Hi there! You’re back for more? I’m glad. I promise this is the last of this series. I never intended to take three posts to answer that question, but hopefully those who asked have a better idea. I think I explain myself better in writing. So, grab your beverage and a relaxing spot, and let’s finish the explanation. Then I need to get some sleep. It’s been a long week.
What about ‘once saved, always saved’? It simply didn’t ever make sense to me. How could I be saved based on a single prayer, but at some point then reject it all, do whatever I wanted and still go to heaven? There was a time in my life long after I was ‘saved’ that I was living like the devil. I knew in my heart that if I died right then, I’d just go live with the devil, that was my life choice at the time. I’m not talking about a couple of sins, but consistent life choices that lasted about a year. Thank God for His mercy. He rescued me from that life!
What about all those extra books they put in the Catholic Bible? Well, actually, they didn’t. Martin Luther and the Protestant reformers took them out 1500 years after the birth of the Church at Pentecost. (And, btw, Martin Luther never intended to split the church. He simply wanted some much-needed reforms. If those had come in a timely manner, the Protestant Reformation would not have happened.) In response to all the fussing and feuding over the years regarding what books were to be part of the Bible, councils were convened to bring some order to the chaos. Depending on if they were pro- or anti- reformation, they deleted books from the Scriptures. Martin Luther would have eliminated many others we all use including the books of James and Revelation. This is another reason I love the Catholic Church – one preacher can’t wake up and simply decide to change things on his own. It takes a council. Proverbs 11:14 says that “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
The Catholic Church has a coherent teaching on suffering, giving it meaning and purpose. Scripture says we are human in a fallen world, and there will be suffering. So many of the Evangelical and particularly Charismatic theologies seem to indicate that we are never to suffer; if we are right with God He will give us every whim and fancy of our hearts, especially for health and wealth. That doesn’t work in 99% of the world. I needed a theology that worked for everyone, everywhere.
Another thing I love is that the Mass is the Mass, no matter what language is spoken, no matter where you are in the world. There are some minor differences due to local custom, such as whether you kneel or simply stand for the entire Mass, but the prayers and the order of the Mass are the same, worldwide. It’s such a comfort to walk into a church I’ve never seen before, and know that I can follow the service with ease. I can concentrate on worshiping the One I came to worship.
I love the consistency of doctrine. The Catholic Church is seen by many as ‘old fashioned’ or ‘out of touch’. I say, thank God! The Bible hasn’t changed; why should our doctrines? Now, do not get me wrong here – I do not hate those who disagree. I love them and continue to pray for them. But I certainly disagree with the entire LGBTIQ camp. It’s sin. The Bible hasn’t changed. Or, since when did Jesus come down and say, “Oh, I see. You want to have sex but don’t want to get married. I do want you to have fun, so go ahead.” Nope. Never happened! And no matter how scientific and how well-explained, murder is murder. Abortion is not a choice – it’s murder. Killing a child is murder. Finally, on the whole women as priests controversy. There’s no controversy. Christ ordained only men, who ordained only men, and there was no question right up until the 20th century. In my own solely personal opinion, women are not equipped emotionally, physically or even spiritually to live the life of a priest. The Catholic church actually has better opportunities for women to serve than some Protestant denominations.
I think that should definitely cover it. Hopefully you understand my heart a bit better. I didn’t leave anything behind from my Protestant faith roots. I simply came to what I see as a fuller expression of my faith. As always, if you have questions in your own faith, or just want to talk to somebody, find a pastor or priest. They can help you find the truth you’re looking for, or the help to live a better life.