So my question is: why would I be a Catholic, given that I’m born-again? This article is my attempt to describe ten of the unique characteristics of the Catholic Church that set it apart from other Christian denominations. It is illogical to believe that Jesus, the eternal Word of God, would go to the trouble of becoming human, establishing the Church, and dying on the cross to save us from our sins, without providing a guarantee that the Church would continue to preserve and proclaim his teachings faithfully. It’s hard to believe an answer if you don’t understand the question it is addressing. The book of Jude contains some of the most mysterious and intriguing passages in the New Testament.One occurs when Jude warns against a group of Christians who have given themselves over to immorality. If we truly understood what a wondrous gift the Eucharist is, none of us would even consider ever leaving the Church, and our example would attract many other persons to Catholicism. I’m a (probably future ex-) Protestant pastor, and if you want to know what our denomination has to offer has a way to survive a crisis without access to … And I had to: “Oh, okay, well why am I Assembly of God? The early Church gave us the Canon of the Bible, and many Doctrines like the Trinity. Just as Jesus was a sign of contradiction and a stumbling block (1 Cor. It’s not really our choice to be alive most of the time. If Jesus was willing to humble himself by becoming human (Phil. To put the matter rather bluntly: Why should anyone settle for an imitation when the original is available—especially when it comes to knowing and living the truths necessary for salvation? Protestants reject many Catholic beliefs, but in doing so they must ignore or reinterpret what Scripture clearly says. That’s so contrary to everything in the New Testament. From the papacy, you name it. 16:18–19). (Some of these characteristics, though not all, also apply to the Orthodox church, which, of all religious bodies, is among the closest to the Church in belief and practice.) Catholicism has weathered false prophets and antipopes, wars, civil disturbances, plagues, natural disasters, barbarian invasions, and societal collapse. We hear stories of persons who were born Catholic and who remained fiercely loyal to the Church throughout their lives. A further weakness of the Protestant position lies in the idea of sola scriptura itself. And when I looked around at all the protestant communities, what I saw is a bunch of men giving you their opinion of what they think the Bible says. (1) Only the Catholic Church can trace its roots back to Christ Himself.. Sacraments, by God’s promise and power, are effective in and of themselves, whereas sacramentals depend on the disposition of the believer. Gen. 1:31). I would humbly and unofficially suggest a “fifth” mark: the true Church is also opposed. A society’s “rites of passage”—in which young people are given the chance to demonstrate their maturity and be accepted as adults—are just one example of this. God, as our Creator, is fully aware of our human limitations. So instead of being suspicious of human activity and the material world, the Church has often encouraged people to develop and use their abilities and to do all things for the greater glory of God. And ultimately, Adam, it goes back to the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. And basically the answer is: I became Catholic, first and foremost, to save my soul. This assertion will surprise those who assume that Catholics are ignorant of Scripture and that the Protestant belief in sola scriptura (accepting “the Bible only” as a source of religious teaching) makes them the only true “Bible Christians.” However, history and logic are again on the side of the Catholic Church. Some of us were born Catholic, others joined the Church later in life, still others left the Church at one point but then returned. Calvin and other Reformers were determined to “purify” their churches of everything they considered human traditions and accretions to the Gospel. Catholic Questions and Answers – One of the best ways to learn is to ask questions. A present-day example of this is those Fundamentalists who attack the Church by identifying it as the “whore of Babylon.”. Though much less important than sacraments, sacramentals can be a valuable source of grace and spiritual favor. Therefore, why be a Catholic if the sacraments are non-essential? Now that I found to be fascinating. 3:16). 7:9). Saints are not worshiped, but they are esteemed and honored, for they are part of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. As Romans 6:3-4 says, we’re buried together with him him through baptism. (Anglican or Episcopalian priests sometimes claim to possess this power, but Pope Leo XIII, after carefully examining this issue some one hundred years ago, concluded that the link of apostolic succession had not been preserved by the Church of England.). Catholic Answers is a Catholic advocacy group based in El Cajon, California.It purports to be the largest lay-run apostolate of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States. Well, I like the 16 tenets of faith of the Assembly of God— oh, well, actually I disagreed with two of them—but I liked 14 out of the 16!” Right? In 1930, the Anglican Church allowed certain “exceptions,” setting in motion a process in which all Protestant denominations have come to regard contraception as morally acceptable. I can kind of understand the reasoning behind the answer “because he made is” but… We never chose to exist or come into this world. Why be Catholic at all, to quote your title ? Why should we go further and become Catholic? Examples of Catholic rituals include blessing oneself with holy water, genuflecting before the tabernacle, and making the Sign of the Cross. There are probably almost as many different reasons for being Catholic as there are members of the Church, including varying degrees of chance, choice, and conviction. . Because human beings are both body and spirit, the Lord relates to us not only in an invisible, spiritual way but also through the use of human gestures and material items we can see and hear and touch and taste: bread, wine, water, oil, words, and so forth. No doubt, people have asked you this very same question. Prior to the reformation there was no need to distinguish between various Christian belief systems. Caller: I became a born-again Christian three years ago—I’m 47 years old, so it’s quite late on in life, I was 44—with an evangelical church. I can tell you from my own perspective—because as you know, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior when I was 10 years old at Boulevard Baptist Church in Falls Church, Virginia, changed my life. Eventually a Catholic priest was assigned to the base, and when he began meeting individually with all his parishioners, the soldier-in-training admitted his reason for claiming to be Catholic. Catholics are privileged to be able to receive the treasure beyond all price—Jesus himself—each time they attend Mass. The blatant hypocrisy and double standard of the Catholic church is one of the main reasons why many American Catholics are headed out the door. All right . As the great bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch noted, “Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world.” Anti-Catholicism has arguably had a stronger role in human history than any other prejudice save anti-Semitism, even in the United States. Many Protestants are very good at quoting the Bible, but, in terms of its entire message, it is the Catholic Church that lives by it. The Catholic Church has been obeying Christ’s command for almost two thousand years, and whereas many Christian denominations see the Eucharist mainly in symbolic terms, the Church has consistently taught that it is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. And that was a big problem to me, because if you can’t speak in the name of Jesus—that means speak infallibly— well then you’re not the Church that Jesus established. Because see, I believe, Adam, that you can be as born-again as you want to be born-again, and we believe you’re born again in John 3:5 through baptism—of course, faith and baptism. Catholicism—unlike many Protestant denominations—has never ceased doing so. Tim Staples, a former Protestant pastor, explains why the question of authority ultimately brought him into the Church established by Jesus. 1 Cor. Even most non-Christian religions recognize and respond to this basic human need. It may be true that many Protestant and Evangelical congregations at times seem to offer a greater sense of fellowship and community, more dynamic preaching, and various activities and programs than the average Catholic parish. Mark 8:27–29), Jesus never conducted a vote or an opinion poll, or said to his followers, “This is what I personally think, but you decide for yourselves what to believe.” Rather, he came to proclaim God’s truth (John 18:37), and he entrusted this same teaching authority, or magisterium, to his Church (Luke 10:16). This whole cacophony now of protestants, everybody’s saying “Oh, I know the truth!”. Gen. 25:29–34). 1:23), so his Church is a lightning rod for hatred, calumny, misunderstanding, suspicion, and opposition. Sacramentals of this sort include holy water, scapulars, crucifixes, medals, rosaries, ashes on Ash Wednesday, the Sign of the Cross, and so on. If God wants us to honor our parents, how much more must he desire us to honor his Mother. And basically the answer is: I became Catholic, first and foremost, to save my soul. It is our duty not only to belong to and believe in the Church but to defend and promote it. Well, at least Catholics have the recourse of spiritual communion. 16:18), and history records many examples of Satan’s vicious but unsuccessful assaults on the Body of Christ. We as Catholics can alone rightly claim to have the fullness of God’s revelation and guidance. 28:19–20). Moreover, our Lord’s words about the least in the kingdom of heaven being greater than John the Baptist during his earthly life (Matt. Rom. There are many similarities and differences between the Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. I know Jesus, I know I’m saved, why be a Catholic? this is my Blood” [Mark 14:22–24]). I’ll tell you, Adam, I was asked the question: why was I Assembly of God? Catholicism has always remembered that God looked upon his creation and pronounced it “good” (cf. Human beings are social by nature, and much personal growth and development results from imitating, consciously or otherwise, certain influential persons. In this video, Fr. The idea of different (and sometimes competing) Christian denominations would have been unthinkable to the early Christians, especially in light of Christ’s pronouncement on one shepherd and one flock (John 10:15) and his prayer that his disciples remain one (John 17:22). Didn’t Paul say that there is neither Jew nor Greek, servant nor free, male nor female, since we are all … Thirdly, the noun “sacramental” refers to a blessed item or gesture that, for those who have faith, can be an experience or source of God’s grace. As Jesus noted, much is expected of those to whom much is given (Luke 12:48). 18:15–18; John 14:16, 14:25–26, 21:25; 1 Cor. The angel Gabriel declared Mary to be “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), making her worthy of our highest respect. The only parallel in history is that of the Jewish people—a people often singled out for persecution, scorned, oppressed, and exiled, yet miraculously preserved over thousands of years. It’s no surprise that some of humanity’s greatest art, architecture, and music has been commissioned and preserved by the Church. Catholic is Not a Denomination. A story about a small town’s efforts to create an ecumenical outdoor nativity scene illustrates this point. It didn’t exist. Because, Jesus says concerning his church: “If they hear you they hear me, if they reject you they reject me.” In Matthew 10:40, Luke 10:16, Matthew 18:18, right? As the “new Israel” (cf. In this age of talk of “reform” within the Church, how we answer these questions will get to the heart of why reform is or isn’t necessary. And so I asked basically the same question you’re asking me, I asked of a young marine about 34 years ago. 11:21; Eph. 7:24–25) and on the rock of Peter’s faith (Matt. Other important spiritual practices promoted by the Catholic Church—prayer, fasting, devotions to the saints, acts of penance, and so on—are designed to aid us in our ongoing efforts to grow in holiness and to cooperate with divine grace in overcoming our faults. He serves as a staff apologist for Catholic Answers and specializes in teaching Catholics to graciously and persuasively engage those who disagree with them. I’m curious why we owe God anything. Catholic Gallery offers Daily Mass Readings, Prayers, Quotes, Bible Online, Yearly plan to read bible, Saint of the day and much more. Because what I find in the New Testament is: the Church established by Jesus Christ has infallible authority. Members of the Church are sinful and holy, earthly and heavenly, and imperfect and incomplete—yet undergoing the process of sanctification. Each resident of heaven is completely absorbed in the contemplation of God, perfectly united with all the angels and saints in worshiping and praising the divine Majesty, while at the same time more fully alive and unique than ever before. Otherwise, the scene will appear to be too Catholic.” The priest responded, “I’ll agree to that—on the condition that you explain to everyone how the infant Jesus was born without a mother.”. But I still had the problem, Adam: I disagreed with a lot of the doctrines of this crazy Catholic Church. Father chuckled appreciatively and then invited the young man to consider joining the Church for real. And I found out, as an historical fact, that Jesus Christ really did establish one church, and that is the Catholic Church. So you can be as born-again as born-again can be, but you also have to obey Jesus. 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