Tears welled up in my eyes — again — at Mass last Sunday. It was not always so. As a former Baptist I used to think the Catholic Mass was a sacrilege and an abomination. How could anyone worship a piece of bread? Really!
However, last Sunday I was overcome with emotion while sitting in an older Catholic church in a relatively poor area of town during a “normal” Sunday Mass. Why? Let me explain.
(Picture: Me on the right with the best dad in the world and brother David after going to Joy Road Baptist Church)
But first I have to take a step back in time to my delightful childhood.
The door of our Baptist church opened and the early arrivers stepped in with well-worn Bibles under their arms and colorful ties snugged up tight around the neck. Children with cute bow ties and frilly dresses were herded in and dropped off at Sunday School. Women adjusted their hats and smiled at all their friends.
It was always the same — enter the church with chattering friendliness accompanied by the organ or piano to set the mood. Everyone takes their place in the padded pews. The pastor steps up to the front and welcomes everyone, especially any visitors. They are asked to fill out the “Visitor Card” in the pews in front of them.
Then we all stand as he opens in a solemn and often wordy prayer. A number is called out and we all grabbed our hymnal and proved we were real Christians by belting out the song, not just the first verse, but verses 1, 2 and 5.
For the rest of the story, click here.
The Cross & the Crucifix
(From a letter Steve wrote to a Evangelical Protestant who asked about the Catholic Crucifix)
Dear Evangelical Friend:
You display a bare cross in your home; we display the cross and the crucifix. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam in the shape of a “T”. A crucifix is the same, but it has Christ’s body (corpus) attached to the cross.
As an Evangelical Protestant I rejected the crucifix, as you do—Christ was no longer on the cross; he had ascended into heaven. So why do I now tremble in love and awe at the site of a crucifix? Let’s examine the history and issues surrounding the two.
I will provide a brief overview of the Cross and the Crucifix, the origin, the history, and the differing perspectives of Catholic and Protestant. It will try to catch the historical flow and include the pertinent points. The outline is as follows:
1. The Three Main Protestant Objections to the Crucifix
2. Images and Gods in the Old Testament
3. Images and Images of Christ in the New Testament
4. The Cross in the First Centuries
5. The Crucifix Enters the Picture
6. The “Reformation” and Iconoclasm
7. Modern Anti-Catholics and the Crucifix
8. Ecumenical Considerations
To read the whole article, click here. To read Steve’s other articles, click here. For Steve’s talk “The Pain of the Crucifixion,“ click here.
This is a typical non-Catholic Creed. It was forwarded by a Catholic asking if they could agree to it in order to get a new job.
What do you think of this creed and could you sign onto it? If you think there are errors, what are they?