Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How to become a Catholic
Catholic Information Network ^ | September 1995 | James Akin

Posted on 05/10/2008 1:06:02 PM PDT by annalex

How to become a Catholic

by James Akin

Becoming a Catholic is one of the most profound and joyous experiences of life. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are still infants, and over the course of time they grow into a recognition of the enormous grace that has been bestowed upon them, of the dignity and wonder of their identity as Catholics. Others come into the Catholic fold while they are older children or adults. In these cases it is necessary for people to have a grasp of the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.

A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation--baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist--but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.

A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic at that moment. One's initiation is deepened by confirmation and the Eucharist, but one becomes a Catholic at baptism. This true both for children who are baptized Catholic (and receive the other two sacraments later) and for adults who are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the same time.

Those who have been validly baptized outside the Catholic Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.

Before a person is ready to be received into the Catholic Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and the form of this preparation depends on the individual's circumstance. The most basic division in the kind of preparation needed is between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in different denominations.

For adults and children who have reached the age of reason (age seven), entrance into the Church is governed by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), sometimes called the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA).

Preparation for the Unbaptized

Preparation for reception into the Church begins with the inquiry stage, in which the unbaptized person begins to learn about the Catholic faith and begins to decide whether to embrace it.

The first formal step on the road to becoming a Catholic takes place with the rite of reception into the order of catechumens, in which the unbaptized express their desire and intention to become Christians. "Catechumen" is a term the early Christians used to those preparing to be baptized and become Christians.

The period of catechumenate lasts for a variable period of time--sometimes even years--depending on how much the catechumen has learned and how ready the catechumen feels to take the step of becoming a Christian. However, the catechumenate often lasts for something less than a year.

The purpose of the catechumenate is to provide the candidates with a thorough background in Christian teaching. "A thoroughly comprehensive catechesis on the truths of Catholic doctrine and moral life, aided by approved catechetical texts, is to be provided during the period of the catechumenate" (U.S. Conference of Bishops, National Statues for the Catechumenate, Nov. 11, 1986). The catechumenate is also intended to give the candidates the opportunity to reflect upon and firm up their desire to become Catholics, and to give them the chance to show that they are ready to take this serious step (cf. Luke 14:27-33; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

The second formal step is taken with the rite of election, in which the catechumens' names are written in a book of those who will receive the sacraments of initiation. At the rite of election, the catechumen again expresses the desire and intention to become a Christian, and the Church judges that the catechumen is ready to take this step. Normally, the rite of election occurs on the first Sunday of Lent, the forty day period of preparation for Easter.

After the rite of election, the candidates undergo a period of more intense reflection, purification, and enlightenment, in which they deepen their commitment to repentance and conversion to the Christian faith. During this period the candidates, now known as the elect, participate in several further rituals.

The three chief rituals, known as "scrutinies," are normally celebrated at Mass on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent. The scrutinies are rites for self-searching and repentance. They are meant to bring out the qualities of the candidate's soul, to heal those qualities which are weak or sinful, and to strengthen those which are positive and good.

Normally during this period, the candidates are also formally presented with the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer, both of which they will recite on the night they are initiated.

The initiation itself usually occurs on Easter Vigil, the evening before Easter Day. That evening a special Mass is celebrated at which the candidates are baptized, then given confirmation, and finally receive the holy Eucharist. At this point the candidates become Catholics and are received into full communion with the Church.

Ordinarily the bishop oversees the Easter Vigil service and confers confirmation upon the candidates, but often--due to large distances or numbers of candidates--a local parish priest will perform the rites.

The final state of Christian initiation is known as mystagogy, in which the new Christians are strengthened in the faith by further instruction and become more deeply rooted in the local Catholic community. The period of mystagogy normally lasts throughout the Easter season (the fifty days between Eastern and Pentecost Sunday).

For the first year of their life as Christians, those who have been received are known as "neophytes" or "new Christians."

Preparation for Christians

The means by which those who have already been validly baptized become part of the Church differs considerably from that of the unbaptized.

Because they have already been baptized, they are already Christians and are not catechumens. Because they have already become Christians, the Church is very concerned that they not be confused with those who are still in the process of becoming Christians. In its National Statues for the Catechumenate (hereafter, NSC), the U.S. Conference of Bishops stated: "The term 'catechumen' should be strictly reserved for the unbaptized who have been admitted to the order of catechumens . . . and never used of those baptized Christians who are received into the full communion of the Catholic Church" (NSC 2).

"Those who have already been baptized in another Church or ecclesial community should not be treated as catechumens or so designated. Their doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full Catholic communion should be determined according to the individual case, that is, it should depend on the extent to which the baptized person has led a Christian life within a community of faith and been appropriately catechized to deepen his or her inner adherence to the Church" (NSC 30).

For those who were baptized but who have never been instructed in the Christian faith or lived as Christians, it is appropriate for them to receive much of the same instruction in the faith as catechumens, but they are still not catechumens and are not to be referred to as such (NSC 3). As a result, they are not to participate in the rites intended for catechumens, such as the scrutinies. Even "[t]he rites of presentation of the creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the book of the Gospels are not proper except for those who have received no Christian instruction and formation" (NSC 31).

For those who have been instructed in the Christian faith and have lived as Christians the situation is different. The U.S. Conference of Bishops states: "Those baptized persons who have lived as Christians and need only instruction in the Catholic tradition and a degree of probation within the Catholic community should not be asked to undergo a full program parallel to the catechumenate" (NSC 31). For this reason they should not share in the same, full RCIA programs that catechumens do.

The timing of their reception into the Church is also different. The U.S. Conference of Bishops states: "It is preferable that reception into full communion not take place at the Easter Vigil lest there be any confusion of such baptized Christians with the candidates for baptism, possible misunderstanding of or even reflection upon the sacrament of baptism celebrated in another Church or ecclesial community . . . " (NSC 33).

Rather than being received on Easter Vigil, "[t]he reception of candidates into the communion of the Catholic Church should ordinarily take place at the Sunday Eucharist of the parish community, in such a way that it is understood that they are indeed Christian believers who have already shared in the sacramental life of the Church and are now welcomed into the Catholic Eucharistic community . . . " (NSC 32).

It is therefore important for Christians coming into the Catholic Church to coordinate carefully with their local pastor and/or bishop concerning the amount of Catholic instruction they need and the exact timing of their reception into the Church.

The sacrament of baptism removes all sins committed prior to it, but since Christians have already received this sacrament, it is necessary for them to confess mortal sins they have committed since baptism before receiving confirmation and the Eucharist. In some cases, this can be difficult due to a large number of years between the Christian's baptism and reception into the Catholic Church. In such cases, the candidate should confess the mortal sins he can remember by kind and, to the extent possible, indicate how often such sins were committed (as always with the sacrament of reconciliation, the absolution covers any mortal sins that could not be remembered, so long as the recipient intended to repent of and confess all mortal sins).

Christians coming into the Church receive the sacrament of reconciliation before their reception into the Church: "The celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with candidates for reception into full communion is to be carried out at a time prior to and distinct from the celebration of the rite of reception" (NSC 36).

The Christian fully enters the Church by profession of faith and formal reception. For the profession of faith, the candidate says: "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God." The bishop or priest then formally receives the Christian into the Church by saying, "[Name], the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church. His loving kindness has led you here, so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit you may have full communion with us in the faith that you have professed in the presence of this his family."

The bishop or priest then normally administers the sacraments of confirmation and celebrates the holy Eucharist, giving the new Catholic the Eucharist for the first time.

Reception in Special Cases

In some situations, there may be a doubt concerning whether a person's baptism was valid. All baptisms are assumed valid, regardless of denomination, unless after serious investigation there is reason to doubt that the candidate was baptized with water and the Trinitarian formula (". . . in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit") or that the minister or recipient of baptism did not intend it to be an actual baptism.

If there is reason to doubt whether a person's baptism was valid (or whether the person was baptized at all), then the candidate will be given a conditional baptism (one with the form, ". . . if you are not already baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit").

"If conditional baptism . . . seems necessary, this must be celebrated privately rather than at a public liturgical assembly of the community and with only those limited rites which the diocesan bishop determines. The reception into full communion should take place later at the Sunday Eucharist of the community" (NSC 37).

Another special case is that of those who have been baptized as Catholics but who not been brought up in the faith or not received the sacraments of confirmation and the Eucharist. "Although baptized adult Catholics who have never received catechetical instruction or been admitted to the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist are not catechumens, some elements of the usual catechumenal formation are appropriate to their preparation for the sacraments, in accord with the norms of the ritual, 'Preparation of Uncatechized Adults for Confirmation and Eucharist'" (NSC 25).

A final case is that of Catholics who received confirmation and the Eucharist but who left the Church by a formal act, such as joining another church or denomination. Normally individuals in this situation can come back to the Church and become Catholics again by going to confession and being reconciled. Unless there are complicating circumstances, most priests have the faculty to receive people back into the Church in this manner.

Waiting for reception

It can be a time of anxious longing while one waits to feel the warm embrace of the Church and to be immersed into Catholic society. This time of waiting and reflection is necessary, since becoming a Catholic is a momentous event of great importance, but waiting can be quite painful as one looks forward with anticipation to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and to the joys of Catholic life--the strength and security that being a faithful Catholic bestows on one. Yet even before being received, those waiting to be incorporated already have a very real and very special relationship with the Church.

In the case of those who are already Christians, their baptism itself forms a certain sacramental relationship with the Church (cf. Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 3; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1271). They are also joined to the Church by their very intention to enter it, as are the unbaptized who intend to do so: "Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, desire with an explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church are by that very intention joined to her. With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14:3; CCC 1249).

Thus even before one is fully incorporated into the Church, one can already enjoy the status of being recognized by the Church as one of her own, precious children.

A copy of the National Statutes for the Catechumenate by the U.S. National Conference of Catholic Bishops is found in Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1988), pp. 391-396.

This article appeared in the September 1995 issue of This Rock magazine.

Copyright (c) 1996 by James Akin. All Rights Reserved.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-77 next last

1 posted on 05/10/2008 1:06:02 PM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; HarleyD; Iscool; Jaded; ...
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
Hauled Aboard the Ark
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
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
My Story
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
The Short Version (the Way International convert)
Shower of Roses-- An Independent, Fundamental Baptist Becomes Catholic Through Mary's Intecession
Confessions of a Catholic Convert
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says

2 posted on 05/10/2008 1:08:58 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

James Akin is a convert to Catholicism from Presbyterianism.

I will post his own cconversion story shortly.


3 posted on 05/10/2008 1:12:53 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), A journey of Faith from around September to Easter in your nearby Church.


4 posted on 05/10/2008 1:18:43 PM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: annalex
It's too bad Catholicism doesn't agree with the Bible. Thanks but no thanks. I'll remain a Bible based Christian. I prefer to follow Christ and not man made “wisdom” which is the dominant theme of Catholicism.
5 posted on 05/10/2008 1:21:11 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

Sorry you feel that way. At some time you might consider that Jesus believed in teaching through people, good and bad. He didn’t believe in communicating through writing. He wrote once on sand not something designed to last.


6 posted on 05/10/2008 1:31:31 PM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nmh
Catholicism doesn't agree with the Bible

Nonsense. Anyone reading the Bible honestly and accepting it as written will become Catholic or Orthodox. Protestantism is a gross perversion of the scripture.

If you think otherwise, follow my posts around, or if you have a specific question, I can answer it here.

7 posted on 05/10/2008 1:32:16 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nmh
It's too bad Catholicism doesn't agree with the Bible.

In your opinion.

8 posted on 05/10/2008 1:32:44 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
RCIA

Yes, but a caveat is necessary. Often, the RCIA is staffed by the most liberal Catholics the parish can find. That is probably so that no one feels alienated in the process. The end result is often such that more conservative converts seeking historical accuracy and biblical orthodoxy are repulsed by it. It is OK to shop around for an RCIA program that better suits your outlook, and by all means supplement your studies with apologetics material now amply available on the Internet. The Religion forum here at FreeRepublic has become a good networking tool and an educational source as well.

9 posted on 05/10/2008 1:37:56 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg; PAR35
At some time you might consider that Jesus believed in teaching through people, good and bad. He didn’t believe in communicating through writing.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,
but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

- Romans 16:25-27

Pinging a few Presbyterians who might be interested in seeing what James Akin - who is said to be a convert from Presbyterianism - had to say in this thirteen-year-old article....
10 posted on 05/10/2008 1:40:39 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
...this thirteen-year-old article....

Truth has no expiration date.

On the other hand, this article is no doubt older than scores of protestant splinter groups.

11 posted on 05/10/2008 1:42:04 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
James Akin - who is said to be a convert from Presbyterianism

This is James Akin's conversion story: A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY.

12 posted on 05/10/2008 1:47:31 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: annalex; PAR35; Dr. Eckleburg; Gamecock; Petronski
This is James Akin's conversion story

I read it. What a nut! From the Church of Christ, to Apocalyptic weirdness, to New Age Mysticism, to the PCA, and then on to Dr. Gene Scott - and all that before he marries a half-Catholic-half-New-Ager-half-Anglican (yes, that's three halves), moves to a PCA church, then leaves it four years later!

He was born in 1965, and attended a Church of Christ congregation until "five or six" (1970-71). Started reading "end times" parts of the Bible at "thirteen or fourteen" (1978-79). Turned to the New Age Movement for "about five years", but broke from them in his "first year of college" (1984). "Some time later" he starts listening to Dr Gene Scott, and "six months later" he joins Scott's church" (let's call it 1986). He was "fascinated...for some time" but decided to "find some other religious affiliation" and settled on the Presybterian Church in America (PCA). He says at this point that his goal is to become "a pastor or...a seminary professor."

Now at some unnamed date he marries his wife in a non-Catholic ceremony, but we are given a date when they later remarry in a Catholic ceremony - 1991. Thus, Akin's conversion happens no later than 1991, at age 26. During those intervening years (198? - 1991), his wife has converted from New Ageism (back) to Catholicism, to Anglicanism, and (back) to Catholicism AGAIN. At least several years prior to 1991, a former attendee of his PCA church sent a Catholic article to the congregation - Akin says he read it, but not how he got it, since the writer left the congregation "some time before I started attending there". He also mentions reading other Catholic materials "a year or two" before he converts to Catholicism himself (i.e. 1989-90). Akin also mentions that he was "having problems" with the fundamental doctrines of sola fide and sola scriptura, roughly four years after he claims to have become a Christian via Dr Scott's telechurch and even less than that as a PCA member.

It bears repeating that, during this very same period, Akin makes his decision to become "a pastor or...a seminary professor" yet he's having trouble with his own beliefs.

"How To Become Catholic" - this would make a perfect cover illustration:


13 posted on 05/10/2008 2:34:37 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: annalex

bookmarking!


14 posted on 05/10/2008 2:43:24 PM PDT by VRWCer (Barack Hussein Obama - The scrofulous Pied Piper of stupid people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MarkBsnr; Judith Anne; annalex; NYer; narses; cyborg; ArrogantBustard; BlackElk; trisham; ...
"How To Become Catholic" - this would make a perfect cover illustration:



Feel the love.

15 posted on 05/10/2008 2:46:17 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
Feel the love.

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

LOL!

16 posted on 05/10/2008 2:47:08 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Petronski

Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed!


17 posted on 05/10/2008 2:48:10 PM PDT by cyborg (Living strong for my mother and my residents since March 12,2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Spiritual restlessness frequently precedes conversion; it is in fact an element of true repentance.


18 posted on 05/10/2008 2:54:53 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: cyborg

In a general sense, those who understand the value of the Holy Sacraments but decide to cut themselves off from them, well, there’s some severe bitterness that’s got to follow from that.

Imagine Moses reaching the Promised Land and, rather than being kept out, simply refusing to go.


19 posted on 05/10/2008 2:59:23 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: cyborg

Hey, cyborg! We don’t see you here often enough. :)


20 posted on 05/10/2008 3:03:18 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: trisham

Oh yeah I know. I was telling petronski that I can’t believe I’ve been here for over four years already *LOL* I’m spending time with my mother for Mother’s Day. Cleaned up the garden for her before her big surgery in June. I’ve been busy with nursing school too.


21 posted on 05/10/2008 3:06:16 PM PDT by cyborg (Living strong for my mother and my residents since March 12,2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
Good for you! Now, don't be a stranger. :)
22 posted on 05/10/2008 3:08:31 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cyborg

Congratulations on nursing school....

Keep us posted on your Mom...Standing ready with prayers.


23 posted on 05/10/2008 3:48:07 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
Truth has no expiration date.Truth has no expiration date.

According to the list then, about 30 Protestants have converted to your religion in the las 13 years...That's more than I would have suspected...

24 posted on 05/10/2008 4:15:03 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Iscool
According to the list then, about 30 Protestants have converted to your religion in the last 13 years...That's more than I would have suspected...

Your suspicions are at least partly right. Akin converted in 1991. He only wrote this tome in 1995.

25 posted on 05/10/2008 4:29:20 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: annalex
HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

26 posted on 05/10/2008 4:36:23 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: TASMANIANRED

She’s nagging me as we speak! She’ll be having her cytoreduction surgery June 18th with the heated chemo if necessary. I’ll keep everyone posted.


27 posted on 05/10/2008 4:56:27 PM PDT by cyborg (Living strong for my mother and my residents since March 12,2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: cyborg

Please do.


28 posted on 05/10/2008 5:00:45 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy; ears_to_hear; 1000 silverlings; Quix; PAR35; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; Gamecock; ...
What a nut! From the Church of Christ, to Apocalyptic weirdness, to New Age Mysticism, to the PCA, and then on to Dr. Gene Scott - and all that before he marries a half-Catholic-half-New-Ager-half-Anglican (yes, that's three halves), moves to a PCA church, then leaves it four years later!

lolol. Looks like he's found the right place at last. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

It does take a certain kind of person to convert to Catholicism, however. Someone who doesn't bother to read the Bible for themselves, but instead who actually LIKES to take orders from someone else. It's called an "authoritarian nature," and it fits many of the Catholic converts I know to a "t." "T" for Tetzel.

How any Christian can go from the truth of the Bible to believing Mary is a "co-redeemer," or that priests are "another Christ," or that some old guy in Rome speaks for Christ and is infallible in matters of religion, or that a man's sins need to be forgiven over and over and over in perpetuity as if the cross were merely a suggestion and not the perfect propitiation for sin entirely, as Hebrews tells us...

yadayadayada...

Sad that some love their chains when Christ said He came to free the captives. Give me the renewed mind and the conscience of liberty bestowed by the Holy Spirit according to God's will any day of the week.

Post Tenebras Lux.

29 posted on 05/10/2008 5:20:07 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: annalex; Alex Murphy

Post #13 is Akin’s story.


30 posted on 05/10/2008 5:21:27 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Petronski

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” — Jesus

You will know they are Christians by their love.


31 posted on 05/10/2008 5:23:22 PM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
He didn’t believe in communicating through writing.

That remark strongly suggests Akin must be illiterate and this is his cover.

32 posted on 05/10/2008 5:24:47 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook
"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." -- Psalm 119:104

33 posted on 05/10/2008 5:27:17 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: nmh
It's too bad Catholicism doesn't agree with the Bible. Thanks but no thanks. I'll remain a Bible based Christian. I prefer to follow Christ and not man made “wisdom” which is the dominant theme of Catholicism.

I am not a Catholic. I am a Born Again Evangelical. But, I think your post is out of line. Catholics are working out their salvation just like the rest of us.

The Catholic Church has been the greatest force for good in history. What all of us who love Jesus Christ must realize is that an attack on the Catholic Church is an attack on all Christians.

Like you, I have problems with some of the Church doctrine. But, it is wrong and thoughtless to attack when no one has attacked you.

The topic of this thread is how to become a Catholic. It is not why all Christians who disagree with Catholicism are damned or not really Christians. If that were the assertion, I would back your criticism. But, it is not.

34 posted on 05/10/2008 5:30:55 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Skooz; nmh; 1000 silverlings; Iscool; Quix; Alex Murphy; Gamecock
The Catholic Church has been the greatest force for good in history.

That may be the most ludicrous statement I've seen on the forum in a long time.

Is it a "force for good" to tell Christians to believe Mary is a "co-redeemer?"

Is it a "force for good" to believe a priest is "another Christ?"

Is it a "force for good" to tell men and women to bow to statues of dead people and pray to them for intervention when the ONLY mediator between God and man is Christ Jesus?

Seems obvious our definitions of "good" are miles apart.

35 posted on 05/10/2008 5:39:35 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
From the Church of Christ, to Apocalyptic weirdness, to New Age Mysticism, to the PCA, and then on to Dr. Gene Scott - and all that before he marries a half-Catholic-half-New-Ager-half-Anglican (yes, that's three halves), moves to a PCA church, then leaves it four years later!

I've noticed a lot of the 'coming home' success stories tend to have had a checkered past of jumping from one belief system to another. We read about them swimming the Tiber, but I wonder how many move on to something else a few years down the road.

36 posted on 05/10/2008 5:43:30 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Eckleburg

It is ludicrous to dispute it.

What entity has clothed more naked?
Fed more hungry?
Given shelter to more homeless?
Given more free medical care to the poor?

What entity has, over the last 2000 years, performed more good works in the name of Christ?

Name it.

In my post I stated, and you seem to have ignored, that I have problems with some of the doctrine of the Church.

But, as far as good works go, it is inarguable that the Catholic Church has done more than any other institution, by far.


37 posted on 05/10/2008 5:44:28 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: ex-snook

Be well good brother.

Persevere, for in the darkness a single candle is as bright as the sun.

Dominus Vobiscum


38 posted on 05/10/2008 5:52:53 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Skooz
Forget it.

He will not respond to Christian love and reason.

He and his posse (see his ping list) are consumed with hatred for other Christians who do not agree with their interpretations of scripture. I feel sad, not mad that that is so. But I have seen many good Christians such as yourself try and fail. God Bless you!

39 posted on 05/10/2008 5:57:51 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: annalex; Dr. Eckleburg; Augustinian monk; blue-duncan; 1000 silverlings; Quix

“Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are still infants, and over the course of time they grow into a recognition of the enormous grace that has been bestowed upon them, of the dignity and wonder of their identity as Catholics.”

That second sentence - I can’t get past it. As if being claimed as an RC while an infant is the same as being claimed by Christ. This sums up what may be the major deception of the RCC.


40 posted on 05/10/2008 6:03:08 PM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex

I am a Presbyterian who enjoys going to Mass.


41 posted on 05/10/2008 6:05:57 PM PDT by windsorknot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Skooz

I deny the Catholic church has done more good works than anyone. I deny it as strongly as possible. You didn't answer my questions about what Rome actually teaches. Is it correct for a church to teach its congregants that there are "other Christs" and "co-redeemers?"

Sounds like the fast track to hell, imo.

Certainly there are saved Christians among the RCC but it is in spite of Rome's teachings, not because of them.

Additionally, "good works" don't save anyone. We are called to be in service to God alone, and He will perform good works in us in order to permit us to help the least among us. But those works are the Holy Spirit in us, not our own good works, which are as "filthy rags" to God.

The only "good work" that saves anyone is Jesus Christ's work on the cross, given according to God's free, unmerited mercy alone.

Saved by grace through faith in Christ.

This is pretty basic stuff. It sounds like you may have missed a few Sunday school classes if you're a Protestant. What denomination do you belong to?

42 posted on 05/10/2008 6:06:49 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Eckleburg
Testimony of an Ex-catholic

A much longer, but very comprehensive, testimony here:

TESTIMONY OF RICHARD BENNET (EX-CATHOLIC PRIEST)

50 Years in the 'Church' of Rome (testimony of ex R.C. priest Charles Chinquay - 1886)

Please understand that there are literally MILLIONS of Catholics "dumping Rome" and it is simply impossible to post all their testimonies. These "choice" few testimonies should more than amply illustrate WHY they and millions like them are choosing to dump Rome.

I've seen the above testimony in various manifestations time and time again, but they all fundamentally share a predeominant underpinning: a spritual hunger predicated on a feeling "this can't be it." Often these are lifelong Catholics who become disillusioned, for various reasons, with empty man-made formulaic ritual and vain repetitious prayer, and vacuous pomp-and-circumstance accouterments of the Church. Usually those who actually spend time in the Book looking for answers invariably come to the same conclusion.

The predominant issues at the forefront usually pertain to subjects such as the primacy of Peter, papal infallibility, the priesthood, infant baptism, confession, the mass, purgatory, the immaculate conception of Mary, and the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven. Over time many come to the realization that not only are these beliefs not in the Bible, they are actually contrary to the clear teaching of the Scripture. Finally the barrier against having personal convictions is broken and all doubt in their minds about the Biblical view on these subjects is erased.

The consequences of this realization are usually quite severe. Not just a mrere superficial RCC ex-communication, but a very real social ex-communication from their family. Most Catholics are Catholic because their parents were, their grandparents were, all their aunts, uncles, neices, nephews are Catholic. This is no small trifeling matter. Many that come to a Scriptural understanding about the doctrine of salvation remain in the Church despite the error riddled dogma proclaimed from Rome. They remain in the Church out of loyalty to their family. They may stay within the Church for years. They may even, as I have come to know, lead catechism classes.

But ultimately, the thing that severes the chord of binding is a decision to the raging questoin (and nagging guilt)to the question: Who was to be Lord of their life, i.e., either Jesus Christ in His Word or the Roman Catholic Church? That the Catholic Church was supreme in all matters of faith and morals is something that usually has been dyed into Catholics brains since they were children.

But succinctly put, it boils down to this:

Realization that God's Word in the Bible is absolute and without error (contrary to what had been taught that the Word is relative and that its truthfulness in many areas was to be questioned). Once the Catholic realizes that they can began to understand that the Bible could, in fact, be trusted, through the aid of reference works such as Strong's Concordance, A.T. Robertson's Word Studies, et ali, they begin to actually STUDY the Bible in order to see what it says about itself. They realize that the Bible teaches clearly that it is from God and is absolute in what it says. It is true in its history, in the promises God has made, in its prophecies, in the moral commands it gives, and in how to live the Christian life. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).

If, then, Scripture is OF God, and God absolutely needs to be obeyed, then they can no longer "fellowship" in the RCC.

Evengelicals are not called to convice people of doctrinal error, but to share the Truth. The convincing part is accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Catholics become "born-again" not overnight, but after a prolonged period of struggle, anguish and mental torment. And for many if not all, the ultimate decision is a very heartwrenching one indeed. Catholics who leave the Church do so because of the Truth, those who remain in it do so despite the truth. The Book says "seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be answered, knock and the door shall be opened."

These are not dogmatic, intellectual or pedantic excercises that the Catholic engages in, but a deeply rooted spiritual one. If one approaches the matter by asking for guidance and illumination by the Holy Spirit, the revelation WILL come. And when it does come, then a most blessed sense of relief is bestowed when all doubt and uncertainty is removed. I've heard tell so many times I can't count them, that when the final realization manifests itself, the sense of an immense burden and weight being removed from the shoulders conveys such a sense of wonderment and joy that almost everybody who describes the experience, with the virtual exclusion of nobody, becomes very emotional (and for some depending on how devout they used to be - VERY much so).

43 posted on 05/10/2008 6:11:43 PM PDT by raygun (24.14% of the Voting Age Population elected Slick (The Cigar) Willey to a second term.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Skooz
And you will see from post number 42, if you fail to agree with him, he will challenge your Faith.

Don't fall for it. It's not an worthy argument to get into. He'll just change his attack from the Catholic Church to you. You'll respond that you are indeed a good Christian, and now you've fallen into his trap.

Nothing to see here except hatred. No Christian love at all.

44 posted on 05/10/2008 6:11:59 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: PAR35; Alex Murphy
I've noticed a lot of the 'coming home' success stories tend to have had a checkered past of jumping from one belief system to another. We read about them swimming the Tiber, but I wonder how many move on to something else a few years down the road.

There was a thread a few years ago that showed that very fact. They simply switch again.

A lot of them become converts in the first place for marital "harmony" since many of them are marrying Catholics and figure it's easier to swim and risk drowning rather than try to convince their spouse of a more Scriptural perspective.

45 posted on 05/10/2008 6:12:54 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: raygun; Alex Murphy; Gamecock; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; 1000 silverlings; Quix; HarleyD; ...
Amen! Thank you for those wonderful testimonies. Those links should each be posted as a thread.

Realization that God's Word in the Bible is absolute and without error (contrary to what had been taught that the Word is relative and that its truthfulness in many areas was to be questioned). Once the Catholic realizes that they can began to understand that the Bible could, in fact, be trusted, through the aid of reference works such as Strong's Concordance, A.T. Robertson's Word Studies, et ali, they begin to actually STUDY the Bible in order to see what it says about itself. They realize that the Bible teaches clearly that it is from God and is absolute in what it says. It is true in its history, in the promises God has made, in its prophecies, in the moral commands it gives, and in how to live the Christian life. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).

If, then, Scripture is OF God, and God absolutely needs to be obeyed, then they can no longer "fellowship" in the RCC.

AMEN!

46 posted on 05/10/2008 6:19:33 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: cyborg

I’ll keep my rosary warm.

Putting your Mom on my prayer list.


47 posted on 05/10/2008 6:21:04 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Eckleburg

Oh for crying out loud, you didn’t even bother to READ my post, did you?


48 posted on 05/10/2008 6:21:15 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Alas Babylon!
Nothing to see here except hatred. No Christian love at all.

I noticed. Thanks for the warning.

49 posted on 05/10/2008 6:23:54 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Eckleburg

I haven’t been keeping up with the numbers, but aren’t most of the ‘coming home’ folks male? I can’t recall them touting large numbers of women making the swim.


50 posted on 05/10/2008 6:25:13 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-77 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson