Catholic Christian?

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/04/08 at 6:14 PM

A Baptist friend of ours in California asked the following question.

As my only resident expert on Catholicism, I have a question……do you regard Catholics Christian? If yes, why…and if no, why….I know virtually nothing about their beliefs and hear that they are not Christian…and just want to know what you think…thanks…

Reply: This accusation is an old one from years and years ago when there was much overt anti-Catholicism in the US. There is absolutely no foundation for such a charge. It is based on abysmal ignorance of the Catholic Church.

If you define a  Christian Church as one that believes in the God of the Bible, the Trinity, the Second Person of that Trinity taking on human form while still remaining divine, accepting death for human sin to make salvation (heaven) possible again, that He rose from the dead and is now very much alive in heaven, then the Catholic Church is totally Christian. It believes all that and much more found in the Bible.

In some denominations, the Sunday service includes the recitation of the Nicean Creed, a creed set up by the Catholic Church in 325 AD at the Council of Nicea.

If you say that the Catholic Church is not Christian, then you have to say that the Christian Church did not begin until the time of Luther. Prior to him, there was no other Church except the Catholic Church. It would ignore the facts of history and human psychology for a founder to say that he would set up a church 1500 years AFTER his death.  Never happens.  Luther never said the Catholic Church was not Christian; he did say it had too much corruption at the time (which was true).

If the Protestant Churches were the beginning of the Christian Church what were they protesting?

Perhaps a more relevant question today is whether some Protestant denominations are still Christian.  Too many have succumbed to the siren of the culture and accept practicing homosexuals as they are.   Regardless of the cultural PC involved, the Bible condemns homosexuality in several places. Last time I looked, there was nothing in  the Bible about  the divine moral code being subject to contemporary human vote.

One reason the Catholic Church is not liked is because in all it history (2000 years), it has never made the current cultural attitudes the norm of its doctrine. To be specific, the matter of abortion.  The US Supreme Court can declare a divine law void, but God does not agree. The Catholic Church condemns abortion because it is evil in itself. Abortion is not a “Catholic” sin; it is a sin against nature. You can successfully argue against abortion and not mention religion because it is a sin against nature itself. What kind of society kills off 50,000,000 unborn people (humans) mostly because someone finds them inconvenient? That has nothing  to do with religion; is  naturally irrational.

To say that Catholic Church is Christian is NOT to vouch for all its members, past and present. In fact, if you look at the history of the Catholic Church, it is a wonder it has survived at all when you look at some of its members (even popes). The Catholic Church, like all churches has more belongers than believers. The Protestant Churches have broken up into about thirty THOUSAND denominations. The Catholic Church has no denominations. The doctrine of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded the Catholic Church and protects from collapsing into chaos.

Both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches are Christian.  Both urge their members to seek a salvific relationship with Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine that a just God would exclude Rev. Charles Stanley from heaven because he happens to be a Baptist. If more Catholics and Protestants had his faith, we’d all be better off in the USA.

Hope this helps you understand the question better.


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