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Switch to Forum Live View Irreconcilable differences?
6 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 2:14AM #1
redbaron998
Posts: 4

(warning: long post)


Ok so long story short I used to be Catholic but about three years ago I stopped going to Mass and eventually stopped referring myself as Catholic, the reasons for this are vast as you'll so see. Before I stopped attending I got a job working at the Church (I am the night shift Maintenance guy) so I am still surrounded by the faith. I have been struggling between whether to go back to the church or leave it for good as I have been in limbo for far to long.


The thing is that I have a few issues with the Christian faith that I think may be irreconcilable with me and the church. (For our discussion I don’t want to debate whether these things are true or not to you, they are to me and that is what matters for this thread)


1. I don’t think the Bible is the word of God. I think that like all wisdom it is inspired by God, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily true. I especially don’t believe it can or should be taken literally. I do still think it is a good religious text overall.


2. I don’t believe in the lack of salvation outside of the Church or Christianity. I believe all faiths that inspire people are fantastic, I don’t believe that there is only one God, and I don’t believe that people should try to convince people to be one faith over any other.


 3. I don’t believe in Sin as explained as offending God, I think Sin is just another word for not achieving your potential as a loving individual. I don’t believe in a Hell and I don’t believe in any kind of eternal punishment for even the worst of people by our standards. Regardless of what they did in life, or what religion they adhered to. By connection I don’t believe in the need for Salvation.


So as you can see these are some pretty important differences, most people would have probably written off Christianity at this point, but there are some aspects that I love. Although I don’t believe the Christian God is the only God or even the best God, I can still respect him and I do believe in Jesus' message. I epically love some Catholic aspects such as the Rosary, Monasticism, and the quality and education of Catholic priests. There are also some aspects in Catholicism that help with coexistence of my believes, such as the existence of Purgatory as like I said I don’t believe in people going to hell, but a temporary state of working towards reconciliation makes perfect sense to me. Another aspect is the authority of the church, like I said I don’t believe that you can take the bible literally, so the practice of having trained and educated priests examining the scripture and then making decisions with the human element appeals to me, as the church is made up of humans and thus can be empathetic and understanding, while a book is...well a book.


So my question is can I still coexist within the Catholic church and A. Not be a hypocrite, and B. still find inspiration and growth within it as an Individual in spite of these different views? Thank your for reading and any advice

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6 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 9:24AM #2
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,140

May 20, 2009 -- 2:14AM, redbaron998 wrote:


(warning: long post)


Ok so long story short I used to be Catholic but about three years ago I stopped going to Mass and eventually stopped referring myself as Catholic, the reasons for this are vast as you'll so see. Before I stopped attending I got a job working at the Church (I am the night shift Maintenance guy) so I am still surrounded by the faith. I have been struggling between whether to go back to the church or leave it for good as I have been in limbo for far to long.


The thing is that I have a few issues with the Christian faith that I think may be irreconcilable with me and the church. (For our discussion I don’t want to debate whether these things are true or not to you, they are to me and that is what matters for this thread)


1. I don’t think the Bible is the word of God. I think that like all wisdom it is inspired by God, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily true. I especially don’t believe it can or should be taken literally. I do still think it is a good religious text overall.


The Catholic church does NOT teach that the bible can or should be taken literally. It does teach that it is inspired by God.  Biblical scholarship that started in the late 19th century, and has continued today (with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls being a huge influence) influences Catholic teaching about how to interpret the bible.


2. I don’t believe in the lack of salvation outside of the Church or Christianity. I believe all faiths that inspire people are fantastic, I don’t believe that there is only one God, and I don’t believe that people should try to convince people to be one faith over any other.


Vatican II affirmed that God has provided a path for all, That one does not have to be Catholic or Christian to "go to heaven' (be in eternal communion with God).


 3. I don’t believe in Sin as explained as offending God, I think Sin is just another word for not achieving your potential as a loving individual. I don’t believe in a Hell and I don’t believe in any kind of eternal punishment for even the worst of people by our standards. Regardless of what they did in life, or what religion they adhered to. By connection I don’t believe in the need for Salvation.


The Catholic church does teach that there is a hell. But the Catholic church also teaches that there is no evidence that anyone is actually "in hell".  The most commonly accepted definition of hell is simply existing in some fashion for eternity outside the warmth of God - no LOVE.  The definition of "mortal" sin almost precludes even the possibility that any human being could commit a "mortal" sin, die, and thus be condemned to hell.  Some Catholics don't interpret the definition of mortal sin in this way, and will argue the point. But if you want, you can study it yourself - there are many theology texts that go into this.


probably written off Christianity at this point, but there are some aspects that I love. Although I don’t believe the Christian God is the only God or even the best God, I can still respect him and I do believe in Jesus' message. I epically love some Catholic aspects such as the Rosary, Monasticism, and the quality and education of Catholic priests. There are also some aspects in Catholicism that help with coexistence of my believes, such as the existence of Purgatory as like I said I don’t believe in people going to hell, but a temporary state of working towards reconciliation makes perfect sense to me. Another aspect is the authority of the church, like I said I don’t believe that you can take the bible literally, so the practice of having trained and educated priests examining the scripture and then making decisions with the human element appeals to me, as the church is made up of humans and thus can be empathetic and understanding, while a book is...well a book.


So my question is can I still coexist within the Catholic church and A. Not be a hypocrite, and B. still find inspiration and growth within it as an Individual in spite of these different views? Thank your for reading and any advice




BTW, I am not a practicing Catholic. But, I believe that if one chooses to leave the RCC, one should understand why - or why not.


Peace!

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6 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 9:59AM #3
Dutch777
Posts: 9,136

I left the RCC thirty+ years ago and have never regretted the decision.  I felt a profound relief when I formally  joined another church (TEC).


If anyone is looking for a reason to leave, give a good look-see to the following.  This is horrific abuse amounting to systematic, chronic torture of youngsters.  This is absolutely pychopathic.


news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090520/ap_on_re_eu...

The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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6 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 11:28PM #4
angpuppy
Posts: 520

. I don’t think the Bible is the word of God. I think that like all wisdom it is inspired by God, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily true. I especially don’t believe it can or should be taken literally. I do still think it is a good religious text overall.


The Catholic church does NOT teach that the bible can or should be taken literally. It does teach that it is inspired by God.  Biblical scholarship that started in the late 19th century, and has continued today (with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls being a huge influence) influences Catholic teaching about how to interpret the bible.



Biblical Scholarship was started much earlier than the 19th century.  And it has never been Catholic Tradition to teach that all the bible is to be interpreted in the literalistic sense.  Some of it is poetry, some if it is story like the book of Job.  In fact, Sacred Tradition in many ways comes before Sacred Scripture, as the Scripture comes from the oral traditions. 


I think you will find some problems with your belief that it is a mere book of human wisdom, as that is contrary to the faith, but Catholicism does not approach the bible like Fundamentalist Christians who insist that the world was created in 7 24 hour days, and that Diosaurs can't have existed because the bible doesn't mention them.


2. I don’t believe in the lack of salvation outside of the Church or Christianity. I believe all faiths that inspire people are fantastic, I don’t believe that there is only one God, and I don’t believe that people should try to convince people to be one faith over any other.


Vatican II affirmed that God has provided a path for all, That one does not have to be Catholic or Christian to "go to heaven' (be in eternal communion with God).



This answer needs to be clarified, as the Vatican II council affirmed that both the possibility of salvation outside of the Church while still affirming that "There is no Salvation outside of the Catholic Church."  The issue is how are both possibly true statement?  The answer is that God is not a computer program and the doctrine of invisible ignorance.  That is that a person who is ignorant of Christ or the truth in the Catholic Church through no fault of their own, can fervently seek God in whatever way they do know and find salvation that comes through the Church even if they are visually outside of the Church.  However the path ultimately is one path leading to and through the Church and to Christ. 


 3. I don’t believe in Sin as explained as offending God, I think Sin is just another word for not achieving your potential as a loving individual. I don’t believe in a Hell and I don’t believe in any kind of eternal punishment for even the worst of people by our standards. Regardless of what they did in life, or what religion they adhered to. By connection I don’t believe in the need for Salvation.


The Catholic church does teach that there is a hell. But the Catholic church also teaches that there is no evidence that anyone is actually "in hell".  The most commonly accepted definition of hell is simply existing in some fashion for eternity outside the warmth of God - no LOVE.  The definition of "mortal" sin almost precludes even the possibility that any human being could commit a "mortal" sin, die, and thus be condemned to hell.  Some Catholics don't interpret the definition of mortal sin in this way, and will argue the point. But if you want, you can study it yourself - there are many theology texts that go into this.



You're overstating it in stating there is no evidence that anyone is actually in Hell.  Certainly the devil and demons are in Hell.  And Christ does present Hell as a real possibility and warns about it as a real threat.  One could theologically speculate that in God's perfect will, whether there is anyone in Hell or not, but this is speculation and it should not motivate us to downgrade the real threat of Hell.


I have never heard of the most commonly accepted definition of Hell as "outside of the warmth of God."  The definition of Hell is eternal separation from God.  The primary punishment according to the Catechism is not being with God who alone is what our hearts long for.  But the Catechism also affirms that there are secondary punishments.  Going beyond that leads to speculative areas that can easily go against Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.


The definition of a mortal sin does not preclude that it is impossible to commit it.  It simply teaches that you cannot accidently fall into mortal sin, and that there is a difference between a grave offense and a less severe offense.  A mortal sin is a grave sin done knowingly and willfully.  If you know for instance that abortion is gravely wrong (you're not invisibly ignorant), and you deliberately have an abortion, you are in a mortal sin.  If you've never been taught what abortion is or what the Church teaches about abortion, and you have an abortion, it is not a mortal sin (provided that had you known, you wouldn't have done it).  If you knew that the Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin, and someone forces you to have an abortion, it is not a mortal sin.  But objectively the reality exists that even if you did not do something willfully and intentionally, if the behavior was done or you did a grave sin of ommission, its still a sin. 


Typically the culpability for your sin is transferred to the person who lead you into your sin.  For instance, a theologian who teaches heresy and misleads people to believing that mortal sin is impossible and thus encourages people to fall frequently into mortal sin is in a graver state of sin than those of his/her followers.


The careful thing though to get into is that we are incapable of knowing the hearts of people, thus we should not point at specific individuals and say "You're going to Hell."  We can only point to behavior and teach principles that allow people to judge their own conscience. 


probably written off Christianity at this point, but there are some aspects that I love. Although I don’t believe the Christian God is the only God or even the best God, I can still respect him and I do believe in Jesus' message. I epically love some Catholic aspects such as the Rosary, Monasticism, and the quality and education of Catholic priests. There are also some aspects in Catholicism that help with coexistence of my believes, such as the existence of Purgatory as like I said I don’t believe in people going to hell, but a temporary state of working towards reconciliation makes perfect sense to me. Another aspect is the authority of the church, like I said I don’t believe that you can take the bible literally, so the practice of having trained and educated priests examining the scripture and then making decisions with the human element appeals to me, as the church is made up of humans and thus can be empathetic and understanding, while a book is...well a book.


So my question is can I still coexist within the Catholic church and A. Not be a hypocrite, and B. still find inspiration and growth within it as an Individual in spite of these different views? Thank your for reading and any advice




Right now I would say you are outside of the Catholic Church.  You are already stating that you reject our Creed, but you're asking "Can I just call myself Catholic and define it on my own terms?"  As such, I do not feel that advising you to not do this would be advising you to leave the Catholic Church.


Rather I will advise you on a path that I would speculate would lead you closer to Christ and possibly to eventually surprising yourself to an acceptance of Catholicism.  Seek truth.  Seek understanding of what you can discover is truth.   Do not try to conform your idea of truth to merely those ideas that make you comfortable while rejecting those that make you feel uncomfortable.  Rather explore to find whatever truth you can outside of yourself. 


I commend you for seeing what goods in the Church you do see.  I will say a short prayer for you tonight. 

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6 years ago  ::  May 21, 2009 - 12:08AM #5
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,140

May 20, 2009 -- 11:28PM, angpuppy wrote:


. I don’t think the Bible is the word of God. I think that like all wisdom it is inspired by God, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily true. I especially don’t believe it can or should be taken literally. I do still think it is a good religious text overall.


The Catholic church does NOT teach that the bible can or should be taken literally. It does teach that it is inspired by God.  Biblical scholarship that started in the late 19th century, and has continued today (with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls being a huge influence) influences Catholic teaching about how to interpret the bible.



Biblical Scholarship was started much earlier than the 19th century.  And it has never been Catholic Tradition to teach that all the bible is to be interpreted in the literalistic sense.  Some of it is poetry, some if it is story like the book of Job.  In fact, Sacred Tradition in many ways comes before Sacred Scripture, as the Scripture comes from the oral traditions. 


Yes, biblical scholarship started earlier than the 19th century. But the discoveries made then, and since then, dramatically changed how the church interpreted scriptures.


I think you will find some problems with your belief that it is a mere book of human wisdom, as that is contrary to the faith, but Catholicism does not approach the bible like Fundamentalist Christians who insist that the world was created in 7 24 hour days, and that Diosaurs can't have existed because the bible doesn't mention them.


2. I don’t believe in the lack of salvation outside of the Church or Christianity. I believe all faiths that inspire people are fantastic, I don’t believe that there is only one God, and I don’t believe that people should try to convince people to be one faith over any other.


Vatican II affirmed that God has provided a path for all, That one does not have to be Catholic or Christian to "go to heaven' (be in eternal communion with God).



This answer needs to be clarified, as the Vatican II council affirmed that both of salvation outside of the Church while still affirming that "There is no Salvation outside of the Catholic Church."  The issue is how are both possibly true statement?  The answer is that God is not a computer program and the doctrine of invisible ignorance.  That is that a person who is ignorant of Christ or the truth in the Catholic Church through no fault of their own, can fervently seek God in whatever way they do know and find salvation that comes through the Church even if they are visually outside of the Church.  However the path ultimately is one path leading to and through the Church and to Christ. 


The fact remains that the church affirms that ALL may be "saved" - not just Catholics, not jsut Christians, not just those who participate in any formal religion - even athiests. The intrepretations offered by those who are choosing to offer a revisionist history and revisionist interpretation of the documents of Vatican II  say the same thing when it comes right down to the essence.


 3. I don’t believe in Sin as explained as offending God, I think Sin is just another word for not achieving your potential as a loving individual. I don’t believe in a Hell and I don’t believe in any kind of eternal punishment for even the worst of people by our standards. Regardless of what they did in life, or what religion they adhered to. By connection I don’t believe in the need for Salvation.


The Catholic church does teach that there is a hell. But the Catholic church also teaches that there is no evidence that anyone is actually "in hell".  The most commonly accepted definition of hell is simply existing in some fashion for eternity outside the warmth of God - no LOVE.  The definition of "mortal" sin almost precludes even the possibility that any human being could commit a "mortal" sin, die, and thus be condemned to hell.  Some Catholics don't interpret the definition of mortal sin in this way, and will argue the point. But if you want, you can study it yourself - there are many theology texts that go into this.



You're overstating it in stating there is no evidence that anyone is actually in Hell.  Certainly the devil and demons are in Hell. 


 I stand corrected. The church does not assert that any human being who has lived and died is in hell.


And Christ does present Hell as a real possibility and warns about it as a real threat.  One could theologically speculate that in God's perfect will, whether there is anyone in Hell or not, but this is speculation and it should not motivate us to downgrade the real threat of Hell.


I have never heard of the most commonly accepted definition of Hell as "outside of the warmth of God."  The definition of Hell is eternal separation from God. 


That's the same thing, Ang. If one is separated from God, then one is separated from LOVE.


The primary punishment according to the Catechism is not being with God who alone is what our hearts long for.  But the Catechism also affirms that there are secondary punishments. 


Such as.. Purgatory?


Tell me Ang, is your vision of God one of a judge who is just waiting to catch everyone in their failings and condemn them to punishment for all eternity?


Going beyond that leads to speculative areas that can easily go against Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.


The definition of a mortal sin does not preclude that it is impossible to commit it.  It simply teaches that you cannot accidently fall into mortal sin, and that there is a difference between a grave offense and a less severe offense.  A mortal sin is a grave sin done knowingly and willfully.  If you know for instance that abortion is gravely wrong (you're not invisibly ignorant), and you deliberately have an abortion, you are in a mortal sin.  If you've never been taught what abortion is or what the Church teaches about abortion, and you have an abortion, it is not a mortal sin (provided that had you known, you wouldn't have done it).  If you knew that the Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin, and someone forces you to have an abortion, it is not a mortal sin.  But objectively the reality exists that even if you did not do something willfully and intentionally, if the behavior was done or you did a grave sin of ommission, its still a sin. 


There is sin. No question. Terrible, terrible sins that people commit, knowing that they are wrong.  But the definition of mortal sin implies that it is virtually impossible for a human being, due to their human nature, being capable of truly committing mortal sin. Because mortal sin requires FULL KNOWLEDGE and FULL UNDERSTANDING of God, and deliberate rejection of God and God's love with that FULL KNOWLEDGE and FULL UNDERSTANDING.  No human being has that knowledge or understanding. It is truly impossible for human beings. Perhaps the fallen angels did, but no human being has that knowledge.  Some conclude that since this condition for committing mortal sin cannot be met by human beings, human beings cannot actually satisfy ALL the requirements for committing a mortal sin.


Typically the culpability for your sin is transferred to the person who lead you into your sin.  For instance, a theologian who teaches heresy and misleads people to believing that mortal sin is impossible and thus encourages people to fall frequently into mortal sin is in a graver state of sin than those of his/her followers.


The careful thing though to get into is that we are incapable of knowing the hearts of people, thus we should not point at specific individuals and say "You're going to Hell."  We can only point to behavior and teach principles that allow people to judge their own conscience. 


probably written off Christianity at this point, but there are some aspects that I love. Although I don’t believe the Christian God is the only God or even the best God, I can still respect him and I do believe in Jesus' message. I epically love some Catholic aspects such as the Rosary, Monasticism, and the quality and education of Catholic priests. There are also some aspects in Catholicism that help with coexistence of my believes, such as the existence of Purgatory as like I said I don’t believe in people going to hell, but a temporary state of working towards reconciliation makes perfect sense to me. Another aspect is the authority of the church, like I said I don’t believe that you can take the bible literally, so the practice of having trained and educated priests examining the scripture and then making decisions with the human element appeals to me, as the church is made up of humans and thus can be empathetic and understanding, while a book is...well a book.


So my question is can I still coexist within the Catholic church and A. Not be a hypocrite, and B. still find inspiration and growth within it as an Individual in spite of these different views? Thank your for reading and any advice




Right now I would say you are outside of the Catholic Church.  You are already stating that you reject our Creed, but you're asking "Can I just call myself Catholic and define it on my own terms?"  As such, I do not feel that advising you to not do this would be advising you to leave the Catholic Church.


Rather I will advise you on a path that I would speculate would lead you closer to Christ and possibly to eventually surprising yourself to an acceptance of Catholicism.  Seek truth.  Seek understanding of what you can discover is truth.   Do not try to conform your idea of truth to merely those ideas that make you comfortable while rejecting those that make you feel uncomfortable.  Rather explore to find whatever truth you can outside of yourself. 


I commend you for seeing what goods in the Church you do see.  I will say a short prayer for you tonight. 




Ang, you are judging theologians for being theologians - it is their job to question, to analyze, to think. Without theologians the church would never grow in understanding of God.  Yes, all theologians are imperfect in their own understanding. But none would deliberately lead people to sin.  Augustine was a great theologian, but many of his ideas were dead wrong.  It is the same with Aquinas. Their understanding was formed in specific times and cultures, and was limited also by their lack of knowledge of basic science and biology.   The church has kept some of their thought, and rejected others.  Because the church cannot stagnate or it will die.


It is no different today.  The church's early interpretations of scripture regarding hell  (for example) and other related matters was also based on primitive understandings of their cultures, and many have been carried over to this day. At one time the church said it was a sin to disbelieve that the universe was created in six days.  And it was a sin to believe that the earth was not the literal center of the universe - that it revolved around the sun instead of the sun and all the planets and galaxies revolving around the earth. The church said it was not a sin to own slaves.  The church encouraged slavery in many circumstances and sait that slavery was "in accord with natural law."  This endured until almost the 20th century, and was not officially disavowed until Vatican II, in the 1960s.


Biblical scholarship, scientific advancements, and theologians led the church to revise its understanding of the nature of the metaphor we read in Genesis, and its understanding of hell, and its understanding of mortal sin. It will continue to revise its understanding. This is a sign of life and should be applauded when it occurs. But it always occurs against enormous resistance on the part of officaldom in Rome.  It never comes easily.  The church is guided by the Holy Spirit throughout however long human history will last, and for that reason the theologians will keep theologizing, they will persist even when silenced and displined by Rome, because the church cannot forever silence the Spirit.


The church will never have a perfect understanding of God - any more than you will or I will or the original poster will.  Not until the end of time. That is the reality.

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6 years ago  ::  May 21, 2009 - 12:15AM #6
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,140

One more question, Ang.


Do you seek to avoid sin, to do God's will as you understand it, because you fear hell and the "secondary punishments"  you believe we are warned about in the scriptures?


Or do you seek to avoid sin and do God's will because of love?

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6 years ago  ::  May 21, 2009 - 4:38AM #7
redbaron998
Posts: 4

Thank you for the replys everyone, they have been illuminating aand informative. I think I am gonna contine just trying to find the Truth. I dont know if this will lead me back to the Church or not. I honeslty couldnt see myself as happy in Christianity outside of the Catholic church due to its rich cultural tapistry, before I was Catholic I was Methodist for years, then jumped around to other protestant traditions untill I did join the Catholic church and it fit me much more so than the protestant tradition.


So yea, more comments are welcome but I think I have more seeking to do before I can make this kind of decision. I got a pretty open schedule this summer, so I think I may go do some camping and concentrate on this and trying to find my personal truth and universal truth.


Prayers and thoughts are always appreciated.

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6 years ago  ::  May 27, 2009 - 4:35AM #8
etsryan
Posts: 1,640

May 20, 2009 -- 2:14AM, redbaron998 wrote:


(warning: long post)


Ok so long story short I used to be Catholic but about three years ago I stopped going to Mass and eventually stopped referring myself as Catholic, the reasons for this are vast as you'll so see. Before I stopped attending I got a job working at the Church (I am the night shift Maintenance guy) so I am still surrounded by the faith. I have been struggling between whether to go back to the church or leave it for good as I have been in limbo for far to long.


The thing is that I have a few issues with the Christian faith that I think may be irreconcilable with me and the church. (For our discussion I don’t want to debate whether these things are true or not to you, they are to me and that is what matters for this thread)


1. I don’t think the Bible is the word of God. I think that like all wisdom it is inspired by God, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily true. I especially don’t believe it can or should be taken literally. I do still think it is a good religious text overall.


2. I don’t believe in the lack of salvation outside of the Church or Christianity. I believe all faiths that inspire people are fantastic, I don’t believe that there is only one God, and I don’t believe that people should try to convince people to be one faith over any other.


 3. I don’t believe in Sin as explained as offending God, I think Sin is just another word for not achieving your potential as a loving individual. I don’t believe in a Hell and I don’t believe in any kind of eternal punishment for even the worst of people by our standards. Regardless of what they did in life, or what religion they adhered to. By connection I don’t believe in the need for Salvation.


So as you can see these are some pretty important differences, most people would have probably written off Christianity at this point, but there are some aspects that I love. Although I don’t believe the Christian God is the only God or even the best God, I can still respect him and I do believe in Jesus' message. I epically love some Catholic aspects such as the Rosary, Monasticism, and the quality and education of Catholic priests. There are also some aspects in Catholicism that help with coexistence of my believes, such as the existence of Purgatory as like I said I don’t believe in people going to hell, but a temporary state of working towards reconciliation makes perfect sense to me. Another aspect is the authority of the church, like I said I don’t believe that you can take the bible literally, so the practice of having trained and educated priests examining the scripture and then making decisions with the human element appeals to me, as the church is made up of humans and thus can be empathetic and understanding, while a book is...well a book.


So my question is can I still coexist within the Catholic church and A. Not be a hypocrite, and B. still find inspiration and growth within it as an Individual in spite of these different views? Thank your for reading and any advice




 


I for one had trouble with hypocrisy (of others) until I realized I was hypocritical myself and decided I should get my butt back in church and worship God with other hypocrits and stop judging them. 


I believe there is only one name given under which we are saved from sin/death and that is Jesus Christ (God Saves).  I believe God became one with His Creation through the Incarnation of His Word and that He continues this relationship with Creation through the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments such as Holy Eucharist (I am the Living Bread come down from Heaven - Jesus says - My Flesh is Real Food and My Blood is Real Drink - see John Chapeter 6).


Hell/dealth/sin is separation from God/Love/Life...at least it is to me.  We condemn ourselves by rejecting the One True Living Loving God.  Jesus offers the path to salvation/forgiveness.  We either accept this gift or we reject it.  I believe God/Truth can be found everywhere, but I believe we must make a decision about where we stand regarding Jesus.  Either we believe or we don't.  If we ask God to increase our belief/our faith, I believe He will do it.  Jesus says how much more the Father will send the Spirit upon those who ask for it.  Holiness.  God's Spirit.  Discernment to tell truth from falsehood/evil from good.  We are vulnerable during our life on earth...while we are in the flesh.  I believe there is an enemy of souls prowling - trying to lead innocent astray/misery loves company.  An intelligent angel of light fell from grace and took many with him.  He is banished from his former post.  He is not happy and he is trying to keep you from being that way.  He is jealous and he is deadly.  I warn you to flee him/resist him and cry out to God to show you His Light and His Way.  Being lost is no way to go through life.  Ask and you shall receive.  Give God His due and keep searching earnestly for Him/His Truth.  Ask your questions.  Put your hands in the nail marks and the side of Him Who Suffered and Died and Rose FOR YOU and me! 


One hallmark of Christianity is laying down one's life for another...being willing to rescue, sacrifice in love.  One fantastic aspect of Catholicism is belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and daily Mass/sacraments including confession, Annointing of the Sick, Confirmation, Baptism, Holy Orders, Matrimony.  All gifts from a loving God who cares intimately for each soul. 


Keep walking toward the Light.  Ask your questions.  Be guided by Truth.  God is Truth.  God Saves.  God triumphs over that which would seek to destroy/kill.


Please keep trusting and keep learning/asking.  God will provide you the answer/s you seek.  "On that day you will have no more questions for me"  "Fear is useless, what is needed is trust".


Please forgive those who have sinned including wolves in sheep's clothing or clergy clothing.  People have been molested by parents and teachers and child care providers and relatives.  Not just clergy.  Not just Catholic clergy.  This sexual abuse trouble has been years in the making.  Praise God it is coming to light and many children are being spared this horror.  May those who have suffered find healing and safety.  May the perpetrators repent - some may even be victims themselves.  May humanity learn to love and forgive. 


"Divine Mercy in My Soul"  Sr./St. Maria Faustina Kowalska is a good read.

Risen Lord Jesus' Peace!
e.t./sue ><:> *:D (: + 
Yesh!  www.muttscomics.com
www.chesterton.org
American Chesterton Society Conference-usually in St Paul, MN Mid-June, but the 2009 Conference is scheduled Aug. 6-8 in Seattle, WA - you go, West Coast...
Some of what Gilbert K. Chesterton says:
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
"I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event."  (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
"War is not 'the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you."
"If there were no God, there would be no atheists."
"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God."
"Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern."
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."
"You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution."
"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter."
"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."
"There are some desires that are not desirable."
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions."
"Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it."
"The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man."
"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion."
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 16, 2009 - 8:03PM #9
angpuppy
Posts: 520

 Sorry for all the spaces.  I typed this up on Word first


 


Wavering said:  That's the same thing, Ang. If one is separated from God, then one is separated from LOVE.


 


I say:  I would agree with you that God is Love, and that Hell is eternal separation from love.   It was more of "outside of the warmth of God" which I have not heard spoken of as a common description.


 


I had previously said:  The primary punishment according to the Catechism is not being with God who alone is what our hearts long for.  But the Catechism also affirms that there are secondary punishmens.


 


Wavering responded:  Such as ... Purgatory?


 


I say:  No, secondary punishments in Hell.  Though you could say that the secondary punishments are the results of the principle punishment of Hell which is separation from God.  I don't believe the Catechism actually lists secondary punishments, except to affirm Christ's description of "eternal fire."  CCC1033 forward


 


Wavering said:  Tell me, Ang, is your vision of God one of a judge who is just waiting to catch everyone in their failings and condemn them to punishment for all eternity?


 


My response:  No, my vision of God is a God just waiting to pour our His mercy upon us and reconcile Him to us.  My vision of humanity are sinners who have divided hearts and struggle to let go of their attachments to sin.  We frequently prefer the lesser goods of this world over God.  We also do not like admitting just how sinful we are.  We can't bear to admit it because of our pride.  Our pride does two things.  It either covers up our sin so that we go in denial and would be angry at God for the offer of mercy because we think He owes us Heaven for our goodness.  We're affronted and offended by his mercy as we think His justice should let us in.  Or our pride causes us to despair in our sin and we become spiteful of ourselves, constantly confronted only by guilt and shame, perhaps being tempted to not seek or accept God's mercy because we don't feel we deserve it.


 


Which is why humility is so important.  The focus turns off yourself.  Your own smallness, your own imperfections in love only exemplify the greatness of God.  His love far surpasses any human love.  A longing for unity with Him is fostered in your heart, and thus a dread of sin.  At least in my experience, it is similar to romantic love (which is perhaps why Christ calls himself the bridegroom of the Church).  Its like longing to get closer and closer to the one you love and you keep doing really stupid things that cause your separation.  Those in Hell are those who've "broken up" with God possibly because they never truly knew Him enough to truly love Him in the first place.


 


Wavering said:  Because mortal sin requires FULL KNOWLEDGE and FULL UNDERSTANDING of God.


 


My response:  Sometimes modernist/progressive "theologians" really anger me.   Do they intentionally look over every word to try to "How can we fit our own personal opinions into this wording to make it fit to less traditional Christian ideas?"  Reading that is like reading the Gospel of Thomas.  It sounds slightly familiar but is perverted.  Come to think of it, it even sounds similar to the serpent in the Garden of Eden for his lie succeeds primarily because he's toyed with a truth and rephrased things just slightly. 


 


I will ask you this to make my point.   If God intended for you to marry and spend the rest of your life with particular person, and you never made the effort to get to know the person in order to truly fall in love with that person and have a relationship with that person, don't you think you would have the capacity to never enter into a relationship or the marriage God predestined you too or do you deny your own free will?


 


Or, say you had met the person, but seriously neglected your relationship, and hurt your relationship in serious ways because you didn't think or took that person for granted?  Would your relationship not need repentance and reconciliation?  Is your marriage invisible against your sins against the relationship?


 


All of this is about your relationship with God and your choice to actually foster that relationship.  It is like a marriage.  It takes constant work, repentance and it can be wrecked by your lack of effort.  And while your spouse may be in love with you, if you continually reject your spouse no matter how worthy that spouse is of your love, eventually your relationship will break up.  You spouse may still want to be reconciled with you for an eternity, but once he realizes you will only continue to reject Him, He may throw in the towel and say "Have it your way.  Do not pretend to have a relationship with me and use me.  I will only accept your love."


 


Those in Hell can't truly KNOW God fully because they haven't bothered to make the effort to know God for striving to know Him is an act of love.  Their rejection to seek to know Him is rejection enough.


 


Where full knowledge and full consent of the will come into play is with the heart.  Are you striving to work at your relationship and merely failing but seeking reconciliation to the best of your knowledge and ability, or are you truly neglecting your relationship?


 


Wavering:  Ang, you are judging theologians for being theologians - it is their job to question, to analyze and to think


 


My response:  I am not condemning questioning, analyzing and thinking.  I am condemning those who claim to be teaching Catholic theology who are approaching Divine Revelation from a non-Catholic perspective.  This may include viewing Catholicism in merely a comparative religious perspective, or a purely critical historical perspective.  Catholic Theology needs to keep Divine Relation (Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition) as its foundation.  It must have at its core that these things have been Divinely Revealed by God and all the basic premises of the Catholic faith.  The theology must build off what has come before it, not seek to destroy the faith and reinvent it or superimpose.

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2009 - 8:38AM #10
samuelbb7
Posts: 427

Dear angpuppy


I wish to compliment you on your responce.  YOu did an excellent job and wrote many wonderful true points.


I am a Protestant and while I agree with the Catholic church on a number of point. The teaching that hell lasts for all eternity is not one of them. You are right GOD is looking to catch in good and turn to Him.


But if we choose not to as you pointed then in my understanding we stand before judgement and GOD puts us to sleep in a death.  This is to eliminate suffering from the Universe. Which is part of the goal of GOD. To bring an end to sin.


Agape

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