Some POSSIBLE Signs Of Counterfeit Catholics:
They serve God like taking medicine:
The counterfeit Catholic obeys God, not because he loves Him, but because he hopes to get something good out of it for himself. The true child of God delights in doing God's will. When Christ is loved for his own sake, there is no weariness or struggle in serving. His commandments are not grievous or heavy. (I John. 5:3) His Yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)
Do you enjoy being a Catholic for God or do you serve God basically only for what He can do for you? The man in the religion of fear prays the rosary only because he knows he should. It would not do to say you are a Catholic and not pray the rosary! But they do not enjoy it. They never go to Church unless it is absolutely necessary, or unless it will be of some benefit for them. When they do go, they are cold, dull, listless and lifeless, and glad when it is over. Their only enjoyment in their religion is chiefly one of anticipation; they hope they will be happy in the next world, but never enjoy God in this one. The true child of God already enjoys His peace; heaven has begun already in his soul. He has Christ life bubbling with in him now, not merely the prospect of a life in the hereafter. He has the very feelings of heaven in his life. He is not waiting until he dies to taste the thrill of eternal life.
They do what they have to, not what they really want to:
The counterfeit Catholic is moved by his convictions, not his affection. His "faith" is the religion of fear.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of sobriety. (2 Timothy 1:7)
He is driven by warnings, not drawn by the love of God . He regards the law of God for fear that God will pass him by if he does not, but he does not LOVE to do what God requires in His law. He is filled with the spirit of fear, lest he make the wrong move or do the wrong thing. God is not a loving and compassionate heavenly Father to him, but a stern, exacting taskmaster. He is more or less strict in religion according to what he knows to be right, and more or less miserable to the degree his conscience bothers him. He knows what is right, but does not have a heart to do it. The more he knows, the more miserable he becomes. Here is a key difference. The true Catholic prefers obedience; the counterfeit purposes or intends it, but usually fails to do so. Why? Because he knows he should but because his heart is not in it he fails.
A counterfeit Catholic has a basic motivation of fear, not love:
He is not only afraid of hell but of punishment, judgment and disgrace in men's eyes. It is not bad to be motivated by fear. In fact, that is normal. Many motivations, many impulses, many experiences in life drive us to Jesus. Whether those motivations and impulses and experiences prove to be a means of salvation depends on what we make of Jesus when we get there. You see, The fearful counterfeit convert still lives for himself, thinks of himself, and seeks his own happiness and safety supremely. These fears keep him outwardly moral. He keeps up a kind of obedience that is formal, heartless, loveless and completely worthless. What should happen is that the fear should drives us to Christ. It is not what saves us. What saves us is what happens when we come to Christ surrendering our selves to Him. As an adult who has never been baptized, we find through repentance and baptism that our heart is made new. We no longer want to live for ourselves. We no longer want to think of ourselves. We no longer desire to seek our own happiness.
If you were baptized as a child you were given that new heart, made holy unto God because of the Faith of your parents. (I Corinthians 7:14) But at some point in your life you must make your own conversion. That is, there must come a time when you take your parents Catholic Faith and make it your own.
A counterfeit Catholic is more afraid of punishment than sin:
The counterfeit Catholic keeps on sinning, because he does not really hate sin; only punishment for it. The true child of God is more afraid of sin than punishment. He does not ask, "If I do this, what will happen to me?", but feels, like Joseph, "How can I do this wicked thing and sin against God?" (Genesis 39: 7-9)
And he said to me: Surely thou seest, O son of man, what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every one in private in his chamber: for they say: The Lord seeth us not, the Lord hath forsaken the earth. (Ezekiel 8:12)
The counterfeit Catholic keeps committing the same sin by convincing himself that God will forgive him eventually and he can always repent of it afterwards.
Because the counterfeit Catholic lives in known sin, he likes to hear sermons on the security of the believer; on Gods mercy, on His long-suffering. His only trouble is that he does not realize the majority of these scriptures do not apply to him, because he is not truly a Catholic at all! Proof positive of this is his love of sin more than God; he likes to be soothed along in it, not shocked out of it; comforted, not challenged; assured, not examined. His conscience bothers him so much already that he cannot stand sermons that throw further light on his true state of his soul.
And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. (John 3:19-20)
If their own souls can be temporarily secure, they care very little what happens to the rest of the world. They like homilies that give them a license to go on in sin. They prefer Priest who can preach with conviction on ideas rather then the Truth.
The counterfeit Catholics have a spirit of GET instead of GIVE.
True Catholics enjoy giving and helping others more than being helped by others because they love. Their hearts are set on the highest good, and their deepest, sheerest joy is to be able to do it.
Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many. (Matthew 20:28)
And there came a certain poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And calling his disciples together, he saith to them: Amen I say to you, this poor widow hath cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living. (Mark. 12:42-44)
Counterfeit Catholics are always looking for ways to get from others whatever they can. Especially is this true in daily business, if selfishness rules our conduct there with men, as sure as God rules we are selfish before Him. A man in the religion of fear finds it hard to give anything of his to God. He may have to, to keep his reputation, but it bothers him to no end.
Give to everyone that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again. And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. And if you love them that love you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also love those that love them. And if you do good to them who do good to you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also do this. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, for to receive as much. But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest; for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil. (Lk. 6:30-35)
The counterfeit Catholic never enjoys self-denial. If a man sets his heart on anything, he enjoys everything he saves for what his heart is set on. The more he saves from other things to give to this, the more he is pleased. The phony finds it hard to give to the Church, it is easy to see that his heart is not in it. To the counterfeit it is a pain in the neck to give to God. He cannot understand the joy of unselfish giving , to advance God's kingdom, because it drains resources from his own little world where he rules as king.
If one of thy brethren that dwelleth within the gates of thy city in the land which the Lord thy God will give thee, come to poverty: thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor close thy hand, But shalt open it to the poor man, thou shalt lend him, that which thou perceivest he hath need of. Beware lest perhaps a wicked thought steal in upon thee, and thou say in thy heart: The seventh year of remission draweth nigh; and thou turn away thy eyes from thy poor brother, denying to lend him that which he asketh: lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it become a sin unto thee. But thou shalt give to him: neither shalt thou do any thing craftily in relieving his necessities: that the Lord thy God may bless thee at all times, and in all things to which thou shalt put thy hand. There will not be wanting poor in the land of thy habitation: therefore I command thee to open thy hand to thy needy and poor brother, that liveth in the land. (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)
Their prayers and cares for others are born out of fears for themselves.
The true Catholics prays for the sinner because he has a sense of the evil of sin which sinners commit, the Counterfeit because he has a fear of the terrors of hell. The phony prays for a sinners safety. The Catholic prays for safety from sin. The Catholic feels compassion for the sinner, but grieved anger on God's behalf for the sinner's rebellion. The man who has a religion of fear feels more sorry for the sinner than for God, because he shares his sin and sympathizes with him. A Counterfeit can never understand how God could allow a loved one to go to hell. They feel more for the "loved one" than for the God whose heart the rebellious "loved one" has broken. Christ's words commanding supreme love of His followers over all other earthly loves have no meaning to them. They do not supremely love Him; they love themselves, and everything connected with their own happiness.
Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, ( Matthew. 6:33)
Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 10:37-39)
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-26)
It is not extravagant to say that the religion I have described appears to be that of a very large majority in the Church. To say the least, it is to be feared that a majority of professing Christians are of this description. To say this is neither unloving nor is it excessively critical.
This kind of Catholicism is radically defective. There is nothing of true religion in it. This kind of religion is as different from Catholicism as much as the Pharisees were different from Christ, as much as the true Faith of the Church differs from the legalism we find in our Parishes, as much as the faith of love differs from the religion of self. Now, let me ask you, to which of these two classes do you belong? Is Christ the center of your life, or are you trying to fit Him in for your own happiness? God knows if your faith is the religion of self. Why try to find happiness in serving yourself?
In conclusion, If you read the descriptions of the counterfeit Catholic and think, "I know somebody who is like that." In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, "you just might be a counterfeit Catholic!" Go back through and read the descriptions again and look at your own self. Then if the shoe fits, Come, and surrender yourself to Christ simply as a child, to live no longer for yourself, but to live in love for God and His glory.