28 June, 2010

Membership in the Christian Family: Open to Catholics?

Here is a series of questions that I, as a Roman Catholic posed to STG, a regular comment poster and fundamentalist Christian. It is rare to find one as patient and dedicated as he in defending and explaining his positions without sliding into anti-Catholic vitriolic rhetoric. 

I would appreciate your thoughts as well (no matter your perspective on the issue)!!

Fr. Tim

STG: One last point. You may well believe that HOW we worship is the wrong way to do it, but can you understand that we DO worship the same Lord and Savior? Is it too far a leap for one who holds religious beliefs such as you, to concede that we are both trying to do the same thing, even if we disagree on how we are supposed to do it? That we both believe in the promise of the Hebrew Scriptures; that they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ whose life and teachings are recorded and explained in the Christian Bible; and that it is ONLY through Christ that any and all of the world can be saved?

Why does acknowledging this simple fact, that we believe in the same God, Lord and Savior, threaten your beliefs in any way? Why must you close the door to God's mercy and grace by saying that Catholics are not saved, and that their worship could not possibly be animated by the Holy Spirit? That what we are arguing about is HOW to implement Scripture in the human models of Church and faith, not the veracity or validity of the scripture themselves?

As I have said to you and others, I am not interested in or trying to convert anyone here! I am simply claiming that what I hold, believe and practice merits membership in the family of Christians. That as a Catholic, I have reason to hope to receive the gift of eternal life with the God of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles by claiming salvation under the blood of Christ alone.

Then if we are all Christian, is it not more important to continue the work of the great commission in preparation for Christ's return than to fighting like children squabbling over which one of us "God loves best'? There are more than enough challenges to face to keep busy every Christian confession until His return. I think that He will be most pleased if all his adopted children were able to bring more believers into His sheepfold.

I eagerly await your answers.

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