I am pretty sure that my friend and Brother in Christ, Stephen Boissoin, is uncomfortable with the limelight that has been around him these last several years due to the absurd Alberta Human Rights case that he found himself in over THE LETTER. As it now is largely out of his hands and into his lawyer's and it proceeds to the Alberta Court of Queens Bench this week, I am hoping to arrange a visit with him sometime soon, and getting to meet with him face to face.
Over the weekend, Stephen responded to my article on Catholic Doctrine, and like Johnny before him, I valued the comment sufficiently to bring it forward to its own post here.
Based on our introduction to each other, we will of course talk about THE LETTER, and THE CASE, but more importantly, I look forward to him sharing his faith with me, and me sharing mine with him. Above all when we meet, I am looking towards the last line of his comment that follows which will be there when we meet, "love, kindness, benevolence and mercy...that impacts our lives together". Now that's what I'm talking about.
Here's what Stephen 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.I know that Stephen's words are heartfelt, thougthful, and have many years of prayer and background in them, so I value them. In turn I responded as follows:
Scripture does not mention 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.
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.Too often, people want to debate matters of faith, rather than accept each other as they are, and try to understand where the other is coming from. Steve has seen the division of churches cause great pain as have I, and we both ultimately want the same thing, for people to come to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. We both believe firmly that that is the only way to a life of eternal rest. Some of our individual details are different, but Steve's conclusion says it all, and I hope to be faithful to that in my own writing:
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.
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.