To my Catholic friends and family
In a crisis, we can either hunker down, fight, or flee. We can try and protect ourselves until the crisis is over, actively engage in the struggle to end the crisis, or get ourselves as far away from the maelstrom as possible. The crisis Roman Catholics find themselves in right now certainly has many of them thinking of fleeing, but likely many more hunkering down and praying their beloved church will survive.
If you are in either of these two groups (because those fighting are too committed to consider my suggestion), I implore you to ask yourself this question: Why am I Catholic? If your answer is anything other than, “Because I have investigated the church’s claims and found them credible,” it’s not really a good answer. That is, if truth matters. That’s why so many have already left the church and others are seriously considering it. They know their answer doesn’t give them a good enough reason to stay.
But what are they/you fleeing to? One of the primary reasons why I have called attention to the errors in the Catholic Church is because many who come out of her are so repulsed by some of her unbiblical and irrational doctrines and practices they reject Christianity altogether and run into the arms of atheism. Because the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) promotes herself as “the one, true church,” they figure, if that’s Christianity I want no part of it.
So maybe that’s where you are right now. You’ve seen through the facade and recognize that what the church says is true ain’t necessarily so. But if truth really does matter, then truth is worth actively seeking. Have you investigated the evidence for the reliability of the Bible? Have you compared what is taught there to what the RCC teaches? Looked into what non-Catholic Christians believe? Do you really think it’s wise to throw out the proverbial baby with the baptismal water?
Biblical Christianity has much evidence to commend it as true, and the God revealed in it as the one, true God who loves and receives all who come to him. If you reject Christianity because of a flawed representation of it, you are rejecting the one for whom you were created and in whom alone is true, lasting happiness and setting a course for an eternity of torment and regret. And if you embrace atheism, and are intellectually honest, you’ll have to accept that neither you nor anyone else have inherent worth, there is no such thing as objective morality, the existence of the universe is a mere brute fact, and your capacity to reason to truth itself is unreliable.
But maybe you’re a hunkerer instead. I understand your devotion to an institution that likely helped shape you from childhood and to which many wonderful people belong. I was there myself once. This crisis has rocked you and maybe shaken your faith a little, but you believe the Catholic Church is the one which Jesus himself instituted and said the gates of hell would not prevail against. So though many bad shepherds have abused and abandoned the flock, the Good Shepherd has not, and for you to abandon the church would be to reject him and be eternally lost. But why do you believe the Catholic Church is the one, true church? Is it not merely because that’s what she has told you? Have you investigated her claims for yourself? What if the all too human desire for power and prestige corrupted many of the early church’s leaders leading to the establishment of a centralized authority for their own selfish gain?
I am convinced that any Catholic willing to consider the possibility that the unique claims, doctrines, and practices of the RCC are not supported biblically, and to investigate the evidence apart from Catholic literature, will come to the conclusion I did. They will see that Jesus did not establish an institution nor an earthly authority usurping his as head of the church, which is his body. That this body is composed of many members who affiliate with many different denominations and none, and are united by trusting faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. And that there IS salvation apart from the Catholic Church, and it is by faith alone.
If these evils being exposed in the highest of the Catholic hierarchy have made you at least willing to examine objectively what you have been led to believe, my series on why I left Rome will get you started. And I am open to a friendly dialogue if you have questions or objections.