name Catholic was used in the year 110 by St. Ignatius. I think you need to check your information more accurately. God Bless, Memaw

Badnewsbarrett #9
Keep in mind that Antioch is the place where Christians got their name- and that city is not historically Catholic or any form of Protestant. What do you know of their history and teachings, how it compares to Catholicism, and the reasons why the See of Antioch is not in communion with Rome?

The reasons why any “See” or any other sect “is not in communion with Rome” is always that they have separated themselves by their non-belief of a doctrine on faith or morals as taught by Christ through the only Church He founded – the Catholic Church.

for the sake of being well informed

This is what the Christ mandated as He established His Church and explicitly made four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) {Later, also to the Twelve]

Sole authority:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.’ (Jn 21:25).

ChurchSoldier #10
I would encourage you to look at Anglicanism

That look doesn’t even have to be close to see the acceptance of the evil of divorce, the instigation of contraception at the Lambeth Conference of 1930 against all previous taboos by all sects as well as from Christ’s Church, abortion, no valid priesthood, the acceptance of women “priests” and “bishops”.

Thank you for your response.

While you certainly point out issues with parts of the Anglican Communion, I hope you are not suggesting these ideas also don’t lie within both some members and some clergy of Roman Catholicism as well.

A few minutes on Google will show the brokeness of humanity does in fact dwell not only in Anglicanism, but within Catholicism and all other Christian bodies as well.

Pax.

That is true that wrong ideas and practices take place within members of the Catholic Church and clergy.

But, the teaching of the Church remains the same, and is there for our sanctification. It is there to be learned, pondered, and practiced.

Thanks be to God for the saints!

The brokeness of humanity does in fact dwell not only in Anglicanism, that’s correct. But what did Jesus say about divorce (Mat 19)? Henry VIII get divorced from Catherine of Aragon for fornication of Catherine? The answer is no. He, later, get divorced from another wifes. Against Jesus teachings. This wouldn’t be a real problem if it would only the personal decission of any king from any country. Personal decissions are a matter of private conscience. But this is the begining of Anglicanism. That’s the real problem of Anglicanism. Today, divorce is admitted by this church.

Dont get me wrong. Doctrinally speaking I think if I were protestant the only remote option would be a branch of anglicanism that reject divorce and women priesthood. But the reason that caused the beginining of Anglicanism is a burden in its credibility. We aren’t merely speaking about bad behaviours of anglican people, priests, etc… because this is common to human nature and anglican people are not different of catholics’, lutherans’, etc…

I do thank all of you who have responded.

You might be surprised to know that I agree with the views of even those of you who share that I probably should move to the Catholic church here and attempt to do what I am given to do. Believe me, I have prayed for God to clear out that mountain for me.

Rather than remove the mountain, it seems that my task is to climb it. As Alex Jones stated, when God says to do something; how can I say “no?”

I know that history shows that the Catholic Church is the one started by Jesus. I also know that there were serious errors that occurred within it throughout the years. What I am not sure of is what long-lasting effects came into being after that. I don’t know how true it is to what Christ would have it it be now and how much has been changed at the hand of man.

Still, I am confident that I can be content in a Catholic church, and my desire is to one day “go home.” When God says OK, I’ll be there.

I think you have a wonderful outlook. May God continue to bless you on your journey.
As another mentioned, do consider contacting the “Coming Home Network”. They are geared specifically to help with the sorts of things you are struggling with.

Just one comment in relation to the bolded above.
This is a wonderful place to explore those concerns. There are many wonderful and knowledgeable folks here to help clear these things up.

Peace
James

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