Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What Is It That Engenders This Much Vitriol From Our Brothers in Christ?

I initially wasn't going to allow this post because I try to not let my blog become a posting site for uncharitable comments but here goes. I am hoping for some thoughtful charitable responses to Mr. Anon. He certainly knows select quotes from popes and the catechism more than I do! This interaction was taken from the comments in response to my Faith With Reason post.

Anonymous Recently Posted:

"You guys have got to be kidding?!Catholics can't think for themselves so they need a pope who declares himself to be Jesus that is an abomination to think for them. Work out your faith with fear... "

I then Responded:

Catholic teaching never equates the Pope with Jesus. If you could get past your vitriol* perhaps you would be able to see this a bit more clearly. Sometimes hatred and prejudice can blind a person's intellect as well, but that's just my opinion. 33,000 different denominations each with their own peculiar ideas of salvation, baptism, end times etc. All because folks think for themselves and become their own popes.No thanks, I would rather trust in The Church that Christ started rather than create my own unique doctrines, and inserting my own words into Scripture or removing books I dont' like. (as one of the reformers did without hesitation.)I would hope from reading the blog you would realize that Catholics are great thinkers and have tremendous intellect. The freedom to be a great thinker is granted when the freedom is constrained by correct doctrinal boundaries set by a teaching magisterium instituted by the Holy Spirit. Please refer to my blogs about the magisterium to understand where I am coming from here.
October 10, 2006 3:21 PM

Anonymous then posted:

I stumbled on your blog and apologize for my hateful words. I emotionally discharges on you and I apologize. I interpret your post as EVANGELICALS do not use reason and I was taken back by your harsh judgement. Harsh judgement deserves harsh words, but it wasn;t meant to be hateful towards you or Catholics. To say that "There used to be a saying about evangelicals, that they "check their brain at the door when they come to church." is the same as me saying: "Here is a Roman Catholic who thinks that a piece of bread is the flesh of Christ and they are cannibals." As to your reply that the Church doesn't teach that the Pope is "Jesus Christ on earth" is a Catholic lie:"
For the Roman pontiff (pope), by reason of his office as VICAR OF CHRIST, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal POWER over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise UNHINDERED." CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1994, P. 254 #882"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely NECESSARY FOR the SALVATION of every human creature to be SUBJECT TO THE ROMAN PONTIFF (POPE)." POPE BONIFACE VIII, BULL UNUN SANCTUM, 1302

No thanks!
October 10, 2006 6:04 PM

I Then Posted:

Dear Anon:
I think it would be best to re-read my blog. I don't think you understood what I was trying to get across. My words were not meant to be harsh and I disagree that harsh judgments deserve harsh words(where's that in the Bible?) I was an evangelical for 30 years and often-times experienced a tendency to down play the use of my intellect. The saying I used about evangelicals was obtained from an interview of the author of the above book I posted about, he himself is an evangelical. His entire book is a statement that charismatic/pentecostals are in danger of emphasizing emotion and downplaying intellect. I was writing about his book to explain that I too did that for many years and I was one of the folks he spoke about.

An example of my "dummying down" was my refusal to look at history particularly the documents written by early Christians. Justin Martyr as well as many other writers in the first centuries of the church wrote that the Eucharist was indeed the real body and blood of the Lord, and they were brutally persecuted by the Romans for being "cannibals" as you alluded to. Up until the 1600 century, Christians never viewed the Eucharist as symbolic until the Reformation. But I refused to acknowledge any written history of what early Christianity looked like due to my anti-Catholic bias and vitriol against all things Catholic.

Justin Martyr said :
"We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

Regarding Your statement that Catholics need a "Pope who declares himself to be Jesus":

The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. A Pope never has and never will declare himself to be Jesus.
Sir, that truly is a lie and not a "catholic lie" , but a lie that someone is stating to blindly criticize Catholicism out of bitterness and much anger I might add.
We need to decrease the height of the flames here and read what the definition of a vicar is:"a person who is authorized to perform the functions of another; deputy"So the Pope is functioning as the "deputy", Jesus gave the "badge" to Peter and said, Peter, I am giving you the authority to perform my functions, so to speak. So Pete, while I am away, you have my authority given to you to forgive sins, bind and loose and even bind things in heaven!! The language Jesus used is borrowed from Isaiah 22:20-22, when the king gives the keys of the kingdom to his prime minister to bind and loose etc.So Jesus transferred his authority, power to forgive sins etc, to his Church. This transference was a huge deal and was meant to be carried on and the ability to bind and loose was not intended to stop with Peter. So Catholics don't usurp Christ's power nor do popes equate themselves with Jesus as your original comments stated. The Popes are obeying Jesus command to hold onto the keys as a prime minister would handle all the affairs for an ancient Jewish king. Please re-read Isaiah to really get a sense of what Jesus was doing in this monumentous handoff.

You seem to know quite a bit about the Catholic catechism, so I don't understand why you can't realize that the Catholic Church is only doing as Christ commanded?If he gave all authority to Peter and his successors, including the gospel of salvation, then no salvation can come but through this succession. You, who I assume are a Christian, are a believer today because of the Catholic Church and the deposit of Truth passed on by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible you read was canonized by a successor of Peter named Pope Damasus in 393 AD. Therefore ultimately all salvation did come from this Church. It may sound triumphalistic and I am sorry that it seems to you that way, but it is how God intended. The Church is happy to accept the faith of other believers outside the Church and considers them our brethren, albeit separated from us. But Luther and the other reformers and the 33,000 sects that have sprung from them have the Catholic Church to thank for the Gospel of Salvation passed on by Peter and his successors. I accept your apology for your "hateful words" and just pray for God's grace and peace on both of us. God bless you,


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I must say that the flames have decreased and I have learned a lesson not to discharge on others...especially Chrisitans. I have read several Catholic blogs recently that seem to talk down to other Christians and assumed this was another one. It is the attitude of "The Roman Catholic Church is the original and only true Church and all other Christians are sub-standard" that has gotten under my skin. I don't know why we can't be one unified Church. Jesus knows why this is so. For those that have not been around Roman Catholics, it is a put down when someone says Evangelicals leave their brain at the door.

I have learned a valuable lesson here and I ask forgiveness for anyone that I offended. I must not be one to pass judgement either just because someone is Catholic.

I disagree with the interpretation of Matthew 16 and see Jesus as holding the keys and Jesus is the one who went through the gates of hell after the crucifixion. Peter acknowledged this fact first with his acknowledgement and this acknowledgement is what enables a new believer to have a firm foundation to build on, a foundation of rock and that rock being Jesus.

No doubt there have been and still are great thinkers in the Roman Catholic church, but there are mighty believers among Evangelicals.

I need to have more patience and love for Christians no matter what their denomination and what teaching authority we begin to learn faith from. God bless you and everyone that reads your blog.

James G.W.

October 11, 2006 2:59 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

James, I am very humbled by your response. It's ok to disagree with the Matthew 16 verse or any others that I post for that matter. But at the very least you and I can discourse without being derisive. I too need to have more patience as well and get pretty hot under the collar in these debates! Thank you for responding so kindly and Lord willing we will continue to have some nice chats!
God bless you also. You are in my prayers today and please let me be in yours.

October 11, 2006 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...


October 11, 2006 11:54 AM  

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