Irony in an agnostic age 10


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10 comments

  1. Mostly, it comes in the nature of having folks pray for intercession from what I consider dead humans, no more perfect than myself. Jesus (in the garden) showed us to pray directly to God in Jesus’s name. I also disagree w/ the idea that absolution comes from any but the wronged party or God. Giving confession in secret to one not involved in the wrong doing, makes no sense to me. If one knows one did wrong, one should own up to the wronged party or confess to God if the sin was not specifically against another person. I know that praying TOO the saints is not advocated by the church, but many of the less educated Catholics I have known from around the world did, especially Mary. As a baptist, I believe The Bible is complete and not in need of addition by man. For this reason, I can’t get behind the teachings of the extra Biblical texts used by the Catholic Church. Many consider us too “simple” in our ideology. We were warned to not add to the word of God. I see ceremony as a replacement for the worship of God by many, not just some Catholics. I know many in my own church that appear to be going through the motions. When something needs to be done about something not godly, they just walk around it and throw a metaphorical blanket over it. I was taught by a family that attended an old style Baptist church led by my great uncle for decades. They were quite willing to look a sin right in the eye and call it out…too willing. They saw sin in things the book itself said were fine. Questioning my religion was something I did for most of my young adult years. I found my faith in reading the tortures of my Christ and his followers. From there, more reading and the occasional intercession by god in my life when I most needed help, convince me that Christ meant EXACTLY what He said. Nothing is missing or needed from the minds of men. I am convinced it is a bad idea to be under the control, theologically, of men. Some of the most horrendous things EVER done to people were done to their theological leaders. The idea that absolution and excommunication can from a man is something that gives much power over believers. One would like to think that no one would take advantage, but they have in the distant and recent past…in many denominations, not just Catholicism. I am a real believer that an intelligent, literate, and faithful person is capable of carrying on his spiritual business entirely on his own. I know you probably weren’t looking for an epic novel, but it’s such a broad topic. I love many Mormons, that I have known all my life. I think someone committed a grave sin against them by creating a book that not only adds to The Bible but also contradicts it. I believe most faithful will be judged by the effort to be good Christians, but I know that they are being led from the truth by the writings of men. The Bible warns us to avoid the traditions of men. Have a nice day, Tom. We are so happy that smarmy John Ossof lost his bid to hand the 6th to Nancy and her gang.

    • Thanks, I really appreciate the input. Your points are well thought out. As I have time, I’ll try to respond on a few of the key ones as to my understanding on the Catholic perspective. I too am happy with the outcome of your election!

      • I’m glad you felt my input was cogent. So often, a Baptist comes off kind of ignorant when voicing their dissent. I have to admit, I’m not at all open to any type of conversion. I did not come to my beliefs as a result of my family telling me what to believe. I believe what they did (mostly) but for different reasons. What they focused on, I dont. I came to the place I am now through investigation of about every major religion and reading The Bible. I admit a lot of us believe a lot of silly things, b/c it’s what we were taught by grandparents. One of the founding fathers said to question everything…even the existence of God. I’m sad to say I did. I’m glad to say I found Him again.

      • I am incapable of converting anyone. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. What I appreciate about your response are the specific points of departure between Catholicism and your form of Protestantism. You’ve thought about it, allowing me an opportunity at some point to clarify Catholic teaching on the subjects you enumerated. I don’t have a problem with those who have a problem with the behavior of Catholics down through the ages. Sometimes, though, people may not like the Church based on a misunderstanding of their teachings. Thanks for your willingness to have a conversation on this rich topic without rancor. I do appreciate it.

      • I’m suspicious of all large, wealthy, hierarchal organizations. I cant think of one that hasn’t abused it’s charges at some point. Gvt., religion, corporations, charities, and the military have all done some pretty awful things to people to enrich, empower or protect certain others. What I like about the Baptists is the hard core fundamental take on the Christian teachings (my hubby said that an old fashioned Baptist church is the next best thing to the Catholic church. We too don’t change our teachings to make people comfortable w/ their sin.) We have a church chosen leadership. This is where one must know The Bible. If the pastor is nuts and giving false teachings, the deacons should call him on it. If they dont catch the false teachings, we must individually know the true scripture. This can lead to nonsense coming out of the pulpit. If a pastor behaves inappropriately, he’ll be discharged w/o recommendation. He may never pastor again. One part of Catholicism that concerns me is that one may abuse the office and just be moved where no one knows of the misdeeds. I know of protestant pastors (and other office holders) that abused the situation. They can’t expect to get another church. The down side is that pastors stay around long enough to b/c a cult of personality. Again, one hopes the deacons deal w/ it. If not, one changes churches and probably never sees the guy again. Believe me, I am as watchful of bad things within protestant (Baptist) churches as others. I know the power religion has and how appealing that is to some. If one isn’t prone to extensive study of scripture use of a concordance, a church w/ a universal teaching and hierarchy may be best. With learned men watching over the teachings, things are less likely to go off script-ure. I dont see Catholicism in the light of my ancestors. I dont personally want it, but it has good points. I wish all Christians would learn to analyze their own belief systems before attacking others. It would be great if the majority knew WHY they believe what they do and WHY they DO what they do. That so many dont, doesnt speak too highly of us to those around us. Dont you agree?

      • Yes, I do agree. Way too many Catholics don’t know what their Church believes and teaches. I’ve been guilty of it myself, which is why I embarked on a study of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, a brilliant collection of our teachings. By the same token, too many Protestants don’t like the Catholic Church for things that they THINK the Church espouses, but really doesn’t.

  2. I wonder how much of this has to do w/ our lack of concern for and closeness w/ our own families. I have always looked at god like my parent in Heaven. My parents were strict when needed and giving when needed. W/ such parents, it was easy to translate an obedient and adoring love for my earthly parents to my Heavenly parent. Jesus has confused me. is He my supremely protective big brother or just another image of my stern but loving father? The destruction of the family, I think gives many an aloof attitude toward God. The relationships I see between parents and kids are often careless or worse…adversarial.

    • Regarding your question in the middle, I think the answer is ‘both.’ In Catholic dogma, God is both a just God and a merciful God. I believe they are complementary, not adversarial dogmas, don’t you think? Your comparison to families is spot on.

      • Indeed I do! I have been great friends and girl friend (and now wife) to many Catholics. The disagreements were not anything that were relationship ending and came sincere desire to learn about (even with no intention of joining) the other’s faith. The family thing just came to me naturally, as I was a pretty obedient kid. Even when I did not like my mom’s stern rulings, I knew she knew best. I knew that if I followed her teachings things would not go too bad for me. The problem is that many parents today are either not that concerned w/ the kids ( you should hear the things I hear moms and grandmas say right in front of the kids), or they are not that smart about how the world works. The complete absence of dads is telling in the lack of concern for the kids AND knowledge of how the world works. They know how to access the big gvt pocket book, but not the nature of the world where a man is incredibly necessary.

      • What are your 3 biggest concerns/disagreements with Catholic teaching? I’m NOT asking to argumentative. I’m genuinely interested as you come from a Baptist background. I came from an Episcopal background, and it took me many years to fully embrace all of the teachings of the Church.

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