Note: I am a born-again, on-fire-for-the-Lord, radically-saved, devout, faithful, orthodox, cafeteria Catholic (but not of the liberal variety) — a true Christian.
Although I am pro-Catholic, yet I am all-too-aware that there have been corruptions in the past and present. Here's how I reconcile these seeming opposite realities:
- I admit that the idealized teaching magisteriumgot a lot right.
- The regulations and obligations imposed by the Catholic Church seem helpful for Catholics who can in good conscience submit to them.
- I strongly reject: (1) Corruption of church leaders,and (2) things that are clearly wrong, error, untruth.
Examples of #1:
- Canon of scripture
- Nicene Creed (except the part about God being a substance)
- The many doctrines that even Protestants accept
- Rejection of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide
- The many correct Catholic doctrines such as: Marian doctrines, purgatory, Saints in heaven, icons, baptism remits sins, the Eucharist, etc.
Examples of #2:
- Must attend mass weekly plus holy days of obligation
- Lent regulations
- The many descriptions of the way Catholics do certain things such as sign of the cross, the prayers, etc.
- Catholic doctrines such as the priesthood, the rule by hierarchical bishops, apostolic succession, the sacraments, etc.
Why can't you be a cafeteria Catholic? The Catholic Church doesn't allow for that option.
Here's a list of what I believe:
- My Views
- I am a devout, orthodox, on-fire-for-Jesus, radically-saved, Christian.
- I believe there have been some unholy popes, bishops, and priests throughout church history and into modern times. Catholics should be outraged by the vile deeds of church leaders and should have zero-tolerance.
- I believe I will spend eternity with God in heaven (and the new heavens and new earth)after I die.
- I believe the Apostles Creed and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (except the part about God being a substance.)
- I believe we must live a holy, moral, righteous life to enter heaven.
- I believe we must avoid sin and vice, and that we can lose our salvation if we don't.
- I believe the essentials of Christianity.
- I believe the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) is the inerrant, inspired, infallible word of God. However, I reject Sola Scriptura (scripture only).
- I believe salvation is by God's grace only.
- I believe we are saved by faith, but not by faith only (sola fide), and that works have a role in salvation.
- I believe Christians should have a devotional life and a prayer life.
- I believe Christians should practice charity and works of mercy including social justice.
- I believe hell exists and that some (many) will spend eternity there.
- I believe the earth and universe are old and that the earth was not created in six 24-hour days — but this is a non-essential.
- I believe Noah's flood was local, not global— but I consider this a non-essential.
- I am ammillennial and reject the teachings of a rapture and a 1,000 yearearthly kingdom on earth.
- I am not a Charismatic but I believe miracles do occur; that the power of the Holy Spirit operates moment-by-moment in the faith life of believers; and that the Holy Spirit guides the church into all truth.
- I believe in the teaching authority of the church, meaning that wherever the gospel is being lived-out and preached; there is the church.
- I don't believe Jesus intended there to be a one-world institutional church, nor do I believe that the Catholic Church is the true church.
- I believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist in churches that believe this (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopalian, Lutheran).
- I don't believe Catholic and Orthodox teaching about sacraments. But I do believe that at baptism, sin is remitted and a person becomes a member of the church.
- I believe Christians can bless objects and that the blessings endure — this occurs in the spiritual realm where the blessings remain forever associated with the objects. People coming into contact in faith with blessed objects receive the blessings; wicked spirits are repulsed by them.
- I reject liberal Christianity in all its forms (Bible is myth, modern day critical theories, non-literal).
- I reject the word/faith, health/wealth teaching.
- I reject astrology.
- I have the utmost respect for other religions (but I believe that only Christianity is the true religion).
- My work ethic: we should work hard for our living.
- I believe that sexual acts are only appropriate in the context of a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman (true marriage). Short-term relationships are exploitative (since there is always a painful breakup).
- I believe the Bible says nothing at all about homosexual relations in the context of a lifelong commitment. Read more: Gay Marriage | Homosexuality
- I believe abortion is immoral. However, I am not in favor of making it illegal.
- I believe contraception is not inherently sinful (which is what the Catholic Church teaches) but, that there are no good methods of contraception available — all have side-effects such as mutilation of the body (surgical), health risks (the pill, IUD's), and extreme inconvenience.
- I believe divorce in a marriage is not part of God's plan but that in cases of abuse and exploitation it is acceptable.
- Other things I believe . . .