I am writing this thread because even though I have heard from some writers on these boards to just ignore those people who post things that accuse non-catholics of being non-Christians and even of not loving the Lord to the fullest, I find it difficult to ignore. In fact, it hurts my feelings. I listen to Catholics ask questions over whether or not protestants are Christians and whether they really recieve the fullness of Christ and His power. I was raised a protestant and I’ve never doubted the power of Christ and his role in my life. When I take communion (what you call the eucharist), it means something to me more than pretty much anything else in my life. I can go on and on about my own life but I’m sure there are still some of you who will just discount what I have to say and blame it on being brought up protestant. So, I’m taking a different approach. I learned a long time ago that in order to have a good argument and be able to effectively defend your position, you must know BOTH sides of an argument. My position is that ALL Christians, Catholics and protestants included, should go out and preach the word of Christ to a dying world. We need to put aside our differences and focus on the One who made us all…God. Our missions is to go to all the ends of the earth baptizing in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28-the great commission). So, even as a Lutheran, I am going to use the Catholic Catechism to defend my position:
There are “”s because there are footnotes it’s quoting from…
In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body – here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism – do not occur without human sin:
“Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.”
“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.”
“Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 216, ISBN 0898704820
So, what does everyone think of that?