From: Su Min
Subject: catholic and universal
Saturday 9th November 1996
A dear sister writes and the question merits a wide circulation (identity masked ;)
not that my answer is perfect, but it is burning issue:
perhaps the theologically trained in our group could add their views, particularly to the commonalties rather than the differences....
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?Dear sister Sim writes:
>Does it make a difference to God if I go to a catholic church or a
>methodist church ?
>I mean, you've told me some interesting things about what happened
>here on earth, but does it make a difference to God?
>it seems to mean a lot to some people though.
>my friend Max had tremendous problems with his mom regarding his
>catholic girlfriend because they are staunch bible presbyterians.
>but does it really matter ?
>this is really important
AN ATTEMPT TO ANSWERDearest sister Sim,
dear dear dear, tsk tsk tsk
(opening up a can of worms....)
The way I see it is that we are all part of one big family I think catholic and protestants will all go to heaven.
Broadminded catholics and broadminded protestants will agree..
Conservative catholics and conservative protestants will disagree, staunchly believing that only their brand of belief is right.
In the end, only God will know.
Who knows: God is so merciful that perhaps He will extend His grace to so many more than we, in our puny finite human minds, can comprehend. What a mighty God we serve.....
I believe that if you study the bible with an open mind it seems that
- All have sinned and all have a fallen short of the glory of God: (Romans_2:23)
- There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ (Romans_8:1)
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John_1:9)
All are welcome as children of the light: the only dividing factor to separate the sheep from the goat, the wheat from the weeds, the good tree from the bad tree is the fruit that reflect their faith as expressed in works.
the basic tenets of faith are expressed in creeds like the apostles creed..
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ. His only son, our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified dead and buried,
the third day He rose from the dead
He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
From thence He will come to judge the quick and the dead
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. AMEN!
TOWARDS REUNIFICATIONCatholics and protestants alike, in any shape and shade of skin, can happily agree with this creed.
the bit about "the holy catholic church" has some staunch bible presbyterian ladies waging their buns, but "the holy catholic church" refers to the universal church, not "the roman catholic church". Still, some are allergic to the word "catholic".
I understand that there is a move to unite the church: the protestant church in all its various colours.
And even more exciting, a move to reunite catholic and protestants! When our house is put in order, what a powerful force we will have to serve The Kingdom. It probably will not happen this millennium, but the next millennium is a bare 4 years away!
What hold us back from reuniting?
man made rules?
- basic misunderstanding: not willing to see from others point of view
- selfish vested interests
- pride.. centre of which is "I"
- sin...centre of which is "I"
But by now I have come to the extreme limits of my minimal understanding of the "other side", so I will hold my peace. I trust this will suffice: or else please ask again.
In the meanwhile anyone has any other wise comments?
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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