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What do you about Catholicism? Wanna know if it's true? Ask me.

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    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    There are a gazillion misconceptions floating around the HP clan of Christians about the beliefs and practices of Catholicism.  Who told you what you know? What makes you think it's true? Wanna ask questions of someone who practices her faith within the denomination and not get answers from an apologist? Feel free.

    *edit: title should have read "what do you think you know about Catholicism?"

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Good morning Mo!  Love the thread.  I have no doubt a lot will be learned, and welcome your openness. 

      What is the origin, and significance of the position of Pontifex Maximus?  What is the meaning of the term both currently and originally?

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Ugh! bBerean, I just typed a long post in response to this question - which is a great one, thanks! - and hit something that made it disappear.  I'm stepping away, but I'll come back and do it again! smile

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Np, I appreciate your time.  wink

    2. Quilligrapher profile image90
      Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Mo, I salute you. I admire your courage in starting this thread. You are the only Hubber I know with the knowledge, humility, and patience to pull it off amicably. 

      The GotQuestions.org ministry makes a convincing case for the existence of absolute truth. “If there is absolute truth, then there are absolute standards of right and wrong, and we are accountable to those standards.” {1}

      Accepting their arguments, absolute truths are, therefore, constant and eternal. If they are absolute, they can not change with time. If a sin offends God to the degree that raises it to the level of a mortal sin, it follows by divine implication that such a mortal sin is an absolute wrong that can not diminish over time.

      I recall being taught as a youth that causing or participating in cremation after death was a mortal sin. If not absolved, it would result in eternal damnation in hell. Furthermore, if it was your own cremation, obtaining absolution was probably no longer an option. According to Canon Law, "The bodies of the faithful deceased must be buried; and their cremation is reprobated. (Canon 1203:1) If a person has in any way ordered that his body be cremated it is illicit to obey such instructions; and if such a provision occur in a contract, last testament, or in any document whatsoever, it is to be disregarded. (Canon 1203:2)” {2}
      [Two words underlined for added emphasis.]

      The seriousness of this transgression was further implied in another section of Canon Law. “Canon 1240: The following persons are deprived of ecclesiastical burial, unless they have before death given some signs of repentance: ...(5) persons who have given orders for the cremation of their bodies;”

      Much like the “rules” painted on the barn in Orwell’s Animal Farm, not all absolute truths seem to be eternal. In May, 1963, the prohibition against cremation was lifted and permission was later incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law in 1983. “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching. (Canon 1176, No. 3)”{3}

      Therefore, a Catholic layman who, a hundred years ago, chose cremation after death was reprobated, i.e. “foreordained to damnation” {4}, for that which ecclesiastics deemed to be illicit, i.e. “activities that are not considered morally acceptable.” {5} Why? Because he had been taught it was a mortal sin. Meanwhile, someone who does the same today gets a pass.

      There are countless volumes online explaining the R.C. church’s position on cremation both before and after the Second Vatican Council and the resulting changes to Canon Law. However, I have yet to uncover a word that justifies the shift of morality or explains the fate of the souls condemned to hell in the past.

      Finally, my question. Thanks for your patience. big_smile

      What is 1) the church’s justification for redefining God’s perception of cremation as a serious mortal sin and 2) how does this philosophical and ethical shift reflect on Papal Infallibility and 3) on the eternal aspects of absolute truths?

      With ever growing respect, I thank you in advance for the time and effort you invest in a reply.
      http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg
      {1} http://www.gotquestions.org/absolute-truth.html
      {2} http://www.olvrc.com/norms/cremation.html
      {3} http://www.catholic-cemeteries.org/chur … ation.aspx
      {4}
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reprobate
      {5} http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illicit

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Wow, Quill, what a big question. Let me take some time to look into it. I'll share my opinion as well as doing my best to explain the Church's stand.  I appreciate your patience in giving me some time to formulate a response. smile

        1. JMcFarland profile image93
          JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          While I have done no research on this whatsoever, in reading the question the only thing that came to mind was that cremation (at least in ancient times) was a pagan form of worship, returning the body to dust, etc.  It seems that in this instance, Catholicism was attempting to distance itself from commonplace pagan practices.  Additionally, burning was reserved for heretics against the faith, to remind the condemned of the eternal fires of hell that awaited them once their body had been burned and life had been extinguished.  To be elected to be cremated AS a catholic, and not to be buried in consecrated ground would therefore make sense as a type of abominable act.

          That being said, I'm interested in what Mo uncovers, if she finds anything out.  :-)  That's just my best guess.

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            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Julie, just tossing it around in thought after reading the question, I was led in that direction as well.  I'm going to really dig though.  For me, it's akin to the Churh having taught about Limbo.  If nothing else, Quill will really get you thinking sometimes! Thanks for chiming in, Mrs. McFarland.

            1. JMcFarland profile image93
              JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Oh you know me.   Having a random historian around is good for something.

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                Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                For all kinds of things! big_smile

          2. Quilligrapher profile image90
            Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Many thanks for your input, Ms. McFarland.

            You are historically correct on all points and they are confirmed by my own research. However, my question is meant to focus on the justification for redefining the parameters for salvation.

            Abominable acts that were designated by Canon Law to be serious mortal sins, causing a soul to forfeit final rites, a burial in consecrated ground, and entrance into heaven in one year are declared by Canon Law to be acceptable, but not preferred, abominable acts the next year. I am hoping Mo will provide the church’s justification for a philosophical shift in morals and ethics that literally redefines the parameters for salvation.

            BTW, I am an admirer of your commentary in the Hubpages' forums. I thank you again for contributing to this thread as well.   
            http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg

            1. JMcFarland profile image93
              JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Why thank you, Quill.  I am an admirer of yours as well. 

              I, too, look forward to Mo's response once she's had some time to research further.

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I'm going to paste this excerpt from an article that reiterates what you've already posted, Quill.

        "The new <Code of Canon Law> (1983) stipulates, "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the dead be observed; it does not, however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching" (No. 1176, 3). Therefore, a person may choose to be cremated if he has the right intention. However, the cremated remains must be treated with respect and should be interred in a grave or columbarium."

        Now, that is the official Church law on cremation. I have searched high and low and can find absolutely nothing that addresses the state of the souls of those who elected cremation prior to the change in Canon Law in 1983 (and the unofficial word in 1963 allowing for the cremation of Catholic deceased).

        Having practiced Catholicism for 18 years now, I do have a fairly educated opinion that I can offer.  IF this is accepted by the Church as an acceptable practice now, as long as it is done with the right intention, then anyone who did not do it to manifestly deny their belief in the Christian resurrection is perfectly safe and happy in Heaven. It would only be those who wished to be cremated as a rebellion against that belief who would have anything to worry about. Whether we were cognizant of a person's repentance at any given time, the Lord certainly was, and he read the hearts of intentions of all those folks from the start. He knows who belongs to him, no matter how they chose to dispose of their bodies. Now, the saddest part of all of that is that family members and loved ones were denied the chance to respectfully and lovingly lay their people to rest. They, and the deceased, were denied the beauty of a Christian burial-which, for us, is the opportunity to accompany the body to its final earthly place of rest and to lovingly send our deceased to God.

        Julie did touch on some of the historical reasons against cremation, and I'm grateful for that.  More than anything, the Church condemned it as a practice because of the belief that it was being abused in a heretical manner by those who wished to stand agains the Scriptural and Traditional teachings of the Church about life after death.

        By allowing the practice again, it was acknowledged that there are both hygienic and environmental reasons why it might be a decent practice, and concessions have been made for maintaining the dignity of the body after cremation, which, believe it or not, was the goal of condemning the practice to begin with. Ashes may not be scattered, may not be kept in homes, and must be interred in a place of final rest on consecrated grounds.

        One of the questions I kept running into myself was what about those people who die in fires, crashes, bombings? What about those whose bodies are never recovered? IMO, the Church isn't always forward thinking, meaning that we often find ourselves approving or condemning something after it's already been happening for a long time.

        Which leads me to your question of papal infallibility in such a situation as this.  As a dogmatic belief, papal infallibility didn't pop up until the 19th century, much like the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. That said, one is not necessarily condemned to hell for not accepting dogmatic beliefs, but they are believed to no longer be in communion wth the Church. There is nothing, as far as I see, in scripture, that condemns a soul outside of the Catholic Church, provided they still believe and act according to the core Christian tenets of salvation. I said that to say this: it is possible, IMO, for the Pope to make a decision for the Church that is indeed wrong for its time. Does it devalue his office as the leader of the earthly church? I don't think so. A change in that decision later is simply another's, perhaps more sensitive, response to the Holy Spirit in a different time with a greater knowledge than was available before. I struggle a bit with papal infallibility as a dogma, however, so I can't say that I'm the best person to answer this question for you.

        As to the eternal nature of truth? That, my friend, is a difficult one on the surface, but I think when we look a little deeper, it's not quite as complicated as it looks. Humanity can only ever acknowledge those truths that have been discovered.  There is more to God, more to the universe, and more to life itself than we will ever, in our lifetimes, be able to know. We learn new things every day. In Biblical times, it was eternally true to all who lived in the Middle East that it was the entire world.  I believe there are absolute truths that are written on our hearts...much like the book of Romans talks about Gentiles knowing the law despite not being Jewish. Truth doesn't change, because God doesn't change and he IS truth. But there is more of it revealed to us every day. The Catholic Church, for as rigid as many believe it to be, accepts truth as it is revealed and adjusts laws and practice accordingly. 

        Does that begin to answer your question?

        *Edit: I just want to add regarding those who were cremated during the period of time during which it was considered an illicit act in the church: Catholic moral theology talks about certain conditions being present in order for one to actually commit a mortal sin.  There must be full knowledge that it is a gravely immoral act, consideration given to the commission of said act, and a deliberate willful intent to transgress the moral law in question.  I doubt that all of those who chose cremation during that time met all three of those criteria when making their decision.

        1. Quilligrapher profile image90
          Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you, Mo. You are so kind. I sincerely appreciate your totally thorough reply.

          I will only add that I, too, was unable to uncover any explanations based on church doctrine. Furthermore, I have observed that even the most devout and knowledgeable in the laity are left to improvise explanations when no reasonable rationale exists.

          Thanks again, Mo. I hope you enjoy a bright tomorrow.
          http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg

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            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Often we are, Quill. In all fairness, there is just so much we don't know. Most of us are just guessing a good deal of the time anyway.  big_smile

    3. Quilligrapher profile image90
      Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I am so sorry, Mo, to see your thread hijacked by those bent on evangelizing.

      Are there any other hubbers with questions for Mo? This may be a good time to return the thread to the intended topic. 
      http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg

      1. JMcFarland profile image93
        JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        +1

      2. Jerami profile image78
        Jeramiposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        + 1 more  ......   
            I was enjoying the q & A's more than you know.
            The only points I wanted to make in my earlier post was, in these prophesy, lets substitute the word Organization in place  of beast.  A different meaning can be seen.
            And as was mentioned previously, without the RCC there wouldn't be Protestants, Baptist etc.
            Whatever organized religion has become was according to Gods will.
            Prophesy is but a proclamation from God of things which have been ordained by him to be .
           
               Now lets get back on track with your Q's & A's

        1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
          oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Hi Jeremy, To respond to the points about other Christians needing Catholicism to come first, I have to kindly disagree and here is partly why I say that.  If we were to compare what I believe as say a non denominational Christian to Catholicism, we could find a fair amount of overlapping belief or common denominators.  Almost all if not 100% of those things can be backed easily or supported by biblical texts and mostly in the gospels or NT text. 

          To the rest of the added or extra beliefs of Catholics I can't answer for those in the same way.  My point is that one can go back further to a very simple gospel message and that is my personal Christian belief.  Straight back to Jesus and his disciples.  This to me makes sense that it came first necessarily and chronologically in history.  If one does adopt the catholic teachings as true is does come into play very soon after Jesus with Peter. 

          In short, while I would have been on board absolutely with Martin Luther in getting back to the scriptures, I don't need him or any Protestant denomination to have the very base and simple beliefs I have that Jesus taught.  This explains in short, a response to what I have seen you express a couple of times now. It may help or not to know where I and some others may be coming from.  If what I had said were not the case then I can see your points for sure.   

          On a side note I really like your information you share about the prophecy stuff. Thank you for that, as I can tell you have dedicated a fair amount of time to the subject. smile

      3. bBerean profile image61
        bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Hello Quill.  In consideration of those who seem to agree with your sentiment I am refraining from responding to some of the open responses to me, currently on the table.  Depending on what they are, I may respond to future ones, however.  Since you were the first to levy the charge, could you please explain how responding directly to questions and challenges is hijacking a thread or evangelizing?  I referred a relevant book to a hubber here, and my only participation beyond that was in direct response, except of course to your comment, which was indirect.  My inquiry of you is sincere...please explain.

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for your respectful attempts to keep us focused, Quill.  I appreciate you. big_smile

  2. EncephaloiDead profile image60
    EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago

    Will I go to hell if I don't accept Jesus as my lord and savior?

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Is Jesus the only way to heaven you mean? There is a belief that all good and all truth leads to God. Yes, to get to heaven, one must recognize Jesus for who he is and accept him. If someone leads a good life, however, and earnestly seeks truth and goodness and love, the Church itself maintains that only God can judge the heart and intention of any person, so he'll make the final decision, not any of us. And it's just never too late.

      1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
        EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I can recognize Jesus and some of the things he said, no problem. Can I not also recognize a whole lot of other people who have said some amazing things, as well, and not just focus on one person, giving equal credit where credit is due?

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes and no.  Jesus is the penultimate expression of godliness.  His life, words, and wisdom alone are enough. But others have followed (or proceeded) with messages of godliness as well and all goodness and truth lead to him. Says the teaching of the Church.

          IMO, to not recognize the goodness, truth, love, and wisdom of others as well means that we're missing something that Jesus is trying to show us. smile Maybe, just maybe, he was wise enough to understand that cultural context is an important part of faith.

          Now, remember, I'm not speaking for the Church alone.  I'm sharing some of my own interpretation of our teachings, but I'll preface those by introducing them as opinions. smile

          1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
            EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            That was one of the reasons why I asked the question of going to hell. I don't think that is something Jesus would support, yet it can be argued from reading the Bible and by teachings of the Church, He does support that. Personally, I see no wisdom or goodness in that, something Jesus should not be teaching, if in fact He does.

            That is why Jesus may not be enough for us, that there are indeed words from others who say we have the right as humans to freedom of religion, just as we have the right to freedom from religion. We have the right to freedom of speech, but not the right to abuse that freedom.

            If Jesus did in fact teach this, I would be very interested to see that.

            Always a pleasure. smile

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              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The official word has always been that Jesus warned of hell.  A cursory read of scripture does show him mentioning it.  I'm more of a like mind with you...but I want to put some more thought into this before I answer definitively, if that's okay? It's my opinion that hell is something vastly different from what we have always understood and taught it to be.

              1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
                EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Absolutely no problem, I would agree the answer to what Jesus actually considered about hell was more complicated and misunderstood than what it ought to be, as you say, vastly different. Undoubtedly, a guy like Jesus would recognize and acknowledge a good person no matter what that person believed as a faith, and was certain in His mind that person could never warrant receiving the punishment of hell.

                Surely, if I eat human babies for breakfast, I would expect some form of cruel punishment from any given god in the afterlife, that just stands to reason. I'm sure many of us could easily picture Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot roasting over an open flame to a tender crisp for all eternity. It is something even I would have no problem agreeing with God over that decision.

                But, for the average Joe Blo on the street who is trying to raise a loving family, helps out his neighbors and always carries a most pleasant disposition, even at the worst of times does not deserve the same fate as our mass murdering friends above.

                Certainly, a guy like Jesus would recognize the logic and reason in that, yes?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Why?  Why would a loving god hand out cruel punishment that will do zero good towards either reforming the miscreant or correcting the wrongs they committed when He could as easily wave His hand and change them to good as well as wipe out the harm they did?  Love does not promote or condone cruel punishment, only rehabilitation.

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                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Okay. Here is what I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.

                  The teaching of every mainline denomination (including Catholicism) says that there is a heaven and a hell. That one must put one's faith in Jesus as the son of God to get there. They disagree, however, on what that hell will look like.

                  Some take their version from the OT, which didn't speak of hell as really anything but the abode of the dead.  Some from Revelation, which talks about the lake of fire. Some say it's enough to say you believe, others say your actions should reflect that belief. Catholicism says that a combination of faith and works are necessary for salvation. If you have done the best you can as a Catholic, but haven't lived a blameless life, there is a place called Purgatory when you will be entirely cleansed of the stain of sin before going to heaven. People mistakenly think you go to heaven, hell, or purgatory, and purgatory is thought to be your second chance spot - where you accept Christ or go to hell. Purgatory is actually more of a prep room for heaven.

                  I personally believe that you can't CHOOSE to believe.  If you spend your life doing the best you can, being kind, committing acts of love and doing the best you can to be a good person, I think purgatory reveals God to you and it's your time to prepare to meet him face to face.

                  Even the bible talks about our being judged by our deeds and not by whether or not we accepted something without evidence. Yes, Jesus says that we who have not seen and yet believed are blessed.  But he doesn't follow with saying that we who have not believed are then condemned.

                  Okay.  I'm going to run from the arrows now.

                  1. Cgenaea profile image60
                    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Judged by our deeds??? Please help me find that. Sounds nothing like what I was taught. I need the context.

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    Emile Rposted 2 years ago

    Honestly, i don't care what anyone believes and i have nothing against catholics. But....

    I am confused on calling priests father when it appears Jesus specifically said call no man father. Can you explain how why and when, they decided to do that? That's always struck me odd.

    Also, why do they all dress like princes, make you kiss a ring,.etc. It doesn't seem very Christ like. It's more in line with a mafia. What's the official church explanation.

    One more question. You guys seem so forgiving of the bizarre way the church has dealt with child abuse. Admirable. But, what do you,.as a catholic, think should be done to punish and ensure we don't see this continuing?

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It's always happened. The admonition of Jesus to call no man Father also included an admonition to call no man teacher (rabbi), in an effort that no man be elevated above another. It was more or less his telling us all that everyone is equal. We call the men whose seed fertilized our mother's egg to create us "father," and I've never seen anyone throw scripture at us when we do that. We call Jewish ministers Rabbi, with no one questioning them. The Church teaches that this was a metaphor meant to keep us mindful of our equality. We also call our ancestors our "fathers," the men who formed our nation our "forefathers."



      This one...honestly I have no idea.  My opinion has to come from the understanding of why I wore a habit as a nun.  It was an outward sign of my consecration to God.  A visible sign that I was set apart from the rest in that I was entirely consecrated to a life of service to God and to the Church.  Different habits carry different symbolism.  Brown means you follow a Franciscan or Carmelite spirituality, for example.  White is Dominican. That was the original intention of clerical garb and vestments as well. 

      IMO, it's one of those things that been exaggerated and in some cases become extreme.  The ring-just a sign of showing respect to one who represents Christ. smile



      This is SUCH a painful subject. sad We do try to be forgiving, because we are called to forgive. A lot of us have a very hard time with this. Personally, I feel that any Church official caught committing a crime should be automatically subject to secular authority and be charged, tried, and appropriately penalized for it.  There is, IMO, absolutely nothing that justifies the way the sexual abuses perpetrated by Catholic clergy has been handled.  Anyone involved in such an action or a cover up of such should be held accountable individually. The Church, as a whole, and those within her who are blameless should not have to suffer the consequences.  We should, however, face the consequences of blindly defending wrong action because of a delusion of infallibility that we allow to surround our religious leaders.

      1. jonnycomelately profile image87
        jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Mo, if every Roman Catholic person, every christian person of any church, could become this honest, there would be no problem at all.   You have set a very high standard here.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Oh, jonny, I don't know about setting a high standard, but thank you. smile You are so kind!

          I can't help but to be honest about it.  Anything else is just wrong. I've spent the larger part of my life trying to learn honesty and kindness.  I can't be honest with anyone until I can be honest with myself. smile

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    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    My understanding is that Pontifus Maximus was a title given to religious leaders in Ancient Rome...a leader of leaders if you will.  I personally have never heard the term used for a pope, although it may be loosely translated to a term we use in English as Supreme Pontiff. It's not one of the official Latin titles for the pope. The origin of the papal office itself comes from Christ telling Peter specifically that he would be the leader of the early church.

    Every priest and bishop (the pope is simply the bishop who serves the entire church) traces his roots directly back to Peter, i.e., every priest is ordained by a bishop who was ordained by a bishop, etc. who was ordained by Peter to stand in his place.  That's the reason we call the papacy the chair of St. Peter, and say that he stands "in the shoes of the fisherman," THE fisherman being Peter.

    Does that make a start to answering your question?

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Mo,

           Yes, that helps.  Pontiff did derive from Pontifex Maximus. 

           Again let me thank you for your openess in being willing to answer questions regarding Catholicism.  Of course we have discussed this before, and you are aware of my perspective.  Perhaps this thread will at least help us understand how we come to have such different views.  I would like to begin by seeing if we have a common understanding of the climate from which Catholicism emerged. 

           Can we agree that early Christians suffered persecution and death, (by all sorts of horrible means), at the hands of the Pontifex Maximus of the Pagan church?  For clarification, Roman emperors bore that title as heads of the many belief systems collectively known as Paganism.  Although decreasingly extreme, this persecution took place from the very beginning of Christianity with the Apostles until, (at least officially), it was banned by Constantine's successful imposition of the Edict of Milan.  Are we good so far?

      1. JMcFarland profile image93
        JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        No.   Persecution was not an official policy of the Roman Empire until later.   Christians were persecuted in parts of the Empire from time to time by individual magistrates because they were mistrusted by the community, but Christianity as a whole did not grow and expand nearly as rapidly as people would like to believe.   It was considered a minor Jewish cult for several generations.   In addition,  it was never unified.   Almost from the beginning (as evidenced in many of the epistles claimed to be written by Paul) there were varying and different beliefs almost from its inception,  and church leaders railed against false teachings and prophets.   The actual history of the early church is incredibly interesting,  but is rarely discussed.

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Why the Edict of Milan, if persecution was not an issue?  Are you denying that Romans burned, crucified, impaled and fed to the lions, Christians?

          1. JMcFarland profile image93
            JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            They did.   I'm saying that it was not immediate,  and it was not official policy of the Roman state until several generations later.  Occasional persecution did happen in various locales until it became an official policy of the Roman state.   The way you phrased your question implied that,  beginning with the apostles,  persecuting Christians was official policy up through Constantine,  which was not the case - and many historians are starting to question the scope of persecution even once it was official policy.   The traditional Christian view of early Christian persecution is not the sane view that historians are beginning to take.

            1. bBerean profile image61
              bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I did not mean to imply it was official policy, as it was not formal, just allowed.  Early Rome was frustrated by Christians contending their faith was the only correct one, (sound familiar), and their refusal to acquiesce and be blended into the pool that was Paganism.  Periodically leaders sought to discourage this by making examples of some, but found that the persecution seemed to strengthen rather than discourage the believers.  If not always sanctioned by the Pontifex Maximus, it had to at least be allowed by him.

              1. JMcFarland profile image93
                JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Not necessarily.   We have the letters of Pliny the younger to the emperor trajen,  often cited as evidence for Jesus (which is actually just evidence for Christians)  saying that he has found Christians,  but knows of no policy against them,  and basically asking what he should do about them.  I apologize I'd I have the wrong letter,  my brain is a little fuzzy right now and I'm doing this from memory and not looking it up.   So you have a lawyer confronted with this problem,  who doesn't know what to do with them,  and of no precedent in Roman law,  asking for advice.   If it was as prevalent as some would claim,  this wouldn't be an issue.

                1. bBerean profile image61
                  bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I am not sure we are disagreeing, Julie.  Perhaps if I rephrase it.  My understanding is that some Pontifex Maximus's (what is the plural, lol?), would directly persecute Christians.  Lesser leaders were more likely to do it, but the emperor would be aware of this and take no action, meaning he at least allowed, if not condoned or encouraged it.  So while perhaps there was no policy for persecution, prior to the Edict of Milan there was no policy prohibiting it.

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        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        My understanding of the Edict of Milan is that it simply legalized Christian worship in the Roman Empire. State sponsored persecution wasn't an issue till the reign of Nero, and he went after Christians because he thought they were responsible for a great fire in Rome. Christianity didn't become the dominant, state sponsored religion until after Constantine was long dead.

      3. oceansnsunsets profile image88
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        This one kind of brings up another question I have had about the Catholic Church.  Has the Pope ever been wrong in history on anything and what does that mean in terms of being a spokesman for God, if that is indeed what a Pope is?

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Sure.

          I'd say that in modern times, we can look to the deafening silence of the Church during the Second World War as wrong. The cover ups of sexual abuse in the Church. The Crusades, if we go back into history a bit farther.

          The pope is considered the vicar of Christ-his representative on earth and leader of his church.  But then, all Christians are called to represent Christ. We're not all called to lead the Church though.

          *Edit: it occurred to me that you may be asking about the doctrine of papal infallibility. The pope is human, and subject to temptation and sin like anyone else.  We believe his word to be infallible only in matters of faith and doctrine-because we trust that he has considered all decisions prayerfully and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and because, Jesus, when installing Peter as the leader of the early church, did tell him, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth..."

          smile

  5. JMcFarland profile image93
    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago

    I've already got the answer to this question, but I know it is a point that is easily (and often) misunderstood by mainline protestants.  Can you explain the immaculate conception concept?

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Such a common misundertanding!  The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (I have to check, because it may actually be dogma) does not refer to Jesus's virgin birth.  It has to do with the sinlessness of Mary.  Unlike Christ, who remained sinless by nature, Mary is considered to be free from the stain of original sin, therefore immaculately conceived.  She is free from the desire to sin that is present in us because of the fall. She is this way only by God's grace because to carry Jesus, since he could not be bound by sinful flesh, she had to be immaculate.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image86
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        What do you mean "sinful flesh?" Why is it considered sinful? What did flesh do wrong? What is the nature of "SIN" for Catholics. Why do they go to confession and then go smoke and drink and carry on without a care in the world afterwards? Thank You for your efforts to help us understand. Oh and one more… what was the "original sin?"

        1. 0
          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Original sin isn't a Roman Catholic concept-it's a Christian one.  The original sin is recognized as the time when Eve and Adam ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
          As to the "smoking and drinking and carrying on afterward," - even Christians are still sinners striving toward a more sin free life as they grow in their relationship with God. Confession is acknowledgment of that sin and an opportunity for growth.  Perhaps some of the Catholics you know are simply observing their faith from a cultural point of view and haven't reached the same level of  commitment that you might observe in another.  For example, I'm Catholic and I don't drink.

          As to the nature of sin for a Catholic...Well, it's no different from the nature of sin for any other Christian, which from what I've seen, isn't a concept you feel personally comfortable with. People do things they know they shouldn't and they do it deliberately, without concern for others.

          Does that help? And, it's a pleasure to help others understand a little better.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image86
            Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you for your answers. I hope you do not mind if I have more.
             
            1. What is "sinful flesh?" It sounds like it refers to sex. Yes?
            2. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree what actually occured that they were so condemned? Or do Catholics not deal with the Old Testament so much.
            3. What are the differences between Catholicism and Christianity in a nut shell?

            PS I have been going to a Catholic Church recently because I fell in love with an old gigantic church with beautiful Marble columns inside. It was built in 1889. Very old for So Cal. l love to hear the preacher tell stories about Jesus. The atmosphere in the church is very calming and the spiritual essence very strong. So, I am not against Catholicism at all. In fact the practices are beneficial to focus and channel one's attention on Spirit. Especially for children when they are not forced into it, but gently led.

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              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              First...sinful flesh is not a reference to sex at all. It just means that because of the fall, we now have that barrier between the sinless life of God and our now sinful human nature (spirit v. flesh). Flesh is just a term used to describe a human nature now subject to temptation that wasn't present before the original sin. Make sense?

              The condemnation of Adam and Eve came from their disobedience to God.  The consequence was that they were now aware of the evil that they had been sheltered from before. And Catholics do embrace the Old Testament as part of the word of God, but as a rule do not interpret its words literally as do some other denominations.

              In a nutshell, Catholics are Christians. The basics of the salvation narrative are the same as for all other denominations.  BUT, we believe that at the celebration of The Lord's Supper, the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ. It is celebrated every day at mass. We pay higher honor to Mary than other denominations (although we do not worship her as is often claimed). And, of course, the Pope and a celibate priesthood.

              We believe that special overwhelming sense of God's presence in a Catholic Church is because he is actually present there always in the reserved consecrated host from mass. The light that burns at the tabernacle is never extinguished because Jesus is always present there.

              I love churches, even the most simple ones, and the Catholic faith, when properly understood is a beautiful one. smile I hope you continue to explore, Kathryn! Your church sounds like a lovely place.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image86
                Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thank you!

              2. aka-dj profile image78
                aka-djposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I think you will find that Hebrews 10 deals with this.
                Clearly, it contradicts the RCC's repetitive sacrifice of the Mass.

                Perhaps you can shed some light here?

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                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I can. Although we celebrate the mass daily (which includes readings and teachings from scripture), we do not offer his sacrifice again.  We commemorate it as he himself commanded when he said "do this in memory of me." It's no different than other denominations having a communion service, we just do it more frequently and, from John, Chapter 6, believe that the bread and wine are more than just symbols. smile

      2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I too appreciate this thread and openness Mo, thank you!

        Regarding the topic of Mary, on what basis does the Catholic Church have the teachings surrounding her sinless state from birth?  Are there verses from scripture that support the teachings of Catholics surrounding Mary's sinless state?  If not, where does the teaching come from?  This is a big one for me that is unanswered, though I guess I never really sought any Catholics to ask which I could have done.  So this seems a good of a time as any.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Oceans, I need to look into this one a bit more.  The only references I know for Mary's immaculate conception are extra-biblical, so I want to dig into some official teaching material (the Cathechism and Scripture) before I answer that question. smile

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Mo, I agree that you won't find any support in the bible for the teaching of Mary being the product of an "immaculate conception" or her as the "All-Holy", living a sinless life.  Not hard to make an argument against these teachings from the bible, however.  All in good time.   For the official teachings of the Catholic church, (if pages are standard among Catechisms), you will find them on 411, and 490-493.

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              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              To be fair, I didn't say it wasn't there, just that I had only ever been exposed to extra-biblical evidence...LOL But nice spin ya got there. wink I asked for some time to check.  I personally don't see it as beyond the realm of possibility.  Mary was not sinless by nature.  The teaching is that she was made that way by grace in preparation to bear Christ in her womb. It isn't all that strange an idea when you consider that Elijah was taken to heaven before Jesus has opened the gates of heaven to humanity through his resurrection.

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Other than to deify Mary, what would be the point?  If Mary could be sinless when her mother wasn't, then why not Jesus?  Mary had an earthly father, Jesus didn't.  As for being a perpetual virgin, that flies in the face of several verses, and also has no point.  As for living a sinless life, why not apply the same miracle to everyone and skip the need for Jesus coming to redeem us, altogether? 

                I am happy to wait while you seek biblical justification for these teachings.  If, in the meantime you want some of the verses that expose them as false, I will be happy to provide.

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                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Sure. I explained the concept. I didn't give an opinion on it, other than to say it didn't seem outside of the realm of possibility. smile Debunk away.

                  Not to deify Mary-once again the reasoning that if she was to carry the son of God in her womb, she would have to be spotless to do so. Why would her mother have had to be spotless if she wasn't the redeemer?

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                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I've given this a little thought.  My purpose in starting this thread was to help folks understand certain Catholic doctrines or practices better than they did before.  I specifically said that I didn't intend to act as an apologist, just as someone who practices her faith.  If your intention is to argue doctrine or have someone defend or debate it, I would suggest that you do that with someone else. Not to be rude, and certainly not to escape anything, but I don't wish to argue or debate or engage in apologetics.  Specifically, why would I attempt to defend a doctrine that I don't believe is necessary for my salvation? It's not impossible, to me it seems like something The Lord can and might do. Is it necessary to believe it to go to Heaven?  The Church may say so, I don't.

                  Just a hint...if you are interested in scriptural references, they are footnoted in the section of the catechism that you referenced. And those aren't page numbers, they're section numbers-which are consistent from copy to copy.

                  1. 0
                    SirDentposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Would you mind posting a link to those catechisms with scripture references?

                  2. bBerean profile image61
                    bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Mo, I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.  Over the last couple years we have engaged several times, so you already know that I view Catholicism as a marriage of convenience by Rome of Paganism and Christianity, complete with a plethora of gods to pray to and mystical elements such as magic water, relics and idols with power.   I believe a review of it's teachings and practices clearly reveals this.  I also believe Catholicism misrepresents, and undermines Jesus, presenting His redemption incomplete or insufficient while saints or our own works can complete the salvation He failed to.  Of course, that just scratches the surface of errors I believe exist within Catholicism.

                    Considering you started this forum almost directly after I and others challenged Catholicism in another thread, I took it as a pro-active response to that.  I thought perhaps you felt it better to draw out the challenges rather than have them pop up unexpectedly in different threads, that way you would have a platform to clear up what you feel is a misrepresentation of your religion.  I applauded your openness and admired your confidence in what I see as an indefensible institution.



                    I still get the same impression from this.  You are contending you know what is true about Catholicism and are offering to defend it, but from your perspective, not from that of an official apologist.  In effect you are offering to be more of a layman apologist, which is almost a distinction without a difference.  I had not even really gotten started, and already it appears you are wanting to shut down any serious challenge to Catholic teachings and practices.  Are you just seeking a platform for Catholic evangelism and one sided apologetics?  Isn't that what "explaining" without defending, really is? 

                    I am not clear now what your purpose was or is with the thread, or how to contribute.  Are you hoping there will be no hard questions or fervent dissenters?  This is a public forum, so I am not inclined to let this just be an unchallenged Catholic public outreach, but also very much like and respect you, so I will accept the format it seems you want.  I will try to avoid open editorializing, by working my concerns into questions.  So let me begin with the new approach.

                    Is it true Catholics believe they can pray to Mary and all of the saints, and if so would those saints not have to possess godly characteristics, or even be gods, to receive prayers from hundreds, if not thousands at the same time and/or be potentially able to grant those requests?

          2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
            oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Ok, thanks so much, Mo.  It looks like the topic of Mary's possible sinlessness generated some discussion which I need to catch up on. 

            Edit:  It looks like there is a link to a site with scriptures to support the belief about Mary, and if I get the chance to look at those I will share the scriptures here as well.  Unless there is some consensus that this is more of an extra biblical belief anyway?

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              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The Scripture references that I found didn't really satisfy me. Luke 1:28-55.

              But, I did say to bBerean and also to Sir Dent that the most important thing to keep in mind is that Mary's sinlessness came from Christ, as did our righteousness.  It was not in her nature-it was a gift of grace.

              That said, I don't see it as any sort of problem to acknowledge it as true.

              It's important to keep in mind also that it did not become official church dogma until the 19th century, so that makes me personally feel that it isn't an absolute, must believe it to be saved sort of idea.

              smile

              1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
                oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                "But, I did say to bBerean and also to Sir Dent that the most important thing to keep in mind is that Mary's sinlessness came from Christ, as did our righteousness.  It was not in her nature-it was a gift of grace.

                That said, I don't see it as any sort of problem to acknowledge it as true."

                Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.  This is kind of what I thought overall about Mary's sinlessness. I hadn't heard it put that way, about how you can acknowledge it as true when you compare it to how our righteousness comes from Christ.  The only small problems I see with that line of thinking, is I do find verses to support one of those things, and it is a bit different in its meaning also. "Our righteousness" from Christ, is spoken of in the scriptures.  We do still sin even in the cases where we have verses that speak of our righteousness in Christ.  Its positional I think in part.  Or in some ultimate sense.  If this was even how it was meant with Mary, that would be one thing. Which leads me to the next question from that.

                Do you think that Catholic's beliefs about Mary's sinlessness, is the same kind of thing when verses speak of a believer's "righteousness" that comes from Christ?  The distinction could help possibly define it a bit more for us, as we know we do fall into temptations at times and go against things we shouldn't.  In this same case with Mary, did it allow for some sins in her life in the same way?  I had not ever thought about it that way but since you bring it up as reasoning to help you to accept the teaching, I thought I would ask.  Does this make any sense what I am asking?  Thanks.

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                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  It makes perfect sense what you're asking. smile

                  There isn't a whole lot about Mary in scripture save for the circumstances surrounding Jesus's birth and death and her presence at the wedding in Cana when Jesus turned water to wine. That said, we aren't told of many of her actions. I personally feel that if she was indeed immaculately conceived, and her sinlessness came from grace, that she was preserved from sin by God's grace-meaning, the way I see it, that she was not exposed to the same temptations as others. The easiest way for us to avoid sin is to avoid temptation, right? I can see how God kept temptation away from Mary...like we pray in the Lord's Prayer for him to "lead us not into temptation," he simply kept it away from her.

                  And remember that she was present at the time of Jesus's death. She did not fight, she didn't do any of the things she might have done to try to stop it-meaning that she did God's will with no complaints at all, and without the temptation to save her son or put a wrench in the works.

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Oh! I just wanted to throw in there that it wasn't an official Church doctrine till the 19th century, so I don't personally find it to be a deal breaker. I don't take issue with it-it's no more strange or unlikely to me than OUR being saved by grace. smile

  6. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    I've always wondered about the "father" thing you explained so thoroughly.  But what about the rosary, the statues, the pictures, the cross. Are those considered graven?
    And the confession. Didn't the curtain rent when Jesus died meaning that all have access to God?
    I really have wondered about that. Thank you SO MUCH for a Catholicism light.
    We can talk about what I heard about the church keeping bible interpretation to the higher-ups later.
    I read a book that stated that the bible reading was withheld in its congregants' schools and pamphlets provided instead.

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Okay. smile First, the statues, etc. Remember when Moses went up the mountain and the Hebrews made an image of a calf to worship? That's key. We do not worship statues, images, or anything but God.  Statues and images are, first of all, visual focus points that help to draw our attention to God, and second, just art. smile They are no different than pictures and paintings of Jesus that you see all over any Christian church or home, inside the cover of a bible, or in front of a building at Christmas (Nativity Scenes). And no different from keeping photos of a loved one.

      The Rosary is a prayer.  We count the beads as part of a rote, meditative prayer that goes through the life of Jesus from his conception to his ascension.  The repeated prayer help the mind to focus on each event. Each prayer, except for the Apostle's Creed, is taken directly from the Gospels.

      Confession is not a requirement, and you are absolutely right in that we all have access to God. We confess our sins to a priest and are reminded verbally of the forgiveness of God, and offered the assistance of the people of the church to turn away from future sin. Strength for the journey, as it were. But no one has to partake, and it is never a substitute for speaking to God directly.  The thing is, though, that when a priest hears a confession, he stands "in persona Christi" so we are confessing not to a man, but to The Lord.  He simply speaks the words of absolution. If anything, it renews our boldness in approaching God at the moment of our sin as a reminder of his grace and mercy.

      For years, you are correct, scripture was withheld from the average Christian-some reasons were actually practical ones, some were as a means to hold down the people and allow the Church to hold power over them.  It was never meant to be that way and is NOT that way anymore...and has never been in my lifetime. Catholics are encouraged to read scripture privately and as often as possible to deepen their relationship with Christ. smile

      It's a pleasure to share about it, actually.  I'd so rather that people ask me than make assumptions based on what they think they know, so thank you!!

      1. Cgenaea profile image60
        Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks, your inside view is enlightening. smile  I have wondered about the Catholic churches like forever. Laypeople seem to not know specifics.
        The reception given to the new Pope seems bananas to me. And I must say that I do get a "spooky" vibe when I go to Mass.
        Oh! Why do you Hail Mary? Isn't that like praising? Jesus made it clear that she was not particularly especially special I think when he said, "Who is my mother?...they that do God's will are my family." The bible says she is blessed and would be remembered; but hailed?

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Actually, the words of the Hail Mary are taken from Luke Ch. 1. They were spoken by her cousin Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist). They are words of praise, but not worship, which is reserved for God alone.  We praise people all the time in our lives. The visitation in Scripture is also why we believe in the divinity of Christ...Elizabeth asks Mary in the same chapter, "Who am I that the mother of my lord....?" And, of course, the Jews had only one lord.

          Again, though, while Marian devotion has become extreme in some instances, it is quite scriptural.  The issue lies really in people taking it too far. 

          As to Jesus's words, I understand what you're saying.  IMO, he's reminding us all that we are ALL special, and that we ALL have access to him by grace, just like Mary.  But he also made a point of acknowledging her from the cross and giving her care into the hands of an apostle, so I think he thought she was pretty special. wink

          1. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Ok, thanks again. I'm sure I'll think of something else.

            1. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I'll be here! I probably can't answer all the questions out there, but I'll do my best!

  7. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    I heard each Parrish has relics; does yours? If so, what are they?

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Every parish has a relic, usually embedded into their altar.  They are pieces of something-bone, maybe a sliver of wood that has touched what is believed to be the cross on which Christ was crucified, maybe something that was on the person or in the possession of a great saint. They must be necessary for the celebration of a mass.  Which is why outdoor masses are uncommon.  If celebrating a mass where there is no permanent altar, a priest carries an altar cloth that contains a relic.  I don't know how I personally feel about relics.  I know that I don't believe they're necessary for faith or to celebrate a mass. smile

      I can certainly see how thinking of something like that could create that "spooky" feeling during a mass though.

      1. JMcFarland profile image93
        JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Speaking of relics,  because I find it funny,  didn't two churches have what they claimed to be the head of John the Baptist?

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Ha! That is funny, Julie! I've never heard the story, but it really wouldn't surprise me...not that I think anyone would deliberately lie about it, but I'd think it might be kinda tough to trace the provenance of something like that. big_smile

          1. JMcFarland profile image93
            JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            And if you put all of the pieces of the "true cross" together,  end to end,  it would circle the globe several times.

            1. Cgenaea profile image60
              Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Oh!!! THAT'S why Jesus needed help carrying it. Lol...

              1. 0
                Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                big_smile

            2. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              True.  Although the way around that is that anything touched to a relic becomes a next generation relic. Relics aren't a thing for me. smile

      2. Cgenaea profile image60
        Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Are the relics of each Parrish public knowledge? Is it proper to share what it is? I'm curious. And if it is not a private matter, I just might visit every Cathedral I encounter with one question!!! wink I like learning about/seeing old stuff.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It's not private at all, although it may take a little digging into church history records (individual parishes, I mean), especially if a church is old. smile

          1. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            This is really interesting stuff.
            The Catholic church has always seemed a bit like a secret society to me.  So glad, "I got you Babe." wink
            See you back here soon when my other questions come. It is an immense organization.

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              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks! I'm glad I can help.  The problem is that so few people ask, and sometimes, even fewer people can answer. smile

              1. Castlepaloma profile image22
                Castlepalomaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Hitler was borned and died as a Roman Catholic member.
                If Hitler change his bad deeds to good deeds in the last minutes of his life, whole heartedly?
                Could Hitler be saved from a lifestyle of forever torture, regardless if he learned his lesson from his skin being burnt off,  a million times over?.

                1. 0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes. We believe he could have. Unlike non-catholic denominations, we believe that he would not have gone straight to heaven, but to purgatory, where he'd have been cleansed (in part by fire) of his evil deeds on earth.

                  1. Castlepaloma profile image22
                    Castlepalomaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Wow, you can be realy really bad, then turn extremely nice. OR go from really hot to cool like a hot fudge sunday ice cream.

      3. oceansnsunsets profile image88
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I didn't even realize this about the relics and how they are necessary for celebrating mass.  Thanks Genaea for asking and Mo for answering and sharing your views.

  8. Betsy Rogers profile image61
    Betsy Rogersposted 2 years ago

    I'm not sure I understand the question. "What do you [what?] about Catholicism?

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      From Mo in the OP:  "*edit: title should have read "what do you think you know about Catholicism?""
      http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2598625

    2. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Sorry for the confusion, Betsy.  I did post an edit in the OP.  The title should have read: What do you think you know about Catholicism?

  9. Betsy Rogers profile image61
    Betsy Rogersposted 2 years ago

    Just wanted to post a quick comment about some points that have been made here. I am Catholic, born Catholic, raised Catholic, go to mass on Sundays (and holy days when possible), and even went to Catholic school (as did both of my parents). However, with all due respect, some of the points being made by other Catholics here aren't necessarily the "definitive" word in terms of church doctrine and teachings. Please keep in mind that there are varying interpretations on some of these points. Just as in any other religion or denomination...

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Welcome Betsy.  We are aware, and Mo made clear, answers will be a mix of her understanding, belief and church teachings, but she will attempt to keep clear which is which.  As a former nun and current Catholic, Mo is certainly a viable representative of Catholicism.  That being said, I am sure Mo, as well as the rest of us, would appreciate your perspective on the topics, so please feel free to chime in!

    2. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Betsy, I'm actually the only Catholic posting in this thread (until you). I've tried to be clear about areas where my opinion may differ from official Church teaching. I encourage you to share about errors you think may have been out forth about official Church teaching. I try to never put forth my own opinions as the official word of the Church, but I'm sure there are time when that may be misinterpreted.  Feel free to correct any errors you see. And to jump in with any answers you'd like to share.

    3. oceansnsunsets profile image88
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, I can see what you are saying.  If the Catholic view is correct, say from a strict sense in which the Pope and the clergy all believe it and teach it according to their doctrines, etc., then sharing views that are not the same could be presenting the views that are not "correct" in their eyes.  I know Mo said she will try and be clear when its her opinion and what is that of the Church which I think is important.  Otherwise, some might be taking these opinions to be the views of the Catholic church itself.  So I know at least for me, I appreciate the distinctions being made when they are.  I hope other Catholics will chime in also.

  10. oceansnsunsets profile image88
    oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago

    Mo, I have seen purgatory brought up a few times in this thread.  Is purgatory something that is supported within the biblical scriptures?   I mean in the sense of hearing how you or others describe it/believe about it? So this is kind of like my last question about Mary's possible sinlessness.

    Thanks for the invitation to inquire more about Catholicism. It helps me to understand more.  One reason that is helpful is that I live in a place with a higher percentage of Catholics,  than I ever have in my life.  Also though, to understand more here in the forums whether current or past Catholics.

    1. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      http://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/w … the-bible/

      I'm going to refer you to an article from an apologist for references to scripture. smile

      For the references that come from apocryphal books, I just want to point out that it wasn't until the 16th century that those books were removed from biblical canon by Protestants. That means that for a really long time, those books were indeed considered inspired scripture by the majority of Christendom.

      Now, MY take on purgatory is slightly different from the official one. I do believe that there will be people there who we're not Christians in their earthly life. I just believe this because I feel that God's mercy is farther reaching than we can fathom. My opinion differs from official teaching, as does my opinion on hell. So, take that with a grain of salt if you can. smile

  11. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    Catholicism seems to have a much firmer grasp on the thoughts of their members.

    1. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You think? Most people can't determine or control the thoughts of ten people, let alone a billion. Do you think we all think the same? I've already expressed several instances where my thoughts and opinions differ from the official church.  Am I the only one? And how do they handle the people who don't get in line?

      1. 0
        Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Well, the catholic church here burned someone at the stake last week. I think it had something to do with personal opinions on purgatory.

        1. 0
          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Damn.  Time to pack up and run for my safe house!

          1. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I KNEW IT!!!
            Godspeed...
            smile

            1. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              You know what you think you know. I think you might have missed the joke. I was talking about running from the ones who wanted to burn me for having a personal opinion. smile

              1. Cgenaea profile image60
                Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Duuhh. Not only did I NOT miss your joke, I was helping you laugh. I was sure you'd pick up on that... I was on full-swing goof mode last night.  But I do know you are kinda on defense for very good reasons. I was just teasing smile

                1. 0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL! Sorry about that. We were having an air conditioning crisis here in our Florida home last night. I might have been a little edgy. Apologies offered. smile

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Now you know how the Pope feels when he's in the Hot Seat, lol.

        2. JMcFarland profile image93
          JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          How many people did the protestants burn in return?   I lost my newspaper,  and I'm trying to keep track.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It wasn't so much in return as in celebration. One less Catholic got them all so giddy they burned two more.

            1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
              oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              That is just horrible.  Do you mean one less Catholic that believed like they do?  That didn't "tow the line?"

      2. Cgenaea profile image60
        Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I came here for Catholic rules. I have no idea what/how they do. But I will admit that there are a lot of stories floating around.
        So which sect of Catholic faith is the one head (Pope) presiding over? Who presides over the others?
        I thought that the "very few bibles" thing in schools was about control over what is gleaned from scripture to supress individual interpretation in an effort toward, "you think what I tell you to think." type fashion.

        1. 0
          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Well, in the Middle Ages, the Bible was kept primarily in the churches and monasteries, for a couple of reasons.  The general populace wasn't a very literate one, and those within the Christian church were better educated.  Add that to the fact that most copies were produced by hand, which meant that the person copying had to be able to read and write, and you come up with bibles not being available to the general population. Since there still was only one church at that time, that left the bible in the hands of the church. Then came the printing press, which allowed for a wider dissemination of the bible.

          And yes, there were political considerations as well.  I don't deny that. The Church did want to keep control over the congregations.  Like I mentioned earlier, that is no longer the case. But, if the Church had the vise grip you think it does, there would be no Lutherans, no Anglicans, no Eastern Orthodox Church.

          As I said, the bible has never been kept from anyone in my lifetime.  The average Catholic school has a rack full of bibles for study purposes in each religion classroom.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            As I have continuously asserted, our history is collective and none bear responsibility for mistakes of the past, but I believe you may be glossing over the Church's unreasonable desire to bottleneck information and maintain a stranglehold on the populace. No one within the Catholic Church hierarchy applauded that use of the printing press. Withholding access to the Bible was purposeful, by my understanding of history. Even those who could read were harshly recommended to stay out of it.

            Wasn't it fairly recent when they began services in the native tongue of the parishioners? I have relatives who are staunchly Catholic who have never opened  a Bible. They maintain their very Catholicism makes it unnecessary. The nuns at the school have told the children prayers are for the priests and nuns, not advisable for the kids.

            1. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I did mention earlier in the thread that I felt that the Church maintained control of the bible as a means of controlling the congregations. I wouldn't deny that. My understanding is that mass in the vernacular didn't happen until the second Vatican council, which was in the 60s. I wouldn't argue any of your points. Genaea and I had already been through that, however, so I didn't feel it necessary to go over it again. I was addressing some of the practical reasons for it. The rest if the reasons were entirely political, and I don't argue that point at all.

              I have to say that I've never heard of anyone being told that prayer was only for priests and nuns, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.  That might be the most disturbing thing I've ever heard. 

              I can't imagine how being Catholic keeps you from having to know the bible. It was the bible that led me to Catholicism. Of course, everyone is different.

              Eh.  The Church is one messed up institution, full of messed up people. I wouldn't deny that at all. Like I said earlier, though, I'd rather people ask what I believe than just attack my beliefs from a lack of understanding, or from misconceptions.

              smile

          2. Cgenaea profile image60
            Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Interesting stuff Mo. Thanks. For so long it seemed that the Catholic church was mob-like. Not to mention the "dracula music" in the sanctuary. wink lol.
            Please don't be offended.  When I was a kid visiting Mass with one of my neighborhood friends...same spooky music as the vampire movies. And we had quite a few vampire movies when I was comie up now that I think of it.
            It's a shame what movies do to young minds.

            1. Prodio profile image61
              Prodioposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              What did movies do to you?

              1. Cgenaea profile image60
                Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Well vampire movies scared the crap out. smile
                You?

                1. Prodio profile image61
                  Prodioposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  First glimpses of alternatives realities. :-)

                  1. Cgenaea profile image60
                    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Uh..yeah..ok..

            2. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Hahaha!  Dracula music! I love it! I'm not a huge fan of organ music, tbh. That spooky element tends to go away the more you know. smile

              1. Cgenaea profile image60
                Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Whew!!! In that case, please stay around with the info. I feel as if I'm learning. And you KNOW that, as a Christian, I aint used to that. Lol...

                1. 0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  smile Me too!

              2. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Visited a pizza place years and years ago in Atlanta, Ga. where they had a pipe organ.  Huge pipes 2' in diameter, tiny pipes 1/4" across, drums with little hammers, all behind glass, and a 4 tier keyboard curved into a 180 degree semicircle.  And when the man sat down to play all went quiet.  I remember him playing the "Chattanooga Choo Choo", and you would swear that steam engine was coming through the door - somehow he locked open the air gates in some pipes to just make a swooshing, hissing sound - and there wasn't a bit of Dracula sound in anything.  Wish I could go back again - was really neat.

                Could you re-train the organists, with maybe a few extra controls, drums, etc?

                1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  What a Hoot, Indeed!    That would go down well in Carnegie Hall!

                2. 0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  That would be so cool!!!

                  For sure, it's the choice of music sometimes and not the musician!  I've heard organists do some amazing things.  That's one I'd love to here for sure. smile

                3. Quilligrapher profile image90
                  Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Wilderness,
                  This may not be Atlanta, GA, but will Mesa, AZ be okay?

                  Lew Williams Drives the Train at the Mighty Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, Arizona.

                  http://youtu.be/OOvXRqpy1Ys

                  http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg

                  1. GA Anderson profile image85
                    GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this


                    Thanks Quill, very enjoyable.

                    GA

                  2. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Very similar, although I didn't see any drums. 

                    And drat it, I was in Mesa just a couple of years ago - had I any inkling of that place I would have gone for sure.

            3. jonnycomelately profile image87
              jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              For me,  the sound of a grand organ reverberating through a huge cathedral is sublime.   The dynamic range and the wide variety of pitch, octaves and harmonics gives the music so much awe and wonder.... it's like the instrument has a life all of its own, despite depending on the skills and expertise of the organist.   

              It's amazing that I don't have any feeling for the object of the composer's art, yet the art stands alone as something of great beauty for me.

              1. 0
                Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                jonny, I always have respect for lovers of great art, and while I'm not a personal fan of organ music, I am often astounded and appreciative of anyone who can make it. smile I'm the same way with opera...I appreciate its value, it's just not my thing.

                To a point, though, I see what Genaea's saying. Sometimes organ music seems dark and all consuming.  That's not something I sense from God. For a long time, I laughed at the joke that Pentecostal Christians celebrated their faith while Catholics mourned theirs (in relation to the musical offerings of each).  Then, thankfully, things lightened up a bit musically in the Church.

              2. Cgenaea profile image60
                Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Yeah. I get what you mean. The sound itself is great if you can stay awake (I like moving music) cant move to reverberating organs... but I do get it. The sound can be awe-inspiring.
                Just that when I was young, they always coupled that music with all the spooky movies. It just stuck. Mass music=run!!! Dracula's coming!!!

        2. 0
          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          The pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

  12. 0
    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    Guys, overall this discussion has been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed sharing about what I've been taught and what I believe. I'm looking forward to a continued conversation. smile

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I am glad to hear that Mo, and I know that I appreciate it.  smile

    2. jonnycomelately profile image87
      jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Mo, hi everyone.  I hope the conversation continues also.  It is almost 1230 am here  now and well past my beauty sleep time (one needs a bit of it when the wrinkles cloud the countenance!), but just want to say I hope your discussion here does  not get drawn into the usual rant of argument..... Just keep going with the interesting information you give us, so we can all understand each other's point of view better.

  13. oceansnsunsets profile image88
    oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago

    If I have misunderstood the point of this thread and offended you Mk, or anyone  in asking anything, my apologies to you.  I think I did misunderstand and I do have a ton of questions.

    1. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      No, you haven't offended me at all.  Ask away.  I'm not afraid to say if I feel like it's above my pay grade...LOL Like I said, I can talk about the Church's teachings and share my own opinions.  I don't do apologetics though, and I won't defend something that I don't believe in ir agree with. smile

      1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Ok, and thanks Mo.  Just so I'm clear in what you mean, what do you mean by not doing apologetics exactly?  I should have asked that earlier.

  14. 0
    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    I just want to make an observation.  Sometimes, we all get mired in our collective faith's history, and the theological arguments that have raged for centuries that we forget how to just talk to each other as ordinary, everyday believers. I'm kind of enjoying this discussion for the very reason that no one is adamantly defending or attacking anything really...we're just asking and answering questions. Also, I am hoping that those who are not believers feel as comfortable asking their questions too.

    1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I hear you.  It slowly just dawned on me today, the answer to my apologetics question to you.  (Which you kind of addressed early on too). I'm just a little slow because I guess what my questions are regarding Catholicism  maybe DO fall in what you would label an apologetics category, etc.  so when you opened up this thread I saw it as wide open to all questions.  I can see now that my questions do lean toward scriptures and the reasons for this and that.  Those kinds of things ARE my main questions with Catholicism.   Anyway,  thanks for your patience with the slowness on my part as it probably seemed I was pushing for the very thing you were kind of trying to avoid here.  I get it now, better late than never I suppose lol.

      1. 0
        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Oceans, to be fair, I may not have been entirely clear about what I was willing and able to answer. That said, I have no problems discussing as much as possible about how scripture supports the beliefs and practices of the Church.  What I don't want to do, though, is try to spin or manipulate or guess to make it all line up.  In a lot of instances, the Church relies heavily on tradition, and there is an element of dishonesty, IMO, in trying to imply otherwise-which is something I often see apologists doing. It's my hope that in this thread, I can clarify which is which, and hopefully to show where the core elements of faith among Catholics don't really differ from other denominations of Christianity. The fact is that many Catholic practices can't be justified by simply pointing to a scripture verse, because it is a faith of tradition as well. Do not feel as though you misunderstood or have asked about anything that I'm afraid to answer. smile I appreciate your participation and look forward to your questions.

        1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
          oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Ok, and thank you Mo.  smileI had been going back over a lot in this thread, and I found myself (in thought) echoing a little bit of what bBerean was saying/communicating.  I don't know if that helps to explain or not a little more of where I am coming from also perhaps.  I think he/she expressed some of what I was trying to say a little or a lot better than I was.  (Though I am not in full knowledge of their views totally, by any means, so may not fully know where they are coming from exactly.)

          This does help, what you say here.  Thank you. smile

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Oceansnsunsets, I recommended a book on another thread a few days ago, that you really should have a look at if curious at all regarding Catholicism.

            http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Rides-Beast … +the+beast

            From it's origins, through present day, and even on to it's place in prophecy, this book takes an honest look at the RCC.  Is it critical?  Appropriately so, but it documents it's sources, including many from within the church's own archives.  Thoroughly footnoted, you needn't take the author's word for it since you can easily research the references for yourself. 

            If you are interested in history or comparative religions, it really is a must read on Catholicism.  I apologize for the sales pitch, but it is important information that is not easy to find.  If you do decide to check it out, let me know what you think, or if you have any questions I can help with.

            1. JMcFarland profile image93
              JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              If we're all going to take offense at the names of books regardless of their contents,  I would like to point out that recommending a book that at the very least insinuates that the Catholic Church is a whore riding on one of the Devils minions complete with illustrations is extremely rude. Especially on a forum thread started by a Catholic who is willing to be open and honest about her beliefs and church doctrine and accept questions.   I mean seriously.   Time and place,  Berean.   I'm not Mo.  I'm not even Catholic,  but this slightly upsets ME,  and it doesn't seem like you've given any thoughts to how the op would feel about you pandering this book around her thread.   Tact is apparently not your middle name.

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                roll

              2. 0
                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                In defense of bberean, the title isn't something made up. It simply uses the name as given in Revelations. Your taking offense might be slightly ill conceived.

                We don't own the threads we start. We start threads and they go where they will. Bberean has as much right to share his/her perspective as anyone. Whether anyone chooses to agree or be offended.

                1. JMcFarland profile image93
                  JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Clearly you were not present when a whole bunch of people accused me of dehumanizing Christians for suggesting a book that I did not write that consisted of an analogy of comparing religions to a virus.  If you did not see that multi page diatribe,  I do not expect you to understand this post of the point begins it.   Thanks for weighing in, though,  emile.   Always appreciate it.   Have a fantastic day.

                  1. 0
                    Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I hope you have a nice day also. I would point out that I'm not aware of a scenario where two wrongs make a right. If the 'multi page diatribe' happened, had i noticed I'd probably have made a similar comment.

                    Although, i must say, comparing religion to a virus and attempting to interpret supposed prophesy aren't quite the same.

                  2. Cgenaea profile image60
                    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    That was you with the virus book??? Oh! Somehow I though it was Rad. My bad! wink
                    Everybody has a book... all sides of the coin.  Research? My book was researched. And peer reviewed. Many times over.
                    Is there information on any valid and sane writers of the bible? I think i keep hearing you school people say that it cannot be determined who the actual writers of the bible  were. To me, that makes it even more extraordinary because they're still printing it in many stylish colors. Lol...
                    I am not one for sensitivity; I believe that the virus is highly desirous. (That's two! wink maybe I'll try poetry. Lol).
                    No sleep last night. Dang near delirious...

            2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
              oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              BBerean, I am interested in studying history and comparative religions. I have studied them for a long time.l have heard of this book though I've never read it.  I am open to fairly looking at ideas presented by people in books and discussions.

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                You forgot to add, as long as those opinions are exactly like my own.

                1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
                  oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  What makes you say that Radman?

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Funny, I thought it was fairly obvious.

              2. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Oceansnsunsets, I really think you would find any of Dave's stuff interesting then.  Dave passed last year, but was the primary driving force for this site: http://www.thebereancall.org/  If you have any questions about his material, or in general, that you think I could help with, you are welcome to email me.  Be forewarned, working lots of hours and having a child with multiple disabilities requiring 24/7 care, I can be very slow to respond at times.  If you don't take offense to that, we are good.  This holds true in the forums as well.  I can pop in during the day on my phone or between projects for quick commentary but have to seek opportunities for detailed responses.  I am hoping to have time this weekend to address questions Kathryn raised elsewhere.

  15. Cgenaea profile image60
    Cgenaeaposted 2 years ago

    Chattanooga Choo-Choo!?!?
    I guess you can move to that... smile

  16. Kathryn L Hill profile image86
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    Motown2, you wrote, wrote:  "Flesh is... a term used to describe... human nature now subject to temptation that wasn't present before the original sin... The condemnation of Adam and Eve came from their disobedience to God.  The consequence was that they were now aware of the evil that they had been sheltered from before."

    Here is my new question: What is that evil and why or how is it a temptation?

    1. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Well, tbh, this is a bigger theological question than I feel I can handle in detail. I'll give you the most basic answer I can.  The Church examines a million factors that I can't address here, so please keep that in mind. smile

      My understanding is that evil/sin is anything that is done for our pleasure that hurts another.  Before the fall, our needs were all met and we had no desires that weren't out of line with nature. Afterward, we became more hedonistic and concerned with our earthly pleasure, and did whatever we could to fulfill those desires no matter how it affected nature or the people around us.  It was a willful disobedience solely to make ourselves happy, and not to meet our needs.

  17. oceansnsunsets profile image88
    oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago

    I am sure there are a lot within the Catholic community that would think people like Dave Hunt would be holding onto misconceptions, along with any agreeing with his books.  According to the OP this topic would fall into the category of something welcomed to be discussed, at last for possible misconceptions. 

    From my understanding, some here might not mind discussing the possible ideas from that, and if not I'm this thread I can't imagine another one that would be more appropriate,considering the OP and the clarification part she made.  Anyone disagree?  (To add, I am not suggesting it at this point, just saying I don't know harm was done in recommending the book to me.   It seemed a point in suggesting further discussion of Catholicism.  It was the point in part, I thought.)

    As for the other book brought up, that is on my reading list as well because I think I represents a growing mentality in our population and I hope to understand it better.  Currently, my views do explain the idea to me in a way that makes sense.  But it could be helpful in discussing the views with others.

  18. Jerami profile image78
    Jeramiposted 2 years ago

    Here I am standing in the middle again. 
    There is but one way to bridge the gap.
    I believe I am correct in saying Most if not all theologians will agree that unless we understand first the prophesy as given in the book of Daniel, we can not begin to understand any of the prophesy as written in the book of Revelation.
        In the book of Daniel, Visions and dreams are said to be given from God.  THEN, either God or his angel (Gabriel) gives the interpretation of said vision. 
         The problem lies in the fact that most Christians then attempt to re-interpret Gabriel's interpretation.  Why do we do that?  If Gabriel has interpreted the vision properly, why would we feel the need to do it again?
         Around 600 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar has a scary dream.
         The Lord gives the interpretation to Daniel.
          The statue is said to represent four kingdoms with Babylon being the first of four kingdoms (beginning at that time)  In this dream, there will be four consecutive kingdoms that are given dominion (over the Hebrew people).
        First, second third and fourth. In a later vision given to Daniel, Persia and Greece are named as the second and third kingdom.  It is said that the third kingdom will be divided into four smaller kingdoms; and out of one of these "The Little Horn will rise up".
        Everybody knows that when Alexander the great died, his kingdom was given to his four generals who divided the kingdom into four. One of these four became known as the Roman Empire which soon became the Roman Empire.
         It requires great misinterpretation to refuse to see that the Roman Empire was the fourth kingdom as described in these dreams and visions as described in the book of Daniel.

          Point being; ... the second, third and fourth governmental organizations having dominion over the Israel and Judea are described as beasts.  Point I'm making is, just because any of these kingdoms are referred to with beast like characteristics does not deem them as evil. 
           Though Persia was described as a beast in Gabriel's interpretation,   Cyrus was seen as their Savoir, Messiah or Redeemer.
           In 96 AD, John received the revelation. In one of these visions he sees a beast (governmental organization) rising up out of the sea.  It is written this organization brings with it a NEW Religious theology, A theology which will convince most everyone to follow it. And those that do not will be persecuted or killed.   
         In attempting to understand all of this, gotta remember, this is all according to Gods plan.  He set this all in motion.
         in my interpretation of all of this;  We are getting it All Wrong when applying EVIL connotations where they do not belong.
           When we interpret any ones dreams we first have to know who the person is, and what the symbolism means to them. From Johns perspective, any organized religion having "ANY"  theological precepts other than the ones he learned from Christ himself, would be considered by him to be false teachings.   
          And I think anyone would admit, for the first 1000 years, the RCC did operate under Un-Christ like behavior. 
         
          What Protestants seem to forget;  when we disrespect the Catholic church, we are disrespecting our mother; cause the Catholic Church is the mother of All Christian Churches.
         "If" the Catholic Church is wrong in any regard, So are we, because the foundation upon which it is built is the same foundation on which we have built ours.
         Martin Luther saw what he considered corruption in the Church, wrote a letter about it.  Protestants changed a few pictures on the wall, painted the trim, took out a few windows and added others in different places, .... and called it a "NEW" building.
          In regard to religion as it is today; how would Jesus and his disciples have described it in dream language had they seen it in visions and described it in a way others of their time could have understood it ?
           IMO, many people in organized religion, Catholic and Protestant are missing the mark as God proclaimed (prophesied) it to be.
            IMO   to have a personal relationship with the father never misses the mark whether we are in organized religion or not.   Many think to be a member of organized religion is enough  .....   Well it isn't.   
          What am i talking about "Not Enough". Enough for what ?
    Not enough to be all we can be!   
          And what if we are not all we should have been?  Well .. We have already missed out on what was intended for us in this life.
         I should have summarized in the first place,  don't let anity or isms get between us and the light.
         It is this that rose up out of the sea in 326 AD.

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Jerami,  while we agree regarding most of your post, I do take issue with the portion above.   I think much misunderstanding is rooted in this belief. 

      Please consider the following scenario, (not as a complete explanation, but as a start):

      A person understands from creation that there is a god to seek, through his conscience that he is not right with this god, and he wants to remedy that.  He seeks guidance, and eventually ends up with a bible in his hands.  After studying the words and praying he recognizes his need for a savior, and accepts Christ as that savior.  He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Who teaches him from the word and his understanding grows.  This man shares his knowledge with his spouse who also comes to know the Lord, seek forgiveness and is saved.  They tell friends, who also learn, and so it grows.  They meet at their houses, and eventually perhaps, build a meeting place.  Aside from their bible there is, and has been, no outside influence on this group.  They organize their fellowship and structure their meeting according to what they read in the New Testament.
       
      Now tell me please, is this church Catholic , Protestant or none of the above?

      1. 0
        Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Would it perhaps be beneficial to remember that without the institutional Christian church there would be no way for them to ever wind up with a bible in their hands?

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I was keeping the first example simple, but since you brought it up, Jesus teachings were shared by his followers.  They told these stories, and had documents, many of which ended up in the hands of the Romans...but they had them before there was a Catholic church, and shared them as many had to hide from persecution.

          1. JMcFarland profile image93
            JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            You grossly (and I fear,  intentionally) minimize the importance of the Catholic Church in the creation and preservation and translation of the Canon,  as well as its contributions to history and culture.

            Like it or not,  for over a thousand years with the exception of the eastern orthodox church, the only significant number of believers in Christ were Catholic,  and protestantism would never have existed without it.   In fact,  Martin Luther never originally wanted to break from the church at all - he wanted to reform it.

            I sense a great deal of hostility from you for Catholicism.   Why?   Are you resentful of your own history that much that you'd rather judge it as insignificant altogether?   Secondly,  and I'm really not meaning this personally,  I genuinely want to know - do you intentionally want to come off this condescending,  or is it something you are seriously unaware of?   There's no need to talk down to people just because they disagree with you.   I know I can be guilty of it myself from time to time,  but unless I'm intentionally being sarcastic (and therefore joking),  I don't do it on purpose.

            1. jonnycomelately profile image87
              jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              This is in no way meant to be a serious rebuke to anyone here... I just find it hilarious!  But impressive and honourable at the same time....


              http://s1.hubimg.com/u/9056704_f248.jpg

            2. bBerean profile image61
              bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Julie,  it is not my intention to be condescending.  I realize I may come across that way as I am confident, (which you have called arrogant), honest regarding what I believe and/or know, and can be blunt. 

              We live in different worlds, as I was telling Jonny.  It begins with that knowledge of, or if you prefer, belief in, God.  You seem to need proof and materialism.  I understand that.  You won't find manuscripts, rosters and church bulletins from early believers who were being persecuted at best, killed at worst.  Rome treated them no different.  Acquiesce to the melding of paganism and Christianity, branded as Catholicism, or suffer the consequences. 

              Led by the Holy Spirit, you wont find attendance records for the body of Christ from any era unless you have access to the Lamb's book of Life.  You have proven your familiarity with religions of man and the material church, but god has no need of the documentation or proof you seek regarding those who follow the Spirit in faith, and have throughout history.  Requiring a proof or a sign that will satisfy them, the world grabs at fist-fulls of air and declare it all foolishness.   

              Just as Egypt and Israel owed their survival to the ill intent of Joseph's brothers, I appreciate the good God has brought out of the work assembling the bible by the RCC, but don't be fooled into thinking His word or church would not exist without them.   

              I have friends that are Catholic, more that are ex-Catholic, but I have no personal investment or first hand experience associating with their institution.  My concern with that church is based on their teachings, actions and history.  I have no personal issue with those who have chosen to follow them, or any other faith.  Not even Scientism.

              1. JMcFarland profile image93
                JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I am not trying to be argumentative or hypocritical here, and I really am trying to understand - but there is a difference between being confident (which I have no problem with) and being arrogant.  I don't recall calling you arrogant, but I have mentioned in this forum that you appear condescending in the way you talk to others.  Maybe you don't see it, or maybe you disagree - but it still appears that way.  I don't like being talked down to, and I know from prior interactions that you don't like being talked down to intentionally or on purpose either.  Maybe if you're more aware of it, it can be avoided.  It was an honest question.  I'm blunt as well, but I don't think I go around talking to people like they're children (at least it's not my intent) because they've examined the evidence and reached a different conclusion.



                We actually live in the same world.  That's the thing.  Your beliefs (and the beliefs of others who share your position) do affect me in real, demonstrable ways when they're made laws.  My lack of a belief doesn't affect you in the slightest.  I cannot believe things are true without proof that they're actually true.  I can't just accept things in the hope that my best guess is correct.  It is nonsensical to me.  No one is denying that early Christians were persecuted.  Rome, however - at least for the first several centuries if not more - was not forcing anyone to become a christian or die.  When persecution occurred, it was usually the direct opposite of that assertion.  The convert or die Catholicism was later, and the people who were doing it were doing it to the pagans almost immediately after gaining political power.  Christians don't seem to learn their lessons.  They don't like being persecuted, but as soon as the tables are turned, they do the exact same thing to others.  It happened with the rise of christianity/catholicism in rome.  It happened in the inquisition and the crusades - and it happened in the reformation.  The catholics and protestants killed each other willy nilly - and if some conservatives today are to be believed, they would put gay people into "camps" so that they die out (since we can't biologically reproduce with each other) -or that gay people should be imprisoned or that the Biblical death penalty for homosexuality should be at least respected if not supported.  These were all recent stories in the news.  It may be a handful of people supporting it, but they still call themselves Christians, and are still afraid of or discriminatory of people who are different than themselves.



                this just sounds like preaching - and I really don't know what you're trying to say.  What kind of proof would you require to deconvert from Christianity to another religion or no religion at all?  Why would you need that proof, or would it be foolishness?  If you can start to understand why that kind of proof would be necessary for you, maybe you can understand why ANY proof would be necessary for me.



                If the RCC hadn't saved, preserved, copied and translated the words Bible through the canon that THEY created, how would you have it today?  Magic?  Would god fax it from heaven to your doorstep?  Do you know how letters and gospels were copied in the ancient world - mostly by people we would deem illiterate today?  Do you know what the literacy rate in the ancient world WAS?  Do you understand that, with few exceptions, Christians were mostly lower class people - slaves, women, etc. who had to have ONE letter (all that was in the possession of the person whose house they were meeting in) read to them because they were unable to read it for themselves?  Do you know how many differences and mistakes biblical scholars in the field of textual criticism (overwhelmingly christian btw) have acknowledged in the surviving copies that DO exist, and that the overwhelming majority of those copies come from much, much MUCH later, copied by scribes who were monks/priests in the Catholic church whose sole job it was to copy them - and that these later copies STILL contain errors, but far fewer than the ones we find in earlier manuscripts by less literate copiests? 



                Perhaps I'm wrong here, but I don't see you speaking out against protestant denominations nearly as much as I've seen you speaking out against Catholicism.  Do you deny that the protestant's history and actions is less than perfect as well?  Do you have no problem with the teachings of the over 40,000 protestant denominations?  I do find it interesting, however, that what the Catholic clergy feared once the bible was translated into English has, in fact, come to pass - that the common man could interpret the word however he chose - and that after centuries of one dominant church, protestantism split the faithful into dozens upon dozens upon hundreds of thousands of denominations - almost all of them proclaiming that their interpretation and beliefs are correct while the rest are at best misinformed and at worst dangerously wrong.

                1. bBerean profile image61
                  bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Julie, thank you for a thoughtful and reasoned response.  I disagree or have issues with most of it, (and your next post), of course, but am leaving you with the last word in consideration of the whole "hijacking" the thread allegation.  That is certainly not my intent.

                  Mo, I still have some questions but will try to bite my tongue in regards to adding my unwelcomed perspective here.

                  1. 0
                    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I personally don't feel that your perception is unwelcome so much as I believe it's incomplete, and in some cases, incorrect. I don't take offense anymore really.  There isn't a lot of anti-Catholic rhetoric that I haven't been exposed to. I am very clear on what I believe and quite comfortable expressing when I take issue with certain teachings. I've no problem and no shame pointing out that the denomination I'm a part of has its issues. But I do feel that before a person - any person offers a criticism of something, they should really have a decent understanding of it, and much of the criticism I see is of what people THINK they know.  If they're wrong, that needs to be addressed, or the conversation gets stalled. It's very difficult to get a clear understanding of a teaching from people who resent it and have chosen to leave it behind.  I have been a part of this denomination for 18 years, and have been through some horrible experiences at the hands of church leaders and lay people.  I have also been blessed beyond reason and grown in my faith in leaps and bounds and become closer to The Lord than I ever thought  possible. I see my Church though very balanced and honest eyes.

                    That said, I welcome any perspective, but have no compunction whatsoever in addressing those born from misunderstanding and misconception.

              2. jonnycomelately profile image87
                jonnycomelatelyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  not  the same thing, bBerean.

                When you translate your belief into knowledge, without a shred of evidence beyond what satisfies your Pentecost way of thinking, that is no justification for regarding any other view as inferior to yours.

                My views are my own, able to be discussed, fair enough.  But they are equally as valid.
                If you now say that your (theoretical) god and your peers say my views are inferior to yours, that surely, would be condescending?

                1. bBerean profile image61
                  bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Okay, here's the thing...I am willing to back away from the thread and only continue in asking simple questions, but I am not going to let challenges collect and go unanswered.  I disagree with much of what Julie said, and Mo's last post, and now yours Jonny.  Please consider if you all want me responding at risk of "hijacking", because if not, please focus on asking Mo questions.

          2. 0
            Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It has already been pointed out by Julie, but until the schism between the Eastern Church and the Roman Church, there was ONE church. It was the Christian Church, and no matter how much we'd like to distance ourselves from the fact, that organized church was responsible for the bible as we know it today. The one exception is that the Protestant Reformation is responsible for removing six of the books that had been canonically accepted as inspired for over 1200 years.

        2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
          oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I am thankful to the Catholic Church for their part in that, and I think God was protecting his word in part that way.  So I am very thankful for the manner in which they could keep it protected and they get appropriate kudos for that.  In my opinion anyway. It is amazing it had been kept safe all this time, for all that was lost including loss of life and relics etc.  I watched an interesting documentary and it was sad what happened to a lot of monks at the hands of some mauraders that came through.  Wish I could remember more details.  I also know not all documentaries are 100% factual bit it rang true of the other history I have learned

  19. 0
    Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago

    Guys, I just want to say something quickly.  I am a member of a modern Christian denomination that identifies itself as Roman Catholic.  What so many of us in the 21st century seem to forget is that for the first 11 centuries there was one Christian church.  ONE.  It did not identify itself as anything but the Christian Church.  All the argument an frustration over the Catholics this, the Catholics this...unless you are specifically referring to the Roman Catholic Church that came into existence after the first schism, you are in face criticizing the CHRISTIAN church.  I don't take offense at that and it doesn't bother me, but I can say this: it is not Catholic theology, belief, or practice in that event that you are criticizing - it is your brothers and sisters in Christ as a whole.  Much of the doctrine and theology present in the RCC today developed during that time of unity.

  20. JMcFarland profile image93
    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago

    Is it really so hard or confusing to tell the difference between open questions to clarify common misconceptions about Catholicism and propagating them?   Mo is not here to debate,  but answer questions about her faith.   I don't see where recommending a book comparing the Catholic faith to a whore "prophesied" in the book of revelations fits into that objective, consisting the fact that Mo specifically said she wasn't interested in debating the points or playing the apologist.

    A lot of protestants take a hard line stance against the Catholic churches history,  not recognizing that it's a shared history.   If they disagree with doctrine,  who cares?   The evangelism comes in when a Protestant believes that their doctrines are superior to those of Catholics,  although in most cases they are both spurted by the same book,  and almost all Protestant denominations have their hands full disagreeing with each other to either know or understand (in many cases) What Catholic doctrine is.   Hence the misconceptions.   What is often taught about Catholicism by protestants is often misunderstood or plainly incorrect,  which is what I think Mo was attempting to get at in the first place.

  21. Jerami profile image78
    Jeramiposted 2 years ago

    bBerean  and oceasnsunsets
    One last comment and if there is anything left to be said maybe we should take this to another thread.
    For now, lets not consider if the church has had any faults!

        We have non denominational churches which fell away from some denominational church.
    We use the same book as the denominational church used, we just interpret the book a little differently.
    Most all of the different denominational Churches are branches off from the Protestant faith, though they use the same book, though they interpret it differently.
    The Protestant church is a branch which grew out of the Catholic Church.
    And they carried with them the same book. This book is now 1000 years old.

    Without ever having read this book, the common people have been predisposed as to what is written within the book.  By the time they actually get to read it. They, for the most part already know over 90% of what is in it.  This is based upon the churches interpretation of what is written within the pages of this book which they put together.
         IMO  if they had not included Matthew 23 & 24, the council would not have come to any agreement at all concerning what went into the canon; and the church would not have come together as state controlled "Universal" church".
          Also IMO, these two are the most misinterpreted chapters in the book.
    It is this issue and this issue alone that I stand apart from organized religion as we know it today.

    Yes, Jesus is Lord, thanks to the God of Abraham. And God has ordained that religion go the way they have for the last 2000 years. 
        This is why I believe every single person currently living and who has ever lived will upon ariving in heaven, will receive the wisdom we do not have now, and every knee will bow before the Lord.
         So enough of this "My denomination is better than yours"   
         We look like children fighting in the playground.

        And MO,  do proceed, we all would love to understand your faith more.
    This is the last time I am going to interrupt.

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      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Jerami, I don't consider you to be interrupting at all.  I appreciate that you've come into the conversation. smile I don't have a terribly great interest in end times prophecy as a rule, so it's nice to have someone willing to address those questions.

  22. Cat333 profile image81
    Cat333posted 2 years ago

    Hi Mo, dear woman! First let me say that you are one very brave, committed and patient person!

    My overall feelings on the Catholic Church are somewhat mixed. On the one hand I feel somewhat defensive of them because 1) I see them as often looked down on by people of other denominations, who sometimes don't even recognize them as Christian, and 2) The members of my extended family on my father's side are Catholic, as my great grandparents came to America from Italy (I didn't see much of my dad or his family growing up, so I am less familiar with the Italian culture and the Catholic Church). On the other hand, I have some concerns that a lot of "stuff" has been added to the beliefs and traditions within the Catholic Church that can't be found within Scriptures (perhaps more than in many other denominations, though I recognize they all have this to greater or lesser degrees). I personally identify only as Christian / a believer, and not with any particular denomination.

    My questions are: Do you look primarily to the inspired Scriptures or to church doctrine for truth? How committed are you to being Catholic in particular, as opposed to simply Christian? What brought you to the decision to be a part of the Catholic Church in particular, and what keeps this as your decision? 

    I see it's already 2:25 am (oops, looks like I won't be getting much sleep), so I won't be looking for a reply anytime soon. And take your time. I would be overwhelmed with all the questions / responses, and don't want you to be.

    1. 0
      Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Good morning, Cat. smile

      There are, in my experience, doctrines of the Church that contradict scripture, and those that have been added along the course of history. I have never felt any compulsion to follow those doctrines as a part of my faith practices. Those that I cling to are supported by scripture, and I've done a lot of searching and seeking to be sure of that.  What I've seen in my journey as a Catholic is that, like in any other denomination, people have misconstrued and/or manipulated the words of scripture for their own gain or justification, to appease the masses, for the purposes of gaining or retaining members.  In my experience, I have only EVER seen Jesus not do that, so as best am I'm able, I try to follow his words and directives, without trying to support or qualify them through any human effort.  Does that make sense?  For me, the core message of Christianity has always, always been to listen to him and to try to become like him.  If elements of my denomination do not lead directly to that goal, I can easily set them aside with no guilt or fear. I am not concerned with the judgment of man, only God. 

      Regarding staying Catholic? I've been to just about every type of Christian church in my journey.  There is something beautiful in almost every one - and I believe it's the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes that so, despite our differences.  The Catholic Church meets many of my personal needs - a long history, a sense of comraderie, a true community, and a deep commitment to service to the underprivileged.  Also a deep reverence for the word and the presence of The Lord that I often feel is missing from other denominational worship experiences. More than anything, though, I have never encountered the same belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ outside of the Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) Church.  That is the belief and practice that keeps me Catholic no matter what. If I found that in another denomination and not in Catholicism, I wouldn't be averse to exploring. Till then, I'll stay Catholic.  big_smile

      1. Cat333 profile image81
        Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks, Mo! Like you I've been to a great many different churches / denominations, and I agree both that there's beauty present and problems present, no matter which church or denomination (they are after all made up of people). While I admit I think there's more that's added to the Scriptures by the Catholic Church than many denominations, I also think the Catholic Church has some VERY important strengths, such as their great reverence for the Lord.

        I'm glad you look more to Jesus himself / the Word than any church doctrine. I understand that your interpretation of certain Scriptures is key in your decision to be a part of the Catholic Church in particular. While we may interpret some things differently, we have been given the same key knowledge that Jesus Christ is the One Lord and Savior of all, and that is really what matters and makes us brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what church we attend (or don't attend).

        May God bless you, Mo, as you continue to walk in love and seek to serve the Lord!

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That, I can respect.

          1. Cat333 profile image81
            Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you, Rad Man.

        2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
          oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I love that smile  you are awesome Cat!

          1. Cat333 profile image81
            Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you, Oceans!! You're awesome yourself!

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you, Cat.  I appreciate the blessings and encouragement. smile

      2. oceansnsunsets profile image88
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks so much for sharing this Mo smile.  After reading this, it turns out you and I have a lot in common regarding beliefs, and I had no idea. 

        I have more questions and may ask them before long.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Oceans, we usually find out, when we really listen to each other, that we have more in common than not. Feel free to be yourself and ask questions.  As I mentioned, I'm okay with saying if I don't feel properly willing or able to answer a specific question, and I'm always, always willing to help direct you to answers if I don't have them.  You are all welcome, with all of your different perspectives, all of your concerns, and all of your questions. smile

          1. oceansnsunsets profile image88
            oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you and for the clarification for all of us in the thread.  smile

            1. 0
              Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              My pleasure! It's been enlightening and fun! smile

 
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