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The Hidden Exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants
National Catholic Reporter ^ | April 18, 2011 | Thomas Reese

Posted on 04/20/2011 12:07:28 PM PDT by AnalogReigns

The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants

Apr. 18, 2011

Article Details

Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why

By Thomas Reese

Viewpoint

The number of people who have left the Catholic church is huge.

We all have heard stories about why people leave. Parents share stories about their children. Academics talk about their students. Everyone has a friend who has left.

While personal experience can be helpful, social science research forces us to look beyond our circle of acquaintances to see what is going on in the whole church.

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life has put hard numbers on the anecdotal evidence: One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic.

Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.

Thankfully, although the U.S. bishops have not supported research on people who have left the church, the Pew Center has.

Pew’s data shows that those leaving the church are not homogenous. They can be divided into two major groups: those who become unaffiliated and those who become Protestant. Almost half of those leaving the church become unaffiliated and almost half become Protestant. Only about 10 percent of ex-Catholics join non-Christian religions. This article will focus on Catholics who have become Protestant. I am not saying that those who become unaffiliated are not important; I am leaving that discussion to another time.

Why do people leave the Catholic church to become Protestant? Liberal Catholics will tell you that Catholics are leaving because they disagree with the church’s teaching on birth control, women priests, divorce, the bishops’ interference in American politics, etc. Conservatives blame Vatican II, liberal priests and nuns, a permissive culture and the church’s social justice agenda.

One of the reasons there is such disagreement is that we tend to think that everyone leaves for the same reason our friends, relatives and acquaintances have left. We fail to recognize that different people leave for different reasons. People who leave to join Protestant churches do so for different reasons than those who become unaffiliated. People who become evangelicals are different from Catholics who become members of mainline churches.

Spiritual needs

The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their “spiritual needs were not being met” in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they “found a religion they like more” (70 percent). Eighty-one percent of respondents say they joined their new church because they enjoy the religious service and style of worship of their new faith.

In other words, the Catholic church has failed to deliver what people consider fundamental products of religion: spiritual sustenance and a good worship service. And before conservatives blame the new liturgy, only 11 percent of those leaving complained that Catholicism had drifted too far from traditional practices such as the Latin Mass.

Dissatisfaction with how the church deals with spiritual needs and worship services dwarfs any disagreements over specific doctrines. While half of those who became Protestants say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teaching, specific questions get much lower responses. Only 23 percent said they left because of the church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality; only 23 percent because of the church’s teaching on divorce; only 21 percent because of the rule that priests cannot marry; only 16 percent because of the church’s teaching on birth control; only 16 percent because of the way the church treats women; only 11 percent because they were unhappy with the teachings on poverty, war and the death penalty.

The data shows that disagreement over specific doctrines is not the main reason Catholics become Protestants. We also have lots of survey data showing that many Catholics who stay disagree with specific church teachings. Despite what theologians and bishops think, doctrine is not that important either to those who become Protestant or to those who stay Catholic.

People are not becoming Protestants because they disagree with specific Catholic teachings; people are leaving because the church does not meet their spiritual needs and they find Protestant worship service better.

Nor are the people becoming Protestants lazy or lax Christians. In fact, they attend worship services at a higher rate than those who remain Catholic. While 42 percent of Catholics who stay attend services weekly, 63 percent of Catholics who become Protestants go to church every week. That is a 21 percentage-point difference.

Catholics who became Protestant also claim to have a stronger faith now than when they were children or teenagers. Seventy-one percent say their faith is “very strong,” while only 35 percent and 22 percent reported that their faith was very strong when they were children and teenagers, respectively. On the other hand, only 46 percent of those who are still Catholic report their faith as “very strong” today as an adult.

Thus, both as believers and as worshipers, Catholics who become Protestants are statistically better Christians than those who stay Catholic. We are losing the best, not the worst.

Some of the common explanations of why people leave do not pan out in the data. For example, only 21 percent of those becoming Protestant mention the sex abuse scandal as a reason for leaving. Only 3 percent say they left because they became separated or divorced.

Becoming Protestant

If you believed liberals, most Catholics who leave the church would be joining mainline churches, like the Episcopal church. In fact, almost two-thirds of former Catholics who join a Protestant church join an evangelical church. Catholics who become evangelicals and Catholics who join mainline churches are two very distinct groups. We need to take a closer look at why each leaves the church.

Fifty-four percent of both groups say that they just gradually drifted away from Catholicism. Both groups also had almost equal numbers (82 percent evangelicals, 80 percent mainline) saying they joined their new church because they enjoyed the worship service. But compared to those who became mainline Protestants, a higher percentage of those becoming evangelicals said they left because their spiritual needs were not being met (78 percent versus 57 percent) and that they had stopped believing in Catholic teaching (62 percent versus 20 percent). They also cited the church’s teaching on the Bible (55 percent versus 16 percent) more frequently as a reason for leaving. Forty-six percent of these new evangelicals felt the Catholic church did not view the Bible literally enough. Thus, for those leaving to become evangelicals, spiritual sustenance, worship services and the Bible were key. Only 11 percent were unhappy with the church’s teachings on poverty, war, and the death penalty Ñ the same percentage as said they were unhappy with the church’s treatment of women. Contrary to what conservatives say, ex-Catholics are not flocking to the evangelicals because they think the Catholic church is politically too liberal. They are leaving to get spiritual nourishment from worship services and the Bible.

Looking at the responses of those who join mainline churches also provides some surprising results. For example, few (20 percent) say they left because they stopped believing in Catholic teachings. However, when specific issues were mentioned in the questionnaire, more of those joining mainline churches agreed that these issues influenced their decision to leave the Catholic church. Thirty-one percent cited unhappiness with the church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality, women, and divorce and remarriage, and 26 percent mentioned birth control as a reason for leaving. Although these numbers are higher than for Catholics who become evangelicals, they are still dwarfed by the number (57 percent) who said their spiritual needs were not met in the Catholic church.

Thus, those becoming evangelicals were more generically unhappy than specifically unhappy with church teaching, while those who became mainline Protestant tended to be more specifically unhappy than generically unhappy with church teaching. The unhappiness with the church’s teaching on poverty, war and the death penalty was equally low for both groups (11 percent for evangelicals; 10 percent for mainline).

What stands out in the data on Catholics who join mainline churches is that they tend to cite personal or familiar reasons for leaving more frequently than do those who become evangelicals. Forty-four percent of the Catholics who join mainline churches say that they married someone of the faith they joined, a number that trumps all doctrinal issues. Only 22 percent of those who join the evangelicals cite this reason.

Perhaps after marrying a mainline Christian and attending his or her church’s services, the Catholic found the mainline services more fulfilling than the Catholic service. And even if they were equally attractive, perhaps the exclusion of the Protestant spouse from Catholic Communion makes the more welcoming mainline church attractive to an ecumenical couple.

Those joining mainline communities also were more likely to cite dissatisfaction of the Catholic clergy (39 percent) than were those who became evangelical (23 percent). Those who join mainline churches are looking for a less clerically dominated church.

Lessons from the data

There are many lessons that we can learn from the Pew data, but I will focus on only three.

First, those who are leaving the church for Protestant churches are more interested in spiritual nourishment than doctrinal issues. Tinkering with the wording of the creed at Mass is not going to help. No one except the Vatican and the bishops cares whether Jesus is “one in being” with the Father or “consubstantial” with the Father. That the hierarchy thinks this is important shows how out of it they are.

While the hierarchy worries about literal translations of the Latin text, people are longing for liturgies that touch the heart and emotions. More creativity with the liturgy is needed, and that means more flexibility must be allowed. If you build it, they will come; if you do not, they will find it elsewhere. The changes that will go into effect this Advent will make matters worse, not better.

Second, thanks to Pope Pius XII, Catholic scripture scholars have had decades to produce the best thinking on scripture in the world. That Catholics are leaving to join evangelical churches because of the church teaching on the Bible is a disgrace. Too few homilists explain the scriptures to their people. Few Catholics read the Bible.

The church needs a massive Bible education program. The church needs to acknowledge that understanding the Bible is more important than memorizing the catechism. If we could get Catholics to read the Sunday scripture readings each week before they come to Mass, it would be revolutionary. If you do not read and pray the scriptures, you are not an adult Christian. Catholics who become evangelicals understand this.

Finally, the Pew data shows that two-thirds of Catholics who become Protestants do so before they reach the age of 24. The church must make a preferential option for teenagers and young adults or it will continue to bleed. Programs and liturgies that cater to their needs must take precedence over the complaints of fuddy-duddies and rubrical purists.

Current religious education programs and teen groups appear to have little effect on keeping these folks Catholic, according to the Pew data, although those who attend a Catholic high school do appear to stay at a higher rate. More research is needed to find out what works and what does not.

The Catholic church is hemorrhaging members. It needs to acknowledge this and do more to understand why. Only if we acknowledge the exodus and understand it will we be in a position to do something about it.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas J. Reese, former editor in chief of America, is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington. He is working on a new book: Survival Guide for Thinking Catholics.]

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Links:
[1] http://ncronline.org/files/04152011p01phb.jpg


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; evangelical; exodus; protestant
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To: JenB

Well you will have a lot to work out.. Infused grace vs Imparted grace to name just one fundamental difference .no small difference ... Good luck


101 posted on 04/20/2011 1:55:38 PM PDT by RnMomof7 ( "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you,)
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To: RJR_fan
the most thoughtful Protestants either go all the way, and discover the Reformed perspective, or swim the Tiber.

There is acant evidence that it is the "thoughtful" ones that end up swimming the Tiber. There are too few to judge.

102 posted on 04/20/2011 1:56:51 PM PDT by topcat54 ("Friends don't let friends listen to dispensationalists.")
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To: RnMomof7
And most Catholics do not know Christ in a salvific way

Don't you think that is rather presumptuous on your part?

I do not think God will ask what the "propers" are

The context was liturgy, specifically Catholic liturgy. I am guessing that how you worship God, whatever your theology, is important to you.

103 posted on 04/20/2011 1:59:14 PM PDT by jtal
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To: CTrent1564
The opinion of St. Clement of Rome, St. Ireneaus of Lyons, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Jerome, St. Augustine is against you. I will side with those great theologians whose writings against the heretics of the early Church stand as a witness to legitimate and orthodox Doctrine.

I am glad I am in the same church. Well said.

104 posted on 04/20/2011 2:00:24 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: jtal
And most Catholics do not know Christ in a salvific way Don't you think that is rather presumptuous on your part?

No , Catholics believe that they are damned by their sin..not that they are saved by Christ..

I do not think God will ask what the "propers" are
The context was liturgy, specifically Catholic liturgy. I am guessing that how you worship God, whatever your theology, is important to you.

Again God is not going to ask you what the proper is.. He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven.. What would you as a catholic say?

105 posted on 04/20/2011 2:04:21 PM PDT by RnMomof7 ( "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you,)
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To: AnalogReigns

‘Only 23 percent said they left because of the church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality; only 23 percent because of the church’s teaching on divorce; only 21 percent because of the rule that priests cannot marry; only 16 percent because of the church’s teaching on birth control; only 16 percent because of the way the church treats women; only 11 percent because they were unhappy with the teachings on poverty, war and the death penalty.’

Abortion, contraception, and homosexual ACTIVITY
being sinful arew all NON_NEGOTIABLE. If you leave the Church for this reason, you embrace your own sinful ideals.

As for married prists, women priests, AIN’T gunna happen. Thirty years of JP II and now with Benedict, we have significantly more conservative cardinals than at any point since the reformation and willonly get more so as the recent scandals and problems bring greater focus onto the sins and poor choices of the churchover the last century and particularly the last fifty years.

The Church can and will survive the modern age quite well. It has done so for the last 2,000 years and I expect that through all it’s problems it will go on long after this age is gone.


106 posted on 04/20/2011 2:05:35 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: RnMomof7
No , Catholics believe that they are damned by their sin..not that they are saved by Christ..

The two are not mutually exclusive.

I will grant you that it is much nicer to believe that your actions have no consequences. It is no surprise that that message sells so much better than the truth.

107 posted on 04/20/2011 2:09:40 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: RnMomof7
Catholics believe that they are damned by their sin..not that they are saved by Christ.

And out of a 1.1 billion Catholics, you've personally surveyed how many to come up with that conclusion?

He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven.

Where is that in the Bible?

108 posted on 04/20/2011 2:10:30 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: lastchance

You are right on money. Some of these people might have joined Protestant denomination because they don’t like the hierarchical nature of the Catholic Church. Some left because of theological position. Others because of worship styles. Each of those might join different denomination.


109 posted on 04/20/2011 2:11:59 PM PDT by paudio (The differences between Clinton and 0bama? About a dozen of former Democratic Congressmen.)
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To: RnMomof7
No , Catholics believe that they are damned by their sin..not that they are saved by Christ..

OK I guess I'll take your word for it. You seem to be the expert on what Catholics believe.

He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven..

I don't expect my salvation to depend on the outcome of a Divine interview. It should be pretty clear to God what my fate is by then, regardless of any canned answer I might have at the ready.

This is why I usually have the good sense to avoid these open religious threads. It's damn near impossible to have any kind of constructive discussion.

110 posted on 04/20/2011 2:12:27 PM PDT by jtal
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To: crymeariver

Anglo-catholic, Lutheran are very similar to the catholic mass.

I am an Anglican, it is the best of both in my lil ol opinion.


111 posted on 04/20/2011 2:18:12 PM PDT by servantboy777
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To: Brookhaven

“The serious churches are gowing, while the lukewarm churches are shrinking. “

I am not a RC and won’t defend them but I take issue with that statement. Mormonism is the fastest growing church in the U.S. any many of these other “growing” churches are independent/charismatic that have there own issues such as the prosperity gospel heresy. I don’t think numbers explains what is going on in the U.S.


112 posted on 04/20/2011 2:21:05 PM PDT by Augustinian monk (NAFTA/GATT- How 's tis too unstable to rely ohat free trade thingy workin out, America?)
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To: Jim from C-Town

Jim from C-Town:

The data is hard to decipher but what is the 23% who left over abortion vs. the 23% over marriage and divorce vs. the 16% over women are totally mutually exclusive or at least partially mutually exclusive.

Clearly 81% because represents they people across the various 23% over abortion, 16% because of women’s issues, etc, and is the sin of pride in deciding I want to decide what is worship and thus it is something that we the people make up, not what is received down thru the centuries.

Now, even if those numbers are are not mutually exclusive, i.e a person can be in more cohort/groups, you are still talking about 1 in 4 leaving over abortion and leaving a spouse and getting into another marriage or 3rd marriage, etc, etc because of the Catholic Church teaching that if you are in an irregular marriage, you are to refrain from Communion.


113 posted on 04/20/2011 2:21:25 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: marshmallow; Campion
You have to read all the way to the end, and then it rears its ugly head:

Tinkering with the wording of the creed at Mass is not going to help. No one except the Vatican and the bishops cares whether Jesus is “one in being” with the Father or “consubstantial” with the Father. That the hierarchy thinks this is important shows how out of it they are.

While the hierarchy worries about literal translations of the Latin text, people are longing for liturgies that touch the heart and emotions. More creativity with the liturgy is needed, and that means more flexibility must be allowed. If you build it, they will come; if you do not, they will find it elsewhere. The changes that will go into effect this Advent will make matters worse, not better.

Finally, the Pew data shows that two-thirds of Catholics who become Protestants do so before they reach the age of 24. The church must make a preferential option for teenagers and young adults or it will continue to bleed. Programs and liturgies that cater to their needs must take precedence over the complaints of fuddy-duddies and rubrical purists.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas J. Reese, former editor in chief of America

114 posted on 04/20/2011 2:40:58 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: marshmallow
Religion meets consumerism.

IOW, "the product" was more appealing, attractive, enjoyable.

Implicit in this concept, is the idea that we ought to somehow "tailor" or modify the product which we provide to meet customer demand.

I'd argue that this is at the very heart of our spiritual problems, today. When I say "our" I don't just mean Catholic. I mean the entire western world.

Excellent observation. Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death blames television for this approach to adapting the "product" to the market, and one of those "products" is religion. Adapting the religious message so that it is tailored, as you said, or otherwise made emotionally satisfying, is to change it to something different than the original. As he puts it, "I believe I am not mistaken in saying that Christianity is a demanding and serious religion. When it is delivered as easy and amusing, it is another kind of religion altogether."

115 posted on 04/20/2011 2:49:16 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: RnMomof7
they think that is the ONLY place they can actually eat Jesus and get holier because of it..

False.

116 posted on 04/20/2011 2:56:58 PM PDT by WPaCon (Obama: pansy progressive, mad Mohammedan, or totalitarian tyrant? Or all three?)
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To: Lorica
Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death...

The greatest book ever written about television. Period.

117 posted on 04/20/2011 3:04:40 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o
Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death... The greatest book ever written about television. Period.

Agreed. Must read for everyone.

118 posted on 04/20/2011 3:06:54 PM PDT by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: don-o
Do you remember what he quoted from Lewis Mumford about the clock, and timekeeping? I'd never thought of time in that way before. The whole book is fascinating.

I also recommend his Technopoly.

119 posted on 04/20/2011 3:10:15 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: Lorica
The changes that will go into effect this Advent will make matters worse, not better.

I like the changes even more now!

120 posted on 04/20/2011 3:11:30 PM PDT by WPaCon (Obama: pansy progressive, mad Mohammedan, or totalitarian tyrant? Or all three?)
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To: Lorica

Another really big factor is that it’s not socially acceptable to be Catholic these days and that has a whole lot more more bearing on many folks who leave than they’re going to ever admit.


121 posted on 04/20/2011 3:11:50 PM PDT by Rashputin (Barry is insane., so handlers keep him medicated and on the golf course.)
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To: WPaCon
I like the changes even more now!

Haha, me too!

122 posted on 04/20/2011 3:12:59 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: AnalogReigns
Thank you for posting a very interesting read.

Both groups also had almost equal numbers (82 percent evangelicals, 80 percent mainline) saying they joined their new church because they enjoyed the worship service. But compared to those who became mainline Protestants, a higher percentage of those becoming evangelicals said they left because their spiritual needs were not being met (78 percent versus 57 percent) and that they had stopped believing in Catholic teaching (62 percent versus 20 percent).

I don't expect most RC's would understand this "enjoyed the worship service". Having attended RC services and Evangelical services the difference is night and day. The Evangelical services involve opening Scripture and reading it, studying it, praying about it and the sermon, or message, is usually about 45 minutes to an hour long. You leave the service knowing more than you did going in.

My experience in attending RC services is Scripture is read without any serious consideration of it's meaning and the 15 minute message, or sermon, is a vague reference to social responsibility. You don't leave the service knowing more than when you went in.

Christians want to know Jesus.

123 posted on 04/20/2011 3:14:41 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Rashputin

It hasn’t been socially acceptable to be Catholic for a long time. I think there’s a lesson in that...

Have you ever seen a hush go over a group of non-Catholic friends when you say something like “omg, look at the time...I’m late for confession”?


124 posted on 04/20/2011 3:15:41 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: wmfights
Evangelical services... the sermon, or message, is usually about 45 minutes to an hour long.

RC services...15 minute message, or sermon

Christians want to know Jesus.

That's right. I want to know Jesus. Not the pastor.

125 posted on 04/20/2011 3:18:46 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: RnMomof7
Again God is not going to ask you what the proper is.. He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven.. What would you as a catholic say?

Can you please supply the Scripture for that? What chapter and verse tells us that we need to answer questions to get into Heaven?

126 posted on 04/20/2011 3:19:14 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o

What is your name?

What is your quest?

What is the velocity of an unladen swallow?


127 posted on 04/20/2011 3:24:19 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Campion

GMTA


128 posted on 04/20/2011 3:28:10 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o; RnMomof7
He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven.. What would you as a catholic say?

What would you say?

129 posted on 04/20/2011 3:30:10 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: SoothingDave

I thought those were the Netflix questions...


130 posted on 04/20/2011 3:31:28 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Lorica
LOL. I know what you mean, but it's to a different level these days, at least here it seems different than it used to be. Maybe it was already more noticeable elsewhere.
131 posted on 04/20/2011 3:32:38 PM PDT by Rashputin (Barry is insane., so handlers keep him medicated and on the golf course.)
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To: wmfights

Show me the Scripture for it, first.


132 posted on 04/20/2011 3:33:02 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Lorica
That's right. I want to know Jesus. Not the pastor.

I've had several family members become Born Again Christians. All I had to do was get them to decide to come to church with me. What happened in every case was they learned more about Christianity than they had ever known before and the pursuit of Truth grabbed hold of them.

I attended RC services with these family members and it was lifeless and stifling. My first time attending I was shocked I was the only one that brought a Bible. I understand that there are pamphlets with Scripture to read in the pews and there are prayers that require a specific response, but it was so ritualistic there was no life to it.

133 posted on 04/20/2011 3:40:16 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
The Evangelical services involve opening Scripture and reading it, studying it, praying about it and the sermon, or message, is usually about 45 minutes to an hour long. You leave the service knowing more than you did going in.

Are you talking about worship, or a college classroom?

Everything you're saying amounts to touting evangelical services as an intellectual growth experience for MEEEE, not an encounter with the living God. I don't go to church to "learn about Christianity"; I have access to plenty of books and the ability to read them to do that. I go to church to be at the threshold of heaven, in the presence of God, at the foot of the Cross.

134 posted on 04/20/2011 3:45:23 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: don-o; RnMomof7
Show me the Scripture for it, first.

This is why Evangelical Christians are so good at evangelizing and the RC's/EO aren't.

It's not a trick question. It's THE QUESTION non-believers seeking the Lord want to know the answer to. What would you tell them, join my church eat wafers, drink wine, do lots of good works and maybe Mary will snatch you out of purgatory on a Saturday?

135 posted on 04/20/2011 3:45:33 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Campion
I go to church to be at the threshold of heaven, in the presence of God, at the foot of the Cross.

It's a shame that you believe you need to go to church to have that.

136 posted on 04/20/2011 3:47:44 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

Let’s stay on track here. It was posited that we must answer a question to God to get into Heaven. I am still awaiting Bible for that. Thank you.


137 posted on 04/20/2011 3:48:23 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: wmfights
This is why Evangelical Christians are so good at evangelizing and the RC's/EO aren't.

Catholics evangelized all of Western Europe, and then all of Latin America, and we're currently doing pretty well in sub-saharan Africa.

Not bad, considering we're no good at it.

It's THE QUESTION non-believers seeking the Lord want to know the answer to.

What, how to justify themselves before the Almighty?

The Pharisee in the parable thought he knew the answer to that question.

138 posted on 04/20/2011 3:48:52 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: wmfights
It's a shame that you believe you need to go to church to have that.

I didn't say I needed to go to church for that; I said that that's why I went to church.

I think it's a shame that y'all reduce Christianity to an intellectual exercise instead of an encounter with a real Person.

139 posted on 04/20/2011 3:51:12 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: wmfights
I attended RC services with these family members and it was lifeless and stifling.

If this is an exchange of anecdotes, I'll add mine.

I've been to a number of Protestant services, at non-denom, independent Bible churches, Wesleyan, Baptist, and Lutheran. For obvious reasons, I liked the Lutheran the best. The rest left me dry, dry, dry. Fellowship isn't worship. At least not of God.

140 posted on 04/20/2011 3:52:17 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: Campion
to know how painstakingly pastors are judged by their congregations on every aspect of their preaching.

A Pastor should be judged on the content of his message. If he is being judged by the congregation on another basis, that, in my mind, is a failing of the congregation (and, ironically, the Pastor, for allowing his congregation to fall into that trap) and--more importantly--unChristian.

141 posted on 04/20/2011 4:08:00 PM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: don-o
Let’s stay on track here.

Then answer the question.

142 posted on 04/20/2011 4:11:33 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

Where’s the Bible for it? With your next dodge, it can be safely concluded that there is none. Right?


143 posted on 04/20/2011 4:18:54 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: throwback

I’m married to a former Catholic and you hit the nail on the head. We go to an Evangelical nondenominational church and every week we leave on Sunday inspired (and convicted) by the message to apply Biblical teachings to our daily lives.

This relevancy is appealing in such a lost world.


144 posted on 04/20/2011 4:20:22 PM PDT by BelleAl (Proud to be a member of the party of NO! NO more deficit spending and government control!)
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To: Invincibly Ignorant; AnalogReigns
What I do know is that he’ll be smeared somehow in just a few short minutes.

You should have made that 10 seconds. ;O)

Rather interesting article. I'm rather surprise a large percentage ends up attending evangelical churches.

145 posted on 04/20/2011 4:45:51 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: don-o; RnMomof7
With your next dodge, it can be safely concluded that there is none. Right?

Wrong. It's a straight forward question that you refuse to answer. I can only guess it's out of ignorance.

The question was: "He is going to ask why He should admit you into heaven.. What would you as a catholic say?"

Instead of an answer it's the typical 2 step. It's alright, our churches are gaining members seeking the answer.

146 posted on 04/20/2011 4:47:08 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
Instead of an answer it's the typical 2 step.

So. The question is not in the Bible. It's just made up by some preacher.

147 posted on 04/20/2011 4:51:12 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: HarleyD; Invincibly Ignorant; AnalogReigns
Identifying a public Obama supporter, whose theology is as left-wing as his politics, as a liberal is "smearing" him now?

Sorry, I must be on the wrong website. Somehow I thought I was on Free Republic.

148 posted on 04/20/2011 4:51:33 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: AnalogReigns
Excerpt from: ACERBO NIMIS - ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X ON TEACHING CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE - 1905 (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_15041905_acerbo-nimis_en.html)

"The enemy has, indeed, long been prowling about the fold and attacking it with such subtle cunning that now, more than ever before, the prediction of the Apostle to the elders of the Church of Ephesus seems to be verified: "I know that . . . fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock."[1] Those who still are zealous for the glory of God are seeking the causes and reasons for this decline in religion. Coming to a different explanation, each points out, according to his own view, a different plan for the protection and restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. But it seems to Vs, Venerable Brethren, that while we should not overlook other considerations, We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. This is fully in accord with what God Himself declared through the Prophet Osee: "And there is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing and lying and killing and theft and adultery have overflowed: and blood hath touched blood. Thereafter shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth in it shall languish."

2. It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life - for these find some excuse for their ignorance in the fact that the demands of their harsh employers hardly leave them time to take care of themselves or of their dear ones - but We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there"

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

“They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us”. (1 John 2-9)

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

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

149 posted on 04/20/2011 4:56:36 PM PDT by verdugo ("You can't lie, even to save the World")
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To: Lorica; Campion
Excerpt from: ACERBO NIMIS - ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X ON TEACHING CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE - 1905 (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_15041905_acerbo-nimis_en.html)

"The enemy has, indeed, long been prowling about the fold and attacking it with such subtle cunning that now, more than ever before, the prediction of the Apostle to the elders of the Church of Ephesus seems to be verified: "I know that . . . fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock."[1] Those who still are zealous for the glory of God are seeking the causes and reasons for this decline in religion. Coming to a different explanation, each points out, according to his own view, a different plan for the protection and restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. But it seems to Vs, Venerable Brethren, that while we should not overlook other considerations, We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. This is fully in accord with what God Himself declared through the Prophet Osee: "And there is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing and lying and killing and theft and adultery have overflowed: and blood hath touched blood. Thereafter shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth in it shall languish."

2. It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life - for these find some excuse for their ignorance in the fact that the demands of their harsh employers hardly leave them time to take care of themselves or of their dear ones - but We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there"

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

“They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us”. (1 John 2-9)

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

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra:

“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

150 posted on 04/20/2011 4:58:06 PM PDT by verdugo ("You can't lie, even to save the World")
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