I have included exactly what Lana wrote to me word for word at the end of this post, so that you can see it word for word, but I'll be pulling out segments of it as I write this article.
Lana mentioned that her journey was being raised a Christian, then going into the New Age for many years, then becoming a Catholic ( in order to marry one ) and now being a born again baptized Christian and daughter of the King.
I have yet to find "ANY" former Catholic that truly knows the Catholic faith and actually lived it properly and faithfully. I'm not talking about Catholics in name only because they were baptized Catholic. I'm not talking about Catholics who say I'm Catholic and only go to Church on Christmas and Easter. I'm not talking about Catholics like an elderly man who told me in the 1990's that "I am a BLANK BLANK ( profane words ) Roman Catholic" and I could see no sign of his faith lived out. I'm not talking about the person who becomes a Catholic to marry one and may have never truly known and lived the faith because RCIA will NOT make one a faithful Catholic. I'm not talking about the box checking Catholic that says I do this, this and this, so I'm a good Catholic but they don't truly know Jesus Christ. They are just a box checker. Oh, if you think this doesn't go on in other non-Catholic Churches think again.
I am talking about Catholics like the Catholic men's group that I'm going to this morning full of many men that Love the Lord Jesus Christ, know their Catholic faith, live their Catholic faith and know Jesus Christ as Savior. I am talking about men like many priests that I have met that preach a solid message of Jesus that I have heard many times in the Catholic Church. I am talking about Catholic men like my friend Barry who lives for Christ, loves Jesus and knows his Catholic faith. I am talking about men like my friend Jeff who is converting to Catholicism out of a love for the Lord Jesus Christ who knows his faith. I am talking about people like my wife and I who love the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him better than we ever have in our Christian life. The reason that I did not mention women other than my wife is because as a man most of my contact and conversation is with Catholic men. However, I have met several Catholic women that know their Catholic faith and love the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lana made some comments that are not uncommon:
"the Catholic church is not of God"
"the vatican serves satan"
"who else do you think Revelation refers to as the harlot church?"
and closes these comments with "The Clues Are There!"
Lana goes on to write:
"Catholic church follows pagan tradition, why not just follow Jesus?"
"No add ons, no rosary, no genuflecting no kissing statues (and veneration is the same as worship - look into that one!)."
"Your pope and priests cannot save you, only Christ Jesus."
"you have years of a strong hold with this church"
Continuing On: I'm not going to go in any particular order and I'm not going to directly address everything that Lana wrote.
Lana must have not read about me to say ""you have years of a strong hold with this church." Let's see about that: I'm just shy of two years of attending my first ever regular Catholic Mass and I haven't even been a Catholic for a full year as of this post.
I have been a Christian since before the age of 10. My mother attended a protestant Church when she was pregnant with me and I was a protestant Christian most of my life until becoming a Catholic Christian ( became Catholic at age 51 ). I cannot ever remember not knowing who Jesus is. I got sent to the principals office in sometime around the age of 7 or so for trying to sell Church pens at elementary school. I have preached from the pulpit of a Protestant Church on a Sunday morning and I have served in Protestant ministry as an ordained Youth Pastor. So Yes, I know Jesus and I know the Christian faith.
I love and serve the SAME Jesus Christ as I have loved as long as I can remember. The ONLY difference is that I'm now a Catholic Christian and my Christian faith and service to the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior has only grown stronger. It's not my place to judge someone's interior faith and love for Jesus whether they are Catholic or non-Catholic. Jesus hasn't changed. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. I have changed my religious affiliation because I feel that I have discovered a truth in serving the Lord Jesus that I have never known before. I'm sold out for Christ. ( FYI, Lana, I know the "pope and priests cannot save you, only Jesus Christ" but thanks for mentioning the obvious. )
Much of what Lana wrote is not even worth addressing because it's the same type of stuff that I have been exposed to over and over and over. It doesn't weaken my Catholic faith. It only makes me grow stronger, so thanks Lana for strengthening my faith.
I know the Catholic faith after well over 500 hundreds of hours of reading, listening, studying, comparing, reviewing many of the arguments, praying about it, etc. In addition, I probably have 150+ hours at this point attending Mass and hearing many wonderful homilies with a very high percentage of them focused on the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
A new one on me though is "veneration is the same as worship." Let's see about that one. Worship is reverence or adoration to a DIETY. The only DIETY is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Veneration is to show great respect or reverence and it DOES NOT say in the definition "to a DIETY." Since reverence is listed in both definitions, I will include the definition of reverence which is deep respect for someone or something.
There is NOTHING in Catholic Church teaching and I repeat NOTHING that says we are to worship anything or anyone but GOD alone. Period! And no Lana, veneration is not worship. I can venerate my parents who are still alive. I can venerate my wife. I can venerate our two daughters. I can venerate anyone that I have GREAT RESPECT for. That doesn't mean that I worship them. My worship is to GOD and GOD alone. Having respect for those who have gone before me like my Grandfather who was a wonderful Christian man ( not a Catholic ) or Mary the Mother of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or even the saints, many of whom DIED for their faith, is not worship and there is no need to twist something into what it is not or say the Catholic Church teaches the worship of anything or anyone but God when it clearly only teaches the WORSHIP of God.
I'm not sure why someone would send a message like this if they are hoping that I would become a "born again baptized Christian" and leave the Catholic faith because they think I'm not a Christian. It's not a very friendly message. I'll use some of Lana's actual words below to show what I mean.
Imagine if I were trying to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and of His great love especially His command of loving your neighbor as yourself and I wrote something like this:
"You need to listen to Joel Osteen on TV. He is sound in the Lord. He is correct that YOUR CHURCH is not of God. It may seem that way but YOUR CHURCH serves satan (who else do you think Revelation refers to as the harlot church? The clues are there). YOUR CHURCH follows pagan tradition."
Hmmmm.... What do you think? Because in a nutshell that is just some of what Lana said to me as a "Born Again Baptized Christian Who Follows Jesus!" Is that Christian love? And NO, speaking the truth in love is a poor excuse to send a message like this to someone. There is a better way and a better approach to sharing your faith if you truly love the Lord Jesus, want to do His will and follow His commands like loving your neighbor as yourself.
Now let's look at a more Christ like approach when contacting someone:
I just found your website and see that you are a Catholic. I have to be honest. I'm not a huge fan of Catholicism. However, Christ commanded us to love one another and so I've decided to make this a loving message.
I was once a Catholic because I became one to marry Catholic. But I now consider myself a born again baptized Christian. However, I will not point fingers and make judgments since I don't truly know you or your love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
What I would like to know is why you are a Catholic vs. some other Christian faith?
I'm hoping to first understand your reasoning before I judge you or your Church which I really shouldn't do anyway since the Bible says "judge not lest you be judged" and like Christ said "let him is who is without sin cast the first stone."
Once you reply, I'd like to share why I believe what I believe and share my love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I sincerely want to see if we have some common ground to begin some Christ like dialogue.
But in Lana's defense, she may have not liked what I wrote about GABE THE STREET PREACHER which was simply refuting how he comes at Catholics so harshly and showing their are two sides to everything.
There is a right way and a wrong way to share the love of Christ. Based on past experience, if Lana reads this full article, I don't anticipate a loving, kind, Christ like reply. I'm not judging her. I'm simply saying that I don't expect that type of reply if she does read this post. I'm hopeful that if she does reply that it will be more Christ like than her first message to me.
Just for the record:
I am a born again baptized Christian. That's just not the way Catholics generally say it. But any faithful Catholic serving the Lord Jesus Christ is headed toward the same heaven as those who like to point fingers about everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church and share their fallible human opinion of their own personal interpretation of scripture.
Lana's Comments In My Web Form:
I suggest you listen to Gabe the Street Preacher. He is sound in the Lord and it is correct that the Catholic church is not of God, it may seem that way but the vatican serves satan (who else do you think Revelation refers to as the harlot church? The clues are there).
Gabe is out day after day with the Word of God out of love and wanting to awakened the blind. Catholic church follows pagan tradition, why not just follow Jesus?
No add ons, no rosary, no genuflecting no kissing statues (and veneration is the same as worship - look into that one!).
Your pope and priests cannot save you, only Christ Jesus. May those who have hears to hear, listen to truth. Not just of Gabe but of other strong born again Christians.
I know it is hard, you have years of a strong hold with this church but Jesus is the redeemer, our only saviour and will bring us to truth.
Lana's Religious Background: Raised as Christian, then went into new age for many years along with becoming a Catholic in order to marry one. Now a born again baptised Christian and daughter of the King. Halleluia! No more spiritual darkness or counterfeits. Christ alone!
Now that I have finished the article and shared Lana's thoughts, let's close on what the Christian faith is about which is being or becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
It's time for action......
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a Virgin, died on the Cross of Calvary and shed His blood for the sins of the world. He rose again on the 3rd day and is seated at the right hand of God the father. Jesus said, "I am the truth and the way." Do you know Jesus? Have you turned from sin and turned to Him? Christ loves you.
If you are a Catholic Christian, live the Catholic faith to the fullest. Put Christ truly first in your life. Don't be a box checker.
If you are not a Catholic Christian, I encourage you to consider the Catholic Christian faith. Start by visiting a local Catholic Church, reach out to the parish ( church ) office, find a Catholic who lives their faith, visit Catholic.com and listen to Called To Communion on EWTN. All of these ways are a great way to get started.
If you don't profess to be a Christian, repent of your sins, turn to Christ as Savior and see the paragraph above. The reality is that Christ knows your heart and knows if you are truly seeking Him. It doesn't take a bunch of fancy words to begin the journey. The key is to begin the journey with a sincere desire to let Christ be KING OF YOUR LIFE.