As an Ex-Gay Cradle Catholic, I Know the Devastation That Awaits Those Who Follow Fr. James Martin

By Robert Oscar Lopez Published on December 14, 2017

Father James Martin, SJ, has attracted a national following by calling for the Catholic church to apologize to the LGBT community. He claims to support the Church’s traditional, biblical teachings on sexuality, but also hints broadly that on gay issues the official teachings haven’t been “received.” I’d like to offer Father Martin my own reflections. I grew up in a Catholic milieu that was nothing if not gay-friendly. And I paid quite a price for that.

I immersed myself in the gay world of New York.

I grew up a Catholic, of a sort. Mine was a Puerto Rican liberation-theology household in the 1970s and 1980s. A predominantly white Catholic parish close to our home was suburban and not liberal enough for my mother’s tastes. We attended instead less conservative churches close to a university campus. I was expected to watch videos promoting the Sandinistas. The religious sister who helped me prepare for confirmation often called God “She.”

Sexual ‘Freedom’

I was positive that Jesus had founded the Catholic Church. I was also sure it was okay to engage in homosexual sex. So I did. A lot. For fifteen years, from the age of thirteen until the age of twenty-eight. I had sex, in fact, with over 200 men, the vast majority of whose names I still do not know. People around me gave each other AIDS and died.

I immersed myself in the gay world of New York. It was a world in which youth and beauty were weapons. Sexual freedom gave everyone license to manipulate and compete with each other. It was not Catholic guilt but cancer, my loss of a muscular physique, and my falling in love with a woman in 1999 that prompted me to break out of homosexuality. Because I’d never heard the priests or other Catholics I met take a biblical (or traditional Catholic) stand against the lifestyle that held me captive, I left that church in search of answers.

Baptized Baptist

I chose to be baptized at a Chinese Baptist church in Los Angeles. By then I was already married for seven years and had a daughter. Prior to that, I was unable to convict myself fully of my sin and finally surrender to Jesus Christ. I had surrendered my religious fate to the smiling, “welcoming” priests I met in liberal Catholic circles, thinking that was enough. The church as I encountered it failed to bring me into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prior to my adult baptism, my religious practice convinced me that everything I was doing was okay. I went to confession. No priest responded to my description of graphic gay sex with anonymous partners by saying, “Stop doing that.” Many people I met at church encouraged it. Priests told me to say a certain number of Our Fathers or Hail Marys and I would be clean until next week. The pastor in my home church raised no serious objections to my gay promiscuity.

Several post-Vatican II factions pushed for just the brand of Catholicism that licensed my self-destructive lifestyle. Particularly among some Latin Americans, you saw a mid-century enthusiasm for Christianized Marxism. Along with this came a rejection of old (2,000 year) Catholic insistence on chastity. There were some who felt that homosexuality was not even that great of a concern. Homosexual intercourse did not cause pregnancy. Maybe it could be tolerated without weakening the Church’s famous stand on birth control. As I said, the church I met traded in moral confusion, of the sort Fr. Martin is doing nothing to solve.

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Nilda

Some of my strange Catholic experience finds its reflection in Nilda.This is a novel set in the 1940s by Puerto Rican author Nicholasa Mohr. The main character feels torn between the pious Catholic women in her family and her angry stepfather who says this: “… filling her head with that phony stuff. Fairy tales in order to oppress the masses. …Bunch of impotent faggots oppressing the people.”

Nilda presents the complex views Puerto Ricans had toward Catholics and sexuality. We often assumed that because Catholic priests were peaceful and nonviolent, sometimes even effeminate, that they were homosexuals. This myth fed into the anti-clericalism of Nilda’s stepfather, who dismissed the clergy as a homosexual elite. It led others, like the people in my family, to assume that homosexuals were naturally more Christ-like and to trust them all the more.

Maybe that’s why mother saw little contradiction in being Catholic and gay. These were the messages I got from mentors like Prof. John Boswell, a proud homosexual at Yale who presented himself as a pious Catholic. There are no Catholic rules against homosexuality, really. Everyone knows most priests are gay. It is no big deal. Or so we were led to believe.

Ironies Abound

My dignity was no big deal. The lives of my friends were no big deal. The plentiful passages in the Bible devoted to chastity, which I never read in its entirety until I was twenty-eight, were no big deal. I bear a grudge against the liberal Catholics who formed me. I admit it.

But ironies abound. Fast-forward to 2012, when I was forty-one years old and recently discharged from the Army. I was trying to distance myself from all my gay friends, most of my family, and any gay man who might take an interest in me. So I never wanted to hear anything about gays or Catholics ever again. I consciously gained a huge amount of weight because I thought that as a fat man I would be invisible to gays; that way I could move forward in peace. But then Ryan Anderson, a Catholic protégé of Princeton professor Robert George, asked me to write an essay about being raised by lesbians. I believe sincerely that if people with faith like theirs, good priests or sisters, had been around in my childhood, they would have led me to a godly life from the beginning. Maybe I’d still be Catholic.

Approaching middle age, suddenly I found myself surrounded by gay debates again, this time because homosexuals around the world wanted to kill me. I was also surrounded by serious Catholics, since in 2012 they were the ones working the hardest to defend marriage against the LGBT juggernaut. The five years that followed “Growing Up with Two Moms” have been an emotional roller-coaster.

The Catholic scholars and activists who have promoted my work have helped me realize how much I share with them. And how much they have to lose if Catholic leaders decide to follow Fr. Martin off the deep end.

I’m a Baptist now, Father Martin. In fact, I teach at a seminary. I’m a happily married father. So maybe I’m not the audience that interests you. But if you don’t want more Catholics like me to wander in spiritual deserts, and emerge (if at all) as Protestants, then you’ll stop sowing confusion. Go back to the faith of St. Ignatius, of Jesus, of Moses. You know what it really teaches. Stop being coy. No one is fooled.

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  • I’m sorry for your bad experience, but that doesn’t mean that Christ did not found the Catholic Church (Matt 16:18) or that He wants division (John chapter 17). He doesn’t want to division. I pray you find your way back home, and yes I agree, Fr. Martin is wrong.

    • Patmos

      In that passage in Matthew Jesus was talking about Peter’s faith, not Peter himself or Catholicism, and it’s that faith that comprises the church. Denominations have nothing to do with it.

      • No it isn’t. That’s what Protestants say to rationalize their separation. Ask the Eastern Orthodox.

        • Kathy

          You are correct that the Eastern Orthodox believe the Reformers were wrong. However, they also say, according to a book I have on the religions of the world, that “the East has kept the faith, while the West strayed into heresy through the development of the papacy and claims to absolute primacy (supremacy) over all other churches.”

          • If you’re saying the sticking point between Latin (Roman) and Eastern (Orthodox) churches is not the primacy of the Bishop of Rome – they both agree on that – but the nature of the papacy (what it means to be primacy) then you are correct. Because in the middle ages society shifted to a more hierarchical organization, the popes felt that the papacy too should be hierarchical over the other bishops. I would love to end that and have the Roman and Eastern churches once again united. The theological differences are infinitesimal, especially when you compare both with Protestants. But Roman and Eastern agree on that passage in Matthew giving the Bishop of Rome primacy based on Christ building the church on Peter. It was understood to be the physical church and only some 1500 years later (maybe even more) did anyone make up this notion of a church of faith.

            But Kathy, read Chapter 17 of John and notice how Christ implores for the church to be unified. All Christians should be as one church with the Bishop of Rome as primacy but with enough flexibility for the other bishops to express their cultural individualities. It won’t happen in my lifetime, but I pray it will some day. I hope you can see how Christ wanted that unity.

          • Kathy

            Thank you for your explanation, Manny. I only know what I’ve read regarding the Eastern Orthodox, but am very familiar with the Roman church through much experience.

            Yes, Christ does implore unity, but I personally don’t at all believe it should be under the Bishop of Rome. I could go on and on, but don’t think Robert’s article should be a forum for this discussion of our divergent beliefs.

            Maybe another time…

          • Peace and have a blessed Christmas!

          • Kathy

            Thank you, you as well!

          • Kathy

            I should have added I believe it’s unity among His TRUE followers that Christ desires. He’s not referring to just anyone who happens to be attending a particular church and claiming an alliance with a certain denomination. His true followers come from every Christian church and from the Messianic Jewish affiliation as well.

      • Cotton

        And just how do you know He was talking about Peter’s faith….is that your infallible teaching on that verse?

    • tether

      The rock Jesus refers too is the truth that He is the Christ. Peter is not the rock. If Peter were the infallible rock or the first Pope then why does Jesus rebuke him in 16:23?
      And why don’t all the other disciples submit to Peter from that day forward?

      • They do. Read Acts.

      • mschnek

        Find that biblical exegesis anywhere in the Early Church. Can you point to any Church Father who agrees with this? Can you find a single Christian professing this belief prior to the 16th century?

      • Nan

        The place in which Jesus said that to Peter is a former pagan temple, with a deep pit that was believed to go straight to hell.

  • BXVI

    Thank you.

  • Darren

    Dear Robert,

    God bless you. I would just say one thing, don’t let Father Martin stop you from coming back home to the fullness of the Christian faith that is found in Catholicism.

    The Catholic Church needs you with your witness.

    May your personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lead you back to the church He founded.

  • David

    Dear Robert, I praise God for your witness. Love in Christ, David Bayly

  • blancheknott

    I am fully Catholic and practice my faith daily. But every Sunday I always watch InTouch with Dr. Charles Stanley before going to Sunday Mass. Rather than leave the Catholic Church, I just augment it with good teaching from better speakers. Dr. Stanley may be Baptist, but his moral teachings are sound and forceful. I have never heard him say anything contrary to the true faith. If only our Catholic priests were as forthright as Dr. Stanley [or Billy Graham for that matter] at saying what needs to be said from the pulpit!

    • Dennis Embo

      I’ve heard Dr. Stanley too, and while I agree he sometimes hits the bulls-eye, his teachings are sometimes at odd with what the Catholic Church believes and teaches. For one thing he subscribes to the false doctrine of “eternal security” (once saved, always saved) which is a Protestant aberration, and contrary to Catholic teaching. Plus, don’t get him started on the Catholic Church. Whenever he talks about the Catholic Church he gets visibly irritated. I’ve never once heard him say a charitable word about Catholics or the Catholic Church. I think you’d be better off taking that time prior to Mass to open up a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and read a few pages, or read that Sunday’s scripture readings and meditate on them for a few minutes.
      I, too wish more of our priests were more forthright in expounding Catholic teaching. In that way many of their evangelical counterparts in the ministry put them to shame. We need to keep our priests in our prayers daily!

      • blancheknott

        Sorry. I don’t believe you have listened to much Charles Stanley. I ‘ve NEVER heard him even mention the Catholic Church on INTOUCH. That is my criterion for turning someone off–if I hear it even once, I change the channel. Give me a precise date to support your allegation–like a YouTube video–and I might take you seriously. ALL Baptists believe in the once saved always saved crap. But Stanley doesn’t push it. What he does push is the idea of personal responsibility for SIN and he isn’t afraid to actually mention those sins. When was the last time you heard a priest use the word masturbation or adultery outside the confessional, in a sermon? I don’t know what Catholic bubble you’ve been living in, but since you want to tell me what to do, I suggest you take a look at Charles Stanley’s 30 Life Principles. I have never seen anything as practical for daily living come out of Catholicism.
        I have read the giant green Catechism-cover to cover-once. It is too dense and hi-falutin for the general public which is why it does not reach them. To say something is wrong because it is “gravely disordered” goes over most people’s heads. Most of us would say the whole world is “gravely disordered”!
        BTW, Stanley does believe in hell, Gehenna, and eternal punishment–because those are in the Bible. He is more concerned with trying to get people to change their immoral behavior here and now on earth, and for that I applaud him.

        • Vanessa

          Unfortunately, I can tell that you have never come across traditional Catholics. They say it like it is, unlike the Novus Ordo “church of nice” priests. They are on youtube. Start with Sensus Fidelium.

          • blancheknott

            Really? You “can tell”? You don’t sound very perceptive for a “traditional Catholic”.When I was in Catholic school from 1960-1968, I attended daily Latin Dialogue Mass, during the transitional years of Vatican 2. I am currently registered at St Margaret Mary parish in Oakland, home of the TLM in the Diocese of Oakland. where one can attend all 3 Mass formats: Ordinary, Extraordinary, and Novus Ordo. They are all valid and part of the Church. I have met your kind–you sound like a traddy snob, Heretical.

        • Nan

          Look for Fr Zs blog.

  • Bill Harkins

    Robert, thank you for your wise words and witness. God Bless you this Advent!
    Bill

  • Kathy

    Robert, you have done nothing wrong by changing your faith affiliation. Christ has His chosen people from every “nation and tribe”, not just one particular denomination. If you adhere to the truth of God’s Word in the Bible and follow Jesus’ teachings, you are His child no matter the church you attend.

    • mschnek

      Nice words. But, can you find any Christian in ancient Christianity that repeats anything remotely similar to this? Is this what the Apostles and Early Church Fathers taught? The belief that you profess here is a modern invention – neither scriptural nor found in Tradition. Exactly which denominations do you think existed in the 1st or 5th or 13th centuries? If Christ has chosen people in “not just one particular denomination”, why did He wait so long to do so?

      • Kathy

        Correct me if I am getting the wrong impression. It’s my understanding that you are saying that even if a person is, what I call, a nominal, going-through-the-motions cradle Catholic (which most are that I personally know), they are
        Christ’s elect solely because they say they are Catholic and may attend that church. Any serious, devout Christ follower in any other denomination is a fraud?

        • Vanessa

          It’s not that protestants are fraudulent in their faith, but they belong to heretical sects. There is only one Church Christ founded. That Church is the Catholic Church. The others were founded by man, and contain false beliefs.

          And the Church has ALWAYS taught that you have to persevere until the end. Belonging to the Catholic Church is not going to give you a free pass into heaven.

          • Kathy

            Please explain the “heretical sects” and “false beliefs” that constitute ALL denominations, with the exception of the CC. It would help as well if you elaborated on how Catholics are to persevere in order to gain or keep their salvation. Have you ever really studied these other affiliations or are you making assumptions or taking someone’s word for it that has minimal knowledge of them.

          • Nan

            Neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Church is a denomination. Denominations are all protestant.

          • Kathy

            Seems to be sects, like I said before.

            We absolutely do not believe in being forced to confess our sins to a man. However, the Bible does tell us that we can do that and it helps in being held to account. We can go DIRECTLY to our Father…Jesus says that. The priests are no more “special” to God than you are, they are just more learned because of their seminary educations.

  • tether

    Christ founded the church he is the head priest and the one and only mediator between man and God. Unfortunately the Catholic Church seems to have changed or rewritten some of the Scriptures and they seem to follow men’s traditions instead of the book. I pray though Catholic Church is a whole returns to the word of God

    • elisabetta

      That’s not the point of this article.

    • Joseph W MacCarthy

      Perhaps this will be helpful. The Catholic Church actually holds that very point you make: Christ is the True High Priest and the only Mediator between God and man. It also holds that what was real and true in Christ passed over into the Church so that His mission could continue on earth. This is why scripture exists, for instance, and the Holy Spirit can inspire a preacher to speak Christ’s own truth in our time and place. In this sense, the preacher is acting “as” Christ…making Christ’s own words present to the hearers. This is what the Catholic Church calls the “sacramentality” of the Church: God uses earthly matter (paper and ink of scripture; lungs, mouth and air of a preacher; baptism uses water; etc) to make Himself known. Christ is still the only mediator, but He continues His operation as mediator in His Church, using human beings to do so. So an earthly Catholic priest is not replacing Christ, but acting “as” Christ–offering the one sacrifice of Christ to the Father–just as Christ does eternally in heaven. So the Catholic/Orthodox/Anglican notion of priesthood is not a replacement of Christ, but a *rendering present* of the one True Christ, just as scripture renders present Christ’s own words or a person with a healing gift does not replace Christ, but acts *as* Christ. I know you may not agree with this, but I hope it helps you understand the actual position the Catholic Church holds.

      • tether

        I appreciate your efforts to try to clear some of these issues. I am a firm believer that God uses people to speak to us. The Lord used to me in the gift of prophecy, tungues and interpretation, as well as healing each for a season. Jesus said that we can pray to God the Father directly and He will hear us.
        The Bible says it is an abomination to communicate with the dead.
        The Catholic Church teaches to pray to Mary and their saints. My understanding is they ask them to pray or mediate with God on their behalf. This is also a form of idolatry. Prayer is worship. And we have already agreed that we have only one mediator, Christ Jesus.
        I am also told they teach that Mary died a virgin and went to heaven body and soul.

        • Vanessa

          Only protestants who have no notion what actual worship is mistake prayer for worship. Pray means to ask.
          And we are not committing necromancy by asking the Saints for their prayers. Necromancy is trying to get information from the dead. We are all suppose to intercede for one another in prayer. This is where the One Mediator in protestantism is off the mark. One Mediator is not talking about praying, it is talking about that Jesus’ sacrificing Himself as the Lamb of God, and being both human and God. In this way He is the One Mediator. And this is why Sola Scriptura never works, because without an authority on scripture people will always clash on what scripture is actually saying.

          • Kathy

            Yes, prayer is used to make requests, but more importantly, it is our means of communicating directly with God and entering into His presence to dwell there and to enjoy Him. I would call that worship. He desires to be close to us in that way…we are His children.

            The veil was torn in the temple when Jesus died on the cross, instituting permission for direct contact with our Father…not need for priests (or anyone else) as intermediaries as God required before Jesus’ sacrifice.

            In my understanding, if God’s Word is not the ultimate in truth and knowledge (Sola Scriptura), it is like saying it’s just not good enough, we need humans to make “improvements”. Did you know that Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have done that and for that reason, are considered cults by many.

          • Vanessa

            How funny, for the first 1,500 years of Christianity no one believed this. In fact, the first Christians couldn’t live Sola Scriptura for nearly 400 years. Then, how about those who couldn’t read nor could afford books for the first 1,500 years. For nearly all of Christianity many Christians couldn’t read. What were they to do? And with all of the different interpretations of scripture how do you know who is right?

          • Kathy

            I’ll reference 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

            Christ Himself quoted the Hebrew Scriptures.( Always like to remind people that Jesus came for the Jew first, then the Gentile, one reason I have a big problem with the CC claiming supremacy over all other believing churches or Messianic synagogues.

            What about the OT books…I would think they were available at the time. The literate could read them, but if not, they could listen to it being read and taught. Christ is revealed and prophesied in every book in the OT, especially in Isaiah, as you know. If a teacher of Scripture at the time was knowingly making changes and deceiving their “students”, it will not go unpunished.

            If the CC did compile the books of the NT, I would think the CC would be the first to claim they are totally legitimate and complete. It makes no sense to me that the clergy has taken liberty over the years to decree contradictory or added doctrine such as Mary being born sinless, she remained a virgin all of her life and was assumed into heaven.

          • Vanessa

            Over course she was born sinless. She was described as “full of grace”. She always had perfect faith and obedience in scripture. And being the New Ark of the Covenant she would be without sin, as the old Ark of the Covenant was pure and could only be touched by certain individuals. See Revelation 11:19-12:17.
            If Enoch and Elijah can be assumed to heaven why wouldn’t the mother of God?

          • Kathy

            I believe that proclaiming that Mary was born sinless is elevating her to deity status. The Bible tells us that Christ (who is God) was the only perfect human being to ever live, no mention of Mary being perfect as well. She is far from the only human to experience God’s grace and favor. She was chosen by God to accomplish the purpose of bringing His Son into the world. Yes, that is a very significant calling, but we all have a purpose and true followers of Christ are “full of grace” as well.

            Scripture mentions Enoch and Elijah being assumed into heaven… I can’t find reference to that happening to Mary. So, the doctrine is made up as far as I can see. It is merely a speculation.

            You didn’t mention the perpetually virginity of Mary, but there is reference to Joseph “knowing her after Jesus was born” and to His brothers and sisters. What I see the CC trying to give Mary a much elevated status that distracts from the only One that deserves it…Jesus Christ.

          • Vanessa

            No one distracts us from God. Catholicism is Christ-centric. Scripture does no such thing. Christ did not have brothers and sisters in the biological sense otherwise it would have been a scandal that Mary was left with the apostle John instead of her own child.

            And I guess that you have to ignore the fact that the Greek Orthodox Church also understand that Mary full of grace does in fact mean that Mary is without sin. Plus, you ignore Revelation 11:19-12-17.
            The end of chapter 11 talks about the new Ark of the Covenant and then goes into a woman crowned, and talks about Jesus and notice Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was angry against the woman, and went to make war with the rest of HER seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ .”

          • Kathy

            Merry Christmas!

            There are references to siblings in all the Gospel accounts, as well as Acts, 1 Corinthians and Galatians. Authors of the books of James and Jude are believed to be two of His brothers. Yes, He did ask John to care for Mary, possibly because He was the only one present at the cross…no other male followers were there to step up. Maybe John was the most trustworthy…we all know sometimes we can trust friends more than family members.

            I make reference to the Eastern Orthodox only because they say the Roman church strayed into heresy by instituting the office of the pope and their claim to supremacy over all other churches. I don’t ascribe to much of their doctrine either.

            Have heard many times that the reference to “the woman” is Israel and the 12 stars are the 12 tribes. Who knows?

            It just seems that the CC bends over backwards to distract from full and sole allegiance to God. If you look at what God says about Himself all throughout Scripture, does it make sense that He would require us to venerate another created being? He wants our COMPLETE attention, no sharing with any idol whatsoever. That includes everything else in our lives.

            “Jesus promises are to his real church, which is born again (transformed, totally committed followers) people in many denominations and groups. He is a God of spirits, not of groups or sects.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

          • Nan

            The Catholic Church is always about God. If you pay attention, Mary is always pointing the way to God.

            Jesus didn’t have siblings. Those described as his brothers were his cousins.

          • Kathy

            I saw A LOT of distraction away from total focus on God. If there is much concern about other created beings (Mary, saints), performing rituals, aesthetics in the church building, man-made rules to follow, etc. how can the focus be about God? He wants a relationship with His children, not performance, like worrying about whether or not you forgot to cross yourself with “holy water” before Mass.

          • Nan

            The Church teaches that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Would it have been appropriate for the Christ to dwell in an imperfect tabernacle? She was chosen before birth to be the Theotokos and must therefore be an in a state of grace to do so; because Baptism hadn’t begun at the time of her birth, the only way to ensure she was without sin was for her to have been conceived without sin.

            You also know that not all was put into Scripture. The Orthodox believe Mary was conceived without sin and was assumed into heaven. They express it as “Dormition” a falling asleep.

          • Kathy

            Didn’t our Lord live his entire life as a human in a sin-stained environment and communing with sinners? If He did that, why was it necessary for Him to live as a fetus in a sin-free environment? He was not living in a bubble during His 33 years on earth.

            So, if it is not in Scripture, how can it be trusted? Makes a lot more sense to focus on God-breathed doctrine than sinful man’s speculations.

          • Nan

            While it’s true that the veil was torn (Mary wove the veil when she served in the Temple), it showed that the Messiah had been here and that the covenant of Judaism was no longer. That’s why Christ called the Eucharist the new covenant.

          • Kathy

            Wow, that is definitely a first! Never heard that Mary wove the veil. Where is that in the Bible? Seems like more speculation to me, devised to once again elevate Mary’s status.

          • Nan

            Neither Mormons nor Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians as they don’t believe in the Trinity so don’t baptize in the Trinitarian format.

          • Kathy

            Yes, that is true. I mentioned them only because they also have added books to God’s Word, like your added Magisterium (spelling). I ask them how do they know they are the “right” ones, considering they all changed Scripture in various ways to suit their own agenda.

        • Nan

          We pray through the intercession of Mary and other saints; the Church teaches us that saints are those we know with certainty live in heaven-we aren’t praying to the dead. It’s just like you asking your mom to ask your dad or asking a friend or family member to pray for you. The Communion of Saints is our family.

          Did you know that every child born to a woman leaves some cells in her brain? I read that a few years ago and it must be why Mary was assumed into heaven; God wanted to make sure that all of His divine son was in heaven.

          • Kathy

            So much of what you say you believe is what the church tells you to believe, not what God’s Word in the Bible tells you. Never made any sense to me that the claim that the CC compiled the Bible would lead them to say that it’s really not enough, we need to add our own doctrine, mostly out of speculation.

            All true believers are saints and a royal priesthood, according to the Bible, Nan, not just the people that the CC chooses to canonize. As far as Mary, lots of posts by L Miller referencing her.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Robert, have benefited from your writing for years, now. Though a (convert) Catholic, understand your decision to plant your feet squarely on Jesus’ own.

    Fr Martin stays where he is because, despite the Gospel/Apostolic framing of the house, contemporary Catholicism has installed a comfortable room for him to lay his head, hang his queered-up hat, welcome his ilk to crash his digs. In short, the Catholic Church has not only provisioned him with room & board, it has foolishly assured him that the Master of the house will not drop by and evict him!

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Robert, have benefited from your writing for years, now. Though a (convert) Catholic, understand your decision to plant your feet squarely on Jesus’ own.

    Fr Martin stays where he is because, despite the Gospel/Apostolic framing of the house, contemporary Catholicism has installed a comfortable room for him to lay his head, hang his queered-up hat, welcome his ilk to crash his digs. In short, the Catholic Church has not only provisioned him with room & board, it has foolishly assured him that the Master of the house will not drop by and evict him!

  • John

    What good is a Magisterium if you promote leaders in the church that openly contradict it ?what good is salt that loses its saltiness,

  • James

    Maybe if they ordained married men in the West, like they do in the East, there wouldn’t be such a high percentage of gay men in the priesthood.

    Nor is this a new problem. The priesthood and religious life has long been the closet of the Church.

    • Darren

      There is no “high percentage” of men with same-sex attraction in the priesthood. Where is your proof? The lying liberal media? That’s a good one. The use of the word “gay” has run it’s course. It’s misleading and a lie. One is gay as much as a hummingbird is a whale.

      And you fall for the married priesthood lie. There is a reason for celibate men. Jesus was celibate. This should be reasonable enough for any Christian.

      I suggest reading a little GK Chesterton or Hilaire Belloc for some basic human common sense and a little of real human history.

      God bless.

      • James

        Denial is not a river in Egypt.

        St. Catherine of Siena wrote about the problem of priests committing sodomy back in the 13th century. Is she part of the liberal media conspiracy?

        As for married priests, has the Catholic East been wrong for 2000 years? Besides, St. Peter had a mother-in-law.

        • BlueMit11

          Since St. Catherine said it was a problem among some clergy 800 years ago, that means it’s a problem among most clergy today? I don’t know your background, but I do know my own. Suffice it to say that I have a large enough sample size to tell you whether or not the majority of Catholic priests in the United States have same sex attraction (not to mention acting out on that attraction). The answer is no, they don’t. And any that do are getting older and gradually replaced by men who are very pyschosexually healthy, chaste, and, and heterosexual.

          • Eric Needle

            In my diocese, it is more than 50%. While you are correct, they are getting older, their replacements are not necessarily psychosexually healthy.

          • BlueMit11

            Are you familiar with the psychological screening process required of seminary applicants?

          • James

            The priest in the parish I grew up in was gay, not celibate, and died of AIDS. He’s not the only I know I is gay and I don’t know that many priests.

            While Catholic priests are not more likely to abuse children than the general male population, their victims are disproportionately male. Why do you think this is?

            Not all priests are gay. But a disproportionate number are. Why do you think this is?

          • BlueMit11

            You haven’t given any evidence for your claim that a disproportionate number are gay.

          • James

            I just did.

            Why do you think the proportion of male to female victims in the abuse scandal so unusually heavily male if the priesthood didn’t have more gay men than the general population?

            What percentage of men do you thing are gay? Most studies put it at less than 5%, the highest estimate is 10%.

          • BlueMit11

            Nope. You showed that there’s a higher percentage of abusers who are attracted to the same sex. You’d have to prove that the less than 4% of priests who have abused is representative enough of the total population in order extrapolate from them. No one has done that, especially given the significant psychological differences between those who abuse and those who don’t.

          • James

            The overwhelming number of molestation victims are female.
            The overwhelming number of molestation victims of Catholic priests are male.

            Why do you think this is?

        • im4truth4all

          1 Cor 7:38 “So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.”

    • im4truth4all

      Do you really believe that the Eastern Church has no sodomites in it? St paul disagrees with you. 1 COR 7:38 “So that he who marries his betrotheddoes well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.”

      • James

        That is Paul’s opinion, not a command of God.

        1 Cor 7:25 “Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. ”

        Do you believe the Eastern Church is lesser than the Latin Rite or are they equal? Has the East been wrong for 2000 years?

      • James

        I would be willing to bet there are fewer per capita in the East than in the West.

        In Protestant churches, ministers overwhelming prefer heterosexual sin.

      • Linda

        He who marries does well – therefore marriage is not a disqualifier. The apostle Peter was married, and likely others were too.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Ridiculous. Since when is marriage a guarantee of sexual morality for anyone? Goodness, maybe we should lift the ban on politicians, and teachers, and coaches, and lawyers, and doctors getting married, Then maybe there wouldn’t be so much sexual harassment and abuse in society!

      • James

        Do you believe the East is wrong to ordain married men?

        If you have married priests, obviously some will cheat on their wives, but you will have fewer gay priests. That’s what the article is about, quit moving the goalposts.

        • Vanessa

          The mistake was letting gays in the seminaries to begin with, and there were those who tried to speak up about it decades ago.

    • samton909

      Maybe they should just get rid of the homosexual s.

      • James

        If you exclude the married men, the homosexuals, and the otherwise psychologically unfit, then how many men do you have left?

  • Ryan H

    Hey Robert-Peace to you, and I reverence the Holy Spirit for bringing about the personal changes in your life! Glory to Him.

    That having been stated, I’d like to say that I find your story, represented here, to be one that doesn’t at all reflect the capital “c” Church. I do find it to be one that represents a string of unfortunate church experiences coupled with a delayed encounter with the healing power of Christ. I also find it to be completely out of line with anything I’ve experienced as a Catholic.

    Even as St. Paul spent lots of time correcting the errors of the First Church (undoubtedly the Eucharistic Church, governed by Peter and the Episcopalian Magisterium), he didn’t advocate that they willingly separate themselves from the Church in order to protest the imperfections found in one other. Let us speak the truth in love, and return to the power of the real, Risen Christ who alone can heal and perfect our hearts and souls according to His perfect grace.

    Debate about the issues and viewpoints of individual parishes, factions, and vocal priests (Fr. Martin, here) aren’t new. Nor are they indictments of Christ’s Church…I wont get too catechical here, but I’d offer this: the church’s teaching on this particular issue is one of pure mercy and desire to understand that sin and separation from God is real in this fallen world, and permeates the Church Militant. But what sin can stand against Him in the end? I’d say none. Our Lord desires, embodies and pours forth mercy and reconciliation without limit…and commands us to do the same.

    But He also calls us to turn from our sin and be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. Pretty tall order.

    Can we apologize to ANY community whom we’ve treated uncharitably? Of course. I’d makes amends with my brother BEFORE I got to the judge, lest I be thrown in prison and not released until I’d payed the last penny. Because it is Christ’s command that I do so.

    Which brings me to crux of my point against some of your arguments: Reconciliation, mercy, making peace—this we should do, willingly if we get the chance…Maybe even 70 x 7 times if we get the chance—BUT RECONCILING with those whom we’ve had bitter disagreements doesn’t EQUAL accepting their error as an acceptable addition to or subtraction from The Way. Sin—of any description—doesn’t have the power to do that. Christ settled that upon the cross.

    I fail to see the theological problem with apologizing…I also reject the implication that reconciling with the sick and broken somehow means we are destined to be sick and broken, too.

    For example, to be baptized twice..both times by an imperfect and fallible human…but the second time, it “took.” Does that mean the Lord refused to send his spirit to you in that sacrament until you found your way to the one church in LA that was acceptable to Him? Of course not—he healed those wounds because you truly repented and received His grace. The second baptism was unnecessary.

    I apologize if I’ve offended you with that comment. I also maintain that no person should be baptized twice—for to do so would be to deny Holy God’s ability to be present in any and all Trinitarian baptism (a hallmark and old teaching from the Church).

    Brother, I apologize. Truly—not to make a point. Forgive me if I’ve been uncharitable or hurtful. Let us be reconciled in His Mercy. I still don’t intend to be baptized again. I still maintain that to do so is wrong.

    I pray the Holy Spirit continues to work in you, through Christ, and that he leads you home. What a miracle He has already begun to work in you! Blessings and I shall pray that you continue to receive His Love.

    Your friend in Christ,

    Ryan

  • Jones Howell

    Good for you, Robert Lopez!

  • Ryan H

    Hey Robert-Peace to you, and I reverence the Holy Spirit for bringing about the personal changes in your life! Glory to Him.

    That having been stated, I’d like to say that I find your story, represented here, to be one that doesn’t at all reflect the capital “c” Church. I do find it to be one that represents a string of unfortunate church experiences coupled with a delayed encounter with the healing power of Christ. I also find it to be completely out of line with anything I’ve experienced as a Catholic.

    Even as St. Paul spent lots of time correcting the errors of the First Church (undoubtedly the Eucharistic Church, governed by Peter and the Episcopalian Magisterium), he didn’t advocate that they willingly separate themselves from the Church in order to protest the imperfections found in one other. Let us speak the truth in love, and return to the power of the real, Risen Christ who alone can heal and perfect our hearts and souls according to His perfect grace.

    Debate about the issues and viewpoints of individual parishes, factions, and vocal priests (Fr. Martin, here) aren’t new. Nor are they indictments of Christ’s Church…I wont get too catechical here, but I’d offer this: the church’s teaching on this particular issue is one of pure mercy and desire to understand that sin and separation from God is real in this fallen world, and permeates the Church Militant. But what sin can stand against Him in the end? I’d say none. Our Lord desires, embodies and pours forth mercy and reconciliation without limit…and commands us to do the same.

    But He also calls us to turn from our sin and be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. Pretty tall order.

    Can we apologize to ANY community whom we’ve treated uncharitably? Of course. I’d makes amends with my brother BEFORE I got to the judge, lest I be thrown in prison and not released until I’d payed the last penny. Because it is Christ’s command that I do so.

    Which brings me to crux of my point against some of your arguments: Reconciliation, mercy, making peace—this we should do, willingly if we get the chance…Maybe even 70 x 7 times if we get the chance—BUT RECONCILING with those whom we’ve had bitter disagreements doesn’t EQUAL accepting their error as an acceptable addition to or subtraction from The Way. Sin—of any description—doesn’t have the power to do that. Christ settled that upon the cross.

    I fail to see the theological problem with apologizing…I also reject the implication that reconciling with the sick and broken somehow means we are destined to be sick and broken, too.

    For example, to be baptized twice..both times by an imperfect and fallible human…but the second time, it “took.” Does that mean the Lord refused to send his spirit to you in that sacrament until you found your way to the one church in LA that was acceptable to Him? Of course not—he healed those wounds because you truly repented and received His grace. The second baptism was unnecessary.

    I apologize if I’ve offended you with that comment. I also maintain that no person should be baptized twice—for to do so would be to deny Holy God’s ability to be present in any and all Trinitarian baptism (a hallmark and old teaching from the Church).

    Brother, I apologize. Truly—not to make a point. Forgive me if I’ve been uncharitable or hurtful. Let us be reconciled in His Mercy. I still don’t intend to be baptized again. I still maintain that to do so is wrong.

    I pray the Holy Spirit continues to work in you, through Christ, and that he leads you home. What a miracle He has already begun to work in you! Blessings and I shall pray that you continue to receive His Love.

    Your friend in Christ,

  • Darth Aeon

    BEGUM GADOLIG :DDDDD

  • im4truth4all

    “We shall find out at the day of judgment that the greater number of Christians who are lost were damned because they did not know their own religion.” – St. Jean-Marie Vianney

    St. Athanasius who was excommunicated by Pope Liberius became the 1st Doctor of the Catholic Church and who was known as the Father of Orthodoxy stated “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops.”

    “Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions.” – G.K. Chesterton

    “Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.” – G.K. Chesterton

    “It is not that when men cease to believe in God they will believe in nothing, they will believe in anything” – G.K. Chesterton

    “Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.” – G.K. Chesterton

  • Gregory Thomas

    Robert- You say that you’re a Baptist now. Perhaps. I left the Church of my youth and spent 40 years as an Episcopalian. Then one day I realized that I HAD to come back.As I told the RCIA class, “I have had the same feeling one gets when they whiz right past their exit on the Freeway. When you do that, there’s really only one solution: Get off at the next exit, turn around and go back to where you belong.” I strongly encourage you to put all your baggage behind you and come back home. The Catholic Faith is wider than wide and deeper than deep. Don’t miss this opportunity. May God bless you.

  • bob levine

    Thank you, Robert. You are a good example. Every Protestant was at some point in lineage, a Catholic. Heaven is Catholic.

  • Colmbanus

    Please come back to the Church Robert…

  • Kolly Kibber

    Fr Robert Bora who was instrumental in the development of the calculating computers of the 1940’s into the text-handlers which we now employ, also made a study of hearing a lifetime’s confessions. (He died in 2009, aged 93, in good standing with the Church)
    Although all might commit EVERY Deadly Sin, he did notice a certain pattern. The three main Deadly Sins which men confessed were Lust,Gluttony and Sloth. Women tended to confess mainly to Pride, Anger and Envy.
    Many priests today seem to believe that the mere mention of “sin” is judgemental. The laity look in vain for sound spiritual direction. They can purchase an inexpensive volume of Thomas A’Kempis’s Imitation of Christ and never be without encouragement,guidance and comfort. Apart from that, pray for good priests – but with a good conscience.

  • mschnek

    Making Gay OK?

    I’ve sat through, literally, thousands of homilies in my Novus Ordo, post Vatican II life. I have never, ever once, heard a homily on the grave sin of homosexuality. No warnings, no explanation of the Church teaching, no discussion of the natural law, no guidance and direction for any of the faithful who might be suffering from same-sex attraction.

    The seminaries have been destroyed by homosexuality. The Priest sexual abuse scandal had nearly everything to do with pederasty. The secular society aggressively ‘normalizes’ homosexuality.

    Yet, silence.

    • samton909

      People complain bitterly if a priest preaches about homosexuslity. They say they do not bring their kids to church to learn about sexusl issues.

  • Dr. Gregory Thompson

    Robert Lopez, God be with you and bring you back to the fullness of truth in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith. We have indeed suffered everywhere by the sins of men, such that some fall away completely and others try new things, rather than persevere. It is understandable as we are also sinful men and women and tend to gravitate toward those who are OK with what we believe. As you know, the deposit if faith in the Catholic Church does not condone homosexuality. Come back to the Church and see if you can become a priest that will speak out from the pulpit against sin, especially the sins that are destroying the walk of many people toward eternity. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary All churches were started by a man, and is why there are around 40,000 denominations today, the Catholic Church is the only one started by Jesus and given the Paraclete to keep it in the Truth.

  • David Wendell

    I know a guy who was sexually abused as a teenager by an episcopal priest who was engaged to be married. Also, I think you should check out an organization called Courage. I am a convert (1984) to the Roman Catholic Church and I have never regretted it. The overwhelming majority of catholic priests are not homosexual and I have heard priests speak up about NOT doing homosexual things. Come back to Chist’s true church.

  • DJ

    Dear Robert. Thank you for writing this article about your experience and God bless. It has helped me to think how to respond to people struggling with similar problems. Please dear brother, take half an hour one day to be close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in the Tabernacle of a Catholic church, and let Him heal your heart and love you. God bless dear brother.

  • James

    Please I beg you in the Name of God all mighty come back to the Church
    Seek the traditional Latin Mass for you know that the Church was established by Christ himself
    Do not lose your soul For the likes of Father Martin they is not worth it

  • Kathy

    I am so saddened by many of these posts. Jesus said you must be born again to enter the Kingdom, never you must become a Catholic to do so. I cannot stress enough that there many people seriously committed ( born again, transformed by the Holy Spirit) to Christ is all denominations. If that is the case, are they are totally deceived about their salvation unless they convert to your own choice of affiliation?

    • Vanessa

      Born again is baptism, and the Church that Jesus and the apostles founded is the Catholic Church.

      • Kathy

        Born again is baptism of the spirit. I was baptized as an infant, but never transformed by the spirit until much later. What would you say to an Eastern Orthodox or Messianic Jew (Jewish believers) regarding the church Jesus founded. See my post to Manny a few days ago regarding the Eastern church.

        • Vanessa

          I read every comment on here.

          • Kathy

            What WOULD you tell the Eastern Orthodox and first Jewish believers, including the apostles?

        • Nan

          The Orthodox administer the three sacraments of initiation together; baptism, communion and chrismation (confirmation). They know that both Catholic and Orthodox churches are the Church that Jesus founded.

          • Kathy

            If an infant is baptized, which I assume they do in the Orthodox church, how could they administer communion and confirmation all at once? Like I have said in my other posts, tell the Messianic Jews that the CC is the church Jesus founded. Peter was a Jew. The CC did everything they could to distance themselves from the Jews, according to the timeline I have.

    • samton909

      Boy, are you confused.

      • Kathy

        How so?

    • Mrs. Harris

      Kathy, How do you think you become born again? And what does that mean for you as life goes on?

      Catholics believe that baptism frees us from original sin and incorporates us into the body of Christ. We are given life in Christ through the sacraments administered by the Catholic church that was founded by Christ himself. Christ did not say we could believe in Him and then go do whatever seems right to us based on our feelings and thinking that is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life. This is the sacrament of Eucharist. You certainly sound like you must desire to love Jesus and know Him even more than you do now. Continue to look, to ask, and to find answers and don’t be discouraged. God bless you, Kathy.

      • Kathy

        You sound like a kind lady, Mrs. Harris, and I appreciate that.

        As far as becoming born again, I refer to John 3:1-21. Before I actually experienced it five years ago, I thought “born again’ was a strange fundamentalist term.

        Will try my best to be brief. I was baptized as an infant, raised in the Lutheran faith and confirmed in that church when I was 13 (protocol). After marrying my cradle Catholic husband, we attended and raised our sons in the Catholic faith. After many years of questioning what was being taught and practiced, I left the church. I began reading and doing much research into my doubts, and they were all confirmed. Also realized what a nominal Christian I had been all my life.

        God opened my eyes and heart to Him during that time. I felt a conviction to repent, an overwhelming loving presence and felt He was drawing me to Him, experienced a peace I never felt before when I surrendered to Him and have since become a committed follower of Christ, something that was not even on my radar before.

        I believe that is being born by the Holy Spirit. “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes, so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

        That is the reason I am so adamant concerning people in every legitimate Christian denomination being a part of God’s family, not just Catholics. I say legit because there are those that claim Christianity, but do not profess the creeds that we do, do not believe in the Trinity and Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Protestants adhere to water baptism and Holy Communion, the only two sacraments commanded by Christ.

        Water baptism did not usher in my transformation, obviously. It is to be done for a believing, professing person that knows what they are doing. Biblical Christians, like myself, do NOT do “whatever seems right to us based on our feelings and thinking”. That is a total misconception about most Protestants that Catholics seem to have. We just don’t let the church clergy define everything for us UNLESS it aligns with God’s Word and don’t ascribe to the traditions of men if they are not in the Bible.

        So, I’ve found my answers, Mrs. Harris. I could say so much more. So much for being brief. May our Father bless you as well!

        • Mrs. Harris

          What authority do you have for your beliefs?

          • Kathy

            First, I’ll say that I was “saddened” because some people may as well have just come out and told Robert that he was damned now that he changed his Christian affiliation. He obviously experienced the new birth as well, being transformed like he was, the only criteria for entering the Kingdom. No nominal Christians “need apply”.

            My authority is God’s Word in the Bible. “The creature has nothing to say apart from God’s Word”, a quote I found that says it all. If a pastor, priest or any other clergy proclaims anything that deviates from Scripture or is added to it, it is not to be trusted.

            Look at all of the corruption in all churches right now…it’s obvious to me that fallen humans can’t always be trusted. They have proved that themselves. I have weeded out listening to clergy that, i.e, teach the “prosperity gospel” and liberal progressive ones, like the pope is demonstrating he is becoming. He has proved, in my view, that he is a fallible human being like the rest of us.

            Everyone must be discerning regarding what is being taught. Serious Bible study helps with that because there are passages that are difficult to understand. Just automatically believing because an “authority” said it’s true is not helpful to anyone.

            As far as the CC being the church Christ Himself founded, I think the Eastern Orthodox would have a problem with that. The first believers were Jewish…”to the Jew first, then the Greek”, so the Messianic Jews would beg to differ as well.

          • Mrs. Harris

            But who decided what qualified as sacred scripture and by what authority was this bible composed?

          • Kathy

            The books of the Bible were written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they are God-breathed. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be equipped for every good work”.

            As far as composition by authority, it’s too much to explain here…something you can look up for yourself.

            Holy Communion is the body of believers being one with and under the authority of Christ through the partaking of the bread and wine (body and blood), but we do not believe that a priest can magically transform them into the actual body and blood. He has no such power. We do not participate in continual sacrifices to God through the elements either. I don’t understand that at all.

          • Mrs. Harris

            The inspiration of the Holy Spirit, yes, but men wrote it down and men with authority determined which things written down were indeed sacred scripture. That authority structure, given by Jesus, handed down to the apostles in unbroken succession through Peter to whom the keys were given, is the Catholic Church. The Bible you claim has authority derives from the authority given to the Catholic Church.

          • Kathy

            From what I understand, the acceptance of the 39 books in the OT is due to Jesus and His apostles affirming the Jewish canon of the Hebrew Scriptures in their day. That is the main reason we don’t accept the Apocrypha…the Jewish authors never accepted them into their canon and Jesus never referenced them.

            According to the book “Can I Really Trust the Bible?” the early church (no mention of Catholic) recognized only those books that were apostolic (an authorized eyewitness of Jesus), widely-embraced (already in common usage) and orthodox (not contradicting any recognized apostolic book or teaching)

            According to an historic timeline I have from a Messianic Jewish Synagogue, in 185 AD “Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, preserved a list of the first 12 bishops of Rome. The first was Linus. Interestingly, Peter’s name is never mentioned. Later, Eusebius, the father of early church history, never mentions Peter’s name as a bishop of Rome either. From this information, we can conclude that the RCC claim that Peter was the first pope is patently false.”

            Enough for now and will reply to your last paragraph later. Just curious…besides the crazy number of Protestant denominations (I agree), what do you believe about our faith?

          • Mrs. Harris

            Peter is given authority by Jesus. The Bishops of Rome are of the Catholic Church. The word catholic describes the fact that this church is universal, but the authority was given by Jesus through Peter and His successors. They didn’t call themselves ‘the Catholic Church’ because that is a description. Our bishops are the ones who maintain an unbroken succession from Peter, no others can claim that.

          • Kathy

            I don’t agree, but even so, what IF what you are saying is really true? If there was corruption and false teachings in the CC, why is it not acceptable to address those and attempt to change that? Luther did not want to break away from the CC, he wanted to reform it, but was branded a heretic and excommunicated. He was forced out of the CC for calling out the heresies.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Corruption has always existed in every institution because people are sinners. Addressing corruption is a good thing, but the problem Luther had was he rejected the authority of those in the hierarchy of the church because they were sinners. But Luther was also a sinner. And having authority given by God doesn’t mean you will not be a sinner, just ask king David. David was still king even though he sinned. It was God’s job to administer a judgement.

          • Kathy

            Yes, we are all sinners, but was Luther required to keep quiet regarding that corruption? Are we all supposed to sit back and let people be taken advantage of and treated poorly by “authority”? The fact that the “authority” are sinners like everyone else is proof right there that we can’t put our focus and trust on the hierarchy, only in our Lord. If they are doing or saying something contrary to His Word, we are obligated to speak up.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Luther was not excommunicated because “he spoke up”. I already addressed that. God has every right to give authority to whomever he chooses. He gave it to Moses, to Joshua, to David, to many kings who were not even faithful to him.

          • Kathy

            Absolutely, “God has every right to give authority to whomever he chooses” to accomplish His purposes. I believe He gave Martin Luther the authority to address all that was wrong with the church in that day. He raised Luther up for that purpose, as He does today with everybody…we all have a purpose from Him for our lives, not just society’s authority figures.

            I don’t believe that if any clergy deviates from biblical teachings, I have an obligation to accept what they are teaching. If people are being deceived and following that deception, it could be very harmful to them personally, maybe even eternally. That would be disasterous don’t you think?

            All for now….

          • Mrs. Harris

            You have nothing to base your belief on since the Catholic Church is still here and Luther’s legacy is what exactly…nobody holds to Luther’s ideas today. You’ve essentially said you are the arbiter of authority.

          • Kathy

            You are mistaken. Luther’s legacy is Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, to God alone be the glory. Of course I hold to Luther’s ideas…where did you get the impression that I don’t?

            As I said, Luther did not want to start a new church, did not even like people calling themselves “Lutherans”, but the CC hierarchy forced it. Did you ever read an honest account of the Reformation? You said something about doing whatever we feel, probably referring to your idea that it’s what Luther instituted. Not so at all!

            You do not give yourself enough credit, Mrs Harris. Since I think you believe that the Holy Spirit works through your clergy, do you believe that He can give you wisdom and discernment as well? i certainly do.

            “The Catholic Church is still here”, but so are the Eastern Orthodox, traditional Jews and Messianic Jews, Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so on. I am not associating the illegitimate teachings of the Mormon’s and JW’s with the CC (they are way off base), but they also have added their own books to the Bible as the CC did with the Magesterium (spelling?) Why is that necessary? God’s Word is enough, as Luther discovered.

          • Mrs. Harris

            I’m surprised you don’t see the logical contradictions in “scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone”. Furthermore there are no churches that follow Luther’s teachings today.

            Luther only had the Bible in the first place because of the Holy Catholic Church. He received every sacrament and teaching from the Holy Catholic Church. He wouldn’t have even known about grace, salvation, justification, Holy scripture if not for the Holy Catholic Church. He is like a child who receives the family inheritance and then disowns the family.

          • Kathy

            First, since you are seemingly claiming to be very learned concerning the Protestant faith, please tell me how we don’t follow Luther’s teachings today. I attended the CC for 30 years…I think I learned something of that faith.

          • Mrs. Harris

            I love talking with you Kathy, but I think we’ve taken this thead way off course (sorry moderator). I could talk like this all day, though, because I love talking to people about faith.
            Anyhow, I hope you have a blessed Christmas and may God bless you on your faith journey!

          • Kathy

            I was thinking the same thing, but I love to talk about faith and enjoy the challenge as well. We share our profession of the Creeds, our belief in the Triune God and Christ’s atonement on the cross for our sins.

            I will commend the CC’s staunch stand on moral issues, like abortion, all these years, where mainline Protestants have wavered. (That’s why I am in a conservative, non-denom church) Your palatable reverence for God in your churches is the one thing I miss.

            The main difference seems to be that we don’t believe the CC has the monopoly on the Christian faith and we believe God has revealed Himself and given wisdom and discernment to all true followers of Christ (experienced the new birth and are transformed), not just the clergy. Our clergy will tell you that…they don’t claim to be set apart or sole recipients of God’s power.

            However, it’s not a license to do anything contrary to biblical teachings as some people have said. We WANT to please our Father…we have experienced His love and care, why would we want to “misbehave”? If people still continually sin willfully, they are not Christians at all.

            Please don’t sell yourself short by not believing you can be discerning about faith matters, and be sure to research what you are being taught to be certain it is not contradicting or added to God’s Word. Why believe anyone that does that? I don’t think God is pleased with anyone “messing with” His Word.

            Better stop now before I can’t. haha Have a blessed Christmas as well, Mrs. Harris! Enjoyed the exchange!

          • Nan

            But what you don’t reflect is that the Early Christian Era Jews changed their canon, truncating it to what Luther recognized. In error, he concluded that the books of the Torah when he lived were the books of the Torah when Jesus lived and based it on that.

            He also messed with the words of certain books, which the Bible itself says not to do.

          • Kathy

            You will have to expand on that a little. How did Luther change the books of the Torah? I will have to ask the rabbi about that…never heard him mention that. Guess you read my post regarding them and their beliefs.

            Messing with what words OR interpretation? Revelation 22 also says to not add anything to Scripture, which the CC has done plenty.

          • Nan

            But the Orthodox are very similar to Catholics. The differences are a) Papal primacy, which didn’t become an issue for the Orthodox for several centurues; b) the filioque, which was added to the Creed at some later date and c) purgatory which the Orthodox don’t believe in. I’m a Byzantine Rite Catholic AKA Orthodox in Communion with Rome. We follow Orthodox traditions but are fullty Catholic. Most Catholics and Orthodox agree that both Churches have the right to claim to be the Church Christ Himself founded; we were one Church for the first milennium.

          • Kathy

            Since I never set foot in an Eastern Orthodox church, I only know what I have read about them. Seems like there are a lot of sects in both faiths because of disagreement over doctrine…same could be said for Protestant denominations, so we obviously are not the exception.The book says the Orthodox say that the West strayed into heresy by claiming THEY are the supreme authority. That contradicts your last sentence.

        • 1775

          Thank you Kathy for your story of salvation through Christ. Really lifted my heart.

          • Kathy

            Thank you for sharing that. I never know if it’s a good idea to tell others what I experienced in detail like that…everyone has different experiences and don’t wish others to look to have a similar one if God works in a different way with them.

          • 1775

            Always share how you came to know Him with the lost. What a beautiful story of truth it is.

          • Kathy

            Thanks again! I meant to ask you if you can relate, or do you have a different story?

          • 1775

            Since I can remember, the feeling that God places inside of everyones heart to seek Him has been with me. I accepted Christ as my savior at the age of 9 or 10 in a talk with a youth pastor during vacation Bible School. When he asked if anyone was ready, I was the only one who stood up. We talked about the commitment to following Jesus and that He was the only way. And I totally accepted HIm as Lord and Savior. Growing up further there was some disconnect in my relationship with Jesus, but He was always there and at times I would have some very deep connections where the Holy Spirit was a just overwhelming. I remember being in combat in Desert Storm and walking into the middle of the open Saudi Arabian desert in the middle of the night a month before we would cross into Kuwait. I fell to my knees in prayer and it was the most amazing feeing being in God’s presence, nothing else mattered. I sensed nothing else but Him, under His creation of the night sky and the millions of stars. The Holy Spirit surrounded me. It is times like that that drives me. My goal is to be so immersed in discipleship that the feelings of his presence is constant.

          • Kathy

            Wow, I certainly appreciate your service to our country…thank you so much!

            Very different stories, but the same feeling of God’s overwhelming presence and love. It IS as if nothing else matters…it really doesn’t, at least not as much. I believe we got glimpses of what heaven will be like, and we want to share the Truth we’ve come to learn with others and steer them away from the deception all around us. I can relate to them in some respects, I was once there myself. You were so young, so you may not.

            Those mountaintop moments are few now, but they and the memory of them, especially our first encounter with Him, inspire us to persevere. I’ve realized, as you have because you want to “immerse yourself in discipleship”, that we should not keep this to ourselves (and He tells us not to). However, we know that only God can open people’s eyes and hearts to Him, we are only the “vessels”. Took me a while to realize that. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s my favorite thing to do now.

            Keep up the faith our Father has blessed you with! How wonderful..thanks for sharing and again, for your military service!

          • 1775

            Thank you for your support and all that you have said here. Until we meet in His kingdom, may He always keep you safe my sister.

  • L Miller

    The Catholic Church is not seen anywhere in the Bible. The true church of Christ is made up of people who believe what the Bible says-God created all, He reigns over all, He is perfect and holy. We are sinners, our penalty is death and separation from God forever in a place created for Satan and friends (hell.)) From the first sin, God proclaimed His plan to send the Savior of the World, in His own timing. Israel was set apart to bring the message and the Messiah to the world. Prophets told of His coming. Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem as prophesied. He died on the cross to pay the sin debt that we could not, he was buried and rose again the 3rd day. He walked the earth for 40 days and gave his disciples their mission to make disciples of all nations, and then he ascended to heaven. He now sits at the right hand of God. He is coming back again some day to get his church. This church consists of all who admit their sin and their inability to save themselves, and have put their faith/trust in Jesus and what He did to save us, and have confessed him as LORD and SAVIOR. Each believer is filled with the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation. The church Jesus is coming back for is the body of believers, not a specific church or denomination. Any pastor or priest who does not preach the truth of the gospel and also the truth of what God calls sin is a false teacher. Read the Word (Old and New Testaments )of God, find a church that teaches truth, study it for yourselves, ask God to open your eyes and your hearts. The Catholic Church will not save you, only Jesus can.

    • teton99

      Jesus is a King and His Catholic Church is His Kingdom… Tradition of the “Keys” in the Davidic Kingdom, See Isaiah 22 “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Jesus didn’t pull the “keys” concept out of thin air; the apostle knew what the “keys” meant in Jewish tradition. The Prime minister held the keys while the king was away, from his Kingdom. The keys were always a symbol of authority in the Davidic Kingdom for some 400 years that the Kingdom lasted. Matthew 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Notice that Jesus refers upon Simon who’s name He changes to (Kepha in Aramaic the language Jesus spoke at the time), (Peter in Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant “rock.” If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek (lithos) would have been used to record it as Koine Greek is the language the Bible was written in. So Peter is bestowed his new office as designated by the keys after Peter makes the infallible statement that Jesus is the Son of God. The Office is protected from error by infallibility of the Holy Spirit not the person’s character holding the office. Notice how the KJV refers to the vacant office of Judas as a bishoprick (bishop) and its importance to the apostles that they had to refill it. Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
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      • L Miller

        So, how is one saved? This is an important question. If you get it wrong in this life Jesus will say “depart from me, I never knew you.” And you will be condemned to hell.

        • L Miller

          Still haven’t heard how the Catholic believed one is saved

      • L Miller

        Peter was the head of the church, he preached the gospel, he discipled people, he sent out missionaries . I have a feeling he’d be horrified by the evil deeds many Popes & friends have done throughout the existence of the papacy. Also, just wondering, Peter was married. where did they come up with the whole celibacy”thing?”

        • teton99

          Christ picked Judas to show us there would always be one/many in the bunch. Celibacy is a discipline not a matter of faith and morals. Its a radical witness to be more like Christ free to give more of oneself.

      • L Miller

        You are right Jesus is King, but He is King over ALL things. The true (believers washed by the blood) Church is His Bride. He is the Bride groom who will one day, when the last believer comes into the family, will come to get His Bride. The church will be filled with people from every nation, tongue and tribe, every denomination. Catholic church does not get an automatic “in”. There will be,unfortunately, more who do not profess Christ than who do. Jesus even said so. So anyone who trusts in a church or in their own way, better look more closely at God’s Word and listen to Godly preachers.

    • Kathy

      Could not have improved much on that! Thanks!

    • Mrs. Harris

      The Catholic Church is all over the place in scripture. The church is prefigured in the Israelite people, who have authoritative leadership ordained by God, who are structured in tribes, they have specific duties, a specific identity and are given commands to obey by those in authority, to whom God spoke and gave clear signs so as to assure the people of his choosing those leaders and having given those commands.
      The church is seen in the New Testament and referred to in so many places in the letters of St. Paul, who does not just assume a role but is chosen and gives testimony of the authority of the church. Revelation also shows the church, opening up to us a vision of the heavenly realities, for the church is the body of Christ and includes the saints who have gone before us.

      • L Miller

        The Church not the Catholic Church.

        • Mrs. Harris

          What is the basis for your view?

          • L Miller

            The Bible- I have studied the Old testament and New Testament.

          • Kathy

            Thanks again, L. Miller. I tend to beat around the bush too much, wanting to be “nice”. Appreciate you telling it like it is. “Nice” doesn’t always cut it.

          • L Miller

            :). False teachers are everywhere since the spirit of the anti-christ is alive and well and at work. He perverts everything God has said. All we can do is tell Biblical Truth. If people and pray people seek after Truth not man-made / satanic influenced lies. Narrow is the way that leads to salvation and wide is the path that leads to destruction. Jesus is devisive-One Way, His! Keep on telling the Truth, Kathy!

          • Kathy

            Well said…it is troubling to see the rampant deception all around us.

          • Mrs. Harris

            You and Kathy both seem to ignore that the Bible does not rule out the Catholic Church as you suggest, nor popes, nor nuns nor hierarchy. Just because it doesn’t use the word “catholic” the Bible most certainly does point to the universal church established by Christ, the keys given to Peter, and the body of Christ comprised of those incorporated through baptism and sustained by the sacraments administered under the authority of the institution of this Catholic Church which has an unbroken apostolic succession from the time of Christ. We have evidence, history, and the witness of 2000 years of pilgrimage. What you have is your own personal opinion based on reading the Bible, which by the way, wouldn’t be known to you if not for the Catholic Church.

        • Mrs. Harris

          The angel, who by the way is a messenger of God, greeted Mary by saying “hail, full of grace” and “you have found favor with God”. This is in your bible, I’m quite sure of it. The words are very significant because the angel of God is honoring Mary, even before she bears the Christ child. I’m afraid you don’t understand what you are reading in your bible. The Bible also makes numerous references to people who took vows of one kind or another, dedicated themselves to God, were dedicated to the temple etc. these are your “nuns and religious”. Peter is given the keys and told that he has authority to bind or loosen, this is the position of authority we call “pope”.

          • L Miller

            I understand the significance of Mary. She was a God follower who found favor with God and was chosen to become the mother of Jesus. Sje was humble and obedient to the path God had for her. She human like you and me and she needed a savior (remember she said, “my God and my Savior…”) She also was not a perpetual virgin, there were no prayers to her in the Bible, so I see no reason for the “hail Mary full of Grace…”. She is special, yes, but no more than any other believer. She should not be held up for any reason other than the witness of an obedient servant of the LORD. Look how much time is spent on her, not much. We should not be appealing to her in prayer. I would think she would be sad to see what the Catholic Church has made of her role (especially in some south American churches- where she is considered a co-redeemer. Satan has perverted the role of Mary)The only one we should be going to in prayer is God, not Mary. The Bible is clear on that.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Dear man, go pray first for God’s guidance and help, then read Luke’s gospel again. The angel uses these words, “hail, full of grace”. Elizabeth says, “blessed are you among women”. She is The mother of God incarnate. “Hail full of grace” reflects the fact that the angel acknowledges the place of honor and favor given to Mary, and that she is FILLED with the divine grace most of humanity is lacking to one degree or another. St Paul tells us that God will repay everyone according to what they have done. Nobody has accomplished more for the kingdom of God than Mary who cooperated with God in bringing the Christ into the world, raising Him, attending Him, giving Him for the salvation of the world. All believers will not have equal standing in heaven. Mary has been rewarded with the imperishable crown of the Queen of Heaven, the highest honor.

          • L Miller

            I have read my Bible. Where on Earth does it say Mary is queen of heaven? Mary was a humble servant of God. Just because an angel says hail Mary doesn’t mean she’s better than any other human and she certainly isn’t a queen. That is nowhere in the Bible.

          • L Miller

            By the way, you know what God calls all those who believe what the prophets told about the Messiah, what the apostles testified, what God’s Word says, & have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus as their savior from sin- He says we are blessed! Mary should not be venerated or worshipped. Mary was saved by grace through faith the same way I am.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Jesus is King and Mary is queen. She is prefigured in the Old Testament by queens who were also mothers of the ruling king.

          • L Miller

            I will go by what Jesus said about that- nothing. And I will go by what the rest of the NT says about this-nothing. As God, He loved her and was her Savior, as a son He loved and honored her and as the oldest son, he would have taken care if her since Joseph was dead. At the cross he asked John to take care of her. She was a humble, obedient woman who was chosen by God to fulfill His Plan of salvation which was planned from before the foundation of the earth. Tell Mr Mrs. Harris, you why would God let you into heaven? What is the way of salvation as you see it? I ask this because none if this Mary stuff matters to salvation issues. It could cause you to idolize her, though, and miss the whole understanding of the way of salvation.

          • Mrs. Harris

            It was there long before the 4 th century. You have only your opinion to follow. Catholics have history and the handing down of everything you know through the Catholic Church. You wouldn’t know about Jesus or the scriptures except for that the church has faithfully taught and spread the faith. You would know nothing about Jesus. You would have no knowledge of it what do ever. Your faith d pends on the Catholic faith, you just fail to recognize evidence and keep pretending like it’s all your own opinions that matter. No Catholic Church, no bible my friend. You don’t get to decide what the church is wrong about and then claim some special insight into HER scriptures. Illogical.

          • L Miller

            I am not refuting that the Catholic Church played a role. I am refuting the fact that they have added things outside of scripture and that they seem to think they are the only true church. And you haven’t answered my salvation question.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Listen, you claim you get everything you believe from the Bible. Nonsense. The Bible doesn’t refute what I’m saying, and yet you believe all kinds of things about the church and Mary that are not in the Bible. I’ll tell you where you got your wrong ideas…from random false teachers and writers and anti catholic books…which, by the way are not the Bible. I’ve already addressed the questions you’re asking elsewhere in this thread. You would have absolutely nothing to go on AT ALL, if it were not for the Catholic Church. Nothing. Now tell me about how YOU would have any knowledge of the way of salvation without knowing anything about Jesus or the faith or the Holy Scriptures if they were not handed on faithfully to you by the Catholic Church. How would that happen?

          • L Miller

            Like I said before, I’m not refuting the CC s role in the Bible. It’s the addition of certain things that I have a problem with and the fact that I know many Catholics who can’t tell me the gospel at all. Btw where have you answered about the way of salvation? Copy and paste it here.

          • Mrs. Harris

            No, no, not just the Bible. No faith at all. You would have nothing, not the Bible, not the church fathers, not any of the practices that Protestant churches have taken and messed with according to their own preferences. No Knowledge at all of Jesus as Savior and Lord, at all. No interpretations of scripture and the meaning of Jesus life. Nothing. You’d have nothing. This is what the church means when she says salvation comes by way of the church. Everything you claim to know, that is actually right, came through the church. you have nothing without the church.

          • Kathy

            Don’t have much time, but wanted to add this. I attended a Messianic Jewish Synagogue for a year, as I told you. I learned so much, and would trust them way above the CC, which I attended for some 30 years. THEY know the Truth and are the FIRST church. The Jewish believers in Yeshua have cited MANY negatives regarding the CC and are not at all fond of their added doctrine. The 70 page historic timeline they gave us does not paint a pretty picture of the CC.

            The rabbi recommends the non-denominational (Evangelical) church over all other Christian churches if not attending the synagogue. The Messianics are half Jewish believers and half Gentile, many former Catholics. Did you know we were never supposed to be separated from each other…it was the CC that changed things like the Sabbath Day because they wanted to get as far away from the Jews as possible. It would help you to read info other than all CC material.

          • Mrs. Harris

            That’s interesting, however they didn’t receive authority from Christ. I’m sure they are lovely people.

          • Kathy

            Mrs. Harris, I am sure you realize that Jesus was a devout Jew, as were His disciples, including the apostle Paul. They never converted to Christianity, they remained Jewish (including Peter), but believed Yeshua is their promised Messiah and became committed witnesses for Him.

            We were NEVER supposed to be separated. We were to come together in communion and worship to our shared God and Savior. The timeline is historic, not opinions, which it appears is all you seem to think the Protestants have.

          • Kathy

            One more thing…it appears you have many misconceptions regarding Protestants and declined to tell me what you thought we believed. Please refrain from making assumptions or listening to your clergy exclusively. I am very familiar with the CC, so I am not guessing.

          • Mrs. Harris

            Christians are followers of Christ. Of course there were Jews that were followers of Christ. Peter received authority from Christ. Even the Bible quotes Christ as saying “you are Peter and on this rock I shall build my Church. Then he gives authority to Peter saying to him I give you the keys to the kingdom and whatever you bind shall be bound and whatever you loose shall be loosed. It is Christs church.

          • Linda

            The Apostle Peter was married (Luke 4:38), and you say he is the first pope. Why then can’t the Catholic pope or priests marry?

  • Kaleb Patrick Lippert

    Join a Traditional Latin Mass, a Catholic Church that offers it.

  • Cyrus Taylor

    Abortion is always wrong, divorce is wrong, artificial contraception is wrong (breeds promiscuity), fornication is wrong, adultery is wrong and same sex relations are also wrong. I’m not condemning anyone who has engaged in these things, that’s up to God. But what I am saying is that virtually all denominations outside the Catholic Church have accepted, at least in part, these things. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has not changed despite that certain clergy “don’t get it”. It will not change because Christ breathed the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost thereby protecting the doctrine of the Catholic Church forever (I will be with you always) – even if the clergy is terribly confused. Churches started by men or who have split from the Catholic Church do not have this protection so their doctrine is ever evolving and changing with the times.

    • Kathy

      I wholeheartedly agree with your first two sentences. As a Biblical Christian (non-denominational), I have to disagree with the rest, but we are on the side of the CC concerning the issues you mention. We do not “change with the times” in my church. To avoid reiteration, I will just refer you to L. Miller posts along with mine to give you a perspective on our views, if you haven’t already read them. I have realized after reading these posts that many Catholics have misconceptions about our Protestant faith.

      • Nan

        But you follow a vision of Christianity begun by a man who sinned. Not the Church founded by Jesus.

        • Kathy

          Assuming you are referring to Luther who, after studying the Scripture, came to the realization that salvation is through our surrender to the offer of the free gift Jesus provided for us…no church non-biblical traditions or rituals need to be added. Those requirements put an unnecessary burden on us, which is what the Pharisees did to the faithful. Jesus always chastised them for it, why would He be okay with the clergy doing that now?

          He was also addressing the corruption in the church at the time as well, which the hierarchy excommunicated him for. They refused to change their ways, not wanting to give up their power over the people.

          I notice Peter is referenced consistently by Catholics,” the Church founded by Jesus”. First, the Church is a body of true believers, not strictly the CC. Peter was the most outspoken and brazen apostle, so it is logical he was a leader. We acknowledge that, but how does that tie into a succession of “infallible” popes? The Eastern Orthodox church calls that heresy. I have an historic timeline that refutes the CC claim that Peter was the first “pope”. I can send you that segment of the timeline if you are interested.

          • Nan

            Luther had promised poverty, chastity and obedience but followed through only on poverty; he married a nun, which is forbidden to monks, and was disobedient to the Church. He ignored the Magisterium, the 1500 years of teaching that came before and was a catalyst to much sin and fragmentation of the church. So many of our separated brethren believe they have all the answers, each one of them, so that over 20,000 protestant churches exist. They can’t all be right.

            What you fail to realize is that he was in a subservient position, not at all in a place to make demands of the church, which made efforts to get him to recant so he could die a Catholic. Note also that sale of indulgences was never a Church teaching and the bishop who thought that was a good idea was not following church teaching.

            First, Papal infallibility doesn’t mean the popes are infallible, generally. No there hasn’t been a succession of infallible popes. The Catholic Church teaches that we are all sinners.

            Second, Papal infallibility is limited to the Pope, speaking as the Shepherd of all Christians, on matters of faith and morality, defining Dogma, for the Church, in other words, proclaiming something as Truth that all Catholics must believe.

            Third, Christ handed Peter the keys to the kingdom, saying whatever he loosed on Earth was loosed in Heaven, whatever he bound on Earth was bound in Heaven.

            Fourth, the Church is a body of true believers, but not as expansive as you like to think. You ignore Jesus saying that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life. If you follow a church without apostolic succession, that doesn’t believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, you don’t have eternal salvation.

          • Kathy

            I know you believe all of this, I attended the CC for 30 years if you haven’t read my other posts. I’ll commend you for your knowledge of your faith, seriously lacking in most Catholics I know. They, in a robotic-like fashion, repetitively go through the motions of all the rituals and could not tell me why they do it, nor why they send mass cards, etc., etc., only that is “what they always did”. Pretty sad, I’d say.

            Many people don’t ever question what they are taught out of laziness, busyness, or plain apathy about their faith life. I was once one of those people until five years ago. Jesus said you must be born again (transformed) to enter the Kingdom, and I had that encounter with the Holy Spirit (“the wind blows where it will”) He talked about, not something I ever expected. I am now a committed follower of Jesus Christ and all that that entails.

            Could you honestly tell Robert and myself that the Catholics I described above are God’s elect solely because they say they are Catholic, and we are doomed solely because we are not?

          • Nan

            I haven’t read your other posts. Were you ever Catholic? You say you attended the Catholic Church and asked people questions that they couldn’t answer. Did you ever delve into the Church fathers and Catholic teaching yourself?

            Saying that people couldn’t tell you why they did what they did makes it seem like you weren’t Catholic and didn’t bother getting solid information yourself, relying rather on those who were Cradle Catholics, working off Tradition which St. Paul said to rely on together with Scripture.

            Truth is more complicated than your question; the Catholic Church doesn’t use the term “God’s Elect.” The Catholic Church (which term encompasses the Orthodox Churches as both have Apostolic Succession and believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ) teaches that we don’t know who goes to heaven, except for the Saints, who have given indications of their presence there.

            Those who don’t go to Heavcen, include those who turn from Christ’s teaching-that would include both Protestants and Catholics who don’t follow His teaching. He literally said “this is my body” and “this is my blood” and your church teaches that the Eucharist isn’t the Real Presence. You chose that Church, so yeah, under most circumstances that would be an indication of doom.

            My understanding is that the Lutheran Church also teaches that Mary was an empty vessel who had no choice in serving God when the truth is that her “Yes” to God, after having been raised serving the Temple, reversed Eve’s disobedience for all of us and is what lead to Salvation for many.

            Mary is the Tabernacle of Christ, therefore it is fitting that she was conceived without sin. It wouldn’t do to profane the baby God.

            Did you also know that John the Baptist was born without sin? When he recognized His Lord in the womb, by leaping, he was cleansed of Original sin.

            Know also that the 70s-90s were a liturgical wasteland in many places, with bad catechesis and rebellious clergy.

            He’s waiting for you to come home. I don’t know where you are but there’s a Catholic church in most places. Some are better than others. January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation.

          • Kathy

            Rather than repeating so much of what I wrote in other posts on this site, if you have the time and inclination, please refer to them. I could write a book, but I never felt compelled to convert to Catholicism. In fact, I felt repelled by it, especially after studying it to confirm the many doubts I always had. Just being honest…don’t mean to offend anyone.

            I know more about the Catholic faith than most of the Catholics I know personally. I didn’t ask them questions to get answers for myself, it was to see if they were just going through the motions. I can relate to that because I used to be a nominal Christian at best, until I was “born again”. Can you relate to that at all?

            I believe you are mistaken, Nan. Truth is not that complicated…it’s really pretty simple. Man, especially ones that enjoy power and influence, like to make things way more complicated than needed. I see a lot of similarities between the CC clergy and the Pharisees, adding rules like the “Holy Days of Obligation” like you mentioned.

            “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Roman 10:9-10 Similar verses are all throughout the New Testament…very simple.

            I could go on and on. My beliefs align with the other Protestants posting on this site as well.

          • Kathy

            Should have said this article, not necessarily this whole Stream site.

          • Cici

            I’m sorry, but you know NOTHING of the true Church.

          • Kathy

            You are partially correct, Cici…I knew nothing of the true church until just 6 years ago.

            Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5-8 “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.. Do not marvel that I said to you “You must be born anew.” The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes: so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

            The true church, therefore, consists of ALL “born again” believers.

          • Cici

            We are born again at baptism.

          • Kathy

            I was baptized with water as an infant, but it was not until many years later that I was born anew and could finally relate to “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes and whither it goes: so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

            My experience was not as profound as the apostles at Pentecost (no tongues of fire), but I was definitely transformed into a committed follower of Jesus Christ. I could not have claimed that most of my life.

          • Cici

            Most protestants don’t know that not only did Martin Luther remove many books of the Bible, then called it the “protestant’s bible,” but he also ADDED THE WORD ONLY. The bible originally read, “we are saved by faith,” and Luther added ALONE to that statement into the protestant bible, which has confused Protestants ever since about “good works.” Paul said, “faith without works is dead,” meaning once you have taken Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you must live your life as such, which is “good works.” Martin Luther loved Jesus’ Mother, Mary and was so conflicted by what he had done, was so mentally ill by the emotional abuse inflicted upon him by his father, that he begged for forgiveness for leading so many astray. Everyone should read the history of the Bible, quite an eye opener, as well as Martin Luther’s life. He was, unfortunately a very sick man who thought he was God. Does the Catholic Church have its problems and vile people who have infiltrated it? YES. It’s all political, unfortunately. But the Church has sustained and will continue to do so, as we continue to fight off this unholy alliance the vile has with Lucifer and those politicians who worship Lucifer. And there are many.

          • Kathy

            If you are interested learning the truth concerning Luther, may I suggest Eric Metaxas’ new book “Martin Luther”, which came out in October of last year. After extensive research, Eric refutes much of the misinformation that has been written about him and his life over the years that you have believed, evidenced in your post to Nan.

          • Cici

            Thank you but that’s not necessary. I’ve researched him quite extensively. You might want to watch the 3 part series of “Who wrote the Bible.”

          • Kathy

            That’s easy. I refer to 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “The Holy Scriptures…are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. That tells us all we NEED to know is right there in the Bible because it was inspired by God Himself through the human authors.

            I refer to Psalm 19:7-10 as well. Sorry, don’t have the time to write that here.

          • begroeg

            I guess Jesus was lying to the thief on the cross when he told him “TODAY, you will be with me in paradise”.
            Sorry Nan, but if you are relying on a religious practice for your salvation, you are truly deceived. Just like the Pharisees.
            By the way, how many times have you confessed your sins to a pedophile priest?

  • Rick Kingsley

    Wow! By the amazing sovereign grace of God you were delivered from this darkness of deception into the kingdom of His beloved Son. When our religion becomes the religion of men they always lead us from the truth and all manner of corruption. Praise God for His mercies towards all who come to Him as former religious prodigals.

  • AZ Jeff

    Robert, thank you for sharing your testimony. You truly are a trophy of grace.

  • LiberalsAreABoilingFrog

    Your article is bitter sweet. Why arent you returning the Catholic Church to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist? Doesnt that appeal to you? I mean were talking aboyut the real presence here. Seems to me that you being a baptist is, well, better than what had you been before, yet I still feel you have some work todo forgiving the rogue priests and the Church itself.

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