Recently, Cale Clarke (host of The Faith Explained and The Cale Clarke Show) received a call from Protestant Professor Josh Samuel at the Masters College and Seminary in Canada inviting Cale to speak to his class about Catholicism, why he believes it, and what drew him back to the Church. Cale of course accepted!
In front of the class, Cale began by explaining his analysis of the way many Christians view themselves today. They often concede that yes, Jesus performed miracles, died for our sins, and rose from the dead, but that is where their affinity to the guiding principles of Christianity ends. From a modernist’s perspective, when it comes to the established “church”, anything goes and today is completely separate from what happened 2000 years ago. As Christians, we should ultimately be able to reconcile our modern lifestyle with the life of Christ, even though so much time and change separates us. That’s what Cale found challenging about the Faith and he realized he couldn’t run from it.
Cale grew up a Catholic, fell away from the Faith, but ultimately found his way back to it, and Professor Samuel asked, “What aspect of the truth did you feel was so convincing about the Roman Catholic Church, like what is it that kind of gripped you like, ‘Hey, I can’t avoid this now?'”
Cale responded by mentioning why he was attracted to Catholicism versus other denominations like Lutheranism. In Matthew 16, Jesus says that He will found a Church and that the gates of hell will not overcome it. Based on those two things we know that the true church must go back to the time of Christ and that it must have existed from that time through today. Theories that the Church drowned in corruption, ceased to exist, and that future reformations are what Christ intended simply couldn’t be the truth in Cale’s eyes.
“We can’t forget that Judas was one of the Twelve Apostles, right? And so [corruption] has been a problem from the beginning. Yes, there have been bad bishops, bad groups of people in the Church throughout history, and even bad popes. But that doesn’t negate the reality of the Church.” What drew him to Catholicism was its historic and authentic reliance on each and every teaching of Jesus Christ. There is no picking and choosing, waiting, or changing. Catholics follow Christ. Famous convert Cardinal John Henry Newman once remarked on a visit to Rome that Catholicism must be from God because of everything it has gone through and everything it has become through its founding by Christ.
Professor Samuel asked Cale about the relationship between Catholicism and other Christian faiths. While there are thousands of different denominations across the world, Cale pointed out what made someone an actual Christian, a true follower of Christ. A catechumen is somebody merely under the instruction of the Faith and a Christian is somebody who has been baptized with water in the name of the Trinity. Once you are baptized, you have become part of the Christian community, and Catholics, while they believe theirs is the one true Church, are still associated with others through that baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Cale likened the relationship to a large ship. Catholics are the ones still on the ship and the Christian offshoots are the passengers who ended up overboard and are gathered in groups on life rafts or flotsam. While they are still afloat and have found brotherhood with others, they are not in union with the whole truth.
Since Catholics call the Eastern rites “Churches” and the denominations “Christian communities,” Samuel then asked what the benefit of being a Roman Catholic might be if all three entities were viable means of finding salvation with Christ after we die. The Catholic Church and the Eastern Church are both regarded as such because of their full embrace of Jesus Christ, Holy Scripture, and the sanctity and validity of all seven sacraments.
In an effort to impart the importance of these distinctions, Cale offered the Catechism’s definition of a sacrament: “A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” And grace is defined as God’s life in our souls. Without the seven sacraments, the path to salvation is blocked. Baptism into the Church opens that pathway and makes the entrance into heaven available, also granting access to the other six sacraments. Fittingly, we are doused with water in Baptism which both cleans and sustains. Our sins are being washed away and we are being given the gift of sanctifying grace in our souls.
Listen to the entire conversation at the following link:
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