Expert Answer Forum
Problem with a fellow Catholic QUESTION from Patrick December 8, 2000 A friend of mine is a convert to the Church from a strict Fundamentalist background. He and I are planning on entering the seminary next year, which I am so excited about! Now to my problem. He is a very nice guy, stong in his beliefs, and ready to defend them at any cost. I have no problem with this (even the Scripture quote upon entering this forum says we should always be ready to explain reasons for our faith). What I have a problem with is his close minded attidue about our Protestant brothers and sisters. One of the most difficult things for me to understand is his argument that Protestant music should be removed from the Church. He specifically sited Amazing Grace saying that it implied a once saved, always saved attidue. Beyond this his argument was that the writer was, himself, an anti-Catholic therefore we should not sing his song. I pointed out his mistaken use of the genetic fallicy theory but he just got angry and left. My question is; how is saying grace will lead me home agreeing with the once saved, always saved idea? How do you feel about a man entering the seminary in hope of becoming a Priest being so openly anti-Protestant?
Do you have any suggestions for me?
(I apologize for the length...I didn't plan on asking so many questions, I'm just a little frustrated). Thank you!
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 4, 2001 Dear Mr. Patrick
Amazing Grace was written by John Newman who was Anglican. Anglicans do not come from the once-saved-always-saved camp.
Secondly, I suppose that if one is pre-disposed to think in once-saved-always-saved terms, then hearing Amazing Grace will be interpreted through those colored glasses. But there is nothing explicitly in the lyrcs that I can recall that is contrarty to Catholic Teaching.
Thirld, if the phrase grace will lead me home is what your friend is having problems with, then your friend needs to get new glasses. The phrase has NOTHING to do with once-saved-always-saved.
I am a convert too. I was a Baptist preacher for some 15 years before converting to the Catholic Church. I recognize the fallicy your friend has gotten himself into. At the moment he has merely exchanged one fundamentalism for another fundamentalism.
You friend needs to come up for fresh air and learn how to see things from a Catholic worldview. This can be hard, even for cradle Catholics since we live is a culture that is not Catholic. But that is what he must strive for -- to inculcate within himself all that is truly Catholic, not just in teaching and discipline, but also in spirit and attitude.
There are many years ahead to you for discernment as to the priesthood. Hopefully, your friend will mature during those years.
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