Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yes Mr Cameron, Catholics Are Christians

Over the weekend I saw the movie, Fireproof, and was pleasantly surprised. The movie had some very funny moments and the suspense scenes were very exciting, plus it had a positive message. There was no anti Catholic content and it was a movie that could be viewed with your children in the room.

But, although I would not hesitate to suggest the movie to my Catholic friends, I do have a very sad caveat. Apparently Mr. Cameron, like some evangelicals, do not consider Catholics Christian.

These are Cameron's own words detailing his evangelizing of a young Catholic:

In my younger days as a Christian, I probably would have felt the need to debate issues of Catholicism, such as the Apocrypha, praying to saints, Mary's perpetual virginity, the infallibility of the Pope, etc. before I even got to the subject of the gospel (which is the power of God to salvation). But I know from experience that focusing on sideline issues eats up precious time and can waste an important opportunity. Instead, I remembered what Tiger had taught me in the airport - "Sometimes, to accomplish more you have to see less." Like Jesus did so many times when he spoke with unbelievers, I blocked out the distracting arguments, and focused upon two things only. My goal was to help this young man (1.) see his sin clearly and thoroughly (which allows him to understand his personal need of a Savior) and (2.) see God's amazing love demonstrated towards him on the Cross. By ignoring the distractions of religious traditions and fixing my sights upon communicating the pure message of the gospel to this man, we were able to accomplish much, much more

Because of the popularity of Fireproof among many Christians, especially evangelicals, expect to see Kirk Cameron's methods of evangelizing to Catholics to become more prevalent. If you haven't seen his TBN show, The Way of the Master, his tactics involve some manipulation.

The Christian walks up to a nonChristian(that apparently includes Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans and Anglicans) and pretends to engage them in honest inquiry. Of course, this is a lie. The questioner actually has a set way that they hope that the conversation goes.

Normally, the "nonChristian" target is asked if they think that they are good. Most people, caught off guard, will respond with an affirmative. After all, who is going to go through their faults and doubts with a complete stranger. The questioner then proceeds through the ten commandments to prove how the target is not actually a good person. If for example, the "nonChristian" admits that they have occasionally told a white lie, the questioner then immediately explains that this makes the person a liar. The hoped for goal would be that the person will admit that they are a hopeless sinner and need Christ.

I am not against witnessing. As Christians we are commanded to reach out to nonChristians, but even if this was not directed at my fellow Catholics, I would find such deceptive tactics troubling. If what we believe is true then we can have honest, straight forward dialogue with people. There is no need to trick people into becoming Christians.

Further though, I am offended and saddened that some evangelicals insist on viewing Catholics and certain other denominations as not being Christian. It drives me nuts that some nonCatholics believe that anyone who does not interpret the Bible in the manner that they do is not a "Bible believing Christian." One of the surprises that I received when first attending a mass was how much scripture is incorporated in the service. Catholics have three Bible readings each mass. This is not simply a few, out of context verses, but a reading from the Old Testament, from the New Testament and the Gospels. We also recite a Psalm. So, yes, a Roman Catholic Church is a Bible Believing Church. If anything we have MORE Bible then our Evangelical brothers and sisters.

As far as acknowledging our Mr. Cameron have you not listened to popular culture's opinion of our Catholic faith? Most nonChristians consider Catholics a little to focused on our sins. (I don't) It is ironic that a Catholic, who has probably recited the Penitential rite asking for God's mercy and forgiveness at every mass and who undergoes an examination of conscious before each confession, would not know that they need Christ's mercy and forgiveness. Did the Catholic youth in the article never attend a mass?

Mr Cameron's attempts to evangelize Catholics away from the Church is why some of us are wary when Evangelicals wish to fellowship with us. This is sad. As Christians we need to stand together and be united. Instead, I have to wonder why the sweet Baptist lady invited me hear a service with her. Is it because she enjoys my company and respects that I am a Christian or is she performing some sort of stealth witnessing. Yes, I have been the uncomfortable victim of such tactics.

I find it somewhat amusing that Mr. Cameron has given up attacking the issues of Catholicism that he disagrees with. Perhaps this is because there are very logical and Biblical reasons why Catholics believe as they do. Hopefully, sites such as mine will continue to give the 'whys' behind our faith. Because he can't attack our beliefs directly, he has to rely on deceptive methods.

If I sound mad, well I am. It angers me that I do not play God and judge other Christians salvation, even though I disagree with their interpretations of the Bible. Yet the same courtesy is not extended by SOME Evangelicals to their Catholic brethren. Worse yet, I do admire that Cameron is trying to live his religious faith honestly in Hollywood so, it saddens me even more that he is blatantly against our beautiful faith.

I would suggest that any Catholic who reads this blog begin a prayer chain for Mr. Cameron. It isn't impossible that Grace could soften his heart toward our Church.


Lola said...

This is amazing. I watched his show for the first time on TBN a few hours ago.

And, I was repulsed by the tactics used to help save someone.

I have met some wonderful people who preach, "No religion, just the Bible" and although I think they are sincere, I think they are misguided. Often, they make up their own rules.

So, I'll be on that prayer chain. Because if we could get the Donut Man, why not Kirk Cameron? Go Team

ignorant redneck said...

Seeing as how the church antedates the Bible, and how the Church Christ founded was founded upon the apostles and their succesors, the question isn't "Are Catholics Christian", it's "Are Noncatholics completely Christian".

deb said...

Hello Lola, Before I became a Christian, similar tactics used by my zealous Christian friends used to repulse me. It was the silent witness of a neighbor who lived out her faith, but never actively tried to convert me, that eventually induced me to become a Christian.

Redneck, I often feel saddened that many of my Protestant friends do not have the opportunity to physically touch Jesus in the Eucharist.

Lily said...

I haven't heard anything about Kirk Cameron in years. I am pleased to hear this movie is good, we were invited to view it when it comes to town in a few weeks and I had not heard anything about it before now. I am sorry to hear someone who can have such a positive impact on so many (and apparently is doing much good) is so anti-catholic. count me in to the prayer chain, may God lead him and Chelsea to His Church so his positive influence will lead many back home.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I saw "Fireproof" this last weekend. Good and full of practical advice about getting yourself out of the way and being a loving partner in marriage.
Lots of troubled marriages could benefit from hte suggestions.
I was struck and saddened by the attempt in the movie to turn their marriage into a mock "sacramental" union.
The Church gives us so much!

P.s. remember Kirk is involved in the "left behind" series, which is based on the erronous belief that Catholics will be left behind when they are "raptured. And an erronous understsanding to Revelations. Jesus came in the flesh. And gave Himself to us via the Eucharist. The book of Revelations starts with a series of letters to churches, much like the letters of Paul'. They differ due to code used to avoid censorship. John goes one and talks about allthe horribe things the Jews endured before Christ came. They he talks about Christ's coming and the Eurcharist. WE, yes you and I my fellow Catholics and living in the "1000" year reign.
Christ will only come again Once - for the final judgement. Kirk's "left behind" friends have two comings, one after the "rapture" before thier 1000years and once again for the final judgement. Opps

Anonymous said...

It makes me really sad that you attack people.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were going to talk about the movie, but instead you decided to attack a man, who is human and capable of being mistaken.

deb said...

Annoymous, you confuse me. How have I attacked Kirk Cameron? Could you be more specific, perhaps quote me?

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand where Kirk Cameron is coming from regarding Catholics. I live in a city in NY and several years ago and beyond Kirk, his wife and children would vist friends of theirs in our Catholic Parish. His family came to mass on Sunday's and he, his wife and children that were of age all received Holy Communion. This is not a made up story. Many of us from our parish have talked about what has happened to him, and how he can now talk so negatively about Catholics.

Anonymous said...

All of this discussion brings to mind a quote from St. Francis of Assisi:

"Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."

Anonymous said...

I too find it sad that you take part in such a negative debate - is it too hard to love ALL our brothers and sisters, despite our differences, and forgive one another when we do wrong? The Lord came for all - and there is no need to create such a divide by distinguishing between Catholics and non-Catholics. As long as your heart is right with the Lord, no one can argue that you are not His.

Eric B. Borgman said...

Thanks Deb for making issues known to people. I came across your blog from a Google search. I am a Catholic and am very sorry that so many other Christian denominations work so hard against the true Church of Christ. By doing so they are actually lashing out against Jesus himself. Spiritually, this can't be good for them. Anyway, we need to continue to speak out in support of the truth. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

In order to accurately interpret scripture, you must go back and use the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts. If the church's doctrine and beliefs match up with those texts then there's no need to argue a point of who's right or wrong. Also, knowing the historical facts on the origins of the Catholic faith comes in handy too. It's very interesting.

David said...

ON the issue of :are Catholics christian?" I have to say that belonging to ANY denomination does not make one a Christian. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ makes you a Christian. I do not feel that there is any denomination that has God's plan 100% right, whether it is Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, or anything else. Search the Scriptures and follow his Word, grow closer to him, and don't worry about what church you belong to.

Shannon said...

Wow! I get to be doubly offended. I was born and raised Catholic and became an atheist. Thanks for the hate Kirk! I, for one, think all faiths are equal and no gets to claim to know what God really wants. That is what is grating about Kirk Cameron. Not that he is religious, but that he insists that only his religion speaks for God. That, and he rubs his religion in everyone's face. There is something about public displays of piety in the Bible... "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:5-6