September 24, 2007

Why I Left The Catholic Church

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to socialize and spend time with some of my best friends during my high school years. One of them is getting married shortly and we all got together to wish him well, have some fun, and remember the "good ole" days as a couple of them put it. Life has changed dramatically for me in the last 13 years. When we were all running around in high school together, I was a "non-practicing" Catholic. I went to church occasionally, but had grown up attending a parochial school and mass as often as possible. I was as far away from God as I have ever been. Since that time, I've experienced the saving grace of Jesus, been baptized, married, and entered into para-church as well as Protestant church life.

I had changed and they knew it. They made sure they let me hear it as well. There was everything from warnings about "here comes the Baptist preacher" to friendly jabs about having to overlook the occasional offensive remarks or words. The four hours we spent together were a definite reminder that we now stood at vastly different places in our life. And the one thing I couldn't help but notice was that the main difference was they still were "non-practicing" Catholics and I was not. And it got me to thinking and remembering why I made the decision to abandon Catholicism and pursue a Jesus I had never known or been shown in the first 20 years of my life.

And that's what I'm going to write about his week on the blog. I hope that this series is helpful in many ways. First, I hope that it is helpful for those who are not familiar with Catholicism to understand what some of the major differences are between Protestants and Catholics. Second, I hope that it's helpful for those folks who still are Catholic to understand why I left the Catholic church. Third, I hope it gives everyone who reads the Syndrome a little insight into how I've arrived at age 31 where I am.

I also want to write a full disclaimer here that these are my reasons for leaving the Catholic church. This is not a rant against Rome. My family reads this blog and they are still Catholics. They are not bad people. They are not necessarily less godly because they attend "mass" instead of "service". They are not ignorant. They are not evil. They are not stupid. My grandma Backes was one of the most Godly yet feisty women I have ever known and she was a Catholic all of her life. If Protestants prayed half as much as she did, it would be amazing to see the results. This series is about my primary reasons (Biblically) that I left, not a commentary on folks who still are members of the Roman Catholic church.

So without further adieu, my first reason is:

#1 – Sola Scriptura – The Bible Alone

The main reason the Reformation happened and the main reason I am now considered a Protestant. I believe that the Bible alone is sufficient. I do not believe in equating the Bible with church fathers' writings, or church traditions, or papal pronouncements. For those of you who wonder what papal is, he's the Pope. I see no reason nor am I given one Biblically to look anywhere outside the 66 books of the Bible for authority, advice, counsel, or knowledge of who God is and what He says. I trust the Bible alone. No other source. I will not present a defense nor an explanation of the points-counterpoints / different views of this subject here on this blog. If you want too, you can simply Google "Sola Scriptura" and read to your hearts' content. But I am convinced that only the Bible is necessary. No other sources either written or verbal equate with the Bible in its force, authority, or power as the 66 books of the Bible.

I also think that Catholics tend to write off or overlook the warnings in Revelation about adding to or subtracting from the Word of God. They rely heavily on things the Popes throughout the ages have said or written and they rely on pronouncements / rulings from the Vatican both of which are "extra-Biblical" meaning they add to the Bible. Many of the additional reasons that I will discuss this week stem from the fact that the Catholic church doesn't believe in using the Bible solely for its guidance and direction.

More to come this week! If you would like to read or watch a couple of really good sermons that talk about the Bible and its uniqueness click here or here to read. Click here to watch.



Anonymous said...

How come that there is no mention of the "Bible Alone!" in the Bible?

If the these Church fathers and oral traditions are good enough to come up with the basic Christian Creeds and the concept of the Trinity, then how come they are not good enough to figure out the Canon of Scripture?

സോജന്‍ തോമസ് said...

2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Shawn H. said...

You are in my prayers, but you are wayyyyy off base in claiming sola scriptura! I would love to challenge you on here about this false claim...will you challenge me on this topic?

charles allan said...

Sola Scripture
The Bible is the WORD . Look through
the old and new testaments to see how
often the WORD is absolutely necessary. If Jesus used the Word
to send the devil away then how much more do we need the sword of the Spirit (the Word , the Bible) to fight the devil who is much more powerful than us