Skip to comments.What are they thinking? (The Easter and Christmas only Church-goers, that is!)
Posted on 04/10/2012 10:09:53 AM PDT by Salvation
On Easter Sunday I had the privilege of serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at the 9:00 am Mass. By the time Mass began it was standing room only in the church. This was not a surprise. I bet it was the same at your parish. When it came time to distribute Communion, another person and I were asked to go to a station at the rear of the church. A line formed among those standing. At a certain point, I wondered why the line did not seem to get shorter and I realized that people were coming through the doors of the church and getting in line for Communion. After Mass, I learned that indeed people were standing three deep on the sidewalk during Mass. Because it was such a beautiful day, the doors were wide open and the music could surely be heard, but how much of the readings and homily and Eucharistic prayer did people hear?
Ive been wondering what made them stay and what makes our brother and sister Catholics who dont come to Mass often and maybe only at Christmas and Easter come on these feasts. On the one hand, if recent studies are correct and a majority of Catholics consider themselves as active if they go to Mass once a month on average, then making sure you plan to go on Christmas and Easter is a no-brainer. But for those who come infrequently, why stand on the sidewalk? Reverend Andrew Greeley, SJ, a sociologist talks about the sacramental imagination that is nurtured in the Catholic mind and that like Baptism seems to leave and indelible mark and so even for the Catholic who is not practicing the faith, his world view is a Catholic worldview. Another priest pondered that maybe if a person calls themselves Christian, then at the very least they see a need to come to church on Easter to represent so to speak!
Dont get me wrong, I love that the congregation overflowed onto the sidewalk on Capitol Hill. What a witness to the truth that the Easter story has real meaning and continues to capture peoples imagination. When I ask what are they thinking, I really want to know, because if we who are serious about the New Evangelization can better understand what the pull is to come to church once or twice a year than we can use that as a starting point for helping them look more deeply at their own experience. We can better able in our preaching and teaching and conversation make a more convincing argument for how active participation in life of the church will make a real difference in every part of ones life. Fr. Bill Byrne, the pastor, in his homily said that the story of the Resurrection does not just have meaning for a moment but rather calls for a commitment. If you believe the story, you need to make a commitmentto discipleship, to Mass, to service. How did people hear that? Are they still thinking about it today?
He knows as all of us know that it wont be standing room only next week. When we better understand the impulse to come to church once, twice, a few times a year, we can better help our brother and sisters move from impulse to commitment. Any insights you can share with me?
The teaching cant even be found in the Bible.
First off, you have to read the bible to find out; not just take someone's word for it...
And secondly, it's all over the bible...You come up with a rule of faith not found in the bible, you need to get rid of it, pronto...
To reject the infallibility of Christs Church is to reject the inerrancy of Scripture, since the Church wrote, preserved and canonized Scripture.
In which case, your religion should dissolve itself, since the scripture it wrote condemns itself in so many places...
I am not a Bible scholar, but the Church guides its followers on what is sinful and what is not. I’m not sure mortal and venial sin is referred to anywhere in the Bible, but as Catholics, we are supposed to obey the rules of the Church, and according to the rules, missing Mass is a mortal sin. Just as the case of not eating meat on Fridays a few decades ago was a mortal sin. There are other rules of the Church that are not mentioned in the Bible. I know there is someone out there who can answer this better than can I.
—Please tell you wife that as a baptized Catholic she is marked FOREVER as a baptized Catholic.—
HAHAHAHA! Yeah, the cult’s got ya!
She was baptized as a thinking adult who made a choice for Christ, giving her baptism actual meaning. It demonstrated her personal choice to the church.
We don't talk to the Apostle John, but we listen to him...We confess to Jesus, not another sinner sitting in some specific building...
We speak directly to Jesus regardless of where we are on the planet...To connect confession with your religion is outrageous...You confess to a man...Christians confess to God, regardless of where we are at...
No one needs a building or a person who looks religious for confession...That's called among other things, bondage...Bondage to your religion...We are not under bondage...
On the contrary, when going to church is to incur God’s favor to merit heaven, it’s works.
Have you ever read *The Normal Christian Life* by Watchman Nee?
Here's a good lesson for you...
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Doesn't it seem odd to you that the scriptures that your religion claims to have authored comes right out and condemns the practices of your religion???
The solution is to get into the scriptures and see what God says for Himself...
The only requirement for salvation is .....
Romans 10:9-13 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
—But only Christs Church possesses the fullness of truth.—
I definitely agree with that, though I think you and I mean different things when we use the phrase “Christ’s Church”.
What's incorrect is the thinking that some *church* is the bride of Christ.
Believers ARE the church, now matter when or where or even if they attend some local assembly of believers labeled *church*.
—The idea that the Bible ALONE is the sole rule of faith, isnt Christian.—
I include the bible and prayer.
And I think it is. Anything else is Mormon. Or worse.
The body of Christ is an organism, not an organization. As such, the organization of the RCC cannot leave a mark of any kind on the soul. The soul belongs to God, not any church.
Regarding Hebrews 13:7 According to strongs, the phrase “those who rule over you” is two phrases in the greek lexicon.
The first phrase is #2233 and means
1) to lead
—a) to go before
—b) to be a leader
——1) to rule, command
——2) to have authority over
——3) a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches
——4) used of any kind of leader, chief, commander
——5) the leader in speech, chief, spokesman
2) to consider, deem, account, think
The second is #5216 and means “of yours”.
So I consider “rule over you” to be “the one in authority.” I like the words better and they have the meaning that more fits with Christ. There is nobody between me and christ, though if we are to have an organization of Christians AS Christians, it needs a hierarchical authority. Someone needs to carry out those responsibilities, even when it includes excommunication.
This is especially true within the context of Hebrews 13.
—The soul belongs to God, not any church.—
I went to my first church for 18 years. When I left it it felt almost like I had left God. Almost. :-)
Since then I’ve belonged to 6 other churches and tried, for several weeks, three others. One thing I’ve learned is that most churches have something to offer and I have something to offer them. But some are a better “fit”. And we’ve been members of AG, Christian, “Community” and now, finally, Baptist. I was nervous about it at first, but the baptists in this church, at least, are not at all like all the bad stuff I heard about Baptists. ;-)
In fact, we love the place. They have an engaging bible study and allow all sorts of reasonable questions without calling you a heretic. And they do truly care about each other. That is a biggie for me.
If we were to move, we’d go to a different church. Heck, it could turn out to be foursquare for all I know...
Galatians 2:15-16 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Galatians 2:19-21 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Galatians 3:10-14 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for The righteous shall live by faith. 12 But the law is not of faith, rather The one who does them shall live by them. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for usfor it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:19-29 19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.
If the Law showed us our need for Christ so that we would turn to Him, it fulfilled its purpose. The Law was not given so that by living it we could earn salvation. If that were the case, the Pharisees would have been saved.
God instituted the Law knowing that we could not keep it and that's its purpose, to show us our sin.
We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we're sinners and all the Law does is show us God's standard and how far short of it we fall.
Thank you for your reply. Within your answer lies the reason I inquired about the Scripture base Catholic teachings.
For instance and still with respect, though it may sound impertinent,I just don't know how else to say this.
If I am correct in believing that a mortal sin condemns the sinner to damnation, then what happened to those who ate meat on Friday before the Catholic Church determined it was not a mortal sin? Are they still condemned - or redeemed?
Scriptural basis in their teachings is a must for any Church/Religion. To have otherwise may destroy the faith of the people and/or the credibility of the Church.
I won’t argue with you grammar-to-grammar, I am not a student of the original languages.
However, the church is indeed ruled by elders, sometimes translated bishops, and what that rule entails may be subject to some dispute, but they do rule.
1st Timothy 3 - “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop,[a] he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);”
1st Timothy 5: “ Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
Hebrews 13: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Not a comfortable notion for our rugged individualist American souls. There is something to be said for rugged individualism. But it is not the biblical pattern for the Christian life.
We are to be part of the church, or congregation, or assembly, or whatever you may want to term it. That includes being subject, to some degree, to spiritual authorities. The way the authorities get their authority is lined out in Scripture, and their authority is not absolute. Nevertheless it exists.
Jesus set up His church for our blessing, not our curse. Church is not always easy, and God says there are false leaders and so on. But He did set it up and we are to be part of it.
Can you be more specific? I would like to know what other churches are doing.
I am not talking catholic. I already comment on another thread with you. So Do you confess to Christ for individual sins. Yes or no.
A long time ago. I read that book.