Yes, I was raised by a Catholic. My mom. I pray that this post is in no way offensive...because I am writing this post be cause I have some what been offended lately and I wanted to share some words from a very wise person I know. It was not until recently that I have been hearing people refer to Catholics as nonbelievers or as someone they need to evangelize to. The first couple of times I brushed it off not thinking much of it. A girl in Sunday school made references to herself as being a "Catholic magnet" in the same way you might refer to yourself as a Jewish magnet or whatever label you would like to slide in there that you feel like you would need to witness to. I thought it strange since I was never taught that Catholics were not Christians. So I was a leader at Youth Camp for FBC D'ville a couple of weeks ago and over heard one of the girls in my room talking about how she needed to witness to this one girl because she was a Catholic. It is funny now that I am catching these remarks when a year ago a friend I worked with (who is Catholic) had shared with me how she had been deeply hurt by some comments of others saying she was going to hell because she was a Catholic and again I was perplexed...and it was not until now that I completely understood how hurtful and how off those comments are. I was raised by a Catholic, a loving mother who was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school all of her life. So I decided to do some asking around...what is the big deal about Catholics. First let me say that my parents raised me in a Methodist church and then I joined the Baptist chruch when I married Jonathan my husband...so you could call me a heinz 57 when it comes to denominations. So after hearing what I thought to be some strage comments about Catholics (the denomination of which my mom was raised in) I decided to do a little research by asking some people close to me what was this all about. So I went to my mother who was Catholic and shared with her some of the things that people where saying. The main things that others were saying is that Catholics believe they are the one true church and if you are not Catholic then you will not go to heaven. I shared a few other comments and this was her response. She said that religion is man made. Religion is mans attempt at getting to God. She emphasized what she HAD ALWAYS TAUGHT me and that was that you must believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to have eternal life and that is what she learned in the Catholic Chruch. I never knew any different than that. She said the only truth comes from the Word and if you ever have any questions your answers will be found there. I asked her was she taught that other believers in other denomiations were not going to heaven just because they were not Catholic and do my aunts who still go to a Catholic church believe that and she said absolutely not. So if we believe what the Word says in John 3:16 which is what my mother always grew up believing and what she taught me from a small child then what is the problem. My mom hit it on the head. "Religion" is man made. We ALL get caught up in our formalities, the Catholics, the Baptists, the Methodist." I just started to ponder these things and thought that the very same people who believe the same thing I do about Salvation are pointing at Catholics like they need to be evangelized (please don't misunderstand me when I say this because we all get caught up in the "formalities" because we are sinners, but thank God he has so much Grace for us) yet my own mother was a Catholic and taught me the same thing they believe about Salvation. It is just interesting how people can get so caught up finger pointing when all they need to do is focus on HIM. And that is what my mom, a Catholic, taught me. I promise I do not pretend to have deep knowledge about the Catholic beliefs, but I did go to a women of God who did and felt that she had some very wise words to share.
I will say one last thing....if we keep this up, we are more than likely going to be surprised at who God excepted into his Kingdom when we finally arrive.