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Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
Coming Home Network ^ | Jun 8th, 2007 | Andy

Posted on 05/01/2008 5:07:35 PM PDT by annalex

Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist

I grew up in a strong Christian home.  My parents were, and still are, two of the most devout Christians I have ever known.  They instilled in me not only the importance of knowing about Christ, but knowing Him personally.  When I was 10 years old, I pledged my life to Jesus and was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  My teen years were filled with opportunities for spiritual growth thanks to the encouragement and example of my parents and youth leaders.  When I was seventeen I dedicated myself to full-time Christian service.  At that time, I assumed my future ministry would be that of a pastor.  Therefore, I felt I needed a four-year degree in Christian studies and graduate studies in ministry.  My family was not in a position to send me to a four-year private school, much less an expensive one, but my trust was in God.  If He wanted me to be there, I believed, He would provide the means for me to get there.  In what I can only describe as a miracle, I was awarded a four year presidential scholarship and found a job as a resident assistant, which payed for all of my expenses.

In college, I experienced a profound conversion of sorts.  Having the opportunity to study under some of the brightest minds in the Evangelical world, I discovered a deep love for learning, especially Scripture, History, and Theology.  I became so enamored in fact that I quickly gained a reputation for being a know-it-all.   Unfortunately, I had earned that reputation with a head full of pride and a heart lacking in charity when it came to dialogue.  I should explain at this point that I was discovering that because of the charism of knowledge, study came very easy to me.  Things just seemed to be absorbed as if my mind were a dry sponge.  There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that I was not tempering my newfound knowledge with humility and personal piety.  This flaw would prove to be a major factor in my conversion.

I was so wrapped up in ministry preparation, language studies, and reading that I wasn't even looking for a woman.  That's probably a good thing, because while I was distracted, God was preparing my wife over in the ladies' dorms.  We met the summer of my freshman year while we worked at a youth camp.  It was as close to "love at first site" as I can imagine.  We took things slow and filled our non-work time with long walks, talks and Bible studies.  I knew very quickly that this was the woman God had chosen to be my wife.  We would be married less than two years later and begin our lives together. 

Life wasn't super easy for us as we were new to married life, new to bills, and new to pretty much everything else.  However, God helped us through our first years with few, if any, major problems.  We also learned the importance of health insurance after my face was broken during a pickup mud football game.  One thing we had been convinced of as a couple was that God was to be in charge of blessing our lives with children.  As such, we did not use contraception, choosing instead to practice the billings ovulation method.  Oddly enough, we were not the only ones at our Baptist school who felt that way.  As I neared my graduation, God blessed us with the news that we were expecting our first child.  Now I would be a father as well as a husband.  Apparently, there were more lessons for me to learn outside of the classroom.  In spite of a tough course load, three part-time jobs, and school related ministry opportunities; I still managed to graduate on time with a BA in Christian Studies and minors in both Greek and History. 

Seminary life was exciting.  We were gaining the reputation of being a magnet for top scholarship and theological soundness, which was something many Baptist affiliated schools could not claim.  Once again, my desire for knowledge had me taking difficult courses and loving every minute.  My professors were challenging my heart as well as my mind, and I'm forever grateful.  In fact, their example, along with that of my college professors, led me to pursue a future in theological education.  I believed that it was in the classroom and lecture hall that I would be most useful to God as a minister.  While I was gaining all this knowledge and continually fueled by a desire to become a great teacher, I was also letting my growth in holiness decline.  Daily prayer and Bible study became to me opportunities for lesson planning and sermon writing.  I was looking at the Bible for its academic properties and neglecting much of my spiritual encounter with God in the Scriptures.  Busier than ever, with a new baby, a new job, and with school, I was beginning to substitute activity for piety.  But I didn't notice my mistake.

What I did notice was that my denominational "constituents", for the most part, were historically and theologically myopic.  I vowed to myself that a major portion of my ministry would be to take Baptists back to the practices and beliefs of the Baptist founders, which, I believed at the time, to be synonymous with the beliefs and practices of the early Christians.  In order to prove this, and to prove the historicity and rightness of Baptist theology and polity, I decided to study the earliest Christian writing I could find in addition to the Bible, namely the Church Fathers. 

I had first met the Fathers in college as translation work in advanced Greek classes.  Translation of extrabiblical Greek texts honed our skills and eliminated our "crutch" of cheating on translations for which we had memorized the English scripture verses.  I first met Saint Polycarp and was so intrigued by him that I wanted to read more.  In seminary, I would read the writings of St. Polycarp, St. Clement, St. Ignatius, St. Irenaeus, and St. Justin Martyr.  My studies of the Fathers would reveal to me a sacramental Faith, a tangible Faith, a structured Faith, a faith that I was having trouble reconciling to my present denominational affiliation.  But my patristic studies would have to wait because shortly after the birth of our 2nd child, I had found a pastoral ministry opportunity to be an associate pastor of youth and education near my hometown. 

Church ministry was great because it helped force me back into the devotional practices I had been only weakly observing.  Aided by the forceful words of men like John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, and CS Lewis, I was challenged to adopt the principle of "incarnational" living.  I wanted the truth to be so ingrained in me that it permeated every portion of my life.  This proved to be my final undoing, but at the time, it was spurring me to make changes in my life.  Still, I held some things back from God, including my role as a father.  I was so busy studying and doing ministry work that I wasn't making time for the kids or my wife, so busy that I didn't even notice my neglect. 

In my studies, I continued to read the pre-Nicene Fathers of the Church.  The spiritual might I saw in these men showed me that I was lacking something in my life, but I couldn't place it.  What I was realizing, however, was that their Church and mine looked totally different.  They had an authority structure, bishops, priests, and deacons.  They had a liturgy that was rich in beauty and meaning.  They had sacraments, most especially the Eucharist.  It was the Eucharist that intrigued me most.  The more I read, the more I became convinced that Christ was not speaking figuratively in John 6 at Capernaum or in the Upper Room.  I was convinced of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, something we as Baptists did not have, but that I wanted.

What I saw in my future was a life as a Catholic, but that couldn't happen yet. I still had way too much ministry to accomplish.  I decided to shelve the "Catholic thing" so I could concentrate on finishing my work there.  I figured that after five or six years I could step down quietly and pursue my Catholic studies then.  I had no desire to cause a scandal.  In fact, to make sure no "papist" teaching came out in my ministry; I made a point to provide my senior pastor with copies of all my lessons and sermons before I taught them.  It was important enough for me to finish my ministry agenda before pursuing anything else.  In fact, I told no one about my desire to know more about the Catholic Church.  I studied on my own time, alone, to see if the ancient Church and the modern Catholic Church were one and the same. 

My search was very lonely.  There was no one I could talk to because if word got out that I was even considering the claims of the Church, I could easily have lost my job, putting my family in jeopardy.  I wasn't willing to risk that, even though I was becoming more and more convinced of the Catholic Faith.  After a while, I found myself going to Eucharistic Adoration at the Catholic Hospital during my hospital visitation rounds.  I set up appointments to talk with priests "under cover of darkness" because I had questions.  But I still had no one to share with.  I was alone and, quite frankly, terrified of what the future might hold.  

I stumbled upon the Coming Home Network almost by accident and was encouraged to find that there were other ministers like me who were asking questions.  I found two friends with whom I felt comfortable sharing my struggles.  One was a Baptist pastor, like myself.  The other was a recent convert from an Evangelical Free background.  They became my prayer partners and my sounding boards.  When I finally got the nerve to call CHN, I was encouraged by Jim Anderson, who not only talked with me, but also provided books and study materials to aid me in my search.  I thank God for the Coming Home Network.  I didn't feel quite so alone anymore.

Things continued smoothly, just as I had planned, until we had to travel to California for a wedding.  The wedding was beautiful and San Francisco was amazing, but something was not right with me.  God was pressing His thumb upon my heart and I noticed it.  The whole time we were there, I found myself in constant debate with Him over the state of my spiritual life.   The night before we were scheduled to leave, God had His final say with me in what I can only describe as an emotional confrontation.  He revealed to my heart, in no uncertain terms, that I was shipwrecking my life.  He clearly showed me that my heart was not with my wife or with my children, but with myself and my activities.  I was a shallow and selfish man who blamed his ministry for not having enough time to read to or play with his own kids or spend time conversing with his wife.  I was living my dream as a teacher, but I was failing to practice the very truths I taught.  I was living a lie and I had no excuses. 

I wept all night before finally asking God, "What am I supposed to do now?" 

"You're going to have to resign."

"But I don't want to resign."

"If you don't step down on your own, I'll remove you myself."

"What am I supposed to do for a living?  How will I support my family?"

"Trust me."

That was all I remember before crying myself to sleep.  It was a deep cathartic cry because my hard heart was finally seeing the message God had been trying to get through my thick skull for almost eight years.  He was trying to help me get my life together, not just my personal life and my family, but my eternal life and the eternal lives of my wife and kids.  I had to obey.  Yet as scared as I was, I had a calm peace that kept reminding me to trust God.  I didn't say a word to anybody about this or my decision until I was in the car with my wife, driving from the Memphis airport to our home across the state.  We were able to have a seven hour discussion of all God had been showing me.  I asked for her forgiveness and for my kids’ forgiveness, and I made a commitment to earn their trust and win their hearts.

I still had to resign.  There were no flashing signs or helpful books to guide me into the unknown.  However, I did find strength from my friends at the Coming Home Network.  I also found a job.  God was reminding me again to trust Him.  The resignation itself wasn't that hard, because I had the confidence that I was being obedient.  I was determined to be the man God wanted me to be and not to occupy a leadership position until I demonstrated true leadership and not mere academic acumen.

To shorten this story a bit, after resigning and relocating for my new job, I was able to meet with a priest for instruction and formation as a Catholic.  I knew that the answer to my spiritual hunger was the Eucharist.  On Christmas Eve 2002, my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church.  Since then, I have been growing, sometimes by small steps, but sometimes by great leaps.  Most precious to me are the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.  God has heaped His grace on me and I can see a change in my heart.  He has brought balance into my life.  He has saved my marriage.  He has reconciled me to my children.  He has also, a little at a time, allowed me to resume ministry, this time as a lay catechist and evangelist.  I still have my struggles, as we all do, but now I have something I did not have before, hope.  I have hope for the future and strength for today through the Eucharist.  God continues to teach me to trust in Him and to depend on Him.  Through the Sacraments, I continue to grow in my faith, hope, and charity. 

Believe it or not, folks, that was the short version.  God probably has reserved a crown for you in Heaven just for persevering through my tale.  I'm happy to discuss my journey with you, and I'd love the opportunity to pray for you as you search.  I'll leave this post with a closing comment. 

People have asked me, "Was it worth it?" 

Absolutely.

Last edited on Fri Jun 8th, 2007 10:32 am by Polycarp


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism
KEYWORDS: baptist; catholic; chnetwork; pastor; southernbaptist
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To: annalex; Paridel

“The Orthodox have an issue with the entire magisterial system. Both Marian dogmas themselves are not a problem for the Orthodox Church. The notion that a belief that was not spoken about with a single voice by the Church of the first seven councils, could be clarified with such precision by the Latin Church, — is unsettling to them.

I am pinging Kolokotronis who can clarify this better than I can.”

Orthodoxy rejects completely any notion that the Pope is infallible and there is no nuance to make the idea acceptable to us, but you both know that. You, Paridel, should know that our resolute rejection of papal infallibility, however defined or limited, says nothing about our understanding of the role of the pope of Rome as the primus among the Patriarchs and bishops of The Church during the first 1000 years of the Church’s existence.

The question we Orthodox have had about the Assumption is why it was ever dogmatized. Quite aside from the fact that we reject the idea that the pope can do such a thing sua sponte, the dogmatization was unnecessary as it combats no heresy and one is hard pressed to understand why it is that belief in the Assumption is a sine qua non of theosis. In fact, however, I have never met an Orthodox Christian who does not believe in the Assumption.

The Immaculate Conception is, to an extent, a different matter. Alex says that the consensus patrum accepts the IC. This is incorrect. That dogma of the Latin Church as a belief is necessitated by the Latin Augustinian notion of Original Sin which the Church in the East rejects. Without Original Sin, there is no need for the Immaculate Conception notion. Furthermore, as Orthodox theologians make clear, the idea that Panagia was born in some fashion different from the rest of humanity means that her Son was not the Son of a true woman but rather of something else, a goddess of sorts, which leads straight to a Christological heresy denying the two natures of Christ. If His mother was not human, then He could not be true God and true Man. Now no one can gainsay the Orthodox when it comes to Marian devotion so it stretches credulity to the breaking point to assert that refusal to believe in the IC results in damnation. It too suffers from the defect that it addresses no heresy.


101 posted on 05/02/2008 4:15:37 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: griffin

This is not how the Catholic Church works.


102 posted on 05/02/2008 4:18:22 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Kolokotronis; Paridel

Thank you.

It is true that the Immaculate Conception is necessitated by the doctrine of the original sin, and for that reason is more problematic to the Orthodox. I should have mentioned that.

The heresy both marian dogmas combat is modernism: darwinism and atheism especially.


103 posted on 05/02/2008 4:23:43 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

“In Protestant thinking (I don’t know what the Anglican thinking is), salvation is what happens at the time a believer makes a decision for Christ.”

Not according to a Soveriegn Lord. Nobody’s right hand can save themselves (Job). Some ‘free will’ protestant do think that and their way of thinking tries to rob the Lord of His glory in “having mercy upon whom I will have mercy”

IN CONTEXT
In 1 Peter, Peter describes life after the spiritual rebirth....

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith”

It is not the re-birth that takes a life time. That happens in an instant. It is the testing of that faith that lasts a lifetime. We reborn ELECT are not insulted from the ramifications of sin, Inherited or otherwise. However, perseverance of the saints is always in effect. “Nothing can pluck My sheep from My hand”. AND that salvation, once sealed is forever....

1 Peter 1:23 states, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Thw WORD of Christ. Not Catechism. Not tradition. Not some druid-looking priest that slips a wafer into your mouth. The WORD, through the Power of Christ, according to Him. Period.


104 posted on 05/02/2008 4:33:00 PM PDT by griffin (Love Jesus, No Fear!)
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To: annalex; Quix
His crisis was spiritual and has to do with the lack of devotional life

False. What he was suffering from was the dichotomy of living a sinful life (apart from God's revealed will) and trying to make the disordered pieces fit and make sense.

His ministry work was commendable; who would disagree with this objective

I would. Works, in and of themselves, are nothing. Submission to the revealed will of Christ and finding his way in Church government and in the process of sanctification is all.

Absorbed in this struggle, he admits to a neglect of his marital life.

Again, false. His abandonment of his primary duties contributed directly to his struggle with his faith. One is fitted for ministry by the tempered life of Scriptural piety - not the other way around.

It {his faith struggle} is a consequence of the Baptist faith's deficiencies, not the cause of his leaving it.

Once more, false. This is not a question of the chicken or the egg. Dissonance is the consequence, or outgrowth, of sin and neglect of the first part.

[W]hatever that neglect was, the family obligations were a factor in keeping him in the Baptist ministry, as he needed a job.

Here you have hit the nail on the head - not the one you sought to hit, but you have hit one and driven it home. He was likely thinking (as many clergy and para-church lay people think) that he needed this work (for his sustenance) and, besides, he was doing the Lord's work (wrong-o). Unfortunately, this is the case across time in dividing the sheep from the goats. What one assumes to be the Way today, is not necessarily the way because it was yesterday or a thousand years ago. Faith, alone, in the revealed truth is.

I think, you are simply unprepared to face the fact that reasonable, academically gifted, devoted to the ministry people would discover the Christ in the Eucharist and the veracity of Catholic historical root, and so you try to find fault in this man.

Reason, academic achievement, intelligence and good intentions have nothing whatsoever to do with things of God or faith unless submitted to the spotlight of revealed Scriptural truth.

I think you are hearing what you wish to hear.

I am not disparaging Catholicism. What I am simply pointing out is the clear departure from Scriptural injunctions about the requirements of leadership. The fact that this man was in "ministry" and in a failing relationship plainly illustrates that he wasn't really in "ministry" at all - only his self-willed verisimilitude. In short, whatever is done in this kind of "ministry" (and that just might describe the majority of "Christianity" today) is being done by his own lights and is worth just as much. Good works are just that - they are not, however, of God, unless God-inspired and controlled. To be there, the life must be in order and in synch.

So, it seems clear to me that what this man really served, in the end, was himself and his own ideas about God (Evangelical pedigree nothwithstanding). It is no wonder that he grew sick of what he thought to be the source of his problems and sought something else. Thankfully, he has wandered into another Christian fellowship. However, I still fail to see the deeper truths that are inherent in his current state of faith - other than it is right that he give up his masquerade in ministry and to concentrate on matters at hand - the application of truth in his personal life.
105 posted on 05/02/2008 4:33:08 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: annalex

Right.....never mind history then.


106 posted on 05/02/2008 4:35:03 PM PDT by griffin (Love Jesus, No Fear!)
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To: annalex; Paridel

“The heresy both marian dogmas combat is modernism: darwinism and atheism especially.”

As to darwinism, how so? As to atheism, well that’s sort of a catch all, isn’t it, Alex? Couldn’t any dogma or even theologoumennon be said to combat atheism?


107 posted on 05/02/2008 4:40:23 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: griffin

I don’t understand the point you are trying to make, especially as you seem to connect some scripture quotes to your apparent dislike of the Catholic Church.


108 posted on 05/02/2008 4:42:20 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
You have developed a myth of the authors sinfulness and "failed relationship", basically out of the whole cloth. There is none of that in the article, -- I don't know what your sources are, if any.

Reason, academic achievement, intelligence and good intentions have nothing whatsoever to do with things of God or faith unless submitted to the spotlight of revealed Scriptural truth.

The man was using his reason and academic achievement precisely to do that, to get to the scriptural truth. The article describes his discoveries.

You also seem to concentrate on his qualifications for Baptist ministry. I don't see that as relevant: we are not discussing his leaving the ministry, we are discussing his leaving the Baptist faith community altogether.

109 posted on 05/02/2008 4:48:53 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Kolokotronis; Paridel

None of these heresies were combatted directly by the recently proclaimed dogmas. Still, Immaculate Conception counters the darwinist insistence of strictly natural origin of life, and Assumption of Mary sets forth a tangible promise of resurrection in the body: where she has gone, we shall follow.


110 posted on 05/02/2008 4:52:22 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

The conditions of his personal life were concurrent with his “ministry.” His first duty was/is to his primary relationships - his marriage. At this point, he should have left his duties as a minister and returned to his basic responsibilities.

Reason and academic standing mean nothing to God. Truth is NOT apprehended through these means anymore than Washington leads us into better government through increased use of experts. Truth can only be attained through the Holy Spirit in the life of a yielded servant. Academics may aid this, but the key is submission.


111 posted on 05/02/2008 4:55:14 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: annalex

“Assumption of Mary sets forth a tangible promise of resurrection in the body: where she has gone, we shall follow.”

Where does that idea come from? I should think the traditional theologoumennon of The Church would be sufficient. Is it astonishing to the West, or otherwise insufficient, that the Theotokos would be bodily assumed into heaven? Why does it have to mean more than it plainly does?

“Still, Immaculate Conception counters the darwinist insistence of strictly natural origin of life....”

How does a dogmatic insistence on Panagia being free from Original Sin (which of course presupposes that Original Sin is real) counter secular notions of a strictly “natural” as opposed to divine origin of life? I will agree that such a notion is likely heretical.


112 posted on 05/02/2008 4:58:51 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: annalex
You have developed a myth of the authors sinfulness and "failed relationship", basically out of the whole cloth. There is none of that in the article, -- I don't know what your sources are, if any.

Dude! I don't think we're headed anywhere except where you like to play. For your benefit, however, here's a clue:

In spite of a tough course load, three part-time jobs, and school related ministry opportunities; I still managed to graduate on time with a BA in Christian Studies and minors in both Greek and History.

Busier than ever, with a new baby, a new job, and with school, I was beginning to substitute activity for piety. But I didn't notice my mistake.

I was so busy studying and doing ministry work that I wasn't making time for the kids or my wife, so busy that I didn't even notice my neglect.

He revealed to my heart, in no uncertain terms, that I was shipwrecking my life. He clearly showed me that my heart was not with my wife or with my children, but with myself and my activities. I was a shallow and selfish man who blamed his ministry for not having enough time to read to or play with his own kids or spend time conversing with his wife. I was living my dream as a teacher, but I was failing to practice the very truths I taught. I was living a lie and I had no excuses.

It was a deep cathartic cry because my hard heart was finally seeing the message God had been trying to get through my thick skull for almost eight years. He was trying to help me get my life together, not just my personal life and my family, but my eternal life and the eternal lives of my wife and kids.


Capiche?

113 posted on 05/02/2008 5:08:21 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Truth can only be attained through the Holy Spirit in the life of a yielded servant

What makes you think the Holy Spirit did not lead him to the Catholic Church as soon as he yielded to Him?

114 posted on 05/02/2008 5:12:49 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

I didn’t say that. In fact, I referred to Catholocism as another Christian fellowship. What I point out is that his issues are far more basic than some problem with SB doctrine. Oddly, you continually gravitate to that as though you believe Catholocism is the path of truth - not submission to revealed truth in Scripture...


115 posted on 05/02/2008 5:15:34 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

OK, I see your point. I read these passages not as indication of any actual sin but as a desire for fuller sanctification, — part of the same process of “yielding to the Holy Spirit” as you put it, that lead Him to the Eucharistic Christ. What we have here is hearing the call to repentance, the precursor to conversion.


116 posted on 05/02/2008 5:21:51 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Catholocism is the path of truth - not submission to revealed truth in Scripture

There is no "not" here: Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life subsists in the Catholic Church. Read the scripture, and that will make you Catholic. Or Orthodox. In fact, both.

117 posted on 05/02/2008 5:24:39 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Kolokotronis
I should think the traditional theologoumennon of The Church would be sufficient

It should be, like with any dogma, but the fact is, people dispute the Assumption.

Immaculate conception shows that God as the sovereign author of life created at least one woman perfect as He designed all human life.

I agree that none of this enters a point-by-point polemic with the heretics, but the desire was to introduce a beakion of hope in two especially bleak moments of recent history, the aftermath of the revolutions of 1940's and the Second World War.

118 posted on 05/02/2008 5:30:17 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
OK, I see your point. I read these passages not as indication of any actual sin but as a desire for fuller sanctification, — part of the same process of “yielding to the Holy Spirit” as you put it, that lead Him to the Eucharistic Christ.

I'd say that what you're seeing is what is actually is there - not the pretexts for his conversion to Catholocism. It is interesting that you say this factual state of his life is not sin but, rather, a desire for "fuller sanctification." Then, in the next phrase, you say that he is responding to the call for the call to repentance - a precursor to conversion...

The question is, was he was saved before his awakening - or not. Since you believe his awakening was pre-salvational, you probably believe that his faith was false from the beginning and only valid when he converted to Catholocism.

Correct?
119 posted on 05/02/2008 5:35:25 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: annalex
Read the scripture, and that will make you Catholic. Or Orthodox. In fact, both.

How and why?
120 posted on 05/02/2008 5:38:05 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: Antoninus

Not necessarily either. One can simply decide the Catholic Church’s theology is not as correct as Protestant theology. I know one person who thought so.


121 posted on 05/02/2008 6:37:12 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (Kicking and Screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven!)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
The question is, was he was saved before his awakening - or not. Since you believe his awakening was pre-salvational, you probably believe that his faith was false from the beginning and only valid when he converted to Catholocism.

I don't think that salvation is the same as conversion, and I don't view conversion as a one-time act. Please see my 93 on this thread. I think that we was on a Christian journey of faith since childhood, and it lead him to the Catholic Church because that is the logical summit of any conversion to Christ. But I do not deny that the process of his sanctification started in the Baptist community where he grew up.

122 posted on 05/02/2008 7:20:55 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Well, the scripture is the product of the Orthodox Catholic Church of the first century of Christianity. Of course, the Old Testament predates the Church, but it wouldn't be comprehensible without the New Testaament which the Church produced directly. There is nothing in the Holy Scripture that would lead anyone away from the Church.

I doo not think the Reformers were that interested in the Scripture. I disagree that Protestantism is faithful to it. The overriding desire of the Protestant reformers was to get rid of clericalism, which they saw as a bad thing. Logically, they had to propose another source of authority and so they invented the superstitious concept of sola scriptura. Then, they got to the task of finding interpretations of the Holy Scripture that were not pointing to a sacramental hierarchical Church. That was done by elevating some verses out of context, ignoring others and discarding a whole section of the Bible as not inspired. The scripture read in context, literally, verse by verse does not contain any contradiction with either Orthodox or the Catholic Church of today, and it contains plenty of contradition with several important Protestant doctrines. For example, both Sola Scriptura and sola fide are directly controverted by the Scripture and require amazing trickery of Protestant exegesis to explain away.

123 posted on 05/02/2008 7:32:32 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Kolokotronis
Thanks you very much! That was most helpful.

-paridel
124 posted on 05/02/2008 8:23:48 PM PDT by Paridel
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To: Paridel
Thanks you very much!

Sigh, I mean "Thank you..."

-paridel
125 posted on 05/02/2008 8:28:40 PM PDT by Paridel
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To: WorkingClassFilth

INDEED.

Thanks.


126 posted on 05/02/2008 9:09:17 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Paridel

You are very welcome!


127 posted on 05/03/2008 3:55:16 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: griffin
"Try to back that declaration up with scriptual references IN CONTEXT."

It only needs one.

Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

"15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter."

I don't see how it can be stated any more plainly than that.

128 posted on 05/03/2008 3:59:32 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: griffin
"Pay to have your relatives bailed out of hell. Have to come to church to hear scriptures read....no reading the Bible yourself! No! And if you try to translate one we'll burn you at the stake. Purgatory...Praying to Mary, and other so called RCC declared ‘saints’. None of which can be justified by the Word. Total power trip.

If that's what you thought Catholicism is, you obviously didn't learn much while you were there. I suggest you take a gander at the "Catechism of the Catholic Church", and check out scriptural references therein.

129 posted on 05/03/2008 4:04:18 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: annalex
What I did notice was that my denominational "constituents", for the most part, were historically and theologically myopic. I vowed to myself that a major portion of my ministry would be to take Baptists back to the practices and beliefs of the Baptist founders, which, I believed at the time, to be synonymous with the beliefs and practices of the early Christians.

Would it be that everyone would realize this, Catholics included. Early Christians practiced the Christianity described in the bible and practiced by Christ. The identifying practices, the practices that differ the most from modern Christianity are the observance of the Lord's sabbath on the 7th day and the observation of the Lord's holy days, the same ones practiced by Christ while incarnate and then taught and practiced by gentile and jewish converts to Christianity.

While Catholicism has at least an excuse (the belief in holy tradition) for not practicing first century Christianity, Protestants have no such excuse. They instead pick and choose the traditions of the Catholic church which they want to observe.

130 posted on 05/03/2008 4:24:26 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: annalex

Thank you for your replies. From what you say, though, you show yourself to be less concerned with what the man says than where he eventually ended up. As such, I can accept your position as an ardent Catholic defending what is supposed to be a conversion story.

Unfortunately, this man’s account leaves me no insights into the miracles of faith he has found - only blatant hypocrisy and a pathology of the self-serving ignorant life he left. To debate Catholicism and it’s extra-Biblical justifications would be an entirely new thread.

Thanks for your insights and time just the same.


131 posted on 05/03/2008 5:42:21 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: dan1123

I know that those stories are also out there too. But there is a far greater number of those who disagree and leave the Church and remain Christian. I am related to many who fall into that category.

It is my perspective, no offense, that the term “Christian” defines what you believe, and the term “Protestant” defines that you protest Church teaching, or in other words, don’t believe. However, this rejection is of Catholic Church teaching, not Christ.


132 posted on 05/03/2008 7:26:51 AM PDT by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: DouglasKC

If your reference is to the celebration of the Lord’s Day on Sunday, that is biblical. After the Resurrection the disciples met Him on a Sunday, and then on the next Sunday, and so we do the same thing to this day.


133 posted on 05/03/2008 9:53:03 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Interesting that this is a classic repentance and conversion story and you chose to malign the penitent.


134 posted on 05/03/2008 9:54:26 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

***Can we first define “Sola Scriptura” as that the Scripture, by itself contains all that a person needs to know in order to be saved and to live a life of good works.***

Of course not.

Sola Scripture is the philosophy that all instruction, theology and religious information comes directly from the words of the Bible. Anything not found expressly in the Bible is not to be considered. That is the idiocy of sola scriptura.


135 posted on 05/03/2008 2:20:12 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

***There was no robes***

Yes there were. That’s what they wore in those days.

***confessionals***

No, the practice was face to face confession.

***statues***

Yes there were - not that many in the beginning, but they had a lot of drawings and paintings.

***talismans***

You might want to research just a little more. Representations of the Chi-Rho were everywhere.

***and a hierarchy longer than the Presidential ascension list.***

A 2000 year old organization has a succession list a little longer than one that is just formed.

***The stuff mentioned were thought of by infallible men who thought it would endear them to God instead of focusing on His Son.***

Who are these infallible men?

***If it makes you feel better to admit your sin to a man then power to you as long as you make it a point to talk to the Lord directly as He commands.***

If you’re going to make statements like that, then you might want to make sure that you follow ALL of the commands of Jesus including eating His body and drinking His blood.


136 posted on 05/03/2008 2:38:47 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“Anything not found expressly in the Bible is not to be considered. “

Not true. Other information may be considered, but that information is never the final authority about any doctrine, Scripture is.

“That is the idiocy of sola scriptura.”

Careful who or what you call “idiot”...

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”


137 posted on 05/03/2008 2:45:18 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

***Other information may be considered, but that information is never the final authority about any doctrine, Scripture is.***

Under the doctrine of Sola Scripture, only Scripture is considered. You must get your story straight.

***“That is the idiocy of sola scriptura.”

Careful who or what you call “idiot”...

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”***

And this applies how?


138 posted on 05/03/2008 2:50:04 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“Under the doctrine of Sola Scripture, only Scripture is considered. You must get your story straight.”

Every definition I’ve ever seen referred to Scripture as “the final authority of Christian doctrine.” By defining the final authority it is implicit that other, extra-scriptural sources of authority may be considered - but if those sources disagree with Scripture, Scripture prevails as the final authority.

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

“And this applies how?”

Jesus authoritatively that man lives by the word of God - the Scripture.

That is a very high view of Scripture. Jesus ALWAYS appealed to Scripture as the final authority - excepting his own authoritative pronouncements. He regularly dismissed Jewish tradition as being a worthless addition to God’s word.

Jesus opinion of Scripture (always positive):
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=scripture&searchtype=all&version1=47&bookset=4

Jesus opinion of Tradition (always negative):
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=tradition&searchtype=all&version1=47&bookset=4

In Jesus ministry, he was Sola Scriptura. That’s why you need to be cautious regarding what or who you call “idiotic”.


139 posted on 05/03/2008 3:35:16 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

***In Jesus ministry, he was Sola Scriptura. That’s why you need to be cautious regarding what or who you call “idiotic”.***

I understand that you might be mixing up OT and NT. Jesus referred to the OT (including the Deuterocanonicals). The NT wasn’t put together for 300 years after His ascension.


140 posted on 05/03/2008 4:38:46 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr

“I understand that you might be mixing up OT and NT.”

There’s no mix up. The principle of Jesus’ reliance on scripture is on almost every page of the Gospels. Jesus was sola Scriptura with the Scriptures of his day.

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

“Jesus referred to the OT (including the Deuterocanonicals)”

Jesus directly quotes the OT 121 times in the Gospels. He never directly quotes the Deuterocanonicals. Not once.

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

“The NT wasn’t put together for 300 years after His ascension.”

The books were “around” for most of that period, and authoritative the entire time. They just weren’t assembled.

This has no bearing on Jesus use of sola Scriptura.


141 posted on 05/03/2008 6:42:16 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
excepting his own authoritative pronouncements.

The scripture tells us that Jesus was the Word, and the Word is God, Jesus is the Son of God.

How do you separate the spoken words of Christ from the Scripture?

Each statement that Jesus made was in direct accordance with what God the Father has said.

142 posted on 05/03/2008 6:45:06 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

“How do you separate the spoken words of Christ from the Scripture?”

I do not think it is necessary to do so. Jesus is the embodiment of the Scriptures.

Did Jesus say thing which are not recorded? Doubtlessly. But listen to John...

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

The things that Jesus said which are recorded, were recorded specifically so that the reader may believe and have eternal life.

Everything we need to know to be saved and live eternally with God is in the Scriptures.


143 posted on 05/03/2008 7:48:59 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Simple isn’t it?

Read the book.

I marvel at the miracle of the Scriptures. I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, and in God’s ability to protect his Word through time.

It brings me comfort to know that I can read the words of Jesus today, many those same words that he used when speaking to those closest to him.

I envy them because they knew him personally in human form. That must have been one of the greatest blessings of all.


144 posted on 05/03/2008 7:59:30 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: PetroniusMaximus

***Jesus was sola Scriptura with the Scriptures of his day.***

The Septuagint.

***Jesus directly quotes the OT 121 times in the Gospels. He never directly quotes the Deuterocanonicals. Not once.***

Hmmm. Let’s go to http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html and look at the NT references and the Church Fathers:

Matt. 2:16 - Herod’s decree of slaying innocent children was prophesied in Wis. 11:7 - slaying the holy innocents.

Matt. 6:19-20 - Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 - lay up your treasure.

Matt.. 7:12 - Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others.

Matt. 7:16,20 - Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 - the fruit discloses the cultivation.

Matt. 9:36 - the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.

Matt. 11:25 - Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 - Lord of heaven and earth.

Matt. 12:42 - Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.

Matt. 16:18 - Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.

Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 - Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.

Matt. 24:15 - the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.

Matt. 24:16 - let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.

Matt. 27:43 - if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.

Mark 4:5,16-17 - Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.

Mark 9:48 - description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.

Luke 1:42 - Elizabeth’s declaration of Mary’s blessedness above all women follows Uzziah’s declaration in Judith 13:18.

Luke 1:52 - Mary’s magnificat addressing the mighty falling from their thrones and replaced by lowly follows Sirach 10:14.

Luke 2:29 - Simeon’s declaration that he is ready to die after seeing the Child Jesus follows Tobit 11:9.

Luke 13:29 - the Lord’s description of men coming from east and west to rejoice in God follows Baruch 4:37.

Luke 21:24 - Jesus’ usage of “fall by the edge of the sword” follows Sirach 28:18.

Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 - Luke’s description of the two men in dazzling apparel reminds us of 2 Macc. 3:26.

John 1:3 - all things were made through Him, the Word, follows Wisdom 9:1.

John 3:13 - who has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven references Baruch 3:29.

John 4:48; Acts 5:12; 15:12; 2 Cor. 12:12 - Jesus’, Luke’s and Paul’s usage of “signs and wonders” follows Wisdom 8:8.

John 5:18 - Jesus claiming that God is His Father follows Wisdom 2:16.

John 6:35-59 - Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse is foreshadowed in Sirach 24:21.

John 10:22 - the identification of the feast of the dedication is taken from 1 Macc. 4:59.

John 10:36 – Jesus accepts the inspiration of Maccabees as He analogizes the Hanukkah consecration to His own consecration to the Father in 1 Macc. 4:36.

John 15:6 - branches that don’t bear fruit and are cut down follows Wis. 4:5 where branches are broken off.

The site has the references in the Epistles and the Church Fathers following.

***The books were “around” for most of that period, and authoritative the entire time. They just weren’t assembled.***

What do you mean “around”? There weren’t copy machines or electronic data records. Handwritten letters and not many of them since 98% of the early Christians were illiterate, poor and persecuted.

There were many other “books” around as well such as the Gnostic Gospel of Judas, the Acts of Peter etc. It took the Church to finally sit down and assemble the Bible.

Jesus taught that the authority of His teachings resided in the Church and not in writings of any kind.


145 posted on 05/03/2008 8:05:04 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

What a beautiful post!


146 posted on 05/03/2008 8:09:24 PM PDT by del4hope (Hoping for a conservative comeback in the GOP)
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To: del4hope

Thank you.

It really is envy of the disciples.

When I feel lost and need God, I pray to Jesus and say, “I so wish you could come to me as you did when you had your ministry on earth. It would be so helpful to have you personally guide me, looking into my eyes, patting my hand and hear you say, “I came to see you, to offer you my love and encouragement.”

I KNOW God does love me and is there for me.

But, I still wish that I could have been one of those to see Him with my own eyes.


147 posted on 05/03/2008 8:14:26 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

We will one day....isn’t that exciting to think about????

Patience is the hard part my FRiend. In the meantime we can encourage others to find that same anticipation.


148 posted on 05/03/2008 8:20:59 PM PDT by del4hope (Hoping for a conservative comeback in the GOP)
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To: del4hope

Seeing Him will be the highest point of my life, I am certain. What a way to end a good life on earth, don’t you think?

It will be nice to see you there, too. :)


149 posted on 05/03/2008 8:33:55 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Yes. :-)


150 posted on 05/03/2008 8:36:15 PM PDT by del4hope (Hoping for a conservative comeback in the GOP)
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