On new Catholics and Ex-Catholics

Not long ago, a recent convert to Catholicism took issue with me for mentioning that I had personal experience of the Catholic Church, having been born and raised Catholic. The Catholic convert's words are in blue; mine in black.

The Issue: I don't want to appear rude, but I do not hold your being an ex-Catholic in any esteem.

The Response: I would have been surprised to learn that you indeed were in any way impressed by my or any ex-Catholic's former status. After all, to assign any value to that rejected affiliation would be to acknowledge that something may be wrong with Catholicism. Besides, it also would cast your own revised affiliation in a bad light. After all, you would be acknowledging that you had "transferred in" to a cult that others were happy to have disassociated themselves from.

The reason I'm not impressed is that many Catholics do not know their faith all that well.

Heh! Heh! Point. Set. Match. I should be extremely surprised if any Bible-believing Christian were shocked by this revelation. We have seen, time and again, that even those who presume to speak for Rome have little idea what Rome teaches and holds as truth. Why is that? I like to think it is because Rome finds it easier to control those trapped in her web by feeding them only bits and pieces of her pagan theology. Those who come to knowledge of God's truth tend to flee the embrace of the Roman spider.

So, please, I say this sincerely, I mean no disrespect to you as a person, but the ex-Catholic thing means nothing to me.

I believe you. Now, may I assume you will make no future references to your own former affiliation? It isn't that I hold it in low esteem; rather, the fact that you abandoned your 'Christian' faith implies you never had it in the first place.

I know this may not be a good way to start off, but I do not want to make any illusions.

“Do not want to make any illusions"? Are you not planning to make any future allusions to the illusions of Mary's sinless conception and life? The illusion of her bodily assumption? The illusion of Jesus as a cookie? The illusion of baptismal regeneration? The illusion of apostolic succession? Oh! I sincerely hope so.

You wrote: Col 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you

Where did that come from? Colossians 2:8 does not read anything like that in any Bible I own:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. - Colossians 2:8, RSV

The verse reads almost the same in the Catholic Douay-Rheims version:

Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ.

Now that you've called up this verse, albeit rather ineptly, let's take a look at what Paul was saying to the church at Colossae. He cautions the church against false teachers who were busy in the church, seeking to convince people to believe lies, robbing them (cheat you) of the truth, salvation and blessing. How were they doing this? By using philosophy and empty deceit.

The Greek word translated “philosophy” appears only here in the New Testament. It refers to more than the academic discipline, actually describing any theory concerning God, the world or the meaning of life. Those who embraced the Colossian heresy used the term in reference to the supposed 'higher learning' they believed they had acquired. Paul doesn't buy into this, however, and equates the false teachers' with “empty deceit;” worthless deception. (cf. 1 Timothy 6:20). This “higher learning” wasn't really advanced, profound knowledge. In reality, the beliefs of the false teachers were simplistic and immature, just like all the other speculations, ideologies, philosophies and psychologies that Satan and fallen mankind invents.

Paul was not saying beware of Christian tradition. He was saying beware of a tradition that does not have Christ. The RCC has Christ, it is "after Christ", that is its essence, to be after Christ.

". . .after Christ"? If you mean in the sense the RCC is still searching for the Christ of Scripture, Whom she turned her back on some 1700 years ago, I do agree. I agree that the RCC has a Christ, but her Christ is not Messiah. The Catholic Christ is a supernatural being who can be ordered around in the Catholic heaven by the spirits of dead "saints" and who is at the beck and call of his dead mother.

In fact, it is IN Christ. The RC tradition is not after the tradition of men, but after the tradition of Christ.

". . .not after the tradition of men"? Pardon me while I catch my breath. Uncontrolled laughing leaves me breathless. Rome, her "saints" and the vaunted Magisterium invent "tradition" with unparalleled alacrity. As an example, I offer the "tradition" of Mary's sinless conception, which is not even hinted at in Scripture.

"Mary's freedom from original sin was an unmerited gift of God, and an exception from the law which vouchsafed to her only…" - Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1962., p. 199

If this declaration by noted Catholic theologian and educator Ludwig Ott is true, then either Paul or the Holy Spirit is a liar, for Paul wrote, at the Holy Spirit's inspiration,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23, RSV

Luke must also have been a liar, again with the Holy Spirit, for he quotes biblical Mary as having said:

"And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" - Luke 1:47

Surely if Mary of the Bible were conceived without sin and lived a sinless life, as Catholicism declares, then she had no need of a savior.

If we accept the teaching of Catholicism concerning Mary's sinlessness, then we also must label Matthew, Mark and even Jesus Himself as liars, for the evangelists quote Jesus as having said:

"No one is good but One, that is, God" - Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, RSV

Don't you just have to ask yourself, "Who is lying? Rome? Or Scripture?

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