Friday, July 23, 2010

You Just Don't Understand

I love it when protestants say Catholics just don't understand.  That statement is also usually accompanied by the phrase, but "most protestants don't even understand [insert doctrine here], either."  That way it gives them an 'out' to explain their personal version of [doctrine] and how it is the 'right' or 'true' meaning of [doctrine].  Of course, they are the real arbiters of [doctrine].  That is assuming that all or "informed" protestants agree with their version of [doctrine].  The thing is, many, many of these different groups have different meanings for these so-called doctrines, such as the non-Scriptural doctrines of sola scriptura and sola fide, so essential to their protests against the Church founded by Christ.  Why are there so many different meanings of these doctrines floating around?  Isn't it interesting that the Catholic Faith is spelled out for anyone to read in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church and supported by hundreds of references to Scripture.  Just about every question one might have on the True Faith is there for anyone to read.

St. Michael on CathApol
On a friend's blog, he actually had the gall the try to explain how the "five solas" could be, at least, aligned with Catholic doctrine if one wanted to find some commonality between Christians.  However, in an effort to distance himself from Christ's Church, one protestant felt he must come back with the "you just don't understand what the words mean to us."  For one thing that is not true, not only is my friend a former Lutheran, but I am a former Baptist, both of us highly educated in those faiths and we do know what you mean by "those words."  Just because when he (or we) give a Catholic answer, or explanation, it doesn't mean we didn't understand your meaning.  And, that is what Catholic apologists have been trying to do for centuries--trying to help our separated brethren understand Catholic doctrine with Catholic, not protestant, meanings of the words we use.  Of course, vocal protestants always know better about what we believe than we do, but we couldn't possibly understand what they believe.    You'd think that so-called Christians would actually be interested in giving a Christian witness to the world, but they seem to rather enjoy posting hate-filled anti-Catholic propaganda rather than actually teaching the Gospel of love proclaimed by their Lord Jesus Christ.  

Many, many of the apologists I know and read are converts to His Church.  If you've been around the internet "apologetics" enough you would know names of apologists like Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Dave Armstrong, and many others.  All converts to the church, as I am, all lovingly but firmly trying to explain the Truth in Catholic doctrine to our separated brethren.  They are not using their time and energy on earth spreading hatred and telling people where they are going like most of the protestants I am unfortunately exposed to on a regular basis. 

I do understand.  Many, many Catholics do understand what you are saying, why won't you even try to give us the benefit of the doubt?  We are the original Christians, the only Christians (not counting heretical groups which came and went over the centuries) up until the 16th century.  Interestingly, the more I read the early Christian writers, such as St. Ignatius, or St. Athanasius, or St. Augustine, the more I see the doctrines of the Church still taught today.  If one can apply the Catholic meaning, the proper meaning, to the Early Church Fathers, one could not help but be Catholic.  Protestants love to take Church Fathers sayings out of its Catholic context to try to make it look as if they disagree with the Church, when point in fact, their writings helped build the doctrine of the Church as we know it.  Many were inspired, many made mistakes, many are admired.   At the very least, let us be what we are -- Bible believing Christians.

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