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Response to the New Roman Catholic Church AD

The Roman Catholic Church has released a new ad.  You might have seen it recently.  The AD is well-made.  The videography is nice.  Inspirational music plays in the background. And the virtues of the Roman Catholic Church are extolled.  At the end, the commercial directs the viewer to a website with the admonition to come home.

The AD primarily is targeting Catholics who are not regular attenders of a local parish. However, when one goes to the website given in the AD it is clear that the aim is broader than that.  The website also has a section for those who are not Catholic.  The site is full of information answering the questions someone might have concerning the Roman Catholic Church.

During the advertisement several “facts” are stated concerning the impact the Roman Catholic Church has had on society.  Some of them are demonstrably true.  Catholics have been involved in building hospitals, promoting education, and helping the poor. Other parts, though, are highly disputable. The claim is made that the Roman Catholic Church gave us the Bible.  The claim is made that the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Jesus.  Both of these claims need to be investigated more closely.

In the next few posts I’m going to interact with this AD.  In this first post I want to interact with what is demonstrably true about the Roman Catholic Church.

It is true that the Roman Catholic Church has been involved with building hospitals, educating, and helping the poor.  Few metropolitan cities are without a hospital named after a Saint and connected with the Roman Catholic Church.  Each Saturday NBC reminds us that Catholics are involved in education as they air the Notre Dame game, a Catholic School.  Again Catholic private schools of both primary and upper level education are seen throughout our nation.  On top of this Roman Catholics have organizations geared toward helping the poor operating throughout the country as well.  Catholics can also claim to be amongst the leading groups in promoting life.

In as far as it goes the AD is correct.  However, the purpose of giving these facts is not simply to state some truths about the Roman Catholic Church’s good works, but rather to persuade the viewer that these actions prove something more.  Specifically, they are given to prove that the Roman Catholic Church has shown itself by these actions to be a church worthy of people to “come home” to.

Now, churches should be involved in good works.  However, the real question is whether the exhibition of good works alone proves a church worthy of support.  I would argue it does not.  For instance in Matthew 7:21-23 we have the a group of people who did many good works “prophesied, cast out demons, performed miracles.”  If this group were to put up a television ad it would be impressive, however, Jesus response to their claim was “I never knew you,”because they had not built their house on the message of Jesus.

The Roman Catholic Church cannot be judged merely by the amount of hospitals built and people educated.  A lot of organizations have done these tasks, rather it must also be judged by the message that it teaches.  And for me that is where the problem lays.

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5 Comments

  1. Looking forward to it. I like that you acknowledge the good the Roman Catholic organization has done, and make it clear that “good” doesn’t equal “truth.” One of those sad realities.

  2. The Roman Catholic church bases salvation on faith AND perseverance of works. To them, works are necessary to salvation. Whereas it is actually that works are a necessary byproduct of salvation. It all comes down to the heart though. Are you doing something out of obligation (Catholic)? Or out of love (Protestant)?

    The heart of the church establishes it. God doesn’t need our works, but people do. Works edify the church but not really establish it.

  3. Rita Aguirre-Frankmore

    January 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Wes.. great post I have a few friends that have told me that the Catholic Church was the 1st Church …. which at he time I didnt know better o I couldnt argue but now I can …. I ‘d like to ask if you could so an article on the Morman faith b/c of my step daughter tring to get her to come to Church of Christ…. thanks Aunt Rita

  4. This is most troubling, disturbing and a travesty sin.
    The good Lord when he preached many moons ago, never used media or networking, just his word and people. This cheapens the catholic church to the level of car adds and spam crooks. Shame on them. to advertise like this. If the church is so good. why did they have to do this. I can not believe the Pope approved this and if he did he sold out. The church itself is a joke and money making machine thats all . they need to regroup from all their pedophile priest lawsuits they paid out. shame on them for that to. very bad.

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    I need financial help for my poor family &children’s education.kindly help me.
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