Thursday, May 9, 2013

Doubting Catholicism

I don't think I can remain Catholic anymore. I am having a really hard time reconciling the Bible and early Christian history with what has been the Roman Catholic church for the last 1500 years. I have been reading like a mad woman and am hoping God will show me what I need to know. There are so many Catholic theologians who do not agree with each other on so much, and the papacy has a helluva history for screwing things up. Sure good things have been done too. But what I see is a huge disconnect with the majority of the laity (in the West...Europe, US, Canada) and the hierarchy.

There is also the development of dogma which has been more than questionable...Mary's immaculate conception and the Assumption of Mary. Also JP II encyclical referring to Mary as co-redeemer. Ummm, I don't think so. I tried to ignore that stuff, after my conversion to Catholicism, but it's hard to ignore when I am told that by missing a Marian Holy Day I am committing a mortal sin and will go to Hell unless I confess it. Really? I mean REALLY? I have a really hard time believing that when I read the New Testament.

Anyway, that is where things stand for me. I don't hold any malice toward any Catholics personally. Most of my friends are Catholic and I love them to bits. I just have issues with the Catholicism. And I'd rather not be a dissident Catholic inside the church, but a happy Christian outside.



Liz. said...

I am a Protestant, and have been my entire life, but my father is a Catholic so I know and am familiar with the Catholic Church and their ways. The Bible states specifically that we are to boldly come to the throne of God because Jesus died for us. If this is written for us, why should we pray to a mere human and hope that she 'passes on our message'? The Bible also says we are not saved by good works, but because of Jesus' sacrifice. So why do Catholics think the way to Heaven is being saved AND doing good works?

If you would do a scripture scavenger hunt and test all the things Catholics believe, you would be shocked to find the truth.
Don't get me wrong- I love Catholics, I love my fellow Christians. But we need to open our eyes and ears to the truth that Jesus left us when he went to paradise.

SaeculaSaeculorum said...

Peace of Christ, Rachel.

I would think before distancing myself from the Church - do you not have issues with other churches?

Manong Meloy said...

I have been a been a Catholic ever since but like you, I did and still do have quite a handful of queries myself re the ways of the Church. Recently, I came across friends who are doing Isotheric studies and into faith, spirituality, mysticism,and the sorts. After being with them for a couple of years now, I ended up a Neo Pagan...I still get to keep what is GOOD with my faith plus we now embrace the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Wiccan.

I can personally say that the immersion deepened my spirituality to a different, much higher level. I can't speak for everyone, though. I guess it is all about see, understand and how we discern our contentment with regard to our own spirituality and faith.

Blessed be,

aka "Manong Meloy"

Andrea Filiault said...

Hi Rachel,
I never leave comments but I was reading your blog and I could not read any other till I took the time to comment...I am very sorry that you have had a difficult time with the faith. I don't pretend to have many answers at all and can only speak from experience...I have been Roman Catholic my whole life but have really just found the meaning of the faith through the last four years of my life. My husbands father who we were very close to died at a young age of 53 of.als. He was the most devote and faithful catholic I have ever met. He suffered so much in the last six months of his life...he never complained once, literally not ever once. He tried so make everyone else ok with the fact that he was going to die. He was always happy. Through his suffering and selflessness I saw why it was so beautiful to be catholic. He was at peace because he accepted gods will. Even though it was very difficult to lose him I look back and those were the best 6 months of my life , it was spent constantly trying to help him and the family and try to be a fraction as selfless as he was. To be catholic is to live by example, not to judge and force the faith on others. That man was the best example I will ever meet. So before you give up on Catholicism please consider what made you drawn to it in the first place...not the encyclicals and the rules and the tradition but the message. Love.

northierthanthou said...

I have often admired the Catholics in my life, and particularly admired their sense of faith and morality. It's an ironic admiration, not the least of reasons for this being the fact that I can't help thinking the wisdom stems from the compromised nature of their faith. For Protestants and unbelievers it is easy to think oneself innocent. If bad things have been done by those in your own camp, well it's no reflection on me, I don't support that. But for Catholics, it isn't simply a belief; it is embracing an institution, and that institution has clearly done horrible things. On some level this consideration SHOULD be a reason to walk away from that institution, but on some ironic level failing to do so adds a trace of humility to Catholic perspectives.

Vroomfondel said...

Ned Flanders : I’ve done everything the Bible says — even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!

There's no getting away from it, religion is inconsistent and flawed. They are so dependant on interpretation that the original text might not as well be there, you can make it mean whatever you like. IF it was the word of God, that's not a god that I would want to follow.
Just do your best to be a good person and the result will be all your own, and if you do give in to the odd kitkat, well, there won't be anyone's idea of hell waiting for you.

Vroomfondel said...

Speaking of Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Stuff, I think you'll appreciate the works of Douglas Adams. The film The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2)is a poor ambassador for his thoughts about Life, the Universe and Everything (pertaining to your blog). H2G2 was originally a radio series on BBC Radio 4 before becoming a trilogy of books in 4-parts. Tons of insight double-wrapped in irony and humour.

DD said...

I know what you're going through as I'm going through the same thing right now. There are things about the Catholic Church that I was just trying to "ignore" as you said, but their focus is so much on being Catholic and not on being Christian. Catholics can be so very legalistic and I think that's one of the things many Catholics love about Catholicism: moral judgement. But it's not our place to judge.

But the other thing to keep in mind is that a Catholic can be a Christian as much as any Baptist, Methodist, etc. Like a family, each family does things differently but they are still a family.

God will lead you where he wants you to go. Open up to that opportunity.


Melissa Mae said...

God bless you the hand of the lord is upon you and his spirit has begun to reveal the truth to you for he is the spirit of wisdom and revelation. You have done well to read the word. because the word will not lie and God is no respecter of persons, that means you dont have to be anyone special in the religious world to get revelation from the holy spirit, you just have to be hungry and willing. Just keep reading the bible and you will find Jesus. And it is all about him. its not about some religious mumbo jumbo. its just a relationship with God through christ alone. amen!!! god bless you dear!!

Melissa Mae said...

I have to say that there is no single shred of evidence that the catholic religion is consistent with the bible. Im an not trying to make divisions here but the bible says that the spirit of truth will lead you into all truth. If you are led astray it is by another spirit other than the spirit of God. I would not risk that. God's spirit will not lead you in any way that is not consistent with his word. again, as i said, stick to the word. and remember, God is no respecter of persons. he'll come straight to you and reveal his truth to you that Jesus is all you need. when he said it is finished. he meant it but man cannot be satisfied with that and they want to add to it but there is nothing to add. Jesus paid it all so that we could be reconciled to God. Salvation is by grace through faith and not of works lest any man should boast. you go straight to the father through Jesus and no other for the bible says that he is our great high priest forever according to the order of malkesidek. we need to focus on not religions stuff but Jesus.

Melissa Mae said...

okay this is the third time i am attempting post this comment. of course it wont be as good as the previous two. but basically, dear, God has his hand on you and the holy spirit has begun revealing the truth to you. he is the spirit of truth according to the bible and will lead you into all truth. you do not need to be someone important in the religious world to get revelation from the holy spirit. all you need is a hunger and a humble willingness, for God is no respecter of persons. he does not favor the pries more than he does you. everything i am sharing with you is from the bible by the way. there is not one single shred of evidence that catholicism is biblical. there are two kinds of spirits in the world, those who lead you astray and the spirit of God. The spirit of God will never contradict his word so go by the word. what does it say? it says that salvation is by grace through faith so that no one can boast. It says that jesus is our great high priest forever according to the order of malkesidek. It says that when jesus was on the cross, he said, it is finished! man doesnt want to accept that. they want to add to it but at the cross it was finished. Jesus reconciled us to God. He is the Lord. We do not need any religious extra stuff. we need to keep our focus on jesus who alone brought us salvation by grace through faith in his finished work. how the catholic religion ever was accepted i have no clue but there is nothng biblical about it. god bless you. and i did not come to create devisons but i know i probably have and for that i appologise but the fullness of what Jesus died to give you is only available when you take him at his word. i want that for you and for all.

sarah said...

hi :-) I only just discovered that you have a blog, so I'm coming to this post way late. I also read your post further down about religion, and I wanted to give you a (((hug))). Firstly for your loss of your mum. Then for your infertility (yes it still counts as infertility even if you already have 3 kids). And then for your religious uncertainty.

I personally believe in a deep amazing love between God and the living world/universe. I may be wrong. But I spent years reading about religion, trying various paths ... and what I learned at the end of it is that you can't come to God through your intellect, because there will always be another argument. And you can't come to God through experience, because there'll always be a different interpretation. You can only meet him through love. His fiery endless love for you, and your love and yearning for him. It doesn't have to make sense. It's about transcendence.

If Catholicism inspires you to love God, then let all the history and the politics go and be Catholic, in love. A wild and blind and beautiful kind of love. Or if Catholicism hurts your heart and turns you off God, then perhaps he comes for you a different way. A Rachel way, so he can get really close to you. That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

I agree with one of the earlier commenters who said that God doesn't cause things happen or not. Life just happens, nature happens. God grieves and celebrates and sits with us. God loves us. That's all - and everything. I personally can't believe he called you to want another child. Perhaps rather your own love called you? He is no doubt heartbroken for you, and maybe even hopes you will come and cry in his arms so he can share your grief and have a chance to try to comfort you ... ?

Sorry, it's just my own two cents, I just felt drawn to write for some reason. Sorry if it came off as preachy, I don't mean it to, the bottom line is this: trust your heart. Because that's where God is :-)

By the way, I love what you wrote about birth control. :-)

Warren said...

If it makes you feel any better, I've felt this kind of feeling before. Growing up, I was taught about religion [Baptist father], and how it's one of the MAIN things that is supposed to keep up strong. But after awhile, I felt that a religious presence wasn't as close as I was told. Now, I'm someone who considers himself 'agnostic', and although I won't go as far as to say 'atheist', I still fear that my beliefs are in the wrong place..
I've never really told anyone that. Thanks for listening to my side, I guess :)


Sophie Holmes said...

Hello Rachel -
I don't normally leave comments, but I felt compelled to put in my two cents, as it were.
I am not Catholic, so I am not familiar with the specific traditions or teachings, but I am a Christian. I believe that there are really only a few core beliefs that are necessary in life.

1. The Bible is the Word of God, written by men who were divinely inspired.
2.God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him will have a home in heaven when they die.
3. Everyone is a sinner. No one is perfect, nor should we try to be. All we should strive for is to live life as the Bible says, and glorify God in everything we do.
4. Only God can provide true forgiveness. When we sin, the only true cleanser of our hearts and minds is forgiveness from God - no one else.
5. God is a God of love. He longs to forgive us and for us to recognize Him and give over our hearts to His will.
6. Pray. Communication is the key to keeping any relationship alive! This is especially so with the Lord. If we keep Him active in our life, he will be actively seen and recognized.

When I was a kid, we were told the ABC's of becoming a Christian.

A - admit that you are a sinner
B - believe that Jesus sacrificed for you
C - Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness.

I know this doesn't really quell your doubts with Catholicism, but I just wanted to share with you what I believe. If you, or anyone, wants to chat with me I'd love to share more.

Sophie Holmes said...

Also Rachel -
I forgot to mention, the Bible states in John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be judged; but has crossed over from death to life."

Meaning once we accept Christ in our hearts and lives, we can never be condemned to Hell. Salvation is a free gift from God, and He will never take it away from us.

Wrinkleyold said...

I was raised Catholic and encountered The Lord while reading a Jehovah Witness bible. I said, " I give up! I don't know what You want me to be! A Catholic, a Mormon and in an instant Jesus filled me with joy and awe so intense I thought I was going to burst. My heart actually felt like it was going to explode with joy! And I read the Bible and the Truth taught me the truth. He is the God of the Bible. I could NEVER pray to Mary. She wouldn't want me to pray to her. I hope you find peace. I've been having a crisis of faith myself. It has been a bitter, scary battle. But fight hard for God's peace it is what He wants for you. Peace is what He suffered in agony for. He made peace between us and God possible. I tell Him, I choose You! That is my little faith that He accepts and says it is enough. Don't look to the right or left, or to Mary or to doubts or denominations. God bless you. Peace be with you.

Chuck said...

Seek truth, and He will find you, and bring His healing to your heart.

Wayne Abernathy said...

Even as a child I noticed much of what you have written, that the Church as Christ established it anciently seemed so different from what I saw in the church that I was attending (a protestant church). What my Catholic friends told me about their church did not suggest to me that the Catholic church was any closer.

The ancient Church of Christ seemed alive, with apostles who spoke directly with and from Christ. I wondered, where was this living Church? Maybe it has disappeared. I did not despair of that, though.

rox said...

Rachel Thanks for visiting my blog ! I really have neglected it and You got me to actually read my old post lol
when I came here I had no idea you were my friend Rachel lol
my eyes are so bad I can't see who people are anymore by that tiny thumbnail .
the Tardis clued me in right away ;-)
when I had decided to change my healthy living blog name from the natural catholic to the healthy heathen I had a lot of support from catholics who had been reading my blog .They were not followers but said they always came to read it .Anyway many of them and all were encouraging to me .There are many who also feel their pagan roots and are often ridiculed for it .where as believing in natural law does not belong to any one religion .
anyway many of us to feel confused , disturbed ,and question .I think those are true traits .

Craig Godfrey said...

Hi Rachel

I came across your blog by accident...hmmm then again, maybe not.
I am a born-again Christian, and have been for over 40 years.

I am not surprised that you are questioning your Catholic faith after comparing it to God's Word,as there some gaping differences. You would be standing on Wibbly-Wobbly-Wimey ground if you follow their teachings to the letter (according to the bible, that is).

There are lots of differences to mention, but John MacArthur sums it up pretty well here:

Note: His tone may come across as a bit on the sarcastic side, but he is very passionate about defending the Christian faith.

Keep seking the Truth in His Word, and it will eventually set you free.

In Christ