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Why Young Catholics Are Leaving the Church
Inside Catholic ^ | May 7, 2010 | Kathryn Jean Lopez

Posted on 05/07/2010 8:18:15 AM PDT by NYer

They leave for different reasons. Some saw hypocrisy. Others were hurt by those in authority. Still more disagree with a Church teaching. Sometimes, all they're waiting for is an invitation back. And often, it's not the Catholic Church itself that the "fallen away" have a beef with but their particular experience of it.

"Evangelize at all times; when necessary, use words," St. Francis of Assisi is known to have said. Many people who no longer consider themselves Catholic experienced the reverse of this rule in their encounters with Catholics early in life.

There are no numbers on how many people have left the Church, how many are thinking about coming back, or how many have indeed returned. But people in the "business" of apologetics, like Patrick Madrid, editor of Envoy magazine, report that wherever they go, they see the same thing.

In his book Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into -- or Back Into -- the Catholic Church, Madrid writes:

I've given countless seminars throughout the country about Christ and the Catholic Church. In each seminar, I ask the same question: "How many of you have a family member or a friend who has abandoned the Catholic Church and gone into another religion?" Whether it's fifty people or five thousand, the answer is always the same, always unanimous: everyone in the audience raises a hand.


Denominational Sabbatical

Conservative radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, who is author of The Embarrassed Believer: Reviving Christian Witness in an Age of Unbelief, says he's "on leave" from the Catholic Church. He argues, "The American Church... needs a reformation." But, he despairs, "none is even remotely close to occurring." Hewitt points to the cathedral in Los Angeles as "the perfect expression of the American Church today -- so sterile it could be an air conditioning plant and designed to please non-Catholics with the taste of the leadership."

Hewitt describes his move from Roman Catholicism to Presbyterianism as partly positive and partly negative. He considers himself an "ex-pat, obliged to move to a Protestant expression of faith because I experience God's presence more easily and more conclusively as a Presbyterian and began to do so over a dozen years ago." Presbyterianism works for him in ways Catholicism no longer did. "The Presbyterian confessions and order of worship are very left-brain and made me into a much better Christian," he says.

But some of the reasons for Hewitt's move were direct reactions to problems he saw in the Catholic Church. Hewitt says, "The American bishops literally drove me out. I could not read the paper without muttering about their inanities. James Malone, the bishop of Youngstown, my bishop, who confirmed me, sputtering about nuclear weapons and poverty" -- all this while Hewitt worked in the Reagan White House.

"These silly men," Hewitt complains, "issued reams of nonsense and met and met and met even as the liturgy collapsed into incoherence and the preaching dissolved into eight-minute homilies on the need for love. There was also the problem of the Responsorial Antiphon. It would almost always cause me to either laugh or grind my teeth. Is there a worse collection of 'music' anywhere? And the Christian Rite of Initiation, and the revamped Sacrament of Reconciliation -- all of it just another set of committee reports from priests and nuns bored with the old Church. I could go on, but my guess is that you have heard it all before."

Hewitt concludes, "There is enormous energy and talent within the American Church which might over the years genuinely renew it and rebuild it. But I need God on a much more immediate basis."

Hewitt's complaints will not surprise many practicing Catholics. If the average American Catholic based his faith formation and spiritual growth on statements issued by subcommittees of the bishops' conference -- or limp parish homilies -- people would be dropping out at a much greater rate. Happily, the average American Catholic looks beyond these things.

But there is a significant number of people unable to find a reason to stay.

Joe Loconte, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank, was raised in an Italian Catholic family -- the kind that takes its Catholicism very seriously. He served as an altar boy and had a full Catholic upbringing. But when he hit college -- he was a journalism major at the University of Illinois at Urbana -- he began reading C.S. Lewis and the Bible.

He says it was there that he made the choice to "become a Christian." In the most loving, respectful way, Loconte left the Catholic Church, where he says he "could never be good enough." It was on the issue of salvation -- a debate as old as the Reformation -- that Loconte left the Church of his youth.

Like Hewitt, Loconte felt he could get to God more directly outside of Catholicism. But for Loconte, the departure is more permanent. "There are many Catholics who are Christians," he says, "but they are [Christians] despite Catholicism." He believes that errant theology keeps Catholics from Christ.

Of course, Loconte's isn't the only college exit story, and his move away from the Church was much more intellectual than that of most young people. In Search and Rescue, Madrid tells a story familiar to many families he's met across the country: Send your kid off to college and soon you are faced with his new understanding of the Faith, an understanding often riddled with anti-Catholic prejudices and other bits of ignorance he has picked up from mainstream culture:

Take, for example, your grown son, Rick. You raised him in a good Catholic home, took him to Mass every Sunday, taught him his prayers, drove him to altar-boy practice, and made sure he attended CCD classes. You scrimped and budgeted so you could send him to a Catholic high school. You assumed he'd remain Catholic. Then you found out that in college he became friendly with a large, dynamic group of Evangelical Protestant students who met every week for Bible study.

"At first," Madrid writes, "you were happy to see him remaining interested in religious issues, so you didn't give it much thought when he began quoting Bible verses when he came home on weekends." But "eventually, you noticed his vocabulary changing." He started saying things like "The Lord spoke to my heart about this" and "Praise God about that.... Before long, he broke the news to you that he's no longer a Catholic. He left, he explained, because his Evangelical friends convinced him that the Catholic Church is unbiblical and that her traditions are manmade and her doctrines are false."

There's no reason for parents to despair, however. "Even though Rick may think he has already discovered the answers in his new church," Madrid concludes, "he still wants, deep down, to grapple with what the Catholic Church claims to be true. Believe it or not, that makes it easier to bring him back to the Church."

Of course, that brings us to another crucial problem: formation. As Rev. George W. Rutler says, the problem is fivefold and deep: First, "the current young generation has been reared by parents who are the first generation to have been spiritually malformed themselves." Second, so many times "the schools have failed them." Third, "the Liturgy has sunk to a level so contemptible that at best it serves to mortify the humble but generally denies anyone a vision of the kingdom of God." And fourth, "preaching is largely reduced to inane moralizing."

Finally, there's the problem of confession. "Youth have been lost because of suppression of the sacrament of reconciliation," Rutler explains. "While confession has declined in large measure through sloth and neglect... the sacrament has been discouraged intentionally... and impeded by people who hate the priesthood and the doctrine of personal sin. So young people are deprived of the most radical conversion of their souls."

A great many Catholics who find out that their children have become Protestants at college simply don't know how to argue against the charge that much of Catholic teaching and tradition is made up. In many families, unfortunately, no one from the baby boomers on down knows much about the Faith. Some forgot. Some never learned in the first place.


Theological Malpractice

Matthew's experience is an example of the humanity of the Church and why Catholics must pray for the Church daily. He grew up in a practicing Catholic household and went to Catholic schools. "I was raised with the indoctrination of how the Church was infallible, perfect, the sole authority of God," he says. As he grew older, he began to wonder whether this corresponded to the Church he saw.

"I was taught that the Bible was something for the priest to read and tell us what it meant," he says. "Nobody ever told me to, but I always had this image that a priest was a good man, didn't do bad things, someone you could trust. But then I would ask myself, 'Why does Father So-and-So smoke and drink?' Those always seemed like things that priests weren't supposed to do. And again, I wasn't taught that. I always wondered why the priests could have money and drive Cadillacs, but the nuns had to take a vow of poverty.

"Then also in high school," he continues, "I saw firsthand the sex abuse with boys by priests. One was trying to recruit me into that stuff, and I knew boys who were being abused. This priest was arrested a year after I graduated, along with one of his buddies who was not a priest. This same priest was also the biology teacher, and when asked one day if he believed in Creation or evolution, he said evolution. I couldn't believe it. Soon after, I saw an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about how Pope John Paul II believed in both Creation and evolution. This told me that he didn't believe the book that was supposed to be the foundation of the religion."

Matthew stopped attending Mass after high school -- when his mother stopped making him go -- and would later meet and marry the daughter of a Baptist preacher. Going to her father's church, he says, "I wasn't looking for God, but He was looking for me. After about six to nine months of going to her dad's church, hearing the Word of God, He saved me, and I trusted Jesus as my Savior. I had heard things that I'd never heard before."

Matthew, clearly, never had the chance to learn what the Catholic Church really teaches. He says, "I didn't know Jesus when I was Catholic.... The Catholics do not know the God of the Bible.... They worship and practice things that are unbiblical, trusting in their religion to save them, instead of God."

Though he was raised Catholic, his understanding of Catholicism comes remarkably close to the caricature of Jack Chick comics. His story suggests that this is largely the fault of the Catholics he encountered as he was growing up. Sometimes such a tragic misunderstanding is caused by what Boston College's Rev. Matthew Lamb has referred to as "theological malpractice." And sometimes, as in Matthew's case, it's caused by scandal. No Catholic ever introduced him to the true teachings of the Faith; no one addressed his doubts or dispelled his misconceptions.


A Painful Exit

While some abandon Catholicism enthusiastically, others leave the Church with great anguish and hesitation. Peter, a victim of sex abuse by a priest (which he does not blame for his later leaving), converted to Catholicism from Lutheranism when he was 17. Last year he left the Catholic Church in large part because of his homosexuality. But his decision should not be dismissed as a convenient act of self-justification.

Peter attended an orthodox Catholic college where he studied theology and philosophy. He spent time in an ex-gay counseling ministry. But after going off to Europe for graduate school, he says, he realized "it just wasn't working." He had been celibate (and still is) the whole time and was facing this as his lifetime status -- he had no hope of ever living as anything but a single celibate. "I was lonely, sad, ashamed," he says.

The more he studied, the more he developed other difficulties with his adoptive church: On women's ordination, gay marriage, and infallibility. Ultimately, he found himself leaning toward the Anglican Church. "Where else does a gay Christian, with strong incarnational theological positions, who favors the ordination of women and a conciliar model of the Church, fit in the body of Christ?"

Peter formally became an Anglican in April 2001. "The Anglican Church is far from perfect," he says. "But at least I feel I maintain my integrity there. I also do not feel the sense of shame that follows from repeated exposure to Roman Catholic sexual theology, in spite of my celibacy and in spite of [that theology's] many strong and valid points."

Peter "still maintain[s] immense respect and even love" for the Roman Catholic Church. He says, "I am Catholic in spirit, in soul, and in spirituality. My deepest formation was that of Catholicism." But the only circumstances under which he sees himself returning to the Roman Catholic Church would involve a change of teaching on gay marriage, ordained women, and papal infallibility.

"My faith is being nourished in my new home. I feel welcomed, valued, and affirmed," he says. While attending the Catholic Church, Peter got conflicting advice in the confessional. "Many priests, perhaps the majority, told me to go out and find a steady partner. Some went the other direction and scolded me simply for having same-sex attractions."

His Catholic friends -- many of whom remain close -- often frustrated him, as well.

"Many of my lay friends would take an approach toward me that seemed insincere and paternalistic," he says. "They would promise support and friendship. But more often than not, I was simply ignored. Frequently, I would be asked if I was being celibate. I would greet someone, engage in some talk, and then they would pop this question, 'So, are you behaving?' It was not only rude, it also showed the obsession many of my Catholic friends have with sexuality in general. It was as if my celibacy was a public issue for the asking. I was held in suspicion for reason of my sexual orientation. Straight friends who were single do not report being asked if they remained celibate on a regular basis. It was as if, 'As long as the homosexual behaves, we can all rest a little easier.'"

As for a reconciliation with the Church, Peter's not holding his breath. "I think it seems pretty clear that I will remain Anglican," Peter says. "But who knows what God has in store?"


Familiar Stories

Rev. Joseph Wilson, a priest at St. Luke's Church in Queens, New York, has heard Matthew's story more than once. Father Wilson says, "I'm sure people drift away for all kinds of reasons, but I think we ought to be especially concerned for people who are turned off by the anemic parish life one finds in so many places in our country. Here in New York City I know of a good number of couples who travel over parish and diocesan boundaries to a parish where they find good worship and teaching. They know something is missing and go out of their way to supply the need. How many more there must be whose faith was simply never nourished in their parishes, and how many there are who end up in 'Bible churches' because they find fellowship, scriptural preaching and teaching, and a sense of spirituality they had been lacking.

"As far as preaching goes," Father Wilson says, "I hear a lot about the abysmal state of Catholic homilies. Part of the problem is that in this age a priest or deacon who teaches something clearly and forthrightly will catch flak for it. Early on in his ministry a homilist should be able to make a few mistakes, find his own gifts as a preacher, learn how to phrase an argument or an example and how to talk about sin. Today, however, in the age where everyone is an expert and all truth is subjective, many people do not want to hear uncomfortable teachings expounded. It becomes very easy to fall back on a feel-good approach to the homily, light on content, long on uplifting anecdotes and the power of positive thinking."


'Gettable'

Some lapsed Catholics seem much more "gettable" than others; that is, it's easier to persuade them to return.

One young woman tells me, for example, "I want to go to Mass, I want to be part of the community, but [my attempts have been] a disaster." She says she considers herself "a Catholic without a country" -- a Catholic without a parish.

Many Catholics of all ages say they don't get anything out of Mass. Father Wilson believes that this is the result of a deep misunderstanding of what the Mass is about, a misunderstanding perpetuated by certain liturgical trends. "In most places, the way the liturgy is celebrated sends clear signals out to everyone that liturgy is our self-expression, that it should be comfy and entertaining. Most Catholics never quite pick up the astounding truth that the Mass is not about what we do so much as about what God does, that the Mass is Calvary made present, that when we stand before the altar as Mass is offered we are standing at the foot of the Cross with Our Lady and St. John."

Father Wilson worries that "we're too busy tuning up the guitars and choosing the refrain of the responsorial psalm to think of those things anymore, let alone to teach them. Of course, poorly formed young Catholics drift away. They don't even realize what they are rejecting."


The Path Back to Rome

But Gen-Xers may be starting a trend -- young people making their own way back to Rome, despite misguided teachers. After a generation or two of malformation, today's young Catholics still have an appetite for what the Church offers. Colleen Carroll, author of The New Faithful: Embracing Christian Orthodoxy, spent several years interviewing young Christians. She says, "A fair number of the young adults I interviewed for my book labeled themselves 'reverts' -- those who left the Church consciously, or simply fell away, then had powerful conversion experiences that led them back to the Church." In many of their cases, they left as teenagers who were turned away by what they often cite as "spiritually dead worship." Increasingly, though, they're finding lively fellowship and community worship focused on the Eucharist -- something very different from their childhood experience of the Faith.

Jana Novak, who cowrote Tell Me Why: A Father Answers His Daughter's Questions About God with her father, Michael Novak, has a unique outlook on Catholics her age. The daughter of a world-renowned theologian, she has often struggled with her Catholicism -- a struggle we read about in Tell Me Why. Jana has found that many Gen-X Catholics who leave the Church are somewhat cynical; they dislike pushy evangelism:

Many left because they did not feel resonance behind the words they were listening to, so having someone playing the 'Pollyanna' religious converter is just more of the same. They appreciate the emotion and the passion but find it questionable.

Twenty- and thirty-somethings do not need to be hoodwinked into returning to the Church; nor do they need Church teachings watered down by their elders. Indeed, in some cases it's the watering down that gives them pause. "Basically," Jana says, "I think Gen X truly understands and relates to the concept of free will -- something that is usually so hard for believers to understand. For them, that is the most important -- not in the sense that they can do or get away with anything, but in the sense that they can respect and understand a God that encourages them to think, question, doubt, research, struggle, and then come willingly to Him."

Jana says that saccharine representations of the Christian life only exacerbate her generation's general skepticism. Young people are more likely to respond to a vision of faith that includes its difficulties: "They do not want to hear platitudes, they want to hear that it is tough, but that God offers unconditional love, and isn't that the best thing to have?"

So where does that leave the Church? Where it has always been. "What is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:27).

Madrid, who's reached out to hundreds of "lapsed Catholics," reminds his readers that back in the 16th century, St. Francis de Sales managed to convert 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. While that may seem impossible in today's world, St. Francis took Christ at His word: "In all your affairs, rely entirely on the Providence of God through which alone all your plans succeed.... Strive very gently to cooperate with it. Then, believe that if you trust well in God, success will come to you."


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: hughhewitt; patrickmadrid
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Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor of National Review Online and associate editor of National Review.
1 posted on 05/07/2010 8:18:15 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

We all know at least someone. I would also suggest that the “smorgasbrod” of christian churches poses a temptation for others.


2 posted on 05/07/2010 8:20:59 AM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: NYer

I’d say that it’s a “hands off” problem . . . or is that hands on? LOLOLOLOLOLOL


3 posted on 05/07/2010 8:21:30 AM PDT by Sudetenland (Slow to anger but terrible in vengence...such is the character of the American people.)
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To: NYer

Good article!


4 posted on 05/07/2010 8:22:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

I see no point in making this an open thread. It will quickly become a cesspool. As I have no desire to hear what the crazed evangelicals have to say, I will not be participating.


5 posted on 05/07/2010 8:23:16 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: NYer

For me it was pretty simple. I’m just not comfortable around homosexual priests. My father grew up in a strict Catholic family, went to Catholic school his entire life, and Boston College. He entered the seminary and was there less than 3 months because of one reason - he said 90% of the seminarians were gay. The culture was terrible. He left and never looked back (this was the mid 1960’s)

His own cousin is still a priest, but lives with another man and is pretty openly gay. This is not a small percentage of priests...

I will not raise my young sons in the church as I just don’t trust the priests. Sorry if that makes me a bigot.


6 posted on 05/07/2010 8:29:33 AM PDT by strider44
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Judith Anne

Not my idea of a good time, either. Want to come over to the Undead Thread and read my daughter’s reports from Brunei?


9 posted on 05/07/2010 8:35:07 AM PDT by Tax-chick (It's a jungle out there, kiddies; have a very fruitful day.)
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To: NYer
I would also suggest that the “smorgasbrod” of christian churches poses a temptation for others.

Every lapsed Catholic I know (and I know a lot) did not switch to another faith. They quit going to church altogether.

10 posted on 05/07/2010 8:35:37 AM PDT by MayfairFly
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To: TSgt

Oh, I know plenty of very rational evangelicals; people I like, and who I work with. Making it personal is against the rules, BTW.


11 posted on 05/07/2010 8:37:46 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Tax-chick

Good idea.


13 posted on 05/07/2010 8:38:19 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: TSgt

The Youth Group at my church, The Immaculate Conception in Malden, MA, participated in a 24 hour Food Fast from Good Friday through Saturday. There was 125 of them. They performed various service projects during this time and slept in the church hall. The Knights of Columbus made breakfast for them and man they were hungry. They also raised over $10,000 for charity. What great kids. After hearing them hold up a Cross and give a one word explanation of what it means to them, I don’t see any of them leaving the church anytime soon.


14 posted on 05/07/2010 8:38:51 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: NYer

If we would leave the Church it would be because we are sick of being preached to about healthcare and immigration. We (I’m 30, husband is 32, son is 19 months) are constantly being told that healthcare is a basic human right and illegal immigration is not illegal.


15 posted on 05/07/2010 8:39:39 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Judith Anne

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2487885/posts?q=1&;page=301

Posts 302, 303, and 365.


16 posted on 05/07/2010 8:40:24 AM PDT by Tax-chick (It's a jungle out there, kiddies; have a very fruitful day.)
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To: CTK YKC

God bless you for your efforts.
I must choose my battles and, like everyone else, there is much on my plate right now.


17 posted on 05/07/2010 8:40:34 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: NYer
"Evangelize at all times; when necessary, use words," St. Francis of Assisi is known to have said. What powerful and true words. People can see through the bologna of words, but when you are living it, it can't be disproven.
18 posted on 05/07/2010 8:41:39 AM PDT by vpintheak (Love of God, Family and Country has made me an extremist.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Gamecock
[Conservative radio talk-show host Hugh] Hewitt describes his move from Roman Catholicism to Presbyterianism as partly positive and partly negative. He considers himself an "ex-pat, obliged to move to a Protestant expression of faith because I experience God's presence more easily and more conclusively as a Presbyterian and began to do so over a dozen years ago." Presbyterianism works for him in ways Catholicism no longer did. "The Presbyterian confessions and order of worship are very left-brain and made me into a much better Christian," he says.

Ping!

19 posted on 05/07/2010 8:44:16 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Pretentiousness is so beneath me.)
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To: Judith Anne

Speaking as a crazed evangelical, the issue for me is Jesus. If you find Him in a Catholic Church, a Methodist Church, or one of those “store-front” churches... that’s all that matters. You and I can walk together and fellowship together over the glories of our Lord.


20 posted on 05/07/2010 8:49:01 AM PDT by carton253 (Ask me about Throw Away the Scabbard - a Civil War alternate history.)
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To: NYer
"Evangelize at all times; when necessary, use words," St. Francis of Assisi is known to have said

That is an urban legend.. He never said that ..and Than God for that because scripture tells us to go and TELL not go and DO

------------------This is a great quote, very Franciscan in its spirit, but not literally from St. Francis. The thought is his; this catchy phrasing is not in his writings or in the earliest biographies about him.
In Chapter XVII of his Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, "Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds. link

Actually Francis was a great preacher and took the gospel out to the world

link

21 posted on 05/07/2010 8:53:33 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: TSgt

LOL! TSgt, do you sometimes get the feeling that when you confront someone here about something they said that’s personal to others, they tell you not to make it personal. Of course they are setting the rules to suit themselves. Real objective, huh?


22 posted on 05/07/2010 8:53:52 AM PDT by rj45mis
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To: RnMomof7

Wow, I didn’t know you were an admirer of St. Francis. There’s hope for you yet! ;-)


23 posted on 05/07/2010 8:55:09 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: Alex Murphy

What are Presbyterian confessions? Maybe Hewitt should learn to play the piano..it uses both the left and right brain.


24 posted on 05/07/2010 8:55:36 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Irisshlass
What are Presbyterian confessions?
"In 1648, the first printing of the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly were made available for distribution and sale in England and Scotland. They remain the clearest expressions of Reformed Protestantism ever formulated..."

- May 13, This Week in Religion History

Confession and Catechisms [introduction to the Westminster Confession of Faith]

The Westminster Confession of Faith
[from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church website]
Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scripture
Chapter 2: Of God, and of the Holy Trinity
Chapter 3: Of God’s Eternal Decree
Chapter 4: Of Creation
Chapter 5: Of Providence
Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
Chapter 7: Of God’s Covenant with Man
Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator
Chapter 9: Of Free Will
Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
Chapter 11: Of Justification
Chapter 12: Of Adoption
Chapter 13: Of Sanctification
Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith
Chapter 15: Of Repentance unto Life
Chapter 16: Of Good Works
Chapter 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints
Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
Chapter 19: Of the Law of God
Chapter 20: Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
Chapter 22: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
Chapter 23: Of the Civil Magistrate
Chapter 24: Of Marriage and Divorce
Chapter 25: Of the Church
Chapter 26: Of the Communion of Saints
Chapter 27: Of the Sacraments
Chapter 28: Of Baptism
Chapter 29: Of the Lord’s Supper
Chapter 30: Of Church Censures
Chapter 31: Of Synods and Councils
Chapter 32: Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
Chapter 33: Of the Last Judgment

25 posted on 05/07/2010 8:58:06 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Pretentiousness is so beneath me.)
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To: rj45mis

It is also against the rules to go off topic..quit the drama.


26 posted on 05/07/2010 8:58:37 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Alex Murphy

Thank-you.


27 posted on 05/07/2010 8:59:43 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Judith Anne
Oh, I know plenty of very rational evangelicals; people I like, and who I work with.

I have to come to the other poster's defense on this one. That certainly wasn't clear in your prior remark regarding "the crazed evangelicals", so it is understandable that the other poster would misinterpret. I did at first as well and was offended by the remark, it sure felt like a personal attack to me, and an unprovoked one at that.

Making it personal is against the rules, BTW.

If you can't stand the heat, then don't light the flame.

28 posted on 05/07/2010 9:03:34 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: NYer

Hugh Hewitt left the Catholic Church because it was just too hard.

It’s so much easier to do and believe whatever your neighbors believe whether you live in Nazi Germany or pre-Columbian Central America, rather than be a sign of contradiction.


29 posted on 05/07/2010 9:03:38 AM PDT by 0beron
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To: Alex Murphy

Can you lead me to where it speaks about abortion?


30 posted on 05/07/2010 9:11:47 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: NYer
Last year he left the Catholic Church in large part because of his homosexuality. But his decision should not be dismissed as a convenient act of self-justification.

BS. It's always about sex, whether it's homosexuals, unmarried hetero's who refuse to be chaste or married's who insist on practicing contraception. In order to justify our own sinful acts, many people refuse to condemn the sinful acts of others. No one wants to feel guilt or shame for their acts. It's much easier to justify themselves by refusing to recognize sin in others.

32 posted on 05/07/2010 9:13:09 AM PDT by MayfairFly
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To: rj45mis

Oh really...I read the rules, the religious moderators reiterate those rules continually on these religious threads...and further suggest if you are too thin-skinned to refrain from remark and just read or just leave the thread.


33 posted on 05/07/2010 9:15:49 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: NYer

Frankly, it’s a matter of really bad catechesis as to why people wander away as late teens. If you really know the Faith, there is no leaving. Shifting worship and devotion style, maybe, but no leaving.


34 posted on 05/07/2010 9:16:15 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Alex Murphy

We need to say that ALL presbyterian churches adhere to the Westminister Confession of faith..not just OPC


35 posted on 05/07/2010 9:16:21 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: NYer
PhotobucketRoLE moDELs ... hOlY REaDiNgs of CHrIst & HiS saInTS ... RoSaRY ... Only a handful of kids will continue to attend the Catholic Church if their own parents aren't even attending (both *frequent* Mass AND Confession). The Church will ALWAYS have its problems. It's the Faith that is without flaw. There's no more immediate assistance/help one can receive today than through the Most Holy Eucharist Itself. You can sing praises to God 'til you're blue in the face through another denomination, but you'll NEVER consume the True Body of Christ, ever! And once He's gone in True Bodily Form, the door flings WIDE open for Satan ... to waltz right in.
36 posted on 05/07/2010 9:17:15 AM PDT by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: NYer

Roman Catholics are not the only denomination that is having problems keeping young people. It is a huge problem among all traditional denominations. They leave for all sorts of reasons, but many are enticed by nondenominational feel good, and high energy groups. Entertainment replaces commitment. Most will leave religion with its moral absolutes and become spiritual, which is a euphemism for egotist hedonism.


37 posted on 05/07/2010 9:18:24 AM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: rj45mis

Do not use potty language or references to potty language, on the Religion Forum. Click on my profile page for more guidelines pertaining to the RF.


38 posted on 05/07/2010 9:19:40 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Religion Moderator

Okay but I sent another post b4 I got yours.


40 posted on 05/07/2010 9:21:40 AM PDT by rj45mis
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To: carton253; Judith Anne

“Speaking as a crazed evangelical, the issue for me is Jesus.”

That’s what is wrong with us “crazed evangelicals.”


41 posted on 05/07/2010 9:23:11 AM PDT by Grunthor (Over YOUR dead body!)
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To: Irisshlass
Can you lead me to where it speaks about abortion?

The WCF itself does not speak to it. But here's the next closest thing:

Q & A - What is your stand on abortion? [The Orthodox Presbyterian Church on abortion]

42 posted on 05/07/2010 9:25:31 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Pretentiousness is so beneath me.)
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To: Judith Anne
crazed evangelicals

That's not making it personal?
43 posted on 05/07/2010 9:26:00 AM PDT by TSgt (We will always be prepared, so we may always be free. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Grunthor

Your own personal, “Jesus”, who looks suspiciously like Pat Boone.


44 posted on 05/07/2010 9:26:36 AM PDT by 0beron
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To: TSgt

In order for something to be “making it personal” on the Religion Forum, it must be speaking of another Freeper, individually.


45 posted on 05/07/2010 9:27:06 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Grunthor

Haha...I sign some of my christmas cards every year to my liberal cousins...from your right wing christian fundamentalist wacko cousin...LOL


46 posted on 05/07/2010 9:27:08 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Alex Murphy

Thank-you.


47 posted on 05/07/2010 9:29:13 AM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Desdemona
Frankly, it’s a matter of really bad catechesis as to why people wander away as late teens. If you really know the Faith, there is no leaving. Shifting worship and devotion style, maybe, but no leaving.

Being well catechized is a tremendous help, but the main reason is most late teens never really were Catholic. It started before they were born with their grandparents, who remained Catholic, but began to drift. Most of their children stopped going to Church as soon as they left home, but married in the Church to please the parents and for sentimental reasons. For the same reasons, the children baptized their own children. But it ended there. Many late teens of today haven't been back to Church since they were baptized.

48 posted on 05/07/2010 9:29:23 AM PDT by MayfairFly
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To: rj45mis

It’s the same militant group every time.

One of them, Irisshlass, attacked my military service when they were unable to form an intelligent argument.


49 posted on 05/07/2010 9:30:33 AM PDT by TSgt (We will always be prepared, so we may always be free. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Nosterrex; mlizzy
They leave for all sorts of reasons, but many are enticed by nondenominational feel good, and high energy groups. Entertainment replaces commitment. Most will leave religion with its moral absolutes and become spiritual, which is a euphemism for egotist hedonism.

Excellent point! Hence my suggestion that christianity, with its 30,000+ churches, has turned faith into a supermarket where one can pick and choose. That is not what our Lord intended. According to Scripture, Christ wanted us to be one (John 17:22-23). We are all as a Church to be of one mind and to think the same (Philippians 2:2; Romans 15:5). There is only to be one "faith" (Ephesians 4:3-6), not many. For the Church is Christ's Body and Christ only had one Body, not many.

50 posted on 05/07/2010 9:30:59 AM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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