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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Deidre

How to explain why I no longer wish to return to Catholicism?

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I was raised in the Catholic faith, left Christianity altogether a few years ago, was an atheist for a time, and then returned to Christianity last year. I no longer follow Catholicism, and feel born again for the first time in my life. I never 'felt' born again as a Catholic. My father is Catholic and he would like for me to return to the faith. I was a very fervent Catholic when I was following it, but after leaving and returning, I don't feel called back to it. My father will get into Scriptural debates with me as to how the Catholic faith is the one true faith, and I explain to him that no one needs a church to 'go between' Jesus and him/herself. The RCC gives an impression that its people need it in order to have a relationship with Christ, and that is not so. I don't dislike the RCC, and still see a lot of beauty within it, but just don't feel called to follow its tenets nor doctrine. How to not offend Catholics, when trying to explain my position as a non-denominational Christian now? Would appreciate your advice.

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I wouldn't worry about offending anyone if your intent is not to offend deliberately, Diedre. If they are offended easily then ask them to turn the other cheek in the spirit of grace and kindly be more charitable. Regarding your non-denominational position from Catholicism.... . I'd like to share with you a series. When you have time, I think you would appreciate the rich history in these videos. What's the worst thing that can happen Deidre? We receive a little more knowledge through history and understand the Protestant position all the more?

 

Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism

 

By the way, I never mentioned to you that I was non denominational too. After having seen many non denominational church members regress back to Catholicism I began doing a lot of reading/research. I think you'll love the video series from Amazing Grace. Be sure to jot down any thoughts that come to mind. I hope you have a break through as I had after watching it. Perhaps they will lead you to better articulate your thoughts for future discussions with your father.

 

God bless,

William

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I wouldn't worry about offending anyone if your intent is not to offend deliberately, Diedre. If they are offended easily then ask them to turn the other cheek in the spirit of grace and kindly be more charitable.
I agree with William.

 

 

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Hi Deidre, I agree with you that Catholic faith is false and if you need something to make your family understand , you could check out http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/catholic_church_is_not_christian.htm . I can understand you what people say when a person leaves his faith from our family religion or denomination. God be with you to remove the blindness of your family.

God Bless,

Moti Rattan

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I wouldn't worry about offending anyone if your intent is not to offend deliberately, Diedre. If they are offended easily then ask them to turn the other cheek in the spirit of grace and kindly be more charitable. Regarding your non-denominational position from Catholicism.... . I'd like to share with you a series. When you have time, I think you would appreciate the rich history in these videos. What's the worst thing that can happen Deidre? We receive a little more knowledge through history and understand the Protestant position all the more?

 

Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism

 

By the way, I never mentioned to you that I was non denominational too. After having seen many non denominational church members regress back to Catholicism I began doing a lot of reading/research. I think you'll love the video series from Amazing Grace. Be sure to jot down any thoughts that come to mind. I hope you have a break through as I had after watching it. Perhaps they will lead you to better articulate your thoughts for future discussions with your father.

 

God bless,

William

Thank you for sharing this, William. I think when people get offended over faith issues, often times, it boils down to ego. And I'm not deliberately offending, but they are offended because I oppose what they believe simply by no longer following their religion. I've been looking at Calvinists, and I appreciate you sharing this. :)

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Hi Deidre, I agree with you that Catholic faith is false and if you need something to make your family understand , you could check out http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/catholic_church_is_not_christian.htm . I can understand you what people say when a person leaves his faith from our family religion or denomination. God be with you to remove the blindness of your family.

God Bless,

Moti Rattan

For the longest time, I used to believe that the RCC was the 'holder' of the fullness of faith. Meaning, it was the 'right' way to worship. I don't think this anymore. Upon leaving the faith altogether, it helped me become more objective, and understanding of others' views, but also see falsehoods for what they are. My parents are Catholics, I know many great Catholics who love Jesus and do great things in their lives, and it's not for me to judge them, but I do share with them...how Jesus' love and God's grace is enough. All those 'works' will not earn a person a place in heaven. I can't say of course who will be saved, etc...but, if we love Christ, we will naturally wish to serve Him, follow Him and love Him...in our actions. The RCC tries to 'prescribe' a way to worship, and suggests to people not to deviate from their 'prescription.' It's unfortunate, because more Catholics get caught up in THAT, than in the true beauty and hope which lies in a relationship with Christ. Thanks for your thoughts,and the link!

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Hi deidre, sorry about your situation. I do not know what would help as I never knew someone who faced this problem. But, if they will listen, show your parents this link. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/cat-ndx.html

 

This is an article by Tom Weaver addressing and debunking CCC of RCC. I'd suggest using this link than that given by motirattan as this one is more organized and quotes directly CCC and debunks it instead of just naming a tradition. This link is also more polite and humble than the other one.

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The American Catholic Church seems so dominating and controlling, and there is so much tradition that gets mucked around. I think a lot of people feel the same as you that once you feel ´born again´ it is hard to go back to the structure of the RCC. I think one thing to watch, and hopefully he can change things, is the new pope, Pope Francis seems to be a lot more of what Christianity was meant to be. A lot less formal, a lot more open. We will see. But I am hoping he stays the pope long enough for his personality to trickle down into the American catholic church.

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I am a devout Catholic who never fails to attend the Holy Mass every Sunday (or the anticipated Mass on Saturday). But my husband has lost his interest in the church not for his belief but because of the over-creativity of the priests. Where before the mass takes just 1 hour at the most, now it is always more than 1 hour because the priest would babble for so long and there are many commercials - reading the names of the church donors, the schedule of masses, etc. My husband said that the priests now seem to be exploiting the occasion to waste our time. But I am not offended by his remarks because I see that it is true.

 

In your case, @Deidre, I wouldn't be offended if you will tell me how you feel. In fact, Catholics know how to respect the belief even of non-believers like atheists or pagans. Just use nice words and be honest about it.

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There are many lapsed Catholics in the world Deidre many for the reasons you described. I am not sure that I like the hireacrhal order of the church, and the fact that it seems like so many things, and misdeeds have been swept under the rug, are something I have an issue with. I was not raised as a Catholic, but I have cousins who were. Most of them are not active participants in the church now.

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I'd imagine that most people will lose their way a little when it comes to their religion in life, and its just normal to question something you've always believed in.

 

From an early age I was shown religion but not told what to follow and I was left to make up my own mind on God and in what to believe. I think in some ways that helps as I haven't had any pressure on me, and I know that what I believe in now, is something that I've chosen.

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I'd imagine that most people will lose their way a little when it comes to their religion in life, and its just normal to question something you've always believed in.

 

From an early age I was shown religion but not told what to follow and I was left to make up my own mind on God and in what to believe. I think in some ways that helps as I haven't had any pressure on me, and I know that what I believe in now, is something that I've chosen.

 

Have you found that what you have chosen to believe affirms your own wants and desires? Curious, what do you believe about your relationship with God?

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If your father keeps getting into arguments with you, kindly remind him that you believe in the same God and you're not an atheist anymore. He should be happy that you re-found faith in God and not focus on being the 'right' faith. You have the right to choose how you show your faith to God and he should respect that.

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I've read through your responses everyone, you are all so kind to take the time to help me with this. I've been attending a Baptist (although it seems non-denominational) church and really love it. The pastor speaks the truth, and for the first time, I'm attending a Bible based church. Not that the RCC isn't Bible based, but it definitely clings to tradition and rituals too much, it seems. I will reply to each of you tomorrow, as you all took the time to reply and I'd like to get back to your comment. Thank you! :)

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Have you found that what you have chosen to believe affirms your own wants and desires? Curious, what do you believe about your relationship with God?

 

My relationship with God is a strained one, put it that way, haha. I do believe in God, I do believe that how I live my life now will affect where I go when I leave this earth. I just look around at things that are happening in the world and it worries me that my faith is unfounded, and while I can help people in my own life, and live a way that I think is good and right, I can't help others and what I do doesn't count in the great scheme of things if that makes sense?

 

I pray for the world to be a better place and that isn't happening, and I pray to give myself the strength to make the world a better place by the things that I do, but again, that doesn't happen either.

 

I'm sure that millions of people pray for the same, I just wonder why he doesn't appear to listen. Or maybe he does but I just can't see the changes?

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The American Catholic Church seems so dominating and controlling, and there is so much tradition that gets mucked around. I think a lot of people feel the same as you that once you feel ´born again´ it is hard to go back to the structure of the RCC. I think one thing to watch, and hopefully he can change things, is the new pope, Pope Francis seems to be a lot more of what Christianity was meant to be. A lot less formal, a lot more open. We will see. But I am hoping he stays the pope long enough for his personality to trickle down into the American catholic church.

Your point about the current Pope is interesting. Many don't know what to make of him, but it would seem that the Jesuit order of which he went through, is very much into modesty, humility and being a true servant to the people. In my opinion, we don't need an organization to tell us how to follow Christ...we just need to follow the Bible...HIS WORD. :)

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I am a devout Catholic who never fails to attend the Holy Mass every Sunday (or the anticipated Mass on Saturday). But my husband has lost his interest in the church not for his belief but because of the over-creativity of the priests. Where before the mass takes just 1 hour at the most, now it is always more than 1 hour because the priest would babble for so long and there are many commercials - reading the names of the church donors, the schedule of masses, etc. My husband said that the priests now seem to be exploiting the occasion to waste our time. But I am not offended by his remarks because I see that it is true.

 

In your case, @Deidre, I wouldn't be offended if you will tell me how you feel. In fact, Catholics know how to respect the belief even of non-believers like atheists or pagans. Just use nice words and be honest about it.

Thank you for your thoughtful post, Corzhens. I remember at times, looking at my watch during mass. lol I haven't really done that since going to a different service, but the mass has a beauty all its own. I appreciate your advice. :)

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Your point about the current Pope is interesting. Many don't know what to make of him, but it would seem that the Jesuit order of which he went through, is very much into modesty, humility and being a true servant to the people. In my opinion, we don't need an organization to tell us how to follow Christ...we just need to follow the Bible...HIS WORD. :)

 

The current pope is trying to fix a lot of issues from the past that the Catholic church as only just admitted to. Things that we're all to well aware of, and in some ways this is stopping him from being the pope I think he intended to be.

 

When you have a belief, a faith, and a way you want to do things, but have to spend your time fighting fires and apologising for things that are beyond your control, people aren't going to get a clear picture of who you are, and so in that sense I feel sorry for him.

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To explain why one no longer wish to return to Catholicism, for me , before I was into Catholicism until such time the Lord arranged hard circumstances in my life that in the midst of the hard situations I began to beg for the Lord to deliver me from them. I beg for mercy. I ask forgiveness from the Lord and Jesus became my Lord and Savior.Now I experienced a changed life. A life different from where I was before,

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I was a Catholic for 25 years and I know all about the rituals and traditions. When I started attending our company's bible study (the company president/owner was a Christian), I began to see the light of day. The pastor who conducted the bible study didn't even have to point out the differences between what's written on the bible and what we are being taught as Cathollcs. I began to be converted because of those 2 years of bible study. I didn't join that pastor's church, however, but I chose another Christian Church with a bigger heart. I attended my first Christian service without anyone inviting me. I brought my son with me. Catholic masses last for only 1 hour, a Christian service lasts for 2 hours. The freedom and happiness I felt on my first service was unbelievable. There were no rituals to think about, just moments to worship God freely with songs and listen to an in-depth discussion of God's word. I didn't feel that way when I was attending Catholic masses. I've memorized the rituals of the mass and I can do them without even listening to the priest. There was no feelings of worship at all. I know that I'll never go back to being a Catholic again.

 

If they can see the positive changes in your personality and your life, I am sure that your father will appreciate your being a Christian.

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I wouldn't worry about offending anyone if your intent is not to offend deliberately, Diedre. If they are offended easily then ask them to turn the other cheek in the spirit of grace and kindly be more charitable. Regarding your non-denominational position from Catholicism.... . I'd like to share with you a series. When you have time, I think you would appreciate the rich history in these videos. What's the worst thing that can happen Deidre? We receive a little more knowledge through history and understand the Protestant position all the more?

 

Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism

 

By the way, I never mentioned to you that I was non denominational too. After having seen many non denominational church members regress back to Catholicism I began doing a lot of reading/research. I think you'll love the video series from Amazing Grace. Be sure to jot down any thoughts that come to mind. I hope you have a break through as I had after watching it. Perhaps they will lead you to better articulate your thoughts for future discussions with your father.

 

God bless,

William

 

I just want to endorse the link. I got quite a bit out of it, myself. :) Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism As a Confessional Lutheran, I don't accept everything that is stated there ( my beliefs can be found here.. http://bookofconcord.org/) but it is a steadfast series of explanations of the strengths and biblical fidelity that the Calvinists have.

Edited by ConfessionalLutheran
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@bebet, that's amazing! Praise God. So, when you were a Catholic, you didn't feel like the RCC was spiritually 'feeding'' you so to speak? Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts, and now I don't feel so alone. :)
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On 3/22/2016 at 12:42 AM, Deidre said:

I was raised in the Catholic faith, left Christianity altogether a few years ago, was an atheist for a time, and then returned to Christianity last year. I no longer follow Catholicism, and feel born again for the first time in my life. I never 'felt' born again as a Catholic. My father is Catholic and he would like for me to return to the faith. I was a very fervent Catholic when I was following it, but after leaving and returning, I don't feel called back to it. My father will get into Scriptural debates with me as to how the Catholic faith is the one true faith, and I explain to him that no one needs a church to 'go between' Jesus and him/herself. The RCC gives an impression that its people need it in order to have a relationship with Christ, and that is not so. I don't dislike the RCC, and still see a lot of beauty within it, but just don't feel called to follow its tenets nor doctrine. How to not offend Catholics, when trying to explain my position as a non-denominational Christian now? Would appreciate your advice.

I am facing this same issue. I still live with my Catholic parents. I also tell them that the reason why I am no longer Catholic has nothing to do with pedophile priests because all visible churches have at least a few corrupt leaders. It has been that when I started reading Scripture for myself and compared it to Catholic teaching, I was shocked about how far off path the Tradition of the Catholic Church is compared to Scripture. I began questioning my Catholic faith a few years ago, and a few months ago, I finally left it. Truth will always offend people but you should explain it in a form of gentleness. 

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Hello Deidre.  I also left the Catholic church a few years ago to become a non-denominational Christian so we share that in common.  I made my Communion and Confirmation and even attended 4 years of Catholic high school.  However, they are definitely off on their doctrines so I felt compelled to leave.  After leaving I started studying with SDA members.  Then I realized SDA was an apostate church with false teachings from Ellen White.  So I left that study as well.  Still trying to find the right church for me; although, I attended a nice Presbyterian church recently which I may go to in the future.   

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