Faith / Works : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Romans 10.

"...for, if you confess 5 with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved..."

But this isn't intended to mean that all one needs to do is vocalise their belief in Jesus Christ. Or simply "have faith".

One must ACT on their belief. In other words: Yes indeed you are saved by faith "alone", because faith will lead you to DO what Christ had requested (e.g. Eat and Drink his Body and Blood, Do good to those who hurt you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc.). In other words by true faith "alone" one is lead to do the necessary ACTS in order for salvation. It isn't by faith alone that one is saved, but by faith one is lead to DO good works.

An example:

If I make $100,000 a year (which I don't), I will have a Corvette. It may very well be that if I make $100,000 a year I will have a Corvette, but it isn't the fact that I have the money ALONE. I must also go to the dealer and ACT on this impulse to have the Corvette.

Likewise if one has faith in Jesus, they will have life everlasting. But one must also (after aquiring faith) ACT on the impulse of faith which drives one to do good WORKS. If one has faith, they necessarily will ACT. But if one does not ACT, it is an implication and a sure sign that their initial "faith" was not real faith at all.

I just was reading Romans and felt compelled to write to you guys what I understand (and what the Catholic Church teaches) about this. It is clear to me that Paul isn't telling us all we need to do is have faith. Period. Paul is telling us that all we need to do is have faith. But with this faith we will be lead to do the Will of God, wich is to ACT on this faith and DO good works!

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, September 06, 2002



-- Jake Huether (, September 06, 2002.


Great post.

-- Kathy (, September 06, 2002.

Hi Jake,

Thank you for sharing that with us.

In James 1:22, James says: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

In some ways the two scriptures relate to one another. What is faith without good works? Jesus wants our hands too, not just our lips.

Let us remember though that the work God calls each of us to do is different and let us not compare our works. It may look like some do more work than others - but we don't know what kind of work the other person is called to do - for example a person may be called to counsel others, be there for others, visit the sick and the lonely, write letters for abortion, etc...someone may be 'doing'the Lord's work without us realizing it.

We must learn what our gifts are and use those gifts to bring glory to God.


-- MaryLu (, September 06, 2002.

Good posts everyone!

James Chapter 2 vs. 24, says "You see that a man is justified by works, and NOT by faith alone." We are saved by God's GRACE alone, through an active, living, working Faith! Verse 17 of Chapt 2 says, "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself." Protestants err greatly by neglecting these passages. Protestant theology is by "Faith alone," known in Latin as "Sola fide." That was Martin Luther's contribution, and it has filtered down through all mainline Protestant denominations. Believe me, I know the argument well.

When it comes to the two above scriptures listed above, "They stutter, they stammer, and get out the hammer."



-- Gail (, September 06, 2002.

Thanks MaryLu and Gail. I love to hear from you gals. Take care and God bless - you are both always in my thoughts and prayers.

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, September 06, 2002.

Dear Gail,

I know that some protestants believe that we are saved by faith alone, do all protestants feel that way? I know the Pentacostals do.

However, I also know that the Holy Spirit guides them and gives them the grace to do good works too. It is not only Catholics who do good works.

For instance, my Pentacostal friend does missionary work in foreign lands. The people in her church feed the poor, visit nursing homes, and always, always, help others in need - whether it be financial, or transportation to the doctors, hospital visits, etc. There aree countless things they do.

My friend used to be Catholic and went to the Pentacostal church. It's a long story, but I would not stop being friends with her because she changed religions. She is a good person and I know her my whole life. Yes, she has tried to bring me in, but has not succeeded.

I have gone to some bible study classes with her and they are very knowledgeable in God's word. There were two other catholic women there and I have never heard an unkind word said about catholics or the church, ever.

I don't understand why so many Catholic people are so judgemental about protestants.

At Mass recently, a priest made a very negative comment about the Protestants 'down the street' and I was shocked that he did that. I don't think it is right for a priest on God's alter to knock other religions. I guess I just don't understand all this negativity against protestants - they are some of the kindnest, nicest people I know.

I hope this world learns to be more tolerant of others beliefs. Jesus tells us not to judge and to love one another...He did not say that we should love only catholics. I just don't think He would approve of all this negativity against the protestants...I wonder.


-- MaryLu (, September 06, 2002.

Check out the "God will not fail you" thread, MaryLu - for some of my thoughts.

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, September 06, 2002.

Hi MaryLu:

We cannot and should not judge another's motives, to be sure! However, when Jesus said, "You will 'know' a tree by its fruits," doesn't that require a judgment?

Jesus warns of false prophets and false teachers. Yet, if we are not to "judge" how will we know which ones are true disciples? How will we know if we are being lead astray, if we do judge their TEACHINGS? If a Priest gets up at Mass and teaches that Jesus was not really the Son of God, do you just say, "Well he has a right to his beliefs," or do you say, "That man is teaching heresy?" Judgments are unavoidable.

The "fruit" of the "salvation by faith alone" doctrine CAN be lukewarm, ineffective Christians who wouldn't cross the road to give a begger a cold cup of water. After all, faith does it all, no works are required AT ALL! PLUS the doctrine IS divisive. It is the keystone doctrine resulting from the Reformation! I'm sorry, but I see that doctrine as coming from the enemy, since it causes division, and it can lead to ineffective, self-centered Christianity. If I am intolerant, it is that I am intolerant of doctrines that DIVIDE Christians, and has caused countless of people to stumble.

You said that you know Pentecostals in missions -- that's great! You said you see God's grace working through them. You see the fruit, and you've made a judgment!



-- Gail (, September 06, 2002.

I just got my hindquarters judged as being 'predjudiced'. Sup with that?

-- Emerald (, September 06, 2002.


I did not say, "Do Not Judge" God did.


-- MaryLu (, September 07, 2002.


You still did not answer my question: What did Jesus mean when He said, "Ye shall know them by their fruit?" It calls for a judgment!

Could it be that you have taken His admonition of "Do not judge lest ye be judged" to an illogical conclusion, and reading something into the text that was never meant by our Lord?

Here's the pertinent passage of which you are gleaning your quote:

Mathew, Chapt 7, vs. 1 through 5 Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye?' You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.

"This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, BUT is against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one's own faults." Footnote 7, 1, CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE

MaryLu, scripture warns us over and over against false teachers. You cannot recognize a false teacher without making a right judgment based on the TRUTH. Also, scripture tells if we see a brother in sin, we should go to him, in love, and correct him. You cannot do that without making a judgment.

Remember, Jesus said "The truth shall make you free." You cannot KNOW the truth without making a judgment, and you shall not find the truth unless you seek it with your whole heart!

We live in an age of relativity, there is no standard, no right and wrong. That phrase "Judge not" has been used over and over and over again by those who do not wish to give up their sin, and disdain correction -- President Clinton's supporters come to mind.



-- Gail (, September 07, 2002.

Hi Gail,

Love your enthusiasm. Question; What would be considered works, or what do you consider works to be?

-- Kathy (, September 07, 2002.

Hi Kathy:

Love is the foundation of all good works. Love is the greatest gift of all. All the law can be summed up in one commandment, according to our Lord, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

When you see someone in pain or need, you act. That action is a work borne out of the love that God puts in our hearts. His grace "working" through us. He gets the glory! We are His hands and His feet! We are to be Jesus to the world. According to the Catholic Catechism, "When we receive our reward, He, in essence, will be crowning His own grace."

Lots of Love,


-- Gail (, September 07, 2002.

Hi Gail,

All I was saying is that I don't understand all the protestant bashing that goes on in this forum - that's it....We are blessed to have the gift of our Catholic faith and for those who do not, I don't think they should be attacked the way they are...that is all I was saying.

If I sounded judgmental, I apologize. This is a forum and people are entitled to their opinions.



-- MaryLu (, September 07, 2002.

I think the term Protestant bashing, or Catholic bashing or any 'bashing' is too ambiguous a term, and lends itself easily to making it look bad to disagree with anyone at anytime.

There is the opposite danger, and that is failure in the service to the truth in order not to offend. All told, I think it is a lesser evil to have incidentally offended someone than if would be to fail to achieve the truth or at least attempt to achieve it.

People have made gawdaweful statements to me about my Catholicism, but it actually appeals more to my sense of humor... but then again I've been round and round with people and am used to it; I would be more likely to take offense if someone misjudged my intentions.

I have bashed people verbally before... individuals, groups of people. Haven't we all? It is not right, but it can heal and it is not as bad as never considering the truth at all. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Occasional bashing is an almost guaranteed byproduct of fallen human beings trying to seek a conclusion.

The forum is full of bashing, and almost every regular has slipped up at some point or another... but, isn't there a wealth of information here worth something? It would have never happened had everyone been to afraid to speak up for fear of offending someone.

I've tried at times to be graceful; at other times I don't seem to give a rip... must be just different moods or something. Don't know.

All things considered, I definitely agree that no bashing of Protestants should take place, so long as this doesn't mean we can deal with the hard truths regarding our points of disagreement.

-- Emerald (, September 07, 2002.

Hi MaryLu:

I don't think that examining the doctrines that divide Catholocism and Protestantism is bashing. I have many Protestant brothers and sisters in the Lord whom I love dearly. They know Jesus! And I see LOTS OF FRUIT in their lives, but I also see that false doctrines are EXTRAORDINARILY destructive!

I could give you countless examples but here's just one: If a person believes that God ALWAYS will heal them if they have enough faith, and they don't get that healing, they are devasted. Then, they are told that it is a sin to not receive that rightful healing. Or perhaps their child dies, and they believe that child would have lived if they simply had the faith. Can you imagine the utter horror of thinking you are responsible for your child's death on top of the grieving that is already there. I know people who have been told that by their ministers and those in their church -- that is was their lack of faith!

I have been at church serves where people stood up crying, and confessing that they didn't get their healing, as if they had committed a mortal sin by not being healed. Can you see how destructive false doctrines are? And they pervade Protestantism, from small, insignificant little deviations from the truth, to great big whoppers.

That is the reason for my zeal. I have seen the destruction false teaching wreaks in peoples lives. Deception is evil and destructive, hugely destructive!

I hope you understand that I am not bashing individuals. I would never do that!

Lots of love,


-- Gail (, September 07, 2002.

Great conversation, all. Have enjoyed reading it.

MaryLu, I think I know why you seem to have a significantly different approach to things. I have been paying close attention to what you have been saying (around the forum) about some influences on your spiritual life. I can't remember them all now (to be able to list them), but I need to say that you seem to have been getting a pretty steady diet of what I might call "Catholic Lite." This is a weaker "strain" of the faith than most of the rest of us have been steeping in.

Please don't take this as me criticizing you, because I'm pretty sure that you didn't even know that this was going on in your life (so you can't be held responsible). You have mentioned that you read (and even enjoy) books by Joseph Girzone [Joshua series, pushing an anti-papal point-of-view] and Fr. Andrew Greeley [which contains soft-core porn and dissent]. I think that you read (and have quoted here from) St. Anthony Messenger, published by a branch of Franciscans that doesn't always agree with what the Church teaches.

These "Catholic Lite" kinds of influences, Mary Lu, can mislead a person into a wrong understanding of the verse against "judging." You are a very sweet and lovable person, and I join everyone here in liking you a lot. But the fact is that people whom you have grown to trust (authors whom you read and possibly pastors too?) seem to have wrongly led you to believe that we just have to live and let live without fighting for what is right. This can lead a person to turning a blind eye when friends and family members who get involved in vice or crime. (Mustn't judge, you see?) And it can lead to thinking that one religion is as good as another, with a Hindu being just as likely to be saved as a Catholic. (Mustn't judge, you see?)

I have noticed that, on one or two occasions, you have said that, by reading at the forum, you have come to learn all kinds of things about Catholicism that you never knew before. I was not surprised to read those words of yours, because purveyors of "Catholic Lite" skip or skim over lots of good stuff (which is not politically correct enough for them).

Please think it over, MaryLu. Do you want to stay with "Lite" or turn to a more hearty and nourishing "diet"?

-- Faith (Faith@Faith.Faith), September 07, 2002.

Hi Gail,

I am happy that you responded to my question.

Now if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you another question. When you were protestant, did you go by the "saved by faith alone"?

And if so, what does that mean to you, and how did you live by it?

God bless,

-- Kathy (, September 07, 2002.

Hi Kathy:

Boy that's a good question. My spiritual life has been such a journey of ups and downs, failures and victories.

I'd have to say that this teaching, in general, has lead me to have a lax view of sin and its consequences in the past. I'll have to take it a step further, though. The "Once saved, always saved" doctrine (not taught in all Protestant denominations) can lead one into a false sense of security, for obvious reasons -- you can't lose your salvation no matter what you do.

Let me just say that all Protestant denominations have quite a bit of the truth, especially those who hold to the inerrancy of scripture, and the Apostles Creed, etc. They do many good things, the foremost of all, of course, is reaching people for Christ!

The problem is that every denomination has a doctrine that makes them "distinct" from all the rest. Before I came to the Catholic Church, I studied all of those "distinctions" and found I couldn't agree WITH ONE! And that they each could be shot down easily with a quick look at scripture.

For instance, Assembly of God believes EVERYONE should speak in tongues, and that it is THE evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, yet scripture clearly says, "Not all will speak with tongues, and that the greater gift is Love."

I could go straight down the list, Presbyterians, Baptists, Wesleyan. Each one of their inerrant doctrines are damaging. My sister-in-law, who goes to Assembly of God, does not speak in tongues, and she is under constant condemnation. She thinks she is not good enough. She already suffers from major lack of self-esteem, and now this!

Presbyterians believe that God chooses some people for salvation, and others he just doesn't want! Can you imagine that! So what good does it do to pray for your son or daughter, they may just not be chosen! Scripture says "God wants all to come to repentance." This doctrine of predestination can lead to spiritual pride. "God chose me. I'm special"

You see, that's what lead me to the Catholic Church -- zeal for the truth! There is nothing I have found in Catholocism that is unbalanced! Not one doctrine! That's amazing to me.

Well, I'm rambling. Kathy, if you would like to talk on the phone sometime, e-mail me your number and I'll call you. I'd love to talk to someone who is searching as I have been. Most of my friends are really not interested in our Christian roots, so it's been a lonely road for me. Don't know what I'd do without this forum!



-- Gail (, September 07, 2002.

Dear Faith,

I have never read St. Anthony are wrong on that one.

Perhaps I am a Catholic Lite. I am not a young child who is easily influenced. I am an adult who has an inquisitive mind, loves learning and loves reading. I will read whatever I choose to read.

Perhaps I should go to confession and tell my confessor that I read books written by one of your brother priests, Andrew Greeley and see if I need to be absolved for that.

I am not an orthodox Catholic. I am a baptized Catholic who goes to church every Sunday and attend daily mass. I go to confession, believe in the Pope, believe in the Virgin birth, and the saints.

I answer to God not to anyone else. I do not believe in extremism in any form, especially when it comes to religion. To me, extremism in religion is where the danger lies.

As for my spiritual diet, it is quite healthy, thank you and I do not need any religious supplements from you or anyone else. I am quite happy with my relationship with God. Also, I could care less about being politically correct (shows how well you "don't" know me).

I have a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus knows my heart, my soul and my mind and it is what He thinks of me that counts, not you or anyone else on this forum.

I have never heard anyone refer to their catholic faith as lite vs. healthy.....and do not look at my faith that way at all.

As far as I am concerned, I am perfectly happy with my diet, my way of thinking, and living. Why don't you ask yourself what Jesus would prefer? I already know what is important to Jesus, I am not so sure about you. Do not take what you said personally, sorry, Faith, but I have.


-- MaryLu (, September 07, 2002.

BTW, Faith, my first copy of Joshua was given to me by a Catholic priest, my second copy, a Catholic nun. My reading material is not limited to novels. I also have a library full of Catholic authors, books about the saints, the church, and the lives of the Popes...if I was coming into the church now...the lives of the Popes could be confusing and might deter me from entering the church.

You know what is more dangerous than being a lite catholic reading books like Joshua, a narrow, closed mind that thinks only one way.

Think it is time to take a break from this forum because I may say some things that are not welcome, although true.


-- MaryLu (, September 07, 2002.

Hi Gail,

Thanks again for your responses.

The reason I asked you those mentioned in an earlier post in this thread about faith with no works. I think there is a misunderstanding of "faith alone". See Gail, you strike me as a kind person with a wonderful heart. I can't imagine that you lived by faith alone without works. Because as you stated in another post to me in this thread is "Love is the foundation of all good works." If this is true then that would mean that you were as a protestant uncapable of love as I would be today. Sounds silly doesn't it.

Now Jakes third paragraph of this thread that he started, hits the nail on the head. When you have faith you ACT on it. One MUST love to have faith. If a person has no love, then it is impossible to have faith.

When you see someone in pain or need, you act. If faith alone with no works were true, then when you were a protestant, would you have walked right past someone bleeding in the middle of the street because you were saved by faith alone? I don't think you would, nor would I.

I think there is a HUGE misconception on "faith alone" and what it means.

My Congregation is always charitable. We have raised money for the food shelters, for the homeless, we have given school supplies to the children of poor countries, we hang stars on the x-mas trees to purchase gifts for the less fortunate, we donate food items for families to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving, I could go on, but I think you know where I am going. Now if faith alone was all we needed, then why the charitable acts?

Some people of all religions may have faith with little acts, but it is the ones who have STRONG faith that produce the kinds of ACTS that God intended for us to do.

Understand where I am coming from Gail?

-- Kathy (, September 07, 2002.

MaryLu, my hope for you is that after you take a break from the forum, you might come back and consider that what Faith said was perhaps what you might have needed to hear. And then perhaps to examine the reasons why reading Andrew Greeley isn't the best thing, and the like.

I'm looking at Faith's posts and don't see how it could have been said anymore more nicely than Faith said it. I have wanted to say that a couple times myself; someone had more guts than me to actually come out a say it.

Growing in the Faith can't possibly only come from what one picks and chooses on their own accord, no more than anyone is their own physician. I posit that a lot of growth comes from hearing stuff you don't want to hear and find hard to swallow. That's what happens to me at least.

So, I understand the frustration in your last post and don't condemn you for it. Find out what Faith is talking about; there is truth in it.

-- Emerald (, September 08, 2002.

Hi Kathy:

Thank you for a very nice post. You really made my point nicely. The difference between Catholocism and Protestantism is the splitting of the hair. True faith in Jesus inspires good works, or acts of love. Those acts of love are obedience to the Lord, which of course He REQUIRES. But remember, Protestants are the ones who initiated the great rebellion (largely on this issue), not the other way around. It is they who call Catholocism a false religion, and declare that their statement of salvation is heretical, and even declare it to be anathema (which is the strongest condemnation you can declare). I don't know what your church teaches about salvation, but let's look at Luther, the father of the Reformation.

From the Lutheran Missouri Synod WebSite, what they mean by faith alone. Pay attention to the last paragraph in particular. (I didn't copy the whole article due to its length) Here's the pertinent part.

"On the basis of these clear statements of the Holy Scriptures we reject every kind of synergism, that is, the doctrine that conversion is wrought not by the grace and power of God alone, but in part also by the co-operation of man himself, by man's right conduct, his right attitude, his right self-determination, his lesser guilt or less evil conduct as compared with others, his refraining from willful resistance, or anything else whereby man's conversion and salvation is taken out of the gracious hands of God and made to depend on what man does or leaves undone. For this refraining from willful resistance or from any kind of resistance is also solely a work of grace, which "changes unwilling into willing men," Ezek. 36:26; Phil. 2:13.

We reject also the doctrine that man is able to decide for conversion through "powers imparted by grace," since this doctrine presupposes that before conversion man still possesses spiritual powers by which he can make the right use of such "powers imparted by grace."

Luther states there is absolutely nothing man can do whatsoever to procure salvation. He cooperates in NO WAY. It is completely a work of God. So, our salvation does not depend upon God's grace AND our response to it. So if you were to ask a Lutheran, what must I do to be saved? What would his answer be? Wait for God's grace, I guess. I just don't get it to be honest. No response on your part is required. No obedience to Christ -- NOTHING!

Catholocism teaches that we are saved by God's grace alone; through faith and works; or faith, hope and charity; or faith and obedience; or God's grace/man's cooperation.

I don't see how you can really separate works from faith, but that is what Luther did. It's like trying to separate the spirit from the soul. They are interchangeable and dependent upon each other.

I honestly don't know a thing about your denomination. What do they teach on salvation/justification?

Lot's of Love,


P.S. When I talk about Protestants who call the Catholic Church heretical, I'm talking about at least the MAINLINE evangelical denominational branches of Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Baptist. They are the BIG THREE. Also, Catholocism finds no favor with Wesleyans and the Church of the Nazarene, and Church of Christ. It's very hard to pinpoint an argument against "Protestanism" in general because Protestanism is SOOOO divided, and they each hold their own beliefs.

I come from a strong evangelical background, and I know what they think of Catholocism -- it's a false religion!

-- Gail (, September 08, 2002.

Good afternoon, MaryLu. Sorry that my message shook you up so much. But, as the saying goes, "no pain, no gain."

Please excuse me for being mistaken about your subscribing to "St. Anthony Messenger" (or reading it on the Internet). I am relieved that you don't read it. Actually, what I wrote was stated with a bit of uncertainty: "I think that you read (and have quoted here from) St. Anthony Messenger". Apparently, when you quoted a passage from the magazine (quite a while ago), you got the words from a secondary source (maybe e-mail).

I hope that you heard today's Gospel, in which we are reminded that our responsibility to love other folks involves judging their actions as good and bad and, if they are bad, speaking with them to ask them to reform their lives. When Jesus elsewhere tells us not to "judge," he means that we cannot judge hypocritically (ignoring our own faults) and that we are incapable of knowing whether or not a person is headed for hell (i.e., is in a state of deadly sin). But still, we must judge the acts of others and sometimes speak up about them.

You mentioned having received "Joshua" books from a priest and a nun. Unfortunately, getting a book from trusted folks like that is not a guarantee that it is going to be dependable. The sad truth is that, just as there are priests who commit adultery or sexual abuse, there are priests and nuns these days who try to spread a watered-down, anti-authority kind of Catholicism (as expressed in "Joshua"). The U.S. bishops' Internet site even warns that the Joshua tale depicts Jesus as returning bodily to Earth in our own time -- which is contrary to our belief that he will come again only at the end of the world.

When I read that you had received "Joshua" from a priest, I saw it as an inadvertent confirmation of what I stated last time -- "People whom you have grown to trust (authors whom you read and possibly pastors too?) seem to have wrongly led you to believe that we just have to live and let live without fighting for what is right."

And so, I really think that you are an innocent victim here, MaryLu. I am not finding fault with you, but only with some folks who have been influencing you wrongly. I do this because I care about you. Thank heaven your faith is strong enough to have (thus far) kept you from leaving the Church or rejecting lots of major teachings -- despite what you have been reading! But I wouldn't press my luck if I were you. Bad stuff (e.g., Greeley) has a way of penetrating the subconscious and leading good people into sin (or at least the approval of sin). For example, I have seen a good, elderly Catholic lady begin to think of divorce, remarriage, and premarital sex as acceptable just because she saw them protrayed as "normal" hundreds and hundreds of times in soap operas, for years and years.

Take care, dear lady.

-- Faith (Faith@Faith.Faith), September 08, 2002.

Dear Faith,

I apologize if I got upset with you.

However, I still stand by Joshua. It is a novel, it is not real. I like the message and do not consider myself a victim. As for Andrew Greeley, his books are about sin, are about real life and the evil people commit and the 'consequences' of sin...but, there is also a message in his books about God and faith and how our lives can turn around for the better when we recognize our sins, confess them, etc., etc...real life is not always so pretty and people do make mistakes, do commit sin when they are away from God.

That is what I see in his books...real life, real people. I am not a victim here either. I have a very strong mind, a very strong faith, and am not easily led by others. I can't even get hypnotized because my mind is so strong (to stop smoking)

Although I do appreciate your concern for my catholic faith, for my well being, please don't be.

I am just the kind of person who likes to keep an open mind. How are we going to know or learn how the world goes around, how other people think, what makes them tick, why some choose to be protestant or Jewish, or Muslim...(besides being born into those religions)..What is it that makes them stay in those religions? What is it about their faith that draws them to a particular religion?

How, Faith, are we going to know these things if we don't expose ourselves to the way others live and think? How are we going to resolve problems in the world, bring peace, help others if we remain rigid in our way of thinking?

That is how I feel and I am sorry if my way of thinking is offensive to you or anyone else on the forum. I truly do love everyone I met here, but I am not going to change my reading habits, or my mind about certain things because I am catholic.

As for the priest and the nun who gave me Joshua to read. They are the most pious people I have ever known, devout catholics as well. The nun lived in Africa for 12 years doing missionary work, also worked closely with Mother Teresa, is still a nun, and 'wears a habit.' She, nor Father, have led me astray. Through their 'example' they have brought me closer to Jesus and Mary over the years. They have never hurt anyone in their lives and live for Jesus and Mary.

I do not want to leave the forum, but I will refrain from certain discussions on here because I am not the orthodox catholic...I love Jesus, Mary, and the saints, love the Eucharist, consider myself a good catholic...maybe not the best, but good. My faith has been tried and tested many times over the years.

Perhaps I am partial to the protestants because it was a protestant man who introduced me to God's Word...the most valuable gift I have ever received in my life.

Victim? No, faith, I am not a victim. At this age in my life, I am not influenced by soap operas....believe me.

My love and his peace MaryLu

-- MaryLu (, September 08, 2002.

Hi Gail,

Sorry, but I didn't see your post until now.

I just wanted to tell you that I've never been in any of the protestant churches you named. All I can tell you is, I know that some of them have different creeds or several than we do. We believe in the Apostles creed. We are a conservative protestant, believe that the bible is the true word of Christ, and believe in and follow the commandments. We do not believe in abortion, assisted suicide, morning after pill, same sex marriages, death penalty (except in extreme cases), I know there are others I cannot think of right now. We are not liberals. We believe in heaven and hell, salvation to us is a combination of faith and good works. We believe that salvation comes from faith and with faith comes good works.

This isn't a protestan site, so I am not going to go into great detail here. But, I just wanted to give you a brief discription of our beliefs.

It is hard for me to relate to your experience as a protestant because my experience doesn't seem to come close to yours. I have never heard anything negative about Catholics in church or growing up. If I had heard these things in church, I'd left it long ago since half of my family is Catholic.

God bless you Gail,

-- Kathy (, September 09, 2002.

Hi Kathy:

I didn't know half your family was Catholic! I think there has been a lot of movement of the Spirit in drawing Catholics and Protestants together around Jesus, and that is how it should be! It must please Jesus very much that His people can overlook their differences for His glory.

As you know, many Protestants come to this forum, they spout hateful comments, based on their misinterpretation of Catholic doctrine, and then leave! But I certainly don't put you in that category, nor does anyone else on this forum, so please don't be offended when we talk about "Protestants". We must, however, be able to defend our beliefs, as Catholics, and that is what this forum is about.

I was just listening to R.C. Sproul yesterday, who is a renown Presbyterian from the Calvinist theological camp. He is a man of great intellect and well respected. I have learned a lot from him. It grieved me, however, when he said, just yesterday, that because "Catholics believe that they are saved by Faith AND works they have departed from the true gospel, and can't be considered a legitimate church!" I'm afraid I could list many other radio personalities that have made similar comments; John MacArthur, Hank Hannegraf, just to name a few. These men are VERY influential in evangelical Protestant circles.

Lots of love to you, Kathy. You're a blessing! And so is MaryLu!


-- Gail (, September 09, 2002.

It's hard for me, who has never been in a Protestant church (only once two years ago - on a visit to my Protestant grandparents), to say anything worthwhile at least on this thread. But I wanted to add my 2 pennies.


I know that you may not have heard anything directly anti-Catholic. However, the fact that all Protestant sects omit one or more of the basic Catholic (True) doctrines of the Christian faith, is indeed anti-Catholic (and at the very core, anti-Christian). In other words, while some Protestant sects may say, "Catholics are like this and that. And if your a Catholic, you're goin' to hell", other Protestant groups may be more unintentionally anti-Catholic by not providing the Body and Blood of Christ, by teaching that Mary had many children (or by completely ignoring Mary), or by fostering private interpretation of the Bible (and by omitting many inspired books of the Bible) and at the same time encouraging dissention from the Apostolic See. In sum: No matter what Protestant sects say or don't say verbally, by their actions (i.e. omission of Truths) they are very much spreading un-Truth.

This doesn't mean that Catholics should become arrogant and condescending . I agree with MaryLu on that. But I also think that, like the scriptures said yesterday, we are to be held accountable to inform our Protestant brothers and sisters of the Truths that they are missing out on, and the partial truths that they are spreading. Nonetheless, there are loving and charitable ways in which to do this. All humans no matter what race or religion deserve the basic fundamental, and Christian, right of respect.

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, September 09, 2002.

When I was searching for God, I got hit by a door to door group of protestants. I found their church strange. Their theology seemed almost facist, but they had the spirit, so much so that they ignored all the theology that did not align with the spirit. The result was a bunch of people who were likely misguided by the words, but doing the work of God! Very strange. And such a contrast to the Catholic churchs I had know, where the congragation were as dead as an audiance watching a bad movie for the Nth time.

I have to work through the Grace vs Works stuff each time to find out who is on what side. The key for me is Amazing Grace is a protestant hymn.

Yes, there are some real protestant flubs. The prosperity teaching was an amazing thing, seeing that Job and some of what Jesus taught are against it. And it ignores the desert fathers, and St. Francis. I was strongly surprised when I heard of it.

But the spirit is sometimes caught in ways that I have seldom seen in a Catholic setting. Maybe at some of John Michael Talbot's music sings, but not usually. Now some will say that the Catholic church should not go as the AMC church, that it lacks dignity. But some take the spirit into their lives and DO act on what they have recieved. Then it is beautiful.

And it is amazing when Grace saves a person. It gives them and all the rest of us cause to rejoyce. In song sometimes. But, yes, if you do not act, then you are like the seed that did not give back an increase. From what little I have seen, the protestants are not the only ones that may have problems with this.

I really like Mary's posts. And Faith's.

God bless you all, Sean

-- Sean Cleary (, September 09, 2002.

And lastly and seperately, I believe that the protestants do keep the Church on its toes. Without competition, there would not be as much discussion, introspection, and such. At least in USA, the friendly opposition is real, and must be considered.

They also are a place for those who have trouble to go to, to hopefully heal. This way they can still be Christian, though not Catholic. There is some mercy in this.

I did want this as a seperate entry, both because it hits the topic in a different way, and because it is more my own personal opinion.

As an example, if the USA was not mostly not-Catholic, would the recient scandals have ever been aired? or would they be left to rot away at the holyness of the Church? When there is evil, there is a need to deal with it, and then get on with the service of the good.

The only tie for this and the prior comment is that if one church appears to be soul dead, and the other does not, the soul dead appearing one may do some introspection, and reconsideration. And it may come up with the conclusion that all is really well, and that appearances are decieving. Or that the data is horribly out of date, and therefor there is no problem. But would it be likely to do that introspection without competition? Not as likely.

On one of John's (JMT) tours, which are mostly successful, a spanish based church just did not get it. Very disapointing to him, as he loves to get a parish moving in the spirit. The priests had called him to get the parish moving, IIRC. Soul dead? well by all appearances,yes but you never can tell.

And I want to acknowlege that there are quiet ways to be moved in the spirit, and to produce fruit.

Please do not attribute my opinions to any true member of JMTs group. I and (more so) my wife really like his stuff.

I regret those protestants that say bad things about the Church, and/or about each other. I regret the Catholics that do the similar thing. The real opposition, not at all friendly, are the ones that lack any faith at all. There is less hope for them, and they sadden me more than the brother vs brother bickering of Catholic vs Protestant vs Protestant vs other faith holder. I have a couple of friends who are devoutly Jewish. Their prayers honor God. They are so beautiful at prayer. I feel that they are on the right side, however they express it. But I would feel that anyone with a deaply felt positive religion was aiming toward the right thing, and will be forgiven their cultural biases in how they express it.


-- Sean Cleary (, September 09, 2002.

God save us all. We are all worthy, and some of us are trying as much as we think we can.


-- Sean Cleary (, September 09, 2002.

Hi Jake,

I will respectfully disagree with some of the comments in your post.

If I read your post correctly, you are saying that anyone not Catholic is therefore not a christian. If I am understanding this correctly, well then I would strongly disagree with you here. I believe that anyone who believes in the same God as you and I, are christians.

I do however understand where your comment comes from where protestants may omit one or more Catholic doctrines, therefore anti- catholic.

I cannot agree with your comment about Mary either. I realize that other denominations may believe that Mary had several children, but that is not what I have been taught. I was taught that Mary had one child, Jesus. Mary has been part of my pastors sermons. She is not left out. However, I know that there are big differences in the way we include Her in our life. Ex. We do not pray the rosary/Hail Mary....but we do include the hymn Ave Maria. Saints are not excluded either, but we do not pray to them.

As you pointed out about the Body and Blood of Christ, protestants do not have Transubstantiation. I can't say whether I believe in it or not because I've never experience it. However, I would love to someday.

I think Jake, that we tend to often group allcatholics as being condescending to protestants, and all protestants saying that catholics are going to hell. When the truth of the matter is we all have our own individual opinion despite what religion we are.

God bless you Jake,

P.S. Gail, it is always great chatting with you =). And you too Jake ;)

-- Kathy (, September 09, 2002.

Hi, Kathy

I was reading your post to Jake, and I wanted to show you something.

"As you pointed out about the Body and Blood of Christ...... I can't say whether I believe or not because I've never experienced it, however I would like to one day."

Kathy, when you pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, you are praying before Jesus Christ. You have experienced it! The Blessed Sacrament is Holy Communion. You have not received the Lord in Communion, but you have experienced praying in front of Our Lord.

If you say that, "You can't say whether you would believe it or not." That means you are a "little" unsure that you prayed in front of Jesus. I hope you understand what I am trying to explain to you?

God bless you


-- David (, September 09, 2002.

Oh no, no, no, David,

I don't doubt for a minute that I prayed before Jesus....that I know I did!! That is one thing I am sure of. No one can take that feeling away from me. That was an amazing experience for me.....I've done it twice since then, and look forward till the next time!

What I was talking to Jake about was the Eucharist....I am sorry if I confused you...or Jake for that matter. I was talking about Transubstantiation in the Eucharist.

You've been a great frind David, I thank you for that!

God bless you,

-- Kathy (, September 09, 2002.

Ok, Kathy.

Sorry about that. Just in case anyone is unsure. The Eucharist is the Blessed Sacrament, and The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus. The Eucharistic Jesus is the true Emmanuel, the "God with us" (Mt.1:23).

"The faith of the Church," Pope Pius XII teaches us,"is this; That one and identical is the word of God and the Son of Mary who suffered on the Cross, who is present in the Eucharist, and who rules in Heaven."

Thanks, Kathy. You are a great friend too.

God bless you

David S

-- David (, September 09, 2002.

"If I read your post correctly, you are saying that anyone not Catholic is therefore not a christian. If I am understanding this correctly, well then I would strongly disagree with you here. I believe that anyone who believes in the same God as you and I, are christians."


I think that it all depends on the definitian of christian. If this is the definition "anyone who believes in the same God...", and that God is a triun God being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then YES I agree with you.

I was taking the definition to mean the Church of Christ. I think of True Christianity (that is, the very first church - the Church of Christ) as somewhat like a highway. The main street, so to speak. Then there was the first "great schism" and a few groups broke away for this highway (then known as Catholocism - but formerly known as Christianity) and were like exits. The reformation was another "exit" off the main street (Christianity). To truly be a Christian one MUST know and Love Christ. I may be a bit harsh, but just to profess Jesus as your personal savior is good, but it doesn't cut it. Jesus said that there would be some who are at the gates of heaven shouting "Lord, Lord." but He will say to them, "I do not know you". To really know and Love Christ is to follow ALL His teachings; it is to embrace Him FULLY. During the reformation certain teachings were omitted, thus seperating the early Protestants from FULLY knowing the Lord. And Christ said, if they reject you they reject me. He was talkign to the early "Christians", later known as Catholics. And when the Protestants rejected Catholocism, formarly known as Christianity, they in effect (as Jesus taught) rejected Him. And by rejecting Jesus (that is His Body, the Church), they rejected Christianity. Therefore, although it really sounds unfair, and many if not most Protestants or loving people, by the very definition of protestant, they are really not Christian. Nor can many Catholics who omit Catholic (or True Christian) docrines, truly call themselves Christian. That is in sum: By the definition of Christianity (Embracing Christ Fully as did the first Apostles) and by the definition of Protestant (rejecting some part - quite possibly only one of many), then one cannot by definition call a protestant a christian. Nor can a Catholic (by definition True Christian) who rejects some part of their faith call themselves a real Christian. One does not know Jesus by saying in their mind, "I love Jesus". It isn't enough! I "know" my next door neighbor also, but do I really know who they are? NO! If one really knows Jesus, and professes to believe in His teachings, then one cannot be anything but Catholic (that is, Christian in its fullest meaning).

"I do however understand where your comment comes from where protestants may omit one or more Catholic doctrines, therefore anti- catholic."

And since Catholocism was True Christianity - then therefore it would also be anti-Christian. But I don't mean it to be like they intentionally reject Christ or Christianity. It might be that they are born into it or are confused or just don't know, but are missled.

"I cannot agree with your comment about Mary either. I realize that other denominations may believe that Mary had several children, but that is not what I have been taught. I was taught that Mary had one child, Jesus. Mary has been part of my pastors sermons. She is not left out. However, I know that there are big differences in the way we include Her in our life. Ex. We do not pray the rosary/Hail Mary....but we do include the hymn Ave Maria. Saints are not excluded either, but we do not pray to them."

That is awesome! I knew that Luther and many of the first Protestants revered Mary, but that is great that your congregation does. I should point out that it was my intention to show that all Protestant sects omit various, but possibly not the same, fundamental Christian beliefs. While your congregation does venerate our Mother, it must by definition skew slightly from Catholocism, and therefore the original Christian Church of Christ.

"As you pointed out about the Body and Blood of Christ, protestants do not have Transubstantiation. I can't say whether I believe in it or not because I've never experience it. However, I would love to someday."

I think John explained it well enough. The Body and Blood of Christ brought to us through Transubstantiation in the bread and wine IS the very SAME Blessed Sacrament you pray before. This blessed Sacrament will end up being passed out at mass during the Eucarist! It makes me sooooo exited for you Kathy! If you have truly felt Christs presence while praying before Him in the Blessed Sacrament, then it will be like fireworks when you recieve him into your body!

"I think Jake, that we tend to often group all catholics as being condescending to protestants, and all protestants saying that catholics are going to hell. When the truth of the matter is we all have our own individual opinion despite what religion we are."

I couldn't agree more, Kathy. That was actually the point I tried to make - but yours was in a nutshell, which probably turned out better anyway.

Thank you so much for your reply. I think we are on the same page, but I never really was good with words.

I pray and wait for the day that you can tell us that you recieved Christ in the Blessed Sacrament (i.e. Eucarist). Ahh it makes me so joyfull.

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, September 09, 2002.

I made a few mistakes, and I humbly ask for your forgivness.

David, it was you who made the clarifications about the Blessed Sacrament. Sorry, John!


Ooooh, There is a great Evangelical-converted to Catholic on EWTN. He is covering exactly our topic! I do hope and pray that you watch it!

I must appologise for not being as clear as I should have in my previous post. I still maintain what I have said, but I think I was too black and white. In continuation with what I had said, I think that we are all to some extent "Christian". Perfect Christianity may not be something that we can grasp, because not EVERYTHING has been reveald to us (Gods Word is living, and constantly growing), and even if it was completely relveald to us, we don't have the capacity in our human nature to grasp it. Therefore, we are all simi-Christians persuing the goal of becoming perfect Christians. For example: Starting at zero (Athiest) (and we actually can start pretty high up and work our way down too) we work and work and we build in our Christian faith stock piling doctrine untill one day weve reached the level of where our Protestant brothers and siters are. Once we've reached this level however, there still are gaps, whether it be the Eucarist, Mary, etc., and there is room to grow. The next level is Catholocism, which at is very stripped down base may be almost border protestantism. One continues to grow untill they fully understand and are "on fire" for the Catholic Faith - the One, Holy, and Apostalic Church set up by Christ. Yet, even then, there is still room to grow in our journey to "Christian perfection", which I suppose is Sainthood - but even that is not perfect.

So, now that I've said this, it would be very in line with what Kathy and MaryLu are saying: We must not put down or "bash" either Protestants or Catholics, because in actuallity (if we are really seaking Truth) we are all on the same Christian journey home! Now, there are Protestants and Catholics, who at their root are only seaking distruction, and these we must consider. However, in each persons journey we must all help eachother in a loving and cheritable way.

MaryLu - I miss you - and I think that your posts are very very important! Don't be quiet, if you have a conviction, let it be known!

With love and In Christ - Have a good night all.

-- Jake Huether (, September 10, 2002.

I am not a Catholic. I was raised a Mormon, and converted to Christianity - without denomination - many years ago. As a Mormon I was taught that the Catholic Church is "the whore of the earth" and the protestant churches "its little harlets."

When I came to faith in Jesus I quickly learned that it is indeed FAITH that makes me a Christian. It is not being a Catholic, or a Baptist or any other Christian group. It disturbs me to see so much protestant bashing among you and also accusations that protestants are devisive. I have been taught in MANY "protestant" churches that Catholicism is a noble and beautiful organization, full of amazing Christians who advance the faith. I never dreamed that there was any division. Yes, many protestant churches came about in a divisive way, but that is history and the church lives on. By church, I mean all the followers of Christ (within and outside the Catholic church). Again, it is my faith that makes me a Christian. It is my faith that leads me to good works and the pursuit of a righteous life. The church that I attend to assist me in the walk is, well, not nearly as important as is the relationship I have with our creator. I welcome all believers in Christ and I hope you will excuse my intrusion into your discussions to offer these thoughts.

God's peace to all of you for we are of different church organizations, but in Christ we are of one faith.

-- Cole Peck (, December 02, 2002.

Hello, Old King Cole! Sorry, couldn't resist.
And I love Cole Porter's music too.

You stated: "God's peace to all of you, for we are of different church organizations, but in Christ we are of one faith."

Sadly, you are mistaken. The very reason that "we are of different church organizations" is the fact that we are NOT "of one faith."
Your beliefs differ from ours, Cole. Some of your beliefs are wrong. Some of our beliefs are missing from your personal creed. We as Catholics hold to the all and only that which Jesus and the Holy Spirit revealed to the Apostles. We cannot give up any of those beliefs, and we cannot accept any ideas that contradict them.

Thank you for wishing us God's peace. However, peace cannot reign fully except when all men and women are united where the fullness of truth rests -- i.e., in the Catholic Church. Catholicism is not a "church organization" (to use your phrase), but the very Church that Jesus founded.

God's revelation to man clearly shows that "the Church" is not some kind of nebulous, purely spiritual group, as you would have us believe. Rather, just as Jesus's visible body (2000 years ago) was incarnate, so the mystical "Body of Christ" is incarnate in the Catholic Church. The Bible and Christian documents of the earliest years show that Jesus's Church had structure, leaders of various ranks, fixed doctrines, and prescribed worship services (i.e., what is now called the Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy). That same Church fully lives on only in Catholicism. (Certain ancient churches of the East are extremely close.)

God bless you, Cole, with the gift of enriched faith in this holy season of Advent. I will pray for your conversion.

-- J. F. Gecik (, December 06, 2002.

Thank you i am saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Martha Parnell (, October 15, 2003.

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