Tired of hearing 'Catholics are not Christians'? Me too! However, I have developed a sense of humor about it and I laugh now when I hear this statement. Now, let's address five top reasons why Catholics are Christians.
First, let's talk about what our Protestant friends and Christian brothers and sisters will not readily address. Let's ask the simple question 'What is a Christian?' I mean, after all, if you are going to tell me Catholics are NOT something, first let's establish what it is that we are NOT supposed to be.
It depends on who you ask as to what answer you will get to this question. The answers can range from a person that has been baptized and believes in the teachings of Jesus, to a person who believes Jesus is the Son of God and the Bible is the Word of God, to a person who believes Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins and rose again from the dead. You might hear that it is someone who has a 'personal relationship with Jesus' (how much more personal is the Eucharist?) Isn't that what the Catholic Church teaches? Isn't that what the majority of our Protestant friends teach as well?
The terminology may be different, but the concepts are the same.
So, it would be difficult for me to understand how a Protestant could accurately claim a Catholic is not a Christian without pointing out specific theological differences. Theological differences does not define if a person is a Christian, unless those differences are specifically aimed at the heart of what a Christian is supposed to be.
Taking aside the fact it's as simple as looking at the Creed that we recite at each Mass, most of those opposed to the Church will not take the time to read the Creed or acknowledge it is Biblically based. So, here are some things we can put in the back of our mind to know when we are confronted again with this issue...and it will come.
Let's take a look at what the Catholic Church ACTUALLY teaches, as opposed to the lies that have circulated and been taught by others:
1.) A Christian believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God - According to CCC 432, "The name 'Jesus' signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son..."
2.) A Christian believes God is the only one that forgives sin- According to CCC 430, "Since God alone can forgiven sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, 'will save his people from their sins.'
3.) A Christian believes the Bible is the Word of God - According to CCC 105, "God is the author of Sacred Scripture. 'The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
4.) A Christian believes Jesus Christ rose from the dead after he was crucified - According to CCC 638, "The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament, and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross."
5.) A Christian believes Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world - If you really want to get a complete view of what the Church teaches about this, read CCC 595-618. However, let's just use one example to point out the fact that we, as Catholics, do indeed believe Christ died for our sins. CCC 601 "The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of 'the righteous one (Jesus), my Servant' as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin."
It is amazing how the majority of arguments stating Catholics are not Christians focus theological differences that have no bearing on if a person is a Christian, according to most people's definition of what a Christian is, or they are grounded in lies all together.
Be proud of your Christian faith. Be proud you are Catholic, but be prepared always to give specific reasons what the two are one in the same.