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8 Reasons Why Rome Still Calls PCA Pastor/ex Catholic on the ways Rome appeals to those who left
The Aquila Report ^ | March 18, 2013 | Dr. Christopher Faria, D. Min, Ph.D.

Posted on 03/18/2013 5:57:38 AM PDT by Gamecock

Full Title: 8 Reasons Why Rome Still Calls PCA Pastor and Former Catholic on the ways Rome appeals to those who have left

1. It represents the religion of my youth I grew up Roman Catholic, attended Catholic Grammar School and high school. I was a member of a Catholic youth group the Columbian Squires, and the State Chief Squire of California. My friends, family, and social group were all Catholics. There is a strong sense of common values and community in the local Catholic Church that is often rarely duplicated in the local Protestant church.

2. It pulls on my legalism Our fallen ‘natural’ setting is that of works. And as Michael Horton has said the entire ceremony of the mass is designed as a theology of approach. From the act of confession prior to the Mass, dipping the hand in holy water, genuflection, up to the moment of ‘consecration’ of the Eucharist, it is all designed to purify the parishioner to make him worthy of receiving Christ. It gives me something to do. The Mass is the quintessential ‘do better’ meal.

3. It draws on my idolatry All eyes were on Rome with the election of a new pope. We long inside for a worshipful connection to God, ever since being booted from the Garden for our self-worshipping idolatry. Augustine said, “Our hearts our restless until we find rest in thee.” Our legitimate, God-ordained mediator is Jesus Christ but our fallen hearts are temporarily satisfied with a flesh-and-blood man in white with red shoes as the “Vicar of Christ.” The problem comes when the mediator retires- no idol ever promised, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”

4. It mesmerizes my eyes. In the postmodern, emergent, post-Christian church hungry to try and connect with first century Christianity I’ve often said we should stop monkeying around with all of the candles and just go back to Rome if we’re going to go this route. Rome has better sets, costumes, props, and scripts. I’ve been in the Sistine chapel and it is a feast for the eyes. There is a scene from the movie the Godfather II where a priest goes through an old neighborhood with the elevated Monstrance (essentially a holder for the consecrated Eucharist) and worshippers follow, fawn, and kiss it. Believe it or not, this harkens back to my childhood many times when I actually thought Jesus was inside of it.

4. It appeals to my lack of faith Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen. Rome’s posture is exactly opposite of this. In arguing with Catholics over images priests told Calvin that images help people who cannot read to understand the Bible. Calvin said, “Teach them to read.” Growing up Catholic I saw Jesus on the cross every Sunday, St. Patrick in the school hallway, Mary stepping on a snake, baby Jesus with a small globe. They were just part and parcel of my youth. You don’t need faith to be a Catholic. It is literally right in front of your eyes.

5. It teeters on the mystical The “smells and bells,” the elevation of the Eucharist, the sparkle priestly robes, the twinkle of the candles hark back to a time when people actually believed in something holy. A remarkable thought in our present day profane society. And this taps into the postmodern value of one’s experience is what is true, a recapturing of Eden, of what seems now to be lost to us.

7. It permits my autonomy There is the “official Roman Catholic Doctrine” reflected in Church Councils and in the catechism, papal decrees and such. Then there is what the average Catholic believes. And the gap between the two is wider than the Grand Canyon. Ever since the Reformation the Roman Catholic Church has essentially lost its teeth to enforce its doctrine. So the average Catholic can believe what he or she wants, appealing to a plethora of saints, or not, divorcing and remarrying for a fee (I know because this happened to my parents). I can be a ‘good Catholic’ and virtually believe whatever I want, mix in whatever I want and stay in the good graces of the church.

8. It legitimizes my isolation No matter how long I stay away that I can always come back. Official Catholic doctrine states I am one of the “separated brethren.” Rome’s current thrust is seen in their program “Catholics Come Home.” The door is open. And like the old commercial for Motel 6, “We’ll leave the light on.” The only problem is that there is darkness inside. ______________

Dr. Christopher Faria, D. Min, Ph.D., is a retired Army Chaplain and PCA Teaching Elder Church Planter at Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship in Falcon, Colorado.


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: rome

1 posted on 03/18/2013 5:57:38 AM PDT by Gamecock
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To: Dutchboy88; Alex Murphy; blue-duncan; RnMomof7; Dr. Eckleburg; jboot

Ping....


2 posted on 03/18/2013 6:00:32 AM PDT by Gamecock ( If we distort the gospel, that distortion will influence and affect everything else that we believe)
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To: Gamecock
In arguing with Catholics over images priests told Calvin that images help people who cannot read to understand the Bible. Calvin said, “Teach them to read.”
...the Puritans had "a more elevated and complete view" of our social duties than the Europeans of that time. They took care of the poor, maintained their highways, kept careful records and registries, secured law and order, and, most of all, provided education for everyone — through high school. The purpose of universal education was that everyone should be able to read the Bible to know what's most important — his or her duties to their Creator — for themselves. Everyone must read in order that no one be deceived or suckered by others. This noncondescending egalitarianism was the first source of the American popular enlightenment that had so many practical benefits. "Puritan civilization in North American," our outstanding novelist/essayist Marilynne Robinson observes, "quickly achieved unprecedented levels of literacy, longevity, and mass prosperity, or happiness, as it was called in those days"....

....In Robinson's Calvinist view, generosity, liberality, and nobility are all synonyms in the Bible, and they express even better than charity the virtue that distinguishes who we are. What's left our culture, with our surrender of the common celebration of Sunday — what impressed Tocqueville as our most precious inheritance from the Puritans — is the respect, and so the time, for the disciplined reading and reflection required for us to practice the social, civilized virtues that are the truest source of our happiness.
-- from the thread Thanking the Puritans on Thanksgiving: Pilgrims' politics and American virtue


3 posted on 03/18/2013 6:31:49 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: Gamecock
"The only problem is that there is darkness inside."

The reason there is "darkness inside" is the RCC has a VERY low view of the Word of God.

A low view of its Authorship, of its Authority, of its Power, of its Function, of its Completeness, of its Utility, of its Life, of its Activity, etc etc etc.

When they kicked the Word out of their church, they kicked out the voice of God, as well.


4 posted on 03/18/2013 8:15:28 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

Wow. I have no idea what darkness you are talking about.
The Word is Christ. Christ is the center of the faith. That’s not dark. That’s real consolation.

“God is good. All the time.” is a saying that is very common in my parish. Not sounding dark to me. And even when the focus is on Christ’s sacrifice and suffering, as on Good Friday, the underlying “vibe” if you will is of Christ with us, and deep gratitude. And the Gospel account of Christ’s passion and death is shared and reflected on at that time. The Word is there at the center of it.

Also, if you fear that Catholics have neglected the Word, you must be happy to know then, that there are many Catholics who are getting much better acquainted with the Bible.

I’m a lector at Church. I get to proclaim readings from the Old Testament or the Letters of Paul. To do this, I read and contemplate deeply what I am saying, starting a week beforehand, and practice a lot, and the process is very edifying. There are probably 40 lectors at my parish, all doing the same sort of preparation and reflection every week. Does it gratify you to know that there are so many Catholics out there, worldwide, who are not merely taking a passing glance at the Bible, but truly and deeply contemplating and proclaiming the Word?

What if, by praying for the Church and its members, that they grow in love of the Bible, and truer to the Word, you could actually help bring it ever closer to God? Would you do that?


5 posted on 03/18/2013 9:41:39 AM PDT by married21
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To: married21

Are you born again?


6 posted on 03/18/2013 10:02:23 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

I’m confirmed. That is the sacrament where I received the Holy Spirit and made my adult-level commitment to faith (as opposed to baptism, where I was just an infant). It comes from the Bible (Acts), where the Spirit comes on the disciples and they now have what it takes to go forth and spread the Good News.

That’s not exactly what Protestants have in mind, I think, when they are born again, in that it seems like the Holy Spirit connects with them under individual, private circumstances, and they make a personal commitment to Christ. But it is similarly a gift of the presence of the Holy Spirit, to which the person responds with a commitment to a life converted to Christ.

Not to say that some don’t just slide through the confirmation program without thinking about it, but then some people who are born again backslide, too. (Wasn’t Larry Flynt born again back in the 80s? Bob Dylan?)


7 posted on 03/18/2013 10:21:49 AM PDT by married21
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To: fishtank

You wrote:

“...the RCC has a VERY low view of the Word of God.”

That’s an outright falsehood.


8 posted on 03/18/2013 10:34:26 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: married21; fishtank

married21 — Jesus commanded His followers to be “born again.” It seems that you’re hesitant to embrace a term that He came up with, which I find puzzling.


9 posted on 03/18/2013 10:44:47 AM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: vladimir998

I ask you, then: “Are you born again”?

Those who have a “low view of the Word of God” will distance themselves from the “born again” question, though it is a biblical concept.


10 posted on 03/18/2013 10:47:44 AM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: Theo

I was afraid if I said I was born again through my confirmation I would open up some disagreement about what born again means or whether I “qualify”.

I think I qualify. I will not be unduly surprised if you do not think so.

One thing I have encountered is that there is a language gap between Catholics and evangelicals. Plenty of room for people to misunderstand and lose patience with each other.

(I’m sure the devil just loves that sort of thing, since it brings out the worst in good people.)


11 posted on 03/18/2013 11:02:32 AM PDT by married21
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To: married21

If you are in Christ, then you “qualify.” It’s not a denominational thing. It’s a relational thing.

Not sure why there’s a “language gap” when it comes to biblical terms like “born again.” It’s right there in black and white (or red and white, depending on your Bible).


12 posted on 03/18/2013 11:11:42 AM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: married21

“...born again through my confirmation...”

As are Pelosi, Biden, and many others among the Dims who condone murder through abortion.


13 posted on 03/18/2013 11:38:51 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders.)
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To: Gamecock

Well without getting into the theological arguments, I would write that perhaps the author could approach this in a different way.

Notice that most of the reasons he lists are practices that appeal to the senses. So maybe we are meant to worship God with our whole selves, not just intellectually. Now the question for a person who believes using our senses in worship means falling prey to idolatry is how to do this without such error?

If your whole body longs to experience the sacred, the first thing one must do is make sure the sacred spaces are somehow distinguishable from the profane one. You don’t need to have statues or crucifixes to do this. It can be done by laying out a church in the shape of a cross. It can be done by placing a Baptismal font at the entrance of the nave as a reminder of the beginning of our Christian life. It can be done by giving prominence to the Gospel pulpit. Even such things as choice of lighting can make a place more inviting for turning our thoughts to the sacred.

The smells and bells can be met by beautiful, faith affirming and defending hymns and if your church permits flowers in the sanctuary. No reason for elaborate ritual.

We long for God and He has used things of earthly beauty to reveal His existence to us. There is no reason to shut out this beauty from our churches for fear they will take our eyes off of Him. As long they are kept in the supporting role and the true star remains Christ.


14 posted on 03/18/2013 11:41:26 AM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

Confirmation didn’t cause that. Not taking it seriously may have contributed, however. Many pearls of faith are unfortunately cast before swine.


15 posted on 03/18/2013 12:31:35 PM PDT by married21
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To: married21

We are told to beware of them...

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20 DRB)

We may not be able to see into their hearts, but we can see their fruits, and will know them by their fruits. These are not the fruits of one ‘born again’. It is a heart matter. Neither ‘responding to an alter call’, nor ‘confirmation’ results in ‘being born again’ unless hearts are changed. Their fruits testify to the state of their ‘hearts’.


16 posted on 03/18/2013 1:37:57 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders.)
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To: married21

From the age of 13 until age 23, I thought I was born again “through my confirmation”.

At about age 23, I was invited to read the Bible with a co-worker. We started in the letter to the Ephesians, and I used my Douay-Rheims translation:

Somewhere in that passage, as I was reading, I got born again by faith. I got saved by God through faith in Christ, and I realized that my 10 years of trusting in my confirmation and baptism was wrong.

God showed me the I was wrong, but that His Word is correct.

” And you, when you were dead in your offences, and sins,
2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief:
3 In which also we all conversed in time past, in the desires of our flesh, fulfilling the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:
4 But God, (who is rich in mercy,) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by whose grace you are saved,)
6 And hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus.
7 That he might shew in the ages to come the abundant riches of his grace, in his bounty towards us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God;
9 Not of works, that no man may glory.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.”


17 posted on 03/18/2013 3:57:37 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: married21

1 Peter 1:23

"Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever."

Douay-Rheims 1899

I am now saved from the eternal punishment of hell - I stand on the eternal promises of Christ.

see John 5:24

18 posted on 03/18/2013 4:02:49 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Theo

I think we have told you before that all Catholics are “born again” due to their baptism.

Why do you keep ranting like this?


19 posted on 03/18/2013 4:47:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Gamecock

PCA — Presbyterian Cult of Apostasy?


20 posted on 03/18/2013 4:49:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Gamecock

Just kidding, just kidding........


21 posted on 03/18/2013 4:59:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

No, you haven’t.

You think that my comments are “ranting”?

Are you sure you’re replying to the right person?

Odd.


22 posted on 03/18/2013 6:09:16 PM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: Theo

With enough repeats, an objection turns into a rant.


23 posted on 03/18/2013 6:57:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Theo

you wrote:

“I ask you, then: “Are you born again”?

Yes, I am.

“Those who have a “low view of the Word of God” will distance themselves from the “born again” question, though it is a biblical concept.”

Some might I suppose, but I think others have a high regard for scripture, but don’t see things as you do.


24 posted on 03/18/2013 8:43:22 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Salvation
Hello.

I urge you in the Name of Christ to consider the basis of your claim about being born again due to infant baptism. I was baptized as an infant in the RCC. My parents were very devout and faithful Catholics, but I was NOT saved due to that ceremony.

I got save by reading the Word of God (the Douay-Rheims actually). In the second chapter of Ephesians, God wrestled with my heart, pinned me, convinced me the I was wrong and that He is correct, true and trustworthy in His Word.

THAT is when he caused me to be born again, and when my heart was circumcised. Not before.

This is my story.

This is my song.

1 Peter 1:23 "Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever."

Douay-Rheims 1899

25 posted on 03/19/2013 8:19:13 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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