Max, I know you heard my story on the site we conversed at. You seem unable to log in properly over there- so I assume you are “guest” in a few places. Hopefully, you understand me a bit better now. I saw your response and appreciate your words. For those of you wondering what we were talking about, he was asking me why I adhere to sola scriptura, and am protestant. Here is what I sent him.
I’m convinced that scripture saves, IF put into practice. I’m convinced that men are all sinners in need of a savior, and we have that in Christ.
I have faith in Christ, but not faith in men. I have faith that scripture- applied scripture- will lead nobody to Hell.
I am 2nd generation Spaniard. My great grandparents were Catholic (of course) and came here in the 1920s. They came to a steel town outside of Pittsburgh where the local Catholic church was controlled by the Irish and Italians. The Spanish immigrants were not exactly welcomed, especially not the poor ones- like my family at that time.
A house fire killed my great, great uncle as an infant- and the local priest, father McCashum, denied him catholic burial- simply because of the poor tithes of my then churchgoing roman catholic great grandparents (who were farmers.)
It was an outrage to the several hundred local Spanish immigrants, most of whom stopped going to that church that very day, and were welcomed into a small Presby church in the area of their villiage. The old generation Spaniards still alive in my town still refer to him as “Father Give-Me-Cash” instead of “father McCashum”
I have seen the sins of this same local Roman Catholic church in my youth, sins that have destroyed boyhood friends of mine and ruined their lives. Those friends are now of to places unknown, making sure they never step foot in my town again. Two turned to satanism, a foolish, idiotic “protest” against Catholicism. I found out later this same priest my town had in its RC church had struck in other small RC churches… as I found out years later from a hockey teammate of mine about 30 miles away from where I grew up. He quizzed me during a dinner at his house. He asked what town I was from, in the middle of the team cookout, I told him. He asked if I ever heard of a certain priest in my town in the mid 80s. I told him yes. He got all wierd, and later pulled me into a side room and cried (You don’t expect defensemen to cry, especially on the shoulders of a goalie…) I asked what was wrong. He told me that he was abused by this man in his youth, long before this man was transferred to my town, years ago.
This friend will never set foot in a church again (so he claims) be it Catholic or Protestant. That awful Priest died in the mid 1990s, incidentally.
I forgive the local RC church though, and I don’t blame Roman Catholicism as a whole for what happened to my friends. I just think that it goes to show you that men- mere humans- cannot be entrusted with the power of God, as they are all sinners who will corrupt it for their own devices, and have, and will continue to do so- be they Prot. or Cath.
Sin is non-denominational.
That’s where my belief in sola-scriptura was formed. Not by reformers. Not by theologians, but by some who became human speed bumps in the path of wicked men entrusted with a legacy they abused for their own devices.
And after all this, it breaks my heart to hear Roman Catholics tell Protestants that their beliefs aren’t good enough, or they are led astray, or they are wrong. The RC church needs to apologize for many abuses of power, both at the top and bottom- humbly, and honestly- and lower its shield of alleged infallability.
I also agree with Seeker on the big picture, that a time will come when we will need to gather under one banner that merely states “Christians”. But I also think that it would serve Roman Catholicism to use a bit more compassion with those who have been hurt, or protestants in general.