Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How Does This Evangelical Look at Catholicism?

Growing up surrounded by Catholics in the Philippines, I share my colleague Gina's thoughts on what evangelicals share in common with Catholics. I respect the Catholic faith and although I was brought up to think this way, I don't consider all Catholics as non-Christians. In fact, my favorite prayer is The Lorica or St. Patrick's Breastplate which I read from time to time in the morning.

Below are some highlights from Gina's article that can be read in full here.

Out of ignorance, or misinformation, or sometimes just a fervent desire to separate themselves from error, many well-intentioned evangelical Christians believe and spread gross untruths about Catholicism. In my experience, many are unwilling to engage with Catholics themselves on these issues; they prefer to get their information, such as it is, secondhand.

She added...

And on a larger scale, I’m suggesting that the Catholic faith doesn’t deserve to be treated like the redheaded stepchild of Christianity.

I agree! And,

I’m not trying to deny the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. They’re very real and very important. Even Chuck Colson and Father John Neuhaus, in their seminal document Evangelicals and Catholics Together, acknowledged as much: “Our communal and ecclesial separations are deep and long standing. We acknowledge that we do not know the schedule nor do we know the way to the greater visible unity for which we hope.” They added, however, “We do know that existing patterns of distrustful polemic and conflict are not the way.” 

And, finally...

But despite all the teachings I don’t understand or don’t agree with, I believe that there’s truth in the Catholic Church, and that this truth is a valuable common ground where evangelicals and Catholics can come together and try to do away with those “patterns of distrustful polemic and conflict.”

(Read more: The Things We Share,