A series of articles born out of critically thinking on the works of several Catholic Apologists and comparing their work with Scripture.
Am I anti-Catholic?
While I don't consider myself Anti-Catholic, I like Catholics, but dislike a lot of what the Catholic Church teaches.
I do not look down upon or despise Catholics. Most of my family is Catholic as well as many friends. The Catholic Church as well as many Catholics seek to provide humanitarian aid to countless individuals and do an amazingly admirable job at it. They encourage not only their flock to do this, but others also. Many devote significant time and resources to meeting the needs of the poor. Mother Teresa was a huge shining example of this where she gave selflessly to help the poor. Many others follow in her footsteps. Her humanitarian effort is unquestioned by Catholics, Protestants, unchurched, and should be by all people.
While the Catholic Church does an outstanding job at meeting people's physical and perhaps emotional needs, I am less excited about how it meets their spiritual needs. I do believe that the Catholic Church is doing its followers a great disservice by teaching doctrines that are in open conflict with the Scriptures (which is where truth is found). I believe they have noble intentions, but are teaching their followers things that just are not right. My heart goes out to those who were like I was when I was Catholic. I was religious, but I was not a Christian. I knew a lot about religious things, but did not know Him as He reveals Himself in the Scriptures. I thought all was well or at least good enough to get to Heaven, but didn't know that no how matter many good works I did, it would never be enough to compensate for just one of my sins. I could have been and should still be better than I am at meeting people's physical and emotional needs, but even if I was like Mother Teresa, I could not atone for even one of my sins. I was lost. I believe that Jesus taught that people's number 1 need is spiritual. We are all dead in sins and need His sacrifice on our behalf. He could have met everyone's physical needs easily as demonstrated by His multiplying of the loaves and fish, but He didn't. He could have healed everyone, but didn't. He came to address man's far greater need of a sin sick soul. This is where we need healed the most as eternity is at stake... not just the 70 or so years that we may be on this earth.
Am I the epitome of arrogance?
Who am I to disagree with a 2000 year old Church? I can assure you that I have not taken this question lightly. If I were alone, I might question my conclusions, but I have been preceded by a multitude who have come to the same conclusions. Even if I were alone, using the plain reading of Scriptures (approaching the reading with no preconceptions of what it says, but letting it speak to you) and logical reasoning, I can think of no other conclusions to come to than the ones that I have. I do not stand on my own strength, but on the strength of what He has revealed to man through His Word.
I am not saying that all Catholics are as I was, but I suspect that many are. I fear that the many are not headed for Heaven as they may think and I don't know that they will awake to that fact until it is too late. I am not bashing your faith, I am asking you to think and examine your beliefs. A lot of the articles on this website may seem to be anti-Catholic to a Catholic, but the articles are an unintended result of my very own personal journey - they are more or less just a journal of my research into my own beliefs. I was raised Catholic, I married a Catholic who remains a Catholic in a Catholic church. I wasn't looking to leave the Catholic church at the time. However, over the coarse of several years in my thirties, I was challenged in what I believe. I listened to both sides, I thought about things and researched things for a long, long time. Being an engineer by occupation, I am expected to examine a design from all sides and look for problems or holes in the design. I applied this method to examine my own beliefs. I examined what I used to believe, compared it to the Bible and have come to the conclusions and beliefs that are seen in the pages of this site. Like almost anyone else, it would take a lot to make me doubt my beliefs and move away from what I was taught since I was born. I am not impressed very easily and am very skeptical to believe what I hear. I did not take lightly what is written on this website. It is intended to inform, not bash. It is intended to get you to THINK, consider, and then make your own decision with what you want to do with the information. You are free to disregard or disagree - I will not think anything less of you.
Where is my love?
I expect many Catholics and others to ask me this question. When it seems like all I am doing is picking on the teachings of the Catholic Church, one wonders where is my love. This may be the most difficult thing for me to try and communicate on this website and even more so in person. My articles compare what I believed as a nominal-to-informed Catholic to what the Bible has to say. My conclusion is that the Bible and many parts of Catholicism are at odds. Which one should I believe? I decided to believe what I heard straight from the "horse's mouth" to use a common idiom that exaggerates what I mean (no to belittle the Lord)... that is, I chose the words that came from God, Himself. If I am convinced that I now have the Truth, wouldn't it be love for me to share this than to let people go on believing what I consider not true and likely on the path to destruction? It may end up that I am wrong, but that is not the point since I do not believe that I am. If I am right, then isn't the greatest love I can show others to point them to truth rather than letting them perish without it? I can give you my time, money, labor, name it, but withhold from you what is eternally important, would I love you?
Do I love or am I on a head trip.
I have wondered if this were just an exercise in intellect where I want to do this to prove that I am right. I have asked the Lord to show me my true motivations and while I do have many faults and sins, I do believe that I am making this effort out of love for the lost, strengthening of the found, and love of what used to be my country that I did love and hope returns someday. It is my hope that you are not offended, but understand my passion and compassion and that I want to share, not put down.
I do believe that the Catholic Church has gone astray from the written record that the Apostles left us (and that God preserved). I believe that they wandered. I believe that much of what is now Catholic dogma came from people with good intentions. They liked the idea of Mary being pure, so they made her an ever-virgin. They liked the idea of people not being condemned to hell forever for small venial sins, so they made up purgatory. They liked the idea of a man devoting himself to God alone and not getting married so he wouldn't be distracted from the Lord's work, so they made priests become celibate. And on and on. These all seem like well intentioned things, but the problem comes in that they are not what God has said or commanded. Some make man feel better while others are outright deception. Would you rather be told you are going to hell and repent or would you prefer that someone sugar coated and said that you are going to a place called purgatory that would eventually lead to heaven when in actuality, you are headed for hell. When you wake up in hell rather than purgatory, where will the compassion have been then?
Good intentions in David's time.
There was once a well intentioned man in David's time. This man was walking along side of a cart carrying the covenant of the ark. The oxen stumbled and the ark was about to fall. He did what most well intentioned people would do, he reached out and steadied the ark so it wouldn't fall and get damaged. The Lord killed the man. Why? He sinned by his action. It may have been that the ark was not being transported as God had commanded. It may have been that he was not of the tribe of Levi and therefore, not a priest and should not have touched the ark. Either way, his good intentions clearly did not align with God's commands and he paid dearly for it. How many well intentioned rules/stories have crept into the Catholic Church and are presented as what God has commanded, but, are in actuality, not what He has commanded and how many of it's followers have paid dearly for it after their death? You can read about the man and the ark in 1Chron13
I would love it if the Catholic Church would turn and teach God's truths as He has revealed them, but history shows that this will not likely happen. It is my prayer that they would turn from good intentioned traditions and teach His Truth. But honestly, I don't expect that to happen as they believe that they are teaching truth. One is truth and one isn't. It is my prayer also that the reader think about these things and then decide for themselves.
Be tolerant or be correct?
Obviously I have strong views on this. My conscience convicts me to share with others what I have found. Will my family and friends find this offensive - it is very likely. Do I desire to offend them? Absolutely not. Should I be silent so that I do not offend them? I would like to as this would be the easy way for me, but am convicted by how Peter and John answered the Jews when they were asked to stop preaching Christ:
Act 4:18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;
Act 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."
I am held captive by my conscience and therefore I must share what I have learned.