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Why do Catholics leave, and what can be done about it?
cna ^ | April 19, 2012 | Father Robert Barron

Posted on 04/19/2012 11:58:25 AM PDT by NYer

I saw an advance copy of a survey by William J. Byron and Charles Zech, which will appear in the April 30th edition of “America” magazine. 

It was conducted at the request of David O’Connell, the bishop of Trenton, and its focus was very simple:  it endeavored to discover why Catholics have left the church.  No one denies that a rather substantive number of Catholics have taken their leave during the past 20 years, and Byron and Zech wanted to find out why.  They did so in the most direct way possible and asked those who had quit.

The answers they got were, in many ways, predictable.  Lots of people cited the church’s teachings on divorce and re-marriage, gay marriage, contraception, and the ordination of women.  These matters, of course, have been exhaustively discussed in the years following Vatican II, and I’d be willing to bet that anyone, even those vaguely connected to the Church, could rehearse the arguments on both sides of those issues.  But there just isn’t a lot that the church can do about them.  No bishop or pastor could make a policy adjustment and announce that divorced and re-married people can receive communion or that a gay couple can come to the altar to be married or a woman present herself for ordination.

What struck me about the survey, however, was that many of the issues that led people to leave the church are indeed matters that can be addressed.  Many of the respondents commented that they left because of “bad customer relations.”  One woman said that she felt “undervalued by the church” and found “no mentors.”  Many more said that their pastors were “arrogant, distant, aloof, and insensitive,” and still others said that their experiences over the phone with parish staffers were distinctly negative.  Now I fully understand that parish priests and lay ministers are on the front lines and hence are the ones who often have to say “no” when a parishioner asks for something that just can’t be granted.  Sometimes the recipient of that “no” can all too facilely accuse the one who says it as arrogant or indifferent.  Nevertheless, the survey can and should be a wake-up call to church leaders—both clerical and non-clerical—that simple kindness, compassion, and attention go a rather long way.  I distinctly remember the advice that my first pastor—a wonderful and pastorally skillful priest—gave to the parish secretary:  “for many people, you are the first contact they have with the Catholic Church; you exercise, therefore, an indispensable ministry.”  One respondent to the survey observed that whenever he asked a priest about a controversial issue, he “got rules, and not an invitation to sit down and talk.”  Unfair?  Perhaps.  But every priest, even when ultimately he has to say “no,” can do so in the context of a relationship predicated upon love and respect.

A second major concern that can and should be addressed is that of bad preaching.  Again and again, people said that they left the church because homilies were “boring, irrelevant, poorly prepared,” or “delivered in an impenetrable accent.”  Again, speaking as someone who is called upon to give sermons all the time, I realize how terribly difficult it is to preach, how it involves skill in public speaking, attention to the culture, expertise in biblical interpretation, and sensitivity to the needs and interests of an incredibly diverse audience.  That said, homilists can make a great leap forward by being attentive to one fact:  sermons become boring in the measure that they don’t propose something like answers to real questions.   All of the biblical exegesis and oratorical skill in the world will be met with a massive “so what?” if the preacher has not endeavored to correlate the “answers” he provides with the “questions” that beguile the hearts of the people to whom he speaks.  Practically every Gospel involves an encounter between Jesus and a person—Peter, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, etc.—who is questioning, wondering, suffering, or seeking.  An interesting homily identifies that longing and demonstrates, concretely, how Jesus fulfills it.  When the homily both reminds people how thirsty they are and provides water to quench the thirst, people will listen.

A third eminently correctable problem is one that I will admit I had never thought about before reading this survey.  Many of the respondents commented that, after they left the church, no one from the parish contacted them or reached out to them in any way.  Now again, I can anticipate and fully understand the objections from pastoral people:  many Catholic parishes are huge—upwards of three or four thousand families—and staffs are small.  Yet, just as major corporations, serving millions of people, attend carefully to lost customers, so Catholic parishes should prioritize an outreach to those who have drifted (or stormed) away.  A phone call, a note, an e-mail, a pastoral visit—anything that would say, “We’ve noticed you’re not coming to Mass anymore.  Can we help?  Can you tell us what, if anything, we’ve done wrong?  We’d love to see you back with us.”

The problem of Catholics leaving the church is, obviously, serious and complex, and anyone who would suggest an easy solution is naïve.  However, having listened to a representative sample of those who have left, parishes, priests, and church administrators might take some relatively simple and direct steps that would go a long way toward ameliorating the situation.
 


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
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To: bkaycee
I left the Catholic church 27 years ago, when a co-worker was kind enough to explain to me the Saving Gospel of Grace out of the book of Romans... I was bursting at the seams, telling all who would listen about the Free Salvation in Christ.

Thank you for the testimony. The Catholic Church believes in the Gospel of Christ, by the way. I think that that is the difference here.

251 posted on 04/21/2012 4:35:59 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: presently no screen name
The RCC grieves the HOLY SPIRIT simply by it’s existence with it’s man made doctrine/tradition of infallibility.

Uh huh. Speaking for God again? There's a resident twit on FR who occasionally posts threads like that.

252 posted on 04/21/2012 4:37:50 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Salvation; RnMomof7
There are many other Catholic Churches — other than the Latin Rite — what you call Rome. Please educate yourself.

Do you understand why antiCatholics who label themselves as failed Catholics and can't even get identification right are viewed askance?

253 posted on 04/21/2012 4:39:36 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: metmom
That nature has been dealt with on the cross. IN CHRIST, anyone who has put their trust in Him has already died and therefore the penalty of that sinful nature has been dealt with. I already have a place in heaven, not just reserved for me, but there now.

So Judgement is what happens to other people? We really do have a different Bible.

254 posted on 04/21/2012 4:40:58 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool
" Your religion claims that you and the Islamaniacs share the same father... And that then makes you brothers with the muzlims... That's not the family I was adopted into..."

Do not attempt to discern what is known only to God. It is He and not you that knows my heart and will judge us accordingly. Jesus will be my mediator.

"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." - Romans 8:14-17

Your brother in Christ,

Natural Law

255 posted on 04/21/2012 4:46:37 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom
Please don't "snippet" hunt - what some constantly accuse others of doing. Here is that passage in context so we can see that John was certainly NOT contradicting Jesus, himself or other Scriptures but confirming what we have been saying all along:

I John 3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

256 posted on 04/21/2012 4:54:37 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
"Please don't "snippet" hunt...."

Are you implying that Jesus' message was something other than to love one another and that to hate one another was wrong? If you are then you are reading a different Scripture than I am.

The verse I posted in no contradicts Jesus nor was it presented in a deceptive manner. I only presented the voice of God. The relative postings of other FReepers will have to stand or fall on their own merit.

(side note: I have never before seen a Protestant use the Catholic tactic of posting an entire chapter to refute a verse or two.....well done! Now we just have to work on your conclusions)

257 posted on 04/21/2012 5:18:22 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law
Cor 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

The pope decreed mortal sin for missing sunday mass, Not God, and this over 1000 years after the resurrection.

258 posted on 04/21/2012 5:50:59 PM PDT by bkaycee
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To: Natural Law
We will all stand before the judgment seat of God and because we share the same father we are brothers.

He is The Father to HIS own and and a judge to those who aren't. He is not your father as you listen to another - through man made teachings and doctrines/traditions. As we know he isn't the father to your leader, the infallible one, he declared he belongs to Mary/his idol with "I'm all yours, Mary". Whine all you want, your leader declares the muslims are your brothers - why do you refuse to listen to your leader, the infallible one?

259 posted on 04/21/2012 5:57:48 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: bkaycee

Ouch.

The sword of the Spirit skillfully wielded.


260 posted on 04/21/2012 6:02:30 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: MarkBsnr; Quix
Or are you becoming like another on these threads who only posts mocking cartoons and never bothers to explain their point?

I think that it would be polite to ping to whom you refer.

Normally, I would let this typical piece of mockery slide - not worthy of comment. But since you pinged Quix, I want to state that it is NOT him to whom I referred. Though he may post cartoons and pics at times, he nearly always states his point. Are you trying to stir the pot?

261 posted on 04/21/2012 6:06:10 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
Ephesians 1:17 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

We have it NOW. The guarantee of it is the Holy Spirit in our lives. Anyone who has the Holy Spirit in them can KNOW they are saved because God doesn't lie. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of our inheritance which we HAVE now.

262 posted on 04/21/2012 6:08:43 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: boatbums; Quix; metmom; RnMomof7
Normally, I would let this typical piece of mockery slide - not worthy of comment. But since you pinged Quix, I want to state that it is NOT him to whom I referred. Though he may post cartoons and pics at times, he nearly always states his point. Are you trying to stir the pot?

Whom? I?

Perhaps we may return to the point of the thread which is that people leave Catholicism because of personal reasons and people join the Faith because of theological ones. Or, shall we rejoin the conversation as has been demonstrated and preached by some that we must reject the Gospels and the acts of the Twelve. It is to Paul in whom lies our salvation, they say.

Well? Does Paul contain the formula for salvation in your estimation? Shall we consign Jesus and the 12 to the dustbin of history?

263 posted on 04/21/2012 6:13:53 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

Judgment happens to all.

I’ve already been judged. That all happened when I was born again.

Everyone has a choice. Accept Christ and His forgiveness and let Him be your righteousness, or stand on your own works and Scripture is clear where that will end up.

Anyone who is waiting for their judgment later to be judged on their works will get it, sure enough, but really has got some worrying to do. Their works will damn them.


264 posted on 04/21/2012 6:16:46 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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Comment #265 Removed by Moderator

To: metmom
Judgment happens to all. I’ve already been judged. That all happened when I was born again.

Romans 2: 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:[a] 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

That's not what Paul says. He says future Judgement.

Anyone who is waiting for their judgment later to be judged on their works will get it, sure enough, but really has got some worrying to do. Their works will damn them.

Anyone who relies on works alone, sure.

266 posted on 04/21/2012 6:24:19 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool; Religion Moderator

I don’t debate with posters who claim I lie.

I don’t debate with posters who post trash like this on the RF.


267 posted on 04/21/2012 6:26:46 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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Comment #268 Removed by Moderator

To: presently no screen name
"He is not your father....."

I'll take His word for it, if you don't mind.

Now, if you really want to further my education please point out the Fruits of the Holy Spirit on your 10 most recent posts. That would be evidence that your admonishments and pronouncements have been inspired and worthy of my consideration.

Peace be to you.

269 posted on 04/21/2012 6:28:30 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: MarkBsnr
So Judgement is what happens to other people? We really do have a different Bible

 Exactly...Judgment happens to other people...Christians have been judged the moment they accepted Jesus as their Savior...And we have been found to be 'Just'...

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

No condemnation...Not now...Never...

270 posted on 04/21/2012 6:42:02 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: bkaycee
"Cor 2:16"

That is still Colossians 2:16 and it is still "Do this in remembrance of me.

271 posted on 04/21/2012 6:46:20 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom
Are you implying that Jesus' message was something other than to love one another and that to hate one another was wrong? If you are then you are reading a different Scripture than I am.

Perhaps you need to go back to your post that prompted my comment.

The verse I posted in no contradicts Jesus nor was it presented in a deceptive manner. I only presented the voice of God. The relative postings of other FReepers will have to stand or fall on their own merit.

Here is what you prefaced your snippet with:

All future sins are not reconciled by declaring our Salvation or final judgment would not await any of us. Your interpretation is not substantiated by Scripture or the teachings of the Church from the first Pentecost until today. Indeed, it is Jesus who saves us, but it is we who damn ourselves. "The root of sin is in the heart of man, in our free will. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him, but we cannot love God if we choose to gravely sin against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves. All are called to Salvation and sufficient Grace exists for the Salvation of all, yet all are not saved. To gain Salvation we must cooperate with Grace. Failure, in our thoughts and our words, in what we do and what we fail to to to affirm God and cooperate with His Grace is a sin. Sin is a conscious choice. To choose deliberately, both knowingly it and willingly, something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. Unrepented, it brings eternal death. (Post 221 to Metmom)

Your use of the I John 3:15 was to prove your contention that, as you said, "uprepented sin brings eternal death" and also your Church's teachings about what "cooperating with grace" means. No matter how you slice it, the gospel of the grace of God means that it is by faith in Christ that we are redeemed from the penalty of our sin. His shed blood was the payment God accepted and, when we receive him through faith, we are justified and born again into the family of God. This is the lesson the Apostle John, in his epistle I John, was teaching to believers and admonishing them about living lives of victory over sin. He said, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" The rest of that chapter is certainly speaking about loving each other and being willing to sacrifice for one another as Christ did for us, but he does not imply that those who are still learning this are somehow in danger of losing their salvation. That is something that false gospels teach - that man must earn his salvation by his deeds rather than by grace through faith.

(side note: I have never before seen a Protestant use the Catholic tactic of posting an entire chapter to refute a verse or two.....well done! Now we just have to work on your conclusions)

Now, see, you've just confirmed what I have suspected all along - you must not read the comments from "Protestants". :o)

272 posted on 04/21/2012 6:47:03 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: MarkBsnr

It’s either/or, it can’t be both.

If it’s Christ, works aren’t needed.

If it’s works, Christ isn’t needed.

I’ll take my chances with Christ. His righteousness imputed to me beats any feeble attempts I make on my own.

That way, even if I were judged by works, since Christ’s works and righteousness have been credited to my account, I’m good to go. I’m making it.


273 posted on 04/21/2012 6:48:09 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: MarkBsnr
Romans 2: 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:[a] 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

That's not what Paul says. He says future Judgement.

Did someone rip Chapter 3 out of your bible???

Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

274 posted on 04/21/2012 6:53:11 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: Natural Law
Now, if you really want to further my education please point out the Fruits of the Holy Spirit on your 10 most recent posts. That would be evidence that your admonishments and pronouncements have been inspired and worthy of my consideration.

You might need to consider something.


275 posted on 04/21/2012 6:53:41 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: metmom
It’s either/or, it can’t be both.

Says who? The Faith has always been and.

If it’s Christ, works aren’t needed. If it’s works, Christ isn’t needed.

That's not the Faith. Faith without works is dead.

I’ll take my chances with Christ. His righteousness imputed to me beats any feeble attempts I make on my own.

You want to play chicken with your salvation? Neat idea. I wouldn't do that, myself.

That way, even if I were judged by works, since Christ’s works and righteousness have been credited to my account, I’m good to go. I’m making it.

The god in the mirror has affirmed your salvation.

276 posted on 04/21/2012 6:56:36 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Natural Law

Yes, Col 2:16, you are correct, Cor was a typo.

We “Do this in remembrance of me” regularly, usually monthly.


277 posted on 04/21/2012 6:57:33 PM PDT by bkaycee
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To: Iscool
Did someone rip Chapter 3 out of your bible???

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Christianity without Christ is a fascinating idea. But this does not mean what you mean it to say.

278 posted on 04/21/2012 6:57:52 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Natural Law

Scrutinizing again with that ‘prove to me’ attitude with condemnation. No one can teach an unteachable spirit and there is nothing to consider.


279 posted on 04/21/2012 6:59:25 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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Comment #280 Removed by Moderator

To: metmom
"It’s either/or, it can’t be both."

Where in Scripture does it say that?

281 posted on 04/21/2012 7:03:48 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: presently no screen name
"No one can teach an unteachable spirit and there is nothing to consider."

Why would you call yourself unteachable? If I thought that I would simply pray for you rather than continue to discuss.

282 posted on 04/21/2012 7:10:23 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law; presently no screen name
Why would you call yourself unteachable? If I thought that I would simply pray for you rather than continue to discuss.

Ditto.

283 posted on 04/21/2012 7:13:01 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: metmom
Dear Sister- Nowhere I am considering you unloving or unChristlike. I am overexgerating to get to a point that's all. You know like a certain man who declared parables.

Do not confuse me with others I have more respect for you then you proably know.

The Lord sees the inside better than us that's for sure. I do not judge. I know you care. We can have different views on Christ as long as we can declare 1John 4 we declare The Holy Spirit within us.

I trust in Jesus to overcome this world for me. But where we differ is this process. You declare you see it now in a special way. I certainly do not see that confession is wrong in my belief of Christ. I am not talking catholic either just any confession. I see 1john1 . When John puts down do not be deceived in this writing. I see an alarm going off as a warning in this writing.

Freeper Cheers!

284 posted on 04/21/2012 7:24:27 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: metmom
I love all the present, perfect tense verbs in the verses you referenced - we have. Some try to quibble with assurance passages by saying it says "might"; "may", "shall", and, by that, implying that this is something that God wants to keep us in the dark about (kinda like "Keep 'em guessing so they stick to it.") Yet in so many places He states unequivocally that we can right now have eternal life. The "if" part is by faith, of course, through faith is what grace uses to grant it. God says that without faith it is impossible to please Him, so that is the part we demonstrate and it is NOT a work but an ascent, an acceptance of what His grace gives. I am constantly amazed at how difficult some people try to make it. I think it goes back to my previous comment, that some just cannot humble themselves before God to admit they bring NOTHING by which to merit Heaven. And we know that without this, we cannot be saved. We surrender ALL to Him, ALL to Him we freely give.
285 posted on 04/21/2012 7:25:20 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: MarkBsnr; smvoice; bkaycee; metmom; RnMomof7
Perhaps we may return to the point of the thread which is that people leave Catholicism because of personal reasons and people join the Faith because of theological ones. Or, shall we rejoin the conversation as has been demonstrated and preached by some that we must reject the Gospels and the acts of the Twelve. It is to Paul in whom lies our salvation, they say. Well? Does Paul contain the formula for salvation in your estimation? Shall we consign Jesus and the 12 to the dustbin of history?

Yes, let's return to the subject at hand. I disagree, of course, with your premise that those who leave Catholicism do so for "personal reasons" - since I left purely for theological ones as have most of those here who have testified of leaving. My "Protestant" Dad joined Catholicism so that he and my Mom could marry in the church (her Mom's insistence, though they had already married at a JOP). When they divorced some fifteen years later, he went back to the Baptist Church. Later on, he started going back to the Catholic Church, but NOT for "theological" reasons, but because he said he liked how all the priests he met on the golf course drank and told dirty jokes back at the bar.

As to your insistence on continuing to misstate Smvoice's comments, all I can say is NO ONE has said anything about "rejecting the Gospels and the acts of the Twelve. It is to Paul in whom lies our salvation". If, after all these many times, you STILL do not get that, I would suggest that you refrain from trying to engage in further dialog until you have done some more reading about the subject. I can suggest a few links for you that can help you to sound less uneducated about the topic. Let me know.

286 posted on 04/21/2012 7:40:43 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Iscool; MarkBsnr

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.


287 posted on 04/21/2012 7:55:27 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: boatbums

My Church in MA consists of 80% former RC’s and all have left for theological reasons.


288 posted on 04/21/2012 8:13:05 PM PDT by bkaycee
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To: MarkBsnr
"Paul was a functionary of the Church- a loud and mouthy and pushy Herb Tarlek. With a loud plaid coat and wide tie and a blinding white grin.".

Let this be your last description of the Apostle Paul that resonates through your posts about how much the Catholic Church respects Paul. That he was a great apostle.

"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." Rom. 2:16.

And let that be the day that you realize this truth.

289 posted on 04/21/2012 8:14:03 PM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: Natural Law; metmom
"It’s either/or, it can’t be both."

Where in Scripture does it say that?

Allow me:

Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

290 posted on 04/21/2012 8:20:13 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: bkaycee
My Church in MA consists of 80% former RC’s and all have left for theological reasons.

I'll bet if you did a survey and asked how many thought of themselves as "failed Catholics"...oh, wait, that's only what the "successful" Catholics call those who dare to leave. I'd venture that your fellow church members would laugh at that label, too.

291 posted on 04/21/2012 8:45:20 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: bkaycee
For your enlightenment......even the other denominations have the commandment to keep the Lord's day holy. So why don't you go to church every week?

Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 10 Commandments
The Catholic Church Changed The Ten Commandments? [Ecumenical]

The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Christian Morality
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, The Ten Commandments
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, First Commandment
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Second Commandment
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Third Commandment
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Fourth Commandment
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Fifth Commandment
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Sixth and Ninth Commandments
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Three: The Will of God, Seventh and Tenth Commandments
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith; Part Three: The Will of God, Eighth Commandment

Catechism of Aquinas |SUMMARY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS| THE OUR FATHER & FIVE QUALITIES OF PRAYER
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 34: The First Commandment
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 35: The Second Commandment
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 36: The Third Commandment
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 37: The Fourth Commandment
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 38: The Fifth Commandment (w / special prayer request)
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 39: The Sixth and Ninth Commandments
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 40: The Seventh and Tenth Commandments
A Brief Catechism for Adulst - Lesson 41: The Eighth Commandment

292 posted on 04/21/2012 8:52:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: smvoice
"Let this be your last description of the Apostle Paul that resonates through your posts about how much the Catholic Church respects Paul."

The Apostle Paul was a celibate Catholic priest. It was the Catholic Church that canonized him and venerates him as the patron saint of authors.

293 posted on 04/21/2012 8:57:45 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: bkaycee
I guess you don't believe the Bible either???

April 22, 2012

 

Third Sunday of Easter

 

Reading 1 Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
"The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R.  Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Jn 2:1-5a

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, "I know him," but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Gospel Lk 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."

294 posted on 04/21/2012 9:09:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: boatbums; metmom
"Allow me:"

The premise posed by Metmom was that Salvation was based upon either faith or by works. Grace, as the subject of Romans 11:6, was not a part of that discussion. I would suggest you read James 2, especially versus 14 through 26 where a better discussion of the relationship between Faith, works and grace is discussed.

Then reflect on the meaning of I Corinthians 13:2:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

295 posted on 04/21/2012 9:14:14 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law; metmom
The premise posed by Metmom was that Salvation was based upon either faith or by works. Grace, as the subject of Romans 11:6, was not a part of that discussion. I would suggest you read James 2, especially versus 14 through 26 where a better discussion of the relationship between Faith, works and grace is discussed.

Then reflect on the meaning of I Corinthians 13:2:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Yes, Sister Katherine Marie. :o)

First of all, speaking the truth CAN be done with love, gentleness, patience and respect. It is ALWAYS my intent. That another interprets correction or disagreement over doctrine as "anger, malice or hate", when the comment is not a personal attack, is not something that can be controlled and has to fall back on the one who feels his ox is being gored, to coin a phrase.

The issue of grace vs. works most certainly DOES pertain to the faith vs. works argument. The very meaning of the term "grace" implies:

    "a favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence"

    "Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people"

    "the state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God"

    "an excellence or power granted by God"

There is a special and specific reason why God chose the word. By it's very definition and use in Holy Scripture, it implies unmerited favor. Thus, when salvation is said to be by grace through faith and not of works, it is plainly understood to mean man does not work for the gift. The use of the word "gift" also relays that sense. The passage, Ephesians 2:8,9 says:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"

    The very foundational truth of scripture pertaining to justification is that God has provided a single way for mankind to be forgiven of the sin that separates from Him, and that way is through faith in Him through Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches through imperative and example that there is no type of work that can, in and of itself, overcome this separation. (http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CarterJ01.html

There are many other verses throughout both the Old and New Testaments that speak of God's grace. This grace is balanced with his holiness and justice. His holiness demands perfect righteousness to be in his presence. His justice demands a satisfactory payment for sin. His love was what makes eternal salvation a free gift - another word used in Scripture. A free gift means exactly that - nothing is done to buy it or earn it but it is given freely. God says this gift is given to all who accept it by faith. In Romans 6:23, Paul says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Let me make sure you do not misunderstand my point here, I do not believe that a Christian should, or can really, just accept the gift and then continue on in his sinful life as if nothing changed. Jesus said quite clearly that he is the vine and we are the branches. We bear "fruit" by our position in Christ and this fruit IS good works - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22) So, though we are NOT saved because of our works but by God's grace through faith, we are STILL created unto good works which God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). A genuine, born again believer in Christ WILL demonstrate their faith BY their works - but it is NOT their works that save them. It is a GIFT given by grace through faith.

296 posted on 04/21/2012 10:08:46 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
"I am not concerned with how you treat me, I continue to pray for your conversion and Salvation regardless."

This is what they call a breakthrough moment. In comparison to this shared truth our other doctrinal differences are really quite insignificant. One by one, we are accomplishing that agate ring of His Church.

God bless you and good night.

297 posted on 04/21/2012 10:31:12 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law
"I am not concerned with how you treat me, I continue to pray for your conversion and Salvation regardless."

This is what they call a breakthrough moment. In comparison to this shared truth our other doctrinal differences are really quite insignificant. One by one, we are accomplishing that agate ring of His Church.

God bless you and good night.

I agree that should be our attitudes as we discuss things with eternal significance. I did not make the quoted statement, so I'm not sure if that is your "breakthrough moment" connected to me. I do not, however, see our "doctrinal differences" as insignificant as the issue of salvation by grace through faith vs. works is a paramount distinction. I DO pray for all those I communicate with here, so I will certainly continue to do so. Good night and God bless you, too.

298 posted on 04/21/2012 10:42:34 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: MarkBsnr; smvoice
>> Posting error ad nauseam does not correct that error.<<

Oh now that’s a hoot. A Catholic trying to explain how others are using the Bible wrong. I’m sure that right after the tell us how we interpret the Bible wrong they will explain how the Bible contains the story of the bodily assumption of Mary or that she was installed as queen of heaven.

299 posted on 04/22/2012 6:33:20 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: boatbums
"I do not, however, see our "doctrinal differences" as insignificant as the issue of salvation by grace through faith vs. works is a paramount distinction."

If we truly live the two Greatest Commandments the "doctrinal issues" will take care of themselves.

300 posted on 04/22/2012 6:49:15 AM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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