Thanks for your prayers! Yes, I will definitely be keeping my head down.
I can see where you’re coming from in regard to Fundamentalists. I guess the problem is that the word “Fundamentalist” is a word used to describe a rather large group of people, many of whom think very highly of Catholics. I remember when I was in college, I used to have internet forum debates with atheists and the like all the time. Well, they used the word “Fundamentalist” as a dirty word, meaning someone who believed that everything the Bible said was true. Since this described me, I was proud to refer to myself as a Fundamentalist. So, I guess it was a bit disconcerting to come to this forum and see the word used in a negative sense.
On the other hand, when you speak of receiving the most flack from Fundamentalists, I can certainly see that happening. I would suggest, though, that the lack of criticism by non-Fundamentalists seems to reflect a sort of “live and let live” mentality held by other Protestant churches. While this does cut down on (often ignorant) criticism, it also (I believe) leads to a sort of apathy about the truth. I fear that the secular view that there is no absolute truth has affected many Protestant churches. Why criticize another church if there is no such thing as absolute truth and if all paths lead to God?
Having done my own criticizing in regard to non-Fundamentalist Protestant denominations, I suppose it’s only fair that I give an honest look now at Fundamentalist criticism of Catholicism.
A Defense of Fundamentalists:
-Fundamentalist criticism of Catholicism is often based on the honest belief that many Catholic beliefs are not based on Scripture and are in fact nothing but rules taught by men.
-Fundamentalists see many “Christmas and Easter” Catholics who seem to think that they can live however they want as long as they go to mass twice a year and were baptized as infants.
-Fundamentalists often believe that Catholics substitute ceremony for a genuine acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ.
A Criticism of Fundamentalists:
-Fundamentalists are often unwilling to examine Catholic doctrine for themselves before determining that it is false.
-The existence of “Christmas and Easter” Catholics is not a valid criticism of the church. Churches should be judged by observing those who follow its rules, not by those who don’t. Also, “Christmas and Easter” Christians are just as plentiful among Fundamentalists and other Protestants.
-Fundamentalist views about Catholicism are often not based on their understanding of scripture, but rather on the opinions of the latest fad writer on the shelves of a Christian bookstore.
So, there’s a little look at the issue. I do believe that many Fundamentalists are turning away from the old belief that Catholicism is somehow not Christian. Part of this has probably come by an increasing willingness by Catholics to accept the possibility that those in other “ecclesiastical communities” are also earnestly following God and trying to live according to His will. My hope is that as we understand each other, we can undo centuries of mistrust and come to an honest acceptance of the truth. May God reward all those who seek Him!