Zzzzzzz. Catholic teens catch 40 winks during religious ed class

The Catholic religious ed. teacher in the article below bemoans the fact that all of herdownload (1) teenage students are totally indifferent to her lessons. But who can blame those Catholic kids for being apathetic about their religion? According to church sources, 76% of their parents don’t attend mass on Sunday. And who can possibly blame those parents? Their pope has said even atheists will go to Heaven if they’re “good” so why bother with all of that boring, liturgical rigmarole?

I feel sorry for those Catholic teens. I used to be one of them. Instead of being taught they are all sinners facing eternal judgement BUT that God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to this world to save all those who accept Him by faith, they are taught religious ritualism and how to earn their own salvation by trying to obey the Law and by being “good.”  Yet, God’s Word says many times that NO ONE is good. Christ came to save sinners, not the self-righteous “good.” The overwhelming majority of Catholic teens will abandon their religion the first chance they get but I would argue they’ll be no worse off than zealous Catholics who attend mass every day trying to earn their way to Heaven.

Take a browse through this article and then decide if you’re doing a “good enough” job obeying God’s commandments.

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My Students, See Future Ex-Catholics

By Mary Deturris Poust

Aletia

October 23, 2015

http://aleteia.org/2015/10/23/i-look-at-my-students-and-see-our-future-ex-catholics/

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21 thoughts on “Zzzzzzz. Catholic teens catch 40 winks during religious ed class

  1. I was once one of these teens. The problem is they tell you what to do, mostly what not do to, but NEVER WHY! Had I learned theology of the body instead of abstinence, I would have embraced it. Had I learned about scriptural exegesis and historicity of Christ instead of the order of the mass, I might have been interested. I can safely say I graduated a Catholic high school with no idea what a state of grace was, why confession was necessary, that missing mass was grave matter, and I was one of the FEW who even listened in our religious education classes. I became and atheist, and by the grace of God, I encountered both a lay person and a priest who challenged my atheist statements like most catholics cannot because they simply are not formed well enough. These informed people may well have saved my soul.

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    1. I myself went to Catholic school for 10 out of my 12 years of school and had the same problem….I did not understand much of anything in the end! I knew there was a God and that His Son died for our sins but everything else just had a nice feeling about it, much like holiday traditions (if that makes sense). I started to study my faith on my own and discovered how much I had been missing and came to love my faith on my own terms, by the grace of God! I do not pretend to know everything there is to know, I just know that every time I have a question my studies lead me back to the Catholic faith. Praise God that you listened to His voice through those around you!

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      1. Definitely, she has changed directions and been grievously misconducted, she is, after all, run by men. St Peter right off the bat denied Christ 3x- that was a good indicator Christ knew there would be problems.

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      2. That would be nice, amiright?! I wish, but topics unrelated to salvation, leave some free reign. For instance, there is no formal position on creation vs. evolution. You can believe what you want about that because it isn’t necessary for salvation. You can take it literally or poetically, for example. He must feel certain that what he is speaking on is, in fact, guided by the Holy Spirit. I imagine this takes a lot of discernment, perhaps of multiple people, hence synods, offering him their opinions, so he might pray on them. With such a large church, pockets, as with those selling indulgences, can kind of start taking these reigns and saying heretical things until it gets extinguished, and these movements cannot be rash because of their nature, though, they will get extinguished.

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      3. There are actually only two “official” infallible teachings: Mary’s immaculate conception (1854) and her assumption (1950). You would think there would be a few more after all these years but popes are understandably still feeling a bit snake-bit for condemning Galileo for his theories on heliocentrism. Catholics are obliged to believe in the immaculate conception and the assumption or it’s a mortal sin and they are condemned to hell. But in 1965 the church declared that people of all faiths would go to Heaven if they were “good.” And now pope Francis says even atheists will go to heaven if they are “good.” So why do Catholics have to go to Hell for not believing in the immaculate conception or assumption when atheists don’t even believe in God?

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      4. The first infallible document was the Tome to Flavian in 449, I believe. It is regarded retroactively, in that, at this time they did not have a word to describe the ex cathedra statements. The list has about 10 instances all-told.
        If you believe what is to be implied about this out of context quote, then why be Christian, at all? I’m totally serious. I never engage in online name-calling and shaming with sarcasm. It isn’t becoming of a Christian, which I am.

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      5. My! So sensitive! You do realize, of course, that your church claims to be the “one true church” and has a 1000-year history of intolerance and persecution of non-Catholics, right up into the 20th-century. Need examples? Actually, Jesus was quite confrontational with the works-righteous religionists of 1st-century Judea. But we can still be friends. Don’t take my condemnation of RCism personally.

        Not so fast. There is no official declaration from your church that the Tome to Flavian was in an infallible document as you suggest. But what I want to know is if pope Paul V’s and pope Urban VIII’s condemnations of Galileo for his theory of heliocentrism were infallible?

        Christ came to save sinners not the religious self-righteous who try to merit their way to Heaven as the Catholic church prescribes. Calling oneself a “Christian” and then attempting to merit one’s own salvation is a contradiction.

        But why waste another minute on your Catholic religion? Your own pope Francis says even atheists will go to Heaven if they are “good.” But God’s Word says NONE are good which is why Jesus came to save everyone who accepts Him, without a single plea of their own.

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      6. I can be sensitive on some topics, but, oddly, not this one. I have great peace about accepting Catholicism as the one, holy and apostolic church. No longer angry, knotted up with vitriol for something I misunderstood. All Catholics have the baptismal responsibility to account for the hope that is in us.
        Yes, I realize these claims about the church. I was a raging atheist- like 4 horseman, all the way. That claim is what lead atheist me to challenge and investigate its claims, read the early church fathers, and, even, read about Galileo. I needed to look at each argument and hear each side. I did that. This is the conclusion I have reached having done so. Yes, I have read and do continue to read the bible preferring the Clementine Latin. I know of table-flipping, Pharisee condemning Jesus.
        I considered all faiths in my search, initially, when I concluded a God was a logical proposition. When Christianity began to truly capture my attention, I knew I could be Catholic or not Christian, because every other form of Christianity was unworkable when followed to the end of its logic. I did give the arguments consideration, and am particularly impressed with the works of Anglican NT.
        The condemnation of Galileo was not so much about his theory, but that he was using this to make a claim about theology. Still, it was quite wrongly handled. No one disputes this.
        Christ definitely came ‘not for the righteous, but for sinners.’ One can not merit heaven. Nothing we ever do will make us worthy of heaven. It is a gift that we can choose to accept and our actions and living in accord with truth reflect that acceptance.
        When anyone says, and Pope Francis is not remotely the first, that a ‘good’ atheist can go to heaven, he or she is right. If someone, through no fault of their own, knows not of Christ, do you see Christ penalizing them? This is quite different than an atheist who knows of him and rejects him. It also poses the question about what is ‘good.’
        Someone needn’t in every case be Catholic to be ‘saved,’ but as it is, the fullness of Truth, and Truth is good, many seek it.
        Lastly, the ‘RC’ which you contempt is then just Roman Catholicism? Or, also, Byzantines, Melchites, etcetera? And, if not also them, why not? And, in which denomination do you currently attend church?

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      7. RE: “It is a gift that we can choose to accept and our actions and living in accord with truth reflect that acceptance.”

        In defending their religion, Catholics engage a logic (and spiritual) fallacy. They claim to have “accepted” Jesus as SAVIOR (via baptism), but then insist they must do THEIR part in securing their salvation by PERFECTLY obeying the Law. The Catholics who think they do a pretty good job of obeying the Law have lowered the hurdle dramatically in defiance of Christ’s words. The Catholics who know they don’t measure up are hoping they are able to time things properly so that there’s no “mortal” sin on their soul at the moment of their death. In both cases, salvation depends ultimately on the Catholic’s obedience to the Law rather than on the Savior.

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      8. The simple answer is that, we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8), and not by works. However, one has to remember that it is not enough to simply say “I believe”, and then do nothing. The bible says, “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather he who does the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21) Therefore, it must be assumed that works are indeed a necessary component of one’s faith. Too many people think that faith means giving God lip service only (“This generation honors me with their lips, while their heart is far from me”, Matthew 15:18), rather than actually doing good deeds for others.
        When we see faith and works in the bible together a singular time, we see: “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone”. James 2:24
        I am, thoroughly, enjoying this conversation. 😀
        You’re making me check myself! Never a bad thing.

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      9. OK…now we’re getting to the core of the issue. Catholics say they are “being saved” by God’s grace through faith in Christ. They say God’s grace, which they receive via the sacraments, helps them to avoid “mortal” sin. At the moment of their death Catholics must present themselves to God without a single “mortal” sin staining their soul or they will go to hell. So Catholics are taught they must perfectly obey the Law in order to merit Heaven. Just one “mortal” sin on their soul will doom them. Unlike Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5 regarding the sheer impossibility of obeying the Law, Catholics set the hurdle pretty low. Comments like, “Well, at least I never killed anyone” or “My good outweighs my bad” are common among Catholics. The hierarchy teaches that if anyone assumes they are saved by accepting Christ they commit the sin of presumption. Catholics can never assume they are saved because their salvation is based on their obedience and, in regards to grave “mortal” sin, their soul must be without any blemish of grave sin at the moment of death. Most Catholics hope a priest makes it in time to their death bed to wipe the slate perfectly clean. Ach, Christ did so much better than that!

        Evangelicals believe we disobey God in thought, word, deed, and by omission all day, every day because we are sinners; that’s what we do. I must have committed at least 50 mortal sins today according to Christ’s perfect Holy standard in Matthew 5 and that was just today. Evangelicals are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone. I accepted Christ and I am in Him, covered by His perfect, imputed righteousness. I have absolutely no plea before the Father other than the perfect righteousness of His Son.

        Evangelicals see themselves as the tax collector in Luke 18, without a single plea, while Catholics see themselves as the Pharisee, thinking they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping those Ten Commandments, with God’s help, of course, and maybe without the Pharisee’s caricatural arrogance. Catholics see their sin as a manageable mound in their backyard. I look at my sin and see Pike’s Peak.

        James 2? Evangelical pastors don’t skip over it as you might assume. In fact, the gist of the message is preached quite a bit. Many come forward. Many say the sinner’s prayer. But did they genuinely receive Christ? Were they genuinely born again? God’s Word says good works follow genuine conversion (Ephesians 2:10). If there is no fruit, there was no genuine acceptance of Christ. Fruit will follow genuine acceptance of Christ, but salvation is not earned by good works. So do I go around all day planning to purposely disobey my Lord because He has redeemed me? Romans 6.

        Catholics give lip service to Christ as the Savior but they actually stumble over Him. The natural man can’t conceive of salvation without earning it. Salvation/redemption by works is the message of EVERY religion in the world EXCEPT for Evangelical Christianity.

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      10. Many would argue the moral bar is highest in the Catholic Church, objectively. They exclusively oppose contraceptives and consider missing Sunday worship a grave matter. Missing Sunday mass is considered grave matter as is murder (do not mistake this for AS grave as). That’s not a low bar.
        You say ‘most Catholics’ and ‘Catholics think’ this or that, but do not support these claims which are gravely judgmental and grievously wrong. Anecdotal evidence is never to be accepted as sufficient evidence in any setting. A large enough and random sample size would be needed to make these statements, which would be irrelevant anyhow. The human element of the Catholic Church is not what makes her the Bride of Christ.
        I FULLY believe this may have been your experience with Catholicism (my first experience with it was similar);however, the human element of a faith cannot be determinate of its validity.
        If a Catholic, or anyone, made these statements that you claim are common, they would simply be wrong. Ill informed members of the faith (in Catholicism there are so many it makes my head hurt) do not effect the actual truth. If you know the cure for lukewarmness in faith, please share it! I could certainly use it at times.
        Continuing, in order to die with mortal sin, you must be unrepentant. If before you died, you repented of sin, say contraception, and you had resolved to not use it again, no one can say you cannot go to heaven- just as we do not teach anyone is in hell for certain. This is too legalistic and scrupulous and ignores God’s mercy and love, and His ability to work outside the sacraments. We believe he knows each person’s heart.
        He gave us the sacraments, but God is not bound by them, as we are.
        Now, to say you commit 50 mortal sins a day is startling. In order for a sin to be mortal, it must be a.) grave matter, b.) you must know it is grave matter c.) you must have free will, that is you must fully choose to do it knowing it gravely offends God (not reflexively, habitually or accidentally).
        You may say you mortally sin 50 times a day, but as you seem to truly love God, I cannot believe this. I could be wrong.
        Further, for any of these to damn you, you would need to be unrepentant. I think you would be repentant. You have contrition for your sins.
        Christ absolutely did do better than what you describe. He wanted to interact with us and, indisputably when viewing the New Testament Hebrew and Greek, to consume his flesh. ( Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53) When the people are abhorred he clarifies, using the Greek word that means to gnaw on his flesh, it’s a very graphic description. Many leave Jesus, even followers, He does not sway. The Bible points this way the whole time even at his birth he is laid in a manger which come from the Greek root ‘to eat.’ He was literally born to be food for man.
        If we are talking about a church that claims something exceptional, it is the claim of the True Presence; however, being singular in something, isn’t a valid argument for its objective truthfulness.
        Again, there is a lot of poor catechesis out there, as there are a lot of misconceptions, even among clergy.
        I make no assumptions about evangelical pastors, and I certainly do not speak ill of them. They are following Christ to the best of their knowledge, and I think I have more in common with them, than not. I have many evangelical friends- even help them homeschool.
        We cannot be culpable for that which we do not know, so if anyone remains unaware, God will not punish them.
        Mental calisthenics! Physical, too! My thumbs hurt!

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      11. As you know, Evangelicals make no distinction between sins as in mortal or venial; sin is sin. You say Catholicism has a very serious regard for sin yet Catholics are obliged to go to confession only once a year. What does that message convey? How serious can sin be when confession is required only once per year? And even with that extremely low regard, only 12% of Catholics obey their church and participate in reconciliation at least once per year. That information is not anecdotal. http://cara.georgetown.edu/reconciliation.pdf

        So 88% of Catholics pick up a mortal sin by not going to confession yearly, which means many of them pick up yet another mortal sin for taking the eucharist on Sundays without having confessed mortal sin. But only 24% of Catholics attend mass weekly meaning the other 76% pick up mortal sin quite regularly. Again, that information is not anecdotal.
        http://cara.georgetown.edu/caraservices/requestedchurchstats.html

        But this very low regard for sin within Catholicism is not surprising given it’s casuistical approach to moral issues in the past.

        Well, we’re way off in the weeds for sure. Christ had an extremely serious regard for sin and presented it as a problem that could be resolved only by accepting Him as Savior. Catholics have an extremely low regard for sin as I’ve shown and most Catholics think they’re doing just fine “obeying” the Ten Commandments while God’s Word says no one can possibly be justified by the Law.

        You say you did a lot of research and concluded all other forms of Christianity were “unworkable.” I’m wondering what resources you checked in your review of Evangelical Christianity. Might I suggest a book which argues the case for salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone? See “Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification” by R. C. Sproul. In the not too distant past you would have definitely earned a mortal sin from your church for reading something like Sproul’s book but I’m not sure how that all works these days.

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  2. I agree that there is a definite lack of Catholics who are doing everything they can to live out their faith. However, you make some claims that have misconstrued facts. First of all, following your source that says 76% of Catholics do not go to Mass on Sundays, what is actually stated is that 24% say that they go EVERY week. That does not mean that 76% don’t ever go.

    Second of all, the Pope’s words are constantly manipulated by mass media to say what they want him to be saying. If you would like to see what he actually said regarding atheists and being saved, please look at this article: http://www.christianpost.com/buzzvine/7-times-pope-francis-was-misquoted-132679/ or any of the other articles that came up by doing a simple Google search about it.
    It would seem that you are more intent on bashing the Catholic Church than providing helpful information to people and this says to me that you have been hurt in some way. I am sorry for your hurt and encourage you to approach your research with the main end of declaring Truth, and not simply regurgitating the feelings of mass media.

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    1. RE: “I agree that there is a definite lack of Catholics who are doing everything they can to live out their faith.”

      For Catholics it’s all about do, do, do. Always running the treadmill but never being “good enough.”

      Christ came to save sinners, those without a single plea of their own…not religionists who claim they are “doing everything they can” to live out their faith. You look down your nose at other Catholics who aren’t doing “everything they can,” like you apparently do. We have never met but I am 100% confident that in the eyes of a Holy God you, just like every other person, falls drastically, drastically short of obeying Him. Catholics call Christ “Savior” and then go about busily trying to save themselves while looking down their noses at “lapsed” co-Catholics.

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      1. I am a hopeless sinner, just like the rest of the world and never pretend otherwise. While Catholics fail in living out all tenants of their faith same as anyone in any religion, I by no means look down my nose at anyone who is failing. The point of my comment was to point out the fallacies in the statistics and proclamations you made, not to claim myself or Catholicism is better than anyone else. People will read your information thinking it is truth and you have an obligation to your readers to give as truthful an account as possible. Apologies for that confusion.
        As far as how my God sees me or anyone else, that is definitely not for us to say. I am confident only that I am a sinner who has been saved by grace and loved by a God with a strength that I am not worthy of but will accept, as it is the greatest thing I could ever hope for. I do follow the Catholic faith, because the tenants of the faith show me God in His Trinity with more Truth and completion than any other Christian sect. However, we all serve the same God and if you do that in a different way than me, Praise be to God. Because THAT’S the whole point! No need to bash others or make up false claims to turn others away from a faith you clearly do not understand.

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