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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For My Non-Catholic Readers

This is a re-post of a previous blog but it warrants repeating. From time to time I get non-Catholics who read the blog and invite me to read their blogs in the hopes I will decide to convert. They believe they are being obedient  to "preach the gospel in season and out."  The presupposition with some of  these individuals is that Catholicism is a false religion or a "false gospel" .  The fact that a person would believe Catholicism is false clearly indicates that they have never studied what Catholicism is all about from a Catholic perspective. It is easy to draw a caricature of what Catholicism is based on myths, lies, distortions. After all, this has been going on for the past 500 years and the purveyors of falsehood have had an abundant amount of time to perfect their attacks.

What I can tell you is that when a person  begins to read what the Church actually says about itself and its doctrines, the scales often fall from their eyes and the Holy Spirit brings them Home. I was one of those.

So, once again, for my readers who believe Catholicism is false:

Did you ever ask yourself why you hate Catholicism so much?
 Who taught me what I think I know about the Catholic Church? Is what I was taught true? Have I looked at what the Catholic Church has to say about itself, using official resources such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal encyclicals? Could my opinion of the Catholic Church possibly be based on bias, bigotry, bad history, propaganda from the secular media, or the bad priests who get publicity (i.e., the sick, and sickening, pedophile priests or those certain heretical modernist priests the secular media love to give press to)? Is it fair to judge doctrine by such things? Is any group with human beings in it free from sin and scandal? If I am wrong about the Catholic Church, what does that mean?

Here are some common myths about the Catholic Church:

  • Because Catholics reject the tradition of "sola fide" ("faith alone"), they think they can work their way into Heaven and believe they are saved by works . WRONG
  • Catholics think the pope does not sin . WRONG
  • Catholics re-crucify Christ at their Masses (or at least think they do) WRONG
  • Catholics think Mary is part of the Godhead and is to be worshipped WRONG
  • Catholics worship statues WRONG (for the 150th time on this blog) WRONG
  • Catholics think they can't pray to God directly but have to go through saints WRONG
  • Catholics conjure the dead WRONG
  • Catholics believe people can be saved after they die  WRONG
  • The Catholic Church teaches that one who isn't formally a Catholic is damned to Hell WRONG
  • The Crusades are an example of Catholic aggression WRONG
  • The Inquisition(s) killed hundreds of thousands of people and targeted Jews WRONG
  • Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" and didn't do a thing to help Jews during WWII WRONG
  • The Catholic Church wasn't around until the time of Constantine, a pagan who controlled the Church. WRONG
  • The Catholic Church did more than baptize pagan calendar days for the good of Christ, it is pagan in its very roots. WRONG

If you believe any of the above myths, I implore you to research. For doctrinal questions, ask the Church what it teaches; it's the only fair thing to do. For historical questions, look at balanced and objective scholarly research from a variety of sources (including Catholic ones). And as you research, keep in mind the common logical fallacies that are often used in attacks against Catholicism:

Generalization: "I knew a Catholic/ex-Catholic (or I was a Catholic) who was (mean, a drunk, not holy, didn't like the Church, was superstitious, didn't know the Bible, didn't have a deep relationship with Jesus, etc.), so therefore, the teachings of the Catholic Church are wrong." (Ignores the fact that bad catechesis, misunderstandings, or other shortcomings of a few Catholics do not reflect on what the Catholic Church teaches)

Bifurcation:"If the Catholic Church doesn't teach that it's faith alone that saves, then it must teach that men are saved by their own works." (Ignores that we teach that we are saved by Grace alone -- a Grace with which we must cooperate through "faith that works in love")

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this): "Winter Solstice is on 21 December; Christmas is 25 December. Therefore, Christmas is a pagan holiday. (Ignores that fact that there are only 365 days to choose from in a year and that the early Church Fathers had good reasons to choose the date they did. It also ignores that Protestants' "Reformation Day" is celebrated on 31 October, the pagan festival of Samhain.)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this): "Constantine must have been the real source of the Catholic Church's teachings because after his reign the Church grew tremendously, and before his reign it wasn't as well-known" (Ignores the simple fact that Constantine merely stopped the persecution of Christians with the Edict of Milan and allowed Christianity to spread. It also ignores the writings of the Church Fathers who lived before Constantine -- and who were Catholic.)

Straw man: "You guys worship statues, and that's evil. Therefore, your religion is Satanic." (Ignores that fact that we don't worship statues)



Anonymous Tiber Toe Dipper said...

I have a few questions I hope you can answer...

1. A friend of mine who is Orthodox said that one of the differences between Orthodox and Catholics is that Catholics pray to Mary. You write that Catholics do not see Mary as part of the Godhead, so why would they pray to her? We should pray to God and God alone.

2. A Catholic friend of mine often says that when he loses something he prays to "St. Anthony" and it is found. I find this puzzling. First, I thought the Catholic church was against superstition, and second, again, praying to St. Anthony instead of praying to God?

The praying to any one or any thing other than God alarms me greatly. The Bible is clear that to do so is to be praying to false idols and that this will really cheese God off!

3. You say that Catholics reject "faith alone", can you explain this further because I can testify that in my life faith alone has moved mountains on occassion where no man could ever have!

January 10, 2011 8:39 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear TTD:
Your Orthodox friend is wrong, they certainly do believe in the communion of saints which Christians have believed in since the early Church. The word pray is "to make a request of'. It does not imply worship. When we ask Mary of st. Anthony to pray, we request that they intercede for us to Jesus, much like when you ask a friend to pray for you for an exam. Why do you ask a friend to pray when you can go straight to God? Does that 'cheese God off?" No absolutely not.

read my blog post here:

Regarding "faith alone", I think you are confusing apples and oranges. Faith alone is a doctrine of justification that protestants developed after the 1500's. It was never found in the bible nor the early church. The concept of faith moving mountains is that God asks us to have faith to do the impossible, which Catholics readily believe and affirm. These are two different concepts and I am not sure why you are linking them. Scripture tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

I suggest, if you are really interested in Catholicism, you obtain a Catholic Catechism. you can get a used one on amazon for just a few bucks. you will learn what it is that Catholics truly believe vs what protestants think we believe-which is often a different reality!

God bless

January 10, 2011 10:02 PM  

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