Why Are You Catholic?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by neal4christ, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    Hello all. Before I start this topic I pray that God's Spirit would guide our hearts and our words.

    First off, I would like to ask all of the Catholics here, "why are you Catholic?" What factored into your decision?

    Secondly, how do you know that is the right decision? There is much talk of sola scriptura and how Protestants do what is right in their own eyes, but is not the decision to be a Catholic arrived at by the same process? Don't you use your mind either way? Don't you examine the evidence and the claims of various sides and then make a decision based on the information and your understanding of it? Why is the human decision to be Catholic any different or any more correct than to be a Baptist, Methodist, Eastern Orthodox, etc?

    I ask these questions earnestly and with a desire to understand. I have done much reading and have heard all kinds of claims to the truth. I have also heard Catholics accuse Protestants of not having an authority, among other things, and questioning the validity of an individual's interpretation of Scripture. However, when one decides to be a Catholic, by what authority do they make that decision? They don't have the church to point to because they are not a part of it yet. How do you know that your interpretation of the facts before you unite yourself with the Church is correct?

    In Christ,
    Neal

    P.S. I ask that anyone posting do so in a loving manner. These are honest questions I ask and am currently pondering. I appreciate any light on the subject.
     
  2. Ps104_33

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    That is a very good question and one that I have been asking here for a long time. Dont hold your breath. Expect alot of obfuscation and double-talk. Here is an excerpt from Dr Salmon's essay on the Infallibility of thr Church. It is well worth the read.


    "It is common with Roman Catholics to speak as if the use of private judgment and the infallibility of the Church were things opposed to each other. They are fond of contrasting the peace, and certainty, and assurance of him whose faith rests on the rock of an infallible Church, with the un certainty of him whose belief rests only on the shifting sands of his own fallible judgment. But it must be remembered that our belief must, in the end, rest on an act of our own judgment, and can never attain any higher certainty than whatever that may be able to give us. We may talk about the right of private judgment, or the duty of private judgment, but a more important thing to insist on is the necessity of private judgment. We have the choice whether we shall exercise our private judgment in one act or in a great many; but exercise it in one way or another we must. We may either apply our private judgment separately to the different questions in controversy-Purgatory, Transubstantiation Invocation of Saints, and soforth-and come to our own conclusion on each; or we may apply our private judgment to the question whether the Church of Rome is infallible, and, if we decide that it is, take all our religious opinions thenceforward on trust from her. But it is clear that our certainty that any of the things she teaches us is right cannot be greater than whatever certainty we have that our private judgment has decided the question rightly whether we ought to submit unreservedly to her teaching; and it will appear, before we have done, that this is at least as difficult a question as any in the controversy.
    That submission to the Church of Rome rests ultimately on an act of private judgment is unmistakeably evident, when a Romanist tries (as he has no scruple in doing) to make a convert of you or any other member of our Church. What does he then ask you to do but to decide that the religion of your fathers is wrong; that the teachers and instructors of your childhood were all wrong; that the clergy to whom you have looked up as best able to guide you are all mistaken and have been leading you in a way which must end in your eternal destruction? Well, if you come to the conclusion to reject all the authority which you have reverenced from your childhood, is not that a most audacious exercise of private judgment? But suppose you come to the opposite conclusion, and decide on staying where you were, would not a Romanist have a right to laugh at you, if you said that you were not using your private judgment then; that to change one's religion indeed is an act of private judgment, but that one who continues in his father's religion is subject to none of the risks to which every exercise of private judgment is liable? Well, it is absurd to imagine that logic has one rule for Roman Catholics and another for us; that it would be an exercise of private judgment in them to change their religion, but none if they continue in what their religious teachers have told them. An act of our judgment must he the ultimate foundation of all our beliefs.
    The case is the case as if an inexperienced woman now finds herself the inheritor of a landed estate. She may feel herself quite incompetent to decide on all the questions of dealing with tenants that must now arise, and she may very wisely entrust the management of her affairs to an agent or attorney. But it would be a delusion to imagine that she thereby escapes risk or responsibility. She has to exercise her judgment in the choice of an agent, and according as she has made that decision, wisely or not, her affairs prosper, or the reverse. A blind man does well in getting someone to lead him; but if he chooses a blind man to lead him, both fall into the ditch. And so in matters of religion. The most irreligious man, who resolves to neglect the whole subject, and never trouble his head about any religious question, surely by that resolve, whether formally or informally made, incurs a most serious responsibility. In like manner, neither does the man escape responsibility who equally puts the consideration of religious problems from his mind, because he is content to surrender his judgment to the guidance of some one else whom he believes to be wiser than himself. I do not see how a Roman Catholic advocate can help yielding the point that a member of his Church does, in truth, exercise private judgment, once for all, in his decision to submit to the teaching of the Church."
     
  3. Kathryn

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    John 6:68
    Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life."

    In a nutshell, the reason I am a Catholic is because of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I believe in Jesus Christ and everything he said, did, and commanded. He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is my Lord and my God. Because spiritually Jesus Christ is my Brother, His mother is therefore spiritually my Mother. He shares His family and His life with me. I share membership in this very Body of Christ, I share in the communion of the saints. His brothers and sisters are my brothers and sisters.

    I am a Catholic because I want the whole ball of wax. Not just some parts, or just enough to get to heaven when I die. Through the sacrament of Baptism, I have died with Him and now I live with Him. Death has no hold on me. The Grace that saves me is real Grace. I am made a temple of the Holy Spirit. Through the Eucharist, I share in His sacrifice on the cross. I share with Jesus Christ His eternal life here (real Grace) and now in the Kingdom of God with all the promises He has promised me. I want all Jesus Christ has promised, and that's why I am a Catholic.
     
  4. neal4christ

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    Thank-you for your reply, Kathryn. I have heard many say they are Catholic because of the real presence in the Eucharist. I am not trying to shake your faith or argue, but with what certainty do you make your choice? Or are you in agreement that Catholics, just like Protestants, make a choice based on their personal understanding of the Scriptures and all other evidence?

    Thank-you for taking your time to reply! [​IMG]

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  5. Kathryn

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    Neal:
    I take Jesus Christ's words and promises on faith. I also have and experience His life of Grace within me, and I love and cherish my relationship with His mother and brothers and sisters and look forward continuing everlasting life with them all forever. The Word of God tells me I share in His suffering, and death and everlasting life, and I believe Him. When Jesus Christ held up the bread and wine and said, "This is my Body." "This is my Blood.", I have no reason to believe it is not. I also believe He established one Church and not many. He prayed for just this that His church would be one. The New Testament Church was one. One faith, one Lord, and one baptism. My Catholic faith is this same faith, with the same Lord, and all who obey Jesus' command to be baptized are baptized into this same baptism. It isn't a personal statement, a human work. It is all about Grace___real Grace___ the gift of supernatural life within us___ the life of Jesus Christ Himself. The Catholic relationship to Jesus Christ is that of the Body of Christ, the communion of saints. How do I know? Not only because I take it on faith, but because I live this relationship of everlasting life. It is what Jesus Christ promised and what I experience. Faith and understanding work together. I believe this is what truth is about. I am blessed.

    [ March 15, 2004, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Kathryn ]
     
  6. BobRyan

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    When a pagan chooses to become "Catholic" they do so because the Holy Spirit is leading them to Christianity and they are individually responding to the individual drawing, revelation and work of God the Holy Spirit.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. Melanie

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    This is a real tough question Neale, and quite frankly I cannot give an answer based in logic etc. Having fallen away from Catholicism through the modernisation of so many aspects of the mass and for the confessional, I have dabbled in the Baptist faith where I have met some wonderful people and also Marahayna (? spelling) Buddhism, I have returned to catholicism but to the Traditional Rites because it feels right for me. Is it as simple as the bells and smells of the Mass and whatever? I take great comfort in the ritual and the discipline of the expectations of Trad. Catholics.

    I feel the presence of the Lord within me now that I have made my commitment to him, in short I have been saved...

    I would not persume to suggest one brand of Christianity is absolutely right etc., this is for me , your faith gives you comfort and joy, and therefore cannot our human frailties of intellect be deficient in regards to understanding of the Greater Plan for Humankind.

    Otherwise there would not be such sites as these to stimulate debate and searching for love and compassion for each other.

    God Bless
     
  8. Living4Him

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    Hello all!

    Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ to all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
    I'm new to this board and I am so happy to share with you all.

    A little history about myself. I accepted the Lord as my Savior on Oct. 3, 1973 and I was baptized in a Baptist church.

    I had always been drawn to Catholicism, yet I heard many anti-catholic statements while I was growing up.
    I don't recall hearing any negativity regarding other Christian religions.

    I live in an area where there aren't any good Baptist schools and I did not wish to send my daughter to a public junior high school. I have heard alot of good things about the area Catholic school and many Baptist families send their children to this Catholic school.

    So, I thought it would be best to study Catholicism to see what my 7th grader and 3rd grader would be learning. I was shocked to learn that I had heard quite a bit of untruths regarding the Catholic faith. I also decided to do historical research on the History of Christianity. Although I had attended an IFB school, I realized that I had received a biased view of History.

    I could not believe that researching early historical records from when the first settlers came to America that they actually baptized their infants. I thought WOW I only received half the truth.

    The more I studied the History of Christianity the more I realized that I could no longer remain a Baptist. I praise the Lord that I will come into full communion with the Catholic Church this Easter.

    I have also read several works by others raised in various Protestant religions in which they made the same statement that they could no longer remain Protestant after researching History.
     
  9. neal4christ

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    Welcome, Living4Him! I look forward to your input to our discussions and getting to know you. I admire your loving spirit and the charity you show when you post. We need a bit more of that here! [​IMG]

    May the Lord bless you and keep you!

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  10. neal4christ

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    Trying2Understand,

    Forgive me for singling you out, but I would enjoy your input as to why you are Catholic and the process you went through. You are rather outspoken here and I would like to read your personal journey to this point.

    God Bless!

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  11. BobRyan

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    This is really fascinating.

    So your saying that the IFB churches teach that there was no infant baptism in early America?

    Are you aware that Mary-Land is the state with the first RC diocese in America?

    Did you know that Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans and Catholics all practice infant baptism?

    Surely such findings as "these" can not account for the need to switch to the RCC - or people would be flooding into the RC Church in droves - true?

    Part II -

    Are you claiming that reading Catholic Historians - finally gave you a chance to read "unbiased history reports"?

    If the Nazis wrote histories about their victims - would you consider that an "unbiased history"? Surely you have to admit that the history published about the Nazis by anti-Nazi or non-Nazi sources are all "negative" about the German Nazi party - correct? Yet this does not make those histories wrong. Maybe the Nazi party was just ... "evil", even though modern Nazi's try to repaint a "nice face" on their history.

    You must be holding back on us. There must have been something else that you found that lead you to think that the Baptist church was in error and the RC church was correct.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    Are there any Catholics on board who joined the Roman Catholic Church because they want to go through, an alleged experience of Purgatory? Did this factor into you joining this denominational church?
     
  13. BobRyan

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    That is a good question.

    Was there a Baptist who said "Hey - I want to start praying to the dead! I want my deceased family members to all have gone to suffering in purgatory. I want the exterminators of the Christians in the dark ages to have been infallible in their tortures and extermination of the great reformers in Christian history. In fact I am tired of relying on the Word of God ALONE as the authority and judge of all doctrine - I want to rely on the traditions of the RCC instead so I can get into believing in Purgatory. I want the church that gave the world the church-sponsored-inquisition and that gave us the wicked popes of history - to be My Church".

    I don't think anyone did that.

    I think the posts given here showing what people were thinking when they made the switch are instructive in also showing what they were not thinking about.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. trying2understand

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    No need to forgive anything. I am happy to share.

    I was born into a large Catholic family. I am 7th out of 12 kids. Catholic education thru high school, including 3 years at seminary.

    My family prayed together daily, we attended Church together - always. It did not matter where we were, traveling or on vacation, Mass was the priority. When the younger children where too little to handle in Church (12 is a pretty large group of kids to manage) some of us would go into Mass with my father while my mother and the babies waited in the car, and then the rest of us would go into the next Mass with my Mother while my father waited outside with the little ones. That sent me the message that living one's faith in obedience was important and above trivial distractions.

    As a child, I attended Mass daily before school. That meant not eating breakfast (fasting) each day until after Mass. Catholics fast before Mass to remind ourselves that man does not live by bread alone. Our physical hunger is to remind us that we should desire not earthly foods so much as the Living Bread of Life.

    I became an altar server around the fourth grade. This meant riding my bike to Church early to make preparations for the Mass, rain or shine. I remember more than once arriving at Church soaked to the bone from the rain. As I got older this also meant finding a summer job that did not conflict with my desire to attend Mass in the morning.

    For me being Catholic is all about the Eucharist. At risk of being banned, I truly believe that Christ is fully physically present in the Eucharist and that is found no where else other than the Catholic Church.

    And as the Apostles said to Jesus after He told them that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you,
    "Lord, to whom shall we go?"

    I don't care to enter into a discussion about the Eucharist, I offer this only by way of explanation of why I am Catholic.
     
  15. trying2understand

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    Ray, that's a silly question isn't it?

    If part of God's plan is that you will be purged of all that is not pure before entering into Heaven, do you really think that you will get a pass simply because you don't believe in it?
     
  16. Living4Him

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    Peace of Christ be with you BobRyan!

    I'm not speaking for all IFB churches but I do know that we were taught only Catholics practiced infant baptism. I feel that I was only given History that protrayed that the early Americans held to the same beliefs that we do.

    I searched historical accounts from all sides Baptist, Catholic, and nonreligious. As far as the Nazi's, I have found that the only ones who try to "paint a different picture" are the "bandwagon" Nazi's. My husband grew up in Germany and his sister married a German Catholic man. In their History they do not deny the awful things that Hitler and the Nazi party did to the Jews. In fact, they use it as a learning experience for these atrocities not to ever be repeated.

    What constitues a Christian religion no matter what demonination? Those that believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth of Jesus, his death, burial, resurrection, his ascension and that he will come again to judge the living and the dead. I was given the impression that Catholics weren't Christian because they didn't really believe this.

    I had even heard the far fetched statement that the Catholics are the ones who crucified Jesus. Sorry to say but it was because of our sins that Jesus was crucified and that the Romans were used in the capacity to accomplish this work. The Romans were not Christian.

    Anything that was considered "evil" was left out. For example we did not learn about the early Americans growing tobacco. Nor did we learn that religious freedom wasn't really practiced in early America. It was painted as a very rosey picture.

    I had often read my KJV Bible and thought that many scriptures seem to contradict themselves. It was if salvation was presented only by faith alone and the rest of the scriptures seemed to be either discarded or overlooked. For example Christ himself teaches the Corporate Works of Mercy - Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, and bury the dead. Never really heard how important it is as Christians that we do these things.

    The Catholic Church teaches that all the scriptures are woven together and you receive the complete picture. It begins with the Grace of God, which is a free gift. It continues through faith and is evident by our fruit or works. Catholics do not believe that good works are what save them. This is contrary to what I had been taught.

    The Inquisition is a fact of history as unpleasant as it is. However, apologetics have been offered by the Pope for these regretable actions. Have other Christian denominations offered apologetics for their wrong doings to those who held to beliefs different than theirs?

    I must admit that I was also put off by the "holier than thou" attitude that I had encountered while growing up. To me this wasn't showing the Love of Christ. Throughout the NT I never got the impression that this was a trait the our Lord and Savior possessed. Please understand that I am not saying that all IFB have this attitude, but it was all that I knew from my surroundings.

    I have a renewed zeal for serving my risen Savior. I now live a Christian life rather than being a mere Sunday Christian.
     
  17. neal4christ

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    Thank-you very much for sharing, Ron. I truly appreciate it.

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  18. Jude

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    Be aware that many Anglicans are insulted to hear the term 'Catholic' applied only to Roman Catholics...we too are 'Catholic'.
     
  19. neal4christ

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    Ahh...I was not aware of that, Jude. Forgive me if I have insulted you.

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  20. Living4Him

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    Thank you for that input Jude.
    I was not aware of that either.

    Peace of Christ,
    Lucinda
     

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