Catholic and Christian

Something came to my attention today that surprised me a little. Actually, it surprised me a lot. I was on a Christian site and according to the author of the site, Catholics are not Christians.
I go to a Roman Catholic church, but I have always considered myself to be a Christian. I was taught that Catholicism is one of the many different religious denominations within Christianity.
What are my beliefs, you might ask?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. I believe that Jesus died for our sins and that I am saved because of this. I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Isn’t that what Christianity is? And, since these beliefs were introduced to me through my Catholic teachings and my reading of the Holy Bible, how can anyone say that Catholics can not be Christians?
I would first venture a guess that it might depend up on a person’s definition of “Christian”. But, doesn’t the word Christian pretty much define itself…”Christ”ian. Someone who follows Christ.
Here is an excerpt from something I read online:
…The Roman Catholic church is a denomination. Just one part of the Christian whole. The question is whether or not a Catholic confesses with her mouth the Lord Jesus and believes in her heart that God has raised from the dead – then she will be saved (Romans 10:9). After all, Mother Theresa was Catholic – and I don’t know anyone on earth who would say that she is not in heaven now because of mere doctrinal differences…
Every Sunday, I sit in church and declare my faith in God and Jesus Christ. It’s offensive to have someone tell me that because I go to a Roman Catholic Church, I am not Christian. The doctrines within these particular religions may differ, but I am most certainly Christian – whether I go a Catholic, Methodist, or Baptist church.
I suppose the most important thing to remember is that God knows me. Jesus knows me. They know what is in my heart and they know what I believe.
I am a Roman Catholic because I attend Catholic mass and because I follow the traditions and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church…but I am also a Christian because I follow Jesus and I know that I am saved through the sacrifice He made for us.
In heaven, I don’t think the titles of “Catholic”, “Methodist”, or any other religious group is going to matter to God. It all comes down to what we believe…and I intend to live my life according to these beliefs, by trusting and loving Jesus and following the word of God. It will not matter if I go to a catholic church or not….what matters is that I know and love and believe in God and in my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2003 at 11:20 pm and is filed under Spiritual Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Catholic and Christian”

  1. jen says:

    There are many in all of the Christian denominations who claim to be Christians just because they attend that church or they aren’t Jewish or of another religion. But Scripture is clear that you must make a decision to accept that Jesus paid our penalty of sin, repent from our sinful ways, and try to live according to God’s will. It’s an act of will rather than a passive belief.

    I agree with you. The reality is that no one can really know who is a true Christian and who is not. Only God knows the truth in a person’s heart.

  2. ann f. says:

    I have had friends say, “Oh, so and so used to be Catholic, but then she converted to Christianity.” Um, no. Not really a conversion.

    I get annoyed with people who don’t understand that Catholicism is a branch of Christianity.

  3. Sidny says:

    I have had the same conflict! People who tell me I’m not a Christian because I’m a Catholic. If people would do a little bit of historical research, they would find out that Catholocism was the FIRST branch of Christianity. Before the others broke away. But yes, it’s definitely Christianity… regardless of what some people may think. We have all the same basic beliefs as a Protestant. I mean, they don’t believe in transubsantiation (I totally messed up the spelling on that!), but that’s pretty much the only major difference I think.

  4. Roman Catholic says:

    The Catholic Church is not a denomination, nor is she merely a church among churches. She is the Church, the one and only true Church. Christ said, ‘I will build my Church’ (Matthew 16:18), not churches, not denominations.

    St. Paul wrote that the Church ‘upholds the truth and keeps it safe’ (1 Timothy 3:15). Christ said, ‘The gates the underworld can never hold out against it’ (Matthew 16:18). The Church Christ built cannot err in matters of faith. Christ is with his Church always (Matthew 28:20); how can she err? The Holy Spirit will lead her to the complete truth (John 16:13); how can she teach error?

    Which Church is this? The Church of the ages – she was present in the first century since Christ, and the fourth, and the tenth, and, yes, is present now in the twenty-first. No other can meet this qualification. She is the Catholic Church.

    Only by Christ can men be saved (Acts 4:12). And, as the Catholic Church is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23), outside her there is no salvation.

  5. JR says:

    I am not a Christian or Catholic yet. But I learned some history about Bible. To me, Protestant (Christian) came from Catholic and the Catholic Bible such as New American Bible covers more chapters in old testment than Protestant Bible. But New Testment stays the same for both.

    Just from a personal opinion, a Catholic Bible will cover Protestant Bible. I think there are too much fights already about Christian and Catholic by people. To me, they are pretty much the same. You can pray anywhere you want. The minor rules that people set up in the churches are not really that important. To me, it’s the spirit and disciplines in bible that matter.

    To me, Protestant is new Christian and Catholic is the old Christian. Or the Catholic is even more Christian than Protestant.

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