Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Top Ten Questions Catholics Are Asked

Last week when I went to visit my family in Orlando for the first time since my decision to become Catholic, I encountered many questions and confusion from my father and grandmother as to why my wife and I have decided to leave the Episcopal Church (of which we had been members since our birth). Their main concerns were about confession and the use of statues in the church. After explaining to them that Catholics do not worship statues and that confession to a priest is necessary to receive forgiveness of sins and additional grace in order to avoid sins, I realized that many non-Catholics have the same false perceptions of the Catholic faith. So, today when I was at my local Catholic bookstore I saw a pamphlet that gave responses to the top ten questions Catholics are asked. I will be posting the questions and answers in a ten part series.

Question 1: Are You Saved?

*Catholics can be as sure as anyone else that they are in God's good graces. The apostle John states that "you may know that you have eternal life" (1 Jn 5:13- See also Jn 5:24). But this "assurance" has to be understood in light of John's other teachings in the same book: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments" (1 Jn 5:3, emphasis added- See also 1 Jn 2:3-6). "We know that any one born of God does not sin" (1 Jn 5:18). "He who loves God should love his brother also" (1 Jn 4:21, emphasis added). "He who commits sin is of the devil" (1 Jn 3:18, emphasis added- See also 1 Cor 6:9). Likewise, St. Paul does not regard salvation as a one-time event, but as a goal to be sought after, one that can be lost: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12- See also 1 Cor 9:27, 10:12; Gal 5:1, 4; Phil 3:11-14; 1 Tim 4:1, 5:15).

* Answers by Dave Armstrong

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