Skip to comments.The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants
Posted on 05/17/2012 5:40:57 PM PDT by Gamecock
Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why.....
The number of people who have left the Catholic church is huge.
We all have heard stories about why people leave. Parents share stories about their children. Academics talk about their students. Everyone has a friend who has left.
While personal experience can be helpful, social science research forces us to look beyond our circle of acquaintances to see what is going on in the whole church.
The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion & Public Life has put hard numbers on the anecdotal evidence: One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic.
Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.
Thankfully, although the U.S. bishops have not supported research on people who have left the church, the Pew Center has.
Pews data shows that those leaving the church are not homogenous. They can be divided into two major groups: those who become unaffiliated and those who become Protestant. Almost half of those leaving the church become unaffiliated and almost half become Protestant. Only about 10 percent of ex-Catholics join non-Christian religions. This article will focus on Catholics who have become Protestant. I am not saying that those who become unaffiliated are not important; I am leaving that discussion to another time.
Why do people leave the Catholic church to become Protestant? Liberal Catholics will tell you that Catholics are leaving because they disagree with the churchs teaching on birth control, women priests, divorce, the bishops interference in American politics, etc. Conservatives blame Vatican II, liberal priests and nuns, a permissive culture and the churchs social justice agenda.
One of the reasons there is such disagreement is that we tend to think that everyone leaves for the same reason our friends, relatives and acquaintances have left. We fail to recognize that different people leave for different reasons. People who leave to join Protestant churches do so for different reasons than those who become unaffiliated. People who become evangelicals are different from Catholics who become members of mainline churches.
The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their spiritual needs were not being met in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they found a religion they like more (70 percent). Eighty-one percent of respondents say they joined their new church because they enjoy the religious service and style of worship of their new faith.
In other words, the Catholic church has failed to deliver what people consider fundamental products of religion: spiritual sustenance and a good worship service. And before conservatives blame the new liturgy, only 11 percent of those leaving complained that Catholicism had drifted too far from traditional practices such as the Latin Mass.
Dissatisfaction with how the church deals with spiritual needs and worship services dwarfs any disagreements over specific doctrines. While half of those who became Protestants say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teaching, specific questions get much lower responses. Only 23 percent said they left because of the churchs teaching on abortion and homosexuality; only 23 percent because of the churchs teaching on divorce; only 21 percent because of the rule that priests cannot marry; only 16 percent because of the churchs teaching on birth control; only 16 percent because of the way the church treats women; only 11 percent because they were unhappy with the teachings on poverty, war and the death penalty.
The data shows that disagreement over specific doctrines is not the main reason Catholics become Protestants. We also have lots of survey data showing that many Catholics who stay disagree with specific church teachings. Despite what theologians and bishops think, doctrine is not that important either to those who become Protestant or to those who stay Catholic.
People are not becoming Protestants because they disagree with specific Catholic teachings; people are leaving because the church does not meet their spiritual needs and they find Protestant worship service better.
Nor are the people becoming Protestants lazy or lax Christians. In fact, they attend worship services at a higher rate than those who remain Catholic. While 42 percent of Catholics who stay attend services weekly, 63 percent of Catholics who become Protestants go to church every week. That is a 21 percentage-point difference.
Catholics who became Protestant also claim to have a stronger faith now than when they were children or teenagers. Seventy-one percent say their faith is very strong, while only 35 percent and 22 percent reported that their faith was very strong when they were children and teenagers, respectively. On the other hand, only 46 percent of those who are still Catholic report their faith as very strong today as an adult.
Thus, both as believers and as worshipers, Catholics who become Protestants are statistically better Christians than those who stay Catholic. We are losing the best, not the worst.
Some of the common explanations of why people leave do not pan out in the data. For example, only 21 percent of those becoming Protestant mention the sex abuse scandal as a reason for leaving. Only 3 percent say they left because they became separated or divorced.
If you believed liberals, most Catholics who leave the church would be joining mainline churches, like the Episcopal church. In fact, almost two-thirds of former Catholics who join a Protestant church join an evangelical church. Catholics who become evangelicals and Catholics who join mainline churches are two very distinct groups. We need to take a closer look at why each leaves the church.
Fifty-four percent of both groups say that they just gradually drifted away from Catholicism. Both groups also had almost equal numbers (82 percent evangelicals, 80 percent mainline) saying they joined their new church because they enjoyed the worship service. But compared to those who became mainline Protestants, a higher percentage of those becoming evangelicals said they left because their spiritual needs were not being met (78 percent versus 57 percent) and that they had stopped believing in Catholic teaching (62 percent versus 20 percent). They also cited the churchs teaching on the Bible (55 percent versus 16 percent) more frequently as a reason for leaving. Forty-six percent of these new evangelicals felt the Catholic church did not view the Bible literally enough. Thus, for those leaving to become evangelicals, spiritual sustenance, worship services and the Bible were key. Only 11 percent were unhappy with the churchs teachings on poverty, war, and the death penalty Ñ the same percentage as said they were unhappy with the churchs treatment of women. Contrary to what conservatives say, ex-Catholics are not flocking to the evangelicals because they think the Catholic church is politically too liberal. They are leaving to get spiritual nourishment from worship services and the Bible.
Looking at the responses of those who join mainline churches also provides some surprising results. For example, few (20 percent) say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teachings. However, when specific issues were mentioned in the questionnaire, more of those joining mainline churches agreed that these issues influenced their decision to leave the Catholic church. Thirty-one percent cited unhappiness with the churchs teaching on abortion and homosexuality, women, and divorce and remarriage, and 26 percent mentioned birth control as a reason for leaving. Although these numbers are higher than for Catholics who become evangelicals, they are still dwarfed by the number (57 percent) who said their spiritual needs were not met in the Catholic church.
Thus, those becoming evangelicals were more generically unhappy than specifically unhappy with church teaching, while those who became mainline Protestant tended to be more specifically unhappy than generically unhappy with church teaching. The unhappiness with the churchs teaching on poverty, war and the death penalty was equally low for both groups (11 percent for evangelicals; 10 percent for mainline).
What stands out in the data on Catholics who join mainline churches is that they tend to cite personal or familiar reasons for leaving more frequently than do those who become evangelicals. Forty-four percent of the Catholics who join mainline churches say that they married someone of the faith they joined, a number that trumps all doctrinal issues. Only 22 percent of those who join the evangelicals cite this reason.
Perhaps after marrying a mainline Christian and attending his or her churchs services, the Catholic found the mainline services more fulfilling than the Catholic service. And even if they were equally attractive, perhaps the exclusion of the Protestant spouse from Catholic Communion makes the more welcoming mainline church attractive to an ecumenical couple.
Those joining mainline communities also were more likely to cite dissatisfaction of the Catholic clergy (39 percent) than were those who became evangelical (23 percent). Those who join mainline churches are looking for a less clerically dominated church.
Lessons from the data
There are many lessons that we can learn from the Pew data, but I will focus on only three.
First, those who are leaving the church for Protestant churches are more interested in spiritual nourishment than doctrinal issues. Tinkering with the wording of the creed at Mass is not going to help. No one except the Vatican and the bishops cares whether Jesus is one in being with the Father or consubstantial with the Father. That the hierarchy thinks this is important shows how out of it they are.
While the hierarchy worries about literal translations of the Latin text, people are longing for liturgies that touch the heart and emotions. More creativity with the liturgy is needed, and that means more flexibility must be allowed. If you build it, they will come; if you do not, they will find it elsewhere. The changes that will go into effect this Advent will make matters worse, not better.
Second, thanks to Pope Pius XII, Catholic scripture scholars have had decades to produce the best thinking on scripture in the world. That Catholics are leaving to join evangelical churches because of the church teaching on the Bible is a disgrace. Too few homilists explain the scriptures to their people. Few Catholics read the Bible.
The church needs a massive Bible education program. The church needs to acknowledge that understanding the Bible is more important than memorizing the catechism. If we could get Catholics to read the Sunday scripture readings each week before they come to Mass, it would be revolutionary. If you do not read and pray the scriptures, you are not an adult Christian. Catholics who become evangelicals understand this.
Finally, the Pew data shows that two-thirds of Catholics who become Protestants do so before they reach the age of 24. The church must make a preferential option for teenagers and young adults or it will continue to bleed. Programs and liturgies that cater to their needs must take precedence over the complaints of fuddy-duddies and rubrical purists.
Current religious education programs and teen groups appear to have little effect on keeping these folks Catholic, according to the Pew data, although those who attend a Catholic high school do appear to stay at a higher rate. More research is needed to find out what works and what does not.
The Catholic church is hemorrhaging members. It needs to acknowledge this and do more to understand why. Only if we acknowledge the exodus and understand it will we be in a position to do something about it.
Eloquently stated! Thank you.
No, no mistake. Obviously, Jesus WAS talking about a "second" birth, was he not? Nicodemas thought Jesus was talking about a repeat of the "physical" human birth, but Jesus was speaking about - AND he corrected Nicodemas on it - another kind of birth, a spiritual birth, a birth that was "from above" and not physical human birth. So, Jesus did say you MUST be born again and that birth was from above. When we come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, we are born again into the family of God - we become His children through faith and we have a new spirit nature within us. In order to go to heaven we MUST be born again.
Nicodemus didn't make a mistake...He knew that to be born from above meant to be 'born again'...And he quailified this statement by referencing the fact that how can he be born twice from his mother's womb...
I don't understand your problem with the word 'again'...
We can all pray that, when Natural Law presents his students with his revised list from your comment and they study together what Catholics are and are not “allowed” dissension on, a few will come to Free Republic and read these dialogs for themselves and the truth of the gospel shines through to those who sincerely seek it.
Jesus was talking about Spiritual conversion. Birth is a metaphor.
No one on Free Republic converts anyone. That is done only by the Holy Spirit and only when the time is right. All any of us can hope to accomplish is to prepare the way for the Holy Spirit and only that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. So then, if the fruits of the Holy Spirit are not manifest in your words, deeds and intents you may well succeed in hindering the conversion.
Peace be with you.
From the context Nicodemus understood Jesus to be saying “again” as in a repeat and hence a Greek word, anothen, was chosen to translate what Jesus said.
A simple statement, “born again”.
Thayer’s Greek/English Lexicon might be helpful.
Something we agree about. One person plants, another waters, but God gives the increase.
JESUS IS THE WORD - your 'natural mind' CANNOT understand the spiritual things of God! Say it over and over - "The WORD always was..."
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word was God."
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
How did HE do it? HE SPOKE it into existence.
Genesis 1:3 And God SAID, "Let there be light," and there was light".
Psalm 33:9 "For HE spoke, and it came to be; HE commanded, and it stood firm".
Psalm 148:5 "Let them praise THE NAME OF THE LORD, for He commanded and they were created".
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." Jesus was Gods perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh. Jesus is the living Word.
"For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires". Heb 4:12
Peace be with you.
I have the peace of God that lives within me. Peace is the fruit of the Spirit.
God's Word is the Final Authority!
It's obvious you are 'RCC taught and not Spirit taught' - Individuals are HIS Church. God is a personal God. He knows the number of hairs on my head, He calls me friend, He lives within me and never will leave nor forsake me. Do you really think HE would leave His children in the hands of men? NEVER John 10:28 "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand."
You speak of humble? What is humble about planning to use Daniel's work?
We are never going to agree
WRONG. One day you will agree and WILL BOW at THE TRUTH while the RCC's teachings are no more. ONLY God's WORD is everlasting!
Your scholarship pales in comparison to that of the Early Church Fathers, the doctors of the Church, the Episcopacy that forms the Magisterium, and the various saints and intellectual giants upon whose writings I have based my interpretation of Scripture.
You just proved Daniel has EXCELLED in his work! The HOLY SPIRIT inspired WORD cannot be understood by the natural man for it is spiritually discerned. Seems you failed in the interpretation of that one, also.
1 Cor 2:14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned". And The Holy Spirit lives within God's own. You base your knowledge on 'men' you never knew while Christians base their knowledge of God's Word on the Holy Spirit. You want to talk pale?
I respect you and your right to have your own opinions, I just don't respect them
God's Word is NOT an opinion - it is TRUTH! The catechism is an opinion of man/the RCC and used to control.
“Has the Catholic church published a commentary yet?”
Not an infallible or papal one, or anything as comprehensive as evangelical classics such as by Matthew Henry, Keil & Delitzsch, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Barnes, Clarke, etc.
Various excuses are offered as to why it has not, but it has at least a few approved, if contradictory, commentaries on the whole Bible, and from the stamped notes in the official RC Bible for America, the New American Bible, (NAB, 1970) we learn that,
that Genesis 2 (Adam and Eve and creation details) and Gn. 3 (the story of the Fall), Gn. 4:1-16 (Cain and Abel), Gn. 6-8 (Noah and the Flood), and Gn. 11:1-9 (Tower of Babe are folktales, using allegory to teach a religious lesson.
the story of Balaam and the donkey and the angel (Num. 22:1-21; 22:36-38) was a fable, while the records of Gn. (chapters) 37-50 (Joseph), 12-36 (Abraham, Issaac, Jacob), Exodus, Judges 13-16 (Samson) 1Sam. 17 (David and Goliath) and that of the Exodus are stories which are “historical at their core,” but overall the author simply used “traditions” to teach a religious lesson.
For their understanding that Inspiration is guidance means that Scripture is Gods word and mans word. What this means is that the NAB rejects such things as that the Bible’s attribution of Divine sanction to wars of conquest, cannot be qualified as revelation from God, and states,
Think of the holy wars of total destruction, fought by the Hebrews when they invaded Palestine. The search for meaning in those wars centuries later was inspired, but the conclusions which attributed all those atrocities to the command of God were imperfect and provisional.” (4. “Inspiration and Revelation,” p. 18)
It also holds that such things as cloud, angels (blasting trumpets), smoke, fire, earthquakes,lighting, thunder, war, calamities, lies and persecution are Biblical figures of speech.
(Thus engendering doubt as to the torment of Hell being also literal, while if the suffering of purgatory, which may be something someone experiences but in a moment, (Ratzinger, Akin; www.ewtn.com/library/answers/how2purg.htm) is applied to Hell, then it drastically impugns the motivational effect of the Lord’s words in such texts as Mk. 9:43-48, right after warning against offending one of these little ones that believe in me.)
The footnotes regarding the Red Sea (Ex. 10:19) informs readers that what the Israelites crossed over was the Reed Sea, which was probably a body of shallow water somewhat to the north of the present deep Red Sea. Thus rendered, the miracle would have been Pharaohs army drowning in shallow waters!
It likewise explains as regards to the sons of heaven [God] having relations with the daughters of men, (Gen. 6:1-4) This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology. The NAB footnotes go on to explain the sons of heaven are the celestial beings of mythology.
In addition, even the ages of the patriarchs after the flood are deemed to be artificial and devoid of historical value. (Genesis 11:10-26)
All of which impugns the overall literal nature the O.T. historical accounts, and as Scripture interprets Scripture, we see that the Holy Spirit refers to such stories as being literal historical events (Adam and Eve: Mt. 19:4; Abraham, Issac, Exodus and Moses: Acts 7; Rm. 4; Heb. 11; Jonah and the fish: Mt. 12:39-41; Balaam and the donkey: 2Pt. 2:15; Jude. 1:1; Rev. 2:14). Indeed the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety (2Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9), and if Jonah did not spend 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the whale then neither did the Lord, while Israel’s history is always and inclusively treated as literal.
Regarding the Gospels, the NAB notes speculate that some of the miracle stories of Jesus in the New Testament (the fulfillment of of the Hebrew Bible) may be adaptations of similar ones in the Old Testament, while He may not have actually been involved in the debates the gospel writers record He was in, and thinks that most of which Jesus is recorded as saying was probably theological elaboration by the writers.
It does allow that the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod, was extremely probable, and that people leaving Bethlehem to escape the massacre, is equally probable, but outside the historical background to this tradition, the rest is interpretation.
It additionally conveys such things as that Matthew placed Jesus in Egypt to convince his readers that Jesus was the real Israel, and may have only represented Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, to show that Jesus was like Moses who received the law on Mount Sinai.
The current edition will not use render porneia as sexual immorality or anything sexual in places such as 1Cor. 5:1; 6:13; 7:2; 10:8; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 5:3; Gal. 5:19; Col. 3:5; 1Thes. 4:3; but simply has immorality, even though in most cases it is in a sexual context.
It is true that the liberal scholarship who Rome abounds with causes angst among her more traditional sect, and who relegate such to being CINOS in their judgment, but as said, Rome counts and treats them as members in life and in death.
Like this from NL..... Your scholarship pales in comparison to that of the Early Church Fathers, the doctors of the Church, the Episcopacy that forms the Magisterium, and the various saints and intellectual giants upon whose writings I have based my interpretation of Scripture.
Actually, that is EXACTLY what he has done. "...vessels of clay..." and all that
Though . . . as I awaken to my emails and other stuff . . . I’m beginning to wonder ALMOST seriously . . . if the globalists are lobotomizing sane thinking patriots and Christians in our sleep . . . given some of the utterly idiotic things written by some such folks on the net the last month or 3.
It appears that the black-ops psych folks have been working overtime quite successfully.
Authentic Christians need to be quick to agree together on supporting The Lord Jesus AND HIS PRIORITIES and letting all other chaff fall by the wayside.
Time is rapidly going down the drain.
Night is falling.
Work diligently under Holy Spirit’s guidance while there is still light.
From the group that demands a literal interpretation of *This is my body* and doesn't recognize the symbolism even when Jesus says that the words He is speaking about eating His flesh are Spirit and truth?!?!?!
Now THAT'S FUNNY!!!!
The height of irony .....
YOUR interpretation of Scripture?
I sure hope that's the last time we are castigated for YOPIOS by you, (although realistically ....)
Indeed, but there was a reason why lay Catholics were forbidden in engage in such debates as these, while too often there is a “firewall” in place that disallows objective seeking of the truth by examining both sides of the question, though this can be the place on both sides. We must be willing to go wherever the truth will lead, with hearts like the noble Bereans. (Acts 17:11)
WOW! Bottom line, they don’t believe God but lean unto their own understanding. They are just like ‘the world’. That doesn’t end well! Without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, I’d be a ‘victim’ of Catholicism/deception. Now that I’m out of that bondage, I can see, daily, how blessed I am and for eternity!
God’s Word ALONE reigns! Thank you, JESUS!
Hindering the Holy Spirit is defiantly believing men/their teachings (Early Church Fathers, the doctors of the Church, the Episcopacy that forms the Magisterium, and the various saints and intellectual giants upon whose writings) over God.
God's Holy Spirit inspired Word ALONE REIGNS and to reject that is to reject GOD! That group can forget putting on a 'show of fruits' for anyone as they openly reject The Giver in favor of 'man'/their church.
Wrong. We become vessels when we are ‘in HIM’ and HE forms us. When we aren’t in HIM - man/the world forms us according to their deception! And those aren’t HIS OWN.
Romans 12:1,2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Godthis is your true and proper worship.”
2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Transform our mind FROM what we were taught from man/the world TO what God says in HIS WORD. God’s will is HIS WORD. Not man’s, never man’s!
So NO, He did NOT leave us/His Own to man!
What Paul is talking about in regard to *vessels of clay* is Christ in us. WE as individuals are the vessels of clay. It's not about the management of the church. That's God's responsibility.
2 Corinthians 4:1-15 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, I believed, and so I spoke, we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
You are obviously unfamiliar with the Vatican library and the many Encyclicals:
So you think all that is in Papal Encyclical (and perhaps Bulls) is infallible, and or you suppose such are “commentaries on the whole Bible,” which is what i was referring to?
Not all that is in there is infallible, but unlike the works of Matthew Henry, Keil & Delitzsch, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Barnes, Clarke, etc. there can be found infallible teachings within them.
Peace be with you.
If she does say so herself, but your acknowledgement that all is not infallible in them (which i knew), or nor are they a complete commentary, affirms what i was claiming.
Everyone has an interpretation of Scripture, the depth of which is augmented by many sources and resources that change, not the Scripture, but what is learned from it. My interpretation is the infallible one taught by the Church. My understanding of it is enhanced by those other sources I referenced.
May you have a blessed Pentecost.
Now, here's the tricky part:
To them, it IS in context. They have been steeped in this stew which includes "the *church fathers*, various and sundry popes, the prophet du jour"; not to mention ream upon ream of 'church law', documentaries, apologetics, and etcetera. This vast amalgam is encrusted around the holy precepts of the Bible to the point that the Bible literally cannot be found, or scarcely so.
But because of the 'stew', they can with good conscience find a handful of verses that take (as an instance) the humble maidservant Mary, and extrapolate a goddess, which is precisely what Mariology has done. They cannot see why we take such an offense to it, because to them, the encrustations are one part with the core, and they cannot decipher the difference.
This is the quintessential demonstration against heeding the doctrines of men - They blind men to the truth. The whole of Matt 23 speaks exactly about this, and delivers woe upon woe to the Pharisees, who had built their own encrustations around the Holy Word. That's right - The whole thing has happened before in almost an identical fashion in Jesus' time... Did you know the Pharisees claimed that TWO Torahs were transmitted at Sinai? One that Moses wrote down, and another 'passed down by oral tradition' through the priests and leaders of the assembly? Did you know that this oral tradition is precisely what Jesus was excoriating in Matt23? Did you know that every time He confronted the Pharisees He was denying one of their add-ons, and teaching that they made the true Word of YHWH null?
Look not at what He was doing to the Pharisees, but LOOK at what He is saying by way of it to the people who witnessed these public denials directed at these church leaders... In every case, He was pointing them back to the written Word... To the Torah. To the Tanakh. To the Covenant.This, in and of itself is the best defense of sola-scriptura - Just simply following what the Master instructed over and over again...
And heed the inherent warning: The Temple priests thought they had the power and the right to do what they were doing - But they were sorely mistaken. And the people who followed them, followed them blindly - Because they were taught to do so. And understand these people: To them, exactly as in this case, their belief was thought to be true, because their 'context' included all these similar encrustations made up of the doctrines of men.
Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Don't look at the Pharisee in the above quote... Look to the remark about the people they were influencing: "[...] neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."
It is easy, in our anger about the false doctrine to project that anger at those who think they are being served by this religion (when in fact, they are serving it). But this should be pitied. It is pitiful. All the more so since history already shows us the outcome.
It is whether you believe the prophets. Most of the responses, same as it ever was, mankind doesnt change.
“I am an ex-Catholic who found Christ and become an Evangelical Christian.
Be warned, however, that this thread will go toxic fast.
Whenever it is discussed here at FR, the Catholic defenders would rather burn the place to the ground rather than permit and allow ex-Catholics who now profess a personal faith in Jesus as Christians “get away with it.”
~ ~ ~
Show some loving words for the faith, for Catholics and you will be believed. Might you are biased?
It is ironic that you are making a choice about which Early Church Fathers, doctors of the church, etc. you will base your interpretation of Scripture upon as well as what they may or may not say on any particular subject yet you denigrate anyone else who makes the same choices OFTEN about the same ECFs. What Daniel has stated many times - and which you confirm - is that all those interested in knowing the truths of the faith once delivered to the saints have equal freedom to accept or reject the ideas and thoughts of those who went before them.
There is no shortage of deep thinking theologians today who build upon the spiritual and intellectual discoveries of those who went before them and what we, and they, have to our advantage is the ready availability of the resources of thought and consideration of them all. We can also understand their context, audience and motives for what they said and this allows a much greater understanding of how some of their views developed over the years and what those developments counted upon.
What we all MUST depend upon is the leading of the Holy Spirit within us who Jesus said will lead us into all truth. I fully agree that the truths of Holy Scripture are the fountain from which all knowledge about God and His purposes and plans are found and a greater understanding and illumination of those truths are available to all those who surrender to God the Holy Spirit's leading. Truth IS absolute and it WILL transcend time. The stalwarts of the faith, both then and now, hold to that.
Sorry...it was just too perfect an opportunity to resist!
Thanks for the info. At least now we know where some of the strange things some Catholic come up with orginates.
I couldnt agree more. I appreciate that passions can run high on these threads and I know that while we all strive to belong to God, God does not belong to any single denomination or any individuals. We will all be judged by how closely we strive to know the Truth and follow what we believe the Truth to be. We should judge each other similarly.
Sin, after all is the conscious choice to do what we believe to be wrong and therefore a rejection of God. We serve God when we see to our own Salvation and speak His truth. We don't have to agree with each other what that Truth or sin might be.
Like sincere Protestants we devout Catholics hold a set of beliefs that we sincerely believe accurately reflect the entire revealed Word and that we will be judged by. Derogatory comments about ones beliefs, ones Church, and ones clergy, and thinly veiled insults regarding the validity of ones beliefs or our motivations in no way serve the Holy Spirit in whose name we should be acting. Gross mischaracterizations about examples of obvious apostates and reprobates somehow representing all of the sincere members of any church only serve to damn their authors. The Catholic Church is not served by lies about Protestantism and Protestantism is not served by lies about the Catholic Church. Those posters who resort to lies, half-truths and mischarcterizations should not be rewarded by engaging and validating them, however the stain of their lies should be addressed.
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus be cursed, and no one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. - 1 Corinthians 12:3
May the Spirit be with you.
Where did I say that?
It makes no sense for me to try to carry on an adult argument with someone who doesn't even bother with what I write, and goes after groundless prejudices attributed to me.
That is bigotry by definition. But without that presumption, your entire response to me falls apart.
Don't presume to give me verses to read, with which I am quite familiar, until you are ready to make the effort to read what I've actually written, not what you wish I wrote.
I do not know how I could have qualified my comments about the second birth any more.
I must therefore conclude you are either being willfully obtuse for the purpose of maintaining your line of reasoning, or not bothering to read what I write, for you to imply I think being born again is thought by anyone to be a physical process.
As that initial premise is flawed, the rest of your restatement of Protestant reasoning is fatuous, and it still remains for you to answer the dilemma I posed.
Only you can determine whether or not the comment is productive.
With full 20/20 hindsight you are right.
You asked for specifics. I gave you one.
That you regurgitate your unscriptural excuse for ignoring it is none of my concern.
No one replies. No one says a word. The disagreeing, misunderstanding, the ignoring goes on and on. So...
God is going to bring Christianity together and He tells
you how in prophecy and it’s written in Scripture. Maybe,
those who ignore prophecy so disbelieve God could do it, that it could happen...”soon.”
Somebody reply for Heaven’s sake. Revelation 6:16-17
concerns the Great Warning, the Second Pentecost...oh,
and happy feast day to you all today!
Seeeee....how the very words from Rev 6:16-17 are explained in the prophetic.
love to you all,
_ _ _ _ _
And they say to the mountains and the rocks: Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb:  For the great day of their wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?
GOD SPEAKS WILL YOU LISTEN
June, 07 A.M.
The Secrets of Mans Hearts
...My people lay aside your secret sins. Focus on your Jesus, not on this world. REMOVE the sins from your life now in the hour of mercy by the light of my spirit. ALL OF MANKIND WILL SOON HAVE MY LIGHT SHINE INTO THEIR SOULS. WILL YOU BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THAT DAY? OR WILL YOU CRY TO THE ROCKS AND THE MOUNTAINS TO COVER YOU AND TO TRY AND HIDE FROM MY PRESENCE? Better to be humble in my sight today than to wait until that hour. Take advantage of my mercies and graces today. For now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation. Do not presume on my mercy. Cleanse your soul in my precious blood and make your soul acceptable in my sight today. The words of the Lord.
see page 42
What you described above is not on Pauls list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:10. You want so BADLY to believe private
interpretation of Scripture. No way, its heresy.
“If that is so then please, explain what discernment of spirits is, what did Paul mean?”
~ ~ ~
Hi, I didn’t forget you, you asked about the meaning
discernment of spirits. I don’t think it involves as you
said to metmom, the “ability of some individuals in the congregations to distinguish between true and false writings. (1 Cor, 12:10)”
In my own words, it is the gift to discern what is influencing you, the good or the bad.
“Discerning whether the good spirit (the influence of God, the Church, one’s soul) or the bad spirit (the influence of Satan, the world, the flesh) is at work requires calm, rational reflection. The good spirit brings us to peaceful, joyful decisions. The bad spirit often brings us to make quick, emotional, conflicted decisions.”
Ignatius of Loyola taught on the discernment of spirits.
St. Ignatius Loyola: Rules for Spiritual Discernment
FOR PERCEIVING AND KNOWING IN SOME MANNER THE DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS WHICH ARE CAUSED IN THE SOUL THE GOOD, TO RECEIVE THEM, AND THE BAD TO REJECT THEM.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Reading the mind of another Freeper is a form of “making it personal.”
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
~ ~ ~
Count your Change wasn’t defending private judgment in his comment to metmom? Should I post the entire reply? It read that way to me, it wasn’t Catholic.
I then posted private judgment is not contained in the gifts listed in 1 Cor 12:10. I asked...list which gift please. CYC replied with the gift of the discernment of spirits.
So, we’ve been discussing.
Have you missed the personal attacks on Catholics here?
There’s a snide one in almost every post.
You don't understand!
It's not personal or mind-reading when Metmom points to me and says Catholics don't know Scripture, because she's talking about ALL Catholics!
Now don't you feel better?
“Now don’t you feel better?”
~ ~ ~
A little...thank you.
I gotta forget prophecy states, the Remnant is Roman Catholic. We’re trying to help with discussion of our differences...right? Then, when events happen...
It’s not so bad. All you have to do is think like a bigot and refer to ALL Protestants instead of the one you’re arguing with, and the mod will leave you alone.
From my experience, it doesn’t matter how stupid, narrow-minded, or slanderous you are as long as you accuse them all of it.
Of course, that’s also why many of us Catholics don’t bother much with the Religion Forum.
I personally believe the Protestants here bash Catholics, without us even participating, because they convince themselves that vain thrill of self-righteous indignation is actually the Holy Spirit stirring in them. That way, they don’t even notice when God is ignoring them for sins any more subtle than “lyin’, cheatin’, or stealin’.”
What I HAVE said is God's spirit was required just as Jesus said he would send to bring knowledge and correct recollection to the minds of the disciples. (John 14:26).
Some sort of internal attitude check is not the sense of diakriseis since Paul was pointing to miraculous gifts of tongues, prophecy, knowledge, wisdom.
At Hebrews 5:14 Paul uses the term diakriseis in the sense of discriminating one from the other, right and wrong teachings.
It was that ability to “discern spirits” that allowed Peter to detect Ananias’ lie and that of his wife. (Acts 5:1-10).
No private interpretation involved, it was God's spirit acting upon these persons.
“It is noteworthy that one of the gifts of the spirit Paul listed was the ability of some individuals in the congregations to distinguish between true and false writings. (1 Cor, 12:10)
Thus something like the gospel accounts might be accepted as part of the Bible canon immediately as they were quickly circulated while other writings like Jude's might take far longer but it through the operation of God's spirit that the cnon(canon) was set not the imprimatur of councils.
This same spirit of discernment would weed many false writings such the numerous pseudo-gospels and frauds such as The Infancy Gospels of James or Thomas.
With John's writings we have the completed canon to compare anything that purports to be scripture with and so that special gift of discernment is no longer needed as Paul foretold. (1 Cor. 13:8-13)”
I choose my words carefully so I only mean what I say and I've made a case for gifts of discernment by virtue of God's holy spirit of what claims inspiration (spirits) or truth.
Uhhhhhhhhh . . . nope. Not an accurate prophecy, if so . . .
Hyper-parochialism is no more fitting for the RCC's than it was for the pharisees 2,000 years ago . . .