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Evangelicals and Catholics: Let's Celebrate Our Similarities

Evangelicals and Catholics: Let's Celebrate Our Similarities

My perspective as a convert to Catholicism
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Jesus' life and mission. Another major area of agreement between Catholics and evangelicals is our beliefs about Jesus' life and purpose. Together we affirm the Virgin Birth and Jesus' sinless life, atoning death, bodily resurrection, and ascension. We all believe Christ will come again to judge humankind, and that we rely on God's grace for salvation.

The importance of Scripture. Perhaps less known to evangelicals is the Catholic view of Scripture. Yes, Catholics include some extra books in our Bible—often called the Apocrypha—because we believe the Reformers dropped these books from the original Bible. But that difference aside, both evangelicals and Catholics hold a high view of Scripture and inerrancy. We agree on the Bible's divine inspiration. I personally believe evangelicals hold the corner on effective ways to teach and study Scripture in small groups. However, it's important for evangelicals to realize that Scripture is a central aspect of Catholic worship. Every Catholic mass includes a significant amount of Scripture—typically one Old Testament, one New Testament, and one Gospel reading per service—and priests are instructed to preach on that day's Scripture reading, not a topic of their choosing. Also, most of the prayers and liturgy we recite are drawn from and based on Scripture. Overall I would say evangelicals and Catholics are equally matched in Bible teaching—we just go about it in different ways.

Ethics and morality. A positive comment I often hear from evangelicals about Catholics—and an area where we share interest—is our commitment to morality. Catholics have what we call a "womb to tomb" outlook on life that fights abortion, supports families, cares for the sick and homeless, and challenges capital punishment. If you've ever seen an abortion clinic protest, for example, you probably witnessed passionate Catholics praying for the mothers and babies. Worldwide, Catholics are leaders in outreach and missions work. Our commitment to these matters springs from and is centered on our faith in Christ—just like the admirable work evangelicals do in these areas.

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gary

July 29, 2013  7:23pm

Do you think that it is important to have a specific event that you can point to and say: "THEN, is when God saved me!"? We Lutherans do NOT believe that baptism is mandatory for salvation. All the saints in the OT, the thief on the cross, and many martyrs have died without baptism. We believe they are saved and in heaven. It is not the lack of baptism that damns someone to hell...it is the lack of faith/belief that damns one to hell, as Christ states in Mark 16:16. Many evangelicals think that Lutherans believe that salvation must come through Baptism. This is flat-out wrong! Baptism is one of several possible "when"s of salvation. It is always the Word of God that saves. (Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God). A sinner can be saved sitting in church listening to a sermon; listening to a Gospel program on the radio; or reading a Gospel tract. Baptism is NOT mandatory for salvation. However, Baptism is God's mark upon us that he truly has saved us. We belong to him. Unless someone intentionally fakes believing, fakes repenting, and fakes a genuine desire to receive Christ's "mark" in baptism, the person being Baptized DOES receive Christ's mark stating: YOU, child, now belong to me. In the evangelical conversion, you have two viewpoints, Arminian and Calvinist. The Arminian believes that he is saved when HE makes a decision to have faith and believe/repent. The problem is that when HIS faith is ebbing low, he begins to question the sincerity of his "decision": "Did I really do 'it' right?" Why this worry? He worries because his salvation was partly dependent upon HIM; upon HIS "decision". The Calvinist, on the other hand, believes that he is either born the Elect or he isn't. There doesn't need to be any specific time of conversion, as long as at some point in his life, the Calvinist declares to the world his faith and belief---he IS one of the Elect. However, ask many Calvinists when they were saved and they will give you a blank stare and then answer, "Well...my salvation was a 'process'!" Are there any examples in the Bible of ANYONE being saved by a process?? Receive the mark of Christ, brothers and sisters. In Holy Baptism, God's marks you as his: “Property of the King of Kings, Almighty Lord of Heaven and Earth". Gary Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/07/how-many-steps -did-you-complete-to.html

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Jill

March 04, 2013  9:53pm

There are far more differences between evangelicals and Catholics than the author states. She seems to be suggesting that evangelicals disregard these differences, which are major. Does the author believe that Mary was born without sin, which, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, was declared by Pope Pius IX to be official dogma? The Word of God states that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Mary was a sinner in need of a Saviour, as we all are. And what of salvation? The Word of God states that salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing. Jesus said, at the moment of death, "It is finished.". We cannot add to His finished work on our behalf other requirements for salvation as Catholic dogma states we must. Nowhere in Scripture does it state that communion is necessary for salvation. Neither are the Catholic doctrines of infant baptism, prayers for the dead, prayers to Mary, etc., taught in Scripture.

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Ann Hesenius

February 28, 2013  1:11pm

Christy has written a fantastic article!! :) I'm just blown away reading the rampant MIS -information and unbelievable ideas some posters have about Catholicism!!. Some much-needed educating is neededfor sure - on the Church's factual dogmas and their origins - from Jesus Himself and the Early Church Fathers (bet those same posters will have no idea who I mean, sad to say), Yikes!- I could go on for days, and I probably couldn't pry these minds open one itsy bitsy iota. Just a few to check out as a tiny beginning, for truth's sake: Dr. Scott Hahn, Marcus Grodi's Coming Home Network, Guy Dowd ( a past Teacher of the Year),

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