Too many rules and not enough loving?


#1

After watching many protestant ( I know ) videos it seems they sincerely want to find union with Christ and wish to spread it with the world, especially in regard to the ministries set up in poorer parts of the world.

Are we bogged down by rules and apologetics that we have forgotten to spread the love?

In sincerity

Andre.


#2

Most of the rules have a basis in love.

They are one in the same.

It is often times ignorance of the depth of the Catholic Church that leads people to seek “quick fix” love that they don’t think exists in the Catholic Church.


#3

Just what “rule” do you propose to toss out?

Sorry, but this particular accusation just is an old one and doesn’t hold up. As for wishing to spread the Gospel to the poorer parts of the world----Catholic missionaries have been doing that for centuries, long before Protestants were on the scene. You think this is something new? Ever heard of Mother Theresa? Ever donate to Catholic missionaries? I assure you, there are THOUSANDS in all parts of the globe.


#4

:confused:

I just said are we bogged down by rules, i didnt say we should abolish them…


#5

But saying that we’re “bogged down” (and speak for yourself–I don’t feel bogged down whatsover) implies that the rules are chains dragging us down. If that’s the case, well, that implies we ought to get rid of some of them, right? And so I’ll ask again: what rules do you propose to get rid of, and why? Do you understand why that particular rule is there to begin with?


#6

[quote=Magicsilence]After watching many protestant ( I know ) videos it seems they sincerely want to find union with Christ and wish to spread it with the world, especially in regard to the ministries set up in poorer parts of the world.

Are we bogged down by rules and apologetics that we have forgotten to spread the love?

[/quote]

If you think the fact that Protestants have transmogrified into 28,000 competing sects a good thing because every man sets his own rules, then you need to give it more thought. It is not an either or thing. Even though our pride may tell us otherwise, having rules helps give us the security and boundries to “find union with Christ and wish to spread it with the world” and not drift off into error and schism based on emotionalism and human whim. As far as setting up “ministries set up in poorer parts of the world,” I think Catholics have shown by the universal spread of the Church, that we are more than capable of doing this, even as a vast organized body. With God, ALL things are possible.


#7

Starting with the Ten Commandments the rules are a roadmap to heaven. They are there to help you navigate.


#8

We always have to put rules and laws in a context. Some arise from divine law, and we don’t have the authority to alter them. Some arise from the authority of the Church as it attempts to be faithful to Christ. Some rules and laws are weighty. Many are of lesser importance. So rules and laws can range in weight from the absolute to the advisory. Some are capable of being changed and others are not.

It takes the virtue of prudent and faithful discretion to know the difference, and then to apply the rule or law with the mind of the Church. As John Paul II said when he issued the code of canon law for the Catholic Church, law is not intended to be a substitute for charity. Keeping the law barely matters if we do not believe in Christ, living as his faithful disciples.

When Paul writes in Romans that “the end of the law is Christ,” he helps us recall that the law has a purpose in helping to guide us toward Christ. He is its end in the sense of its purpose, and of course, the personal “object” of our Christian faith.

So while we have to avoid being bogged down, we have to be faithful and know how to use rules as tools and servants in calling the world to God’s love through Christ in his Church.


#9

[quote=Magicsilence]After watching many protestant ( I know ) videos it seems they sincerely want to find union with Christ and wish to spread it with the world, especially in regard to the ministries set up in poorer parts of the world.

Are we bogged down by rules and apologetics that we have forgotten to spread the love?

In sincerity

Andre.
[/quote]

I think I understand what you are saying…apologetics are making you feel bogged down and you are having trouble tearing yourself away to feel the spiritual side.

Stop apologetics for a period…

As far as protestants go, and this is my opinion, they try to hold on desperately to the honeymoon period one feels when you first experience the love of G-d on a personal level. If they no longer feel that excitement they feel like they have walked off…therefore all of the guest speakers for “homecomings” and “renewals” and all the other events that the names escape my mind, something to keep them on fire…but as Mother Teresa experienced, G-d withdrawls sometimes for growth of the individual, and If you let go of that “honeymoon” you have a real marriage. Study other spiritual things for a while


#10

If the Church Police knocked on every door and forced us to go to mass, abstain from meat on Friday, etc. then I would say we are bogged down with rules, but the fact is we are completely free because the Church speaks with authority, not power.

Scott


#11

Just what rules boggs Catholics down???

On the flip side, I was inches away from becoming Protestant myself! What kept me back was that Protestantism was filled with sensationalism! Sensationalism, that is having doctrines that sound good, but nonetheless may not always be biblical! Have you ever heard the cleashay (sp?), if it sounds too good to be true, its probably not true!

Here are some quick-catch phrases that sound good at first hear, that I repeatedly heard!!

Sola Scriptura? ?

Just a relationship with Christ is all you need?

Just confess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and your ticked has been bought, inspite of what you may or may not do after!

Saved by only faith!

Don’t worry, you will be ratpured???

Quantity over Quality??? We go to church twice a week, 5 hours bible study etc, you catholics go once a week for a 45 mins to eat cookie God!

It wasn’t wine, it was grape juice???True Christians don’t drink wine, or anything similar to it!

We must be True Christians because we have Pot lucks!

Christians must carry a bible in your hand - proof that your a Christian! Not carrying one equates to infidel! Never said, but presumed!

SSShhhh, quiet…we don’t have crosses or images at our alter, because we don’t do that worship thing, but our Childrens books do!

Even the smallest amount of gambeling is a sin. Then Pastures wife buys $20 dollars of state lottery tickects, jumps for joy becuase she wins $100.00

etc…etc etc…contradiction after contradiction…selective reasoning, I say, and the list goes on!

I am sorry if separated Christian brothers takes my post the wrong way, but this is what I saw, and this is how I felt! I thank God for this experience. It prompted me to study my faith giveng to me from childhood; the Catholic faith! And now, I am fully convinced and never turning back!

God bless


#12

I just said are we bogged down by rules, i didnt say we should abolish them…
[/quote]

Sometimes, I ask myself…I wonder just what Jesus thinks about this or that particular argument?

Is [this] a mortal sin?
Is [this particular form] of marital sexual relation okay?
Is [this form of dress] modest enough?
Can I look at a woman wearing a low cut top for 1 second, 5 seconds or more seconds? (are low cuts in fashion this year more then past years??? sure seems so).

Even more heavy doctrinal issues such as the highly debated and belabored issue of the difference of how Protestants and Catholics perceive salvation. I sometimes feel when we are beating these issue up Jesus may be saying…“guys, you are missing the point”.

As I witness these issues debated I ponder the fact that the vast majority of Catholics, as well as Protestants, have no idea of these doctrinal issues at all. Yet the orthodox treat them often as a Heaven vs. Hell stake issue.

Ask your average off the street Catholic (greater then 90% I’d guess) what sola scriptura or sola fida is and they’ll probably think it’s an exotic dish.

I’m not implying that these issues are unimportant. I suppose I am just making the point that often these issues bubble up to the surface and overflow, masking what is really important. Love of one another, tolerance of one another, understanding, hope for Gods mercy. I pray for God’s mercy. I certainly can’t keep up with being on the right side of all these doctrinal issues. Or I’d never be able to hold a job and feed my family.


#13

Are we bogged down by rules and apologetics that we have forgotten to spread the love?

I would answer yes.

This is one thing that Cardinal Murphy O’Connor complimented the Anglican church on. He said that they were keen to become closer to Jesus, and to particularly spread the love of God, (or something along those lines).

I often here talk on this site about mortal or venial sins, and all the implications, and how God will judge us. I am always saddened to see this, God loves us, he has given us the oppertunity of forgiveness, and if we are really sorry, then he will forgive no matter what the sin. Often I am inclined to think that the awesome height of Gods love has been forgotten.


#14

[quote=Magicsilence]After watching many protestant ( I know ) videos it seems they sincerely want to find union with Christ and wish to spread it with the world, especially in regard to the ministries set up in poorer parts of the world.

Are we bogged down by rules and apologetics that we have forgotten to spread the love?

In sincerity

Andre.
[/quote]

Now, correct me if I misunderstand you. I think what you are concerned about is those people who are so focused on the ‘rules and regulations’ that they seem to ‘forget’ the purpose of being a Catholic Christian, right?

I myself have to be watchful - am I adhering as best I can to the Catechism and the teachings of the Holy Mother Church out of LOVE for Jesus or out of PRIDE - trying to be the ‘perfect Catholic’.

I think, Andre, that you and I are thinking that we can make the mistake of seperating what the Church requires from the REASON it is required, and therefore forget to act as Love in the Heart of the Church.

Is that right or am I off track?


#15

[quote=Mijoy2]Sometimes, I ask myself…I wonder just what Jesus thinks about this or that particular argument?
Is [this] a mortal sin?
Is [this particular form] of marital sexual relation okay?
Is [this form of dress] modest enough?
Can I look at a woman wearing a low cut top for 1 second, 5 seconds or more seconds? (are low cuts in fashion this year more then past years??? sure seems so).
Even more heavy doctrinal issues such as the highly debated and belabored issue of the difference of how Protestants and Catholics perceive salvation. I sometimes feel when we are beating these issue up Jesus may be saying…“guys, you are missing the point”.
As I witness these issues debated I ponder the fact that the vast majority of Catholics, as well as Protestants, have no idea of these doctrinal issues at all. Yet the orthodox treat them often as a Heaven vs. Hell stake issue.
Ask your average off the street Catholic (greater then 90% I’d guess) what sola scriptura or sola fida is and they’ll probably think it’s an exotic dish.
I’m not implying that these issues are unimportant. I suppose I am just making the point that often these issues bubble up to the surface and overflow, masking what is really important. Love of one another, tolerance of one another, understanding, hope for Gods mercy. I pray for God’s mercy. I certainly can’t keep up with being on the right side of all these doctrinal issues. Or I’d never be able to hold a job and feed my family.
[/quote]

I guess I just can’t relate to this. I am an orthodox, observant Catholic and, far from being “bogged down” or fretting about what I can and cannot do and what is or is not a mortal sin, I am very much at peace, confident in the promises of Our Lord to protect His Church.

If you think that apologetics is too important, then why in the world are you here on an apologetics forum? If participation here is skewing your view, then for heaven’s sake don’t come here if it has the potential, for you, of masking what’s important. I would advise reading some inspirational works by the great saints instead. If apologetics is a “near occasion of sin” for you, avoid it.


#16

[quote=Libero]I would answer yes.

This is one thing that Cardinal Murphy O’Connor complimented the Anglican church on. He said that they were keen to become closer to Jesus, and to particularly spread the love of God, (or something along those lines).

I often here talk on this site about mortal or venial sins, and all the implications, and how God will judge us. I am always saddened to see this, God loves us, he has given us the oppertunity of forgiveness, and if we are really sorry, then he will forgive no matter what the sin. Often I am inclined to think that the awesome height of Gods love has been forgotten.
[/quote]

The judgement will be based on the disposition of the soul. Many things contribute to the purification of the soul. Why play devil’s advocate when there is a very clear way to do this? Why be a minimalist?

Remember, He is merciful, but since He is perfect He must be perfectly just, and we will be perfectly judged.

If we lived a sinful life knowing that on our deathbed we would ask for mercy, and always be forgiven, what would be the point of the earthly trial. Isn’t that the point of “You know not the hour or the time”?


#17

We are free to follow the rules.


#18

There are 3 former Catholics in my workplace.

One of the ‘reasons’ they left was because the churches they joined after leaving were more missionary centered - requiring monthly service projects and some of them are a year-long or half-year long - some in the states, several abroad (third world countries). These are Catholics who truly believed Jesus’ message about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, going out to share His love with those who otherwise would not know it.

It wasn’t enough for them, apparently, that we have orders who devote their entire lives to that. They didn’t believe it was a vocational calling for some - but rather an instruction for all.

So I think this is what the original poster is referring to. It’s not so much that we’re bogged down with rules, but I do hear the former Catholics complain that we’re too focused on the rituals and symbols and not enough on the actual **doing **of Christ’s ministry.

I mention to them that there are food pantries, and habitat for humanity, Vincent de Paul centers, etc. where Catholics can volunteer their time, but I get the impression that leaving it up to volunteering is not good enough - that their new churches require services to be completed as part of being members.

To which, of course, brings to mind Lent for us, where every sermon addresses the call to give alms and help wherever we can. Again, I guess hearing it from a pulpit with no followup is too lenient for these people. I suppose they need someone cracking the whip over them, monitoring them, checking up on them in order to feel Christ’s presence… who knows??? Sounds like swapping old rules for new rules to me.


#19

[quote=Sherlock]I guess I just can’t relate to this. I am an orthodox, observant Catholic and, far from being “bogged down” or fretting about what I can and cannot do and what is or is not a mortal sin, I am very much at peace, confident in the promises of Our Lord to protect His Church.

If you think that apologetics is too important, then why in the world are you here on an apologetics forum? If participation here is skewing your view, then for heaven’s sake don’t come here if it has the potential, for you, of masking what’s important. I would advise reading some inspirational works by the great saints instead. If apologetics is a “near occasion of sin” for you, avoid it.
[/quote]

This was hardly my point. I find the truth of the Catholic faith beautiful, the deeper I dig the more much of it comes to make sense to me. Yet I can relate to the original posters feeling of being “bogged down” with what can often feel like legalities.

I also attempted to make the point the more orthodox, the more deep the debates. When the vast majority of Catholics could never even begin to worry over such things where they are completely ignorant to such doctrine in the first place.

I guess I just can’t relate to this. I am an orthodox, observant Catholic and, far from being “bogged down” or fretting about what I can and cannot do and what is or is not a mortal sin, I am very much at peace, confident in the promises of Our Lord to protect His Church…

I wish I could share your peace. How do you reconcile your peace when you are surrounded by loved ones who know little to nothing about thier faith? I seldom see this addressed. When I witness people I do not know or hardly know totally ignorant and living counter to our beliefs I feel pain. When I witness a loved one, a family member living counter to our faith and beliefs I feel anything but peace.


#20

[quote=Mijoy2]How do you reconcile your peace when you are surrounded by loved ones who know little to nothing about thier faith? I seldom see this addressed. When I witness people I do not know or hardly know totally ignorant and living counter to our beliefs I feel pain. When I witness a loved one, a family member living counter to our faith and beliefs I feel anything but peace.
[/quote]

For me, it’s a matter of faith in Christ’s timing. Just as I wasn’t ready to understand and embrace His teachings for many years, I recognize those around me must not be ready either…but because I pray for them, because I walk among them living the example of Christ within me, I have faith, trust and hope that the mustard seed is planted and will grow in its own time.

Jesus didn’t demand we follow Him.
He invited us to.
And that means we have to take an action to accept that invitation.
Those around us aren’t rejecting the invitation as much as they are procrastinating about saying yes.


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