why I'm not a catholic yet


#1

here are some of my personal objections to submitting to rcc. do any of you have solid answeres that don’t depend on appealling circularly to rcc authority? i.e, can you establish rcc authority by answering these objections and misconceptions.

concerning the broader question of the roman catholic church’s identity claims, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts. first we have to understand what it is they exactly claim to be. rather than use one word, I think it is better to identify the particulars. The catholic church identifies its pope, cardinals, and bishops as being the succesors of the apostles–both the 12 and those who were appointed outside the 12 such as Paul. as such, we should expect that the bishops should provide infallable teaching. this is in affect another claim of the catholic church. the church as a whole and especially its leadership(collectively) are the infallable gardians of the apostolic tradition and the interpreters of how to practice that tradition in the context of various times and cultures. in essence the claim is that the catholic church and in particular its leadership is the “pillar and bullwork of the truth”–an institution where only truth is permitted to have sway and anything false, depraved, or immoral would quickly be delt with. The roman institution is thought to be the natural and visible identification of the mystical body. in other words, as I am a soul with a body by which I can act and be identified, so the catholic church is a group of people spiritually joined in Christ identified in-seperably by their visible participation in the functions of the roman catholic institution–in particular the sacriments.

to examine these claims one must check several points. one is the claim to apostolic succession. this is a matter that will delve into the history of the popes. as yet I hav’nt done the homework yet. however, there are rhumors of vatican curruption that would make nero blush. in addition, it is well known historically that the catholic leadership has invited political influence in terms of manipulating governments and playing the role of polical superpower. even today, popes are appointed with a watchful eye on world politics. It was said by clergy during the last papal apointment that no american cardinal would likely be appointed in the current world order because of the political liability. this makes perfect sense in the context of catholic history as far as I know, but it does’nt have the ring of Christ, “my kingdom is not of this world, if it were of this world, my servants would fight for me.” A while back I discovered a book that details the breaks in the supposedly unbroken line of popes. in some cases catholic civil war broke out over disagreement as to who was the rightful successor to peter. bribing and political posturing have also been a part of the conclave.I lost the info about the book so I’ll have to look this up again.

another aspect to be checked is the strength with which corruption of the teaching or practice is contested. if the church is really the pillar and bullwork of truth, I would expect that heresy would be dealt with in the same way that the 1st century apostles dealt with it–directly, persuasively, quickly, sternly and without regard for the comfort of the perpetraters at the expense of the safety of those who could potentially be led astray. the catholic church has a history of dealling with things in just the opposite manner–let centries go by while the common people are forbidden from reading the word of God in their own language or of celebrating the mass in their own language until at last in the twentieth century a “conciliatory vatican” capitulates to the long popular view that everyone should be allowed to study the scriptures in their own language if still within the guidance of the church. not to mention that “conciliatory” flies in the face of the medival blind eye to the burning of non-catholic, and fringe-catholic, christians. follow the power and you will understand catholic interpretation of the tradition. this is the picture of a pillar and bullwork being tossed about by whatever global climate it faces and not the picture of a church that holds its ground on truth whatever the political cost. obviously I have a lot of historical details to caugh up which will come in time. however it was protestants and inside reformers who corrected the church on the point of hiding the scriptures from common people. and it was only after centuries of protestentism taking hold and eventually owning large influence in the global climate on christianity that the vatican finally came to full repentance.
(continued)


#2

also the teachings themselves must be tested. from the essential to the parifrial and even trivial, every official position of the church must be correct. otherwise there would be a contradiction to the claim of collective inerency. I have found errors in each vein. On the trivial level, the catechism cites the prophet daniel as being a rightious gentile. a small detail I suppose but nevertheless important to note that the book of daniel gives his jewish nationality. here we have a contradiction between two authoritative catholic standareds of teaching: the bible and the catachism. A more parifrial issue is the catholic teaching on mixed marriage. The catachism teaches that catholics who are planning to marry a non catholic or even an unbeliever may obtain special permission from the bishop. an agreement that the children will be raised within the catholic church must be entered into, and the catholic party must dedicate themselves to increased participation in the catholic rites in order to safegaurd against the spiritual snares possible in such a situation. The Apostle paul on the contrary gives strong direction: Do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. here the catholic church gives advice that clearly flies in the face of paul’s tradition. what’s more, on examination of such unions, Pauls instruction is shown to be wise and, in the light of the common result of such unequal unions, the catholic position is shown to be foolish. too many times I have met persons raised in houses with mixed religion. the choice of the children is nearly always agnosticism. Furthermore, the faith of one party will be in conflict with the faith of the other and so on the issue where fellowship is most important in marriage for the fulfilment of the spouses need for companionship and communion with God, the couple will have the smallest potential for unity. clearely the catholic church has officially gone astray on this point.

another example of catholic error is the virginity of Mary. to the protestant, her perpetual virginity seems a silly issue. however, since we are checking the institution for its ability to preserve the true tradition and since catholics make much over her perpetual virginity, we cannot ignore what seems to be irrellevent. the catholic position is that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus as a sign of her total commitment to the Father. ultimately, the exceptional holyness of Mary, connected with her virginity, vindicates in the popular catholic mind her assumption and glorified oneness with Christ in his role as Savior and Lord. she takes on a role of glory that is minutely second to the Godhead and in some manners has the authority of a mother to influence Christ. By entrusting our prayers to her we can be more effective since her prayers to Christ carry the authority of mother–even in heaven.


#3

having established the significance of her perpetual virginity, we need only look at the particulars of the mechanical act and its merital significance. mary was betrothed to joseph. In the jewish cultur of the day this is the equivelent of having signed the marriage license before witnesses and exchanging vows in our time. however, the couple were considered married after they had gone to the place the groom prepared and broken the hymen. this consumation was commited with the wedding bash in full swing so that when the couple emerged, the families could verify that the deed was done. It is in this culture that joseph and mary were betrothed but not married when mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph then quietly began to seek what would in our day be considered an anulment since the consumation had not included him. however, an angel instructed him not to put her away but to take her as his wife. in joseph’s culture this could mean nothing less than to bring her into his apartment and conjuly consumate the marriage. however as the scripture says he waited until after the birth of Jesus to obey the angel. this would have been a public sign of the virgin conception of Christ if this is not enough evidence to the error of catholic thinking on her virginity, consider also the instruction of Paul. Sex within marriage is mandatory as per 1 corr 7. only temporary exception for the purpose of fasting and prayer by agreement is permitted. however abstenence within marriage is seen by paul as being deprivation of one’s partner as well as a trap for temptation that the rightious must flee. I have a hard time reconciling that the “All Holy One”, mary would commit the sin of depriving her husband “the affection due him.” In the third place, the catechism itself considers sex to be an inabrigable component to the definition of marriage and the purpose and meaning of marriage. in the face of all this philosophical evidence, the catholic church seems clearly to be in error on the silly detail out of which they have made an essential maryology. I am aware that it is reasonable to think that mary had no other children than Christ–but not everyone who has sex is able to conceive naturally.

I should mention here an unspoken assumption of maryology. Mary’s perpetual virginity is seen initially as a sign of her unfailing devotion to God the father. it is almost as if the catholic feels that having sex with her earthly husband would be to conjugally cheat on her heavenly one–the Holy Spirit. I’ve never heard anyone say this exactly but that is the kind of disgust you get with the idea of mary having a proper human relationship with joseph. however, the gospels make no insinuation that marry was united with God as a wife nor that God commited Himself to her as his wife. the conception of Christ was a special asexual work of God that had nothing to do with mary’s marital life. I think that understanding this might go a long way in degrossifying mary’s relationship with joseph. marriage is good, and the marriage bed is holy–even for marry.

Much remains to be written and I have a lot of work to do assembling the references and reverifying the historical data. however this is my impression so far and there are several other details from which it could be argued. the catholic church is merely another religion with a Christian background, ritualistic fraimwork, and political identity. it is nothing more or less. however, that is not to deny that many so called catholics do, by faith, worship God in spirit and in truth.


#4

Forum rules require, and common courtesy advises, that you post only ONE topic per thread.

Your post(s) rambles all over the place and is chock full of errors. It is way too lengthy and rambling to respond in a meaningful manner.

If you would like to discuss these topics, please post them one-per-thread.

My one response will be that you should acquire the book Upon This Rock by Steven Ray and read it thoroughly.


#5

Your posting was so looong that I might of missed some of your points.

One question you did not address.

Mary ask how can this be? A stupid question as you have said she was betrothed.


#6

I offer You to read the :

One Hundred Fifty Reasons I’m Catholic

And You Should Be Too!

by Dave Armstrong

it helped me a lot.:slight_smile:

:blessyou:


#7

From the length of your post it would not seem so.

Seems rather odd that so flawed an institution could have survived 2,000 years while nations, governments, and empires come and go. Yes, the Church battled heresies both early and late, and when the Roman Empire fell, was faced with the task of holding on to western civilization. Perhaps you should try to get the grand overview, such as is given in H.W. Crocker III’s book, Triumph–The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, a 2,000 Year History. At least some equal time to offset the anti-Catholic stuff you have apparently been reading.


#8

You’ve come the right place to talk about the points you raise if you are really interested in hearing a Catholic response to your issues.

What is your number one gripe with Catholicism, for the purposes of this thread?

Ut.


#9

Youll have to narrow things down to get some answers, You’ll have to excuse us it if a lot of us sound skeptical of your assertion you want to becme a Catholic given your laundry list of the usual Protestant objections to the Catholic Church.

If you really are considring being a Catholic the best place t get your answes would be in your local Parishes RCIA program


#10

thanks folks. I’ve responded to the point about "how shall this b…?
in the “why is pvof mary important” thread. as to the length, I guessI it is long. I’m kind of trying to open a can of worms.

I did pick up an anti-catholic book once and did’nt get very far on it because of the sensationalistic/alarmist tone. I deemed it untrustworthy. (“a woman rides the beast”) since than I’ve been primarily reading the bible, the catachism and discussing things with other christians who are simpethetic to catholocism. however, my mind is an inconcistancy trap and I find stuff that does’nt jive. evaentually I will have to compare stories between catholic and non-catholic history. I guess maybe some of you could answere those parts of my objections that you are most familiar. i.e. if someone is an expert on the history of the popes that’s what I want to hear about from that person. trivia expert: how is daniel a son of Juda and a gentile? theologian, how can mary, a woman, have authority over God the Son? would God not then be sovereign? anyway, tear me appart with what you are more or less expert in.
thanks for the book tips. I am a hard case and only after I understand the reason why all the objections I can dream up have addequate answeres will I be willing to possibly convert if I can be honest enough. nevertheless, this sort of thing has happened to me before


#11

also,just a point of rational thought. I don’t really want to go further into positive proofs until the objections are dealt with. ie, I’m not all that interested in appeals to the authority of peter’s successor when I have fair objections to it that go unanswered such as How can the vatican’s teaching be authoritative given what seems at this moment in my mind to be an error in the teaching. If other protestants have similar objections that I do, it might imply a common background as apposed to being ungenuine.


#12

trivia expert: how is daniel a son of Juda and a gentile?

Could you provide the page and paragraph number?

Thanks,
Ut.


#13

pg 25, paragraph 58 in the catechism. the footnote referes to ezekial 14:14 wherin we find reference to Noah Daniel and Job as inadequate mediatris to save in the case for which they are being judged. Daniel 1:6 daniel is mentioned as being from the tribe of juda. although ezekial is found before daniel in the canon, the two prophets were contemporaries of each other and it is possible that daniel was known at the time of ezekial’s prophecy. there does’nt seem to be a need to speculate about another daniel unless that is what it will take to harmonize these two claims about daniel’s ethnicity.


#14

theologian, how can mary, a woman, have authority over God the Son?

A fascinating question. I’m not a scholarly theologian, but the Bible says quite clearly that Jesus obeyed His parents. If He obeyed them, that would mean He submitted to that role of authority:

Luke 2:51

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.


#15

good answer about Jesus submitting to his parents. in the incarnation, he submitted. the bible also says that he humbled himself taking on the form of a bondservant. but in the resurection, is he not Lord of All. and if Mary has authority over him how is that possible?


#16

No you have not answered why Mary would ask such a question. It always amazes me that God was in the womb of Mary and yet others would seem it appropriate that Joseph would know her. One correction the bible does not say that Joseph had relations with her. Until does not mean that it was different after. There is a verse in the bible(sorry I don’t have time to look it up) that she did not have a child until her death. There are many other examples of the use of the word until that means only to a certain point.


#17

Could you please spread your points over to many threads, and use proper capitalization to make it easy to read? Your posts seem to go on without a clear point.


#18

Mary does not have authority over Jesus, but Jesus would still be bound to honour his mother as stated in the fourth commandment.

After the resurrection, Jesus is still a human being (albeit resurrected and Glorified human being). The union between his divine and human natures is in his person, so we can say that the second person of the Holy Trinity is Jesus, True God and True man.

Ut


#19

luke 1:26-35 relates the story of mary receiving word that she would conceive.
here are the facts,
she was a virgin at the time the angel appeared.
she did not expect to be a virgin forever since she was betrothed
to a man.
the historical method of marriage was for the man after betrothel to seperate himself from the woman while he prepared an apartment for their wedding bed. at the wedding they would go in and have sex. the families would be celebrating outside and when the couple emerged, they would check to see if there was blood on the bed, indicating sexual union of a virgin. upon this witness the couple would be married.

mary was suprised that she was about to conceive a child because she was still a virgin.

this is easily explainable if the angel made it sound to her as if conception was about to happen and she knew her wedding night was afar off. also, the biblical prophecy “the virgin will conceive” could also refere to an underage girl. so perhaps Mary wondered how it would be since she was underaged. or perhaps she was wondering whether the conception would take place b4 or after she was married. all these are potential explanations that do not require her to be a consecrated virgin 4 life and don’t present the problems of denying the genesis definition of marriage. joseph was commanded by the angel to take mary as his wife.

“for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become ONE FLESH” Mathew 1:18 joseph is commanded to take Mary as his wife.

regarding the argument that mary’s womb was holy because Christ had been in it and therefore Joseph could not have entered, sex within marriage is also holy so there is no defilement. not only that the hope of the gospel justified the old covenent saints as well as the new. there is no reason to think that joseph was unholy and unable to enter God’s dwelling as did the high priest yearly in the temple.
with regard to her lack of children, not everyone who has sex has children.


#20

[quote="dingyboatman]good answer about Jesus submitting to his parents. in the incarnation, he submitted. the bible also says that he humbled himself taking on the form of a bondservant. but in the resurection, is he not Lord of All. and if Mary has authority over him how is that possible?
[/quote]

Your’re asking how to answer the paradox of who Jesus is. Jesus serves us yet is also master of us all. The sinful woman anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and rebuked the Jewish leader for not showing the devotion she did. Then later we see Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. Peter wanted to do it yet Jesus said if he didn’t allow Him to wash his feet he would have no part of Him.

You expressed this nicely. God the Father gave the commandment that God the Son was to obey His parents.

In this context, when it comes down to it, this illustrates that by God’s command He has come to serve us. Yet because it is His command, he illustrates He is our master as well.


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