I am a Roman Catholic. I am also a Christian. I see no conflict in this. But, other Christians have told me that Catholics are not Christian. So what is the definition of a Christian and what is Christianity?
According to The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, a Christian is a “follower or disciple of Jesus; someone who believes Jesus is the Christ of Messiah.”
Christianity is defined as “the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.” The definition goes on to say that Christians believe Jesus is the savior who delivered man from original sin by dying and rising from the dead.
The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, along with the other two branches of Christianity- the Protestant Church and the Orthodox Church believe this to be true.
The Catholic Church and other denominations of Christianity despite their many differences share ideologies.
Crucial to Catholicism are the seven Sacraments, which include baptism and communion, which all Christians practice.
Christians also believe in the authority of the 27 books of the New Testament. Athansius, a precursor of the Catholic Church, chose these 27 books, which are included in all Christian Bible.
Many Christians also believe in the Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This concept was best described or defined by Tertullial, a Catholic North African who studied in Rome.
How can one honestly say Catholics are not Christian when these are two integral parts of Christianity? In many ways Christianity is like a tree, Catholicism is just another branch. What is a tree without roots?
The Roman Catholic Church is in no way perfect. But, remember that this is the Church, not the congregation. Many of these corruptions are the reasons why Martin Luther and his followers broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, the Roman Catholic Church lost some of its authority in Christianity. This does not mean the Church’s congregation lost its Christianity.
Beliefs and religious convictions are important. But, it is more important to know the history and root of those convictions.
It seems ignorant to spout off ideas that you yourself have not
As a people, we are too institutionalized. We should learn to question more; this is one of our major down falls.
Religion is not perfect. It is man- made and inherently imperfect. In all faiths, there are differences of opinion.
Martin Luther questioned Catholicism. Jesus questioned Judaism. What is growth and understanding without questions?
Most importantly, the belief that one’s religion is more Christian than another is divisive and very telling. At the heart of Christianity is a lifestyle of compassion and understanding. Belittlement and superiority is not a part of the teachings of Jesus.