Saturday, June 17, 2017

Are Catholics Not Christian Enough?

"I didn't know you were Catholic."

That statement from a coworker years ago shocked me. I've worked 15 years in a Catholic organization and next to this person for years, and somehow my faith never showed the light.

That day was a wake-up call for me.

Since then, I've tried to be a brighter light for Christ. Not in a "You must be a Catholic" sense, but in showing God's mercy and love for others. Because for me, it's not about converting numbers but in changing hearts to show love for one another, regardless of faith, regardless of circumstance.

I thought I was living that path.

Not Christian Enough

Hearing from a Christian Bloggers Group that Catholicism wasn't Christian enough for them was just the wake-up call I needed to better share my faith.Lately I had been feeling a tug to start blogging more again but hadn't really taken that step. Sure, I had shared several articles on Catholicmom.com, but those were written months ago.  I just never found the time to do more.

This week, though, I made a baby step.

I posted an article on my scouting blog about a new Catholic scout patch program and shared a pin in a Christian Woman Bloggers Group on a pin sharing thread. Apparently that was too Catholic for this group.

By the afternoon, they announced that no Catholics need apply, that even though this was a "Christian Woman Bloggers" group it was for Protestants only. Nevermind that I was a long-standing member of the group. Nevermind that I had supported all my Christian blogging sisters, without questioning which of the 200+ demoninations of Christianity they were. For me, it was about supporting a Christian way of living.

One that apparently does not include love and respect for the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor of other Christians not of the "right" denomination.

After several nasty posts directed at me about how wrong I am, I was banned from the group before I had a chance to even respond. Because Catholics are not Christian enough.

I do want to thank these women, though.

I want to thank them for reminding me of what Ghandi said once:
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
For reminding me that I need to do better.

For reminding me that I cannot be complacent in my faith. 

For reminding me that even though we may be claiming to work for Christ, sometimes we are human and truly act that way in a broken world.

For reminding me that I need to do better at sharing my love for Christ.

Catholics and Protestants: What can we learn from each other?Not the First Time

Interestingly it's not the first time I wasn't seen as being "Christian" enough  because I adhere to Catholic teachings. In high school, my boyfriend's mother was upset about my faith and let him know she didn't want him to marry a Catholic. (It never happened.) I remember friends in college who belonged to "Christian" organizations who didn't want to be seen with a Catholic in public. (Needless to say, those friendships did not last.)

The funny thing is Christian = believer in Christ.

We may vary on the details - as evident by the hundreds of Christian denominations in the world, as well as the interpretations given by individual pastors and religious leaders.

But the end result, we believe in Christ and hope for a reunion with Him in our next life in Heaven.

Maybe if we all focused on living out our faith and love for Christ for others, and in supporting one another in our faith journeys, regardless of where we are starting, our world would be radically different.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 13:35 New Living Translation (see other Bible translations here)

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