Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Catholics aren't Christian?

This occurs far too often for me to not feel dismayed. I'll be discussing religion with a believer when the discussion will turn to a specific aspect of religion or belief. Often, I'll provide an example to help make my point. But when I mention the Catholic church's mistreatment of Galileo, or the horrible Catholic church sex abuse scandal I'll be met with a deceleration that Catholics aren't Christian...

This leads to two reactions on my part. First I'll simply provide a non-Catholic example. Secondly, there is no other appropriate reaction other than to wonder if the person you're speaking with has the slightest of a clue! But it's not just your average Joe on the street that makes this claim. The human 'face palm' factory, Ray Comfort has said that not only are Catholics not Christian, and don't use or teach the Bible, but went so far as to ban it!

Lets start first with the claim that Catholicism isn't a version of Christianity... Have these people never seen a Catholic church? As a former Catholic, I can't help but wonder. Sure, Catholicism may treat the virgin Mary with a bit more importance than other Christian sects. But the giant statue of Jesus on the cross displayed in the church and the crucifix's worn by many Catholics should be dead giveaways that Catholics are Christians.

The Catholic Church does in fact teach of Jesus as lord and savior, and that only through him may you receive salvation. When compared to other religious services I've attended, only the format and details are different. Different music, different 'feel' to each service, but the overall broad message of Christianity remains the same. So yes, Catholics are Christians.

Do they use and teach the Bible? Let's just say that when I was in CCD school, the Bible was considered a text book. Also, walk into any Catholic church and you will find in the pew in front of you a copy of the the Bible. (When I was a Catholic, it was the King James version our church had.) A text that every service includes readings from that the pastor will oft ask you to follow along with as he reads. By now it should be obvious that the claim that Catholics don't use the Bible is a rather absurd one.

But did the Catholic church ban the Bible? Well, sort of... Long ago, the church granted congregations the right to ban certain versions of the Bible. Not the Bible in general mind you. After all there is no such thing as the Bible. They are all just several different translations and versions of the Bible. So the church simply said that 'X' is the version that we think is the most accurate, and the
Yes, this Bible and Rosary are sure symbols of a
non-Christian religion. How silly of me to think people that
worship the Christ and Christians...

others shouldn't be used. Something that's not so hard to understand. Catholics today may use the King James version, or one of the Catholic translations. Some Christian churches use the New International version. Others use the American Standard version. And the list goes on and on. Just as Ray Comfort probably has his favorite translation, so does the Catholic Church.

The final thought I'm left with is this. If someone can't understand something as basic as the fact that Catholics are Christians, why should I assume they are remotely knowledgeable on the faith that they are attempting to debate with me? After all, if a person can't boil water, they'll never be able to make spaghetti (FSM be praised!)...

-Brain Hulk

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