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Why I'm Catholic
Et tu? ^ | 2007 | Jennifer F.

Posted on 04/15/2008 8:02:36 PM PDT by annalex

Why I'm Catholic

I am asked with increasing frequency why I converted to Catholicism as opposed to one of the other Christian denominations. Though this blog is sort of one long conversion story, I've never put together a post summarizing that part of my journey because that subject matter can be a hot (and divisive) topic.

Also, these types of posts are often interpreted to have an implication that people who have had different experiences and have come to different conclusions about religion and God are wrong and therefore not going to be saved. I want to make it really clear that that is not what I believe (nor what the Church believes -- in fact, one of the many things that resonated as true about Catholic teaching is the belief that non-Catholics and non-Christians could also go to heaven).

Anyway, I've decided to go ahead and write about that part of the conversion process, but I want to add a big disclaimer that I'm sharing this in the spirit of telling my story. I am far too concerned about what I see happening in the world today to have any interest in causing division among Christians. We're in this together.

As always, please take this for what it is: the ramblings of some fool with an internet connection. :) Take it (and everything else I write) with a grain of salt.


-------------------

My search for God really began in earnest when I started reading up on Christianity. For a couple years I'd been making half-hearted attempts to open my mind to the possibility of God's existence but it never really went anywhere. And then I stumbled across some reasonable Christian writers who laid out a logical case for Jesus having actually existed, the events as described in the New Testament having actually happened, and for Jesus being who he said he was (former atheist Lee Strobel's Case for Christ has a nice, quick summary). Not that these authors "proved" their case irrefutably or that no arguments could be made against them, but they had a much more compelling, evidence-based case than I'd thought they had. I was intrigued.

I decided to see what it meant to be a Christian. Some bad childhood experiences had left me with a bad taste in my mouth about the religion, but I decided to give it my best effort to start fresh, exploring this belief system with an open mind. I bought a copy of the Bible.

Before I even opened the cover, we had a problem.

I wanted to know if the people who did the English translation of this version were said to have been inspired by God as the writers of the original texts were. When I found out the answer was no, I was concerned. Translators have a lot of leeway and can really impact a text. If this book could potentially be the key to people knowing or not knowing God, I was uneasy about reading a 21st century English version of texts that were written in far different cultures thousands of years ago, translated by average people. Could God not have inspired all translators? Though I was concerned, I decided to set the issue aside for the time being and move on.

Somewhere around page two, we had another problem.

I found the creation story fit surprisingly well with what we know of the origin of the universe through science, albeit in symbolic form. I could definitely believe that this was true. I could not, however, believe that it was a journalistic style account of events, like something you'd read in the newspaper. So I immediately needed to know: is it required of Christians to believe that Genesis is to be taken literally? I asked people and looked around online, and quickly found that there was not unanimous agreement on this. I found people who laid out a pretty good case that, yes, it is required of Christians to believe that Genesis is a literal, blow-by-blow description of events that happened about 6,000 years ago; yet others made a good case that Christians should believe that it is truth conveyed through symbolism. I really couldn't tell who I should believe.

I decided to move on and get to what I really wanted to know about: the Christian moral code. One of the things that had originally piqued my interest in religion in the first place was the fact that humans throughout history have all had this same sense that objective truth exists, what is "right" and "wrong" is not subjective. Also, I had begun to feel confused and lost when I looked at the world around me. This was around the time of the Terri Schiavo controversy, and when I tried to weigh issues like that, as well as the other big ethical dilemmas like human cloning, research on embryos, etc. I just felt sad and adrift. I really didn't know what was right or wrong, yet I had this vague sense that a true "right" answer must be out there somewhere. If there was a God, surely he had opinions about these things. And surely he could guide me to find them.

So I picked the Bible back up and continued reading.

One example of the type of answers I was searching for was what Christianity had to say about abortion. At the time I considered myself staunchly "pro-choice", yet something had started to nag at me about that position. I felt uneasy about the whole thing, and wanted to know if Christianity said that God is OK with abortion or not. I read through the New Testament (eventually reading it cover to cover), and couldn't find much. I kept instinctively flipping to the last page for some sort of answer key. How was I supposed to find the part where God tells us what he thinks about terminating pregnancies? Someone recommended that I get a concordance. I was happy to do that, but it felt strange: in order to know how to live as a Christian you need a Bible and a concordance? And were the writers of the concordance inspired? What if they missed something big or made a mistake?

I wasn't coming up with much so I Googled around to see what Christians had to say about it. And I found as many different opinions as I found people, everyone offering Bible verses to back up their claims. Each person stated their interpretation confidently as a fact -- yet they contradicted one another. When I looked up the verses they cited in my own Bible, sometimes I felt they were right-on, other times I felt they were taken out of context, and other times I didn't even know what the context was (e.g. some Old Testament verses where I just had no idea what was going on).

What frequently happened when I was looking for Biblical answers to my ethical dilemmas was that I'd read two contradictory opinions from two different Christians. I'd decide that Christian #1 made the best case based on Scripture, so I had my answer. But then Christian #2 would come back with a new verse that I'd never seen before that shed new light on it, and then I'd think his case must be the right one. And then Christian #1 would come up with yet another verse and I'd think he had the right answer. And then...well, you get the idea. It seemed that in order to form my own opinion about any of these issues I'd have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible to make sure I didn't miss anything.

So I started reading. I decided to skip ahead to the New Testament since that's where Jesus comes in. And, as with the Old Testament, we quickly had a problem. Here is a sort of sample discussion I'd have with whatever Christian I could find to pester with questions:

ME: Ack! I just read this part in the New Testament where Jesus tells some rich dude he has to give away all his stuff! If I decide this Christianity thing is true am I going to have to give away all my stuff?! [Worried glace at brand new Dell Inspiron laptop.]

FRIEND: Hah! No, don't worry, Jesus was just talking to that one guy.

ME: Where does it say that? Does he later clarify that that instruction was only for that one guy?

FRIEND: No, but that's clearly how he meant it.

ME: That's not clear to me. Anyway, there's this part where he tells this woman Martha that her sister Mary did the right thing by putting Jesus before trivial stuff. Was that only a lesson for her?

CHRISTIAN: No, that's a lesson for all of us.

ME: [Flipping to last page to look for answer key.] Where is that clarified?

This usually ended with my Christian acquaintances telling me to let the Holy Spirit guide me (and probably making a mental note to find less annoying friends). Even though I wasn't sure I believed in God, I had been praying through this whole process. So I prayed for guidance. I asked God to lead me to the right conclusion about all these questions, to speak to me through Scripture about everything from abortion and experimentation on human embryos to whether or not I needed to give away all my stuff.

After a while of praying, reading the Bible, and visiting some churches, I felt like I had some conclusions. I decided that a good Biblical case could be made for "a woman's right to choose" (as I thought of it then), that I didn't need to give away all my stuff, that it was probably OK to experiment on embryos if it was for curing diseases, etc. I'd felt led to these conclusions, presumably by God, and had found some scriptures that would seem to support them.

But something didn't feel right.

As I continued thinking and praying about whether or not I'd come to the right conclusions about what God wants for us, I realized what the problem was, the reason I couldn't relax: I couldn't trust myself. You have to understand, I am a seriously sinful, selfish person. I realized that my self-serving nature severely clouded my ability to be confident in my interpretation Scripture. I had some pretty passionate opinions about all of these issues, and it was so hard to tell what was leading me to my conclusions. Was my decision that the Bible would be OK with me continuing in my comfy American lifestyle led by the "Holy Spirit" or "Jen's seriously deep desire not to give away all her stuff"? I couldn't tell.

My confusion about all of this made me wonder how people who are severely unintelligent could use the Bible as their guide. I'm probably in the middle of the Bell curve on intelligence, and I was really struggling. For that matter, what about the illiterate? Widespread literacy is a relatively recent phenomenon, yet people who couldn't read couldn't use the Bible as their guide. They'd have to go through another, fallible person, which seemed dangerous.

Taking all of this as a whole, the writing was on the wall, so to speak. Christianity did not seem to be the path to God, if he even did exist. At least not for me. I just couldn't trust myself to to get it right. I felt as adrift as ever in terms of the big ethical questions of our day. Though I thought I might have "experienced" God or the Holy Spirit or something from outside the material world a few times in my exploration, using the Christian holy book to find out how God would want me to live was just not working. I was leaning towards moving on to the next religion, seeking God through some other belief system. I prayed for guidance.


Around this time someone told me that one of the Christian denominations claimed that God did leave us this "answer key" I'd been yearning for. I found out that the Catholic Church claimed to be a sort of divinely-guided Supreme Court, that God guided this Church to be inerrant in its official proclamations about what is right and wrong, how to interpret the Bible, how to know Jesus Christ, and all other questions of God and what he wants us to do. I heard that it claims that God speaks to us through sacred Scripture and through the sacred Tradition of his living Church.

That got my attention.

Clearly there was a need for this. Surely I was not the only person to ever feel lost in the world, unable to trust myself to objectively interpret the Bible to discern what God wants from us, unable to clearly tell which of my conclusions about right and wrong were guided by the Holy Spirit and which were guided by deeply-rooted selfishness (or perhaps something worse).

Now, obviously I wasn't going to become Catholic. I mean, the Catholic Church is weird and antiquated and sometimes the people in it do seriously bad stuff. But I was interested to at least explore this line of thinking and see what I found.

I could have never, ever imagined what I'd find. Reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church was like nothing I'd ever experienced. This was truth. I knew it. I'd finally found it. It described God, our relationship to him, the Bible, Jesus, moral truths -- the entire human experience -- in a way that resonated on a deep level.

When I started living my life according to Catholic teaching the proof was, as they say, in the pudding. It worked. It worked better than I could have ever guessed it would. And since I've been able to receive what they say is really the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, my soul, my entire life, has changed profoundly. But that is whole separate story (and, really, the main subject of this blog). To summarize my experience, I leave you with a quote from G.K. Chesterton, writing about why he converted to orthodox Catholicism:

I do it because the [Catholic Church] has not merely told this truth or that truth, but has revealed itself as a truth-telling thing. All other philosophies say the things that plainly seem to be true; only this philosophy has again and again said the thing that does not seem to be true, but is true. Alone of all creeds it is convincing where it is not attractive; it turns out to be right, like my father in the garden.

My thoughts exactly.

Again, I share this not to cause division, but for the same reason anyone talks about anything they love -- that mysterious desire we all have to shout from the rooftops about the things that we find to be profound, beautiful, and true.


RELATED POSTS: On having proof; Love and conversion

Labels: , , , , ,


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism
KEYWORDS: catholic

1 posted on 04/15/2008 8:02:36 PM PDT by annalex
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To: 353FMG; Always Right; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; ...
50 Days of Easter 2008 Celebration ping, dedicated to converts to the Catholic faith. If you want to be on the list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Happy Easter. Christ is risen!

Alex.


Previously posted conversion stories:

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray

2 posted on 04/15/2008 8:03:34 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
(nor what the Church believes -- in fact, one of the many things that resonated as true about Catholic teaching is the belief that non-Catholics and non-Christians could also go to heaven).

Does this mean you are gonna stop praying for the lost souls who do not want to pray to Mary for intercession?

3 posted on 04/15/2008 8:05:44 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: swampdweller

I’m pinging myself.


4 posted on 04/15/2008 8:14:46 PM PDT by swampdweller
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To: swampdweller

Doesn’t that lead to blindness and hairy palms?


5 posted on 04/15/2008 8:18:10 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: Always Right
Does this mean you are gonna stop praying for the lost souls who do not want to pray to Mary for intercession?

Annalex's post/conversion story didn't mention Mary.

6 posted on 04/15/2008 8:21:06 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: sockmonkey; annalex
Annalex's post/conversion story didn't mention Mary.

Doesn't have to. It is insulting that Annalex thinks anyone who wishes to be taken off the ping lists needs to have their soul prayed for.

7 posted on 04/15/2008 8:23:38 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: annalex

bump


8 posted on 04/15/2008 8:43:28 PM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: annalex

“resonated as true about Catholic teaching is the belief that non-Catholics and non-Christians could also go to heaven”: I am sorry but, I have no problem with the non-Catholic Christian part going to heaven, but if you believe non-Christians are going to heaven you are mistaken.

It may not be “Pc”, but anyone that rejects the the truth that Jesus is “the truth, the life and the way, no one comes to The Father, but by Me (Jesus)”, then they will not be forgiven by Christ on the day of Judgement!


9 posted on 04/15/2008 8:45:27 PM PDT by JSDude1 (Tis only a “protest” vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd. -pissan)
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To: annalex
Um...yeah, my middle name is Gerard. My Mother prayed to St. Gerard for a first born son...it worked so it must be effective huh? Catholicism is sad in that it propagates the notion that prayers offered up to anyone or thing but the Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Prayers offered to so called “saints”, Mary or anything else are a diversion from the one true God. Some of my cousins were just “confirmed”...I want to ask them, “confirmed to what?” Unfortunately (yeah, again) this was not their choice, but a choice their parents made, thus not a true conversion at all. Just a good show, and another reason for food and a family get together. No Christ, no salvation; its just stuff that makes me feel better about myself.
10 posted on 04/15/2008 9:30:23 PM PDT by TheGunny (Re-read 1&2 Corinthians)
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To: TheGunny
Prayers offered to so called "saints", Mary or anything else are a diversion from the one true God.

According to whom?

Does love for your children divert love from your spouse?

11 posted on 04/15/2008 9:39:46 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: TheGunny

Catholic Church was Founded by Christ... do you really think he would allow Saints and the Rosary and the Like without his blessing. More is expected of Catholics it is a Real Shame that Non Catholics Miss the Body Blood soul and Divinity of Christ in Communion! Confession having your sins Forgiven by Christ representative on Earth. Too experience St Faustina first Saint of the 21st century in the 1930’s writing a Diary as Commanded By Jesus Christ Himself about what Makes him Happy and Sad on Living our lives on Earth. He also mentions in the 1930’s that the Slaughter of the Unborn Innocents is the Most Horrendous crime of all time. That was when Margaret Sangor set up the Family Birth Control League the precursor to Planned parenthood.

The catholic Church was the ROCK that has always stood Firm against SIN like Abortion.. and Many Other sad situations accepted By our secular Society and The Moral relativist. Gang! The Manmade Religion followers suffered as a result!


12 posted on 04/15/2008 9:47:03 PM PDT by philly-d-kidder (From Kuwait where the Weather is always Partly Sandy!)
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To: philly-d-kidder
do you really think he would allow Saints and the Rosary and the Like without his blessing?

Obviously He has...He has also let the blind lead the blind into the ditch...

If you can trace your lineage back to Jesus Christ, sure you are member of His Body...Just as I can trace my lineage back to Jesus...I was 'begat' by Jesus...

Your religion on the other hand, took a left turn while the Apostle Paul was teaching the Galatians...

In fact, Paul was recruiting the Gentiles for the Adoption into the Body of Jesus Christ while he was in Rome...

Jesus gave Paul an additional Gospel to preach and teach...The Gospel of the Grace of God...
Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

That's where your church took a left turn...

Paul was the top dog in the 'adopted' Gentile church while in Rome, or any where else for that matter...It is ludicrous to even suggest that the Apostle Paul was subservient to a bishop in Rome that someone determined (according to Your history) would be 1st in line after Peter...This wasn't Peter's idea or he would have recorded it...

And it's just as ludicrous to think that Peter's first in line bishop would have charge over Paul's Gentile church when Peter's ministry was to the Jews...

Jesus may have started your church, and my church and many other offshoots, but your church in the original form couldn't have lasted more than a few years...

13 posted on 04/16/2008 5:49:41 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: annalex
Around this time someone told me that one of the Christian denominations claimed that God did leave us this "answer key" I'd been yearning for. I found out that the Catholic Church claimed to be a sort of divinely-guided Supreme Court, that God guided this Church to be inerrant in its official proclamations about what is right and wrong, how to interpret the Bible, how to know Jesus Christ, and all other questions of God and what he wants us to do. I heard that it claims that God speaks to us through sacred Scripture and through the sacred Tradition of his living Church.

That got my attention.

******************

Heh. :)

14 posted on 04/16/2008 6:10:02 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Iscool
"And it's just as ludicrous to think that Peter's first in line bishop would have charge over Paul's Gentile church when Peter's ministry was to the Jews...

Of course, you willfully neglect the FACT that the first Gentiles were brought into the Church by Peter, under direct orders from God, and NOT by Paul--which totally demolishes your "argument".

ALL Apostles ministered to ALL Christians. True, Paul went MOSTLY to the Gentiles, mainly because a lot of Jewish Christians felt that he couldn't be trusted due to his early persecutions of them.

15 posted on 04/16/2008 6:36:41 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog
Of course, you willfully neglect the FACT that the first Gentiles were brought into the Church by Peter, under direct orders from God, and NOT by Paul--which totally demolishes your "argument".

your arguement's not with me, it's with God...

Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

ALL Apostles ministered to ALL Christians. True, Paul went MOSTLY to the Gentiles, mainly because a lot of Jewish Christians felt that he couldn't be trusted due to his early persecutions of them.

NO...Your church may teach you that but as you can see, God determined who would preach to and teach the Gentiles...And as you can see, it was Paul...So my arguement IS valid...

16 posted on 04/16/2008 7:09:47 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Always Right; sockmonkey
I generally pray for conversion of Protestants often, and say a prayer for everyone who attacks the Catholic Church before responding.

Not wishing to pray for Mary is not a sin; maligning those who do certainly is.

When someone wants off the list, I usually don't know the reason, I just pray for them. I also pray for my family quite a bit. It is not an act of aggression it is a prayer.

This is how every decade of the rosary concludes:

Jesus, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all soulds to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.

17 posted on 04/16/2008 7:17:32 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: JSDude1
anyone that rejects the the truth that Jesus is “the truth, the life and the way, no one comes to The Father, but by Me (Jesus)”, then they will not be forgiven by Christ on the day of Judgement!

First, it would be for Christ to decide that. I agree that the scripture says so, for our own benefit, but it is wrong to bind Christ Himself, and His infinite mercy, to a book, even His own.

Second, one comes to Christ at the moment of death whether he had believed in Him or not. That is because Christ is doing the judging, no one else. What Christ's judgement will be will depend on what the dying will do at that point. Many, we hope, if their soul was conditioned by good works of natural law, will be ready to embrace Him then.

18 posted on 04/16/2008 7:23:40 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: TheGunny

Prayers to saints are prayers to God. It is by His power that they are saints and work miracles. If God did not want you to venerate them, He would not grant them a single miracle.

However, it is possible to pray wrongly. It is possible to pray wrongly to God directly; it is possible to pray to a saint wrongly. If, in the hypothetical example that you offer, a prayer to a saint is a diversion, then one should not pray that and find a better way to pray.

Christ gave us an example of that. When a woman in the crowd cried out “blessed is the womb that bore You and the paps that gave You suck”, her veneration of Mary was sincere but a bit imprecise. It was stressing physiological motherhood. But Jesus wanted us to venerate all saints rather than His mother alone, and He wanted us to venerate them for reasons of their obedience to Him. So He corrected the woman: “Yes, rather blessed are these who hear the Word and keep it” (Luke 11).


19 posted on 04/16/2008 7:32:43 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool
That's where your church took a left turn...

We took Ephesians 2 out? We have no dispute with Sola Gratia.

ludicrous to think that Peter's first in line bishop would have charge over Paul's Gentile church when Peter's ministry was to the Jews...

Paul's Gentile church? Paul did not think of his ministry in this way at all: he stressed that he is an apostle of Christ who speeks with the authority of Christ to one Church of Christ into Whom all were baptized, and there were no Greek or Jew to Him. Further, St,. Peter baptized the first Gentile. The separation of function between Peter and Paul was tactical, not doctrinal anbd surely not administrative.

20 posted on 04/16/2008 7:38:58 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Second, one comes to Christ at the moment of death whether he had believed in Him or not. That is because Christ is doing the judging, no one else. What Christ’s judgement will be will depend on what the dying will do at that point. Many, we hope, if their soul was conditioned by good works of natural law, will be ready to embrace Him then.

The judgement, it doen’t say when it will happen (many believe after the book of revelations (the appocalypse).

But that isn’t true, by then it will be too late. One MUST decide before they die.

Secondly Christ Himself claimed that HE is the ONLY way! As much as we feel for non-Christians we MUST pray for them, and wittness of Christs love for them. If they reject Him, well then that’s their Choice, and God wouldn’t be just at letting them (not being covered by the sacrifice-purfied- that Christ shed on the cross) into His Holy Domain (Heaven). Only those that place their faith in Christ will be saved, and it isn’t by “good works of natural law” as much as we would wish it so. It is ONLY by faith, that’s all...it’s too simple, but then again it’s not!


21 posted on 04/16/2008 8:43:42 AM PDT by JSDude1 (Tis only a “protest” vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd. -pissan)
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To: JSDude1

There are two judgements, the parcitular judgement that occurs at the time of death of each human being, and then the Judgement Day at the end of times when the world is judged as a whole.

You seem to argue the point that no one is disputing. Christ is the sovereign judge of both judgements; if a non-Christian is ever saved, it is by Christ alone, and yes, it is only possible if the non-believer accepts Christ at the last moment of his life. This is a very intimate moment when a man is judged by Christ, which may justify a life of unbelief. The good works according to natural law do not sway the judgement unless the conversion to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ occurs by the movement of the free will. An example of such good works of the natural law and last moment conversion is the Good Thief on the cross.


22 posted on 04/16/2008 10:32:30 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

I am a Christian, non-Catholic so I can’t nor will discuss Cathoic terminology. I would like to let this converation be between those that love Christ, in Kindness and love. You stated “An example of such good works of the natural law and last moment conversion is the Good Thief on the cross”. This was not by human works, but by his FAITH in Christ alone, it was God’s work, not man’s that saved both he and us.

My point in this discussion is that non-Christians (those whom do not recieved Christ’s forgivness becuase they aren’t willing to give up controll of their lives..will not be “saved” by Christ at the judgement of their souls. It may not be PC, but is the truth!


23 posted on 04/16/2008 10:48:28 AM PDT by JSDude1 (Tis only a “protest” vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd. -pissan)
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To: JSDude1
This was not by human works, but by his FAITH in Christ alone, it was God’s work, not man’s that saved both he and us.

The Good Thief did everything the Church requires of him while not knowing it. He defended an innocently accused, he repented of his sin, he suffered for it, he acknowledged Christ's kingship, and he asked Christ for mercy. It is, indeed the Divine Grace that enabled the Good Thief to do all this work. The Good Thief worked out his salvation because he chose to. The Bad Thief chose not to. Christ loves both.

24 posted on 04/16/2008 12:50:31 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

“he asked Christ for mercy.”-bingo that’s exactly what he did, and that’s all he had to do!

None of the other “works” were necessary.

I guess if you want to respond and say somthing similar to the last two posts, then we ought to end this post now (not because I don’t like you, becuase I do, but becuase it is pointless, we will just be going in circles..

ALL I Have to say: And this I will end with is: Scripture claims that we are saved “by faith, through grace”..that’s all that’s necessary as far as I can see, and since God didn’t say we have to have works sanctioned by the Church to be saved, I’ll stick with The Word (of God). I emplore you in love to reread those passages that talk about faith in Christ being sufficient, I think mostly in the epistles by St. Paul. ;-). God Bless, -Jeremy.


25 posted on 04/16/2008 5:32:26 PM PDT by JSDude1 (Tis only a “protest” vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd. -pissan)
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To: JSDude1

I don’t think picking one verse out of the Bible and ignoring the rest of it because, hey, that’s all that’s necessary, — is an adequate plea for mercy.

The gospel tells us what the Good Thief did for a reason. The reason is to lead us to salvation.


26 posted on 04/16/2008 6:45:21 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

It’s like some bibles just don’t have the Epistle of St. James.


27 posted on 04/16/2008 6:47:31 PM PDT by Petronski (Vivat Benedict XVI!)
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To: Petronski

Or the book of Matthew, or the finishing chapters of every epistle of St. Paul, or...

Remove the call to obedience to the Gospel from the scripture and you have a few verses left without context.


28 posted on 04/16/2008 7:02:20 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool
"NO...Your church may teach you that but as you can see, God determined who would preach to and teach the Gentiles...And as you can see, it was Paul...So my arguement IS valid... "

No, dear boy, your argument is BS. Like all Protestants you try to solve the issue by taking a single verse out of context of the whole Bible.

The facts are that Paul ministered to both Gentiles and Jews, witness the references throughout the New Testament of his teaching in synagogues, as well as his having his disciple Timothy circumsized to placate the Jews he would be working with (or did you just conveniently "forget" those facts).

Obviously, Peter did the same, since he was the one who started the ministry to the Gentiles in the first place.

29 posted on 04/17/2008 6:56:59 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog
No, dear boy, your argument is BS. Like all Protestants you try to solve the issue by taking a single verse out of context of the whole Bible.

Well surely then you can explain what the context of these verses is...

Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

30 posted on 04/18/2008 7:20:37 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: annalex
Prayers to saints are prayers to God.

Yeah...you and your heretic cult need to repent and embrace the true and living God!

31 posted on 04/18/2008 9:09:28 AM PDT by TheGunny (Re-read 1&2 Corinthians)
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To: TheGunny

Repent of praying to God?


32 posted on 04/18/2008 9:53:15 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
The Apostles Paul and Peter both rebuked men when they rendered worship (prayer) to them. God used those miracles to authenticate the Apostolic ministry not to evoke worship or prayer! It sounds really nice, the words you wrote, but they unfortunately fall flat when confronted with sound Biblical Doctrine. Sell your tripe somewhere else.
33 posted on 04/18/2008 1:38:51 PM PDT by TheGunny (Re-read 1&2 Corinthians)
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To: TheGunny
The Apostles Paul and Peter both rebuked men when they rendered worship (prayer) to them.

10 And when the multitudes had seen what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice in the Lycaonian tongue, saying: The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men; 11 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter: but Paul, Mercury; because he was chief speaker. 12 The priest also of Jupiter that was before the city, bringing oxen and garlands before the gate, would have offered sacrifice with the people. 13 Which, when the apostles Barnabas and Paul had heard, rending their clothes, they leaped out among the people, crying, 14 And saying: Ye men, why do ye these things? We also are mortals, men like unto you, preaching to you to be converted from these vain things, to the living God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them: 15 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 16 Nevertheless he left not himself without testimony, doing good from heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 17 And speaking these things, they scarce restrained the people from sacrificing to them.

(Acts 14)

When you see us offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to Sts Paul and Barnabas, let me know.

Sell your tripe somewhere else.

This is a debate forum, Religion section. Where do you suggest I offer Catholic doctrines up for debate?

34 posted on 04/18/2008 2:08:04 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Please consult a Bible Lexicon/Dictionary or even a Topical index...Prayer is offered up as a sacrifice to the Throne of God! How dare we offer this to mortals dead or alive! Im done here, you can respond if you like but it will be for not.


35 posted on 04/18/2008 2:46:13 PM PDT by TheGunny (Re-read 1&2 Corinthians)
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To: annalex
When you see us offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to Sts Paul and Barnabas, let me know.

There is no Holy Sacrifice of the Mass...No one can offer God as a sacrifice other than God...

You can perform a ritual but I can't imagine God being too pleased about it...

Praying to dead people will be no more effective than praying to me...Your dead 'saints' are no more closer to God than I, or any other born-again Christian...

36 posted on 04/18/2008 3:09:31 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: TheGunny

If you have a substantive objection based on the lexicon or anything else, please present it and I’ll be happy to look into that.


37 posted on 04/18/2008 3:20:21 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool
The Mass is the sacrifice of the Cross, the same one you as a Christian presumably are not unaware of. It is also commanded by God: "do this in memory of me". We do.

Praying to dead people will be no more effective than praying to me

"A prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much",-- James 5, I believe.

38 posted on 04/18/2008 3:22:54 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool
There wasn't a "Gentile church". There wasn't a "Jewish church," either, after Pentecost. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Not two. In fact, the early Catholic Christians called themselves "the third race" -- that is, neither Jew nor Gentile.

Nor did Paul have a different gospel for Gentiles. In fact, the whole point of the early chapters of Romans is that Gentiles and Jews are saved under exactly the same plan and the same rules. Nobody is saved apart from grace.

Read Paul again if you don't believe me. Start with Galatians 3 and Ephesians 3:1-6.

39 posted on 04/18/2008 3:34:07 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Iscool
No one can offer God as a sacrifice other than God

This is true, BTW, which why the real Priest who offers the Mass is Christ himself. That's Catholic doctrine.

40 posted on 04/18/2008 3:35:27 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Iscool
Certainly. Paul was PRIMARILY teaching the Gentiles, and Peter PRIMARILY teaching the Jews---but when necessary, they both taught everyone. This is proven, as I said, by multiple instances across the New Testament where Paul is teaching Jews. I suspect one can find instances other than the first where Peter was teaching Gentiles.

Do you ACTUALLY think that a case where a Jew/Gentile was hearing Paul/Peter preach and at the end goes up to the teacher and says "Master, I believe and want to be baptized" that Paul/Peter would say "Sorry, Charlie, but you've got to wait until Peter/Paul shows up before you can be join the Church". The idea is simply laughable.

41 posted on 04/20/2008 5:54:54 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog
Certainly. Paul was PRIMARILY teaching the Gentiles, and Peter PRIMARILY teaching the Jews---but when necessary, they both taught everyone. This is proven, as I said, by multiple instances across the New Testament where Paul is teaching Jews. I suspect one can find instances other than the first where Peter was teaching Gentiles.

Of course they did...Paul was commissioned by God to go out amongst the Gentiles and preach and Peter was commissioned by God to go out amongst the Jews and preach...,

And certainly they would preach to whomever may show up...

Do you ACTUALLY think that a case where a Jew/Gentile was hearing Paul/Peter preach and at the end goes up to the teacher and says "Master, I believe and want to be baptized" that Paul/Peter would say "Sorry, Charlie, but you've got to wait until Peter/Paul shows up before you can be join the Church".

The idea is simply laughable

You said a mouthful there...

If I wanted to become a Catholic today, I'd have to wait about 11 months and get baptized (with water) next April and then be able to join your church on Easter...What a crock, eh???

Fortunately, God doesn't operate that way...You'll notice Paul didn't mess around with water baptism...He left that for someone else to do...Paul was involved in Spiritual baptism...The Spiritual operation that takes place when a new believer receives the Spiritual circumcisn...Which, by the way, happens immediately, upon accepting Jesus as your Savior...Whether it happens in your car or truck, at the beach, in a bar or sittin' on your very own throne...

You don't have to go somewhere to find God...He'll meet you right where you are at, before your foot leaves the ground in your anticipation of the first step to find Him...

That's when you become a member of the REAL church...

42 posted on 04/20/2008 10:22:55 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
The Spiritual operation that takes place when a new believer receives the Spiritual circumcisn...Which, by the way, happens immediately, upon accepting Jesus as your Savior...

How do you know that? Please be specific.-

43 posted on 04/20/2008 10:38:24 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: defconw

Ping


44 posted on 04/20/2008 10:48:46 AM PDT by cibco (defconw - "Where do I get me a pheasant?" I got you one dear... {;0))
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To: Iscool
That may be your way. That's fine we are not waiting for you to agree with us.

Peace.

45 posted on 04/20/2008 11:10:20 AM PDT by defconw (Pray for Snow!)
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To: papertyger
How do you know that? Please be specific.-

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The mystery starts with the ministry of Paul in Romans 1:1 and goes on thru to the end of Revelation...

46 posted on 04/20/2008 1:00:05 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
The mystery starts with the ministry of Paul in Romans 1:1 and goes on thru to the end of Revelation...

Could you be *more* specific?

47 posted on 04/20/2008 1:33:18 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: Iscool
"If I wanted to become a Catholic today, I'd have to wait about 11 months and get baptized (with water) next April and then be able to join your church on Easter...What a crock, eh???"

Nope. Like all Protestants, you are unfamiliar with the true process. The length of time one spends in Catechesis is solely governed by the judgment of the Priest or Cathechetical team as to the supplicants spriritual development, and can be as short as zero to MORE than 11 months.

"Fortunately, God doesn't operate that way...You'll notice Paul didn't mess around with water baptism...He left that for someone else to do...Paul was involved in Spiritual baptism...The Spiritual operation that takes place when a new believer receives the Spiritual circumcisn...Which, by the way, happens immediately, upon accepting Jesus as your Savior...Whether it happens in your car or truck, at the beach, in a bar or sittin' on your very own throne..."

Wrong. God DOES "act that way". But you need to look up the term "baptism of desire" and see what that means. And where do you get the idea that "water baptism" wasn't part of Paul's apostolate??

"You don't have to go somewhere to find God...He'll meet you right where you are at, before your foot leaves the ground in your anticipation of the first step to find Him..."

Of course he does. See above point about "baptism of desire".

"That's when you become a member of the REAL church... "

Well, I was baptized as an infant, which joined me to the body of Christ, despite the fact that it was the Episcopal Church that did the baptizing---but I found the FULLNESS of God's Church when I became a Catholic.

But I'm glad you came around to the realization that both Peter and Paul evangelized to all parties, whether Jew or Gentile.

48 posted on 04/21/2008 5:26:04 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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