Catholicism, Protestantism and private judgment

I entered the Catholic church by exercising my private judgment (as all converts to any religion or cause must – if thinking has any rational basis – do). But once I exercised this private judgment, I was required to exorcise all further exercise of private judgment (on matters of faith and morals). But that wasn’t hard because I handed over my private rational parts willingly to a religion that taught that private judgment is a Protestant aberration. One person’s private judgment may lead to Protestantism and its two main branches: Arminianism (dead you chooses to be raised to new life) and Calvinism (dead you can’t choose to be raised to new life because you’re dead, silly). In both systems, however, private judgment remains active.

On the other hand, another person’s private judgment may lead to Catholicism, where you use your private judgment to mentally assent to its doctrines, one of which is “leave your noggin (in matters of faith and morals AND of church history) at the Church door.” So, if the pope tells you that if you rock up to the showground in your country where he is to appear, you’ll get a plenary indulgence, you will do it. Or will you take a rain check? (Plenary indulgence – the time you would suffer in purgatory, which could many thousands of years, if you had to die now).

According to a decree signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Pope Benedict XVI will grant two types of indulgences for the international gathering of youth. Those who “gather at Sydney, Australia, in the spirit of pilgrimage” to participate in celebrations for 23rd World Youth Day, will be able to receive a full or plenary indulgence, the decree says. Partial indulgences will be available to “all those who, wherever they are, will pray for the spiritual goals of this meeting and for its happy outcome.”

As I wrote elsewhere, one of the reasons I left the Roman Catholic Church was this idea – purgatory itself was bad enough – of plenary indulgences. On entering the Roman Catholic Church, I didn’t really leave my private judgment at the Church door.

But there is, of course, much more than private judgment in coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, for  ”what goodness it is when He Himself implants in us the desire of seeking (Him) while we are still enemies” (Andrew Murray (Jnr; in: Andrew Murray and His Message – by W. M. Douglas)

7 thoughts on “Catholicism, Protestantism and private judgment

  1. Maria, which comments? The only comment (on these blogs) that would upset me is if you tell me that it wasn’t an apple in the Garden of Eden account.

  2. I would have liked to know about this plenary indulgence before…but I always miss them.
    What is so bad about indulgences anyway? Would you reject any ‘indulgence’ given to you on your debts? If you show to much rigor are you sure you are a right man? If actually indulgences will help the souls of your deaths why refuse them? Based on which assumption? Are you superior to any kind of help that would easier your after life punishment? The Catholic church is still selling indulges after the Reformation…You could ask a mass for your deaths for a fee. But every mass has ritual words that give death souls a reason to a ‘refreshment’ in their suffering and without a charge. It is not even aim to Catholic souls…it is a general ‘planetary indulgence’ professed for every soul who needs our prayers, for example for people who died in the war each week. What is so despicable about this? I know through an indirect experience 🙂 that when we die we could carry with us our earthly affections and therefore still live our suffering until we release our love or hate on this earth. If it is not bad it is supposed to be good dear Raphael this is the first and only discriminatory reason for our understating of mercy.

    • With regard to plenary indulgences, do you agree that those Catholics who came to the showgrounds in Sydney on Youth Day (and participated reverently) in the year 2000 were forgiven of all the sins they were carrying, which, in some cases, would have “merited” thousands, maybe millions of years (who knows how long?).

      The following verse is arguably the best summary of the Gospel:

      “For he who had not known sin made himself to become sin in your place, that we would become the righteousness of God in him” (Corinthians 5:21).

      The sins referred to in the above verse are past, present and future sins.

  3. Hmmm, we’ve been on a similar Journey it seems! Although mine was the other way around. Born to a Roman Catholic mom, Jewish Dad; I rejected Catholicism at age 12. My biggest issues were Purgatory, Limbo and being required to forgive unconditionally. I converted to Orthodox Judaism at 20 after many years of study. In my 30’s I came to faith in Christ. A long ealk to freedom

    • Very Interesting CCG.

      You might be interested in the following, especially the last -8 comments, where a convert to Judaism describes her belief that all Gentiles who convert to Judaism (and stay converted, I presume) are a spark of God and were present at Sinai.

      What were your thoughts on these two issues when you converted to orthodox Judaism, and why did you leave it?

      • Well, thank you for asking, but I did not know about either of them!
        I personally believe that G-d led me along the path I walked. I was very young when I was told I was no longer wecome in the Catholic Church. 12 years old. By Mother Superior of the convent and the Monseigneur of the Church. I studied Old Testament Hebraic Religion for many years and Orthiodox Judaism under the Beth Din for 2 years before conversion to Judaism.
        I felt a sense of homecoming at my Mikvah. Igniting/reigniting the spark? I don’t know. It just felt very right.
        11 years later, I met the Messiah. It was an awakening, a revelation and understanding without any person being involved. A Divine Appointment. This was my experience. I was baptised a few months later. I worshipped at a Christian Church – a pentecostal church. A few years later, I joined a Presbyterian Church and this is where my growth as a teacher began. Why? I believe G-d directed my path.

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