As this month comes to an end, I must admit I am disappointed. There are so many things I didn’t have time to cover – the Catholic Church’s emphasis on Mary, the Rosary, and, given the state of things in DC, the Church’s stance on birth control.
But I suppose that is the thing about the Catholic Church. It has such a long and colorful history, no one can really learn everything there is. Especially not in one month.
If things go as I’d like, perhaps I’ll find time to do more research in the future. I’d love to talk with people who have converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, something I absolutely intended to do this month.
For now, I’ll just share my final thoughts.
There are some parts of the Catholic Church I disagree with, some I find rather silly, and some I completely don’t understand. But I absolutely respect the Catholic Church.
Just because I don’t agree or understand doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Some people would argue that Catholics aren’t Christian. And at one point, I almost believed this too. Now I think that is incredibly narrow-minded and inaccurate. I know some wonderful, God honoring, selfless Catholics, and I refuse to believe they aren’t Christians simply because they confess to a priest, read an extra book in their Bible, and use a crucifix instead of a cross.
If you are one who doubts Catholics can be Christian, please remember the Nicene Creed, that marvelous statement that binds us all. I won’t put it in its entirety here, but this is the basis of all our (Christian’s) faith:
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
If you believe the Nicene Creed and your Catholic brothers (and sisters) believe the Nicene Creed, then what’s the problem? I am simplifying a lot here. But Luke 18:17 says “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And using a child’s logic, if we all use the same statement of faith, don’t we essentially all believe the same thing?
Yes, there are flaws in the Catholic Church. There are lies, corruptions, and hearbreaking sins. But if you think these don’t exist to some degree in your own church, you are in for a rude awakening some day. Even the most amazing church has flaws. Churches and denominations are run by sinners; they will never be perfect.
No, I can’t definitively say that all Catholics are Christians. But I can’t say definitively that all Protestants are Christians, either.
I will say this, though. I don’t believe Catholic and Christian are mutually exclusive.
And with that, my time in the Catholic Church ends. Tomorrow begins the month of the Methodist Church.