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What does the word “Catholic” mean? A history of the word “Catholic”

What Does Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”
By Steve Ray

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a distinct desire to distance ourselves from its heresy and man-made traditions.

I assumed that early on CApostles' Creed Poster - Catholic to the Max - Online Catholic Storeatholics deviated from “biblical Christianity” so they simply invented a new word to describe their new society. Since we Evangelicals were supposedly the ones faithful to the Bible we had no interest in the word catholic since it was found nowhere between the covers of the Bible. It was a biased word loaded with negative baggage so we removed it from the Creed.

I should have asked myself “Where did the word catholic come from, and what does it mean?” Was I right to assume that Roman Catholics invented the word to set themselves apart from biblical Christianity?

A short and interesting investigation will turn up some valuable information. Let’s start with an understanding of doctrinal development and the definition of catholic, then let’s “interview” the very first Christians to see what they thought of the Church and the word catholic and then we will study the Bible itself.

How Doctrines and Words Develop

The development of doctrine is not just a Catholic phenomenon. It is also a fact among Protestants and all religions or theological traditions. Over time, theological words develop to help explain the deeper understanding of the faith.

As Christians ponder the revelation passed on by the apostles and deposited in his Church the Church mulls over God’s Word, thinking deeper and deeper. It is not unlike peeling the layers away from an onion as one goes deeper to the heart. The development of doctrine defines, sharpens, and interprets the deposit of faith.

The Bible is not a theological textbook or a detailed church manual, such as say a catechism or study guide. The Bible’s meaning is not always clear as St. Peter tells us (2 Pet 3:15−16). Thousand of competing Protestant denominations also make this fact apparent as they fail to agree on what the Bible says. It takes the authority of a universal Church and the successors of the apostles to formulate the doctrines of the faith. As an Evangelical, I was naïve enough to think I could recreate the “theological” wheel for myself.

For the whole article, click here.

Day 10: Last Evening; Comments & Farewells

All good things must come to an end, and this pilgrimage has come to a very happy and successful conclusion.

The last evening is always fun and jovial and we share lots of comments and farewells, blessings, and our “last supper”, with hugs and tears and cheers.

Enjoy this uplifting and heartfelt movie.

What Happened to Detroit?

A friend from the UK wrote and asked me what happened to that once magnificent city of Detroit. I gave his a short response which may sound harsh to politically correct ears but I never claimed to be politically correct choosing rather to be honest and speak my mind. Here was my answer:

This was once a glorious city. My Catholic ancestors from my mother’s side immigrated to Detroit where they built businesses and thrived when Detroit was something to behold. My great great grandfather carved the oak altar rail at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, the first in Detroit and now a Minor Basilica. My grandfather owned lots of properties. I was born in Detroit and my dad worked his whole life at Ford Motor Company. We moved out before the big collapse. The popular saying was, “The last one to leave, turn off the lights.”

What happened to Detroit is easy to explain. 75% of children live without a father — there is almost a 50% illiteracy rate. The Black people who make up the majority in downtown have leaders that teach them to be victims. The welfare state replaced the need for a father. The State becomes the father with promises to provide everything.The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s of the world lie to their people and keep them on the modern day plantation.

Young men without dads look up to pimps and drug lords. They join gangs as “substitute families.” Girls give away sex without commitment. They have no fathers so they fall for the first man who says they love them. They have babies and get money from the government. Their babies are doomed to repeat the same cycle of poverty and despair. Abortion is rampant.

God and discipline were taken from the schools and replaced with chaos. No one can discipline unruly students who have never been taught discipline or the value of an education. They have no idea or interest in the meaning and responsibilities of a democratic republic or civic duty. They have no idea what the Declaration of Independence or Constitution are. The school dropout rate is unbelievable and the arrest rate reflects it. People are afraid to walk in the streets.

And the Black youth unemployment? Businesses are not likely to hire a young man with no education or discipline, who won’t speak understandable English and who applies for a job slouched over, wearing a hoodie, pants hanging off his butt and sporting a bad attitude. When I was running my business a decade ago more than half of the people from Detroit that applied for employment had a criminal record, could not read, or could not pass a drug test.

The city officials are gangsters and some in prison (e.g., the last major Kilpatrick), yet Blacks continue voting for the same crooks because they are Black Democrats who promise to be Santa Claus. Promised pensions were too high and are now breaking them. Trade unions got greedy and protected bad employees. Whites fled (like our family in 1960). The population dropped from about 2 million to 600,000. Taxes increased, services decreased. Neighborhoods were abandoned. Churches were closed. Businesses moved out. Except for a few areas, Detroit is now a huge burned-out slum.  
Christian morality and the family, enterprise and hard work were replaced with single-parent families and fatherless children, with secularism and socialism, with a culture that knows nothing of work but only food stamps, welfare and government dependence. My heart goes out to those stuck in this culture of death and despair. 
Though there are hotspots of development, don’t expect Detroit to recover in our lifetime. 

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