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An Open Invitation To David Crowder To Join the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

Dear Mr. Crowder,

Thanks to your fine work, I find myself in one of the most incredible moments of my music-loving, Christ-worshipping, Roman Catholic existence — a Requiem Mass is the number 2 album in the world. That’s right – Album, not Christian album. Nestled comfortably between Adele’s 21 and Snow Patrol’s Fallen Empires — as I’m sure you are very aware — is David Crowder Band’s Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C, [The Happiest of All Keys]).

To the Christian, this is awesome. To the Catholic, well, this is freaking fantastic. You see, to us the Mass is not merely another prayer, though it is a prayer. It is not merely a chance for community worship, though it certainly provides us the opportunity. It is the moment when the veil is torn. It is the wedding feast of Christ to His Bride the Church, as described in the book of Revelation. We believe that by the power of Christ, in accordance with his teaching to “eat my body and drink my blood”(John 6:56), the bread and wine consecrated by the priest become the Body and Blood of Christ. We consume this “real food“, and we are consumed.  It is literally Heaven on Earth. As for myself, though I know no words can describe the value of the Mass, I will say this: It is painful. There exists beauty and goodness that strike so close to the heart of what it means to be human that the only response is a sweet sort of hurt.

And for a piece of art based on this Liturgy to be so prominent, so stuck in the eye of the world like a finger-poke of love, well! I can only say thank God, and thank you. Thank you for daring it, and of course — more importantly — for the musical goodness of it.

Though I’m sure you’ve been invited before — and if not, I take this opportunity to apologize for it — I’d like to invite you to enter into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church. You’ve been in my prayers and the prayers of my friends for some time now. We heard when you said that many “of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in [your] formation of faith,” and about your love for St. Francis when you granted LifeTeen an interview, and we got pretty pumped.

How incredible that your last album with David Crowder Band is a Requiem Mass! If you’ll excuse a detour, might I mention that the idea of a requiem, a Mass for the dead, is a Catholic one? When a friend dies, we are not confined to helplessness, hopelessness and grief. We — the living — can pray for the dead. We can act, for there exists a state of being called Purgatory, a state necessary because nothing imperfect can stand in the sight of God, who is perfection. Even if we’ve only committed some small sin before our death, since sin is defined as the absence of God, we would not be able to enter Heaven. Basic math, really: The absence of God cannot be brought into communion with God. Catholics believe that in Purgatory a soul is purged — by the saving action of Christ — of sins and sinful desires. The existence of Purgatory is proven by Christ’s words: “Anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.” Jesus proclaims the possibility of the forgiveness of sins after death. Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. Thus Christ must be speaking of another state of being, a state we call Purgatory. What a merciful God we have!

So when your album started with a man walking into a Church, and the voice of a priest saying “Grant them eternal rest, Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them…” (in Latin!) I fairly well freaked out. That prayer is not merely a memory of the dead, it is a prayer for the dead, that they might be granted to enter into Heaven.

And the rest of the album lived up to this start. But I don’t write to you today simply to commend you and the band on a fantastic finish. You’ll get all that from anyone who listens to Give Us Rest. I want to invite you to become Catholic. You don’t know me from Adam, and though I wish it were otherwise, I realize that I don’t know you. But if you will permit me just a little more of your time, I’d like to ask you: What if?

What if there is meant to be but one Church, one true religion, and the current state of Christendom is but a pale shadow of what Christ begged for in the Garden of Gethsemane, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21)? What if the Catholic Church is that very oneness?

This is what I and the majority of Christians hold as truth: Christianity is not doomed to become ever more vague, slowly sinking into more and more denominations, inevitably sliding into a washed-out non-denominationalism. Rather she is called to become ever more definite, and ever more one. Christians are called to seek and know one truth, not by mere personal decision, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. We Catholics believe that this power was given to the Universal Church, to the apostle Peter, the first Pope, when Christ gave him the keys of the kingdom of Heaven and told him, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).  This is why we have confidence in our doctrines and in dogmas — it is confidence in the promise of Christ, that he meant what he said: What the Church binds is bound.

We believe that this is the same power that grants men — sinful men! – the power to forgive sins. As Christ says to his apostles, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (John 20:23). We see this power manifest in our priests, spiritual descendants of the apostles. We believe that Christ’s command at the Last Supper, to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) is not a forgotten command, but a command that the Church, in her sacrifice of bread and wine, continues to obey. We believe that Christianity is unfathomable in its depth, for Christ is infinite in all respects, and should thus be honored by 2000 years of learning, wisdom and teaching, and that what G.K. Chesterton says is true, that “the Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar”: She is the Church that best plunges those infinite depths, and offers meat to a world weary of milk.

What if, Mr. Crowder? I challenge you to explore the question, though judging from your latest album, you already are. I won’t lie to you — you’ll catch a lot of flack for a thing as radical as the consideration of the Catholic faith, but it’s a small price to pay in exchange for a brush with the sacramental life. I hope one day to be in Holy Communion with you, in the sacrifice of the holy Mass, be it a Requiem or otherwise. I apologize for writing this in a public fashion, but as I’m sure you are bombarded with fan mail, I have hope that this may actually reach you. Similarly, I understand that what truly has any effect on the human heart in matters such these is not simply logic or reason, but relationship — something this inherently lacks. See at as an invitation from a stranger then, nothing more and nothing less. An invitation to think about it. If nothing else, it may inspire a few of my friends to purchase your finest album to date, and allow me to thank you for everything you have done for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and — whether by intention or not — for his Holy Church.

Yours truly,

Marc Barnes, student and dishwasher at Franciscan University.

  • Paula

    Amen.

    • Lord Putnam

      Q: What’s the difference between a Catholic and a bag of dog crap? A: The Bag

      • Paula

        Dear Lord Putnam,

        Are you saying Catholics are _the SH*T_? If so, thanks! We are!

        • David Bates

          I’m sure there’s a joke about snow-covered dung in there somewhere… ;-)

      • Christian R.

        You’re not getting anywhere if you’re not going to be civil, Lord Putnam….can you please gracious with your speech?

    • Thomas

      Jesus is Awesome!

  • Anonymous

    From your lips/keyboard to God’s ears! Come home, Mr. Crowder…. you would be a phenomenal Catholic. Much love, a fellow convert (raised Presbyterian, 4 years at an amazing Evangelical Free church, feel in love with Jesus in the Eucharist and came home to Rome in 2007)

  • Anonymous

    I second this. I almost stopped where he is at. Go all the way because the Eucharist is the terminus of every chorus you have ever sung.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexandra-Molnar-Suhajda/727220213 Alexandra Molnar-Suhajda

      THIS. That is the most beautiful comment. And I say this as a musician and a composer. And the post is pretty amazing, too :)

      • Anonymous

        I speak as a former musician who has played David’s music in large churches.

    • http://defend-us-in-battle.blogspot.com Joseph K.

      I too almost stopped. I was right there, but didn’t think I “needed” the Church. There was “too much” that was there, and it seemed to be a “distraction” from God.

      Then I realized, my thinking was the distraction. Those things werent meant to keep me from God… but to keep me with God.

      Taking the jump is the hardest and scariest part, but the second you do… it is like jumping from a cliff into a sea of plastic balls. The landing doesn’t hurt, and instead becomes a moment of unfathomable childish (in the good way) joy!

      I stopped and prayed for his, and many conversions, right after reading this. I am also listening to the album, and remember listening to him… when I was at “this stage” – it is wildly ironic.

      St. Monica ~ Ora Pro Nobis ~ Let no prayer be a waste of time!

      • Patrick Lynch

        ” it is like jumping from a cliff into a sea of plastic balls.”

        This is how it is!

  • Fisherman

    I don’t know who you are Mr. Crowder -which I’m sure I will get a lot of smack for- but if you are seriously considering joining the most paradoxically loving and sorrowfully joyful/ joyfully sorrow Faith on God’s greeny-blue Earth, then I pray for the best and am super excited when you consume Our Lord and chill with the Universal’s. May your soul be suffocated with the Holy Spirit, my brother.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Crowder is the lead singer of the mega-popular contemporary Christian band called David Crowder Band. :-)

      • Fisherman

        I see.

  • Fisherman

    Also, good job Marc. Sorry, after thought. Stay blessed and be a blessing.

  • Catholicandproudofit
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rick-Aubol/1313386892 Rick Aubol

    He(re) is our King is almost definitely my favorite adoration praise and worship song of all time!

  • anonymous

    Marc, let me start by introducing myself. (kind of) I’m a Catholic who’s worked with the Crowder band up until their recent retirement. I was standing there when they walked off stage for the last time in Atlanta two weeks ago, and I know all the guys on a personal level. As a result, I felt the need to say something, even though I’m not quite sure what to say…

    First off, in the words of Rich Mullins (Famous Christian Musician who was about to convert to Catholicism before his untimely death in 1997) “I’m not a Christian because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, I’m a Christian because there were people in my life who WERE Christ to me”.

    Here’s another story… A friend of mine who used to work side by side with Mother Teresa, once relayed the following story to me. He was holding a malnourished baby that he and Mother Teresa had rescued from the gutters in his arms. He was trying to feed the baby. This baby needed food to survive. Unfortunately, the baby wouldn’t eat. My friend couldn’t control his emotions. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out WHY this baby would not eat… Mother Teresa walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulder and said, “silly little gordito! (what she called him) Don’t you know you must LOVE that baby before it will eat?”

    I understand you’re in a place in your life where your brain is being filled with knowledge, and you want to share that knowledge with the world in the hopes that they will see the beauty that you now see. You yearn for people to experience the love of God in the Sacraments as you experience them. You long for a day when the Church will reunite and all will be one again. I know how you feel!

    However, you have absolutely no idea what Dave does or does not know about the Catholic faith. Without that knowledge, I’m finding it hard to understand why you chose to write a manifesto about our faith as if you were telling him things he doesn’t already know. It sounds to me you’ve made an awful lot of assumptions here.

    Dave has a very healthy knowledge of the Catholic faith. He knows much more than you and others are giving him credit for. When the idea of this album came up, Dave sought out Catholic musician Matt Maher and asked for his input and in depth perspective regarding the Catholic funeral liturgy. (on a side note, if you read the album liner, you’ll notice that Matt was credited with co-writing several songs on this album.)

    Lastly, I think it’s important to state that people aren’t converted to our faith because we put them in their place by throwing doctrine around. Faith isn’t about proving that you’re right and others are wrong. Anything is possible when God is involved, but I have a feeling that a lot more people will be converted when we stop telling them they’re wrong and start loving them the way that Jesus loves. In Ireland, when someone at a bar is really happy, people will say “I don’t know what they’re drinking, but I’ll have a pint of that.” My prayer for the Church is that we’ll become the people that live lives that other’s look at and say, “I don’t know what they’re drinking, but I’ll have a pint of that.” That doesn’t happen with internet blogs telling strangers how right we are, it happens in day to day living, through love and sacrifice.

    • Anonymous

      You’re certainly right that evengelization and conversion happen because people fall in love with Christ and see that love manifested in others. That’s 75% of what it was for me (short version: die-hard Protestant –> zealous Catholic in 2 years during college). But the other 25% *was* indeed the “head knowledge” and “doctrine stuff” that was explained to me much like Marc has done here, except over coffee at Starbucks and in my friends’ living rooms, then then I took it from there and “studied myself into the Church” the rest of the way, much like Former Presybterian Pastor Scott Hahn did. So you’re absolutely right that we need to be RADICALLY IN LOVE with Christ to be any use at all in terms of evangelization, but the “head stuff” is important too :-) Peace my friend.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902050 Mary-Catherine Jenkins

      I don’t think that Marc, is talking down to Dave or anyone else. I think he is sharing the excitement and love he has for the Catholic Church and genuinely inviting him to join. Without knowing anything about where Dave is in his journey and knowledge of the church he is expressing everything and filing in the gaps, “just in case.” Oh, and Mr./Ms. Anonymous, you have to remember that this BadCatholic Blog has several thousand followers some of whom might need that information. This is, as stated, and open invitation to one, Mr. David Crowder, but he is not the only audience of this forum.

    • Anonymous

      “Anything is possible when God is involved, but I have a feeling that a lot more people will be converted when we stop telling them they’re wrong and start loving them the way that Jesus loves.”

      In the movie The Help, one of the maids says, “that it is hard to love your enemies, but sometimes it has to start by telling them the truth”. Now in no way am I implying that David Crowder is our enemy. However, I think the power of that statement still holds true. Telling someone the truth is, in itself, a charitable act. Particularly when it is said in the right spirit. Marc did gets an A+ on both accounts.

      Will this blog post “convert” David? Of course not. In fact, no act of charity can convert anyone. “Loving people” won’t convert them. Only God can convert a soul. So, what the heck are we doing anything for?

      “Some plant, some water, but only God makes the increase”.

      Planting and watering. That’s what my bud Marc did. One of em. Maybe. Not sure. Let’s just put it in God’s hands. Do I hope David becomes Catholic? Yes, I do. Why? Because Jesus started the Catholic Church–and all lovers of Jesus deserve to be in it.

    • Adriel

      Great anecdotes, great points, thanks for the post.

      I think your post would have been a bit more apropos in response to Marc’s “Smackdown” post because that one was much more aggressive in tone. However that one was in defense, so the approach is forgivable.

      As well, Marc may very well be someone that lives a life “that other’s look at and say, ‘I don’t know what they’re drinking, but I’ll have a pint of that.’” In fact I’d bet on it.

      I also bet Marc would be the first to apologize on behalf of anyone who misrepresented the Church in any way, whether sinful or just a little overexcited about the blessings of Church teachings.

      I don’t think he misstepped in this post, especially considering that at the very least others will be able to read it, and more people (like me) are now turned on to this album.

      Regardless, if you don’t pass this on to Dave, if for no other reason than to amuse him over what another fan thinks of his album, THAT would be a crime. Haha. Jk. But seriously. DO IT!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the responses to my original comment.

      I don’t mean to come across as someone who believes that theology and truth mean nothing. In reality, it’s quite the contrary. I was simply saying that truth MUST be spoken in love for people to listen. As I attempted to portray in the story about Mother Teresa, if a person does not feel that someone is giving them something in love, they will not accept it. (whether or not it’s necessary for survival)

      With every ounce in our being, we can believe that people need to hear the truth because it’s what they need to be truly alive, but unless those people know that we love them, it will come across as judgmental and condemning. If they know we truly love them, they will be able to see that we are sharing the truth with them because we want the best for them. These are two completely different realities in the mind of the person we are speaking to.

      Think of it this way, would you even read a post by a mormon you’ve never met where they list several “facts” they consider to be the truth in an effort to get you to become mormon? Of course you wouldn’t, and neither would I? But if this person was your friend, who loved and cared about you, and wanted to share their heart, their life with you, would you at least listen?

      Oftentimes, we attempt to convert people by simply stating the truth and then saying “we’ll pray for you”, when maybe God is calling us to love them first, and let all the rest unfold according to His divine plan.

      I’ll confess I have no idea who Marc is, and I’ve never stumbled upon his blog until this afternoon. I have no idea what kind of a person he is or how he lives his day to day walk. None of these things are for me to judge. If a lot of people follow this blog and people are brought closer to Jesus because of it, then PRAISE GOD! However, as a Catholic and a friend of the Crowder guys, I honestly felt like it was inappropriate to approach this subject under an assumption that they are unaware of the theology of the Catholic church. The statement where Marc says “If you’ll excuse a detour, might I mention that the idea of a requiem, a Mass for the dead, is a Catholic one?” is the one that really got to me. As I mentioned in a previous post, a prominent Catholic musician was sought out for guidance regarding the Catholic funeral Mass so that they could do it “right”.

      Maybe I’m a little too close to this one and I should have kept my mouth shut. (fingers from typing) Please know I mean no disrespect… I simply have a vested interest in both sides of the debate.

      Be blessed!

      • Adriel

        For the record I think it’s great you spoke up. You made great points and offered a couple of awesome stories. I don’t think it came off as disrespectful at all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472790264 Richard Gerard Evans

        One more thought…I was a non-practicing Catholic for 35 years, after a very real conversion experience which challenged me to “follow Jesus” but unwittingly led me away from the Catholic Church where I had been raised.

        In all of those years, only one person in my family or among my Catholic Christian friends EVER said anything to me to even attempt to convince me, doctrinally or otherwise, to “come back home.” And that was only a year before my re-conversion. I found out later she had been praying the Rosary for me constantly over the years. And I will be forever grateful that she spoke up.

        I wish to heaven I had known Marc during those years and yes, I would definitely read a blog about doctrine if I was doing a serious search on the topic, whether I knew the person or not.In fact I did so actively during my struggles back towards the Faith. Unfortunately for me, although fortunate for this generation, Marc was not born yet during my detours (I am 56 years of age). His is one blog I would have eagerly read.

        I can truthfully suggest that if I had even one friend such as him over those crucial first years of transitioning away from Catholicism I do not believe I would have ever left the Church. We live in a world where the blogosphere is a very good and effective way to share doctrinal and other issues openly. We should use it. St Francis would have. Sometimes it is indeed “necessary to use words.”

        • anonymous

          Richard, praise God you’re home!

          If I read your story correctly, you were approached by someone you were in relationship with and who had been praying for you for a long time. This is EXACTLY the approach I’m advocating here!!! Awesome story!

          However, when you state you would definitely read a blog on the subject if you were doing a serious search on the topic, that would be much different than a random person who was not actively searching. In my example, I used someone you don’t know, addressing you by name and inviting you to become mormon, and then proceeding to list why you should become mormon and why the mormon faith is true. As someone who has no active interest in becoming mormon, if you read the stranger’s blog, you would likely only do so with the intent to discredit them and speak of the truth within the Catholic church. The result would likely be two complete strangers going back and forth in a theological argument that would lead to nowhere because the conversation wasn’t rooted in a relationship.

          I love the quote you mention from St. Francis. However, I think you and I may disagree on when it is “necessary” to use words. When I hear the quote, I interpret it as using words as the last resort, if preaching the gospel with your life isn’t working. To be perfectly honest, I might even go so far as to say that MAYBE, St Francis is alluding to the idea that a person who lives their life the way God intends doesn’t need to speak words at all, because their life would to the talking… I see it as a counter-cultural statement about the way we live our lives being more important than the words we speak. That’s only my subjective opinion though!

          Be blessed!

      • susan

        With all respect and charity, I don’t know how Marc’s post could have been read without seeing the love Marc feels for his brother in Christ David. The utter joy of the Faith oozes from every word he ever types, and his desire for the greatest good of the ‘beloved’ seems very apparent to me in what I thought was a most tender, kind, and loving post. The ‘head knowledge’ is indeed important and has served to be a spark of grace in conversion to many, including myself. I think taking offense, or seeing stridency where none was intended is a sign of some hypersensitivity that can often serve to make us hide our light under a bushel, or keep us from speaking the Truth with great joy and zeal and urgency…that’s kind of the definition of a true disciple. I’m reminded of the great Catholic convert-evangelist Steve Ray who actually spent some of the early time of his conversion with a tad bit of anger because no Catholic even shared the facts of the Faith with him.

        You are a kind soul, and a priveleged one to have been given work that was steeped in giving great glory to God. May your witness to the Faith have served as a spark of grace in David’s heart, as may Marc’s beautiful words and witness. Peace to you.

        • anonymous

          Susan, as mentioned before, I’m not discounting “head knowledge” or the need to speak truth. However, speaking truth outside of a relationship is oftentimes not perceived the way you or I mean for it to be perceived… My experience shows me that more often than not, speaking truth outside of the context of a true relationship with someone is counterproductive.

          • Anonymous

            Oddly enough, I’ve often found that it is easier for someone to hear the truth from outside a deep relationship. My mom will not listen to me when I try to talk about the faith, but a random acquaintance will listen and ponder. Since I do not know them we can talk about the truth of theology apart from our personal pains & sins.

            This was also the case for me, practically fallen away Catholic at one point, it was a non-denominational bible study group that challenged me into studying Catholicism.

            I wonder if we are too often quite at first because we do not know the person, quiet later because talking with an acquaintance is too presumptuous, and eventually never speak because it may harm the deep relationship, and besides they know my sins and will not listen now anyway.

          • anonymous

            I can see that. Kind of like a prophet not being welcome in their native land…

          • Annalisa

            Thank you all for showing me how to be so very calm, joyful, and gentle while discussing the most tender reception a man may have, the reception of God’s love. I will try to imitate this!

    • Kennethgriswold

      Dear anonymous,

      I’m sure if you let Marc know how where and when he can show David Crowder the love of Jesus in person he will be happy to be there. Until then, this was the only way that Marc might actually have a shot of reaching him. Perhaps he didn’t need to include all the details about the Catholic faith. Oh well… So what? Is it that big of a deal that you needed to comment on it?

      • anonymous

        Ken,

        Probably not… As I mentioned in my second post, I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

        • Anonymous

          No, I think it’s great you mentioned this, especially since you were so courteous and open to polite dialogue. Thanks for being the rare internet commenter that follows the guidelines of “think, then post.”

    • Treed

      It’s always good to have a reminder…and something tells me, since this is a public blog, that this post wasn’t meant to just educate Crowder, but others who will read it as well. Marc was able to educate us on Catholic theology in a very unique way, that will, undoubtably attract more readers like myself. Peace.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

        Yep, you’re right. My mom and I were on the phone today and she was updating me on my sibling’s lives. She said that Marc had written a post about the Eucharist for his blog followers. So if that’s how he’s voicing it to his family I think it’s more on those lines. I didn’t even know it was about David Crowder, too, until I read it. Though I will say, Marc’s been wild about Mr. Crowder and has prayed for him for a long time. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472790264 Richard Gerard Evans

      I hope that the writer of this response might re-read what Marc has said here–he (Marc) made no assumptions that I can discern at least, and in fact was very clear that he did not know where David Crowder was at in his path towards the Faith. What he said, and quite humbly in my opinion, was that he hoped this public forum might somehow get to Mr. Crowder personally since he did not have access to having person to person contact with him in the near future. Also he did not appeal only with “doctrine” as you seem to suggest but with a huge passion and love for the Faith, as well as in-depth admiration for Crowder and his work. Both come through nicely I think.

      Anonymous you stated you know David Crowder personally. THAT is fantastic! What if you, in a very charitable way with no assumptions as well, were to share this blog article with him on behalf of Marc? I would contend it was not an accident that these words “crossed paths” with you on this day. Perhaps you are the chosen instrument to share them since you have apparently some access to him and Marc does not.

      And, as you stated, absolutely “being Christ” to others is key. We do not win only by doctrine and teaching but by our lives. But we make a mistake when we ignore sharing doctrine as well. I wonder if you might be assuming some things about Marc if you think he is not doing so. What he wrote was charitable and yet challenging, including for those of us who claim the title “Catholic Christians.”

      So my challenge to you as David’s colleague is to be that channel of both love and truth, and to pass this article on to David. It cannot hurt, and might even help him, to know that his album is having such a huge effect upon Catholics and point him even more than he already is towards Rome. Don’t leave it all up to Matt Maher:). Just my thoughts.

    • Godsballetdancer

      I am an RCIA candidate who fell in love with the church through art (fiction books, music, movies, artwork), The Confessions of St Augustine, the Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi, Scripture, G.K Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” , The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and theology books. I don’t doubt that having a Catholic who was living his faith and sharing it with me as a friend wouldn’t have been extremely helpful, but I did not have that. “Living out your faith” means (ultimately) that the light of Christ pierces everything you do, and I think that is what happened when I came in contact with the Catholic authors, composers, and artists that I encountered. I may not have understood completely where they were coming from, but (almost as if it was tangible), I saw the fullness, the life that was there, the truth that was there, and with all of me said “I don’t know what they’re drinking, but I’ll have a pint of that.”

      What people write, draw, film, or say is all part of what they do (part of their lives), and has power far beyond those that immediately know them, and power beyond the length of their life.

      There were people on Facebook who engaged in apologetic with strangers on Facebook groups that encouraged me as they refuted claims people were making in those groups about the Church and took their time to write lengthily on doctrinal subjects for me and prayed for me. Strangers or not they made an impact and one of them might even be coming to my confirmation at Easter vigil.

    • Courtney

      I’m glad you posted this response. I had those exact thoughts, but I not knowing David as closely as you, could not say anything about it. I’ve had the impression that David was more interested in the history of the church than Catholicism with the making of this album. And it was especially interesting to read your response since you are a Catholic. Crowder is blessed to have you as a friend.

    • Flannery

      So I just stumbled upon this post 5 months later, but I just would like to leave a comment in this thread because I had the same reaction as this “anonymous” comment.

      I’m a Catholic missionary, I love the Lord and His Church. I also love your blog and love the fire and the humor , the wittiness and the vibrancy that you bring. I do take issue, however, with parts of this blog post.

      You end your post by saying, “allow me to thank you for everything you have done for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and — whether by intention or not — for his Holy Church.”

      You may not have meant it to come off this way, but it comes off as a bit demeaning and condescending to our Protestant brothers and sisters. Even if they are not in full communion with the Church, they are still part of the mystical body of Christ, they are still our brothers and sisters in the Lord, they are still apart of His Holy Church. I know that Catholicism is the fullness of truth and the fullness of what our Lord intended for His Church on earth, but leading with that– “we have the fullness of truth and you don’t” — is not going to win anyone over to the Church. Flannery O’Connor, my most favorite Catholic author ever, once wrote that “Smugness is the great Catholic Sin.” (I would also say our evangelical Protestant brothers and sisters are going to be our biggest allies in the culture wars that are coming.)

      I think that this new generation of Catholics- the fruits of the springtime of the Church– are alive with the truth and faith of the Church- we are being renewed and revitalizing the faith– praise God! BUT, I think we need to be aware that we can fall into this Smugness, can respond to the pluralism, hedonism, subjectivity, the post-Christian, liberal culture in an extreme way and in order to make ourselves different from the culture, we must not go to the other extreme. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.” (Hewbrews 4)

  • John Wilks

    If Catholicism would get on board with married clergy and do away with Mary worship, I would gladly become Catholic myself. I’m not holding my breath, though.

    • guesty

      Eastern Catholic priests can be married as well as Anglican and Lutheran priest that convert and are called to continue the priesthood. And we don’t worship Mary. Never have, never will. It is considered a grave sin worthy of hell to worship anything other than God.
      So, now that we’ve cleared that up, what’s stopping you now?

      • BV

        what is the functional difference between dulia, hyperdulia, and latria? emphasis on “functional”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

          Latria – worship. And worship means “I 100% depend on You. You made me and You hold me in existence.” Latria is adoration. Augustine says latria “is the service pertaining to the worship of God.” So functionally, in my life I exercise latria by anything from Eucharistic Adoration to trusting God for gas money to trying to love Him above all. Ultimate worship, latria, is also ultimate love, obedience, trust, etc.

          Dulia – Augustine calls this the service “due to men.” This service has two parts: firstly the honor, not the adoration, we give to saints and angels, as we give honor to people still on earth. It is also the invocation of their help. We ask them to be our intercessors as you would ask your family and friends to pray for you. Dulia can be seen functionally not just when I ask for their prayers but also when I get attached to a few saints in particular, as when you hang out more with a best friend.

          Hyperdulia – The greater dulia, the greater honor, we give to Mary the Mother of God over all of God’s other creatures. She is to be more greatly honored because we always want to follow Jesus’ example; He honored her above all creatures by choosing to come through Her to us. He honored her by dwelling in her womb for nine months and by creating her Immaculate so He could dwell in an immaculate womb. We functionally try to “hyperdulia her,” or honor her as God does, by loving her more tenderly and primarily as compared to our love for the rest of the heavenly host. We come to Jesus in prayer through Mary as He came to us through her. We trust in the powerful intercession only a mother can have and invoke her frequently. We extol her praises by the Rosary, Scripture, litanies, reading about her, etc.

          So basically hyperdulia is humbly becoming her child as He did.

          p.s. The difference between dulia/hyperdulia and latria is “one of kind and not degree, the difference as between the creature and the Creator.” (NewAdvent)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

          Latria – worship. And worship means “I 100% depend on You. You made me and You hold me in existence.” Latria is adoration. Augustine says latria “is the service pertaining to the worship of God.” So functionally, in my life I exercise latria by anything from Eucharistic Adoration to trusting God for gas money to trying to love Him above all. Ultimate worship, latria, is also ultimate love, obedience, trust, etc.

          Dulia – Augustine calls this the service “due to men.” This service has two parts: firstly the honor, not the adoration, we give to saints and angels, as we give honor to people still on earth. It is also the invocation of their help. We ask them to be our intercessors as you would ask your family and friends to pray for you. Dulia can be seen functionally not just when I ask for their prayers but also when I get attached to a few saints in particular, as when you hang out more with a best friend.

          Hyperdulia – The greater dulia, the greater honor, we give to Mary the Mother of God over all of God’s other creatures. She is to be more greatly honored because we always want to follow Jesus’ example; He honored her above all creatures by choosing to come through Her to us. He honored her by dwelling in her womb for nine months and by creating her Immaculate so He could dwell in an immaculate womb. We functionally try to “hyperdulia her,” or honor her as God does, by loving her more tenderly and primarily as compared to our love for the rest of the heavenly host. We come to Jesus in prayer through Mary as He came to us through her. We trust in the powerful intercession only a mother can have and invoke her frequently. We extol her praises by the Rosary, Scripture, litanies, reading about her, etc.

          So basically hyperdulia is humbly becoming her child as He did.

          p.s. The difference between dulia/hyperdulia and latria is “one of kind and not degree, the difference as between the creature and the Creator.” (NewAdvent)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

          Latria – worship. And worship means “I 100% depend on You. You made me and You hold me in existence.” Latria is adoration. Augustine says latria “is the service pertaining to the worship of God.” So functionally, in my life I exercise latria by anything from Eucharistic Adoration to trusting God for gas money to trying to love Him above all. Ultimate worship, latria, is also ultimate love, obedience, trust, etc.

          Dulia – Augustine calls this the service “due to men.” This service has two parts: firstly the honor, not the adoration, we give to saints and angels, as we give honor to people still on earth. It is also the invocation of their help. We ask them to be our intercessors as you would ask your family and friends to pray for you. Dulia can be seen functionally not just when I ask for their prayers but also when I get attached to a few saints in particular, as when you hang out more with a best friend.

          Hyperdulia – The greater dulia, the greater honor, we give to Mary the Mother of God over all of God’s other creatures. She is to be more greatly honored because we always want to follow Jesus’ example; He honored her above all creatures by choosing to come through Her to us. He honored her by dwelling in her womb for nine months and by creating her Immaculate so He could dwell in an immaculate womb. We functionally try to “hyperdulia her,” or honor her as God does, by loving her more tenderly and primarily as compared to our love for the rest of the heavenly host. We come to Jesus in prayer through Mary as He came to us through her. We trust in the powerful intercession only a mother can have and invoke her frequently. We extol her praises by the Rosary, Scripture, litanies, reading about her, etc.

          p.s. The difference between dulia/hyperdulia and latria is “one of kind and not degree, the difference as between the creature and the Creator.” (NewAdvent)

    • Anonymous

      John, we certainly do not worship Mary; that would obviously be idolatry and a grave sin. However we do give her lots of respect and we ask her to pray for us, just as I ask my biological mother and my friends to pray for me when I’m having a bad day. For more on this (and especially Mary in Scripture) take a look at this page

      • John Wilks

        OK, y’all don’t worship Mary. The Catholic Church simply holds that she is the Queen of Heaven, that she was conceived without original sin, that she remained a virgin her whole life even though she was a married woman, and that she is considered Co-Redemptrix. My bad.

        To the earlier response about married clergy- let me get this straight: if I move to eastern Europe or convert first to Lutheranism or Anglicanism first, I can convert?

        To the comment “the Church must change all it has ever been and suite my needs” hardly. The earliest forms of Christendom looked little like medieval or modern Catholicism.

        The bottom line is this: the Reformation happened for legitimate reasons. If Rome is serious about having Protestants come home en mass, then the Catholic Church is going to have to address its part in the split and take Protestant theology, history, and practice seriously.

        I long for the day when all Christians are part of One Body and I wouldn’t mind that Body being the Roman Catholic Church- but not if I must abandon all of the wisdom and practices of the churches which have introduced me to Jesus Christ.

        • Christian R.

          I’m sorry but I agree with John Wilks as I have parents that have left the Catholic church; there are many many points that Catholics have gotten it wrong on and they are irreconcilable (This is why the Reformation had to have happen), we are saved justified by faith, not by works. There is no purgatory (no where in Scripture does it speak of Purgatory and the whole doctrine of Purgatory is based on a Scripture in the Catholic Bible that says to pray for the dead), I’m sorry what Christ has done on the cross is payment enough for mine and everyone else’s sins who believe in Him and are born again have eternal life; the Eucharist doctrine borders on blasphemy (the priests have the power to crucify Jesus again and again and He died once and for all; the sacraments do not and cannot bring salvation only the blood of Jesus; you may say that Mary is not worshipped but she is called the Queen of Heaven and is considered “Co-Mediatrix” and “Co-Redemptrix” and this is heresy, plain and simple; and the apparitions of Mary that take place all over the world take the focus off of Jesus and place it on her; papal infallibility; I could go on and on; no we are NOT the same; those that trust in Christ and ONLY Christ for their salvation at the foot of the cross are saved; those who trust in their works and in extra-mediators or redemptors are lost, plain and simple….

          • Ampaxx

            The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that we are justified by works. Your argument is invalid.

          • Christian R.

            Hello? Then why did the Reformation have to happen? Q.E.D.; read history that will give you a clue. We are justified through faith, not works, not sacraments, not co-redeemers, saints, or co-mediators….

          • David Bates

            It happened because Luther wanted to stick the word “alone” in various places where didn’t belong.

            How did you receive your faith? Was it completely devoid of human agency? The word “co-…” does not mean equality, it means “with”.

          • Christian R.

            I understand “co” but it is not necessary why don’t you include the entire lineage that led up to Christ’ birth as well, Christ’ sacrifice was His and God’s alone; no one else needs recognition; and we are saved by through grace by faith alone; our righteousness is as filthy rags to God (that’s in the Bible too). I have met many many catholics that do not pray to Mary, do not esteem her as the Vatican does, do not buy into the Eucharist as the literal blood and body of Christ and don’t buy into the idea of Purgatory either and trust Christ alone for their salvation; they are believers; what the Vatican teaches borders on heresy if not already there.

          • Matthew

            There are “catholics” and then there are Catholics. Humans are wrong a lot. Try the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It has everything that the Catholic Church believes.

          • Anonymous

            That’s an excellent point, Matthew. So much of what our Protestant brothers and sisters misunderstand about the Church is largely due to poorly catechized Catholics who can’t articulate the Faith, or Catholics who don’t follow Church teaching, or Catholics who are sometimes insensitive or arrogant about their beliefs toward others. I know I’m guilty of that, for sure. But it would be unfair to judge the entire Church from the actions and ignorance of a few.

            Similarly, today in my car I was listening to Christian Radio and the host mentioned that, according to one surevy, less than 7% of “born again Christians” read their Bible daily. That shocked me. But it would be unfair to judge everyone based on the behavior of some.

            So similarly with we Catholics, if a Protestant feels he’s had a frustrating experience discussing faith with a Catholic, please do not judge everyone by the same view. If you really want to know what the Church teaches, do not base your assumptions off of a)what a fellow Protestant claims we believe or b) what a not-well-educated or unfaithful Catholic might have poorly articulated, and for heavens’ sake don’t c) go by what the media says.

            If you want to know what we actually believe, read the Catechism. Not only is it beautiful and comprehensive, there are extensive footnotes to relevant Bible passages and Church documents, etc. For an easier-to-read version, look up the US Catholic Catechism for Adults.

          • Tiffany11

            Christian-
            How would you define prayer? I would say that prayer is simply talking and listening. It is communication and is not the same as worship. Do you have any family members or close friends who have died? Do you ever talk to them and think they can hear you? (This could be a fundamental difference)
            How is asking Mary (as close to God as any human being can be) to pray for us any different than asking your mother/pastor/friend to pray for you?

            Also- to esteem means to respect and admire. Do you think Christ would want you to respect His mother? Do you want people to respect your mother?

            How do you determine which parts of the Bible to take literally and which parts are figurative? What proof do you have that your methods for interpretation are superior to others? Christ did said “This is my body…”

            One last thing- we do believe that we are saved by faith. Works are the result of genuine faith. If one has true faith, he would be inclined to exemplify that faith in his life. In a marriage, if a husband says he loves his wife but he treats her poorly, does he truly love her? Actions speak louder than words. Anyone can say they have faith.

          • Anonymous

            Ummmmm . . . yeah, those people weren’t Catholic.

          • TimH

            The Catholic Church teaches that we are saved by grace NOT by works. It is by God’s action not our own.

          • Christian R.

            Then why Purgatory, why isn’t Christ’s sacrifice enough to wash us clean from our sins, it sounds like an insult to God…

          • David Bates

            There are two members of my family who, after a significant falling-out, no longer speak to one another. Yet they both profess faith in Christ. If these two people end up together in Heaven while remaining in their current state, I’m pretty sure Heaven won’t remain “heaven” for very long… I am certain that a work of God’s grace must take place within both of their hearts before they’ll be ready to worship before the same throne.

            When this happens it will not be a pleasant experience for either one of them, just as the process wouldn’t be painless if they reconciled while alive on earth. Letting go of pain is often painful in and of itself. However, I fail to see how such hurt could be carried with them past Heaven’s gates. Rancid wounds must be lanced if they are to heal…

          • Anonymous

            I only have a few moments so I’ll try to be succinct. Image a clear pond. Into the pond someone throws a stone or pebble. The pebble sinks, but leaves ripples in its wake. This is a workable analogy for the difference between sin (the pebble) and the effects due to sin (the ripples) both on the person who commits the sin and those affected by his sin. Of course, sin is paid for entirely by the Cross- deo gratias — because only Jesus could perfectly satisfy its debt. However, the effects of sin in the world (like the ripples in the pond) remain. Similarly, if I were to throw a rock at my neighbor’s house and break his window, the glass would shatter. My neighbor can forgive me for what I’ve done and repair our relationship, but the window is still broken. So Purgatory is not payment for sin, but rather it is the purification of the effects that come from sin that has already been paid for by the Cross.

          • Christian R.

            What about verses like Isaiah 1:18 or 1 Peter 1:22 or 1 John 1:7 or Hebrews chapter 10? All these point to purification NOW not in a purgatorial state….

          • Anonymous

            - Nothing impure can enter into the presence of God.
            - God cannot lie to himself – we are either cleansed enough to stand in his presence. Or not.
            - Yet when we die, we are not yet completely holy.

            Therefore, God, by His Grace, purifies us before we enter into His presence. [purgatory]

            Note. Not all bible verses point to an immediate cleansing. See Heb 12:1, Matt 5:48, or any other verse that talks about the struggle to be holy and perfect.

          • Christian R.

            Agreed, but this doesn’t point to Purgatory, I’m sorry none of the canonical Scriptures point to purgatory at all in any form so I’m going to trust the Scripture, not tradition, not extra-biblical sources and I’m trusting Christ for my righteousness and my sanctification and justification; nothing else, I’m going to heaven when I die and I have the Scripture to back that up.

          • Anonymous

            Now we’ve come to the crux of the issue: you hint at “canonically accepted” scriptures, but what you’re alluding to is the ability of the Church (or its lack thereof) to claim authority over that canon (and a whole host of other matters).

            I would try to delve into this myself, but luckily others who are far smarter than me already did. here Joe discusses nine common disagreements between Catholics and Protestants over the Old Testament canon.

            Unfortunately the formatting for comments makes it very difficult to read this, so I will leave you with a few final thoughts.

            The first is from Scott Hahn, a former Presbyterian pastor who asked those same questions about the canon and sacred Tradition. In his book Rome Sweet Home he chronicles that journey of struggle. His section about the sola scriptura argument, and how he debated its merits with his professors in graduate school, is so telling. I would really encourage you to find the book in a library somewhere; it’s very short and a quick read, and since Dr. Hahn (and his wife Kimberly) were both die-hard anti-Catholics completely convinced in sola scriptura, their journey is a very interesting one that will probably be familiar to you.

            At one point in Hahn’s dialogue with a well-known theologian, Hahn asks, (I’m paraphrasing) “If we use sola scriptura as a premise/assumption rather than something that can be proven, then all we have is a fallible collection of infallible documents!” His professor agrees.

            [and I know you will immediately reference 2 Timothy3:16: "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness." which is of course a beautiful verse, but we need to be conscious of two things. First of all, at the time of Paul's writing, the New Testament didn't yet exist. So what Scripture is he talking about? The Old Testament. When he was writing his letters, I doubt Paul knew they would one day make up the bulk of a new "Christian Testament." Additionally, 2 Timothy 3:16 writes of the importance of Scripture, but by no means says it is the ONLY thing that is important. What about prayer? What about helping others? What about the things Jesus directly commanded us to do, like baptize (Matthew 28) and share in His Body? (John 6:53)

            And earlier, in 1 Timothy 3:15, when Paul is closing his first letter, he tells Timothy to act as Paul has taught him. He then refers to the house of God, Church as the Pillar and Foundation of Truth. ("But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth." 1 Timothy 3:15)]

            I would also point out that Luther was a hand-breath from editing the canon even further… aside from removing 7 books from the Old Testament, he almost removed Epistle of James from the NT because its writings about faith and works flatly contradicted his “sola fide” argument; and he almost removed Revelation too.

            I don’t mean to sound condescending; I am sorry if I come off in any such way. However, I remember thinking exactly the way you do when I was a Protestant, and I also remembering how much beauty and depth I discovered within the fullness of Christian teaching when I was becoming Catholic.
            Peace.

          • Anonymous

            In addition to what LadyCygnus wrote, St Paul writes about purification in 1 Corinthians 3, discussing how our works and their motivations will be revealed and purified. For more Scriptural allusions to a state of purification, please check here Also it’s worth noting that praying for the dead was a common practice both for the early Church and for turn-of-the-first-century Jews (as chronicled in 2 Macabees). Those in heaven don’t need to be prayed for. Those in hell are beyond the help of prayer. So why pray for the dead? Because those in their state of purification/purgatory need prayer.

          • Brian Edward Miles

            Purgatory is not about pardon, but perfection; not about atonement, but attainment; attainment of all that Christ’s sacrifice has already achieved for us. It has to do with the practical matter that although I’ve been forgiven my sins I have certainly yet to be purged of all my sinfullness. As such, if I were to die today–short of God obliterating my free will and simply transforming me without any real moral growth on my part–I would still be in the same state; namely, forgiven, but still woefully entagled in the various sins I continue to commit despite having accepted Christ into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior. Thus, being a gracious God, Jesus allows feeble forgiven sinners like me to go to Purgatory so that, before taking my place at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, I will have finally and freely chosen to part with every wound and attachment of sin. Hence the Catholic (and Scriptural) understanding that “being saved” means much more than just being forgiven. It means nothing short of attaining the perfection Christ commanded of us. I may be forgiven a particular sin, but so long as I go on commiting it I’ve certainly not been fully saved from it.

        • Anonymous

          You should read the early Church documents (The Bible, the Didache, Letters of Clement and Irenaeus, etc). In these you will see a church that looks VERY Catholic.

          You will find a church worships Christ in the Eucharist, that honors those who have died, has a defined hierarchy, and so forth.

        • Patrick Lynch

          “The bottom line is this: the Reformation happened for legitimate reasons. If Rome is serious about having Protestants come home en mass, then the Catholic Church is going to have to address its part in the split and take Protestant theology, history, and practice seriously. ”

          None of the reasons you gave were reasons for the Reformation, and none of the theologies, histories, or practices that followed the Reformation agreed with one another.

          All truth is God’s truth, but only one church is the Church.

    • Adam Slide

      This comment reminds me of a quote from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – “Few Americans hate the Catholic Church, but millions hate what they think is the Catholic Church”.

      Not only does the Catholic church teach that it’s a grave sin to worship Mary, but I’ve been a Catholic my whole life and I’ve never known a Catholic who worshiped Mary. I pray that you’ll seriously investigate what the Catholic church truly teaches and then maybe you’ll be able to get on board.

    • Jake E

      Sir, you might as well have said, “If the Catholic Church stopped being what it has been for 2000 years and adapted to my taste I might convert to it.”

      And needless to say we don’t worship Mary. Please be less ignorant when you post.

  • Tala

    Well, I’m buying the album now. And praying for David.

  • Guest

    Hmm…as a Christian, wouldn’t you be doing a lot more good in reaching out to NON-christians rather than wasting your time preaching to someone who OBVIOUSLY has a good handle on his faith and probably will never read this?

    • Marina

      Even if he never reads it, we have.
      This post made me pause to think about what a gift we have in the Catholic Church and ache for my dear Protestant friends who don’t share in this truth, goodness, and beauty.
      If nothing else, this post will help us Catholics to remember this and pray for conversions, pray for all those searching for truth, pray for David Crowder.

      Anyway, I have a feeling he *will* read this post sometime in the very near future. :)

  • Rwright422

    I think many of you have missed the boat on what Crowder is trying to do with this album. How about we just unite in Christ and reflect the love He has shown us to others.

  • Bg4190

    First of all, I just want to compliment you Marc on your impeccable writing abilities. God has greatly gifted you in that! You truly have a way with words. Your posts sometimes read like poetry, like this one at times when you describe our faith. I’ve been an mega DC*B fan for a few years and in the beginning I seriously wondered if Crowder was Catholic. His words are just so beautiful, unlike any other Christian band I’ve ever hear. I found certain songs to have what seemed like Catholic influences (mostly in “A Collision” ). He knows what his options are but it can never hurt to respectfully invite someone back home! I bet he has a lot more knowledge of the faith than most people who identify as being Catholic. This post is kind of cute and makes me happy because I’m beyond elated with their newest album. It is by far the album of the year in my eyes, and probably will be for many more years to come. Buy it if you haven’t yet. It’s a lot of good, good music.
    Thank you Marc for your words! I will pray for you and for the David Crowder Band.

  • Scott

    Why would he, or anyone for that matter, want to join a false religious system that ends in a Christless eternity?

    • Ampaxx

      Trollolololololol

  • http://www.facebook.com/brotherbuster Buster Adams

    Bought it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472790264 Richard Gerard Evans

    This is one of the clearest and most passionate appeals towards a real understanding of what it actually means to become a “Catholic Christian.” I wouild submit that few of us, even as Catholics, understand what is written here. It is essentially the heart of Catholicity. If I had understood this at all, I would never have left Rome in order to “follow Jesus.” And been gone for 35 years. And even then questioned that decision a few times after my return quite sadly. Catholicism is tough–but it is the fullest and clearest expression of Christianity which exists on this earth. And that does not in any way “unchistianize” our separated brothers and sisters who are Orthodox or Protestant. But it should challenge them. We do not think we are “better” than other Christians, but we do contend that our theology has been passed down from Christ and the Apostles. And that is either true or not. I believe it is.

  • susan

    Just bought 3 CD’s! :)

  • Jess Harris

    Wonderful post! I’m going to be praying!

  • Pete

    Check this out.. It is a recent interview with Crowder about the album.

    http://worshiptogether.com/videos/index.aspx

  • http://www.michael-carper.com/ Michael Carper

    Hopefully this “open invitation” will be more successful in reaching the desired eyes than the numerous “open letters” that pop up all over the place and aren’t really letters, at that.

  • Patrick Ohl

    Well, now, as a stubborn Papist myself, I can’t thank you for converting me with this or anything of the sort, but I *do* have to thank you for guiding me to a truly excellent music album!

  • guest

    You really want to be the One, Holy, and Apostolic Church? Then start acting like it please:

    http://www.glbbc.org/insidepg/62errors.html

    As the RCC, you have alot of influence, and we are praying for you.

    • Eli

      Even as a Protestant myself. Websites such as the one you posted reek of some form of pompous arrogance and shouldn’t be trusted.

  • Flippedman

    Can I just believe that Christ died for my sins? Is that enough? because honestly, I’m reading a lot of explanations, some seemingly overwrought, sometimes tedious and while I really do enjoy the history and rich tradition of the Catholic church (being a non-practicing Catholic, yet still Christian myself)…it’s just an awful awful lot.

    If someone could point me in the right direction of some good arguments I’d appreciate it, as I have been considering going back to the Catholic Church for sometime.

    • Marc Barnes

      Flippedman,

      You’re absolutely right, it’s A LOT. I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed.
      But at the same time, the very fundamentals of the church’s teachings aren’t much at all. Christ told us a few things regarding how to get to heaven.

      1. He said you must love God by keeping his commandments.
      2. He said you must believe in him (which it sounds like you’re doing)
      3. He said you must be born again (Baptism) (which you probably were, if you were raised Catholic.)
      4. And he said you must eat the flesh of the Son of man.

      These are simply specific ways Christ has made union with Himself possible HERE ON EARTH. Everything else, the hundreds of doctrines, the 2000 years of spiritual writing and tradition…all this stems from these fundamentals. They aid us in achieving that goal of loving God.

      We Catholics hold that the Catholic Church is the only Church currently practicing (4.). Obviously, that doesn’t mean we believe everyone else is damned, we simply hold that the Catholic Church is surest, safest, easiest way to Heaven. I’m not sure if there’s a great place to point you to, for this stuff always comes out best in conversation. email me, let’s talk: marcjohnpaul@gmail.com

      • Amy

        Slight correction. Catholics would also hold that the Orthodox Churches also practice number 4.

    • guest

      In short, Flippedman, YES! That is enough! Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED by FAITH APART FROM THE DEEDS OF THE LAW.”

      1John 5:13 : “These things I have written to you who BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

      Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest ANYONE should boast.”

      Titus 3:4-5 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He SAVED US….

      My suggestion? If you have not already, confess your sins in prayer to God, ask to recieve him, and you want to walk in His ways. And as a saved man (or woman), go to a Bible believing Church. That would be my suggestion. I don’t want to tell you that you HAVE to go to a particular Church, because you do not.

      If your still confussed about who you are in Christ, prayerfully read Ephesians.

      2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, throroughly equipped for every good work.”

      • Anonymous

        Interesting that you use a quote from Romans. Paul begins and ends his discussion of faith by calling it the “obedience of faith” (see Rom 1: 4 and 16:26) – implying that we are called to be obedient to Christ and His Church. These two bookends tell us that what is sandwiched in between is NOT a faith vs. works debate, because obedience, by it’s very nature, is a work. What Paul is arguing against in Romans is a sect of Jewish Christians who thought that circumcision alone (a work of the law) saved them (once circumcised always saved).

        You should get Romanism in Romans – a bible study by Scott Hahn. It’s excellent.

        • guest

          True, what is sandwitched in is Paul presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ: 1. That we are sinners, everyone is in the same boat, Jews and Gentiles “THere is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” (3:10-11) 2. That the Law and ‘works of the flesh’ cannot save. 3. Faith apart from the works saves, as Abraham was given righteousness through his faith (4:5) 4. we are Justified by faith and have peace with God thourgh our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into this grace (5:1-2).

          And then Paul goes on as to how we shall live then, as a reconciled people (5:10-11) — that just because we are under grace, should we sin? Certainly not! (paraphrased 6:1-2) and gives more important instructions for us to live by. Paul ends his letter by saying (16:27) “to God alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen”

          My heart beats for Jesus Christ, because He alone saved me. I experience the joy of knowing Jesus everyday! I just want everyone to know they are saved and assured of their salvation in Him! And as a redeemed child of God, go to Church, whatever Christian Church where you can worship Him freely and use your spiritual gifts for God’s glory!

          Thanks for clearing that up, it is not an argument, it is Paul’s proclamation.

          • Anonymous

            Romans is written to combat a group of Christians who thought that any gentiles had to first become Jews (ie – be circumcised) before they could be saved, and once they were circumcised they were guaranteed their salvation.

            This is why the first and last time Paul uses the term faith he uses the phrase “obedience of faith” it gives itself as a definition for every time used in between. So whenever Paul mentions faith, you realize that it cannot be separated from obedience.

            1. Paul is quoting Psalm 14, which later goes on to say “for God is present in the company of the righteous”. Here David was lamenting that even his own family had turned against the ways of God. Paul’s quoting this isn’t to say “each and every single person” but “it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentile, both sin”.

            2. Yup, but works of the law doesn’t mean doing good works. As you pointed out, later in Romans he tells people to do righteous acts. Works of the law specifically refers to the Jewish rites and rituals which the early Church decided was not necessary for salvation at the council of Jerusalem.

            3. Yet, Paul is quoting Gen 15:6…which comes after Abraham has pulled up his roots and gone wandering off across the lands in obedience to God’s word. I think for the Jews this was important because it was two chapters before the covenant of circumcision was put into place. So circumcision doesn’t save.

            4. Yes, we are justified by the obedience of faith, which means doing all that Jesus told us…which means a one-time act will not save you, whether it is circumcision or saying a special prayer. We are called to obedience, to a life-long project of conversion, to a delving into a deeper and deeper relationship with our creator.

        • Bob

          Faith without works is dead.

  • John Guise

    Thanks for turning my wife and I onto a wonderful album! Thanks for your writing and your Love of the Church!

  • CM

    This is a great viewpoint, ya’ll should read this:
    http://reluctantbaptist.com/2012/01/11/give-us-rest/#more-1257

  • Angela P.

    Marc,
    I have recently “discovered” your blog. Found it through Marcel @ Aggiecatholic. I am a 45 year old mother of 2 boys (23 & 16) and I am director of our Life Teen youth ministry at my Parish! Truly… you are a gift from God and I thank your parents for being Pro-Life! I use you as the example to my teens in the Youth Group that you can be young AND militant! ALSO… you said to David Crowder what I wanted so badly to say to him. Thank you for being so bold in your Catholic faith! May God continue to bless you and the work that you are doing to promote the Church!
    Instaurare omnia in Christo+
    Angela Petrash

  • follower

    Crowder has formed a new collective called “Crowder” that will be making its first performance at the Creation East Festival in June.[16][17] Parker, Dodson, Bush, and Waldrop have formed a new band, called “The Digital Age”,[16] and are opening a recording studio in Waco, Texas.[18] Many of the members have rejoined UBC’s worship team leading worship.[18] – short retirement.


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