A Question for Catholics

An Essay By Anna // 11/27/2008

The first thing I want to say is that I don’t want any comments about the Pope or Mary or purgatory or confession or anything like that. I have questions about and problems with those as well, but this post is not about them.
I myself am not Catholic. If asked why, I would probably say my parents raised/are raising me as an Evangelical. But when I am old enough that my parents do not choose my church, I will still be Evangelical. Why? Because I believe it follows the Bible most closely. And if I learn otherwise, I’ll do something about it. (Not sure quite what yet.)
My main question for Catholics is not about their rituals, many of which I believe to be dangerous. My question is this: What are you trusting in?
The answer I get most often, or something equivalent to it, is, "I’m a good person."
I have received this answer so many times that I almost begin to expect it. (Almost.)
Sometimes what people say next is, "I go to church," or, "I’ve never murdered someone," or, "I’ve never robbed a bank."
But those things don’t make you "good enough" to get into heaven. In fact, according to God’s Word, there is no "good enough".
Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
And 1 John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." And again in verse 10, "If we say we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar, and his word is not in us."
Romans 2:8 says, "But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."
And Jesus has said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
There is only one way to heaven, and it is Jesus Christ. And if you aren’t trusting in Him, but in works, well- "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment." (Isaiah 64:6a.)
"For we hold that one is justified apart from works of the law." (Romans 3:28.)
And here is one that says why. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Eph. 2:8-9.)
And finally, Romans 4:5 says, "And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
Works, good deeds, and rituals will not get you to heaven. Only faith in Jesus will. The Bible clearly says so. And if that’s what the Catholics are trusting in- not works- then I have no quarrel.
But I do have a problem with any religion, church, or person that encourages people to put their trust in trust in rituals and good works or helps them rest secure in anything short of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross.

All Scripture quotations taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).

Comments

Hmm... Saying you trust in

Hmm... Saying you trust in the fact that you're a good person is like saying you trust in yourself.

What am I trusting in? I'm a follower of Christ, and I try to live and be like Him. I try to overcome sin and temptation, and live a holy life, according to His words and the Church He created.

I don't put my hope in "works" and "deeds" to get me to heaven. In James it says that "Faith without works is dead," but as you say, works without faith is just as dead. However, I don't believe that only faith in Jesus will save us: We are saved only by the grace of Jesus Christ, and his death for all human beings. We have to participate with that grace (by faith and living a Christian life) to have salvation.

Some handy little Catholic flashcards we have put it in a way I really like: "We are saved by faith working in love."

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G.K. Chesterton

Delaney | Thu, 11/27/2008

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G.K. Chesterton

Jesus is my Rock and Saviour

Jesus is my Rock and Saviour and I have from childhood placed my trust in Him. :)

I feel sad that there are Catholics who don't feel the same way, and perhaps have told you so. This is not the heart of Catholicism; true Catholics put all their trust in God and strive whole-heartedly to grow closer to Him.

As Pope John Paul II states [may he rest in peace]: "Be not afraid!"
And as Pope Benedict XVI sums up: "Christ our Hope."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?...Morons."
-Vizzini

Clare Marie | Thu, 11/27/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

My Trust is in God!

with the question "what are you trusting in?" I will answer "God". who and what else can we trust? not the world, and certainly not ourselves. I don't trust myself or any other person. I don't trust only church and works and faith by themselves.

So if you asked me what I'm trusting in, I would say God. Undoubtedly, without hesitation, God.
In God alone is our trust, not to mention our life and our hope. I trust in God's mercy when I sin, God's love always, and God's help through tough times. My trust is in God, the beginning and the end and the always. I trust in God!

** ** ** ** ** **
"I'm an Eskimo, can't you tell?"
--Victor Getz

Hannah W. | Fri, 11/28/2008

My understanding

I am not a Catholic, so I may misunderstand some things about the Catholic Faith as it differs from evangelicalism. If I'm wrong, please correct me. But from what I understand, Catholics don't deny that we are saved by Grace through Faith. The difference is a bit more subtle (though I would say still profoundly important):
Evangelicals would say that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone and that the Bible alone is authoritative for faith and doctrine. Catholicism teaches that we are saved by grace plus merit, through faith plus works, and that the Bible plus the various church traditions and Papal decrees are athoritative for faith and doctrine. So, it would seem to me, that Catholicism teaches to trust in Christ for Salvation; however, I would question as to whether it teaches to trust in Christ alone for salvation. And I think this is the issue that Anna is addressing.

James | Sat, 11/29/2008

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

please note:

In all due respect, Anna, this is clearly a website for creative writing, and thus an inappropriate place for the above piece. If you have a desire to know more about what Catholics believe, please pursue this on the message board and not on apricotpie. I commend your desire; I think it's vitally important for Catholics and Christians to do a better job at trying to understand one another. But here is simply not the place.
Thank you.
Aisling

Aisling | Sat, 11/29/2008

...

I agree with Aisling. Seems we're doing a lot of debating lately, stuff better done somehwere else like the message board.

** ** ** ** ** **
"I'm an Eskimo, can't you tell?"
--Victor Getz

Hannah W. | Sat, 11/29/2008

Yes, there is an area on the

Yes, there is an area on the message board specifically set up for doing debates and discussions. That would be a good place for such things. :-D

-Shane

Shane | Sat, 11/29/2008

Sorry.

Sorry. :Z
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"The world will likely end tomorrow - unless postponed for rain." -Tamerah (on her blog)

Anna | Sat, 11/29/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

.......

The whole debate thing that started was probably my fault....Didn't mean too, sorry!

-Falling Leaves

"I'm not that complicated...My complications come out in my songs. All you you have to do to be my friend is like me...And listen." -Taylor Swift (one of the best musical artists ever!)

Erin | Sat, 11/29/2008

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

no worries!

Hey, Anna and Falling Leaves, don't worry about it! Go check out the message board! :D Hope to see you there, if you haven't already joined! It's tons of fun. :D

Anonymous | Fri, 12/05/2008

reply to questions about Catholics

You show your  bias and ignorance by your post. Of course, no Catholic would ever say good works gets one into heaven, it never was and never will be a tenet of the Catholic faith. Good works are those things done to help others who need assistance and because helping those in need is the right thing to do as a human being, and it emulations Christ's caring attitude when he walked on earth. But it will not attain heaven for anyone. If you want to know what the Catholic Church believes than read the Apostles Creed, that is it in a nut shell. Without the Catholic Church there would not be a Bible for people to argue about, and to skew every which way to get what they want. If Jesus said it we are mandated to do it, and if any church isn't based on the Bible, there is grave error. All text is to be read in it's completeness instead of taking excerpts from various passages to prove whatever untoward point is trying to be made. Catholic's do NOT worship Mary, but she is held in high esteen due to the fact she is the mother of Our Lord. There is a lot of pomp, ceremony, and decoration in the Church but it has nothing to do with the core beliefs of the Church, which all Catholic people hold the same the world over. The Catholic Church welcomes those from other churches, or from no church, who wish to come and learn about the faith of Our Lord which He passed on to St. Peter. Every Catholic Church holds classes each year to allow people outside the Church to learn about the faith, and if they so desire to join the Church. It is a one to two year process of learning with others making the journey toward enlightenment, however, after attending if for some reason there is a problem it is okay not join. However, once learning is achieved a greater responsibility results regardless of one's decision.

Anonymous | Tue, 11/17/2009

Dear Anonymous, I'm sorry if

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sorry if I made you angry. It really wasn't my intention. I was simply curious and concerned.

I'm not completely ignorant. My dad's entire side of the family are Catholic, and I love them. I love the Catholics on this site. But yes, I know I'm biased. I am also not saying the Catholic church is bad or denying its often good influence throughout history.

I still stick by the things I said in this essay. I should have included a larger range of texts, including ones about works-- for works are absolutely an outpouring of salvation. But I really wish I hadn't addressed this specifically to Catholics. A lot of unbelievers think that Christianity is about doing good things and earning their way to heaven, and many of these people I've talked to identify themselves as Catholics (including my family).

I didn't say anything about Mary, and I still don't want to. This subject is the most touchy of all! :/

I don't want to go into a tirade or anything, and the comments board wouldn't be the place anyway. Please contact me through my profile if you want to talk more. I'd be glad to.

Anna | Mon, 11/30/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Wonderful question.  I think

Wonderful question.  I think I'll start asking it!

P.S. I trust Jesus. 

"You're the shelter in the storm/ your the dearest friend I know"-- Hawk Nelson-'Tis So Sweet

I am Nate-Dude | Mon, 08/02/2010

Nate-Dude

BTW, Anonymos

I know many Catholics (and Christains) who would say that good works will get you into Heaven (even though it doesn't).  

I am Nate-Dude | Mon, 08/02/2010

Nate-Dude

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