Question for Protestants

I will start this off by saying do NOT bash any other church to make your point. I tend to ignore those who do. I am on a FACT finding mission not to destroy the faith of others. Its childish and I tend to ignore the entire post the moment that comes up. I will tell you I am Military minded with a knowledge of the law. Slander will get you nowhere with me. You can share your opinion respectfully, I will listen with an open heart and mind.

My beliefs so far:
God is Jesus’ Father.
Jesus was born by virgin Mary
Jesus lived and died a perfect life.
He has risen.

Lets start there.

Re: Protestants; why won’t you be CATHOLIC!?

Okay, I will take a stab at this. It isn’t that I won’t become Catholic, its that I haven’t been invited to learn about your faith. Frankly I get asked by Baptist all the time. I even get the occasional Episcopalian who will talk about their faith. Never has a Catholic entered into a conversation with me about what they believe. I am NOT a bible thumping Christian type person if anything I am the exact opposite. I want to know WHY you believe what you believe. The FACTS just the FACTS. Then I will make up my mind with my heart. I am not protestant or Christian, Catholic or any other denomination. I can tell you that Protestants in my neighborhood have helped out in the City. Often helping elderly neighbors fix up their homes. For nothing more than the opportunity to serve and show Gods love. Now grant it, I am in the Bible belt of TN/Va state lines so thats to be expected, however I have yet to see a Catholic priest. It wasn’t until I stumbled onto XM 117 that I even understood the least bit about the Catholic faith. I was raised by a Baptist minister who took me in when my parents past away. To abandon those teachings will take more than a “you should be Catholic” discussion. Also the few Catholics I have stumbled into have answered faith questions in a " I am Catholic and this is what the CHURCH says I am to believe." type answers. SO I turn the question around to you and ask Why SHOULD I be CATHOLIC? Why can I not just love GOD love my earthly family and do whats right? WHY MUST I be Catholic to go to heaven? For that matter why must I chose a denomination/church at all? Why can I just not journey in life and learn to do whats right in the sight of man and God without having to subscribe to one denomination or the other? Its like asking me if I want to drive a Ford, Chevy or BMW. Wont they all get me closer to my destination than I am now? I look for faith have now for 16 years.

In closing I will say this. I do like that Catholics believe its a journey to salvation. I truly can subscribe to that. However questions like “why won’t you be…” will never get me closer to the answers I am looking for. Like WHO is God. WHAT must I do/believe to get to HEAVEN. WHEN will I get to see Jesus. WHERE will I go when I leave this world? And now WHY must I be (insert denomination) to get to heaven. I am more confused today than I was when I started this journey.

First of all let me say that as good as this website is for some things, it really is not the best medium for a thorough and full answer to your question. If there are not informed and helpful Catholics near you with whom you can talk, read some of the books which will soon be recommended (knowing my fellow forum members, many many people will tell you one book you must read, until there are way too many such books to read). Definitely take a look at the newest Catechism, although that is not a book which is easy to read for most of us. I personally would recommend “Something Beautiful for God” a biography about Mother Theresa.

To give you a more personal answer, I was brought up in the Presbyterian church. As I began to learn (from a good friend) something about Catholic doctrine, it all made so much sense. However, for years I thought I could just believe that and keep on being Presbyterian, which would please my parents more than if I converted. What made me understand that I had to be Catholic was a growing understanding of the Eucharist, and with that understanding, a growing longing to receive Jesus Himself. There are many good people doing good things for God who unfortunately have not come into full communion with His church, and so cut themselves off from this source of grace. Imagine if you will that many people understood that they are in a many year long marathon race. Some people learned either in childhood or later, that there are rest stops on the way, set up by the race organizer, where you can get food and water. Others pass by these rest stops because they refuse to go into the buildings where the food and water is. They are still running the race as best they can, but they could do so much better if they understood that the race organizer WANTS for them to have the food and water available only in these rest stop buildings

G’Morn RSD. Excellent post, May I suggest as a good over view for Thumper, the Compendium to the Catechism of the Church, it is priced reasonably and is very concise, and yes, I am sure there will be very good references forth coming for him.God Bless us all and right now bless Thumper on his journey.:thumbsup: Carlan

Well, I hope that I can provide some insight into what I think is important to consider about the Catholic faith. I will attempt to answer your questions as factually as I can and I hope that if I make any mistakes or my answers are not clear enough, another poster may come along to correct and clarify.

I apologize for general answers, but they are general questions. If you would like more specifics on a teaching or what exactly is required, you can ask and I hope I can answer. If not, I am sure another poster would be happy to.

To start though, I would like you to answer somethings for me. Do you consider the Bible and early Church Fathers a viable resource? Would referencing these documents in support of a belief help your understanding of the Catholic faith or do you not consider the Fathers a reliable resource?

Because of all the churches in all the world, it is the only one that teaches the fullness of truth with no contradictions to scripture. It is the only one that can trace its history back to Christ without break. It would take several threads over several topics to discuss everything, but you will not find a contradiction to scripture in the Church’s teachings. This is not true for any other Christian denomination. When you look at the fathers of the Christian religion who were taught by the Apostles themselves, you will not find another religion, they were Catholic. If you feel this is not an accurate statement (ie. you “know” of a scripture that contradicts Catholic teaching), please bring it to my attention. If you wish to follow Jesus, it would be wise to follow those who followed Him in establishing His Church. There are so many gifts you are not receiving when you are outside of His Church. These gifts not only make your life easier, but some are required for your salvation (ie. confession).

The simple truth is that to love God is to do as He commands. In doing as He commands, you not only do what is right, but you do what is necessary. You must forgive others. You must confess your sins. You must be baptized. You must partake in the Eucharist. You must obey the commandment of love your neighbor which along with loving God covers the ten commandments. If you love God, you will do what is necessary to remain with Him. Sinning is a separation from Him. In order to recover from this separation, you must repent and confess your sins. This confession is not simply to Him because your sins are not just against Him. Your sins are against His people (us) and they are bound on Earth by His people. If you do not receive loosing of your sins on Earth, they will not be loosed in Heaven.

Loving God is enough, but you need to know what loving God entails. To understand what it takes to truly love God, you need to have the fullness of His truth which can only be found in the Catholic Church. Many of the things listed above can only be found in their correct form and intent together in His Church, the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is the only place you can go for the fullness of His Word. You MUST be Catholic because nowhere else gives you everything you need. Every church you find outside of His Church will short you on some aspect of Christ’s work for us. There is salvation outside of the Catholic Church though that requires meeting some pretty difficult criteria that you would not meet. However, even those that do meet the criteria are truly saved through the Catholic Church. Everyone in Heaven has been saved by Christ through His Roman Catholic Church.

Denominations are relatively new, like in the last 500 or so years. You don’t need to pick a denomination, you need to follow Christ’s teachings. As you study scripture and begin to understand which of these denominations are showing you the correct path to Christ, you will see the Catholic Church is the way to truly understand Christ and all of His teachings. It is important to follow Christ completely, not just what is easy or “seems to make sense”.

In my search for Christ, it was a combination of teachings that led me to His Church. When I learned the Catholic teachings and realized how much scripture supported the teachings, I could not stay away. In my case, it was the Eucharist, Mary and communion of Saints, marriage, and the role and history of the Church. These teachings just did not make sense to me outside of the Catholic Church’s understanding. When I read scripture and tried to understand other denominations various beliefs on these topics, it was utter nonsense to me. I also had a major problem with Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide having no Biblical support which contradicted the entire notion of Sola Scriptura. This eliminated virtually all protestant religions early for me.

I believe you can, though as you study and pray, you will ultimately come to see contradiction in your current belief system to the written word of God. So it is not like asking you which type of car you want to drive. It is more like asking you if you want to walk or fly there. Unfortunately, the destinations is not attainable on foot but with the right guidance and graces, you can use your wings. It is a weak analogy, but I hope you get the point.

God Bless.

No need for apologizing general answers are fine, I am digging deeper into this subject as time permits.
To answer your question. Yes I do consider the bible a viable resource. The Church Fathers are who exactly? The Pope?

I would consider Church Fathers those who wrote on behalf of the Church for the first 500 or so years. Basically from Ignatius to Augustine and anyone in between.

Yes, some of them would be Popes.

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