Saturday, September 12, 2009

Catholic Doctrine

Walker Got Me To Thinking

Over the past few months of blogging I have not attempted to hide my Catholic faith. It is something that is important to me, and something worth sharing. In that time, I have come in contact with other outspoken Catholics, like John Pacheco at Socon or Bust, where I have learned more about my own faith. I have also had the opportunity to read blogs by Deborah Gyapong, an Anglican Catholic, who shares her faith beautifully and openly.

Many others share their faith directly and indirectly through their writing and through their emails. In the group of new brothers I have encountered are friends from the more evangelical side of the Christian house, Stephen Boissoin, where much of my contact has been through email, Scary Fundamentalist whose faith shines through his blogs and his comments to my blogs and those of others we meet at, and Walker Morrow from The Lynch Mob, who is asking more and more probing questions as we come to know each other better.

As usual, Walker got me thinking with his opening comment in his recent piece called "Catholics":
Now, I’m not a Catholic. And I probably never will be – not that I have anything against Catholicism. I just disagree with the Doctrine.
And I wonder, is "I just disagree with the Doctrine," as throw away a line as "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt" like our Human Rights Laws say. Is that something we take for granted that we just disagree, and that's the way it is, or do we care enough to know what the doctrine is and what it means so we can say truthfully after some study that "I just disagree with the Doctrine?"

Since Walker wasn't writing an article about Catholic Doctrine, it may or may not have been a throw away line, and I am not trying to disparage my young friend, nor discourage him from his comments. In fact, I have recently encouraged him on more than one occasion to comment on the material that he incorporates into his entries to let himself shine through.

So, I am going to write a number of blog postings on what it means to me to practice my Christian faith within the Catholic Church. While I thought about doing this, I did some searching, and came across this site, created by David MacDonald, a Catholic who's journey to Christianity was circuitous but marvellous. He is a Christian musician and has Catholic Bridge, a site focused on explaining Catholic doctrine for our Evangelical brethren, because of the challenges he faced daily as a Christian musician who happened to be a Catholic. I intend to use it in my own writing, but also to share my own experiences, and to touch on some other church teachings as well.

We'll see where this goes. Tomorrow, I will start with a posting on Communion.

4 comments:

Johnny said...

I love your blog. Keep up the good work!

What do you think of the various attacks on pro-lifers appearing on the Salt&Light blog in the past week? There are at least 3 articles that take a poke at pro-lifers, starting with the article on the Kennedy funeral.

Being very involved in the pro-life movement, I was personally very offended by Fr. Rosica's statements. I appreciate his concern for mercy and compassion, but being wishy-washy or spinless about Church teaching doesn't seem to be the answer.

I'd like to hear your take on it.

mbrandon8026 said...

Johnny:

When my health has permitted, I have been involved in Pro-Life work and pray regularly for an end to abortion. I also provide a link over on the left, follow and comment regularly on the Big Blue Wave blog of Suzanne Fortin, which is a very good compendium of what is happening in pro-life circles.

I have been saddened to see both the backlash towards pro-life people over the Kennedy funeral and also the Development and Peace scandals, since it appears that that is what both are.

It is sadder still to see Church teaching take a back seat to expediency and politics. At first, I was taken aback by John Pacheco's strong statements in denunciation of Fr. Rosica, on his blog at Socon or Bust. I continue to read and write from what I know. John has a summary post on the Kennedy scandal on his blog and he is much better informed than I am
http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=2459

I do know that "Love does not take offence", and so I am attempting through prayer and study to understand what is going on so that I might provide some insight if I believe that God wills it.

In the mean time, I am doing my best to stop the Human Rights Commissions/Tribunals in this country from their relentless attacks on our fundamental freedoms of speech and religion, and their inventing of new ones that make no sense to informed minds.

If, in this country we lose the ability to express our thoughts and opinions about what we feel in our hearts or even think in our heads, because of government oversight, we will be in very serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

If Catholic Doctrine is important to you then that is fine. For me, I was raised a Catholic..but did not practice my faith into my later teenage or young adult years. When I began to study Christian doctrine in my mid twenties, I was not drawn back to the Catholic Church and found many teachings hard to unite with scripture. I have found the same in many Protestant denominations.

Scripture does not meantion the term Catholic or Evangelical, let alone Protestant. It is all man made terminology. God uses individuals and groups of people to accomplish his will. There is truth within Catholicism as there is within Protestantism but the fullness of God and the salvific work of Christ is not limited to either of these Christian sects (for lack of a better word).

I am simply Steve the Christian. I have studied doctrine..both Protestant and Catholic for years and have a degree in theology. Listening to debates between Catholics and Protestants is nauseating...as the arguments presented are recycled over and over and over.

Being a follower of Christ isn't about labels. There is no institution that can save you or offer a right that has any saving, forgiving power in itself. It is pure faith in Christ and faithfulness to Christ that accomplishes much in our lives. And it is the application of love, kindness, benevolence and mercy...that impacts our lives together.

Stephen Boissoin

mbrandon8026 said...

Thank you Steve for your Thoughts. You know that I always appreciate them. I also appreciate your personal knowledge, and value you as a Brother in Christ.

What you say is largely true, and I could not agree with your conclusion more.

However, Jesus called us all to be one, as he and the Father were one.

So, I am writing about Catholic Doctrine in answer to 2 things, one more important than the other. I was prompted by the comment of Walker Morrow in a throw away line to try and bridge the gap between Catholic and Protestant, and more importantly, I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to write as a lay man, with a lay man's perspective to other lay men and women about the faith that I love and strive to live daily.

It is my hope and prayer that what I write about the Catholic Faith will help to ease misunderstandings about the Catholic Church.

You and I agree that the Holy Bible is the undisputed word of God. St. John said that if all that Jesus said and did was written down, the world could not contain the books that would be written.

There is no true teaching of the Catholic Church that is inconsistent with the Bible.