13 September 2005

Welcoming Catholic Girl to the Blogosphere

Attention visitors! There is a new blog on the Internet that is definitely worth checking out. This site, Testimony to Truth, now has a sister site. Jessica launched Catholic Girl: Faithful - Pure - Beautiful on September 12. She already has two posts up, and hopes to get something written up once a week. Her first post, excluding her introduction, is titled "Disunity Among Christian Sects". She does a very good job in describing the crisis of disunity in Christianity, explaining why the very state of the Protestant denominations is contrary to Christ's teaching. Go over there and read it!

Let me tell you something about Jessica. I met her over a Christian Lord of the Rings message board almost two years ago. We started to private message each other, and very soon religion came up. She told me that I knew quite a bit about Catholicism for a Protestant. (That's a sad statement for Protestants. :P) That night I went to the Catechism of the Catholic Church online to find out how much I really knew about Catholicism. As I went through the summaries, I was shocked to find out how much the teachings of the Church made sense, and were backed up by the Bible! I went to her and she answered all of my questions about certain teachings which I wanted to know more about.

Once I decided that what I knew of the teachings of the Catholic Church were true, Jess took it on herself to be my teacher. She approached the idea with so much enthusiasm. She came up with lessons that she typed up and e-mailed me, made me study them, and quizzed me. So you could say that Jessica was the one that started my search into the Catholic faith, the one who taught me all the basics that one needs to know, and the one who has constantly encouraged me throughout the whole process. She is one awesome Catholic Girl.

And another thing... according to her site, her mother and grandmother will be co-writing the posts with her. And one writer was good enough! This is greatness times three! That family is a light, reflecting the love and truth of God. Expect great things from
Catholic Girl. If you end up disagreeing with Jess, be careful and get ready to be told. First, because she's Catholic. Second, because she's a girl.

14 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

I just about died when I hopped over here to check the comments on "Sola Scriptura?" and saw this. You make me out to be much better than I am. :) I'm certainly no theologian, and my language is very basic and "Jessica", lol. (I can't look up the Greek root of such and such word, and then tell you why it's different from the other one. ;) My prayer is that what I say will give glory to God and His Truth.

Thanks for posting about it. :)
In Christ,
Jess

September 13, 2005 11:13 PM  
Blogger pete said...

You were a protestant once?

September 14, 2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Jon is a protestant right now. As soon as he is able to, though, he is going to "officially" convert.

By the way, Jon, when I said Grandma would help, I meant that she would be more of a reference. Anything that Mom or I can't remember, we usually run down and ask her. If she can't remember, she'll check one of her million books, lol.

In Christ,
Jess

September 14, 2005 4:39 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 14, 2005 8:22 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Yes, it's true, I'm technically a wanna-be. :P

lol. Okay. That's cool. Speaking of books, I've been reading through This is the Faith again. That book is so awesome. I've highlighted practically everything in there! :P

I give you the credit that is due to you. It's good to have someone speaking "Jessica" when you've got me speaking "Jon". lol.

September 14, 2005 8:24 PM  
Blogger pete said...

Jon, I'm really curious, how does your family feel about this? Are they against Catholicism? I mean, you're only 15 (as am I!) and can hardly be supporting yourself right now...?

What exactly is an "official convert"?

September 15, 2005 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny you'd ask that right now. Today after school my grandma and brother grilled me for almost two hours on all topics Catholic. Though this happens fairly often. I have seven aunts, all very devoted Protestants. My Mom at one time went into Catholicism, but ended up getting out before getting completely in, I think. They are all against Catholic theology and culture, but only my immediate family and my grandma know about me. As far as I know, at least. So no, I can't be supporting myself right now in any sense. My Mom would definitely not let me convert, so I'm hanging here until I can get out from under her authority and provision.

An official convert would be one that has partaken of all the initiatory rites, including the initiatory sacraments. I've already been baptized, so that's done. According to what I've read, the rest would be my official profession of faith, Confirmation, and First Communion. I know confession has to fit in there somewhere before those two, but I don't know all the procedures and everything. I'm just eagerly waiting.

September 15, 2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

By the way, that's me.

September 16, 2005 8:13 AM  
Blogger David Ketter said...

Hey, you failed to mention that it's all my fault you two met!!!!

LOL...yes, it was MY Christian LotR board and MY fault that I asked Jon to play Elessar (Jess was Arwen) in a post-trilogy epic that can actually still be read at www.geocities.com/catholicboy930.

All my fault... ;)

(Yes, that means Jon owes me for making him Catholic too, lol!)

September 16, 2005 9:22 PM  
Blogger pete said...

That URL isn't working, David... Must be out of date or something.

That's pretty ironic! :)

September 17, 2005 12:40 AM  
Blogger David Ketter said...

LOL...I messed it up...the site was listed right but the code was wrong! http://www.geocities.com/catholicboy930

Yes, Irony seems to be the theme of my life...*sigh*

September 17, 2005 10:50 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

lol. Sorry D.J. I was trying to be kind. :P

Proof positive that God can use us without us having explicit knowledge of it. ;)

September 17, 2005 3:06 PM  
Blogger Philadelphia said...

I have read your some of your posts in the pasts and have to admit that I am very curious about your being so drawn to Catholicism.I am very glad that you have found a friend to discuss Scripture with over the internet but would also add that as believers, we need to be careful to 1) honor God above denominations and seek to know Him as revealed through Scripture and 2) know that it is your parents who have authority over you and I hope that you allow them to speak their wisdom into your life.
Now for the theology part: The Catholic church upholds several fundamentals that all Christianity holds (Triune God, deity of Christ, virgin birth, resurrection and return of Christ). These are important, but there are several key areas that the Catholic church completely and Scripture do not align it is important to think the issues through.
In the Titus 3:5 we know that "He saved us not because of any righteous deeds we hd done, but because of His mercy. But the Roman Catholic Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that each person attains His own salvation by grace and good works. (1477 in the cathechism)
Also we know that Jesus is the sinless Redeemer (I Peter 1:18, 19) but the Catholic church teaches that Mary is the sinless redeemer. (494 in the cathechism)
The Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men and yet the Catholic church teaches that Mary is the "advocate and mediatrix" (cathechism 969)
The Bible says that Christ is the head of the church (Eph 1:22,23) and yet the Catholic church teaches that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and pastor of the entire Church (883) and "exercises infalliability when he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals". (891) The Catholic church teaches a different gospel of Scripture whenthey put additional requirements for salvation including sacraments (1129) meritorious masses (1405) indulgences (1498) and baptism (1256) . This is not the gospel that Christ shared.
Okay, that is just a few of the ways that Scripture and the Catholic church do not line up. I would be very cautious about putting any denomination above your personal relationship with Christ. Yes, there are problems with protestant denominations---the church will not be perfect as long as we are in this sinful world. But we should be like the Bereans and search to know for ourselves what God has to say to us through his Word.

December 02, 2005 1:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Thank you for visiting and leaving your comments! Let me get right into things here.

First, the Catholic Church is not a denomination. It’s just the Church. Denominations are a new invention. For a long while there was the Church and those that went against the Church. Second, while I respect the authority of my parents, God’s call trumps their law. (Acts 5:29).

In Titus 3:5 we know that "He saved us not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy. But the Roman Catholic Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that each person attains His own salvation by grace and good works. (1477 in the cathechism)

Here’s what Titus 3 says, (quoting from KJV, since it’s Protestant yet close to the Douay-Rheims here): “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

What he’s saying is that Christ came to earth to save us, not because of anything we have done, but because He was merciful He saved us- by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Here we see that St. Paul is referring to baptism, the regeneration. Or if you prefer… the saving grace we receive at whenever you think we believe. He’s not explicitly stating that Christ’s blood saves us, but of course it does! Where we differ is how His blood is applied to us. We believe that Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins. “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2010). So, in brief, we believe that Christ’s sacrifice is absolutely necessary for our salvation. Only that will forgive our sins and allow us to enter heaven. However, our good works can help us along the way. As members of the Body of Christ, we can “with fear and trembling work out [our] salvation” (Philippians 2:12)

Also we know that Jesus is the sinless Redeemer (I Peter 1:18, 19) but the Catholic church teaches that Mary is the sinless redeemer. (494 in the cathechism)

The Catechism says this: “Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:” (CCC, 494)

Mary’s sinlessness is a huge topic all on its own, and can be discussed later. For now, the fact that she is full of grace will have to do. The Catechism is saying that the Blessed Virgin Mary serves the mystery of redemption, with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace. By agreeing to be the Mother of Jesus, she allowed Him to enter the world to fulfill His sacred and redeeming mission. (Not that He couldn’t have done it without her, but that was the chosen plan.) Therefore, though sin entered into the world by Adam, it was Eve who took the first action. Likewise, we are redeemed by Christ, through Mary’s actions.

The Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men and yet the Catholic church teaches that Mary is the "advocate and mediatrix" (cathechism 969)

Yes, Jesus is the one Mediator. The Catechism in 969 is quoting from a Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium. Here is what that document says: “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.” (Lumen Gentium, 62). So just as we can pray for other people and be their advocate to God, Mary can be an advocate and intermediary.

The Bible says that Christ is the head of the church (Eph 1:22,23) and yet the Catholic church teaches that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and pastor of the entire Church (883)

“The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful" For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” (CCC, 882) There’s an even more explicit quote for the Pope’s headship over the Church. 883 has to do with the bishops, mainly. Saint Peter was appointed by Christ to feed His sheep, to lead His Church. The Pope is the successor of St. Peter. However, going back up to the beginning of this section, we read “Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church” (CCC, 874).

Christ is the Supreme Head of the Church. Indeed, when we talk about the Body of Christ, Christ is considered the head! The Pope is the head of the Church on Earth. He has this power by a commission from Christ Himself, as is seen in the giving of the keys to Peter.

[The Pope] exercises infallibility when he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals". (891)

Yes, he does. The doctrine is not a new one and does not constitute any new revelation. This charism means basically that God will stop the Church from teaching any doctrine that hasn’t been part of the constant tradition of the Church, handed down from the Apostles.

[The Catholic Church] puts additional requirements for salvation including sacraments (1129) meritorious masses (1405) indulgences (1498) and baptism (1256)

Okay, again, sacraments are the channels of the grace given to us by Christ. They are not additional, since they are just the channels of that infinite amount of grace which saves us. Technically, one could be baptized and die right there and not need to go to any masses, receive any indulgences, or any other sacraments. They’d miss out, but they’d be in heaven! 1 Peter 3:21 says “Whereunto baptism, being of the like form (the ark of Noah), now saveth you also:”

I know that no denomination or any group of people will be perfect, but that is not the point. The doctrines of the Church must be perfect. They have to. I hope you come back and visit the site in the future, and hopefully I’ll be able to get another post up during Christmas break!

God bless,
Jon.

December 04, 2005 2:33 PM  

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