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Escaping the Catholic Church Through False Justification

basilica-st-john-lateran-8Eve knew very well what God had commanded her and Adam, but the text tells us that she had found the tree of knowledge of good and evil good to be pleasing to the eyes and desirable for gaining wisdom (Cf. Gen 3:6). It doesn’t take a whole lot for us to find justification to do what we know we ought not to be doing. It is only after we get confronted or caught and realize that our self-justification isn’t good enough to satisfy others do we then begin to find more clever excuses our behavior. For Adam it was just a matter of pointing the finger away from himself. “The woman whom you put here with me – she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it” (Gn. 3:12).

Of the three major attacks against the Catholic Church, Arianism, the so-called Great Schism, and Protestantism, only Arianism can be said to have been more about theological differences than political ambitions. Whether it be the Orthodox’s claimed issues with the Filioque, Papal primacy, and unleavened bread, or Martin Luther’s three sola’s (faith, grace, and scripture), these have been nothing more than merely pretentious excuses that people have devised to justify themselves for following the self-interested actions taken by dead men centuries ago.

Reasonable Orthodox Christians and Protestants will admit that politics was the real engine that drove their theology of division. Yet, they will also admit that because these smoke and mirror theological issues have remained a part of the vernacular of Christian division for so long, they have now become real to many of the faithful.

To help resolve these issues on a high level, a number of joint declarations, mutual agreements, and commissions over the past few decades have gone a long way to help us heal and grow in understanding about those excuses that should no longer separate us. The hope is that these high level ecumenical dialogues would trickle down to the laity.

After the so-called ‘reformers’ rejected the hierarchical Catholic Church, they sought out theological justification for their innovation of a Church that is not in union with the only Church that Christ established through His Apostles. The best that they could come up with is this unscriptural notion of an invisible Church, which I dealt with in my article ‘Refuting the Myth of the “Invisible Church”’.

Now, back to Eve’s justification; there are any number of excuses that we can come up with to belong to some Church other than the one that we read about Christ Jesus establishing in Matthew 16:13-19 on Simon Peter. Indeed, there are plenty of churches that are pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom. Yet, if the degree to which a church is more aesthetically pleasing or friendly is a justifiable reason to offend God by rejecting His Church, then either God is indifferent towards our salvation or we are.

If Jesus was tortured and died on the Cross so that the doors of His Church would be opened to all; if the doors of that Church were opened to all by the Apostles after the first New Covenant Pentecost; if thousands of newly Baptized disciples of Christ entered through the doors of that Church at that time and for the next nearly two thousand years, then why would anyone want to belong to a church that Jesus didn’t die on the Cross for its doors to be opened? Why would anyone want to belong to a church whose doors were not opened by the Apostles themselves? How can anyone rightly justify belonging to a Church that cannot trace its lineage back to those who were first Baptized by the Apostles?

Back to Eve’s justification again. The consequence of disobedience is that we become less than what God has always desired us to be. In terms of being disobedient to God’s desire for us to belong to His Church, is that we have fewer means to grow in holiness; fewer doors and opportunities to grace. In particular, outside of the Catholic Church we find fewer Sacraments, fewer books of the Bible, no priesthood, a less than full understanding of divine relation, and no communion with the real Body and Blood of Christ Jesus.

The good news for those who have found theological justifications to not belong to the Catholic Church is that God didn’t established a Church to agree with your theology. How awesome is it that God didn’t want you to lean on your own understanding or be puffed up and proud to know better His Church? You’re off the hook! You don’t have to figure everything out in the couple handful of decades you have to live.

God has given you a Church that is the pillar and foundation of truth (Cf. 1 Tim. 3:15). He even made it extremely easy for you to find that Church that He established. Just find Peter (Cf. Mt. 16:18)!

The good news for those who have found sensual reasons to not belong to the Catholic Church is that God didn’t command you to be entertained; He called you to be faithful and obedient.

It would be great if you could find a Catholic Church that makes you feel happy and warm all the time, but isn’t it awesome to have a God that comes to us at every Mass as the Holy Eucharist, regardless of how bad the preaching and singing is? If every Mass is good enough for Jesus, then surely every Mass is good enough for us.

Therefore, let us not be like Eve and allow self-pride to lead us into justifying our way into disobedience to God. Go and find the true Church of Christ and discover the household of God that He created just for you, because He loves you that much! Do not reject this gift of His one day longer.


David L. Gray is a Catholic Author, Blogger, and Radio Host and founder of DavidLGray.INFO Inc., which is a lay apostolate consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He is currently studying at Franciscan University of Steubenville for this Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry. Visit him online at www.davidlgray.info
  • Justas399 .

    David,

    You have got to be kidding that “Martin Luther’s three sola’s (faith, grace, and scripture), these have been nothing more than merely pretentious excuses that people have devised to justify themselves for following the self-interested actions taken by dead men centuries ago. ” There are some very good reasons not to be RC.

    The Protestant Reformers saved the true church from the corruption of the gospel.

    • nannon31

      No….the reformers in the long run ended up less strict than the gospel and spread divorce throughout western legal systems but you are very correct that David shouldn’t discern hearts and read in sinful motivations of Luther in whose lifetime several Popes had public offspring which must have fed Luther’s disillusionment….Alexander VI had seven children and Julius II had 3 daughters and Pope Paul III had four children prior to ordination by a mistress while however holding ecclesiastical benefices. Catholic Spain and Portugal were robbing and slaving while Luther was posting his theses so he was faced with disgusting example. Protestant England would slave later and torture
      Carthusian monks to death. So the boy scouts were few in those days.

      • Justas399 .

        Can you point me to some documents by the Protestant Reformers where they promoted divorce?

        • nannon31

          I thought you’d never ask….David Gray did it wonderfully here at this link:

          http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/2014/03/500-years-of-protestantism-luther-and-calvin-destroy-marriage/

          • Justas399 .

            This is nonsense. There are many reasons marriages fail and it has nothing to do with making it a sacrament. In fact, there is no such thing as a sacramental marriage in Scripture. Its never described that way.

          • nannon31

            You’re switching the subject to sacrament versus sign because you now see that Luther supported divorce. He has a lot of children to answer to at the judgement:

            “When the papists oppose the imperial law concerning divorce, I reply that this doesn’t follow from what is written, ‘What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” (source: Luther’s Works Vol. 54)

            Frankly Luther sounds like an internet troll. What doesn’t he understand about man not putting asunder what GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER.

          • Justas399 .

            Your church also supports divorce. It calls it annulment.

          • nannon31

            No actually. If you were single and met someone who seemed normal but had a severe problem that they successfully hid from you until after vows but then soon showed the problem by letting loose in bizarre ways that made raising children impossible e.g……then that is a marriage never joined together by God who rejected that person’s vow all along but the Church never saw what God knew all along until time showed the real reality and the real person. An annullment is an admission by the Church that God never joined these two people from the get go even though the Church held a ceremony.
            A divorce happens to two people who were both normal at the time of the vow and for some time later. But then one or both fall into sin. Ezekiel ackowledges that the righteous can fall later on. Catholicism says they can separate if there is abuse but they are to never divorce but work at reunion.

          • Justas399 .

            Nonsense. RC’s divorce just as much as Protestants. An annulment is a divorce by another name.

          • nannon31

            Very nuanced…zai jian.

  • goral

    I know that David is not kidding because he knows more than what this article conveys. Luther was a Catholic whose head became bigger than his heart.
    quite typical of German philosopher/theologians. (Benedict excluded). He had hallucinations that led him to deny his vows and his faith. He obviously was convinced that “there are some very good reasons not to be RC”. He is regarded by many as the father of cults. Yet, his protestations at the time, were reasonable by today’s standards. If he’s looking at the cults that he founded, then he must be saying, OMG! what have I done.
    The popes with the children, each had one more than the Roman numeral beside their respective names allowed, so there was another “very good reason” to multiply denominations. Unless the devil’s advocate finds three of JPII’s kids, he’s gonna be a saint.