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Catholicism Essay

1767 words - 8 pages

Catholicism: Correcting the Misconceptions
In Montgomery Gentry’s hit song “Where I Come From”, he sings about his small town southern pride. In this country tune, the line “That little white church is gonna have a crowd,” is accompanied by lyrics about a town that could easily be located in East Tennessee. One thing that can be assumed from Gentry’s song is that the, “Little white church” he sings about is probably not a Catholic cathedral. In southern towns, like the one Gentry sings about, Protestant churches drastically outrank Catholic churches. In Kingsport Tennessee, Catholic churches are outnumbered forty two to one by Baptist churches alone. This statistic makes it easy to see why, ...view middle of the document...

Today, Catholics are encouraged to read and study the Bible independently to strengthen their relationship with God. Prayer is no longer reserved for Sunday morning mass but recommended as an everyday practice.
This everyday practice of prayer is misunderstood by Protestants and other religions alike. Catholicism differs from Protestantism in the way that Catholics pray to Saints as well as to God. The term "Mary-worshipers" is sometimes used to inaccurately describe a Catholic's prayer life. Saints are perceived as idols because of the importance placed on them in the Catholic faith. Praying to saints is not a replacement to praying to the Heavenly Father but rather a supplement. Saints are devout Christians that have passed away. These saints have a closer relationship to God than anyone on earth could possibly have. Catholics pray to saints to ask for additional prayers which is a practice encouraged by the Bible. First Timothy chapter two verse one says, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—." In verse three of the same chapter, the Bible says that, "This is good, and pleases God our Savior." Catholics believe that there is little difference between asking a church member to pray for you and praying to a saint for intercession. The motivation behind Catholics’ prayers to saints is their belief in the power of prayer and in the God who answers them, which is a principle all of Christianity can agree on.
When the inspirations or reasons of confusing Catholic rituals are explored, the similarities between Catholicism and Protestantism can be found. Some Protestants, however, will never come to find these similarities, because they do not equate Catholics as Christians. A student, Bryan, in an East Tennessee high school said this when talking about a Catholic coach, "He's not a Christian. I think he is Catholic." Another student, Anna, who was a devout Baptist adamantly said, "Catholics are not Christians." This is an absurd misconception considering Protestants, the ones making the accusations, stem from Catholicism. The Catholic Church began in the 1st century, and in the 1500s Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation that separated the Protestant Church from the Catholic Church. Protestantism as well as the Catholicism are Christian religions, but in primarily Protestant areas such as East Tennessee, are not seen as similar(Tipton). According to merriam-webster.com, a Christian is defined as, "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." Christ's teachings are recorded in the Bible, the holy work of Catholicism. In the Holy Book, Christ instructs all Christians in Matthew chapter eighteen verse thirty seven through forty. The Bible says, " Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’...

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