“I’m NOT Christian, I’m Catholic”

By | August 29, 2019

Hey, guys! It’s Lizzie. Today, I’m going to talk about the question of Catholic versus Christian, and this is something that I see a lot of Catholics are actually confused with. Years ago on my Youtube channel, I would always get comments from Catholics saying: “I’m not Christian, I’m Catholic,” which always really irritated me, because even when I was protestant, of course I considered Catholics Christians. They believed that Jesus Christ is the son of God. And I’m gonna read a comment I got recently: “When someone finds out I’m a Catholic, they always ask if I’m a Christian, and if you want to know that too, then the answer is yes and no.” Eugh, the answer is not “no.”
“It’s a branch of Christianity. We celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Easter. We go to church and more. No, because Catholicism has slightly different beliefs.” So even for a Catholic, for some reason in their mind, they’re equating Christian with Protestant. And they’re saying Catholic is not Christian all the way, which, honestly, seems so odd to me. Here’s a DM I got on Instagram: “Hey, I really like your YouTube channel. I’m also a Catholic. I just want to ask something: What is the difference between Christianity and Catholicism? I’ve been going to Christian church lately,” so I guess Christian church she means Protestant or Evangelical, “and they kind of forced me to be a Christian too, since I went to their church many times. And I keep telling them, no, that Christianity and Catholicism are just the same.” So I guess when they say “kind of forced me to be Christian,” maybe get her re-baptised: Full immersion baptism rather than pouring water baptism; Maybe that’s what she means? Okay, but she keeps saying: “No, and I keep telling them that Christianity and Catholicism are just the same, but they said it’s not, because we also pray Mother Mary, so they told me to pray in a Christian way, to see what I feel.” Isn’t that so problematic? “Praying the Christian way.” I would never be caught dead saying that, to anyone, ever, in my life. So this is just a really big topic, kind of, in how we talk about ourselves. I found even with myself, since converting, if I’m talking to a new person, and talking about myself, I’ll say “I’m Catholic,” rather than “I’m Christian.” For me, being Catholic is so special. I almost want to distinguish myself from just Christian: “I’m not just a Christian, I’m a Catholic Christian. But I feel like, when we talk like that, when we don’t just say Christian, and talk about how we are Christians, and exclusively use the word Catholic, we are causing people to believe that Catholics are not Christians. I actually blame Catholics more than Protestants for this problem. Through the years of my Youtube channel, I’ve just seen so many comments of Catholics literally saying: “I’m not Christian, I’m a Catholic.” So I just want to give a quick history lesson. I converted into the Catholic Church because I believe in absolute truth, and I believe that Catholic Christianity, is the purest form of Christianity. I believe that it is the early church, the Apostolic church, meaning it’s what Jesus intended Christianity to look like, and then of all the forms of Christianity, Catholicism, and also Orthodox [Christianity], because they’re basically the same, just minus the Pope. Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox churches: all of these churches are Apostolic, meaning they’re so close to the teachings of the original apostles, the first bishops who started the church in the first century. So St. Ignatius was one of the earliest Church fathers. He wrote a letter to the Smyraneans [sic. Smyrnaeans], which was in the year 107, so the early second century, and here’s a quote from the letter: “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be. Even as wherever Jesus christ is, there’s the Catholic Church. It is not lawful, without the bishop, either to baptize or to celebrate the agape feast, but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.” So think about this: The last apostle to die was John. He died in about the year 90 or the year 100. So, less than a decade after the last apostle dies, Ignatius is using the term “Catholic Church,” and he’s saying that the church service, the Eucharist, baptism, is not valid without a bishop who comes from apostolic succession. This is just kind of like an example of what I mean, where the early church looked very Catholic in theology. And so people at my parish, we talk to each other sometimes: how they’ll hear something that was super anti-catholic, and they’re like “I can’t believe people are saying we’re not Christians, when we’re the original Christians. That’s kind of the Catholic view on the matter. And for anyone watching who is a Catholic, I know before I researched into the early church, I believed that the original Christian church evolved into the Catholic church, around the 4th century because of Constantine being emperor and making christianity the official religion. I thought that around the 4th century it became corrupted with the Real Presence of Communion, doctrine with Marian theology, with bishops, with the Pope. I thought all of that started in the late 3rd-4th century. But then when I read into the early church, it was terrifying at first, horrifying, because in the 1st and 2nd century, you can read the letters between the churches; you can read the writings of the church fathers; And it was just so obvious that in the 2nd and 1st century the Christians at the time had Catholic, Orthodox theology. Just, objectively, they believed in the real presence, they had monarchical bishops, they had apostolic succession, they venerated Mary, they had this concept of relics, the Roman bishop made decisions. These were just, all, parts of the early church; but the term catholic literally just means universal, so the universal church. And here’s an interesting quote about that from Cyril of Jerusalem in the year 350: “If you ever are visiting in cities, do not inquire simply where the house of the Lord is, for the others, the sects of the impious, attempt to call their dens the houses of the Lord. Nor ask merely where the church is, but: Where is the catholic Church? For this is the name peculiar to this holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. But the reason that they had to make this distinction is that there were so many different heretic groups denying the Trinity, denying that Jesus came down as a physical person, denying that Jesus is God. And so it was really important for the theological survival of the theology of the early church to make these distinctions. But the word catholic is also seen in the Bible. In Acts 9:31, it says: “So the church throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace and was being built up.” So in English you might just say “the church throughout; that doesn’t say catholic,” but the word catholic in Greek is καθολικός (katholikos). This phrase, “throughout all,” “throughout” is καθ (kath). “καθ’ ὅλης τῆς,” (kath oles tes) is the phrase; so it means “encompassing universal,” so they’re kind of already developing this terminology in the first few decades of the church. And here’s a quote by St. Cyprian, who was martyred in the year 258. That means he lived in the early third century: “There is one God and one Christ in one church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar, or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering.” There is this guy, Apollonius of Ephesus, who is a 2nd century apologist. He’s quoted later by Eusebius, and he refers to “catholic letter” when talking, about books of the New Testament. The New Testament wasn’t compiled in the 2nd century, but what became the New Testament. Once they [a group of Catholic bishops] decided officially what the [NT] canon was, in the 4th century. So I kind of want you guys to have a conversation in the comments of your thoughts of over using the word Catholic to the extent that Catholics and non-Catholics are getting confused about who is considered Christian. In the Nicene Creed, it makes it really clear: “We believe in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” But I just want to encourage Natasha, who sent me this message: you are Christian, based upon the writings of the church fathers, the writings of the first Christians. You are following the Christianity established by the apostles of Jesus. As for the Christian way to pray, I think there are many ways to pray. I think there is great diversity in how to pray. Whether someone is more into memorized prayers, impromptu, or more charismatic style; even speaking in tongues. There are so many different ways to pray. But since we are talking about this topic: Even if you are a Protestant, and do not like Catholicism, and think Catholicism is somewhat corrupted, my question is: From the 4th century, when you believe Catholicism began, up until the Reformation, do you think that for those 1,000 years Christianity just didn’t exist? None of those people were Christian? In those 1,000 years when Catholicism, and Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches were the only churches in existence, were those not Christian? This was a really simple video, but I just wanted to alert everyone of the problem of saying “I’m Catholic, not Christian.” We are Catholic and Christian. My view of my own conversion into the Catholic Church is that I became even more Christian through converting. I love you guys so much, and I will see you in my next video. Bye!

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