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In Defense of Catholics

I enjoy worshiping at my church. I enjoy singing before our Holy God. I’m like David, who “danced before the Lord with all his might,” half-naked in the streets. Obviously I don’t dance naked in church! But I really enjoy going to church, being happy and singing about God and to God. I find so much joy in that.

I like the excitement and the freedom to worship that I find at my church. In other churches, there’s not always as much freedom to worship. You can’t raise your hands, or you stand only at prescribed times. Worship at my church is less restricted, more unbound. But other people enjoy a more structured way of worshiping. It gives them a greater feeling of intimacy with God.

I played with Mike Sweeney in Kansas City and he’s a good friend. He’s also a devout Catholic. He invited me to go to church with him, so my wife and I went. I didn’t go because I want to become Catholic. I went because Mike is my friend, and he loves Jesus just like I love Jesus. So of course I went to hang out with my buddy, to sit with him, to commune with him. There were things that went on in the service that I questioned, and I challenged him afterwards, but he’s okay with that. He challenges me too!

Catholics do an unbelievably good job of showing how God is holy. Some churches get stuck on teaching that Jesus is our best friend, and forget the holy God who sits on a throne. We forget that we need to fear God. It’s a good fear. It’s not about being scared. It’s a fear that comes from realizing that God is so holy that we literally have to take our sandals off in His presence. We’re treading on holy ground. You have to have that perspective. It’s the only possible response to Holy God.

If you do not fear God, you will not humble yourself before Him when you go before His throne. If you do not fear God, you will go before Him with pride, as if to say, “I deserve to be here.” But you don’t deserve to be there. No human being does! You have the right to be there, but that’s because you’ve been given that right through righteousness in Christ. Because of Christ, you can boldly stand before the throne of God. But you need to understand His holiness. If you walk in there without fear, you’re going to be knocked down in a hurry.

The Catholic Church does a phenomenal job of making you realize holiness. It focuses you on the magnitude of our existence: our creation by a holy God, the birth of the only man to be perfect in flesh, His death for our sins, and His resurrection by the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. Think about that. The same Spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead lives in us. We are involved in God. That’s awesome, in the fullest meaning of the word. It’s awe-inspiring. And that’s what I took away from the Catholic service. So while some aspects of the service weren’t really a big deal for me, I came away understanding that a Catholic service provides an awesome opportunity to just reflect on who God is. It’s certainly not offensive for me to go into a Catholic church!

I’m glad to hang out with Christians from other churches. I welcome it, and Jesus is the perfect model for it. More on this next time. See you Saturday.

12 thoughts on “In Defense of Catholics

  1. Good point about having “fear” of God. To me, one of the most frightening passages is Matt 7:21-23, 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Again, to me, Jesus is telling us it’s one thing to believe, but we NEED to know Him, to have a genuine personal relationship with Him. Hek if i want to stand before my Lord, butt naked, and here Him say, “I never knew you!”
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  2. This is really nice to hear. If more Catholics, Christians (of all denominations), Mormons, etc. banded together in unity, think of how much could get done in our country. Sure, we have differences, but that’s okay. The important thing is that we all love Jesus and wants what’s best for our families and communities. Thanks for pointing out this bit of common sense.

  3. Why would you worship a god you feared? Your god sounds more like a tyrant than anyone deserving of worship. Christians already did band together in the past. Today its called the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Sorry you are so angry w Christians my friend. Obviously you’ve been hurt by someone claiming to represent Christ. If you read the blog closely I discussed the word fear. It’s actually in the text of respect not trembling. My God is far from a tyrant in fact He is the most merciful and peaceful relationship I have.

    • The Hebrew verb yare can mean “to fear, to respect, to reverence” and the Hebrew noun yirah “usually refers to the fear of God and is viewed as a positive quality.

      Stop taking what you have read off a cereal box and try to do some trolling for truth rather than throwing rocks. Christians are used to rock throwers

  4. Hey Jeremy,
    This is so refreshing to read. I love that you’re so open to God and that you embraced the opportunity to experience the Catholic Mass with your buddy. And as a Catholic myself, I am also proud that you felt welcome at the Mass and the congregants made such a fine example of the GOOD that can come from the Catholic community. It is a special faith that has had its ups and downs throughout history but the vast majority of the people who make up the religion are very good people who do fear God and who do their very best to live as Christ wants them to.
    I discovered your blog here through your wifes facebook as we have a number of mutual friends from my childhood in Spokane (I went to Shadle and WSU). My wife and I have lived in the Bay Area for about 12 years, now with our two kids, ages 6 & 3 here in Alameda. We are avid Giants fans and have THOROUGHLY enjoyed cheering for you and the rest of the team both from the stands and on TV. Congratulations on your recent World Series Championship!!! What an incredible post season and sweep to end it. God is SO good! Wishing you and your family all the best in the off-season as you enjoy a little R&R and the new arrival (Congratulations, btw!!)
    I hope the Giants get you that multi-year contract …and I’ll look forward to reading your future blog entries!!
    -Luke Dollar

  5. As a Catholic who sometimes struggles explaining to others why I find the most comfort in praying and worshiping where I do, thank you. You have verbalized my reasons better than I have been able to myself. I found your blog because I am a Giants fan. But thanks for the bonus

  6. Well said. I enjoy reading your blogs. Your love for God and the church is so heart warming.your words are uplifting and inspiring. Gods peace be with you and your family.

  7. My wife and I lost our daughter in 2010. God’s love and mercy kept my family together through this tragic time. My wife and I entered the Catholic faith that summer. I love my relationship with Christ and my faith. God has a plan for all of us, we just need to submit and let him take the wheel. God bless and go Giants!

  8. Well my brother as a pastor I’ve got to tell you that your blog was spot on! How refreshing it was for me to stumble across it! Thanks for the passionate defense of the kingdom of God. The church is not the end game…Jesus and His kingdom is! What a relief (sorry:) to read your words…pdenny

  9. Why on earth do you feel the need to “defend” Catholics? The whole notion is condescending and implying Catholicism – which was the only Christianity for hundreds of years before the schism, the Church that created the Bible that you claim to know, the Church that has devoted itself to scholarly work on theology (not making stuff up as you go along as evangelicals do), the Church that is followed by half of all Christians in the world (Orthodox is 12%, Anglicans are 8%, making the total of Catholics or near Catholics 70% of all Christians), the Church created by St. Peter – is somehow wrong or not even Christian. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head in acknowledging the holiness. That’s what a god is. God is not your best friend. God is not knowable. God does not make you pitch strikeouts or drive safely on a road or get A’s on tests. To think that is pure arrogance. Evangelicals have warped Christianity to the point where it’s a club, a cult, really, led by a magic sky genie who grants wishes for anyone who’s BFF is Jesus. There’s no scholarship, no seminary, no studying, no monasteries, no knowledge of history, and yeah, no holiness. If someone thinks he “knows” Jesus, he can have a church and preach. It’s all about me, me, me, whereas Catholicism is about the communion of souls. (“Catholic” means “universal.”) Your whole post implies that you are right, that Catholics are somehow wrong. Two thousand years of scholarship proves otherwise.

    • Cd. Thanks for your opinion. Seems by your anger someone has hurt you in the “evangelical” world. I know what the word catholic means however we dont seem to wanna be universal in the church And bashing each other wont help bring that. Jesus isnt my bff He is my savior and not only does he love me but he likes me and He loves and likes you as well. Sorry for your anger and bitterness and I hope you can be free of them.

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