Catholicism

Hi everyone and good afternoon on this Sunday!

I am new to this forum for discussion and have many topics that I would like to discuss, knowing that there are a wide variety of opinions and beliefs on here.

As a person committed to the Catholic faith, I would like to know what all of you think about Catholicism. What are your views concerning some of our specific doctrines and practices? Do you generally agree or disagree with what the Church teaches?

I would very much like to hear your views.

Thanks and God bless!

  • Dominic
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Thank you for the heads-up and question, @tony_mercurio. I will try to introduce myself soon in the separate category. In regards to your question, I really was just curious about the general sentiment towards the Catholic Church this forum and the RZIM has as a whole. I frequent other Christian forums similar to this and just wanted to get the feel of things on here. I’m sorry if I jumped into things a bit too quick, haha, I really don’t mean to be arrogant or disregard the rules. I’m just rather curious and eager for interdenominational conversation. Thanks and God bless!

Somehow I just accidentally deleted my original post. I’m supposed to be good with technology :confused: … Apparently there is no “undelete” function. For the record, here it is. I will reply back to you soon.

Dominic, welcome to Connect. For starters, I’d recommend you post an introduction in the “Welcome to Connect” category. I can see you’re eager to get right into things, having already proposed questions in two major areas of conflict within the Church - the Sovereignty debate and the True Church debate.

Whatever your intentions are for this forum, my caution is simply to check and recheck sources. The views expressed here span a wide range, and biblical knowledge with discernment is necessary to wade through the vast sea of information.

Question - as you are “committed to the Catholic faith,” why are you asking the larger world of Christendom its opinion on Catholicism? I would find it hard to address your question without first knowing its purpose.

@DominicSJMB For starters, you may find these thoughts from @anthony.costello helpful (in the linked thread). He shares some good resources from people committed to Mere Christianity - the essential beliefs that make us followers of Christ. And if you have not read C. S. Lewis’ book by that same title, I highly recommend it.

I think for me one of the key differences between Catholicism and what I believe is the source of authority. For me, the Scripture is the ultimate authority. Official Church councils, for me, are not an ultimate source of authority. In fact, I find some of what the Church fathers said to be heavily influenced by their Greco-Roman context rather than to be accurate exegesis. I still respect and value Church history, but at the end of the day it is to the Scriptures I must go. The Bereans were commended for checking the Scriptures to verify what Paul himself said and I think we should do the same with any leader or teacher.

Acts 17:11 - Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

May Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

Should Catholics and Protestants treat each other decently and with respect? Of course. Will we labor side by side on important moral and social matters? Quite often. Can we find born-again Christians worshiping in Catholic churches? I’m sure. But are the disagreements between Protestants and Catholics, therefore, negligible? Hardly. The differences still exist, and they still matter.

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@DominicSJMB You’re perfectly okay with your questions. I just wanted to understand where you’re coming from and warn you that there’s no genie in the bottle here. Keep asking questions, but also make sure you’re steeping yourself heavily in the Bible. I can recommend some teachers for you to listen to if you’d like, and I know others in this community can as well. The caveat, of course, is that you shouldn’t take my/our word for it, but check everything you hear against the Bible.

There is no consensus opinion on Catholicism in Connect or RZIM in general. RZIM broadly employs Christian leaders and teachers from different denominations with differing views on theology. Connect has an even more diverse theological pool, understandably, as its on the internet!

That being said, there are two major differences between Catholicism and Protestantism:

  1. Apostolic succession / True Church - Catholicism claims Peter as the first pope, and thereby believes that Church authority can only be passed on through an official line of succession. Thus, anyone starting a church independently, and not being ordained by the Roman Catholic Church, would be outside of the “True or Universal (Catholic) Church.”

  2. Canonical vs. Sacred Tradition Authority - My understanding is that the Catholic Church holds Tradition and Biblical authority in equal regard. Catholicism believes that Tradition gave us the Bible and that it is inseparable from it. Protestantism holds to Sola Scriptura, which states that the Bible is our final and ultimate authority on truth. Catholicism does not believe that Tradition can contradict Scripture, Protestantism does. There’s also the separate issue of the Deuterocanon (OT Apocrypha), which lends added doctrines to Catholicism that Protestants to not adopt.

These things can be debated forever. Look into it for yourself, praying and relying upon the Holy Spirit to give you insights into the revealed Word of God.

I hesitate to give you this resource, but I will, I think you can handle it. If you are comfortable in Catholicism then perhaps you wouldn’t mind testing your faith. The tone of this website is not soft, but the author cites extensive quotes from the Catechism and other Catholic resources that, in the Protestant review, seem to readily contradict Scriptural doctrines.

https://carm.org/roman-catholicism

Blessings in your studies!

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Thanks a lot, tony_mercurio! I am familiar with the stuff at CARM and Matt Slick’s own work and resources. I enjoy the live chats he has on his show and I definitely have learned a lot from him. Thanks again for the resources and I hope this discussion will be fruitful.

God bless!

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