Questions from a Southern Baptist


#1

Hello,

I’m sure many of you nearly dented your mouse left-clicking on this topic. Hurring in to defend your faith against any number of mindless, shallow accusations by an uninformed Baptist. I’m sorry to dissappoint you. :slight_smile:

Over the past month or so I have felt a certain “calling” ,if you will, to become Catholic. I have long admired people such as Saint Francis, G.K. Chesterton, and Rich Mullins, who as I understand it, was converting to Catholicism before his life was prematurely ended in an auto accident. I have purchased at least 10 books on Catholicism this past month, attended Mass, and numerous other endeavors to find out what’s going on here. If I may, I’d like to ask a few questions that as of yet I haven’t got answered.

  1. ( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these )) Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ? What makes the Church so certain of things such as her Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Sinlessness, the Immaculant Conception (having to do with her being free from original sin), and her Queenship in Heaven?

  2. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?

  3. Where can I find out information on the History of the Church, it’s origins, where certain practices came from, etc.

  4. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?

  5. My goal, in life and in death, is to be nearer to my Lord Jesus, to know him better, love him more. Do Catholics believe in Christ as “personal” (for lack of a better term) Lord and Savior?

  6. Why purgatory? Where did this belief originate?

  7. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?

  8. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?

  9. Why refer to certain beliefs as mysteries? (such as the mysteries of light, etc.)

I’m sure many of these questions are elementary, but please understand where I’m coming from. I am a life long resident of the Bible Belt (Georgia) and I don’t even personally know anyone who is Catholic. Please help me with these issues and be patient with my lack of knowledge. Thanks, in advance.

In Christ,

Matt


#2

Well, I’m not the one to answer your questions, but you have come to the right place. I came to this forum about a month and a half ago and asked many of the same questions you have. They were all answered very well, as I’m sure yours will be. I’m always glad to see other Protestants interested in and drawn to the Catholic Church! :slight_smile: May God reward your search!

Hey, when I’m back in the States, I’m stationed in Georgia! I must admit, it’s a bit humid for my tastes, but it beats the Middle East!

God Bless!


#3

Well, others can give you more in-depth answers then I, but here’s the brief-hacked-out ones to hold you over until then!

Good to hear from you!

( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these )) Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ? What makes the Church so certain of things such as her Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Sinlessness, the Immaculant Conception (having to do with her being free from original sin), and her Queenship in Heaven?

The churches holds there are two sources for truth in Christianity: Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition. Christ gave his teachings to the apostles. Those apostles gave those teachings to their successors, and so on. It was only out of this Tradition that the bible came. John himself imforms us not all that he gave the apostles was written down into the bible. So we look to that same Tradition, handed down from apostle to apostle (the Bishops), for the faith as given to us by Christ. All of the faith in Tradition is alluded to in scripture, if not fully stated. We can have faith in this Tradition through the preservation of early Christian writings called the “Fathers of the Church.” Those apostles and disciples in the first 2 centuries of the church, such as Justin Martyr and St. Ignatious of Antioch. Through these first Christians, we see the same teachings in the early Christian church as is in the Catholic church today, including those of Mary.

  1. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?

Yes, depending on your parish. All parishes are free to have various faith activities according to their own desires.

  1. Where can I find out information on the History of the Church, it’s origins, where certain practices came from, etc.

Right here on the forums! We can normally answer specifics. For a general source to answer these questions… you’ll have to wait for another forum member to answer.

  1. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?

We as Catholics believe we are the one church founded by Christ. If this is the case, Satan would really want to keep people out of it. You do the math.

  1. My goal, in life and in death, is to be nearer to my Lord Jesus, to know him better, love him more. Do Catholics believe in Christ as “personal” (for lack of a better term) Lord and Savior?

Amen brother! We as Catholics identify the Eucharist as the “Source and Summit of our Faith.” We believe that when we recieve communion, we are recieving the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, physically present in the host. Nothing is more personal then that!

  1. Why purgatory? Where did this belief originate?

Its always been. (See above on Tradition.) Quite simply, we must be pure to enter into God’s presence. However, we as humans are stained by sin and therefore rarely die pure. But Christ sacrafice on the cross still obtains for us salvation. So… there must be some purification that occurs in us as we prepare to enter heaven. We call this process purgatory. For more information:
catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp

  1. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?

Not at all! The church strives to worship God in all things, including the beauty of its liturgy. Whatever manner of worship God calls one into the church through, that’s His choice!

  1. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?

Assuming both you and your spouse were baptised, and never Catholic at the time of your marriage, then yes, your marriage will be valid in the eyes of the church.


#4

[continued]

  1. Why refer to certain beliefs as mysteries? (such as the mysteries of light, etc.)

Depends what set of beliefs/mysteries you’re refering to. “Mystery” tends to refer to an aspect of the faith that is so deep and so rich, that we could never fully grasp all that it contains to teach us. Examples: Paschal Mystery (Christ’s sacrficie), Eucharistic Mystery (The eucharist in the true presence of Christ.)

Also, the private prayer practiced by many Catholics called the Rosary involves meditation on specific moments in Christ’s life. This moment we meditate on are called “Mysteries.” One such set of mysteries are called the mysteries of Light. They are:

  1. Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan
  2. Christ’s Miracle at the wedding feast in Cana.
  3. Christ’s earthly ministry and call to conversion.
  4. The transfiguration
  5. Christ instituting the Eucharist at the last supper.

They are called mysteries, because various aspects of the Christian life and spirit are revealed in them, and can be gained through meditation.

Hope that helps!
Josh


#5

First, congrats on your pursuit of finding your calling to God. All of us are on a journey, a journey filled with potholes and rewards.

  1. ( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these )) Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ? What makes the Church so certain of things such as her Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Sinlessness, the Immaculant Conception (having to do with her being free from original sin), and her Queenship in Heaven?

Each of your questions are impossible to answer in the limits of this forum. However, the shortest response I have is to read the Annunciation (1:26-38) and Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (1:39-45) in Luke. In this context, think Mary as a sacred vessel that held God in all his divinity. Do you seriously think that God would allow this vessel to be defiled ever (from her conception-the Immaculate Conception until after her earthly death to be subject to corruption in the grave?

  1. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?

:slight_smile: Absolutely. My parish has bible studies, catechesis (classes) for both children (K-12) and Adult Education classes (additionally, my Pastor encourages confirmed Catholics to come to RCIA classes for education purposes). The testimony “thing” isn’t as prevalent. The Catholic Church is very guarded about who teaches and sometimes “testimonies” can lead to false teachings.

  1. Where can I find out information on the History of the Church, it’s origins, where certain practices came from, etc.

:slight_smile: The library. Seriously, the History has been written in thousands of books. Just be careful to make sure that you get one that is historical and not one that rewrites or interprets history to serve an agenda. Regarding practices, I’ve bought for friends in your situation a book called “Why do Catholics do that” and also a book by Schreck (don’t recall the title)

  1. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?

For a few, to be anti-Catholic justifies their position. But for most, I like to use the quote by Bishop Fulton Sheen- There are less than 100 people who hate the Catholic Church but there are millions who hate their faulty perception of the Catholic Church.

  1. My goal, in life and in death, is to be nearer to my Lord Jesus, to know him better, love him more. Do Catholics believe in Christ as “personal” (for lack of a better term) Lord and Savior?

Absolutely. However, Catholics usually don’t use this vernacular because to them they think it implies the end of the story (i.e. I’ve accepted Jesus, now I’m saved and the journey is over). I like to say that we are on a faith journey with Jesus Christ where we are called to get to know Him better, with the Holy Spirit as our Guide, Comforter, Advocate, and with the Creator from whom all blessings flow.

  1. Why purgatory? Where did this belief originate?

Good question. This is covered in books and difficult to answer in this forum.

  1. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?

Actually, that is a good reason. We are physical creatures and not just spiritual beings. All of these physical expressions are indications of our reverence and reinforce God using our physicalality.

  1. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?

You need to talk to a Priest about this. There are some Protestant weddings that we acknowledge as being Sacramental. Unlike most other sacraments in the Church, the “minister” of Holy Matrimony are the couple. The question is whether proper form was used and the criteria for a Sacramental Marriage being present. This is way too deep for this layman.

  1. Why refer to certain beliefs as mysteries? (such as the mysteries of light, etc.)

There are some Truths that the human is incapable to fully understand as we are limited while God is infinite. While we can’t understand them, they are still Truths because God either in the Old Testament or Jesus proclaimed them so even if they are conceptually beyond us.

:blessyou: :getholy:


#6

“1. ( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these )) Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ? What makes the Church so certain of things such as her Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Sinlessness, the Immaculant Conception (having to do with her being free from original sin), and her Queenship in Heaven?”

Look at the reverence shown the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. Mary is the Ark of the New Testament—she carried the Word in her womb. She’s also the new Eve—her “yes” to God makes her the mother of a new people. Jesus gave her to us as our mother at the Cross, and if she was good enough for Jesus she’s good enough for me.

As for the importance of her perpetual virginity: if you consider this as unimportant, you may be misunderstanding just what consecration is. When something is devoted to God, it does not revert to ordinary use. Moses and the Jews did not use the Ark of the Covenant to haul grain around with when they weren’t using it; it was commissioned by God, so to speak: designed by God. When God consecrates something, it is not used for everyday things. In the OT, people died by touching the Ark—do you think that Joseph, being a devout man, could have viewed Mary in an ordinary way? She was the spuse of the Holy Spirit—that probably would have given him some pause, don’t you think?

Anyway—all authentic Marian devotion leads to Christ. She’s a good Jewish mother who says, “Look at my wonderful son!”

I’m sure that others will fill in some of your other questions. Remember that the Body of Christ is a family, therefore it’s not just “me and Jesus”.


#7

Welcome, Manphibian…

I’ll try to help with a few of your questions.
#1 Mary…much deeper than I will comment on but she is a unique saint…only one from whom Christ took his earthly body. She is a model of humility, “let it be to me according to your word.” Lk 1:38
She was present at all of the critical moments of Christ’s life and of the Church’s life, e.g., the nativity, beginning of Christ’s ministry at Canna, the crucifixion, the birth of the Church at Pentecost. The certainty of the Church’s teachings about her arise from the promise of Christ to send the Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth; hence the doctrine of infallibility in teaching faith and morals.

#2 Yes, Catholics have bible studies and hear the Scriptures every day, if they choose, at daily Mass.

#3 One recent publication, Triumph:the Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church by H.W. Crocker III is a pretty comprehensive history. Although it is out of print, new compies can still be obtained from Amazon.com I believe. There is also the Catholic Encyclopedia on line at www.newadvent.org pick a topic or a person.

#4 I won’t speculate.

#5 You may not hear it put in exactly those words, but Catholics have a deep personal relationship with Jesus. He came to save all but knows and loves each of us as if we were the only individual in all creation.

#6 An excellent support for the doctrine of purgatory is Mt.5:23-26.

#7 I don’t think it’s wrong to be attracted by the beauty of the Church, its liturgy, color, adornments, etc. I hope you will find that your main reason for being attracted to the Church is that in her you find the truth.

#8 There are several factors involed here and you would be wiser to consult with a priest.

#9. “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Rm 11:33 Mystery and God are not incompatable. “What is man that you should be mindful of him” Ps 8:5 The very idea of a God without beginning or end is in itself a mystery.

Hope this was of some help…

In Christ,


#8

Hi Pen…
Not sure I can answer all of your questions fully, but I’ll try to answer some the best I can (I’m sure others will fill in my blanks, or correct my errors ). My first question is this: Do you have a “Catechism of the Catholic Church”? (CCC)If not, I highly recommend that you get one. Though it seems like quite a lot of reading, it is one (if not THE) of the most clear and complete explanations of the Catholic doctrine.

  1. If we concede that Jesus was in fact God (which obviously you do as a Christian ) ), we must also concede that Mary is then, the Mother of God. She is the one woman who God created and chose to be a vessel for the salvation of mankind (namely Jesus). Her fiat (“Yes”) to God was the path through which our Savior came into being.

Elizabeth (filled with the holy Spirit) said “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. An how does this happen to me tht the mother of my Lord should come to me.” - Luke 1:43 (NAS)

Elizabeth is confirming here that Mary is the “mother of [the] Lord.”

CCC 963 “…The Virgin Mary…is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer…She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ …since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are mmebers of its head.”

And as to more explaining, I just realized that I’d have to type like 40 sections of the Catechism, so I’m going to leave it at that :smiley: .

  1. The Church has bible studies and Youth Groups (both directly affiliated with parishes and those based on material approved by the magisterium). We also have classes to help teach children/people the teachings of the Church (and the “why” behind those teachings) such as CCD and RCIA. I have personally been involved in a Catholic College group called the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (F.O.C.U.S.) where we do bible study’s, group gatherings, share our testimonies (though maybe not in the same way that it is done in the Baptist church) and otherwise encourage each other to further our walk with God. (These are just those from my experience).

  2. The biggest one I can recommend is The Bible :slight_smile: .Ummm, I’m going to say the Catechism again, which will explain the basis for the Catholic teachings in Scripture, etc . Also, the Catholic Answers website has alot of info in all areas. I’m sure others have more advice here too.

  3. One of the big causes for anti-Catholicism is that a great number of non-Catholic people have incorrect ideas about what the Churchs teachings really are. Also, the Church, because of its high amount of structure, is highly visible and therefore any abuses (and sadly there have been some) are easily noticable and publicized. Also, the Catholic Church is claiming that, through the succession of Peter, we are the Church established by Jesus “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will ot prevail against it” -Matthew 16:18. Therefore, it’s easy to see why Protestant Christians do not agree with the church (the very name protestant explains this).

  4. Most definetally! (another common misconception among some protestant groups)Without Christ’s sacrifice there would be no redemption.

Have to go to work, I’ll finish later. And these are great questions, necessary to be clear on to understand the Church and her teachings. May God bless and keep you on your journey,
k

P.S. Any priests in your area that you would consider talking with? Maybe someone on this board could recommend one!


#9

[quote=Manphibian]2. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?
[/quote]

Not so much in my parish. The general view is that “Sunday School” is for kids, and you’re done learning about the faith once you are confirmed.

For example, we have hundreds of kids being dropped off by their parents every Sunday before Mass for religious education. But the best we can do for adult education is once a month, with maybe 8-10 people attending.

Many Catholic parishes charge for Vacation Bible School, and it is also considered to be just for kids.

[quote=Manphibian]4. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?
[/quote]

I think it is a reaction to the anti-Protestant attitude that existed in the Catholic Church from Trent up to Vatican II. In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the official term for Protestant was “heretic”.


#10

Others here are more articulate than I am and better able to answer your questions, but welcome! and you are in my prayers as you contemplate coming home.

I know you said you’ve been reading some books, but I’d like to recommend a few that have helped me and others I know. One is ‘Surprised by Truth’ by Patrick Madrid. I know several people contemplating Catholicism who have read this ( they have the ‘first volume’ - I understand now there are other volumes) and have found it very helpful. It’s a book of ‘testimonies’ of people - some of them former Protestant pastors - who converted to Catholicism. But within the testimonies you will find a lot of Catholicism explained as these people dove into Scripture to find their answers. Another great book is 'Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic’ by David Currie. Also, if you want some information on the Rapture and why the Church doesn’t hold to the same understanding as I’m guessing you do as a Southern Baptist, David Current also has a (big) book called "Rapture" that is a great bible study on the end times. Oh - one more that is a very easy read but very thorough is 'Unabridged Christianity’ (I can’t remember the author off-hand). It’s a q&a type book answering questions about Catholicism. God bless you, and even if you decide not to join the Church, please stick around these forums. Your post was very thoughtful and I’m sure you would a lot to offer to our discussions. :blessyou:


#11

You have many questions and the responses to them can and should be very detailed. I will give you an example of the kind of length required. I will address your question on purgatory from a biblical point of view.

Purgatory

2 Sam 12:13-18
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in and lay all night upon the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died."

*This example from scripture shows that there is punishment for Sin even after the sin has been forgiven

Revelation 21:27
But nothing unclean shall enter it,

*Nothing unclean will enter heaven

Matthew 5:48
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

*Because nothing unclean will enter heaven

Hebrews 12:22-23
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

*There is a way that the souls of just men are made perfect

1 Corinthians 3:13-15
each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

*After death every man’s work will be tested by fire and he will suffer loss even though he has been saved.

Matthew 12:32
And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

*This implies forgiveness of sin or its punishment after death in the age to come.

Matthew 18:23-35
"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? 'And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

*Where can you go after death that is like jail until you have paid all your debt? In heaven there is no need forgiveness. In hell there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 20:12-15
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

*There is judgment after death for what we have done.

cont. on next post


#12

Some verses in scripture simply make no sense in a heaven and hell only theology.
James 5:20
let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

*If Jesus did everything that needed to be done for the forgiveness of sins then what can this verse mean? Unless there is punishment for sin even after sin is forgiven as in the case of David and Nathan.

1 Peter 4:8
Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.

*Here it is again…something we do that covers a multitude of sins.

Colossians 1:24
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

*Once again, something we do that in someway completes the work of Christ. Even though Christ’s redemptive work is sufficient for forgiveness, there is still punishment for a multitude of sins. Love and suffering cover a multitude of sins.

I hope that this sheds at least some light on the subject


#13

[quote=Manphibian]Hello,

… I’d like to ask a few questions that as of yet I haven’t got answered.
**RESP:**A good book is “Bible Basics”. A good Web site is Catholic Apologetics

  1. ( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these ))
    RESP: NEVER
    Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ?
    RESP: To make up for the neglect of protestants. :slight_smile:
    Seriously, The Woman has her rightful place in salvation history. Christianity is not just a man’s religion. We just insist on recognising The Woman’s rightful place.Bishop Fulton J Sheen refers to her as “The World’s First Love”. He was dead on.

  2. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?
    RESP: WOW! I’m with you on this one! For many generations catholic youth were given their daily dose of Bible/catechesis in catholic parish schools. Those schools have dropped by 85%. It’s high time catholics recognized this and effectively instituted the protestant idea of large attendence religious education for youth. Maybe that’s a calling to you.

  3. Where can I find out information on the History of the Church, it’s origins, where certain practices came from, etc.
    RESP: The obvious answer would be “Its origins are in the NT.” But good books on Church History would be:
    Books of J B Lightfoot (protestant).
    The Faith of the Early Fathers. William A Jurgens.
    Church History. Fr John Laux, MA
    The Mass. Adrian Fortesque. A thorough history of the Mass from the beginnings.
    Crossing the Tiber. Steve Ray. A diary journey of a convert.
    Mary and the Fathers of the Church. Luigi Gambero.
    A Scientist Researches Mary. Prof Courtenay Bartholomew, MD (protestant).
    And of course the internet Google search engine.

  4. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?
    RESP: Actually the total number is small. It’s the noise they make that is counted as large.
    The foundation is “Sola Scriptura”. Which, begets private Interpretation which defacto becomes their personal private revelation. …My way or the hellway.

  5. My goal, in life and in death, is to be nearer to my Lord Jesus, to know him better, love him more. Do Catholics believe in Christ as “personal” (for lack of a better term) Lord and Savior?
    RESP: Can’t get much more personal than receiving Him Body, Blood Soul and Divinity.

http://www.servi.org/pictures/host.jpg

Up Close and Personal:
http://www.fatimafamily.org/latin-mass/images/11-%20Communion%20-%20Grace%200011.jpg
BTW:
If it’s only a symbol, then it is idolatry, which REALLY gets the protestant turned into an ANTI-catholic.

  1. Why purgatory? Where did this belief originate?
    If you let me I’ll PM or Email you a discourse that is really hard to refute. This belief originates in the OT.

  2. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?
    NO. True Beauty always points to a truth.

  3. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?
    YES, but it would be “sacramentalized” by a priest. The Church recognizes 1st time Marriages that are done outside Her Authority. But not as a Sacrament.

  4. Why refer to certain beliefs as mysteries? (such as the mysteries of light, etc.)
    RESP:
    Look up the root of mystery. I believe it relates directly to the word sacrament in the Greek
    It does NOT refer to the secular definition as in “it’s sure a mystery to me…”

I’m sure many of these questions are elementary, but please understand where I’m coming from. I am a life long resident of the Bible Belt (Georgia) and I don’t even personally know anyone who is Catholic. Please help me with these issues and be patient with my lack of knowledge. Thanks, in advance.
RESP: OK. just no hostility. We have a very large infantry division.:wink:
In Christ,

Matt
[/quote]


#14

Man, now my mouse is broken from clicking so fast on this link!

I have been spending most my time lately on Baptist\Protestant discussion boards. So maybe I feel I have a partial answer to why do so many people become anti-catholic.

#1
One of the many reasons is this, Catholics believe they are in the Church founded by Jesus Christ and can trace their way back. Some people think that thinking that, is just arrogant, since they believe that Jesus never founded a visible Church, just an invisible one made up of all believers in Jesus Christ.
#2
Many Catholics leaving the Church leave to different faith traditions. Some of these faiths have a belief in a great apostasy theory, that the Church fell away, they are going to a true faith rejecting the errors of Catholicism. This would mean that they were lied to and many feel an animosity toward the Church for not telling them about this.
#3 (similar to #2)
Many people are led away from the Church by anti-catholics and gain the same prejudices of them against the Church. My brother is like this, he grew up like me a lax Catholic and now believes much of the Jack Chick kinda stuff. He barely will even discuss the faith with me, but is slowly, very slowly starting to open up.

One thing I have found is pretty much the opposite is true with Catholicism, you don’t reject anything you just complete your faith. I am friends with many people from Calvary Chapel where we used to attend church. Each time I see them I try to share my faith, and yet we have good relationships.

God Bless
Scylla

(sheesh that is a lot of posts in a short period of time, no wonder they are asking for donations for the servers):slight_smile:


#15

Manphibian,

You’re going to get so many responses here, that I think you might find it a bit daunting to read it all…may God give you strength. But I’ll tackle another of your questions and add to your task:

“2. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?”

Yes. I live in the Twin Cities, and Jeff Cavins (a Catholic “revert” who was a Protestant minister for a number of years) gives an excellent Bible study in several parishes here that draw hundreds. His “The Great Adventure Bible Timeline”, an overview of the Bible, is now being used throughout the US. I attended his study of Matthew last year (a 24-week course examining the Gospel of Matthew) and it was great. Hopefully coming soon to a parish near you…As for Wednesday night—no. To be honest, I don’t know why this has become such a tradition in Protestant circles. Daily Mass is available in most parishes, but there’s nothing special about Wednesdays. Maybe you could shed some light on just how this became such a tradition in Protestantism.

By the way, when I was in my Protestant years, I attended a Baptist church (among others)—Bethlehem Baptist church, with John Piper as pastor. Very nice man.

I noticed that you mentioned Chesterton—yeeehaah! Chesterton is great, and you might be interested to know that the head of the American Chesterton Society, Dale Ahlquist, was also a Baptist at one time. He’s now a member of my parish. I’m sure that if you read Chesterton thoroughly, you’ll find some answers to your questions apart from this forum.

“7. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?”

No. Beauty is God’s way of drawing us to Him. It is no accident that the ugliness of modern “art” (I’m an artist, so this stuff matters to me) comes from a nihilist, God-hating culture. Read of the beauty of the temple that Solomon built: God doesn’t hate beauty (how, logically, could He?). “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, God of hosts!”


#16

Wow!

You guys are the best. I appreciate your taking the time to help a man out. Your answers are all great and your arguements make TONS of sense. Anyone who’d like to e-mail me any information is more than welcome to. My e-mail is mattguthrie7@hotmail.com

Great is the Lord, and Greatly to be praised.

Be Gods,

Matt


#17

[quote=Manphibian]8. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?

[/quote]

The Church presumes all marriages between baptized persons to be valid. If neither you or your spouse was previously married then the Church sees your marriage as valid.

This is of course assuming that neither you nor your spouse are Catholic or previously Catholic. If neither of you are or were, then this is actually a simple answer. Your marriage is valid and will not have to be convalidated by the Church if you join/convert. Your marriage is already valid.

If you or your spouse are/were Catholic the issue becomes much more complex and would likely require convalidation.

Anyway, I wish you well on your journey.


#18

[quote=Manphibian]Hello,

I’m sure many of you nearly dented your mouse left-clicking on this topic. Hurring in to defend your faith against any number of mindless, shallow accusations by an uninformed Baptist. I’m sorry to dissappoint you. :slight_smile:

I think I speak for most when I say, “Happy to be thus disappointed.” :wink:

Over the past month or so I have felt a certain “calling” ,if you will, to become Catholic. I have long admired people such as Saint Francis, G.K. Chesterton, and Rich Mullins, who as I understand it, was converting to Catholicism before his life was prematurely ended in an auto accident. I have purchased at least 10 books on Catholicism this past month, attended Mass, and numerous other endeavors to find out what’s going on here. If I may, I’d like to ask a few questions that as of yet I haven’t got answered.

Ah, GKC! Isn’t he a great author? Absolutely love him!

  1. ( A question about Mary) ((I’m sure you guys are absolutely sick of these )) Why so much stock put into the Blessed Virgin’s life after conceiving Christ? What makes the Church so certain of things such as her Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Sinlessness, the Immaculant Conception (having to do with her being free from original sin), and her Queenship in Heaven?

I’d like to ask you a question, with all dure respect, of course–why do Protestants make so little of Mary after conceiving Christ? Is she only to be remembered at Christmas time? And if so, why? Doesn’t she make more appearances than that in the Gsopels? Wasn’t she present at the day of Pentecost?

But, to answer your 2nd question, the Church has been mining the riches of the Gospels for 2000 years. Mary is one of the riches Jesus left to us. He was her whole life and everything she had and was was dedicated to him and his followers. So, whenever the Church solidifies a teaching about Mary it is means to tell us something important about her Son, our Savior and about his Body the Church. When looked at from that perspective the Marian teachings come into proper focus.
[/quote]


#19

Here are some suggested links for more information:

  1. Mary and the saints.

2.Bible Study: Yes, many Catholic Parishes have bible study groups. If they don’t, it’s perfectly OK to bug the pastor to start one. (He may delegate that job to the one making the request.)

3: Church History: This is a good start: and this is a good overview.

  1. Anti-Catholicism: This gives a good overview:

  2. Personal Lord and Savior: Yes, Catholics accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, and develop a personal relationship with him through prayer, devotional practices, and receiving him personally in the Eucharist. We even consider his mother to be our mother, but that gets into number 1, above
    .

  3. Purgatory :

7.Beauty: This was the primary attraction which brought Deal Hudson into the Church. See his book about this. God is beauty.

  1. Married in Baptist Church: If neither of you were married previously, and both were baptized when you married in the Baptist church, the Church would consider your marriage both valid and sacramental. Each marital situation, however, needs to be discussed individually with a priest.

9 Mysteries: Sometime we call meditation images mysteries–as in the mysteries of the rosary, where we meditate upon certain events in the life of Christ. But we also call doctrinal matters which are not fully within the comprehension of human intelligence, such as the Trinity, mysteries. (That doesn’t mean they are illogical, only that we can never fully understand them.)


#20

part deux:

  1. Do Catholics have bible studies, give testimonies, or “Sunday School” classes or anything of that nature officially connected with Church, like on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s at Protestant Churches?

Some do and some don’t. That is decided on a parish by parish basis according to the discretion of the senior pastor.

  1. Where can I find out information on the History of the Church, it’s origins, where certain practices came from, etc.

Right in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. No kidding.

  1. Why is there so many anti-Catholics? What makes some people so angry and uncomfortable with Catholicism? In other words… What’s the big deal?

Some people who misunderstand the Church hate it because they think it is leading people astray. Some unbelievers are influenced by the world which hates Christ, and still others feel they were lied to by the Church after being confronted by proselytizers who pointed out certain Bible verses, interpreting them as meaning things the Church doesn’t teach and convince the poorly informed or lax Catholic that the Church is the enemy of Christ. Sad, isn’t it? But true, as many here can testify.

  1. My goal, in life and in death, is to be nearer to my Lord Jesus, to know him better, love him more. Do Catholics believe in Christ as “personal” (for lack of a better term) Lord and Savior?

How much more “personal” can one get to Christ than to receive his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist? But, what you are really talking about is spirituality called by Catholics “the interior life” or “the devotional life”. We are all for it! And there are many spiritualities of great depth for any who seek God through them.

  1. Why purgatory? Where did this belief originate?

It is a part of the Communion of Saints. We believe that every Christian is a part of the Living Body of Christ whether they are still on earth or in heaven. Purgatory is not a separate place between heaven and hell. It is a part of heaven in which we “pass thorugh as if by fire” as Paul put it, to burn off all the dross of our minor sins which we did nothing to reticify by either a penitential act or by making restitution. C. S. Lewis said it was like having finished with the dentist when he gives you some water to let you rinse your mouth and spit out the leftovers of anything left in there from the treatment on your teeth.

  1. Is it wrong to be attracted to Catholicism because of it’s beauty, i.e. churches, services, vestments, art, etc. ?

No, not at all. We are beings with 5 senses because God created us that way. What better way to honor him and be immersed in worship than by means of all our senses?

  1. I was married in a Baptist Church, will my marriage be valid?

Yes, assuming you were both Protestants.

  1. Why refer to certain beliefs as mysteries? (such as the mysteries of light, etc.)

What you are referring to are the mysteries we meditate upon while praying the Rosary. The mysteries are the things related to the Gospel stories. Each time we meditate upon the mysteries associated with the Rosary we are meditating upon some aspect of the Gospels.

I’m sure many of these questions are elementary, but please understand where I’m coming from. I am a life long resident of the Bible Belt (Georgia) and I don’t even personally know anyone who is Catholic. Please help me with these issues and be patient with my lack of knowledge. Thanks, in advance.

In Christ,

Matt

You’re welcome, Matt. And you’re welcome here to ask all the questions you want. Of course, you may want to do some reading on your own that answer these questions. And you might want to look some of things up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is fully indexed and easy to use./QUOTE]


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