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Catholics Here?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by PeaceLikeaRiver, Jul 4, 2014.

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  1. Who's Catholic? I was raised that way but I'm in kind of a no-man's-land these days, although I still lean "Catholic" in lots of my thinking.

    I have a few questions...need to organize my thoughts a bit before I ask them though.
     
  2. I'm a Catholic. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
     
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  3. I'm not catholic but I respect the church and the pope and I've looked to the catechism for guidance frequently. And I know a bit about the Orthodox also.
     
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  4. I have spent a lot of time in the Religion and Spirituality section of Yahoo Answers over the years, and see Catholics frequently come under attack from some other branches of Christianity (mostly Jehovah's Witnesses and assorted types of Christian fundamentalists). I wondered if this has also been your experience, either online or in real life. Subjects that frequently come up are devotion to Mary, infant baptism, sola scriptura, confession, transubstantiation, purgatory and statues/idols. I have defended the Catholics a long time on these subjects and I see Catholics also defend them, but they tend to keep coming up over and over.
     
  5. Jehovah Witnesses attacking Catholics? Thats very interesting.
     
  6. Yes, in fact I would say a good measure of what JWs find the most offensive seem to be rooted in Catholicism.
     
  7. Jehovah's Witnesses have based their faith in large part as an opposition to the papacy, believing essentially that Rome corrupted the "original" Christian faith by introducing the doctrine of the Trinity. Don't listen to them because most of them are annoying and don't know what their talking about.

    I'll try to give you the Protestant perspective on these things, to help you gain insight. I grew up Pentecostal so I was exposed to the more conservative themes of Protestantism.

    So, starting with Sola Scriptura, understand that to the protestant Christian, the Bible is the most sacred thing. Burning a Bible would be like burning the Eucharist. So, unfortunately a long of protestants take the Bible as though it were a Koran, being the literal word of God, so they miss the character of the prophets and apostles and also loose the metaphors and hyperbole. But, in reality no one practices Sola Scriptura because otherwise they wouldn't need to go to church. I think the accurate description is Prima Scriptura (Scripture First) which does not completely toss out traditional understandings.

    Faith alone, is the protestant response to confession/penance. There are passages in the Bible saying that we are saved by faith alone, and that might be true, but faith without good works is dead. I think doing penance for sins is healthy insofar as people know that it is not a way to earn one's way to Heaven but rather to heal the damage of their sins.

    Transubstantiation was probably rejected because it sort of gave the priest the power of God in practice. There was one line I heard once that says, "I have read in the Bible where God makes the flesh of man, but I have not read where it says that man can make the flesh of God."

    Infant baptism was mainly opposed by the baptists. The theological argument is not very good for it, but the protestants don't have the same legalistic view of salvation and do not believe that an unbaptized infant would be damned since they don't have a strong belief in original sin. Personally I think baptism is the Christian circumcision and have no problem with it.

    Purgatory has two fronts of opposition. The first is some believe it suggests that the Cross is not a sufficient sacrifice for sin, second comes from the evils that were caused by the selling of indulgences which supposedly reduced the amount of time spent in purgatory. Both are detested by protestants and in general it does not have firm biblical support.

    Statues and idols are believed to violate the first/second commandment. I myself have found it to be uncertain. But, all Churches have a tendency to carry pictures of Christ and the painting of Christ by the girl in Lithuania is very inspiring to me. Still there are charges that it constitutes idolatry.

    Lastly, with veneration of Mary. I think that the main issue that is taken is with the prayers to her and the saints. As a Pentecostal, I read that the part of the Lord's prayer, "Our Father who art in heaven..." meant we were to direct our prayers to God the Father alone and not to Jesus or the Holy Spirit and so obviously not Mary either. Others I have encountered here have been opposed even to recognizing her as anything more than a mere fellow Christian. I think that is disrespectful as even a protestant should recognizer her as first among saints. The Immaculate Conception, Assumption, perpetual virginity and other doctrines have mostly come from the papacy which is probably why the protestants tend to resist them more.
     
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  8. The thing about the Catholics is they hold 3 things sacred: The Bible, the Magisterium (church teachings), and sacred tradition. Many protestants (but not all) discarded two of those three things, saying they were "man-made" (although you could make the argument that so is the Bible). I'm not sure on whose authority those two things were removed, but there you go. So it's not that Catholics disregard the Bible in any way - they just don't see it as the whole picture.
    I agree with you, but even now I could log onto Yahoo Answers and find someone saying "Why baptize a baby? All it does is get them wet, and it's unscriptural." To which I respond: No, it's NONscriptural. As in, not mentioned. Although Acts 16:33 talks about entire families being baptized, and doesn't say "except for the babies," so that's something. You have to watch out for people who try to argue from the Bible's silence on a matter. They will say "Where is this or that in the Bible" as though they are proving something about it not being in there, as though it has to be mentioned to be OK. Well, bicycles, cars, and computers aren't mentioned in the Bible either, does that mean we should stop using them? But I digress.
    To that I would add that there IS Biblical justification for it, 2 Maccabees I think (although I don't know the specific text). But as those books are considered "the apocrypha", added by the Catholics (but in fact removed by the Protestants) some people believe there is no scriptural basis for it. Well, there is. I need to get the verse though.
    I do find this charge to be quite silly, I never worshipped a chunk of rock in my life. Statues and so on are just reminders and decorations to the Catholics. Some have charged, "Why do they pray in front of them then?" And the answer is easy, they're not praying TO the statue, but to God whom the statue represents.
    To speak to a Catholic on this you get a clearer picture of what they are really doing. It isn't really a prayer TO Mary, or TO the saints, but more like THROUGH Mary and THROUGH the saints. Catholics see Mary and the saints as having a favored status with God and ask them to deliver their message. So it's really asking Mary to pray for you, which is called intercessory prayer, no different than asking a friend or relative to pray for you, and I see no issue with it.

    The one issue you didn't touch on which I feel strongly about is confession to a priest. That's seen as a no no because "the priest is just a man, he can't forgive you." But the prayer isn't to the priest. The priest is a witness...the prayer goes to God. And James 5:16 does say to confess sins to one another anyway...even though I think Luther originally wanted the book of James removed with the other deuterocanonical books.
     
  9. Oh yes. On penance. That is the protestant line. But I honestly believe it is good to do it and confession as a way to be healed.
     
  10. Also I believe scripture is one element of the faith also. Though I do find contradictions in some doctrines which is why I hesitate to always defend it. I believe in scripture first but I think tradition and personal expirience are elements of true understanding.
     
  11. #11 LysanderShapiro, Jul 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
    While I know every Christian who is sincere faces attack from anti-Christian cultures, I've experienced much more vicious attacks as a Catholic than I have as a Protestant. Part of it could be because as a Protestant, Catholics considered me as a brother in Christ--albeit separated from the Church. However, as a Catholic, I've been called a pagan, Roman (said pejoratively), told to go back to my whore (whore of Babylon), pedophile defender, Papist (also said negatively), idolater, bread- worshiper, prude, and these are just from different Protestants. I get quite a lot from non- Christians too.

    Am I suggesting all Protestants treat me this way? No--many are very warm and welcoming. However, many are also extremely hostile toward Catholicism, especially those who were raised as Catholics because they connect their Catholics background to their apathy of faith.

    I'm not some martyr who's on the front lines, but I do come across a bit of hostility as a Catholic, certainly much more than when I was a Protestant. With all due respect of course, while I've found the fullness of the faith as a catholic, it can sometimes be much more difficult just from defending the faith, because as a Protestant, Catholics tended to take my side in defending Christianity. As a catholic, many Protestants tend to bring forward an attack.
     
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  12. Indeed, each concern that Protestants tend to have with Catholicism can and have been answered over and over again even before the reformation;

    Marian prayer, infant baptism, purgatory, calling priests father, the Eucharist, Church tradition, the saints, statues, the Rosary, the deuterocanonical books, papal infallibility, celibacy of priests, the Spanish Inquisition/the Crusades, etc.

    They're all worth asking because many of them are good questions and deserve answers. Many times, people only ask to try and trip you up--not because they're honestly curious. But I believe if people stopped to ponder each thing and research the reasoning behind each thing, they would come to realize it's not nearly as bad as they thought and the rationale is fair at least.
     
  13. I find some Catholics are sincere in faith and try to accept them on the level of being an individual who has faith in Christ. The religious system is not acceptable to many of us who understand the truth. In fact many Protestants sincerely believe that the anti-christ and his system is this religious group.
     
  14. Why would you tell Catholics they don't have the truth? That's terrible. And I was Catholic for years, we worhipped Christ in church every week, how is that sympathetic to the 'anti-Christ"?
     
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  15. Your experiences match mine - being raised Catholic my mother taught me that Protestants believed the same things we did "but did things a little differently." That's as close to anything hostile I ever heard, which is to say, not the slightest bit. And in those days if you told me that other branches of Christianity could have a hateful side, I never would have believed you.

    But geography does play a role in all this, I live in Canada and never experience the fire and brimstone style pastors or their sermons, televangelists, streetcorner preachers, the loud and ugly face of it all. The first time I heard someone say Catholics were not Christians was on the internet and I just laughed and thought what a twit, I mean it's the oldest and largest branch of Christianity. It's like a Chevy telling a Ford that it's not really a car. But then I saw there were a lot more of these people than I ever guessed, too angry and prideful to even acknowledge their own faith branched from Catholicism like all the others.

    I am truly sorry for your experiences. How sad that hate is being taught as Christianity from the very pulpits. Mainstream Christians really need to speak up more against these radicals. It's funny, but on places like Yahoo Answers even the atheists and agnostics stand up and help the Catholics when they are under attack from radical Christians.
     
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  16. Philippians 3:1-11New King James Version (NKJV)
    All for Christ
    3 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
    7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
     
  17. The faith of a born again Christian does not stem from Catholicism. Our Christianity comes out of Judaism.
     
  18. If you are a Christian, and you are not a Catholic, you are a Protestant. It's that simple.
     
  19. I thought you had me on ignore? :LOL: Have you ever read any history? Do you understand the Reformation or how the protestant movements came about? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Wrong! you really need to do some studies before you come onto a forum such as this a try to act as if you have some understanding of the truth? Your showing your ignorance.
     
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