Thoughts on Catholicism
Posted in the Villa Heights Forum
#1 May 17, 2013
Catholicism seems to have become the topic of discussion here. Maybe we should just unite the discussions in one big thread. I have some thoughts after the last few days I would like to share to maybe get the dialog started.
*I stated back when this started that catholicism appeared to be judaism revived. After our conversations, I hold that belief even more firmly. It is obvious that catholicism cannot and will not stick to the Bible only. I feel that this is because ultimately, the Bible itself condemns the teaching and position of catholicism. Thus, if we can accept "traditions", "successors to the apostles", other writings from men "taught by the apostles themselves", catholicism can find authority for their practices.
Do we not know that in Israel the teaching of the scribes and lawyers, and their traditions, became binding and as much (if not more) authority as the God-breathed scriptures? How is catholicism any different? Matthew 15 is where Jesus soundly condemns this practice.
*Israel had the high priest, catholicism has the pope. Any difference? Jesus is the mediator between God and man. There is no human that can or does stand in that position according to scripture.
*Spiritual pride appears to be an issue with catholicism. Did not the Jews believe they were God's one and only, the apple of His eye? Where did that get them? They took great pride in their spiritual heritage. That has been affirmed by catholics here.
*Both appealed to their ancestry. Catholicism claims a direct line to the apostles in the first century. Israel took special pride in their history, going back to Abraham.(COC, are you paying attention?)
*Catholicism has "mass" every day I believe. Did not the Jewish sacrifices occur every day, year by year, etc? The Catholic "priesthood" appears very much to be a copy of the Levitical priesthood system, with garb and all.
*Catholicism is very wealthy. Lots of "tithes and offerings" in support of the Levites there. This is not strictly an issue with catholicism.
*The worship of the church is an interesting idea to me. No doubt catholicism worships or venerates the RCC. It reminds me very much of how so many in evangelicalism who believe in pre-trib rapture hold such a high view of modern Israel. The love of Jerusalem is apparent in OT scripture. It seems that Jerusalem and the temple has been "replaced" by Rome in our modern age. "Replacement theology" anyone?
*Catholicism has much of the same mindset as Judaism. The condemnation of 1 Timothy 4 could be seen in light of Jewish and/or gnostic practices.
Perhaps I could sum all this up like this-Roman Catholicism has "replaced" Jerusalem and Judaism in style and substance. The scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Sanhedrin, and the High Priest still exist. The temple service and sacrifice continue. Tradition still is elevated over God's truth. For those looking for a rebuilt temple, perhaps you're looking in the wrong place-and perhaps its been here for a long time.
Any thoughts, comments, questions? I'm sure that catholics will not agree with this assessment. For the others-is this a fair assessment? Did I miss anything?
#2 May 17, 2013
I think you have covered it very well with the exception of end time theology which should never be a salvation issue anyway.
Before I read this I was thinking of how tradition works over the longer horizon. With the passage of time things that meant one thing can morph into something else. For example the recent popes have allowed homosexual behavior from it's priest without doing anything to stop is. I can see some future pope looking into the past and deciding that it must be ok and finds a way to incorporate into the doctrine based on historical precedence/tradition.
Since: Jul 11
#3 May 17, 2013
Very good thread. I tend to stay away from these discussions because Catholics want to argue from outside of the Bible. I think you covered it well but I can already see a rebuttal from Mike. I get their teaching via email so I'm pretty certain how he will reply. Keep up the good work!
#4 May 17, 2013
I can see where you're going and I agree. It is very possible that a future pope would do such a thing. "Traditions" can change over a long period of time.
The one exception to end times being a salvation issue, for me, are those who teach that one can wait until the tribulation starts and then simply not take the mark of the beast. I was told that several years ago. That denies the teachings of Jesus-to watch, wait, and be ready. Some could run out of time waiting for this to happen and not choose to obey the Lord. It could cost someone salvation.
Bobby, I was thinking of you when I posted the original. What I see is "legalism", bondage, chains to use your terminology. How long had Jesus been ascended into heaven before those of the circumcision tried to bring all believers back into bondage? Not long.
I don't believe mankind in general wants or likes "liberty" in Christ Jesus. I think many like and prefer chains and bondage over freedom. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that one day men would worship in Spirit and truth, not on Gerizim or Jerusalem. Jesus isn't gone but for a few years before the chains started coming out. 600-700 years later the bondage is back in full force.
*If catholicism truly accepted other believers, why bother proselytizing? If all are truly brethren, why the need to try to convert to catholicism? I think this really speaks to the heart of what catholicism believes.
Hitting closer to home, how about those who try to get others to adhere to "the law"? The "10% tithe or else" group, instruments are sin camp, dress codes, whatever else you can think of. Comply or else. By doing such things many are actually trying to compel people to join "their sect" or be excluded and lost. That's bondage.
Before talking to you Bobby, and Randy, BW, and SW too, I didn't always see that. But I do now, so I should thank you all. I should also thank JR, Heath, Mike and others for also showing the other side and highlighting the issue.
#5 May 17, 2013
Thank you very much-you have been great inspiration for me. You touch on another problem. You already know how he will reply, and I probably know as well. We have our well-rehearsed arguments ready to go and smite the opposition.
How much of what we all do is an honest quest for truth, and how much is trying to convince the masses that "WE are RIGHT"?
Since: Jul 11
#6 May 17, 2013
So true, Dave. I think we all fall victim to this- I know I do. Often times, I have studied Christianity from a point of debating instead of for GROWTH. I’ve studied various groups and made it my goal to know their next move. As I have stated before, I have even played the role of various groups in order to help me see their strengths and their weaknesses in hopes that I determine who is teaching truth. Often times I am guilty of viewing this like a chess match, trying to stay well ahead of my “opponent”. I’m not so sure God is pleased with this. I know we are to contend for the faith but doing so I wonder sometimes if we aren’t guilty of “friendly fire.” You are right, we have our well-rehearsed arguments ready to go and smite the opposition. My goal is an honest quest for truth, but often I find myself trying to convince the masses that "I’m RIGHT".
Just as you, I also have learned a great deal from different ones on here. Sadly, my thoughts regarding a certain few were reinforced.
#7 May 17, 2013
Lets start with the Jewish angle you took.
Jesus was the Christ but he was born Jewish and died Jewish. To say that Jesus died Jewish may be too simple; he saw himself as bringing Judaism to a new level. Even so, the earliest Christians continued to frequent the Temple in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1-26 and 5:42). Paul would preach in the Temple on the Sabbath, probably to convert, and celebrate the Eucharist on the first day of the week.
The Jews were God's Chosen People. They should have been proud.
From the CCC:
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329
Did Jesus fail because he could not convince all Jews he was the messiah prophesied in the OT?
God is not through with Jews.
From the CCC:
674 The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus.569 St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old."570 St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?"571 The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles",572 will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".573
As for as taking some of the traditions of the Jewish worship, the Catholic Church pleads guilty. That is the Church we came forth from. The Apostles were Jews and they taught the Church everything it teaches today. How to worship and the way to Salvation, both from their written words and oral teachings just like the Bible says.
Jesus started 1 Church like a light set on a hill.
Am i proud to be part of that Church? You bet. And my pride will not make it fail. No man will make it fail Jesus promised that.
#8 May 17, 2013
This can only happen with those who believe in SS. The CC has kept great records. All you have to do is look up what the first Christians believed and what the CC teaches today.
One thing you will not find is SS ever taught from the Jesus and the Apostles and now.
#9 May 17, 2013
JC: If you look at any debate, you told me you get debates from Catholic apologetics, a Protestant will never debate on what the Apostles taught or what Jesus taught
It will always be based on the Bible, lets debate on the this or that. They always do and I think do a great job because nothing in the Bible contradicts our teachings.
You say we want to argue outside the Bible. Of course we do. The CC existed 350 years before the Bible and the Bible says nothing about being the only word of God. The CC should know. They studied hundreds of scriptures and and decided what books in the NT was the inspired, not written, not only, words of God.
So you want to take a man made doctrine of SS that is only 450 years old and say hey, you can't use tradition to argue even though the Bible never says you cannot baptize infants.
Lets say a pagan and a Catholic wanted to debate in the year 300. No Bible to use. They would use what the CC taught.
#10 May 17, 2013
1. Jesus said the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.(no bible mentioned)
2. The Catholic Church is the only Church has existed since 32 AD.
3. The Catholic Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.(not the Bible)
Therefore "We are Right"
#11 May 17, 2013
JC you hit the nail on the head. Like I said many times I am a history nut. Protestants dont like the history of religion. that is why SS was invented.
I had already had a problem how different Baptist preachers would come for a revival and what they said on the same verses were different from why my pastor said.
Then I went to college and had to take a bunch of history courses. One was on the history of Western Civilization and it mentioned Catholics and that's all as the early Christians.
I then took the history of religions and the history of Christianity including the Bible.
You have heard this many times but it is true. To read history , is to cease being Protestants. There were people in my family that would not speak to me until they died.
IT was a very hard thing to do. I didn't really want to be Catholic. It took me a long time to understand the doctrine of Mary but if finally saw the light.
And the freedom it gives is awesome. You believe what the Apostles and Jesus believed. The Truth shall set you free.
Sorry for the witnessing. I got carried away.
But the final thing on this I wanted to say to prove the Catholic Church wrong. You don't go to the the anti-catholic websites. You go to the CCC and you look at the footnotes that related the teaching to the Bible and to Tradition.
Got to early Church Fathers just to see how they worshiped and see if any of them worshiped and thought like you do.
Prots then say, I have the Bible , I dont need the history lesson. Well find a good secular history book about how the Bible was created.
You owe it to yourself and your family to find the truth on your own and that doesn't mean the Bible alone.
#12 May 17, 2013
Good message, I agree. Not to be patting myself on the back, but I have tried hard not teach that my church is the best one out there or ever tried to compel others to go to a bible church. I try to create an environment where we can find at least some unity. Exposing legalism is very important to me because it has the ability place people in chains. There is a term "plantation mentality" which I think the followers of Moses turned into. They would have rather gone back under slavery because they knew exactly what to expect. They were afraid of unknown hardships in spite of all the good things God was supplying for them.
I think most people are like that in the sense we hate change and are most comfortable where we are. In politics, liberals buy votes by keeping the money flowing into the hands of people who would rather draw $300 a week by staying on unemployment four years doing nothing than to work hard for $600. Being satisfied with very little creates a comfort zone. They may complain but they stay there anyway waiting for the next hand out.
In my mind there are plenty of church going people in all denominations who are not willing to stretch their horizons and step out on faith. Christians can be lazy people also by not fully trusting God.
#13 May 17, 2013
But Bobby, if you really believe that what you believe is the Full Truth you should shout if from the mountain tops and try to get everybody you know and dont know to get there with you.
If not, maybe you should reassess.
All Christians have some things in common like believing that Jesus is God and he died for our sins. It is good to find common ground like marching for life, and helping the hungry. But the essentials are important. People souls are at stake.
You can call it legalism if you want, but the Apostles left us the way to Salvation. You follow it or you don't. God created a Kingdom , not a democracy.
#14 May 17, 2013
Jesus promised another comforter, not a procession of popes and religious men. I have never believed that I can lead anyone to Christ without the help of the Holy Spirit, not just to give me words of wisdom but to do his work on those who might be listening. If my words are not not his truth I pray that God will not use me but that he will change me.
You see, the difference between us is that I trust in a higher power than you do. You seem to trust in the traditions of men, I trust in a savior who lives in me.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Found somewhere in colossians, the true word of God.
#15 May 17, 2013
Can you please tell me if you think the HS is lying to you or Johnny Robertson, or to the Methodists, or to the all of the other tens of thousands of churches. The HS has to by lying to someone, because all think he/she is being led by him.
The HS led me to the Truth. He said his Church was the truth, not me. The only church for 1500 years was the Catholic Church.
I trust in God. Do you have a higher power? I trust that the Apostles who my Savior sent out to start his Church told the Truth.
If it is in Bible, it is the true word of God. But not the only word of God.
#16 May 17, 2013
That can very well be true about others saying they are led by the Spirit. But just because there are imitators and blasphemers claiming that power, does not take away from the genuine.
The Holy Spirit is only given to believers who have placed their trust in Christ and I think we can, if we are sincere/genuine, see the difference.
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.
If you or anyone claims you do not have this anointing I will automatically have at least some doubts that you are genuine.
John also said this concerning the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Christ in us our hope of glory-I can't repeat this to often-it is the basis for everything christians believe in and hope for.
#17 May 17, 2013
So tell me who are genuine and who are not? Are you absolutely sure you are. If not, why do you lead people to your truth. Everybody I have ever discussed this with said the HS led them and that you would know the truth if you really had the HS.
I was sealed with the Holy Spirit by being anointed with oil at Baptism.
How were you anointed? Were you anointed with oil?
Sacred Scripture also attests to the spiritual symbolism of oil. For instance, Psalm 23:5 reads, "You anoint my head with oil," signifying favor and strength from the Lord; and Psalm 45:8 reads, "You love justice and hate wickedness; therefore, God your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings," signifying the special designation from God and the joy of being his servant. Moreover, to be "the anointed" of the Lord indicated receiving a special vocation from the Lord and the empowerment with the Holy Spirit to fulfill that vocation: Jesus, echoing the words of Isaiah, spoke, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore, He has anointed me" (Lk 4:18). St. Paul emphasized this point, "God is the one who firmly establishes us along with you in Christ; it is He who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first payment, the Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor 1:21). Therefore, the symbolism of oil is rich — sanctification, healing, strengthening, beautification, dedication, consecration and sacrifice.
Heaven is what all Christians hope for.
#18 May 17, 2013
I actually like your message. I especially like your use of the word symbolism in regard to the Spirit. Oil has always been the symbol of the HS.
However I do not believe we must be anointed with oil by any man to receive the Spirit. I understand that was the way it was done under the old covenant and it is a proper example. It is like new covenant teaching about calling for the Elders to anoint with oil for those who are sick. I believe it is ok, even good if we do that but it is not necessary for God to do his work.
When I was a young man in the coc, an elder laid his hands on me when I was being charged with the duty of becoming a deacon. Personally I like the use of symbols because they teach us about the reality of God and his authority.
Basically I would not disapprove of your message other than to say it is not necessary for receiving the Spirit. Legalism can creep into the church through that sort of symbolic tradition if people think that is the only way God can impart his Spirit, thus creating spiritual elitism.
We often gather around our missionaries when we send them out into the work they were called to do, and we lay hands on them and pray for them. So, yes it is a good way to richly bless others and form a bond of unity.
#19 May 18, 2013
The anointing of the sick with oil is a Sacrament. Like all Sacraments it can only be administered by a successor to the Apostles. The Apostles set this up.
#20 May 18, 2013
The 4 Marks of the Church are One, Holy, Universal (Catholic), and Apostolic
Does your church have these Marks.
The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813–822)
Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches (Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and so on). The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church.
His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2).
Although some Catholics dissent from officially-taught doctrines, the Church’s official teachers—the pope and the bishops united with him—have never changed any doctrine. Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.
The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8, CCC 823–829)
By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23).
But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26).
The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10, CCC 830–856)
Jesus’ Church is called catholic ("universal" in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of "all nations" (Matt. 28:19–20).
For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28).
Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).
The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, "the Catholic Church," at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.
The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20, CCC 857–865)
The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2).
These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself.
Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim.
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