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Bible Questions and Spiritual Discussion
Craig from Illinois
That's a rude metaphor, Grogan. If these books are anything like the video links, then your so called "pearls" are more like kidney stones. Nobody wants them. They cause incredible pain. And the best case scenario is that they end up in the toilet.
Just admit that some things our church has told us about Catholics may not be accurate; maybe just simply misunderstood. So far Andre as given consistent biblical and theological support in defense for the practices of the Catholic Church.
It's hard to take a theological beat-down every day, Grogan. I understand. But if you're going to leave because of it, then do it gracefully. Andre has been as gracious as possible with both of us.
To all, especially Craig (since I don't know who else is listening... hi!)
I entreat that before you spend lots of time reading any of those books, you read the following short story first. It's the witness of someone who read some of these for himself, and really integrated his life around them:
Steve, nothing bad can ever come from prayers, so I welcome that you to pray for me, for all Catholics, and even yourself that if any of us has formed his life around heresy, that it might be made manifest to him and that he might repent. I will pray for you too if you allow me to, that Jesus might draw you ever closer to His Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in thee.
Craig from Illinois
Ok Andre, it's you and me. (I know we are not alone - many lurkers are among us)
I read your "brief history" and I understand the progression that makes the Gospel story what it is. I found conviction of my own prejudices when you pointed out the inherent problems that Sola scriptura can produce. But I have to admit that my underlying beliefs are making it difficult to accept anything but scripture alone. To think that there are writings and traditions outside the cannon that should be considered makes me slump back in my chair. I can barely piece the 66 books into a tapestry, let alone the threads of tradition and Church writings.
My bias against the Catholic Church comes from my own family heritage (the strongest force), the seemingly hypocrisy of sinful living, confession, then back to sinful living that I witnessed in my youth. Anti-Catholic movies , news media bias and yes... those horrible sexual abuse cases along with the apparent abuse of power to hide the crimes.
All those influences have shaped my opinion. But you're absolutely right to point out that we all sin. And I agree... "It is a mistake to believe that the sins of Christians would ever invalidate the teachings of Christ". And I will look past the darkness and examine the teachings for themselves. I'm grateful that you are my teacher and full of patience.
You say that you have found good Catholic teachers on podcasts. Please share a selection that you have vetted and found reliable.
The story by Mark Connel was interesting. I want to conclude by pointing out a few quotes that I found eerily similar to my background and quest for knowledge.
"Which Protestant denomination would be given the final authority to cast one or both of these men out as “a Gentile and a tax collector” (see Mt 18:17)? And if they were cast out, what would stop them from simply starting up a new church, a church custom-tailored to their own particular teachings? The result could be denomination number 25,001 and denomination number 25,002 — and thus a direct repudiation of Christ’s statement that this excommunication would be binding “heaven” and on “earth” (v. 18)."
Coming from an Anabaptist tradition, I have heard the stories of shunning and excommunicating at my own local congregation. There were 4 Mennonite churches within 10 sq. miles of each other up until about 10 years ago. All 4 had a unique issue that split from the original congregation. I have been raised in the climate of "join or move on" since childhood.
"And as sad as it might sound, I did not want to leave the comfort of the dark little box into which I had tried to squeeze the richness of Christianity."
I think that these forums and listening to the Bible for myself has widened and deepened my personal perception of the richness of Christ. I'm not different than most in that I have found it easy for most of my life to go through the motions and conform to the group think. Andre, you assisted greatly in my faith stretch. I look forward to many more conversations.
Craig from Illinois
Here is a review from a reader concerning "Reasoning From The Scriptures With Roman Catholics" by Ron Rhodes...
"My experience with this book is an ironic one. I was an Evangelical Christian committed to the ideals spelled out by Rhodes here. In fact, I used it to "evangelize" Catholics and share the gospel with them. As I began to research the history of the faith, and the Church in particular, and the relation of Sacred Scripture to the People of God, my thinking began to change. Rhodes book became for me my last lifeline. I tried desperately to cling to my Evangelicalism, as slowly but surely each and every page of this book melted away in the face of the Ancient faith professed long before Luther and Calvin. I would invite you all to look over the wall of the Reformation, and past 1517. The Church predates the Reformation by 1500 years. Is there anyone bearing witness so-called Protestant ideals before 1517? It almost seems as though Rhodes would have Christ be the foolish builder in His own parable..."
The #1 podcast I would recommend to anyone right now is Fr. Robert Barron's "Word on Fire":
Another that I think a lot of people would like is Fr. Larry Richards' "The Reason For Our Hope":
Those would be two good ones. They both follow the liturgical year in terms of their topics, but Fr. Barron's has titles that cover what he is going to talk about.
When I try to imagine what it might be like for a non-Catholic to listen to these podcasts, I can imagine that you might hit your head up against a sort of paradigm shift. Perhaps we can talk privately if you like about any of the talks in particular if you finally choose to listen to them. I would do the same for anyone else who might be reading this too, just send me a private message.
Craig from Illinois
Thank you for the podcast suggestions. I'll load a few of the recent ones up and take a listen.
Happy birthday, Retro. :-)
Thanks, Tom, you always remember.
Couldn't get on-line yesterday Andre, so Happy Birthday !!!
Thanks DavidWayne, you are a good man.
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