Do Catholics Turn You Off from the Catholic Church?

One of the most common issues when talking with devout non-Catholics about the Catholic Church is that they haven’t found Catholics who really act like Christians and love Jesus.

I know what they mean. This is a problem, but it isn’t the end of the story.

First off, let me address reality: too many Catholics are apathetic about their faith. Too many treat their faith more like their ethnicity rather than a way of life. You’re right, Catholics mess up and sin and are unfaithful. Hello, I’m one of them. But isn’t it also true that many Christians of other faiths are the same way? You go to the South and “everyone” is Christian, but even there, there are many apathetic Christians as well.

Is the lack of devout Catholics a reason why you shouldn’t join the Church that Jesus founded? No way Jose. Find me a church full of perfect people, and I’ll join. But you can’t. We are all sinners, every single one of us.

What sets one church apart from another? A couple of traits stand out: where does it receive its authority, and what do they believe?

Where do churches get their authority? The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus. 1500 years later, Martin Luther decided to start his own little church. Did God tell Him to? Was it the workings of the divine or the workings of man?

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18

Jesus doesn’t lie. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. So where’s the need for a new church again?

Yes, there were a lot of things wrong inside the Church, especially around the Reformation. Yes, there are always things wrong inside the Church, including me. But we have to see that the Church is above the sins of the individual members of its body. Jesus sent down the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to lead and guide the Church, to keep Her faithful to Jesus’ teachings. So is it bad that there are sinners in the Church? No! That’s the whole point! We need the Church because we are sinners. The Church, made holy by God, is here to help us to come to know Jesus and His love for us, and to call us all to become saints. If we were all perfect people, where would the need for the Church be? The Church is like a hospital for sinners, we’re all a work in progress.

What do different churches believe? Agree or agree with me: the Church has to believe what Jesus taught. Sadly, over time we have seen many different churches stop believing in Jesus, the gospel message, and even the bible. This means they are heretics and are not fully in union with the Church that Jesus founded. They usually are not very successful, despite their “progressive” beliefs. Look at the Episcopal Church in America, for example.

Not only is believing the wrong stuff an issue for Christianity, but a “watered down” faith is also problematic. This “non-denom” movement seems to be slowly changing Christianity into a few basic beliefs, and the bible. Think about it: this is actually the exact opposite of what the early Church was like. In the early days, the Apostles like Paul were constantly instructing the churches on what the faith is and what is and isn’t heretical, even with the little things, and they had no bibles but rather the authority that Jesus had given the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops to make these decisions. (In case you weren’t aware, the Bible as we know it didn’t come into being until a few hundred years after Christ.) “Non-denom” can’t be the answer.. Jesus desired us to continue ALL of His teachings, not just a few non-controversial ones. Jesus desired that we be ONE, not 30,000 separate denominations, and not even one giant blob of “watered down” Christianity.

Despite all of the challenges that have faced the Catholic Church over the years, it has lasted, and nowadays, it is perhaps more alive than ever in certain aspects, while many other Christian churches are getting hit a lot worse. I immediately think of World Youth Day, FOCUS, and Lifeteen as movements that highlight all that is beautiful about the faith that Jesus gave us. If you don’t have any devout Catholic friends, I’m praying that you’ll run into someone one day. Maybe they’ll show you that there’s more to this faith than what the apathetic Catholics have been doing for all of these years.

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8 thoughts on “Do Catholics Turn You Off from the Catholic Church?

  1. You say that the Church must believe what Jesus taught. Then why does the Catholic Church teach that you should call priests “Father”?

      • I could argue about that in various ways, but the main point for my bringing it up is that I see no evidence that Jesus founded the Roman Catholic Church. Outside of Catholic tradition there is no evidence that Peter was ever the Bishop of Rome (the basis for the claim that the Pope is the heir to Peter).
        I believe that there are genuine Christians who are Catholics (I have met some), however, the Catholic Church teaches quite a few things that are contrary to Biblical teachings (the priesthood, celibacy of ALL Church leaders, veneration of saints, etc) and basis its authority on a questionable interpretation of Scripture.

      • The bulk of the evidence would fall on your side, wouldn’t it? If you don’t even believe that Peter was the Bishop of Rome, I’m not sure if there’s much I can say that will change your mind haha, just look up some history. The priesthood was already in effect in Israel but Jesus elevated it at the Last Supper, instituting the Eucharist. I wonder why Protestants feel comfortable getting rid of the priesthood, something that was obviously a part of the first 1500 years of Christianity. St. Augustine will tell you enough about it. For all of these questions, I’d encourage you to check out Catholic Answers at catholic.com. It seems obvious to that the bulk of the proof is necessary on the Protestant side, as the Protestants changed what was tradition that the Apostles and their successors established.

      • The “priesthood” of the early Church was ALL believers, not just some select few. The Catholic Church has several problems. I already mentioned it’s practice of violating Christ’s command to call no man father. I will also mention the practice of celibacy of Church leadership which goes directly against Paul’s teaching that Church leadership should be the husband of one wife and the father of well-behaved children.
        I can do as much, or more to dismiss your interpretation of Jesus’ statement to Peter and the other disciples as your source did to Jesus’ telling us not to call any man Father. I do not accept that the Pope’s are successors to the Apostles, especially when you consider how venal so many of them were.

  2. I think this post is good, but it seems a little harsh on Protestants. I think there is a more complex history behind Luther’s actions than just, “Martin Luther decided to start his own little church.” I think such a simple sentence is too much a blanket statement and might be taken the wrong way by some.

    Somepcguy, it makes sense that Church leaders are celibate. 1 Cor 7:32-34 points out the advantage, no?

    • Haha yea perhaps. If anyone reads the comments, let me be clear that I love all people even though I might bash what they believe. Oh and I have a special love for Protestants, they played a very important part in me growing in my faith. But because I love them so much I want the best for them: the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church.

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