Skip to comments.On Fifteen Years a Catholic ("How can you join a church that tells you how to think?")
Posted on 04/22/2012 11:23:32 AM PDT by NYer
The question, uttered with equal parts puzzlement and anger, surprised me. In hindsight, it should have been about as surprising as an afternoon drizzle here in Eugene, Oregon, in early spring. The questionalmost an accusation, reallywas made one early spring day over fifteen years ago. It was said in the middle of an intense discussion about the reasons why my wife and I, both graduates of Evangelical Bible colleges, had decided to become Catholic.
I’m happy to note, all these years later, that I have a good and healthy relationship with the man who made the remark. We both uttered strong words that day, but time and some further conversationsmore calm and measured in naturehave brought peace, if not perfect understanding.
I’ve sometimes joked, in recounting the full story to close friends, that I came up with the perfect retort several hours later: “At least I’m entering a Church that knows what the word ‘think’ means!” It would have been a low blow, but it touches on two issues that continue to resonate with me, now fifteen years a Catholic, nearly every day in some way or another.
The Mindless Scandal
The first is the intellectual life. The Fundamentalism of my youth was, in sum, anti-intellectual; it looked with caution, even fearful disdain, on certain aspects of modern science, technology, and academic study. But it wasn’t because we were Luddites or held a principled position against electricity, computers, or space exploration. The concern was essentially spiritual in nature; the guiding concern was that televisions, radios, “boom boxes” (remember?), and movies were potential tools for conveying messagesoften subliminal in naturecontrary to a godly, Christian life. The general instinct was, in fact, actually sound. Only the creators of “Jersey Shore” can deny the power and influence of popular culture, and then only with a smirk. But the permeating fear was rarely controlled, critiqued, and concentrated through rigorous thought and study. It was reactionary and highly subjective, and so it became a sort of rogue agent, undermining the most innocent activities: reading the Chronicles of Narnia, listening to any “non-Christian” music, or studying art or literature not including any overt references to “Jesus” and “the Gospel”.
My time in Bible college proved helpful in many ways, as several of my professors were certainly not fearful of going outside the box, evengasp!assigning books by Flannery O’Connor and Gerard Manley Hopkins (there was also some reading of Augustine, but in an extremely abridged form). But for every question answered, others sprung up like dandelions, multiplying with maddening surety. When I read Mark Noll’s controversial bestseller, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans, 1994), I was confirmed in many of the intuitions and thoughts I had mulled and culled over the years. Noll opened his book with this withering shot of lightning: “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Readers can disagree on the level of hyperbole used; Noll, a dedicated Evangelical scholar, seemed dead serious in his assertion. “For a Christian”, he wrote, “the most important consideration is not pragmatic results, or even the weight of history, but the truth.” These and other statements rang true. I had become convinced, at a relatively early age, that if something is true and good, it must be of God.
The Need for Authority
Of course, how did I know what was “true and good”? Enter the second issue: authority. I won’t regale readers about the details of my struggle with sola scriptura. (Readers can catch a few of them in my 1998 account our journey into the Church.) Instead, I’ll skip to something I wrote in February 1996, from a list of “several points of consideration” I put down regarding the claims of the Catholic Church. “I have become increasingly convinced”, I wrote, “that the idea of sola scriptura is in the end untenable … Again, this does not render judgment on the inspiration or infallibility of Scripture, it just moves the question to a different arenathat of authority.”
Nearly every non-Catholic adult who chooses to become Catholic will admit, or least should admit, the centrality of the matter of authority. As a Fundamentalist, I had been fed the standard, Jack Chick-ean version of Catholic authority: bloody, despotic, dishonest, power-driven, and so forth. The hike from there to looking squarely and honestly at authority in the Catholic Church was lengthy, but one key mile post was studying St. Paul’s description in his first letter to Timothy of “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). A passage by Abp. Fulton Sheen, written in the 1940s, sums up the matter quite well:
There is nothing more misunderstood by the modern mind than the authority of the Church. Just as soon as one mentions the authority of the Vicar of Christ there are visions of slavery, intellectual servitude, mental chains, tyrannical obedience, and blind service on the part of those who, it is said, are forbidden to think for themselves. That is positively untrue. Why has the world been so reluctant to accept the authority of the Father’s house? Why has it so often identified the Catholic Church with intellectual slavery? The answer is, because the world has forgotten the meaning of liberty.
One Surprise: The Bad
We entered the Catholic Church on March 29, 1997, Easter Vigil at Saint Paul Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon. It was a joyful night and I can say with complete honesty I have never regretted becoming Catholic. But I have been surprised a few times as a Catholic. Two surprises stand out; they also, in a way related to the two points above, stand together.
As an Evangelical, I was very familiar with “church splits”. I endured my first as a four-year old (our family and several others left the local Christian and Missionary Alliance assembly) and my wife and I stopped attending our last Evangelical church while it was in the middle of a dramatic split. I soon learned, as a new Catholic, that “splits” aren’t really part of being Catholic. I also learned that disgruntled Catholics, especially those upset about Church teaching on sexuality, authority, and the priesthood, don’t always leave the Church; on the contrary, they often simply try to take over the Church. And by “Church”, I mean both the local parish and the Church as a whole. My first big surprise, then, was finding out that while I (and many other former Protestants) had spent months and years working through Church doctrine and moral teaching, we were entering a Church apparently dominated and largely run, at least in practical terms, by Catholics complaining incessantly and obnoxiously about Church doctrine and moral teaching.
Moving toward and then into the Church, I wasn’t unaware of such problems. But the sheer scope of the situation was confounding. It helped that I had a relatively low view of the human state; I didn’t expect pews full of Catechism-quoting saints. But I had hopes that most of them knew about the Catechism and had some desire to live holy lives. And so the farmer boy arrived in the city.
It’s not surprising that Catholics sin. It is surprising how some Catholic insist certain sins are not only sins in name only but are actually virtues in disguise! It’s not shocking that many Catholics misunderstand the nature and mission of the Church. It is shocking how some Catholics deliberately distort and misrepresent the nature and mission of the mystical Body of Christ. It is not scandalous, per se, that many Catholics don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. But it is scandalous when Catholics insist they don’t need Christ or his Church in order to be Catholic.
A case in point is the recent statement released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) about the status of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The CDF noted its serious concerns with long established patterns of “corporate dissent” indicating LCWR leaders often “take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.” In fact, from its founding in the early 1970s, the Conference has thumbed its corporate nose at a host of Church teachings, including papal authority, the male priesthood, sexuality and contraception, the uniqueness of Christ, and so forth. It is the height (or depth) of irony that the LCWR site has this quote from Margaret Brennan, IHM, President from 1972 to 1973: “One danger for us is that we may become legitimators of society's commonly held values.” It ceased being a danger long ago, perhaps even before the quote was uttered. The CDF also highlighted the deep influence of radical feminist theology within the LCWR, and the undermining of the fundamental and “revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.” Details!
To judge by the mainstream news, the Vatican has been forcibly removing old nuns from convents and shuttling them to live beneath bridges and overpasses in southern Utah. One headline declared, “Vatican targets US nuns' reps”; another darkly stated, “Vatican condemns American nuns for liberal stances”. None of this surprising, of course, as the secular media is fixated on sensationalism, conflict, and opposition to traditional Christian teachings. You won’t see a headline stating, “Vatican offered LCWR a chance to save itself from self-inflicted death.” It would not fit the narrative, even if it fits the facts: the average age of LCWR women religious is at least twice that of those women religious in the CMSWR (Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious). Instead there are delicious sound bites, such as when Sister Simone Campbell, head of the lefty Network (named directly by the CDF), tells NPR it’s all about out-of-touch men in the Vatican who “are not used to strong women” and then blithelyarrogantly, reallysays:
Women get it first and then try to explain it to the guys who - I mean, as the women did to the Apostles. So, we will try to explain it to the guys. We'll keep up our roles from the Scriptures.
Because every good Scripture scholar know that what Mary Magdalene and the other women did, to their eternal credit, was publicly thumb their noses at the Apostles' teachings and actions!
What the media also won’t say (again, understandably) is the situation with the LCWR is about a crisis of faith that has been festering and spreading for decades as an affront to genuine Church authority. One result of this crisis of faith is, I think, a laity weary, numb, angry, or simply confused. How to make sense of it? Stepping back as much as possible, one can situate it somewhere in the stream of parasitical, self-loathing, and self-righteous pseudo-religiosity that may be best defined as “modern, pantheistic-secularist liberalism”. Its heaven is earth; its authority is self (wrongly identified as “conscience”); its goals are horizontal (“social justice”); its rhetoric is both morally charged and completely bankrupt. “When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong,” opined the endlessly opining Joan Chittister about the CDF statement, “you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral.” This is the same woman who praised and eulogized the radical, lesbian, Church-hating Mary Daly, saying Daly’s work “was an icon to women”. She fails completely, by any decent standard, to comprehend the meaning of “immoral”.
But this, I’ve learned, is the way of heresy within the Church, going back to the very beginning (think, for example, of Paul’s fight for the Galatians): to abuse trust and power, to misuse language, to undermine genuine authority, to dismiss essential truths, to claim the morally superior ground, to be a victim but never a martyr, and to distract and deflect at all costs.
The Second Surprise: The Good
This past Thursday marked the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the Chair of Peter, despite the assurances of the usual suspects with unusually suspect intuition. This was a moment of great joy for me; Cardinal Ratzinger had long been a favorite theologian and author. His books helped me in becoming Catholic and they’ve helped me in becoming a better thinking and, hopefully, better living Catholic.
But, of course, just as the narrative about the LCWR presents disobedience as goodness, the narrative about Benedict XVI has often been as follows: an angry, narrow-minded, Nazi-sympathizing reactionary is now Pope, and he is intent on dragging the Church back to the dreaded Dark Ages. Perhaps some of this utterly banal silliness could be forgiven in the first week following the election. But since then it has reflected unlearned arrogance (a media specialty), or petulant and personal smearing (a media delight), or slovenly regurgitation of falsehoods (a media habit). Or all three (a media trinity).
I won’t bother with an apologetic. Simply read the man’s writings. And if you haven’t read the recently published collection, Fundamental Speeches From Five Decades (Ignatius Press, 2012), which contains a fabulous talk given in 1970, when then Fr. (and Professor) Joseph Ratzinger was just about my own age now, forty three or so. The talk was titled, “Why I am still in the Church”. It begins with a nuanced and thoughtful reflection on the confusion faced by many Catholics in the years after the Council, which Ratzinger described as “this remarkable Tower of Babel situation”. He noted some Catholics wish to make the Church into their own image, reflecting their desires and goals, not those of the Church herself. Behind all of the struggles over what the Church “should be”, Ratzinger said, is a “crucial” point: “the crisis of faith, which is the actual nucleus of the process”.
Then, answering the question implicit in his talk’s title, he said:
I am in the Church because, despite everything, I believe that she is at the deepest level not our but precisely “his” Church. To put it concretely: It is the Church that, despite all the human foibles of the people in her, gives us Jesus Christ, and only through her can we receive him as a living, authoritative reality that summons and endows me here and now. … This elementary acknowledgement has to be made at the start: Whatever infidelity there is or may be in the Church, however true it is that she constantly needs to be measured anew by Jesus Christ, still there is ultimately no opposition between Christ and Church. It is through the Church that he remains alive despite the distance of history, that he speaks to us today, is with us today as master and Lord, as our brother who unites us all as brethren. And because the Church, and she alone, gives us Jesus Christ, causes him to be alive and present in the world, gives birth to him again in every age in the faith and prayer of the people, she gives mankind a light, a support, and a standard without which mankind would be unimaginable. Anyone who wants to find the presence of Jesus Christ in mankind cannot find it contrary to the Church but only in her.
And therein lies the answer to the question that opened this essay, the question presented to me not long before I became Catholic. How could I join a Church that tells me how to think? How could I not join the Church founded by Jesus Christ, the household of his Father, infused with life by her soul, the Holy Spirit? How could I thinkor desire, or choose, or willto do otherwise? And how can I, given the grace to be a Catholic, not stand up for my mother, the Church? “Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith” (CCC 169). She teaches us how to think because, alone, we know not how. Or why. Or Who.
Intercessory prayer to the saints does neither of these things: it does not conjure up spirits, and it does not attempt or pretend prophecy/divination. It's not necromancy,and if anyone were to try to use Christian prayer as a form of necromancy, that would be a sin.
Are you a member of a church that teaches that the faithful departed are cut off from the Body of Christ and have no more interest in us or are in no position to pray for us? I would like to understand more of where this view comes from, since I can't seem to find a Christian source. Can you suggest a website that links to your church's teachings?
Second, why don';t you respond to what I asked? Do you believe in the Trinity? In the Communion of Saints? Do you believe we are members of the Body of Christ?
“and of course you could show where the apostles taught that or at least instituting the office of queen of heaven.”
Can you show me where the Apostles taught that the gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew or that it is inspired? No, you can’t. Not all truths are in the Bible.
“So youre saying that the woman in Revelation 12 is Mary?”
Yes, and Israel and the Church. All three, and differing according to the verses. I already said this.
I doubt CynicalBear could answer your questions.
“What was Collyridianism ?”
A heretical movement in Arabia in the 5th century which worshiped the Virgin Mary as god.
“What exactly did the Collyridians do that they were considered heretics ?”
They worshiped Mary as god. Thus, they were excommunicated - and that would happen to anyone who did that today as well.
Well, maybe we should break it down. Lets take the prayer of Prayer of Pope Pius XII. [http://catholicism.about.com/od/tothevirginmary/qt/Honor_Immacula.htm]
Ill use just the bolded excerpts from the prayer.
we cast ourselves into your arms
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (When did we need to replace God with Mary?)
confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (once again Catholics replacing Christ with Mary)
O crystal fountain of faith
Romans 12:3 according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. or "a measure of faith." (but Mary is the fountain of faith for Catholics)
Lily of all holiness
1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (for Catholics however, all holiness is given to Mary)
Conqueress of evil and death
Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (but Catholics claim it was Mary who conquered death)
Convert the wicked
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; (Catholics have even replaced the Holy Spirit with Mary)
Statement by catholic Bishop Liqouri .......We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus..... She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help
Mary is their salvation? If thats not worship and blasphemy I dont know what is.
Need I go on? Catholics have replaced virtually every attribute and working of God and given that to Mary in their worship.
“Intercessory prayer to the saints” is truly necromancy.
We are not permitted to pray to dead saints. We have no real way of even knowing whether the dead are truly ‘saints,’ that is for YHWH and his angels to know.
All of our needs are fulfilled through prayer to the Father.
Repetition is not argument, and a statement reiterated does not contribute additional insight or evidence. This is unhelpful. Good bye.
Repitition of what we are instructed in the Bible by Jesus Christ contributes all there is to contribute in insight and evidence.
Have an incitfull and edified day!
“”If we are to take Strong’s Concordance we have to first admit that it is not infallible and that it is based upon the King James translation which itself is flawed.””
You hit the nail on the head on this because it has lead unimaginable modernist Christian thought and teaching because of Strongs Concordance error and the KJV
Here is just 1 good source on this, there are many
I attribute that more to the practice of self interpretation than to anything else. I can't understand how those who profess to be so Bible literate, who argue over Koine Greek punctuation and conjugation, can ignore the simple portions that they don't like.
"This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, Go to that chariot and stay near it.
"Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. Do you understand what you are reading? Philip asked."
How can I, he said, unless someone explains it to me? So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him."
- Acts 8:26-31
I agree with you,a flawed Bible does not affect a well educated Catholic/Orthodox who know their faith well because we understand the correct interpretations and meanings of Scripture and can trace these teachings back to the writings of the Church Fathers consensus and final dogma at some point on many important teachings
“we cast ourselves into your arms”
Nothing wrong with poetic speech. First, the phrase you posted and the verse from Peter are not the same. Anti-Catholics, blinded by their hatred and bigotry, are often too numbed to reality to actually get basic facts straight.
“When did we need to replace God with Mary?”
We didn’t. Mary works for God. When people sought miracles from the Apostles were they replacing God with the Apostles? No. Clearly your attempt at a point here completely fails. That was the only way it could go, of course.
“confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.”
Nothing wrong there. First, there’s no hint of worship. The fact that Mary is loving has nothing to do with worship. Ditto for “safe harbor” or anything else in the prayer.
“Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Nothing the verse you cites goes against anything in the prayer.
“once again Catholics replacing Christ with Mary”
Nope. You failed to demostrate how that is even happening. The reason why is simple - because it isn’t happening.
“O crystal fountain of faith”
No problem there.
“Romans 12:3 according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. or “a measure of faith.””
Mary was the mother of Jesus. God is the source of Faith and He came through Mary. Hence, she’s a fountain of faith.
“but Mary is the fountain of faith for Catholics”
Again, Mary was the mother of Jesus. God is the source of Faith and He came through Mary. Hence, she’s a fountain of faith.
“Lily of all holiness”
Nothing wrong there.
“1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”
Nothing in the verse goes against the prayer.
“for Catholics however, all holiness is given to Mary”
Jesus is all holy by His very nature. The Holy Bible is holy because of it’s source. The Church is holy because of its source. Mary is holy because of the gifts given her by her perfect Son.
“Conqueress of evil and death”
Yep. Nothing wrong there.
“Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”
Nothing in the verse goes against the prayer.
“but Catholics claim it was Mary who conquered death”
Adam and Eve gave us death. Jesus and Mary conquered death. Jesus is the New Adam. Mary is the New Eve. Eve disobeyed God. Mary was submissive and obedient.
St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d.202), put it this way:
“Just as Eve, wife of Adam, yet still a virgin, became by her disobedience the cause of death for herself and the whole human race, so Mary, too, espoused yet a Virgin, became by her obedience the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.... And so it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by Mary’s obedience. For what the virgin Eve bound fast by her refusal to believe, this the Virgin Mary unbound by her belief.”
“Convert the wicked”
Absolutely, through her prayers.
“John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; (Catholics have even replaced the Holy Spirit with Mary)”
Nope. I have aided the Holy Spirit in converting sinners. Haven’t you? Perhaps anti-Catholics live lives so alienated from God that they are never called upon by the Holy Spirit to minister to sinners and be instruments to encourage them to conversion. That would not surprise me.
“Statement by catholic Bishop Liqouri .......We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus..... She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help
Since all anti-Catholics lie - they must sooner or later do so for the facts do not support their hatred - we know not to trust their use of ellipses. Let’s look at the first passage as it actually stands rather than as the bigoted anti-Catholic would deceptively present it:
“’Sooner,’ says the devout Blosius, ‘ would heaven and earth be destroyed than would Mary fail to assist anyone who asks for her help, provided he does so with a good intention and with confidence in her.’30 Saint Anselm, to increase our confidence, adds, that ‘when we have recourse to this Divine Mother, not only we may be sure of her protection, but that often we shall be heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we have recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour and the reason he gives for it is, ‘that to Jesus, as a Judge, it belongs also to punish; but mercy alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness.’ Meaning, that we more easily find salvation by having recourse to the Mother than by going to the Sonnot as if Mary was more powerful than her Son to save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, and that He alone by His merits has obtained and obtains salvation for us; but it is for this reason: that when we have recourse to Jesus, wo consider Him at the same time as our Judge, to whom it belongs also to chastise ungrateful souls, and therefore the confidence necessary to be heard may fail us; but when we go to Mary, who has no other office than to compassionate us as Mother of mercy, and to defend us as our advocate, our confidence is more easily established, and is often greater. ‘We often obtain more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is Lord and Judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one; and therefore if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all, He is just When, however, the Mother’s name is invoked, though the merits of the suppliant are not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, those of the Mother supply that he may receive.’31
‘Many things,’ says Nicephorus, ‘are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained.’ And how is this? It is ‘because God has thus decreed to honour His Mother.’”
So, did you actually read the full passage now? Did you see this: “FOR WE KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR, AND THAT HE ALONE BY HIS MERITS HAS OBTAINS SALVATION FOR US”
So, the very thing you quote from Ligouri ACTUALLY SHOWS THAT YOUR QUOTING OF THE PASSAGE IS DECEPTIVE. Typical.
And the second quote - not surprisingly - completely leaves out “through her intercession”. Yeah, typical. Anti-Catholics have to be deceptive don’t forget. The facts just don’t support their claims.
“Mary is their salvation? If thats not worship and blasphemy I dont know what is.”
As I noted “through her intercession”. Ask yourself now, who left out that portion of the passage? Was it you or the website you found this at? Why would someone leave out something that important? Why would someone leave out something as important as “FOR WE KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR, AND THAT HE ALONE BY HIS MERITS HAS OBTAINS SALVATION FOR US”? Can a person who leaves out something so important be trusted? Can he or she be a serious Christian and lie that much? You tell me.
“Need I go on?”
Yes, please do. The most important thing we have learned is that anti-Catholic are not afraid to lie to attack the Catholic Faith. So why do you use their websites when it is so obvious they are deliberately lying? We orthodox Christians believe lying is a sin. How about you?
“Catholics have replaced virtually every attribute and working of God and given that to Mary in their worship.”
Nope. As I demonstrated, that is completely false and anti-Catholics literally have to lie just to make it appear that way. Do you know who the father or lies is? Do you believe bearing false witness serves him?
It is not so much what we understand as what we hold to be true. During my religious education and conversion process I encountered numerous difficulties with areas of interpretation, doctrine and dogma. Where the modernist or relativist Protestant, and even the lapsed Catholic would take the position that their own capabilities of discernment and rationalization were what must determine the truth I had faith in the teaching authority of my Church. Rather than truncate my studies and starve my understanding of the truth I am humble enough to admit that the difficulty and shortcoming is in me, not my Church and that I owed it to God, my Church and myself to keep studying and praying until I "got it". In every case, when pursued to the end, I have found the Church to be right.
Those whose authority is themselves or highly flawed persons they cite as authorities on par with the Magisterium simply on the basis that their expert agrees with them, are demonstrating a lack of faith. I feel as compelled by charity to aid them by feeding them the truth as I do to feed hungry children bread.
I am humble enough to admit that the difficulty and shortcoming is in me, not my Church and that I owed it to God, my Church and myself to keep studying and praying until I "got it". In every case, when pursued to the end, I have found the Church to be right.
Well said, I feel the same way.
I feel as compelled by charity to aid them by feeding them the truth as I do to feed hungry children bread.
Persecution is to be expected,even within our own families when we hold to the truth of our faith
Eph. 1:17-19 doesn't quite match up with what you are saying here.
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE UNTO YOU THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM and revelation in the knowledge of him: THE EYES OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED; that ye may KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness OF HIS POWER TO USWARD WHO BELIEVE, according to the working of his mighty power."
It is only through UNDERSTANDING His Word that a person can KNOW that what they hold is in fact TRUTH. And notice also, that the Spirit of Widsom and revelation in the knowledge of him is given to you BY HIM. NOT by your Church, or your doctrines, or your traditions. It is through His Word that a person understands and knows what is the hope of his calling.
Believing you know the truth is like me believing satan knows the truth, which I don't believe
It is the hallmark of every RELIGION. That’s how you can spot religion a mile away and run from it.
God is interested in relationships, not religions. If He wanted a religion, He could have stuck with what the Pharisees turned Judaism into.
v998: The Catholic Church has NEVER, EVER taught that or supported that idea.
Really? Does that mean that the FRoamn Catholics will now quit telling us how the Catholic church wrote the Bible and that it has the ability to speak infallibly in the matter of faith and morals?
“Does that mean that the FRoamn Catholics will now quit telling us how the Catholic church wrote the Bible and that it has the ability to speak infallibly in the matter of faith and morals?”
No, since the Church wrote the Bible and can infallibly define doctrine and since neither has to do with “generating truth”.
But it was short lived. And THAT is when satan realized THE TRUTH. When Christ arose from the dead. That is when satan discovered that he had tricked HIMSELF by crucifying Christ- that God had actually PAID FOR MAN'S SINS by the death of Christ. That is the good news of the Cross that Paul proclaimed. That God had sent him forth to offer "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).
Satan reached the climax of his career of deception when he deceived HIMSELF at Calvary.
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world KNEW; for HAD THEY KNOWN IT, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE CRUCIFIED THE LORD OF GLORY." 1 Cor. 2:7-8.
Satan KNOWS the truth. He KNOWS his time is short. He KNOWS his defeat was at Calvary. That is why he hates and opposes the message of grace, the preaching of the cross, more bitterly than he ever hated or opposed the prophetic program. Nor is it strange that it is GOd's purpose:
...that NOW unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." (Eph. 3:10).
If you don't believe he knows the truth, you are deceiving yourself and being deceived.
The Holy Spirit does not give everyone all of the gifts but none receive any of the gifts without faith.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. - 1 Corinthians 12:7-11:
God, infinite and infinitely perfect, is beyond the capacity of humans to fully understand. Faith is the acceptance of things not understood.