Here are links to the series I called “Common Ground?” – exploring areas of agreement and/or disagreement between Catholics and Protestants:
Common Ground? Heaven:
Two of my cousins are Methodist pastors, and one of them (she was actually my cousin-in-law) went to be with the Lord recently. It has been a comfort to me to know that the doctrine of eternal life is one that Protestants and Catholics share….
Common Ground? Worship:
Do Evangelicals and Catholics agree on the importance of worship? Are you kidding? Evangelicals are all about praise and worship; more than one Catholic has left the Catholic Church for the enthusiasm of Evangelical services. On the other hand, many Protestants are very favorably impressed by the reverence shown at Mass as Catholics worship their Lord. Yes, the importance of worship is a subject upon which Catholics and Protestants agree completely.
HOW to worship – that’s a different question entirely.
Common Ground? A Personal Relationship with Christ:
Do Evangelical Protestants and Catholics agree on the necessity of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? This concept forms the basis of all that Evangelicals say and do. Unless a person enters into a personal relationship with God, that person cannot be saved – Evangelicals are convinced of that. And that’s why they’re are so worried about Catholics, because they’re sure that Catholicism is about ritual and working one’s way to Heaven. Believing that the concept of a God with Whom one can have a personal relationship is utterly foreign to Catholicism, they are eager, and indeed they are even taught in many Evangelical churches to seek out Catholics with an eye towards leading them out of the Church. They have been told that inside the Catholic religious system there is simply no place for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ….
Common Ground? The Sanctity of Life:
Do Catholics and Protestants agree about the sanctity of life? Tough question. First of all, let’s make abundantly clear the Catholic position on abortion. That really shouldn’t be necessary; doesn’t all the world know that the Catholic Church opposes abortion? Ah, but there are Catholics, and then there are Catholics….
Common Ground? Prayer:
Do Catholics and Protestants share common ground on the subject of prayer? Certainly! After all, both groups pray often and fervently, both pray to God in Jesus’ Name, and both expect that God will hear and answer their prayers. Some Protestants have the misconception that Catholics somehow can’t pray directly to God but are taught to go through a priest, or through Mary or the other saints. Considering how often Catholics pray the Our Father, that’s kind of hard to claim with a straight face….
Common Ground? Forgiveness of Sins:
How much common ground is there between Protestants and Catholics on the subject of the forgiveness of sins? Sad to say, not a whole heck of a lot. It’s an awkward, unwieldy topic, basically because all the many and various Protestant denominations have failed to get their act together and find common ground amongst themselves on this subject! It is impossible to discuss “the Protestant view” on the forgiveness of sins, since there really isn’t one – there are many. Your beliefs as a Protestant on the subject of the forgiveness of sins basically hinge on what you personally have chosen to believe.
So, let’s begin by talking about what Protestants rejected in order to get themselves into this state of disarray….
Common Ground? The Second Coming:
Common ground on the subject of the Second Coming of Christ? Hmm… let’s see, do Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus is coming again? YES! Do Catholics believe that Jesus is coming again? YES! Is “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end” a line from the Creed that all of us can recite in hearty, full-throated unison? YES!!
I don’t usually get to line up that many yeses….
However (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), the Second Coming is a subject that has given rise to more confusion between Evangelicals and Catholics than almost any other, with neither side really clear on what the other side believes. Why in the world would that be?
Blame the secret rapture doctrine….
Common Ground? What Must I Do to be Saved?
What must I do to be saved?? The question of all questions, and truly the only question that ultimately matters. How do Catholics and Protestants answer this question when it is put to them? Are our answers one and the same?
Common Ground? The Sacraments:
On Monday we asked whether Catholics and Protestants can agree on the all-important question of “What must I do to be saved?” Today’s question is related: Is there common ground between Protestants and Catholics on the subject of the Sacraments? Breaking this question down, what are the Sacraments, and are they necessary for salvation?
Once again, it depends on who you ask….
Common Ground? The First Commandment:
This is without a doubt the easiest “Common Ground?” yet. Do Protestants and Catholics agree on their understanding of the words of the First Commandment, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them”?
Yes! Jawohl! ¡Si! Oui! 是! !نعم Evet! 예! Ndiyo! Да! Oo! はい! Igen!
Yes in every language!
Blogging doesn’t get any easier than this!
Common Ground? Asking Jesus Into Your Heart:
Protestants are all about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They instruct potential converts on the necessity of asking Jesus into their hearts in order to be saved, and they enthusiastically sing about this relationship that they have with the Living God: “You ask me how I know He lives – He lives within my heart!” Many Protestants feel that this is what is missing from the Catholic understanding of salvation: Catholics need to ask Jesus into their hearts.
Can a Catholic invite Jesus into his or her heart?