I just read a post entitled “Why I’m Not Catholic: My Reasons for Not Joining the Catholic Church” by Zac Wassin. I respectfully disagree with his reasons.
He has five main points. (1) RCIA shouldn’t exist because it’s too long. (2) the Church’s stances on gay marriage and abortion are not correct (3) filioque is not correct (4) organized religion bothers him, and (5) the Church and ecclesial communities are not united.
(1) The idea that there is to be a waiting period before being received into the Church began before the Bible was canonized in the 300’s. From the very early oral tradition of the Church, within the first two centuries, a training manual called the Didache was written down. Way back then, many of the converts to Christianity were pagans. Converting to Christianity was (and is) a big deal. Often, families would throw the convert out of their house or worse. The training described in the Didache and acts surrounding it allowed the convert to really consider if they wanted to convert to the Way.
On to your next point, those being baptized by John were Jews. They all knew the law. That’s probably why they knew that they had to be washed clean from their sin and guilt. There was no practical reason to wait.
As far as Pentacost, Peter was in the presence of Israelites and “God fearers”, or converts to Judaism. The situation was the same as at the Jordan River: the children of Israel, who did not need to be converted to belief in the God of Jacob, were present.
The situation is different for most of us. We are not Jews, but Gentiles. We need the teachings and their consequences to be truly deep seated in our heart before we commit ourselves to the Way, just as the Gentiles did in the first centuries. (Although, today the Church requires Jews to go through RCIA, also. I suspect it’s to be consistent.)
(2) The church’s stance on gay marriage is rooted in Scripture and Tradition (see a post by me here). By definition, a marriage arrangement requires that the couple engage in sex. Therefore, since gay sex is immoral, so-called gay marriage is immoral. Of course, if the relationship were a platonic one, it would not be a marriage and would also be moral. However, if the living arrangement would tempt the couple into sin like all cohabitation arrangements do, they shouldn’t live together either.
Regarding abortion, please read my letter to Catholics for a Free Choice. No abortion is licit in any circumstances. It is never a moral choice. The action of abortion is intrinsically evil. (note Didache 2:2)
Also, abortion is not even in the same moral league as smoking marijuana. Abortion is more comparable to murder by hit men. Murder by a hit man is illegal. It shouldn’t be made legal because people still have it done. It should still be illegal even if the hit man accidentally murders the solicitor.
The ultimate question is: is the entity that is formed by the union of human sperm and egg a human person? If the answer is no, then abortion is no different than scratching your skin. If the answer is yes, then no human person, whether zygote, fetus, baby, child, adult, or elderly, should ever be killed by any means. The only exception is if, in reality (clear and present danger), the mother and baby would die if the other one lives.
(3) The Latin inclusion filioque in the Nicene Creed is not currently a problem between the Eastern and Western Churches. See Catholic Answers here.
(4) Jesus created the Catholic Church as an organized religion. His first organizational act was to form the first Apostolic group (Paul and Matthias were grouped later). Second, without the organized Catholic Church, important creedal questions couldn’t be infallibly answered (example: identifying the Catholic cannon of scripture (the protestant one is different), pronouncing that circumcision is unnecessary, etc.). Without an organized religion, who is to say what is the revealed Truth, and who is there to authoritatively defend it?
Further, it was the Apostles who were the secondary founders of the Catholic Church to whom Christ promised the Holy Spirit that would lead them to all Truth.
Also, at least for me, I don’t go to Church to receive “communion and thus feel as though salvation is [my] right.” I go to be faithful to God through Christ. Jesus commanded the Christian community to share the Eucharist in communion with all the faithful in remembrance of Him. Only through presence with Him in the Eucharist can we receive a taste of eternal life. Eternal life was promised to us who believe in Him and receive Him. We receive Him figuratively and literally through Mother Church. Therefore, to be graced with eternal life, the Catholic Church must be His Bride, to be made holy and without blemish.
Finally, how can he be against organized religion when he doesn’t want to join the Catholic Church because all the Christian communities are not yet organized together?
(5) The Catholic Church is united under the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. The other ecclesial communities have the obligation to reunite with the Church that was truly founded by Christ.
The following is a copy of the post:
Name: Gutterball Master
I’m glad your searching for the Truth
However, I disagree with all of your conclusions in this posted article. You can find my full response at my blog Wondering Zygote Emeritus.
In general, a bit of research into the topics would clear up your misunderstandings and analyses. I go into some detail on my blog.
In terms of research, I suggest that you read (1) some or all of the straightforward articles at Catholic Answers, (2) some or all of the books on Scott Hahn’s bibliography page; he’s a great Catholic Biblical apologist and convert to Catholic Christianity), the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and (3) the posts and blog at First Things everyday (the Editor and Chief is also a convert to Catholic Christianity from MO Synod Lutheranism). If you would like, also read some of the Pope’s writings, especially the encyclicals.
God bless you.