I grew up a protestant, raised on the Lutheran (ELCA) denomination. I hadn’t been to church in over a decade but remained a Christian through private prayer and bible study.
I’ve been investigating the Catholic Church for about 5 years now. I went through the RCIA program for a year.I enjoyed meeting with people and discussing our faith. However, I found the entire process to be somewhat tedious and annoying. It seemed to me like it was geared toward people who have little Christian background. That’s all well and good, but for people like me, I was bored silly and I felt like my questions were not being answered. NOT ONCE did we read from the Catechism. How can you have Catechesis without the Catechism?!
I dropped out yesterday, just before the Easter Vigil Mass where I was to be confirmed. I called my sponsor and told him that, in a nutshell, I cannot answer the following question in the affirmative in good concience: “Do you accept everything the Church teaches?”. I’m stuck on certain things and I don’t think they can be reconciled.
I’m beginning to wonder if I should take a closer look at the Lutheran (ELCA) church. However, because of their somewhat liberal views on abortion and homosexuality, I have a big problem with them. I like the Missouri Synod but my BIG stumbling block with them is their profession that the Pope is anti-Christ (!) How ridiculous!!
So here I am, looking again at the Catholic Church. My biggest roadblocks here are:
Immaculate Conception. Mary born without sin seems to contradict scripture. There is a passage that says not one is sinless, not one. She was 100% HUMAN, not divine like Christ. She also called Jesus her savior. Why would she need a savior if she were without sin?
Divorce & remarriage. I’ve never been married. However, I’m in my mid-30’s and I hope to find a wife some day. At my age, the chances of finding a wife that hasn’t already been married and is now divorced is pretty much nil. According to Church teaching, I would not be able to take communion if the Church doesn’t grant an annulment to the future spouse. My main point in this is my resistance to papal authority. Yes, I know what Jesus said about this, but it seems to me like the Church is ignoring the context. They seem to do that when it’s convenient.
Confession of sins to a priest. Especially when there is perfect contrition. I have serious theological differences here. The Church cites ONE VERSE where supposedly Jesus instituted the requirement of confession to a priest although this was not mentioned anywhere else in scripture. In fact, confession of sins to God (alone) IS mentioned THROUGHOUT the bible. Perfect contrition? “Yes,” says the Church, “but you must still confess.” Why? Because Rome (man) says so?
No forms of birth control allowed. I can accept the prohibition on forms that kill an embryo (like the pill) but the prohibition on ALL forms seems over-the-top.
Celibate priesthood. Doesn’t affect me personally but I still disagree with this teaching. So does my priest!
I know I’ve touched on a lot of subjects here and I’ve heard answers the questions like these on programs like Catholic Answers (on the radio) and EWTN. I’m not exactly seeking answers to these questions as I’m pretty sure I already know what you (the reader) would say. What I’m asking is, how can I, in good conscience, confess that I believe everything the Church teaches when obviously I don’t? Would I not then be a liar? The people at church (like my sponsor) seem to think I’m worrying too much since not all Catholics believe everything anyway. I can understand one or two differences, but it seems to me that mine are so many that I’m basically still a protestant at heart. :shrug: