Pages

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In a previous thread, Barbara C. let out a rant that expressed what I think many online Catholic moms feel as they experience anti-Catholic bashing on other blogs and forums:

Works, works, works!! I'm so sick of works. First from him now from you; is this all you blighters can do?

You know Catholics, they just sit around all day tallying up how many empty good things they can do everyday to earn our salvation. They're all accountants. It's such hard work, though!!

It would be so much easier just to sit back, knowing they are saved, and they can pretty much do whatever they want and know their salvation is assured. They just have to say the Sinner's Prayer and they're good to go...wait, that's a bit of work. But they don't have to go to church every week. They don't even have to read the Bible. The Bible doesn't say they do. They just have to believe that everything they need to know is in there. Not that it really matters. Once they believe that Jesus saved all the rest is just...well, works. And the last thing they want is to have people catching them performing works; they might think they're Catholic or something.

I have been saved; I'm being saved; and by the Grace of God I will be save

Moonshadow had a good one too:
Look, I'm not in the position to shrug off anyone's love. But there is a double standard towards Catholicism that I cannot understand.

A Christian can claim membership in another other church and get a pass. But not in the Catholic church.

And I can't take the patronizing lip service: "Oh, a Catholic may be saved, we're not saying they can't be, just so long as they don't actually believe what their church teaches."

Such hogwash
A couple of questions have popped into my mind about it.  Do the people like Candy and Jennie who level these types of accusations against Catholics know any Catholics?  And do the Catholics they know keep a tally sheet for the "good works" they perform  I personally have never seen that or know anyone who does.

And why is it that the interpretations of any other denomination is acceptable, as long as it's not Catholic?





AddThis Social Bookmark Button

16 comments:

Rebecca said...

And yet people who write things like the first example can misrepresent what people believe about savlation, and that's okay? Sinners prayer and that's it? Do whatever you want now that you're saved? I have never heard anyone say that ever in the 15 years I have been a Protestant.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen Catholics pretend to know what I believe because of some nutter on the internet (or in real life), but then throw back their heads and howl if one bad example of a Catholic is used to represent all of them. Trust me, I come from a whole family of Catholics that don't know their own faith, and yet I don't use their words to make up stuff about Catholics in general.

Rebecca said...

eeep. Savlation. I clicked before I proofread. Sorry

Elena said...

The thing is Rebecca - it depends on which Protestant you're talking too!
I have "met" Protestants who believe in that sinners prayer and as long as they keep their "sins" "under the blood" everything was cool.

The Lutheran ladies who come here have a different take and the Presbyterian PCUSA lady preacher I knew had a completely other.

One size does not fit all I have found in Protestantism and what Barbara expressed must obviously be from some particular run ins she's had from one variety.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

I am independent, fundamental, Baptist. That's right, lol, just like Candy. I attended 2 different IFB churches in the last 15 years, and I have never heard that Sinners prayer thing. In fact, our pastor has guarded against depending on a prayer to save you.

Kelly said...

Barbara was my college roommate, and the kids of Campus Crusade would often come by, lead you through a little leaflet, have you say the sinner's prayer, and pat you on the back for now being guaranteed heaven.

When I lived in a more rural location, many of the baptists where I went to high school told me that they could do whatever they wanted to during the week, as long as they went to church on Sunday.

I realize (now) that those are not representative, but at the time, I thought it was pretty normal. Could be the sort of Baptists from our part of the country, Rebecca.

Clare said...

Rebecca
"I attended 2 different IFB churches in the last 15 years, and I have never heard that Sinners prayer thing"
That's fascinating Rebecca. Just goes to show how much 'variety' is out there.
Are you saying that you haven't heard the sinners prayer thing AT ALL, or just that it isn't mentioned in your own church?
Do they do altar calls in your church, or go out street evangelising?

When I was going to a Protestant church I came across this all the time. People used to ask me "when were you saved?". They often knew down to the time of day when they were saved, because that was when they had prayed the 'sinners prayer'. They were often encouraged to write it down in their bibles.
Women in my bible study used to run a little information stall in town at the weekends. They used it as an opportunity for evangelising and the following week would tell us how many people were 'saved'.
I'm not knocking them for it either. They are very committed, faithful Christians and they care about people and don't want them to go to hell.
But it's such an overwhelmingly commonplace concept, at least here, that I'm really surprised you haven't come across this before.

Clare said...

Also, I've noticed that a major stumbling block when discussing doctrinal/theological ideas with protestants is the lack of one clear reference point ( or teaching authority).
Many times I will discuss things with friends who will them say " well I personally don't believe that" or " My church doesn't teach that"
So it's a bit like plaiting fog really because it's impossible to lay catholic and protestant beliefs side by side and properly scrutinise and compare.

Moonshadow said...

Oh, great, my rant is immortalized in a post.

I remember being mostly annoyed at what Barbara said in that comment but I do agree with her that "Catholic" should not be a slur.

When the PCA was having its Federal Vision (FV) controversy, my friend posted a mocking rap video on her blog in which the FV proponents are accused of being "on the highway to Rome." I suggested in her comments that Godwin's Law applies, substitute "Rome" for "Nazis."

Now, I was in Campus Crusade in college and so I know firsthand that growing in holiness was stressed. Bill Bright was very ecumenical and Catholics shouldn't have a problem with his organization.

Rebecca said...

Clare,
I have never heard "THE Sinner's Prayer". Is there one? I wasn't aware there was a magic formula for being saved and then you get to do what you want.
I have heard of "alter calls", but I guess we refer to them as invitations, not only for people who are looking for salvation, but an opportunity to ask forgiveness, or for prayer in a public way. It's hard to describe, I guess.
As to your second point, I agree. When I was Catholic, and taking classes to teach confirmation classes, I was shocked and amazed that a lot of people who consider themselves strong Catholics in my, and my soon-to be husband's family had never heard some of the things I loved to discuss. You may lay claim on the one true Church, but not everyone follows what it teaches, but beware if you try to tell them they are not following church doctrine!!!! I have heard many, MANY times "Well, I don't believe THAT!" and they still consider themselves Catholic. Honestly, I have never heard a Catholic really know their stuff til I started surfing the internet. Sometimes I feel a little wistful that I didn't have you ladies around a long time ago. Have a good day.

Rebecca said...

:sigh: I can't scroll to re-read my post without accidentally posting it. Please forgive my errors again.

Barbara C. said...

Let me clear that I was being extremely facetious in my rant. I was using the same superficial assessment of Protestant theology to which Catholic theology is subjected.

And I was making the point that anything a Catholic does...even the most common sense things that almost every Christian does (like read the Bible and go to church) is labeled a nasty, empty work.

Obviously not every Protestant church uses the Sinner's Prayer, but many use it as part of the "ceremony" around "getting saved" either at an altar call or in some other gathering. I was using hyperbole.

Moonshadow said...

I have never heard "THE Sinner's Prayer". ...

Not only has there always been variation in Evangelicalism (i.e., Protestantism), but the American movement is in intense flux right now, with the renewed interest in Calvinism and the emergent/emerging churches. And many other things, including a truce with Catholic devotional practices in some quarters.

In short, the Billy Graham era is long over.

Rebecca said...

Barbara, I'm sorry your intent was not clear to me. I get just as frustrated when people seem to willfully misreprestent what I believe, so I can understand your position. Again, mumbling a few words isn't going to magically save someone. Come to think of it, wouldn't that be a "work"? ;)

Kelly said...

Now, I was in Campus Crusade in college and so I know firsthand that growing in holiness was stressed. Bill Bright was very ecumenical and Catholics shouldn't have a problem with his organization.

I don't know anything about Campus Crusade as a whole. I only know that I did not have a favorable opinion of the group on our campus.

Clare said...

Hi Rebecca
i know this part of the conversation is somewhat 'over' but I had meant to get back to you earlier and didn't.

You may lay claim on the one true Church, but not everyone follows what it teaches, but beware if you try to tell them they are not following church doctrine!!!! I have heard many, MANY times "Well, I don't believe THAT!" and they still consider themselves Catholic.

I know what you mean. I have also had this experience more times than I care to remember. However, when I am disputing with Catholics I can show them what the teaching of the church is, and so it is clear that what 'they believe' is not congruent with being a catholic.
In my discussions with protestants it is not so straightforward, because they tell me how 'scripture plus the Holy Spirit' has clearly convicted them about such and such.
That's really what I meant about 'plaiting fog'.

Honestly, I have never heard a Catholic really know their stuff til I started surfing the internet.

Sigh. Again I relate.
This is mostly why I left the Catholic church in the first place. The complacency and disinterest gave me the screaming abdabs. Even when I started having horrible, unwelcome thoughts that the Catholic church might be correct, it still took me a while to accept that I must go back.
I rationalised by telling myself that even a 'partial truth' in the company of people who sincerely loved the Lord wholeheartedly was better than 'the full truth' in the company of those who were just going through the motions.
Yes, the Catholic presence on internet has had a big hand in my return ( this site included)

Now I am a little less judgemental and frustrated by my fellow catholics than i was before. But also I am much more discriminating about where I go and what I listen too. I have found some wonderful, prayerful 100% catholic friends who help alot.
I also go to a great church which attracts a congregation from all over London.
These things help. But I do know what you are describing. I've been there.
I still find it hugely dismaying, but I am less inflamed or provoked by catholics who, out of ignorance or wilful arrogance, make up their own, hand knitted dogmas.
I just tell them that i am a catholic who is 100% faithful to the teaching of the church so I can't agree with them. And i let them to suck on that.