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, April 24, 2007

Catholic Basement Tapes / Sacramentals

Here is the second podcast from Tiber Jumper Studios. Prodigal Daughter and I discuss the role of sacramentals in a Catholic Christian's life. The difference between Sacraments and Sacramentals are discussed. Why do two ex-evangelical Christians find sacramentals (incense, rosary beads, crucifix, the sign of the cross, statues, etc) useful in growing closer to Jesus?
Tune in to the downloadable podcast and find out! It's about 12 minutes long.


Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hey Guys! Thanks for the very informative podcast! You shared an interesting idea about Protestant beliefs. Up until now I have not considered the idea that people may think there is a dichotomy between the physical and the spiritual; that visible and physical on the one hand is completely separate from invisible and spiritual on the other. I think it's a good point to ponder, and examine ourselves to see if that subtle thinking hasn't crept into our own minds to influence us. It's really the kind of gnostic thought prevalent in Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses, I should think. And of course, that is a false dichotomy anyway. Physical and spiritual are not exclusive of each other, and in God's economy they are often "two sides of the same coin." Just think about our Lord's resurrection and the nail prints! We're not going to be little wisps of clouds dancing around the universe. We will have resurrected, perfected physical bodies. One verse that is commonly understood by lay Protestants as barring the use of sacramentals is 2 Corinthians 5:7 "...for we walk by faith, not by sight." When read in context, I don't think that verse has any bearing on the sacramental issue at all. The passage speaks of looking forward to the day when our earthly bodies, which Paul calls "tents," are more fully clothed by God in heaven at our resurrection. We look forward to that day with great anticipation, but we look to it with the eyes of faith since we cannot see it with our physical eyes. I would say that there must be other bases for Protestants not using sacramentals, these reasons probably being tied to concerns about committing idolatry, as they are either rightly or wrongly understood by them. In any case, I confess I would have to read more of the Reformers and other Protestant brethren to discover what is their perceived basis for abandoning any and all sacramentals. In my view, 2 Corinthians 5 is not addressing that issue.

April 25, 2007 12:33 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for listening to the cast. I loved your comment about us not being wisps of clouds floating around the universe! You really understand this stuff more than most Catholics!

Even before the reformation, the issue of icons(a type of sacramental) was divisive for the Church and there was a period of time around the 8th century when there was "iconoclasm." A heretical group called the Paulicians revived the gnostic heresy in the eastern Church .
"The Paulicians, as part of their heresy held that all matter (especially the human body) is bad, that all external religious forms, sacraments, rites, especially material pictures and relics, should be abolished. To honour the Cross was especially reprehensible, since Christ had not really been crucified. Since the seventh century these heretics had been allowed to have occasional great influence at Constantinople intermittently with suffering very cruel persecution. But some Catholics, too shared their dislike of pictures and relics. " (from Catholic Encyclopedia)

St. John of Damascus(An Eastern Church Father) put the iconoclastic heresy to an end with his writings and works in the 8th century. Ironically(iconically) , it is now from the Eastern Church that the most elaborate and beautiful ikons have come. So his work bore much fruit!!!
Unfortunately, the spirit of the gnostics and the Paulicians continues to rear it's head and raise up this false paradigm of separating the material and spiritual world. The Incarnation shows us that God continues to use the "stuff of earth".

As Theo so aptly put, this has always been apart of Judaeo-Christianity when God created the world and looked around and saw that it was good!

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

April 25, 2007 8:24 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

And let us not forget the 'sacramentals' some t.v. evagelists love to use to "heal" viewers who send in a "love offering" (physical)
The ever popular "prayer cloth" that some (not named here) preachers are fond of displaying at the end of their programs on any given Sunday a.m. ; ) Gotta love it...spiritual "good" physical "bad" except the ones THEY prefer... alrighty then.

April 25, 2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

We forgot about those might miracle cloths!!! So true. So true. As My good friend Theo says, everyone is really Catholic in a sense , they just don't know it yet!

Thanks for listening.

April 25, 2007 10:01 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Thanks for reminding me, Joyful. Blessedly, I don't watch TV "preachers." Makes me glad to be in church on Sunday morning!

April 25, 2007 11:52 PM  

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