Monday, February 04, 2008

My unsent reply to a friend's statement...

My friend wrote me this reply to an email I sent her. If anyone out there can comment or help me give a reply to her statement, I'd be grateful. I didn't write this with any 'arrogant' tone or thought. I don't know if she'd read it with that understanding, however. I'm not trying to be argumentative toward her, but she's very "proud" of her beliefs and much of those contain an adamant dislike of "authority" as most American Evangelicals seem to cherish. She, to her credit, has stood up for Catholics against Protestants, but also made it clear she stood up for Protestants against those more "ritual focused" folk. (whatever that means?)

Be it Sinatra, "I did it my way" approach to life, or the ever-popular and tasty "Burger King theology" of "Have it your way" are strong and running rampant all over the Protestand/Evangelical fray and why deep down I believe I was starving so ....but I digress. (as much as I like Sinatra and a char-broiled burger, it doesn't cut it when it comes to worshiping in Spirit and in TRUTH) but I digress again.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm waiting to hear back from Father Felix on this one. But I admire all of your Cathlolic insight as well. ~ susie

J. wrote: "No one denomination has all the Truth; even if one started out with it, our human-ness has made some serious un-Truth adjustments."

Me again: "Trinity" below, refers to our former fellowship/faith community, that's going through major turmoil and is splitting even as I type, into at least two more smaller 'churches.' The irony of it one time, most members were in "agreement" and committed to following God's Word, as it says' in the tagline on the website. I know Pastor Les is sincere and most are dear, devout loving Christians, and good, well-meaning folks,but then, things began to 'change' as things so often do. So without the fullness of TRUTH and an apostolic Authority, we watch yet another large "mega cookie" crumble and many hurt people left wondering "where to go" now. So very sad. It really is so very sad. Many are now angry and others apathetic, and who knows where those souls will wander off to next. God forbid it's to yet another "man" or "woman" and her interpretation of the Word of God. I pray for them. Please pray for them, too. Especially Pastor Les. He's got a great heart and true passionate love for Jesus. How I'd love to see him on The Journey Home! How Mary and Jesus would love that, too! JMJ pray for us!

My as of yet, unsent thoughts:

That's one "denomination" has all the Truth. But then some think they know what the Truth is. Like Trinity now, half think they're right and leave and half think they're right and stay. Who's right? What's the "truth" about that situation? Why another major split? Trinity Interdenom doesn't have the fullness of Truth, that's for sure, but neither does any other denom out there. I think 33,000 splits and factions determines that easily enough. HOWEVER, Jesus did build a Church not churches. Before there was one denominatinon there was the Catholic Church. The early Church fathers attest to that. They being first generation disciples of the FIRST disciples, that Jesus "hand-picked" (and a motley crew he chose!) flawed and sinful. Peter the leader, denied Him, Judas in his human-ness sold him for some quick cash, they all deserted him in his final hours, (all but Mary that is, but that's for another day.) The disciples of John and Peter, however, I would venture to say, must have had it right. More right than "Joe Blow" or Joel Osteen does.

Those early fathers certainly didn't go off the rails only to have someone come along 1500 years later (Luther) and 'get it right.' That's not logical and doesn't hold even a drop of water. And no one else could come along 2000 years later, Pastor Murdoch or whoever, start a 'home church' in Omaha or elsewhere and 'get it right.' Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. Well, that would lead me to ask, "Was he right?" If our sinful, weak, flawed human-ness could in "truth" cause HIS Church to "go off the rails" and "go wrong" and "flub up to such a degree" that would thus make Jesus a liar, which of course we know He's not.

That same Catholic Church has stood the test of time for 2000 years, not bending one iota to the whims of the age, any age, in faith and morals. So many "denoms" have crumbled and succombed to the world and secular thought, it's down right scary! That Truth, the Fullness of Truth, is found in the Catholic Church, for that is what the Catholic Church says, claims and teaches. No other denomination makes that claim. Now, reasonably and logically speaking that's either true, or it's not. Either the Church is lying or it's not. Like C.S. Lewis said about Jesus, either he was a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord. There's no "middle-ground" when it comes to the Truth. Jesus did indeed build a Church that wouldn't crumble, or collapse like a deck of cards, but would in fact REMAIN for all time and eternity, or... He screwed up and we're all nuts.

Like Rich says so brilliantly, "It's, [i.e. the Catholic Church] not denominational or "inter-denominational" but PRE-denominational." And I add, the most MEGA Church on the planet. It's so "mega" it has parishes to contain all it's members! Sweet. ONE MIND, ONE BODY, ONE CHURCH,ONE BAPTISM, ONE FAITH....ONE. with many a flawed, sinful, weak, stubborn, orthodox and unorthodox, right wing, left wing, wheat and tares. A most motley group of souls that are growing along side each other as they did from it's inception. ONE day, they'll be divided, but until then, HIS CHURCH will prevail against the gates of Hell and He'll be with Her always, like He said, unto the end of time

I notice Ray Mayhew's been reading the Early Church fathers. He wrote me a nice email about my interest in his very cool website. I gave him a couple of links to peruse and he thanked me for them, since he's always looking for more informative websites. Those are Mike's blog, and St Paul Center.

"If you're not a thorn in somebody's side, you aren't doing Christianity right." Mother Angelica


Kim said...

Coming from a currently Protestant position, the thing that discouraged me the most as a Christian was that no one was teaching exactly the same things within the Protestant world. Sacraments vs. no sacraments, what form of baptism is right, what baptism means or does, Communion/Eucharist, faith vs. works, etc. There are so many different opinions that I about gave up on Christ. I thought, "how can He let things be in such chaos? Why didn't He leave us something firm to stand on?" Then I found out that Catholic churches are all in harmony on their teachings (at least I'm told that). From what I understand, all masses use the same Scriptures on the same days, right? All churches follow the liturgical calendar. The teachings on the sacraments, as well as the performing of them is in harmony throughout the churches, yes? That was what first attracted me to the CC. I yearned for spiritual authority and oneness. I yearned for order and reverence.

Btw, I love that quote from Mother Angelica. I think I'm a thorn in my hubby's side right now! lol I think he'd say so, anyway!


Joyful Catholics said...

Thank you,Kim! I appreciate your input here. I KNOW exactly what you're saying! It was the same thing for me. After reading 3 books, in one weekend, and being OPEN TO GRACE, I responded to God by what he'd told me in those books, through those particular authors. I'm a book reader,and God knew how best to reach me...not with a preacher's sermon, but through the changed lives of folks like Scott and Kimberly Hahn,in their story, Rome Sweet Home, and ALL 11 conversion stories in Surprised By Truth, Vol.1 (I think there are 3 or 4 volumes now) and also David Currie's book, Brn Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic. All of them excellent reads for someone who's honestly, hungry and seeking for Truth.

Kim said...

Yes, conversion story books are really helping me, but I do prize sound doctrine, as well. The question for me is "who's right?" And that is what led me to look into the history of the faith, which naturally points to the Catholic Church with a big, red arrow! lol

I was reading a post on Dave Armstrong's blog tonight about Catholicism being "both/and", while Protestantism is "either/or". I thought that depicted the differences well. Catholicism has a generous orthodoxy while Protestantism is about continuing diminishment. That post has helped me to turn a corner in my Protestant thinking. As I said on his blog, it's the difference between a multi-faceted gem and a flat piece of glass.

Joyful Catholics said...

Very well said, Kim! I love your analogy of a "multi-faceted gem/or a flat piece of glass."

Kind of like staring at a menu all night and thinking that's satisfying you when you could be dining on a gourmet meal with the finiest of wine!

As I said, it's either true (the Church) or it's not. If something's not 'right' it's 'wrong' as Bob Dylan says...a line from You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. (I'm a Dylan fan...big time!) lol