Leaving the RCC...

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Traditionalist, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist New Member

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    Okay this is going to be a long post. I was raised nominally Southern Baptist, then I "got saved" and baptized. After a year or two in the Baptist Church, I started to study Church history online. I began to believe the argument that the Roman Catholic had that they were the Church that Christ established, and I began believing their teachings also. Several more months, which is the present. I'm starting to be uncomfortable with how much Catholics venerate Mary. Especially Co-Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix. If you read their Marian prayers it seems like that they are talking to another deity rather than the asking Mary for intercession. Also, as I became more Roman I began to disregard Scripture for the authority of the Church. I don't see where directly asking the Saints in heaven to pray for you is referenced or based in Biblical teachings. Although, I do no deny that the Saints do pray for us. Anyway, I digress, I still have the feeling that the RCC might be the Church that Christ established. Also, I still have it in the back of my mind that if I leave the Church that I might go to hell. Since Protestantism is condemned as a heresy. Can anyone help me? I mostly agree with Anglican theology and it can be found in scripture. However, like I said, I still have in the back of my head that I might go to hell if I'm not a Roman Catholic because of the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Sallus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  2. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Hmmm, this is a hard question. I've had many fears in the back of my mind that are much more substantial than this, and yet, in spite of Anglicans saying "Go with your conscience!" I am not really inclined to readily accept or follow all of them. Would you be open to following the idea that aliens are responsible for using Christianity to enslave minds regardless of the alleged evidence of its truth in history and other things? Or maybe that witches and psychics may actually do more good for people than Christians in terms of healing or prophecy? These are all various thoughts that have plagued me at one point. For instance, I've had RCCs claim their miracles are legit and Protestants are not. Why? Because they supposedly deal with more fanciful manifestations of demons, use relics and Mary, and Protestant exorcisms are frauds (nevermind the fact that Francis has said his favorite exorcist is a Lutheran and recommends people to him for help). Yet, many RCCs I've encountered act like they have demons. I honestly have had more bad experiences with RCCs than good ones. The worst are those who want to convert you and do it with a rudeness or cruelty that could rival the most ardent atheist fundamentalist nutcases. The good ones are those who didn't adhere to RCC doctrine on all the points most of us Protestants say are doorways to heresy, and in theory are in essence not truly Catholic. I don't find any evidence in the early fathers that there was a truly indisputable recognized all-encompassing authority in the Roman see besides a center of reference. Irenaeus did not really say to 'agree' with in the word convenire but to 'meet' with because of its high traffic as a hub of activity (to meet and to agree can have the same essence of meaning in the latin word convenire). We know from Eusebius that he (Irenaeus) rebuked Pope Victor for threatening excommunication of the eastern churches over certain holidays and that they stayed in union when the problem was solved, allowing the other churches to keep their holidays as they see fit and the Roman churches kept theirs. If he had truly believed in unquestioning adherence this likely was not the case.

    The best thing they can say about papal infallibility is that allegedly Rome has been able to keep certain traditions for a considerably long time, regardless of whether they are scriptural, logical, or even biblical. Vatican II is a point of controversy as to whether it changed things in a major way or not. Personally, I find all of the post-V2 popes to be infinitely more likeable than people such as "Saint" Pius X. Vatican-approved modern bibles like the NAB/New American Bible also go as far as admitting in the footnotes that 1 Corinthians 3:15 is not really about purgatory. I think the reason that the RCC has lowered the bar in terms of the requirements for modern 'sainthood' is because the ancient saints who had the most extraordinary tales had the benefit of living in a time that was very superstitious and prone to legends or fabrications. The modern world is not so gullible. Most of the miracles attributed to contemporary saints in order to establish their sainthood are actually too simple and easy to explain another way to present any substantial case for their qualification as a saint (such as Theresa).
     
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  3. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hello Traditionalist.

    Follow your conscience in this matter. As for being lost outside of the RCC, my understanding is that only applies (according to them) if you "know" (are completely convinced) that the RCC is the "true" Church. Read the Catechism some more; the RCC doesn't say that other Christians are all going to Hell.

    All that aside, I think you can find what you are seeking in the Anglican tradition. Just keep in mind that there are several "streams" or schools in the tradition, so find the one you feel most in tune with.
     
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  4. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist New Member

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    Hello Peteprint. I meant to make my introduction post before this one but I didn't.

    I think I know that Anglicanism is right for me theologically. I do have one question though. How can we be Catholic (in the universal sense) when multiple beliefs exist in the same communion. Like Calvinism, Anglo-Catholic, Charismatic etc?
     
  5. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist New Member

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    I'd agree about not following your conscience all the time. While I was Roman Catholic, I really put emphasis on the traditions on the Church, while not even caring if they were scriptural or not. Basically, my mindset was, "we have "apostolic traditions" and that is all the proof that I need to prove this teaching is true."
     
  6. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    I think Anglicanism teaches that the three branches of the church with historical succession (Anglicanism, Orthodoxy, and Roman) settled everything theologically prior to their split. Thus, everything that was agreed upon between them is considered sound for the most part, but everything afterwards or that wasn't ever universally agreed and held by them for the most part is secondary. Anglicans do not teach a development of doctrine or revelation as the RCC does, and neither do the Orthodox, from what I understand.
     
  7. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    A few things are good to read I think;

    1) Roman but not Catholic. Two authors whose names I've forgotten.
    2) Saeipius Officio. The Church of England's response to Rome's ridiculous claim that we are not part of the Church.
    3) The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith Mathison.

    You do not need to be in communion with the Roman bishop or adhere to their distinctive doctrine to be part of the catholic, universal Church, have the gospel, the sacraments or holy orders.
     
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  8. Will_

    Will_ Member

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  9. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hi traditionalist. I posted a few weeks ago an essay I had written regarding what I believe are the core teachings of Christianity. For me, as long as someone professes those core beliefs, then they are part of the Church. That's just my opinion, but that is how I define being Catholic for myself. If you are a Christian, believing and professing the essentials of the Christina faith, then you are part of the visible, Catholic Church. Just my opinion of course.
     
  10. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist New Member

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    Where can I find this essay?
     
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  11. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Well right now the Communion is going through a struggle, so you have some heretical parts of the communion which disregard church teaching, and some which embrace it. But it's no different from how in Rome, some countries allow communion for divorced & remarried, and others don't, or how they have widely different liturgical tastes. And it's even more diverse in Orthodoxy which has differing practices based on ethnicity.

    That being said, if you're looking in the American context specifically, the healthy expressions of those differences you list, as long as they abide by the same common doctrine, are just differences of emphasis, and not different doctrines. For example like the Charismatic Catholics vs. the Latin trads. But you also have some people going into disobedience and creating new doctrines, and that comes out of disobedience and schism, as I wrote in the other thread.
     
  13. jschwartz

    jschwartz New Member

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    Marian devotion has been a part of the undivided Church since its inception. Seeking Mary's intercession is Biblical. She is the Theotokos. The RC church never declared comediatrix and coredemptrix as dogmas. Nonetheless, there are RC Marian doctrines that are not truly catholic, inasmuch as the Eastern Orthodox never accepted them. I am Anglo-Catholic, and I love the Marian hymns in our Hymnal 1982. I pray the Magnificat daily, as part of the Office. I pray the Rosary, with the BCP collects for each of the mysteries and I recite the relevant scriptures. But it seems like you're just upset with things that don't seem right to you, and the answer is study. Read up on Anglican and Orthodox Mariology.
     
  14. Leacock

    Leacock New Member

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    I mean, that's true of the Roman Catholic Churh as well even if they try a little harder to hide it. There are still different theological factions in the Roman Catholic Church as well as different liturgical movements.
     
  15. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I like the overall gist of your posting, but I take issue with your statement that: "Seeking Mary's intercession is Biblical." Where do you find that in the Scriptures? The fact that all generations will call her blessed, is not a form of intercessory prayer. We are never instructed in the Scriptures to pray to the dead and ask them for help. This is in contrast to praying for the dead, something that can be justified slightly more easily.
     
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  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That goes directly contrary to the works of the early Church.

    A high Respect for Mary has always been a part of the undivided Church. But there's been no Marian Devotion until the middle ages.

    Sure. And that does not grant her any divine status, if you read the Church Councils. A Theotokos, God-bearer, is an honorific title. You may respect and admire someone tremendously, but that doesn't mean you should divide your piety between them and the Ancient of Days, God.

    The issue here is that you're taking the Eastern Orthodox (and probably the RC) as more authoritative on apostolic doctrine. They have no extra authority, zilch, and have been wrong and erroneous on many subjects. No one is unclean before God.

    Practically 100% of people who had written on "Anglican Mariology" have proven unfaithful to the Church, and absconded elsewhere, thereby proving their schismatic mindset from the beginning.


    Thanks Peter. And I would add that by moving from the medieval pro-Marian corruption of Scripture of "full of grace", to merely just "highly favoured" (as accepted by all of Christendom now, under Anglican influence), indicates just how much the medieval Christians (both east and west) have attempted to corrupt the Scriptures to inject Marian doctrines.

    The same goes for the proto-Evangelium, Genesis 3:15, where they tried to make Mary the one who will ultimately triumph against Satan, instead of her Son.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    That feeling you have, "that I might go to hell" if you leave the RCC, is understandable to me. I was raised RC but left when I was in my late 20s. After a 30 year journey through fundamentalism and 'word of faith,' about 4 months ago God guided me to a great Anglican parish. Thinking back to my childhood, even at that early age the RCC's Catechism classes implanted in us the concept that the RCC is the One True Church which contains all the Truth and is the only Church where priests have the right to confect Jesus for our consumption, and that anyone who leaves this True Church with its clear miraculous mandate of confection has rejected said Truth and will be condemned (unless they return and repent, of course). When I think about it now, the technique smacks of mind control. It's the same stuff cult leaders use to brainwash their followers, and the tactic sexual predators use on their victims to keep them from telling others ("if you tell anyone I'll kill you"). Any former victim of mind-control tactics will tell you it's tremendously hard to break free from the strong negative feelings associated with noncompliance.

    The RCC is a very exclusive club. One must believe in transubstantiation to even receive Eucharist, for example. By comparison, being a part of a good church (like where I'm at now) is liberating. My ACNA Anglican parish welcomes any baptized believer who has self-examined, to receive Eucharist. And if I were to trot down the road and attend some other Protestant church, no one's going to tell me I'm going to hell. This is the way it should be. No games of fear to retain membership.

    As for Marianism, I feel pretty sensitive about this. When I joined the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus (from which I've long since resigned), they made us take a top-secret pledge which we were bound never to reveal upon pain of hellfire; I no longer recall the exact words, but I clearly remember that the oath centered around us swearing allegiance to Mary! Not Jesus, not even the Church... but to Mary. So as you might imagine, it does bother me just a tad to see a statue of Mary in my church with a bank of candles in front of her; but at least I haven't seen anyone kneel down and pray before her image. As another has commented, we should have love and respect for Mary, but not veneration. Hebrews says that Jesus is our high priest; 1 Timothy 2:5 says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." I believe it is inappropriate, even disrespectful, to pray to Mary instead of Jesus; we should never treat Jesus as if He is too distant or unmoved to help us without being coaxed by His mother, but the RCC teaches this very idea that we "need" Mary to go pester our Lord into acting on our behalf. Praying the Rosary is something I will never do again; why spend 10 prayers to Mary, when 1 prayer to my Savior is more efficacious than a billion prayers to anyone else?

    I believe the Church established by Jesus Christ is the worldwide body of believers in Him. This true Church transcends denominational barriers and building walls. It includes many people who have heard only the bare minimum about Jesus, people who don't even have a place to attend (think of rural China, for example), and plenty of people who don't have their theology straight; but they all have in common their faith and trust in the redemptive power of Jesus' shed blood for the remission of the penalty for their sins.
     
  18. jschwartz

    jschwartz New Member

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    I cannot comment who gets into heaven and who goes to hell. These are matters for God alone to determine.

    However, it seems to me that you're in need of study and clarification on Church teachings.

    I recommend you read the following, in this order.

    Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought, By: Luigi Gambero

    Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion, By Stephen J. Shoemaker

    Maiden, Mother and Queen: Mary in the Anglican Tradition, By Roger Greenacre

    And lastly, the ARCIC papers on the topic, found in Sagovsky, et. al., Studying Mary: The Virgin Mary in Anglican and Catholic Theology and Devotion.

    You may want to check out also some studies from the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


    In closing, we pray the “Sub Tuum Praesidium,” an ancient prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the oldest known prayer to Mary for her intercession, the oldest known version of which is found on a 3rd century Egyptian papyrus. The Greek texts clearly show the term “Theotokos” – “Mother of God”- in the prayer. It is still prayed today.

    We fly to thy patronage,
    O holy Mother of God;
    despise not our petitions in our necessities,
    but deliver us always from all dangers,
    O glorious and blessed Virgin.
    Amen.
     
  19. mediaque

    mediaque Member

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    This was one of the 'many' reasons I left the RCC. For all the years I attended, I could never justify in my spirit why we needed to pray to Mary instead of directly to her Son. That coupled with the many other reasons is the result of my having found TEC of which I feel right at home.
     
  20. jschwartz

    jschwartz New Member

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    Nobody says to supplant devotion to our Lord with devotion to His Mother. Devotion to Mary is essentially a form of seeking saintly intercession, for she is Queen of the Saints, the most faithful witness to Her Son.
     
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