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Thoughts on Catholicism…

June 20, 2007

Hey guys.  This Sunday we got on the topic of Catholicism, and how it relates
to Christianity.  I assume that some of you guys, like Kathy and I, have
relatives who are Catholics.  Since we didn’t have enough time to discuss it
there, I thought I would post some thoughts and hear your comments…

First let me begin with a quote from a book some of the guys have been reading
“Mere Christianity”:

“It  is no good asking for a simple religion. After all, real things are
not simple. They  look simple, but they are not.  The table I  am sitting at looks simple: but ask a  scientist to tell you what it is really made of-all about the atoms and how the light waves rebound from them and hit my eye and what they do to the optic nerve and what it does to my brain-and, of course, you find that what  we  call “seeing  a table” lands you  in  mysteries  and complications  which  you can hardly  get to  the end of … If you want to go on  and ask  what  is really  happening [in life]-  then you  must  be prepared for something difficult. If  we ask  for something  more than simplicity,  it is silly then to complain that the something more is not simple.”

The things of life are not always easily answered, and if you want the truth
then it takes searching most people do not care to do, and sometimes this
truth, like many things in life, is complicated. This question is no different.
So with that said lets begin to take a look at the similarities and differences
of these two religious giants.

I think we have to begin with the understanding that there are two strings
being pulled when we speak of differences between Catholicism and Christianity. 
The first is the ‘heart’ and the other is the ‘mind’. Let me begin with the heart…

I think it is the desire of God that when he gives Man free will (which he has),
Man will come running back to God.  This is what gives God joy. The way in
which we come running back is through the understanding that God is the Force
that drives us, and that we cannot be dependent on ourselves.  It is the
recognition that we have messed up and that we need his sanctification to make us
“right” again.  In this regards I think that Catholicism falls in line with
Christianity.  If you have met a Catholic person, they have the same desire to
know and follow Christ and accept him as Savior as you probably do.  Therefore,
I believe it is possible for a person to be Catholic and be redeemed by God.

Now to the mind…

I was contemplating discussing every difference between Catholicism and Christianity;
who is right/wrong and why, but I think that would not best serve the purpose
of this post.  Instead, let’s just agree that there are some major differences in
theology.  I think that from a theological standpoint, a lot of Catholicism is baloney.
The Catholic Church (underline Church- not individuals) has added so many extras to
God’s word, it has tainted Truth and most Catholics absorb it all without trying
to differentiate the garbage from Truth.  However, if we are going to accept that
a Catholic person (underline person) can be redeemed, then you have to assume
that since God calls that person a son, He will teach them about Himself despite
the Church. I claim that person will be taught, by the will of God, to suppress
some of the grossly inaccurate teachings in the Catholic Church; the power of
the Pope to speak infallibaly, the thought that Mary was without original sin, the
thought that an infant sprinkled at birth is saved, and the thought that man is
justified by works and not by faith (and on and on…). 

To sum this up take a look at what Jesus says it takes for a man to be redeemed:

“In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

And with that goes all the things a person born again will have… A spirit of
repentance, scriptural obedience, sensitivity to sin, love, discernment of the
will of God.

I cannot help but believe if this is explained to a Catholic person,
then after some time if they are truly seeking God, they will come to the
realization that the Catholic Church just cannot offer everything that they
need spiritually.  But keep in mind Catholics hold tightly to their beliefs,
and will not be ripped away from Catholicism.  This must be a process they
go through on their own, because it takes time sifting through Truth and
everything else they’ve come to know.  So above all else, show them love,
because many Catholics have the same desire to follow Christ, but are going
about it in a misguided way. I should also mention that there are more
than our fair share of Christians who are in a similar boat. Many who blindly
accept this or that which leads to a shallow understanding of Christianity and
therefore a foundation laid on sand.

Sorry this was so long… let me know your thoughts!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2007 6:49 pm

    Hey Devin! Thanks for all of your research and time giving us a little more insight into the different beliefs/rituals of catholics versus the protestant church. I just wanted to add that Carolyn would be a great resource for this topic because she attended a catholic school during college. (she mentioned this during our women’s Bible study)
    Thanks again,
    Madelyn

  2. tcarnes permalink
    June 21, 2007 9:41 pm

    What you have to remember is that the Catholic church views church tradition on an equal level with the Bible, and Protestants hold that the Bible is above all church tradition, that is why they hold so many ‘traditional views’ that we reject, because they are not in the Bible, though they were held for over 1,000 years by the church. So that is the issue, is the Bible over church tradition, or equal to it? But as Devin said, there is great difference between a Catholic person and the catholic church, so we have to judge each person individually and not as a group, as the true signs of salvation, as Devin outlined above, can only be seen in individuals, not groups.
    Todd

  3. Jennifer permalink
    June 22, 2007 11:50 am

    I just wanted to clarify when I Catholicism as another religion I did not mean that they weren’t saved. I just always see the catholic church as a whole by itself b/c they have the pope and such a large following. Even interviews or discussions on the news refer to them as “the Catholic church”. I grew up in a Catholic church, Lutheran, pentecostal, Baptist. So I have a diverse background of religions. Do I believe that my Grandmothers, that were devout Catholics, were also Believers in Christ? With all my heart! In all religions, I believe, you have those that do it b/c they just want to go along with everyone else and those who truly worship with their whole heart. I this clears up my view on it, I really didn’t mean to start anything… 🙂 We will be on Vacation, leaving today! See y’all in 2 Sundays….
    Thanks Jennifer

  4. June 26, 2007 12:56 pm

    Hey guys.. here’s another thought from me in regards to this blog. Kimberly Freeman and I were discussing this topic and she was very helpful in enlightening me that the Catholic church was actually the foundation of our ‘Christian church’ (meaning Catholic and Protestant churchs alike) and the Protestant church actually split from the Catholic church. So we should be careful in saying Catholic versus Christian, instead we should probably say Catholic versus Protestant when discussing the differences in denominational traditions/beliefs.

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