Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-03-09 - Kieran Lisney

Author Recorded Saturday March 9th, 2019

There are 31 episodes in the Versus:Protestant series.

Kieran reached out via email a few months back and agreed to be my guest. He was raised in a predominantly Catholic environment but lost his Catholic faith because he was unable to accept some of the doctrines he encountered as he matured in his walk with God. He's a good man, and I'm sure we'll chat again.

Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-03-09 - Kieran Lisney

Author Recorded August 14th, 2016



These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi this is Kieran liz knee and you're listening to Catholic versus Protestant tell us a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and why well my name is Kieran Liz knee I grew up in a small town called Reading Pennsylvania it's about like probably like an hour and a half outside of Philadelphia I now currently live in Lancaster Pennsylvania as some people know this Amish country I live here with my wife and my soon-to-be son and I was baptized Catholic but my parents got a divorce when I was very very young I probably couldn't even talk when my parents split up so I lived back and forth between my mother and my father for 18 years of my life primarily I live with my mom who was not a Catholic and then my dad I lived with every other weekend who was a born-again Christian and he was a revert to the Catholic faith so he came back to the Catholic faith when I don't know I was probably just a toddler or something like that so my earliest memories of any kind of church experience was actually going to Mass with my dad and unfortunately because I didn't live with my father primarily my mother did not want me to get confirmed Catholic so I was actually confirmed Lutheran because my mom I guess she was kind of nominally a Christian I guess you could say she wasn't actually you know I don't I don't really know what she believes I don't know I think it was one of those kind of like social things for her you know as you can see a lot of people in North America kind of have that mentality of this is just what you do so that's what she did she took us to a Lutheran Church and I never really had a connection to that side of my my family's heritage you know the Lutheran side the Protestant side I always I always did feel a strong connection with the Catholic faith because I looked at the faith of my father and the faith of my grandmother and I saw that they were real Christians they had something different about them there was something different about their personalities in the way that they treated me and the way that they just treated people in general that I thought maybe there's an association between the way that they behaved and their faith and I think that there's a there's a lot of truth to that so I grew up with that but early on you know probably by the age of like 11 or so I started getting heavy into music I played in bands all my life you know played shows constantly played music with my brothers and then of course along with the music comes sex drugs and rock and roll that whole kind of thing and I got heavily involved into drugs and alcohol addiction from probably about the age of 18 until you know my early to mid-20s I'm 26 now and I had a born-again experience when I was about 21 or 22 years old I did stumble after that I fell back into drug use I relapsed two times actually but for the last two years I've been sober and I'm now part of an evangelical protestant church which I know it sounds like a leap hearing my back story as to my connection to the Catholic faith but there's a lot of other steps along the way that you know I guess we can get into if you'd like but it's it's odd if there's a lot of detail in the new show to it that it kind of takes a while to get into so yeah yeah I can tell you've listened to my show because you're giving all the answers in anticipation of what I normally ask so that's very good yeah just talk a little about your brother's faith journey just in really brief outline without invading their privacy obviously yeah no I actually it's it's interesting because my brother and I we were always best friends I have two brothers one still not in a relationship of Jesus yet but my second oldest brother Aidan he's very close to the Lord so he and I actually he's two years older than me we started having these different experiences simultaneously he actually was a was a Bikram yoga instructor for a while he got into different kinds of spirituality I guess but mostly it was for the physicality of it and around the same time that I was starting to have strong convictions about my son Aidan was having the same things happened to him and Jesus just kept popping into his head and I didn't want to tell him about it because it was kind of one of those things you know as a kid or even as somebody who's maybe a secularist or whatever you have this idea of like oh it's Jesus so that's lame kind of thing and I was embarrassed to talk to him and one night he called me and he was I came in what do you think about this and he told me these experiences that he was having and I was like dude I'm going through the same thing so it was really crazy but basically to make a long story short was his journey he it took him some years I jumped headfirst into it and he took he took some time to really sort some things out and he came back to the Catholic Church he went to RCIA classes he got confirmed and he had his marriage validated by the Catholic Church about a year - a year and a half ago probably around the same time that I actually decided that I was not going to go back to our CIA cuz in my journey I went back two separate times to our CIA and just found a lot of cognitive dissonance within what I was learning in catechism and then also you know what I was reading in Scripture and so I really wanted to dig into the history of the church and read different commentaries and and learn why it is you know I was believing the things that I was believing and so that's kind of what took me on my journey so he and I are still you know he's like the closest person to me in our in our faith walk I guess you could say but we both obviously have different theological views and we talk about them often but it's nothing that he and I can't reconcile I suppose nice so let's dig right into some of the issues that you've been thinking about and some of the issues that you haven't been satisfied with in the catechism courses or in our CIA or in the readings you've done or even in conversations with your brother or with anyone else that's Catholic yes so I guess you know I thought about this and I think the issue of authority really is where everything else stems from so if you just look at obviously one of the classic passages for establishing the papacy or setting Peter up as the head of the church would of course be Matthew 16 blessed are You Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my father who is in heaven and you are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it would you use that passage to justify the papacy or seeing that Peter has been given some sort of primacy it depends talking with if I'm talking with someone that's in our CIA that's on their way into the church they want to have access to the sacraments they're on their way in their just encountering different dogmas and maybe they have some questions then I would use the Bible but I don't talk to non Catholics usually about the Bible because first we need to establish the authority and then we can talk about all the treasures we have access to but something that can be empirically known like I want to look at those things I guess I have more of an analytical mind where it's like I don't want to commit to something fully until I at least to my own knowledge have at least tried to work these things out yeah one I've got two things I want to talk about with you one is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception because that was opposed by almost everyone unanimously throughout the almost 2,000 years leading up to the dogmatic definition so this I think is a good example of how the church develops doctrine and once it's established then those dissident voices all quiet down we don't have Catholics now denying the Immaculate Conception everyone who's Catholic falls in line and obeys the pronouncement of the church there is a dogma that says that the Immaculate Conception is a reality and so we bow when we submit to that but we don't have to bow and submit to all of the fancy reasoning and argumentation and all the complexities of the 2,000 years of of argumentation that went into that we can ignore that we can dismiss that you know anthropologically we can look at it as a treasure like look what happened it's fascinating it's interesting and it is relevant but it is not the main point it's that very human side and we're groping in the dark we're struggling and it's only when we get the illumination of the Holy Spirit that light of God where we can say the church has defined it I submit to it and that's the end of it now the other thing I want to mention was another very very controversial Dogma which is that there is absolutely no possibility of salvation outside of the holy roman catholic church that is a dogma of the church it was reinforced by the Second Vatican Council even though a lot of people that are fans of the Second Vatican Council are very liberal Catholics they're rebellious in their own way the spirit about it can do on so on and so forth but the council itself is very Catholics very traditional and it upheld that very controversial and shocking dogma so I wanted to get your perspective on that and then I would just sort of answer any questions you had about that okay so to address the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception I think that there's a few points that I'd like to touch upon and I think the first would be that we don't even see veneration or prayers to marry until the first 200 centuries after Christ's death and resurrection and you even find other church fathers that don't touch upon these things or rather say that it's pointless to even speculate to these things and I think it was st. Bernard who said that even the festival of the Immaculate Conception was foreign to ancient tradition in the church not that you know he's the ultimate authority or anything like that but to say that this stuff was from the dawning of Christ and it just had a natural kind of regret for me personally I want to see more evidence than just little tidbits here and there from church fathers who will be the first ones to admit that they're not on the same level of Scripture they're not divinely inspired when they write or when they speak so that's the first point about the Immaculate Conception but I did like the point that you said about we just have to submit to it we don't necessarily have to you prescribe to maybe some of the reasons behind the Immaculate Conception I think that's absolutely right because if you ask the average our CIA director or whatever and this is the answer that I got and I just found this completely fallacious why is it important that Mary was immaculately conceived and the common answer and I'm sure you've heard it before is that well in order for Mary to be able to contain somebody so perfect as Jesus Christ she had to be perfect as well now I don't know if you've ever heard that explanation before but I've heard that multiple times and I say to myself well if Mary had to be perfect to hold Jesus but not her mother have to be perfect in order to hold her in her womb and so therefore it goes back to an infinite regress of all these different Immaculate Conception so here's one of the other reasons why I didn't become a Catholic I had you know once our CIA on two separate occasions two different years tried to go had cognitive dissonance left came back again just to try it one more time and the same thing happened one of the things that happened to me was I was actually dabbling in state of a con sysm because i couldn't understand how the pope's post Vatican 2 were in alignment with the Pope's pre Vatican's theory especially looking at you know when I came back Pope Francis was installed in 2013 I came back I have a prayer journal and I can trace my restoration to the Lord to 2014 that April 2014 though looking at that that's when Pope Francis was ardian and I'm looking at all these things that he's saying and although he's not speaking ex cathedra he's still saying some really really borderline heretical things and I just couldn't piece the two together plus post Vatican 2 that's the only time that you start seeing this sort of interfaith working going on you know all the different world religions not only monotheistic that the three major monotheistic religions but also you know voodooism hinduism buddhism or a streon is like all these weird different religions and it's just kind of like I just don't see how you can pray together and say well yeah we're all worshipping the same God we just have a different way of getting there that to me it just seems like that whole notion of well I want to help a Muslim be a better Muslim and I want to help a Hindu be a better hand you it's like no the Bible says that you know Jesus says I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the Father but by me you know outside of Jesus there's no salvation and for me I look at those things and Isis but then I see the statements of the Council of Trent there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church according to the Catholic Church but then you see these actions that speak otherwise and to me that's just way too much cognitive dissonance that I can't get behind but have you actually read the 16 documents of Vatican 2 I have not no you should because you'll find they're very Catholic and they're in line with tradition the problem is people running with Vatican 2 the spirit of Vatican 2 and working for the destruction of the church basically knowingly or unknowingly doesn't really matter following Satan's lead and trying to destroy the church weak in the church contradict the church and water down the church so we need to read the documents of a Vatican 2 if we are going to take the Catholic Church today seriously we need to read the documents they're beautiful yeah they are a little bit ambiguous it's true they are a little bit the writing style is not as crisping clear as some of those old documents that really grab you and get your attention but at the same time God's pretty smart he's working with us he's cooperating with us in a way that is 100% maximally optimized for our greatest good so if you actually read this documents of Vatican 2 I think you'd be surprised how traditional they are how they reaffirm that there is no true religion apart from Christianity but there are elements of Christianity that are to be found outside of her visible borders and that's why we don't need to be ashamed to acknowledge that there's truth in Hinduism because it's Christian truth sure yeah there's there's bits of truth and I mean you can find that in any in any religion absolutely even Scientology yeah absolutely scary enough to say I mean but yes that is true you can't not speak the truth try it sometime try it going five minutes much less a day without communicating truth you cannot do it yeah but here's my thing though a good lie is 99% truth and 1% lies for sure even if even when I'll say one even when I read the documents of Vatican 2 the reason why I don't believe it would be able to convince me that I need to return to the Catholic Church is because I don't believe that there's no salvation outside of the Catholic Church I think there's no salvation outside of Christianity but when Jesus said upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it I don't see that as any one physical institution what if the early church looked like I'm talking like the Apostolic Church right after Pentecost the church was underground until the Edict of Milan and these apostles and these apostles of apostles didn't have time to sit around and argue about infant baptism or to sit around and argue about this that or the other thing they were just trying to survive and so every time they would get together they would read from Scripture they would break bread together until they felt like it was unsafe and then they would have to depart from each other now I fully my eschatological views are premillennialists I believe in a post tribulation rapture I know mouths mostly now it's pre-trib rapture but I'm more on the side of post trip but I believe that we are going to endure tribulation I believe that there's going to be a little literal seven years where the Antichrist this year I believe he's going to deceive millions upon millions even billions of people and he's going to make peace with Israel for the first three and a half years the third temple will be built and sacrifices will be started again and I believe that it the three-and-a-half year mark that he will reveal himself to be who he actually is and Christians from at that point will be forced underground again and I think that that's going to come from all different denominations and even big sects so we have the five major sects of Christianity we have Catholic we have oriental Orthodox we have Greek Orthodox we have Protestant we have Anglican and I think that all of those different sects of Christianity and all of the sub denominations within them are going to break down and people are going to get back to the basics and they're going to be forced to commune with one another and all this stuff will fall by the wayside so I look at Jesus's statement of the gates of Hell I'm not prevailing against this church not as the physical institution but simply as the spiritual body of believers that span across all different denominations if that makes sense to you yeah I understand what you're saying I just don't happen to agree because it's in contradiction to what the Church teaches right but it's very clear in the teachings of Vatican two that every Christian that's baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is in fact a de facto Catholic it just happens that that relationship is wounded and that they are upright brothers you would as you would say right separated brethren yet okay but my issue then becomes well what about all the Anathem as in trend they all stand I mean I knew that that was reactionary I get it you know there was a Counter Reformation in response to the Reformation but there were also groups like the walled Enzi's Alba Gen Z's you know the Anabaptist these groups prior to the Reformation that were condemned by the Catholic Church and they were not considered separated brethren they were just considered apostates and they needed to be eliminated I mean I get what you're saying to say that you like from the Catholic perspective Christians just don't have the fullness of truth I've heard that before maybe that could be the case but for me I'm not convinced of that be is I actually see the Catholic Church you know what's interesting to me is when you look at Jehovah's Witness or when you look at Mormonism or when you look at Christian science you know what I would call a Christian cult or what would classically be called just a call when you look at them what they actually do is they subtract from Christianity so they take away the divinity of Christ they take away the Trinity they take all these different things away but what I see from a Christian perspective is that over time the Catholic Church did not subtract from the gospel rather it added little things to the gospel and then over time even further it took those little things that had added to the gospel and then it made them bound on my conscience so I have to believe them in order to have salvation and so when I look at that I say no that's not right because this wasn't always held like if Augustine came and looked at the Catholic Church today he wouldn't even recognize it because it's so vastly different than what it was sure there's the elements that are the same there's Christ crucified there's communion there's some form of confession though he wouldn't have recognized confession as the way that it is today because it's they didn't have frequent and individual private confession and so the later centuries twelve to thirteen century so looking at those things the Catholic Church just looks way different back then than it does today it doesn't make sense to me because you can say that that's progressive or that's that's just natural tradition being defined but to me that looks like a soft way of saying that it's changed yeah the one thing we don't want to admit is that God can change his mind right so there are passages in the Bible where words are put into God's mouth that he changed his mind and we know that he didn't change his mind this is just a way of speaking and putting it into language that we can grow up with more readily here below because we're a fallen people were stiff-necked people okay so it's the same thing with the Catholic Church you're going to see a lot of things that trouble you that disturb you and there are things that seem impossible to reconcile but because we have faith in Jesus Christ and in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit we know that this is an inerrant infallible Word of God and so I have no difficulty submitting to the Holy Scripture and of course I have no trouble submitting to Holy Tradition and to the church even though it's bewildering even though it's frightening it is frightening it is overwhelming it is mind boggling but at the same time if you have faith it's enough to make you submit right so the church encourages us and God encourages us to grope with these to struggle with these things and to struggle frankly with our Christian brothers separated brethren and to struggle also with those all the way down the line to those who are even atheist to struggle with them to confront the questions that they have we cannot be complacent interest dismiss everything and be comfortable in the arms of our loving Savior while everyone else is going to perish and I have to work to help my brothers and sisters see the light and to come into full communion and to to avail themselves of all seven sacraments yeah I mean and I can identify with that kind of attitude for sure I look I mean I I try and have perspective on my faith in Jesus Christ in the same way and I'm always open to correction and rebuke and and reproof and I actually welcome that very much you know my faith has changed physiologically for instance I think 'red with Calvinism for a while or Arminianism and what I realize is that it's healthy to look at these things it's very healthy to not be comfortable but I don't want to ever make the assumption that I can fully understand God like if I can understand God completely then he's probably not a very worthy god for me to worship and I think sometimes God looks down on on on certain people may be say the Calvinists at the airman you know and he just laughs because they're petrol and children that are arguing about the things of God everyone has their own set of emphases where is your emphasis in your walk with Jesus where do you place the emphasis in your walk with God so it's funny actually I've gone through like a pretty big metamorphosis since you know becoming a Christian it started very private for me it started in a very very private kind of way but I was absolutely in love with Jesus talking to him constantly but I wouldn't even talk to my wife about him you know that's how embarrassed I was the cross is foolishness to those perishing and I think that that's why sometimes people who look at it and they're like oh this Jesus thing or whatever but I think there's an element of truth with the people look at and they're like yeah there's something real to this and so they just kind of pupule it or whatever but it started out very private and then you know after I came to some of my theological views that I have now I said okay well I'm comfortable enough now where I don't think I'm gonna go to hell for not being a part of the Catholic Church and I got to the point where I was like I don't even think that it would be right on my conscience to join the Catholic Church so I said where am I gonna go and I know that Protestantism has its problems it just does I mean man gets in the way of everything so I said well I'm gonna I'm gonna seek this you know from the Lord where does he want me to go and he put the pastor in my life actually when I was 23 years old I got married and my mother-in-law you know went to this church this just this nice little Evangelical Protestant Church and he married my wife and I'm yeah I thought you know what why don't I try Grace's community and just see what see I've been there a few times before but that was my Catholic days and I just felt kind of weird being there let me try now now that I have nothing binding on my conscience and I don't feel bad about going to a Protestant Church let me check it out so I went there and I just fell in love with it and I quickly joined the worship team you know the Lord I felt like was was telling me to get more involved in evangelism that sort of thing and one area that I really took an interest in that I've always taken an interest in has been apologetics whether it be classical apologetics or polemics or whatever and so I approached one of my pastors and I was like hey would you be interested in having an apologetics class I can teach that for you and he was like yeah sure where are your credentials and I was like nothing I don't have any credentials but we talked to news like y'all you seem like you know some stuff then as I started teaching some apologetics classes which went really well and I actually have a new class starting next week it's basically like a comparative religion Jesus in comparison to other world religions that sort of thing so my faith has evolved a lot I'm very outspoken now I think in certain instances but I'm also reserved in a lot of ways still like I had a moment last week actually my prayer of late in the morning because you know I have my morning prayers and I read my Scripture and I try and step aside like an hour or so in the morning for the Lord and then same thing at night but before my feet even hit the ground I asked the Lord to just put anybody you know in my path for that day that maybe needs to hear the message of Jesus or maybe already knows it and they just want somebody to fellowship with and he's been doing a consistently day after day and I've just been seeing the Lord work in so many ways lately I think that before because I was too scared to even you know is that that whole thing if you're embarrassed to me I'm gonna be embarrassed of you I think like shedding some of that away the Lord always works but I think now it's maybe some more of the scales are peeling back from my eyes and I can see some of the fruit and I can see some of the way that he's working in my life and he's working in the people's lives around me so it's been really cool lately honestly that's been the emphasis for me it's a little bit of both its intellectual but it's also it's also very emotional its spiritual and it's um I try and keep it all in balance like for me you know I've had my born-again experience when I was about 21 years old I'm in 2014 but even from then like there have been moments of serious darkness and I wouldn't say dark night of the soul or anything about intense or separation from God completely but there's been falling back into in a serious and and I think a lot of it came from cockiness I think a lot of it came from this idea that you know I was untouchable but then I also fell from the idea that while I'm gonna fall so I might as well just fall now you know what I mean so I had kind of both of those different experiences one from a place of extreme anxiety and the other one from a place of no anxiety at all so it's got to be balanced for sure and I think that if we're willing to work with the Holy Spirit we're willing to be sanctified like I believe that God declares us righteous I'm not giving righteousness more and more each day but I do believe that there's a severe difference between righteousness and holiness and sanctification righteousness being what God sees me as because of Jesus Christ and what he did and then holiness being something that's attained not even fully I don't believe in this life but something that's grasped that by sanctification through the Holy Spirit so there has to be that understanding I think a lot of people mix what righteousness and what sanctification and what holiness are because there's three completely different things and earlier on in my walk I didn't quite understand the difference have you read the joint declaration between the Lutheran's and the Catholics on justification I need some videos on it I never sat down and read it but from what I understand it was a lot of pussyfooting around but it's a step in the right direction and in any reconciliation you have to be careful you have to be respectable you have to be delicate and you have to watch what you say because of the ongoing tension I think I think we can understand why there might be a little bit of diplomacy and caution right yeah absolutely and I mean even if there was an agreement on justification it still doesn't get us back to square one it doesn't mend everything I'm curious though so what is your view on I'm assuming you take the classical approach of justification views and your soteriology yeah I do I followed the church on every point of doctrine and I strive to follow the church in discipline and in all the pastoral care why because any idiot can follow what they know to be an infallible truth from God's own lips any fool can fall in line and bend the knee to that but I see the fallible stuff as more humbling and I want to humble myself to be like Christ okay but how do you know that what's spoken infallibly is actually infallible well there's a hierarchy of infallible dogmas the first one is that God is right I am this is the first dogma so everything hinges on that without supernatural faith I cannot know that the Incarnation is 100% guaranteed to be true but with supernatural faith I can have certainty but even though I have certainty that the Trinity is the case it is still nonetheless even though it's 100% certain it's a 100% certainty that is conditional it's conditional on the fact that Jesus Christ founded a church and that church has the authority to bind and to loose and it has the keys and they infallibly all the necessary saving truths my belief in God the Father is unconditional my belief in the Trinity is conditional there is a difference even though I'm 100% certain of both one could be shaken for example if the church contradicts itself on dogmatic teachings of faith and morals then I will know that Christ is a false messiah and I will abandon Christianity whereas God the Father is secure in his position so there's a subtle distinction to be made between different levels of certainty among the dogmas what actually that brings up another point I want I did want to ask you this because I did hear you say this before I'm one of your other shows which was this idea that for instance like if tomorrow Pope Francis spoke ex cathedra and said that Jesus was actually the true son of Joseph you know he wasn't really God's literal son if he said that I'm assuming you would say no no that's not right and you would walk away from that right so if that's the case then you walked away from it why does that mean that then Christ is not true like why can't that just mean that Catholicism is not true maybe then something like Eastern Orthodoxy or Russian orthodoxy or whatever could be a possibility or even you know god forbid yeah yeah it all has to do with Authority right like I mean if I could be it is possible that I could salvage my Christianity but it would take a lot because I need the four marks of the church the church is one Holy Catholic and apostolic right so I would need the Orthodox cuz that would be my next best option I would need them to convince me that they have unity I don't see it and the silver lining of that worst-case scenario is that I always will have God the Father I'm always going to be a monotheists this is part of where my complacency comes from because there just aren't that many monotheistic religions around there just aren't that many options there aren't that many candidates and it really makes me more and more secure that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah because to be a Jew is to deny that and it just seems obvious that he is and based on the prophecies in the Old Testament and they said yeah the other thing and on the subsequent history of Judaism how it crumbled and fell apart with the destruction of the temple and there's no more priesthood and so on and so forth and then of course Islam is completely historically untenable there's absolutely no way to justify the story that they tell I don't know how anyone can take that seriously anyone that looks at the early church and tries to fit that square peg in a round hole I think Islam is really really stretching the imagination when it comes to historical analysis of the early church well sure absolutely and so in the Catholic Church like when I look at it I see that yet I guess magisterially there's unity for the most part but when you look at you know different bishops to me I look at the universality of Catholicism and I say that it's less existent than what it's actually proclaimed to be especially with one-billion that adherence to the faith that it's got to be less than a handful that actually understand what Catholic theology is all about I mean and I guess rightfully so there's a lot of stuff to sift through but like when you don't even understand the mass as a propitiatory sacrifice but you call yourself a Catholic like I just don't see any unity in that I I don't know yeah you remember what I said earlier about the obligation not the friendly recommendation but the obligation that we have to educate ourselves what is a faith people are not living up to their obligations and it's sad to say but the clergy and the hierarchy themselves are partly responsible for that and part of the reason is because of wolves and sheep's clothing these tares among the wheat that jesus warned us against there will be people infiltrating the church trying to tear down the church from within it's well documented that Freemasons have done it communists have done it and it continues to go on there's this lavender mafia and the homosexual agenda and so on and so forth how much of that is true I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me the evil one has sown weeds and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration and there are people that lack faith I often think about Saint John Vianney the curiae of ours that great Saint really really really holy man a simple man but a holy man and the devil would harass him night after night and one of the things that Satan said to the Cure a virus is if there were three priests like you in the whole world then I would be done for so we need to keep in perspective that unity is a very subtle and tricky notion and that we are outnumbered in a lot of ways by who are mediocre in their faith we talked about this in Revelation you have the reputation for being alive but really you're dead and you're lukewarm I want to spit you out of my mouth you're good for nothing these are early churches these are churches that should be on fire they're closer to our Lord geographically and chronologically than we are and yet they fell into mediocrity and lukewarmness so I personally am NOT surprised by the mediocrity and the lukewarmness that we see in the pews and even though it's disturbing I'm not even that surprised when I see it in hierarchy okay so like where does that place me because I'm I wasn't born in a Protestant home I was taught the Catholic faith from a very early age and I then you know investigated it myself and I openly denounced most of the doctrines of the Catholic faith where does that put a Protestant like me who says that you know I can't in all good conscience become a Catholic or find McDuffie it he was thrown God alone knows you're hurt if you were to pretend to believe just for the sake of pleasing your family or your brother or whatever like that that would be a damnable sin you have like you said at the outset you have to respect these god-given gift of free will and reason you have to you're obliged to you have to follow your conscience and if you are in love with your sin to the extent where you have fooled yourself into denying certain teachings of the church because that will give you the space and the freedom like st. Augustine said give me chastity Lord just not yet you know if you are in that situation only you and God know and you yourself might not even know you may have successfully fooled yourself and only God in that case only God knows but I'm not worried about it because I know that God loves you he's working with you he's cooperating with you and he's not in a hurry he could wait till the last moment if he wanted to but I can tell you I can promise you that if we meet in heaven one day and I hope I pray to God that we do then we will both have acknowledged each and every one of God's saving truths including the Catholic Church everyone that goes to heaven will have bent his knee to the papacy and to the hierarchy that living Magisterium and to Mary and everything that comes with it and to every dogma no matter how bewildering and no matter how much of a stumbling stone it was during our lives we will be set straight that's awesome wall I mean I appreciate your can that answer I mean do and I would disagree on many different things I'm sure but I would likely say the same thing you know I hope to see you in heaven yeah well how would that look let's say that I go to my deathbed as a Catholic and there's that famous saying no one ever regretted being a Catholic on the deathbed but just paint a picture for me what would be happening in that moment when God comes to save me at my death I think that if I were to look at it from my perspective probably the biggest thing would be have you repented of all your sins that would be the the biggest element of it mmm there's an image Luther uses where you're on your deathbed and you just have the crucifix before your face and you're just abandoning yourself to Jesus and mercy I was really touched by that I find that that is an infallible truth that no one can argue against that I just don't see any argument against that No sure and you know it's funny to do is like work we're called to do that now like that's something I think in the moment of death you know maybe it's it'll become more of a reality that that abandonment to Christ but that's something now that we should be striving for you sound like a devout dude so I'm sure you experienced this but like if I'm not actually engaged in something I'm thinking about Jesus like it's an automatic thing you just can't not think about him when you were an atheist did you have trouble reconciling the idea of reason truth morality or even something more concrete like the fine-tuning of the universe did those things bother you at all or no because it all has to do with again with truth how do we smear the truth how do we pervert the truth how do we twist the truth that's all that there is so we all we can do is play with it so there's a certain playfulness like when I was an atheistic Satanist it's all about playfulness theatre twisted if you read Aleister Crowley do everything backwards write backwards walk backwards do this backwards do that backwards it's about just perverting everything because we cannot create only God can create so all we can do is throw our spaghetti on the floor and stare at daddy and say that he doesn't exist you know III really do suspect psychologically that all of it has to do with a childish selfishness which really isn't at bass really isn't all that serious one of my favorite Saints obviously is Saint Agustin and what he said is that when we run away from God smiling we run smack into God frowning and the way that I interpret that is that we need to repent and to turn God's frown upside down but it's not God's face that's turning upside down it's our orientation that's changing 180 degrees we go from a rebel upside down where our head is down and our feet are up and we come back to our natural orientation the way God made us to put him first right and to love neighbour only for God's sake so this idea of turning God's frown upside down it's a very powerful image and I like the fact that it fits in with this sort of juvenile rebellion that we can have and that a lot of us go through even as good faithful Christians people that are Christian their whole life they go to church they're good people they have nice families but even they go through certain amounts of rebellion and it's always the same sort of thing we want to have our way we want to do God's will on our terms and so on and so forth it's always the same story and I like the idea that sin is not a big deal God's love and mercy and justice are a big deal our weakness is not a big deal God's strength is a big deal I like that emphasis where we pum below by taking the spotlight off of ourselves and shining it on to God God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit so to wrap up you know at the end of my interviews I asked my guests to give a nice little thought so what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now yeah man I think I just want to share the gospel to be honest with you Jesus Christ was born at the Virgin Mary he suffered for our sake he died he rose again he was the only one that could do that he lived a sinless perfect life and if we trust in him we put our faith in Him if we ask and we truly see God will answer us and we can have a relationship with him we can have salvation we can work that out and fear and trembling but the most important thing is that there's an advocate for the father and his name is Jesus Christ and truly seek him out if you're looking for answers from maybe a more impure standpoint there's evidence that you can grab onto for the resurrection there's evidence that you can grab onto for the existence of Jesus there's evidence to grab onto for the validity and for the infallibility of Scripture but honestly what's most important is that you can have all of this evidence staring you in the face but if you don't truly want an encounter with God you will justify turning away from him no matter how much Jesus Christ himself could appear to you in the flesh and say here put your fingers in my hands and in my side and in my feet you can be that doubting Thomas and you can actually touch those wounds that Jesus Christ suffered for you and me and still if you don't want you can turn away from it and say I don't believe that you're real so truly ask for a broken heart ask for the ability to be able to accept the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Messiah and that's it

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