For the new comer, and those who regularly visit this site, this blog post has been designed to be updated periodically through the entire time that this Blog is active. This page is in short a road map that will help the reader to navigate and understand what exactly is occupying these posts. It is always a hope that the reader comes with an open mind, and an open heart. To read and to listen to the words and hopefully be encouraged to challenge anything that might have been gathered from our inherited faith. Here all can be inspired to read about their faith, whether Catholic, or non-Catholic, it is not any intention of the author to mislead, or even misrepresent any particular doctrine. Instead in keeping with the tradition of catechist, a teacher of the faith, we want us to grow, and grow deeper into the relationship with our God.
There are several aspects for the Catholic that have been misrepresented and as the Venerable Fulton Sheen put simply, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” Instead we are to look closely at what the Church actually teaches about a myriad of things, and also to look at what false doctrines are floating around out there. As there are quite a few errors taught by the Churches of Protestantism, there are plenty of beliefs that are in the Catholic Church that are propagated by her adherents and require some clarification. It is the aim of this author to express even these errors present today.
Finally, the reader should know a little about the author that they are reading from. I come from a non-denominational background steeped in what is actually Baptist traditions. I was raised to believe in Faith in Jesus alone, taught the practice of Bible alone, and schooled the traditions started by the Reformers. As it was I believed that no church group could override my personal interpretation of scripture, but as long as I worshipped somewhere that was fine. From a very young age I was given Bibles that were age appropriate, picture books at first, and then my own New International Version when I turned thirteen. From about my fourteenth year until my twenty second year I became more of an independent, non-affiliated believer in God, but disassociated with any kind of ‘Christianity’ that I grew up around. It was during these years that I grew fond of John the Evangelist, and he became my favorite Apostle, from actually sitting down to read the Scriptures without what I felt was a biased. Although in my ignorance the translation I used, New King James, was rife with translator bias.
From eighteen all the way to my twenty fifth year, I did not choose any kind of interpretive understanding of the Bible. Understand that I was exposed to a lot of Televangelists, and knew full well how the Words can be used to promote their doctrines. Instead I focused on trying to learn from deeper schools of thought, and so I went backwards, discovering the roots of many Protestant beliefs. I have read Calvin’s ‘Tulip’ teaching, as well as the Reformers’ understanding and teaching of Private Interpretation. Which means I have a working understanding of the Sola’s taught by the Protestants of today. This includes, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, and the Glory to God Alone. I am also read in what the ‘New’ thinker would call “Solo Scriptura” which is literally the Bible Alone, yet is nothing more than a rehashing, and verbal acrobatics to say exactly what the Reformers already thought and taught. During these years I was also exposed to the Historical writers of early Christianity, and frequently studied such authors as Irenaeus, Augustine, and Ignatius of Antioch, even read some of the modern works presented from the Catholic Second Vatican Council.
By the time I was Twenty Eight, and having spent years of my free time reading and arguing with various pastors, I came to the conclusion that Protestantism was wrong. Not on who they were as people, there are very well meaning Protestants, and indeed they hold a valid baptism, and understand marriage to be between man and woman. They do have and hold to high esteem most of the inspired books of Scripture, but their understanding of soteriology, and theology miss the mark. I was left that the Roman Catholic Church was the Church established by Jesus Christ, on the Rock that is Peter. However, this was a bitter moment in my life, as I could not become Catholic. After all they were the Whore of Babylon, and so I decided that Christianity for the most part simply was no longer important to me. Here enters about two years of what we could again my agnosticism.
After these two years, and coming fast to my thirtieth year, I had recalled a promise, that if Jesus ever showed me his true Church, the real faith, by the time I was the age he began his mission, then I would be baptized. Which means since 2012 I have been Roman Catholic, and have continued to invest my time and life to studying the teachings of the Church, and while a lot of the texts are dry and quite intellectual it is my hope that I can present these teachings in this Blog in a healthy, fun, and exciting way. Welcome, User, to the Journey.
Something that happens frequently when discussing the heated topics of politics, or religion it is important to define words. When the Catholic says Tradition the Protestant will typically think: man made set of rules and regulations that have to be followed Religiously.
An interesting tidbit on dealing with explaining Tradition is to explain that it means “to hand on” for example, Jesus says very simply in Matthew “Baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 2819-20). Here even God says, go and do this thing that is a tradition. Once you can establish that handing on the Faith is a Tradition it gets easier to explain other things that we do as Christians. Additionally the command has to do with Man-made traditions. Find out if their church separates the children from the adults in their service, for this is not a biblical teaching and is in fact man made tradition.