Let me tell you a brief story concerning why I left the Catholic Church.
Once upon a time, I was a Catholic. Not the most devout one, but I was so in love with it and never thought I would change for anything. If you told me I was ever going to convert, I would have said you were talking in the nonsense and the thing that didn’t have experience. When I was applying for secondary schools, I had a chance to go to one owned by a Pentecostal church and for that sole reason, I chose not to go. I didn’t just get the big deal with all that shouting and screaming, or noisemaking as I once referred to it. Hey! Don’t judge me just yet, or at all.
The Catholic Church is beautiful, so beautiful! The order, the buildings, almost everything. But there’s always that 1% of germs, aye? I mean, it can be found in practically every church as none is perfect. There are some misconceptions about the Catholic Church that I do no support though, because being a member before, I understand some of these things. However, I would also be sharing stuff that I do not agree with and which made me completely leave.
COMMON IDEOLOGIES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
- Worshipping Mary: In case you didn’t know, Mary is the mother of Jesus, and she conceived Him while she was a virgin (Luke 1:26-38). The Catholics say a prayer called the ‘Hail Mary’ and sometimes pray in a grotto, which is typically the statue of the Blessed Virgin. However, I do not see it as worship. They call it ‘honouring’, but whatever it is, I no longer practise it and I’ll be giving my reasons later on. It is believed that Mary was born without sin and that’s why she could carry Jesus in her womb, the Bible never made account of this so I do not see it to be true.
- They do not know the Gospel: They do, actually. It’s taught right from a small age if you’re born there. However, they do not quite understand it, which I’ll also be explaining later on.
- They are a cult: I think this has to do with people saying they are worshipping statues, or it might be from a historical point of view. You see, the Catholic Church we see today was, at one time, the only denomination existing, and they were brutal. You know, killing people who didn’t believe in God and some other ridiculous stuff really. There are also some other reasons some people see it as such and you can read all about it here.
I remember when I failed my First Holy Communion test the first time, I was so devastated. My classmates started “receiving” before me and it felt like I was in the shadows. Passing it the second year had me elated, choosing my confirmation name 6 years later was even better. Alexia. The story behind choosing this is a bit weird, and if not that, it would have been Hermione. I loved her character. Anywho, receiving the Holy Communion is a big deal in Church, it’s like ‘hey! I’m now a real Catholic.’
First of all, gifts are offered at the altar, then a whole process called ‘consecration’ is carried out. Consecration is basically when some prayers called Words of Consecration/Institution, are said and the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ (transubstantiation), then offered to God for the forgiveness of our sins. These words are words said by Jesus during the last supper. There are 2 things I do not agree with on this practice:
WHAT I DO NOT AGREE WITH CONCERNING THE HOLY EUCHARIST
- Offering gifts to God for redemption: Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, has already offered Himself for us. And all who look to Him are saved, there is no need for any other sacrifices (Hebrews 10:10).
- You can only receive the communion when you’re a baptised catholic and in the “state of grace”. First of all, Jesus died for ALL men, and His body and blood are for all of us. He was chastised and His blood was shed for ALL. When they say a state of grace, it means you must have confessed all your sins to a priest in recent times and not partaken of any sin, whether venial or mortal. This will then make you “fit” to receive the communion because Christ’s body cannot dwell in the belly of a sinner. But let me burst a bubble, Christ came for sinners, while we were yet sinners, He died for us (Romans 5:8) and all who believe in Him have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). So yes, believers are righteous in God’s eyes but the mere flesh we have means we have temptations and sometimes, we fall. So by this definition of “state of grace”, no one would qualify at all. But the grace of our Lord is unmerited favour, which was freely given to us without us deserving it.
I think the practice of being worthy to receive the communion comes from 1 Corinthians 11:27, but reading the whole chapter carefully, we would see what Paul was talking about. Paul had heard that in Corinth, while the communion was given, some barely had what to eat while some were drunken. That means some greedy people took excess, leaving others with little or nothing to eat. From this analogy, we can see that the communion isn’t just a small wafer but like a feast, we shall talk about this another time.
THE CATHOLIC CONFESSION
Notice above, I mentioned confessions and two types of sin. In the Catholic Church, you’re supposed to confess your sins regularly to a priest. Usually, he isn’t supposed to spill whatever you tell him. He is seated behind a piece of wooden furniture, and these words are said:
“Bless me, father for I have sinned, this is my confession after (insert date here)”
Then he gives you the go-ahead to talk, and to let him know you’re done, you say:
“For these I remember and for those I do not, I ask for God’s mercy and for your blessings, father.”
Then the priest gives you a penance. Nowadays, penance is a prayer you’re told to say. It is, in fact, a brief punishment for your sins so that on judgment day, the sins which you have confessed are spared and it is usually self-inflicted. There was once a time in my life I used to pray to get hit by a truck and die on the spot immediately I had my confessions, so I won’t have any sins held against me. But thank Jesus for his blood and for the revelation of what He has done for me. Now I know that my sins- past, present, and future, are forgiven. Hallelujah! To me, the whole idea of penance is unnecessary, especially when you understand the love of God.The whole idea of penance is unnecessary, especially when you understand the love of God. Click To Tweet
TWO TYPES OF SIN
Concerning the two types of sin: venial and mortal. From the way I was taught in Catechism classes, venial sin is an offence against God that can be forgiven while mortal sin is an offence that can never be forgiven. Mortal sin includes stuff like murder. Wow, I really got scared of this one when I was told you can kill somebody when you insult them. For this, I have to say: sin is sin. Whether murder or lying. It’s all sin before God. On the last day, God won’t say, “If your sin is great, wear black. If it’s forgiven, wear white. If it’s not plenty like that, wear gray.”
The Bible in Romans tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death. Not the wages of mortal sin. But thank God that the gift of God is eternal life; this gift is free! The categorising of sins is mostly what leads a lot of people to judge others, I have judged others before, and so I won’t even try to judge anybody for judging others. But we have to realise and consciously tell ourselves every day that God died for all men and He loves all of us just the same.On the last day, God won’t say, “If your sin is great, wear black. If it’s forgiven, wear white. If it’s not plenty like that, wear gray.” Click To Tweet The categorising of sins is mostly what leads a lot of people to judge others. Click To Tweet
THE HAIL MARY
Talking about the Hail Mary Prayer…the moment I realised what it means, I stopped saying it. The first part is basically gotten for the Bible. The proclamation of the angel who appeared to Mary and that of Elizabeth:
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”
This is an okay part, what I do not agree with is the next one, the respondent’s part:
“Holy Mary, mother of God. Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
Is Mary the mother of God? Absolutely! Am I a sinner? I dare to say I am not because Christ has made me righteous. Should I ask Mary to pray for me? Definitely not because Jesus Christ is our mediator, not Mary or the saints. When I once heard the reason they pray to Mary, it was said that because she is the mother of God, Jesus has a soft spot for her and would listen to what she has to say. Remember the wedding feast at Canaan? Perfect example! And it’s often used to back up this explanation. But God is our Father, and we are sons. He is at peace with us, and there is no need whatsoever to doubt that He hears us or look for another mediator except Jesus.
PRAYERS TO SAINTS
Prayers to saints are also offered. You know, for special intentions and requests. There is basically a patron or matron saint for everything/everyone- there’s one for doctors, one for when you lose an item, etc. We need to understand that a believer in Christ is a saint- set apart or blameless, which is basically the meaning from the Greek word hagios. The Catholics believe that when a person who serves God dies and some years later, a part of their body isn’t decayed, then a bishop can ordain that person a saint. I’m not saying that those who they call saints are not, all I’m pointing out is that you don’t necessarily have to be dead to be called a saint. Amen?You don’t necessarily have to be dead to be called a saint. Amen? Click To Tweet
I mentioned earlier that this group of people know the Gospel but do not understand it. This is because there is so much sin consciousness that goes around. For as long as I can remember, John 3: 16 was a verse I could say even if you woke me up from a deep sleep. I knew it, I understood the words- God loves me, Jesus died for me and if I believe in Him, I would have eternal life. Like some churches, it seems what they see is: God loves me, Jesus died for me, and if I believe in Him and I’m good enough, I would have eternal life.
And that is what I equally believed at that time. I was taught so much about God’s love but that to really experience it, I have to be good too and do good things. It was so bad that at a point in my life, I couldn’t pray properly.
If I really wanted to pray, I would spend time crying, begging God to forgive me and promising to never do it again, before making my petitions. I hated it, I really did not enjoy crying, and so I hardly prayed. Being good was also tiring because I felt I could never be good enough to go to heaven, and at a point, I was bracing myself up for hell. I would say, “if I die right now, I think I would go to hell.” I just thought there was no cure for sin and I would never be made righteous.
There was also this particular song I loved, I loved it because it pushed me to a place of begging for mercy from God, and boy I used to bawl. The song is called “God of Mercy and Compassion”, and it would have been so perfect if Christ had not already died and forgiven sins. The chorus was my favourite cause it gave me time to reflect and really cry”
“Jesus Lord, I ask for mercy. Let me not implore in vain. All my sins, I now detest them. Never will I sin again.”
Well, jokes on me because I did not detest the sins then and I went back on my sinning spree.
I’m ever thankful that I came to the full realisation of the truth and I’m grateful for the guide I have on this journey because it is not over till my life is over. God is good, guys! His mercies endure forever. This is my own story, others might have theirs too. It was hard for me to leave the Catholic Church, even after I became a believer. I decided to do some research and learn for myself, and after I saw that my beliefs did not agree, I decided to turn my back on it. While still doing my research, I found out that there are some believers in church but I have no idea how that works if you truly know the truth.
If you enjoyed this, pin this video on Pinterest and share it.
Let me teach you how…
In my book, the BlogShop, I provide all the information necessary. There are 2 volumes, the first is absolutely FREE. And the second is completely affordable and it can be gotten for 2,000 naira which is approximately $5.47.
I have been blogging for almost 6 years now and it’s a journey, I wish I had someone to tell me all these at an early stage. But I’ve got you.
This is the first edition you can get for next to nothing. Click here to get it.
In this second edition of The BlogShop: a blogging guide, I have put together all my 5+ years of blogging experience to guide you through an effective and smooth blogging journey.
You’ll learn how to know your niche, create a beautiful website, and all about e-mail marketing, SEO, Pinterest, etc. If there’s any book that’s going to break it down like never before and help you understand what most bloggers won’t tell you, this is it! You would see a thorough breakdown on how to go through everything and you would hardly have to check Google for any information because about 80% is already in here, and I have written the truth and nothing but the truth. On the plus side, you can read it all in less than an hour!
What you waiting for? Grab your copy already and start being awesome at blogging!