The One True Church- The Catholic Church

Is there such a thing as One True Church?

Protestants dismiss the idea, Catholics may not even know what it is even though they are members of it. But yes, I do believe that there is such a thing and I’d like to explain why I believe that this is so.

Perhaps we should start by looking at just how many protestant denominations there are in the world.

The World Christian Database estimates a conservative figure of over 9,000 Christian denominations and over 13,000 ethno linguistic peoples of distinct ethnic and cultural faith practices and beliefs. A further source suggests that their are in excess of 33,000 protestant denominations alone. However, this figure rises daily in view of man’s penchant for creating new faiths, new denominations.

Do a Google search and you will see such figures for yourself. The disunity of God’s people is no secret despite some seeing this lack of harmony as a celebration of our diversity, I make no apologies for saying that it makes me very sad and it expressly contradicts what Christ repeatedly spoke of and to the Church.

I am reminded here of our recent conversation on the post about why non-Catholics can not receive the Eucharist. When it came down to it’s epicentre, the root of the disagreement lay in Scripture in that we Catholics actually believe Christ’s words when he tells us that the bread he shared at the Last Supper was his actual Body and Blood…while the non- Catholics in the thread chose to explore other more creative avenues of interpretation, despite perhaps a tenet of their faith being that they ascribe to sola scriptura (scripture alone).

So what will be said about this passage and all the others which blatantly state that there is but One Church, and that further still, she is Holy and that she is Catholic? Are we really free to interpret scripture as we want to even when that interpretation is erroneous?

When the Lord said;

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” – John 17:20-21

What did Jesus mean if not that we are to be united in faith and not divided? Or to the non-Catholic is this another case of “Well, he didn’t actually mean that…” – like when Christ said;

‘This IS my body, this IS my blood”

But Jesus meant something else entirely?

Jesus further said;

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

the naysayer’s recoiled in horror, saying,

“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Jesus didn’t hold up his hands and say ‘You know what guy’s, I didn’t mean it to come out that way, get back here and eat bread with me’….instead he further declared that YES, this was indeed his flesh and blood.

Jesus then turned to the Twelve, saying;

“Do you also want to leave?”

 I imagine myself to be one such Christ follower and I believe that as disciples, we too are asked that same question. I don’t want to ‘leave’,I will not deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Are you a modern day disciple? What will you say when Jesus asks you if this is too hard for you to believe?

But we don’t disagree on this alone, do we…

The division deepens amongst us daily as more and more people find this teaching too difficult to swallow.

St. Paul, the hero of so many a protestant writes unequivocally about the necessity of unity, in his letter to the Church;

“I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10

Clearly, when there are thousands of religions and Christian denominations in the world, we are not one in belief. Within Protestantism alone there are many denominations, each one of which has sub-denominations that differentiate somewhat from the parent denomination. Luther really started something didn’t he? – Though surprisingly, he had a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary… how many Lutherans emulate the devotion of their churches founder?

The fact of the matter is that Christ only founded One Church. He didn’t found 33,000+ churches. It’s not good enough to say that there is one faith practiced in 33,000+ ways and that it is the way God intended us to be. We know that people church hop because of disagreements about practices, traditions, stances, music or worship style differences etc.. The truth is that there is NO good reason to church hop when you are a member of the One Church that Christ founded; the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Catholics may have disagreements with the Catholic Church, some of them may indeed be valid (never on doctrine or tradition or what is infallibly defined, but at parish level? Most certainly there may be instances of liturgical abuse for example). But leaving isn’t an option. Not for anyone who has genuinely known, understood and believed the truths of the Catholic faith.

The importance of unity in the Church is spoken of again in Ephesians 4: 3-5

“striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call;one Lord, one faith, one baptism”

Do we who believe in Christ share one faith?

It isn’t good enough to say that we share a faith when we are each free to believe whatsoever we choose about the Lord and about his teachings. How can one protestant church be pro-abortion and another pro-life? Is that unity? How can one teach infant baptism and another not? How can one profess the sanctity of human life and another espouse support for euthanasia? Is that unity?

Time and again we read in scripture the call to unity and yet daily new groups, new denominations are formed. What unites us as Christians then? Is it merely a belief in the name of Jesus ? It just might be, because denomination to denomination can not agree on Christ’s divinity, his humanity, his chastity, his relationship with his mother….where is the unity? It can be in name only that we who call ourselves Christians, share anything. We can agree that we believe in Jesus. But so does the evil one, so that’s nothing really earthshatteringly unifying either, is it?

How can we know that the One church Christ founded is the Catholic Church?

  • We can know that the Catholic Church is the one church that Christ founded because it alone has all four marks of the one true church.

That is, that it is that which we who believe and adhere to the Nicene Creed, profess – that the Church is;

  • One
  • Holy
  • Catholic
  • Apostolic

The Church is One

“Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” – 1 Corinthians 10:17

Do we share one loaf? As Catholics we do, but do protestants? No. There is no definitive protestant understanding of the ‘one loaf’ and thus they can not all partake of’one loaf’.

  • We can know that there is meant to be only one church because in scripture the Church is referred to as being the bride of Christ…if the Church is not one, then Christ would be a bigamist were we all to be his ‘brides’ and that is a nonsense.
  • If we are one, then we profess one belief, one faith, one set of teachings. This is clearly not the case when we look outside the Catholic Church and 33,000 + denominations each have their own ‘man-made’ teachings and beliefs.
  • We are to be a Church united under the one visible head of the Church on earth, the Pope. Just as the early church was united under the one visible head of the church, Peter, the first Pope, who alone was given the authority to lead the church.
  • The Catholic Church alone has this mark of unity, while all protestant denominations trust in their own judgement, which is by it’s nature, erroneous. Catholics recognize the authority of the Pope, the bishops of the Church and their successors.

The Church is Holy

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:25-27

  • The Church is holy because it was founded by Christ who himself is holy.
  • The Church is not made holy by its members who make up the Catholic Church but by the Deposit of Faith that was given to the Catholic Church alone. The Church is made holy then because of the grace poured out by God, upon it.
  • The Church is holy because of its Sacraments through which we are able to receive an outpouring of the grace of God, and through which we may become holy.
  • Through the Churches doctrines, the church is holy.

The Church is Catholic

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:19-20

  • Churches come and churches go but the Catholic Church will stand forever.
  • The church is ‘Catholic’, because it is universal, ie it is open to everyone.
  • The Catholic Church fulfils the scripture that disciples should be made of all nations. To this day catholic missionaries travel the far reaches of the earth to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to know Christ. (over a million africans each year convert to the Catholic faith)
  • Christ promised to be with the Church (note, not churches) and its members, until the end of time. Hence, Jesus can now – and always will be – found in the Catholic Church.

The Church is Apostolic

“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone” – Ephesians 2:19-20

  • Jesus himself appointed the Apostles and gave them the authority to lead the church. Jesus didn’t start something to let it fizzle out, he knew that the Apostles would ordain successors who would in turn ordain successors, thus ensuring an Apostolic lineage that would span nigh on 2,000 years, and for all the years to follow. In the same way, Jesus did not leave his church bereft of a visible leader. He gave St. Peter alone the authority to lead the church and that same authority and power has been passed on to each of St. Peter’s successors.
  • Since the Church’s foundation it has believed in Christ’s Resurrection, in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, has celebrated Mass, has forgiven sins via the Sacrament of Reconciliation, has baptised its members, has venerated Mary and has accepted the authority of the Pope and the bishops of the Church etc. To this day, it still does so. This can not be said for any other church.
  • There is a wealth of written evidence to support this in the early Christian writings and scripture itself attests to it.

In summary then, what does this all boil down to?

For the most part, I think it boils down to one thing and one thing alone. If God founded one church and one church alone, what businesses have any of us to be anywhere but in it?

If you knew that the source of life in physical matter was food and water, what wouldn’t you do to ensure that you received it and that you could provide your family members with it?

In the same way, a person can come to realise, through prayer, discernment, research and revelation that the source of spiritual lifegiving is to be found in the Eucharist, which can be received validly, only in the Catholic Church. If you knew that the source of spiritul and eternal life resided in the Catholic church what wouldn’t you do to ensure that you received it and that you provided your family members with a means to it?

The Catholic Church is unified, speaks with one voice, professes one faith; in her alone resides the four marks of the Church with which she can be identified. The Church recognises that God’s grace is given to non-Catholics, but that the Truth of Christian Faith can only be found in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that Christ himself founded and in which Catholics alone, can live in the fullness of Faith.

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151 Responses to The One True Church- The Catholic Church

  1. Lorna says:

    couple of things

    1. The church (as I see it) crosses denominational lines but is still united because we can state in faith that Jesus died for my sins and I know where my final eternal destination is (heaven as opposed to hell)

    2. denominations are not different faiths – because we all beleive that Jesus is Lord, and the only way to salvation. (scripture – no one comes to the Father except through me)

    3. Jesus said He would build His church. That gives me hope – that the one-ness and yet diversity He loved (his disciples were from about as different backgrounds as was possible within Judaism at that time – and Paul – a very strict and learned jew- was later chosen to break through the gentile-jewish divide and become the apostle to the gentiles!

    I reject your conclusion that salvation is only through the RC church because it’s the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church. I think you’ll find that most CHRISTIAN churches affirm that – because catholic means universal – the chuch if for all who believe in Jesus.

    I understand why you do it – so much RC doctrine comes from tradition and not directly from the Bible (e.g. Marian theology in particular,)

    As you well know RC and Protestants of all kinds differ on what we see as authoratative. For you Deb it’s the church, for us it’s sola scriptura – and yes you can argue that we don’t even get scripture right because as you see it Jesus said and meant that it was His body … I agree it was his body (This IS … meaning it would be his actual body – not just a spiritual death) but I do not subscribe to the idea that it’s a sacrifice which is repeated mass after mass – but rather that it’s remembered each time. I think for me that’s where the difference lies.

    I love your debates and I love your passion for God and indeed your church, but it seems that you are protesting a little too much here 🙂 ironic really since you aren’t the protestant lol!

    xx

  2. Suzanne says:

    I wonder if anyone has read any of the books written by Scott Hahn…just interested. I am putting a challenge out there…God bless.

  3. ukok says:

    Lorna,

    Just a few thoughts before I get ready to go out for the evening.

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your continued input into these posts. I may not agree with you, but you have one of the most civil ‘voices’ in faith discussions and I’m glad of it.

    In response to your points;

    1. But how can all faiths be joined when they do not all agree? Not all *know* where their final resting place will be, not all are perhaps that presumptuous. Do all even believe that Jesus died for their sins? Not all adhere to the Nicene Creed do they?

    2. Denominations are not necessary of the same faith, nor do they necessarily believe the same things.

    Is it enough to say ‘this one thing (or two things) we agree on, and then we can fight amongst ourselves about everything else? Do you relaly believe that we were meant to have such vastly conflicting beliefes form denomination to denomination? Where does Scripture say that this is permissable? That this is Jesus will for his body, the church?

    3. Christ’s Apostles all shared one faith. They didn’t all go out and set up individual churches according to their particular preferences. They moved as a church, they worshipped in unity. You are quite right about the cultural diversity of the Apostles, but we’re not talking about cultural diversity here, we’re talking about diversity of belief. We are supposed to be of one accord, if not, where is the evidence to the contrary?

    _____

    As for my conclusion, it really was merely a brief summary only. The Salvation outside the Catholoic church post, is on the backburner. Though that topic is intimately acquainted with the topic of this post, it was in fact not the point of this post to discuss it. I look forward to reading more from you as and when it does make it to the blog though 🙂

    Lorna, my friend, you err on your two final points. The first being that my allegiance is to an authoratitive church, though it is, of course, it is Christ’s authority which I pledge my soul to, and I fully accept and embrace Catholicity, because first and foremost the Church is His gift to the world.

    Your second point about the re-sacrifice of Christ at the Mass. It doesn’t happen. Christ is not re-sacrificed at the Mass. Christ’s sacrifice was a once and for all sacrifice that can not and never will be repeated. The same sacrifice is offered at each Mass.

    I think it would help you to read more thoroughly the Catholic explanation of the Mass. I can recommend some good books and documents if you would be prepared to give them a peruse?

    Thanks again, for your comment, Lorna 🙂

    p.s. I’m not protesting. I’m defending. In the last post, one of Steve’s comments led to the creation of this post. I originally contemplated posting it as a comment, but it would have been a bit long, don’t you think?

  4. Lorna says:

    ah then you are a budding apologetic and I stand corrected 🙂

    right now I’m swamped with reading for seminary but send me a list and I’ll look at it

    for me probably the biggest stumbling blocks in the RC church are Marian theology and also your teaching on purgatory. I think you know that.

    To date nothing I’ve read has persuaded me that either of those teachings are what Jesus taught.

    There are other issues too – I mean I am a protestant – but I long for the day we could be united in one faith and one baptism- and share one Eucharist – but it is a question (in part at least) of how we view the authority of the Bible.

    And I don’t know about the Creeds for sure, but I think most mainstream protestants also affirm the Apostles creed which is the oldest creed and was based on the early teaching of the Apostles.

  5. Alexa says:

    Yeah. That was one of my questions to Lorna. If it didn’t matter what all the varied denominations of Protestant churches teach/follow/adhere to – only that they are “saved through Christ” – and will all be in Heaven ultimately if they believe that, then what about other “Christian” churches who believe, for example, that homosexuality is okay – or not – that abortion and divorce is okay – or not – do ALL of them end up in Heaven because they simply believe that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour and that’s their “ticket”?

    That’s why I don’t understand how Protestants comes to grips with there being 1000’s of different Protestant Churches. I could understand better, perhaps, if there was just one Protestant Church – but even then, if there were, it would be easier to narrow down the reasons for the Protest against the Catholic church (i.e., the reason they left).

  6. RobK says:

    Great post Deb!

  7. Alexa says:

    Some things about Purgatory:

    “…the Protestant Bible is an incomplete Bible. Missing are the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and the two books of Maccabees, as well as sections of Esther (10:4 to 16:24) and Daniel (3:24-90 and chapters 13 and 14). These are known to Catholics as the deutero-canonical works. They are just as much a part of the Bible as the rest of the Old Testament, the proto-canonical books. Luther rejected the deutero-canonical books and passages largely because they conflicted with his theological theories. In 2 Maccabees 12:46, for instance, it is said that “it is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins” — a reference to purgatory. Such a book had to go — it did not mesh with the Reformer’s doctrines. (Luther even spoke disparagingly about some New Testament books, such as James, but he was unable to find a rationale for removing them from the canon.)”

    “For Catholics, salvation depends on the state of the soul at death. Christ has already redeemed us, unloced the gates of heaven, as it were. (Note that redemption is not the same as salvation but is a necessary prelude.) He did his part, and now we have to cooperate by doing ours. If we are to pass through those gates, we have to be in the right spiritual state. We have to be spiritually alive. If a soul is merely in a natural state, without sanctifying grace, which is the grace that gives it supernatural life, then it is dead supernaturally and incapable of enjoying heaven. It will not be allowed through the gates. But if it has sanctifying grace, then heaven is guaranteed even if a detour through purgatorial purification is required first. The Church teaches that only souls that are objectively good and objectively pleasing to God merit heaven, and such souls are ones filled with sanctifying grace.”
    —————————————————————

    “In 1769 James Boswell had this exchange with Samuel Johnson:
    Boswell: “What do you think, Sir, of purgatory, as believed by the Roman Catholicks?”
    Johnson: “Why, Sir, it is a very harmless doctirine. They are of the opinion that the generality of mankind are neither so obstinately wicked as to deserve everlasting punishment, nor so good as to merit being admitted into the society of blessed spirits; and therefore that God is graciously pleased to allow a middle state, where they may be purified by certain degrees of suffering. You see, Sir, there is nothing unreasonable in this.”
    Boswell: “But then, Sir, their Masses for the dead?”
    Johnson:”Why, Sir, if it be at once established that there are souls in purgatory, it is as proper to pray for them as for our brethren of mankind who are yet in this life.”

    Although Johnson was no “Catholick”, he recognized that the doctrine of purgatory is not at odds with other tenets of Christianity. In fact, as he may have known, there is considerable scriptural warrant for it, even if the doctrine is not explicitly set out in the Bible.

    The doctrine can be stated briefly. Purgatory is a state of purification, where the soul that has fully repented of its sins but has not fully expiated them has removed from itself the last elements of uncleanliness. In purgatory all remaining love of self is transformed into love of God. At death one’s soul goes to heaven, if it is completely fit for heaven; to purgatory, if it is not quite fit for heaven, but not worthy of condemnation; or to hell if it is completely unfit for heaven. Purgatory is a temporary state. Everyone who enters it will get to Heaven and, after the last soul leaves purgatory for Heaven, purgatory will cease to exist. There will remain only heaven and hell.

    When we die, we undergo what is called the particular, or individual, judgment. We are judged instantly and receive our reward, for good or ill. We know at once what our final destiny will be. At the end of time, though, when the last people have died, there will come the general judgment to which the Bible refers. In it all our sins will be revealed. Augustine said, in “The City of God”, that “temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment”. It is between the particular and general judgments, then, that the soul expiates its sins: “I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny” (Lk 12:59). If full expiation occurs before the general judgment, the soul is released from purgatory and goes to heaven.

    Fundamentalists note that biblical references to the judgment refer only to heaven and hell. Quite true. That is because most of the references are to the general judgment, when all will be judged at once (which means, for those who died earlier and already underwent an individual judgment, a kind of rejudging, but one that is public). It is at the general judgment that the justice and mercy of God will be demonstrated to all. Opponents of the Catholic position are generally silent about what happens to the souls of people who die long before the Last Day. There is no hint from Scripture that these souls remain in suspended animation. No, “men die only once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). Judgment is immediate — which. by the way, is one reason why reincarnation is impossible. It is here, between individual judgment and general judgment, that a soul may find itself in purgatory.

    Fundamentalists are fond of saying the Catholic Church “invented” the doctrine of purgatory, but they have trouble saying just when. Most professiona anti-Catholics — the ones who make their living attacking “Romanism” – seem to place the blame on Pope Gregory the Great, who reigned from 590-604. That hardly accounts for the request of Monica, mother of Augustine, who asked her son, in the fourth century, to remember her soul in his Masses. This would have made no sense if she thought her soul could not be helped by prayers, if she thought there was no possibility of being somewhere other than heaven or hell.

    Still less does the ascription of the doctrine to Gregory account for the graffiti in the catacombs, where the earliest Christians, during the persecutions of the first three centuries, recorded prayers for the dead. Indeed, some of the earliest non inspired Christian writings , such as the Acts of Paul and Thecla (second century), refer to the Christian custom of praying for the dead. Such prayers would have been made only if Christians believed in purgatory, even if they did not use that name for it.

    …..It is no wonder, then that professional anti-Catholics spend little time on the history of the belief. (Who can blame them for avoiding an unpleasant subject?) They prefer to claim, instead, that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong again. It it speaks quite plainly of a third place, where Christ went after his death, the place commonly called the Limbo of the Fathers, where the just who died before the Redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them (I Pet 3:19). This place was neither heaven nor hell.

    Even if the Limbo of the Fathers was not purgatory, its existence shows that a temporary, intermediate state is not contrary to Scripture. Look at it this way. If the Limbo of the Fathers was purgatory, then this one verse directly teaches the existence of purgatory. If the Limbo of the Fathers was a different temporary state, then the Bible at least says such a state can exist. It at least proves there can be more than just heaven and hell.

    Fundamentalists also say, “We cannot find the word purgatory in Scripture.” True, but that is hardly the point. Thw words Trinity and Incarnation are not in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are taught in it. Likewise, Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it does not use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory.

    Christ refers to the sinner for whom “there is no forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come”(Mt 12:32). This implies expiation can occur after death. Paul tells us that at the day of judgment each man’s work will be tried. This trial happens after death. What happens if a man’s work fails the test? “He will be the loser; and yet he himself will be saved, though only as men are saved by passing through fire” (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, cannot refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven cannot be meant, since there is no suffering (“fire”) there. Purgatory alone explains this passage. Then there is the Bible’s approbation of prayers for the dead: “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins” (2 Macc 12:46).** Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and they cannot help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third place, at least temporarily.

    **Fundamentalists do not accept the inspiration of 2 Maccabees, of course, but they must admit it reflects the religious view of Jews shortly before New Testament times.”

    _____________From Karl Keating “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”

  8. elmantheman says:

    Is there a word like “Catholic Church” in the bible?

    Isn’t not the church is the body, the christians that follows all the commandments of Jesus Christ, and also where Christ is the Head: is called the Church of God? Since it is owned by God, isn’t rightful, truthful, logical, correctly to say that the One True Church is The Church of God?

    Catholic means, general or universal church.

    Catholic – derived, through Latin, from the Greek adjective καθολικός, meaning “general”, “universal”

    If it is a universal church, then, it can be anyone’s church, even hell.

    I just want to point out, the bible; the holy Scriptures as written by Apostle Paul and even from the Old Testament that the Church is owned by God, the Living God, the God that cannot lie.

  9. Esther says:

    Wow Deb! You ought to write an apologetics book.

  10. Lorna says:

    coming back to this

    it isn’t presumptuous to believe that we are saved by faith alone.

    I honestly think that’s what the original disciples believed – they didn’t get caught up in praying to saints, indulgences, etc which was really the basic reason for the start of the reformation – actually before Luther himself.

    There was an honest attempt to renew the church from the inside – and it failed – because of corruption and pride. And yes, they didn’t get it all right. But on their understanding of what you call presumption I think they did.

    What you and Alexa are later talking about is what I’d call cheap grace. i.e. I’m saved therefore I can do what I like. Hey sisters, you see that in the RC church too. My aunt is RC – she goes to confession and comes out withthe same awful attitudes and behavior – and yes you find that in what I’d call nominal Christians too.

    Jesus came to save us but that’s only the end of the story. What He expects is that we’d become more like him in the here and now – we’d turn the other cheek, we’d act justly, we’d love our neighbour, and above all we’d love God in all we do. I fall short of the mark time and time again, my place in heaven isn’t affected by it – because of Jesus’ act of forgiveness and reconcilliation of me with the Father – but I will have less of a reward in heaven – whatever that means in practice – I think it could be that painful awareness of just where I failed to reach the mark and a sense of the people’s lives I condemned and hurt by my behaviour and judgmental attitude. I don’t know.

    But I do know that God is bigger, wiser, greater than you and me and all of mankind put together – and I expect He sees the whole church question very differently.

    Jesus was against form for the sake of it – and looked at the people’s hearts. That’s what he hated about the pharisees – they were double minded – and I think He looks at the church the same. Those parts (across the denominations) who have the right attitudes who love Him and love each other, who bring justice and peace, and do their best to follow Him and keep his commandments (and sincerely repent and try to change their ways too) – I think He smiles on them whatever their denomination.

    AS for the homosexual and abortion question. They are sins in my book – but let’s be fair here, they are practiced (if not condoned) in both RC and Protestant circles. So in this argument Alexa, I think they are a bit of a red herring. Sins yes, but not purely protestant sins, or only tolerated or even blessed by the protestant churches.

    What is interesting is the things that Jesus does emphasise in His teachings – feeding the hungry, healing the sick and loving Him. We all have much to do in that department Ithink

    Oh and to say that the protestant Bible is incomplete is only one perspective and one with which I cannot agree. Your RC bible – the extra books and chapters – are found in the GREEK Septuagint – and not in the Hebrew Bible at all.

    so we have lots to discuss 🙂

  11. Holly says:

    Jesus is called the Lamb of God, and he has neither cloven hooves nor a coat of wool. It was a metaphor. Symbolic language. Just as I believe to eat His flesh and drink His blood is symbolic language and a symbolic act.

  12. Alexa says:

    AS for the homosexual and abortion question. They are sins in my book – but let’s be fair here, they are practiced (if not condoned) in both RC and Protestant circles. So in this argument Alexa, I think they are a bit of a red herring. Sins yes, but not purely protestant sins, or only tolerated or even blessed by the protestant churches.

    No, not purely protestant or Catholic sins. Sins nonetheless – and yes, there are some Protestant churches that say that homosexuality is OK, and abortion is OK and that divorce is OK, etc. Yep. There are. There are sinners in the Catholic church that DO all those things, as in any church, but the RC church says plainly it IS WRONG.

  13. ukok says:

    I see that I have quite a few comments to respond to, but it’s midnight here in England and I’m shattered, so please forgive me if I respond further tomorrow and sign off for the night.

    Before I go, I would, however, like to address Lorna’s comments….

    Lorna,

    Oh Lorna, so many points to address…you always keep it interesting around here 🙂

    I notice that you’ve written 2 comments that in themselves deserve considerable attention, so I’ll try to combine my responses and address both comments in one or I’ll likely get awfully bloomin’ confused!

    Regarding the first comment then.

    Nope, I’m no apologist. I have little interest in apologetics. I’m not clever enough, I’m too forgetful and I think you have to really have a bit of rottweiler in your blood too… when I speak of defending the faith, I suppose I mean more so, that I’m interested in correcting error when I see it or read it. I think the Catholic Church in particular is much misunderstood by non-Catholics and where possible I like todo my best to balance it out, even if it doesn’t alter anyones opinions or beliefs 🙂

    Y’know, memes have their place and I’m not going to belittle them, but of late my blog had become clogged somewhat with them and I felt moved to write the last couple of serious posts in response to questions and comments that had been put to me. It isn’t something that will be a daily occurence, it’s at the most, a once a week thing. Eventually I’m sure I’ll run out of serious stuff to write anyway. I’m just not that knowledgeable. Nor am I consistant 🙂

    I find your ‘stumbling blocks’ to Catholicism absolutely fascinating 🙂 Since you refer specifically to Mariology and Purgatory and not to the Real Presence, Sacramental Confession, the Papacy, etc, I find that really, very, very interesting indeed.

    I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to my brain to bring either of those subjects (your stumbling blocks) into this thread to any great extent, but I think they’d be excellent topics for blog posts at some point and I’d like to hear your thoughts on them, should I post about them.

    Begs the question though, what teachings of the Catholic Church ‘do’ you accept?

    With regard to the creeds, I concurr that the Nicene Creed was in fact built on the Apostles Creed and was a necessary expansion of the Apostles Creed due to 4th Century Christian heresy and the need to clarify the Churches beliefs and teachings. I wouldn’t be surprised if a great many protestants affirmed the Apostles Creed specifically.

    Regarding your second comment :

    I believe that it is indeed presumptuous to believe that we are saved by faith alone. If we are saved at all then it is by grace alone. We can have the hope of attaining our heavenly reward, but we can not *know* it. OSAS (once saved always saved) is yet another topic for another day….hey, but what a catologue of posts I will have written if I write on all these subjects heh 😉

    You suggest, my dear friend, that Catholics get ‘caught up’ in praying to saints and indulgences when nothing could be further from the truth. For many of us, we wouldn’t know what an indulgence was if it bit us on the behind! As for the Saints, you yourself have claimed St. Peter as your hero, in a past comments. You perhaps aspire to be like him, you perhaps have things in common with him (traits, failings etc), veneration of the saints is simply that we can have a rapport with a Saint and ask them (because they are in heaven), to pray for us, to intercede for us. We don’t worship the saints, we worship God alone. In what way do you think we get ‘caught up’ with the Sainits?’

    Once again, I must respond to your reference to corruption in the Catholic church and it’s leading to the reformation – this viewpoint is erroneous. I think that if you do a little research you will find that Catholic reform began long before Luther nailed his bit of paper to any door.

    You write about ‘cheap grace’, and I think I understand you but it leaves me with the question, are those who get by on ‘cheap grace’ going to heaven? Can they too know that they are saved?

    Now, about your aunt…Your Catholic aunt sounds fascinating, Lorna, though it sounds as though she may be in need of a change of Confessor or a Spiritual Director if in your opinion she comes out as sinful as she went in the confessional.. but wait, how you can know the state of her soul and that she does not indeavour to reject sin?

    Though the point of confession may be to assist – through an outpouring of God’s grace – in leading a life to holiness, we as individuals have to choose to co-operate with that grace. We can be genuinely repentant and contrite, we can be certain that we fully intend to mend our ways and sin no more, and thus we can be absolved, but we must say yes to grace to have it work to it’s maximum potential and we each make decisions as to whether or not to do so on a minute by minute basis.

    It’s an old spear to throw at the Catholic Church, that the catholic comes out of confesison and sins repeatedly knowing that he or she can confess again…. I seem to recall Jesus asked us not to throw stones, didn’t he?

    Do you then expect that for a church to be true, partaking of the sacrament of Reconciliation to have some magical means of altering a person from the sinner that went in the confessional, even against their will? Even when they fail to cooperate with God’s grace?

    Lorna, I would have thought that even you, a non-Catholic, would have seen that it is your aunt’s willingness to confess that is most important in your account of her.

    Ah, now you surprise me in your comment about heavenly rewards. You believe that there will be a grade system whereby good girl scout types get ‘more of a heavenly reward’ than those who don’t help the elderly across busy roads? You get what I mean, though I jest a little. You really believe that? Okay, then answer me this, what sins, relagate a person to hell and which are permissable and allow entry into heaven? Is there a sliding scale perhaps?

    It makes no more sense to me than ‘my’ Purgatory makes to you. In fact, I can’t see how purgatory doesn’t make sense rather than a system in heaven that rewards and denies.

    Scripture in fact tells us that we have to be clean and free of sin to enter heaven….do you really believe that you are able to make that claim about yourself?

    Revelations 21:27

    “but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

    When will you be purified and be made clean for heaven, may I ask?

    Let me get the next part right, d’you seem to be comparing the Catholic Church to the way that Christ viewed the Pharisees? Lorna, I’m dissapointed if this is truly what you say. In what way is the Church to be likened to the pharisees?

    About the bible comment…the canon of the bible, as you will be aware, was not even formed until the first 2-300 years after Christ. It was, you will also recall, a Catholic, the Pope at the Council of Rome in 382 who decreed that there were indeed 73 and NOT 66 books. Since no canon of scripture previously existed I’m not sure how you claim that there were ‘extras’ added.

    This was sufficient for the Catholic Church and remains so today. Luther threw out the ‘7’ books of the bible that are now missing from your protestant bible. These were books that were accepted by the whole church as divinely inspired until only 500 years or so ago. I believe he also wanted to get rid of Revelations at one point…left up to him there really wouldn’t be an awful lot left of your protestant bible would there, Lorna?

    Pax

  14. I heard Marcus Grodi speak about his conversion. He said he remembers going to a basketball camp with kids from all different churches and thinking, “We can’t all be right”.

    The Catholic Church is the *only* Church that has not bent to societal pressures to change its stance on abortion, birth control, divorce..etc. All the Church’s teachings are biblically based.

    As for the comment about Jesus being symbolically the Lamb of God because he lacks hooves and therefore the Eucharist is only bread and wine but symbolic of his body and blood; that is incorrect. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were offered in atonement for sin. A lamb, perfect and unblemished, was used for Passover. Jesus, perfect and unblemished was sacrificed for the sins of all. His body and blood were offered up literally. He offers it to us so He will be ‘with us until the end’. The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

  15. Holly says:

    My point was that Jesus as the lamb of God is figurative language, it is not literal. Yes, we all know that the meaning is that Jesus is the unblemished sacrifice. But we make that connection because we understand the use of metaphor.
    I think the language of the Bible respects us enough to use figurative language to make a point.

  16. Leo says:

    What a fine post, and some very intellegent thought processes involved. Which, also, I have one on the topic, posted recently, One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism:
    http://vitwilderness.blogspot.com/2007/06/one-lord-one-faith-one-baptism.html

  17. ukok says:

    Suzanne, Alex, Esther and Rob,
    thanks for your support and wisdom in this thread. It’s always good to have your input 🙂

    Elmantheman,
    Thanks for stopping by. You have a fascinating blog and I applaud you for your stand against living an activily homosexual lifestyle. God Bless you for that!
    Now, to your comment;
    In response to your question… ‘is there a word like ‘catholic church’ in the bible?

    Let me ask you this, is the word ‘Bible’ in the bible?

    In response to another point of yours;

    You are quite right that the church is universal, I’ve never denied it. It is open to everyone, though not everyone wants to be a part of it.

    Most protestants accept that protestantism had it’s beginning in the protestant reformation, in other words, that there was one church from the very beginning, that Christ founded, and that it was Catholic (and still is). And that until the 16th Century there had been no mainstream protest or revolt against the Church. Do you not agree with your fellow protestant brethren then ?

    You claim that no Catholic Church existed or is evident in scripture…. against a wealth of scriptural evidence to the contrary I might add…. so let me also ask you this,

    what exactly is the historicity of your church?

  18. ukok says:

    Child of Mary,
    Excellent points and contribution to the thread and I thank you for taking the time to make them.

    Holly,

    Firstly let me say that I was thinking of you only the other day and wondering if you’d find your way here. Glad you did 🙂
    Now then, you’re playing with us aren’t you? Cloven hooves and all that!

    Okay, presuming that you are serious I’ll respond this way;

    Answer me this Holly, why, if the Eucharist is symbolic, does Paul say in his letter to the Corinthians;
    ” Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor. 11:27
    and

    “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment 14 on himself” 1 Cor. 11:29 ;

    What is this judgement of which Paul speaks? If the Eucharist is symbolic, surely there would be no judgement for partaking of it unworthily?

  19. ukok says:

    Leo,

    thank you. I don’t know about the ‘intelligent thought processes’ bit, but I appreciate your comment 🙂

  20. Lorna says:

    they didn’t get caught up in praying to saints, indulgences, etc which was really the basic reason for the start of the reformation – is what I said.

    I don’t mean that RC today believe in indulgences – (though paying for masses for the souls of the dead is linked to this (and your belief in purgatory)) and correct me (again) if I’m wrong but wouldn’t you pray TO St Anthony (or anyone else) for help in something … now I have a problem with that … cos I don’t believe in saints in the same way as you do. I don’t pray to any dead people to intercede for me. Jesus does it – and I also ask for earthly help from people like you. I can’t seen any biblical foundation for getting the help of dead people (or actually eternal spirits – who are busy worshipping God in heaven) to pray for me or my loved ones. I mean why not just ask Jesus himself since He promised to be there interceding for us!

    For the record

    -I don’t have a problem with confession. My church professes only 2 sacraments (on the grounds that those two were instituted by Jesus himself – ie Eucharist and Baptism) but I think more along sacramental lines – so probably could come up with a lot more than 7.

    – I don’t have a problem with the papacy per se – I think esp the late Pope John Paul II was an awesome leader of the RC church and a holy man.

    Peter the disciple is one of my role models … you remembered right – but I’m not sure that the pope is his successor per se (and in any case is not him 🙂

    I know that Jesus said You are Peter and on this rock (Peter) I will build my church – but I understand that to mean that Peter (along with James in Jerusalem and John and Paul in particular) would build the faith system which developed into Christian churches. (not denominations but ones in different geographical areas).

    Also in the history of the RC there were at one time several popes and the split of the RC and OC in 1054 was also linked to the power of the pope. So I have questions there too.

    I also don’t believe the Pope is infallible – though the system you have help him to make good and wise choices and that is important. I do think it’s important to have good holy spiritual leaders – but I also believe in the priesthood of all believers and that means that for me, I believe that God speaks primarily to us directly and through His word – not though priests.

    ….

    and there’s more

    the Bible is not mentioned in the OT or NT but scripture is. Since Bible isn’t a Hebrew or Greek word … it’s not surprising 🙂

    and the lamb comment.
    Jesus was never a sheep or a lamb. He took the place of the sacrificial lamb .. and is known as the lamb of God – the perfect sacrifice Just in the same way as God is known as a shepherd but never worked in the fields doing that for a salary …

    ” The Catholic Church is the *only* Church that has not bent to societal pressures to change its stance on abortion, birth control, divorce..etc. All the Church’s teachings are biblically based. ” ERM no … it’s never that straight forward and in earlier times there were annulments given by the pope on spurious grounds so that people could re-marry. (Henry VIII’s first marriage for example) and more recently the shocking (to me) re-marriage of the man who had his wife legally murdered. ho hum.

    and the Bible.
    Luther was against the Epistle of James. He didn’t like it one bit. Funny that, it’s one of my favourite books of the NT … and I don’t find it in conflict with Paul but as another side of the same question.

    I think you’ll find it was always questionable as to whether the Greek OT was to be included or not throughout the canonisation. Those books in question are not part of the Hebrew Bible (and not recognised by Jews) … and were written primarily (if not totally) during the post exilic so called inter-testamental period. They are interesting but not part of our canon because they are not part of the Jewish scriptural heritage per se. (and they were debated long and hard long before the reformation with many changes made to the canon over the years.

    As for Revelation: it has never been thrown out – though there are always questions of how on earth to interpret and apply it because it is a prophetic book (as is Daniel)

    ’nuff for now I think 🙂

    oh and Deb you would make a great apologist – because you ask and more importantly answer questions. We are defending our faith – but not in an arrogant way – as I said to me – in the end – it always comes back to the authority of the bible. For me it’s supreme (and yes there are questions of interpretation because not all of it it 100% literal) whereas for you – I think (correct me if I’m wrong) – you hold the teaching of the church Fathers (tradition) as dear as the Bible.

    But the main thing I meant to answer was your opening comment

    “Is there such a thing as One True Church?

    Protestants dismiss the idea,”

    Of course protestants don’t dismiss the idea!!! We see it differently 🙂 … and I at least do not accept that the RC church is the “one true church” For me it’s part of the church – a significant, and important part -but only a part – because for better or worse the diversity of faith was not able to be contained under one label – and so the one true church, of which Jesus is the head – was divided – or spread out … and now is like a lot of siblings – each different, each beautiful, each with similarities and differences, but each unique. And blessed by God because Jesus said He would build it.

    We are called to be one. But it will take great humility on all our sides and a willingness for the diversity itself for the church catholic to be reunited.

    no need for pax I love you sister and yeah we’ll meet in heaven 🙂

  21. Holly says:

    ukok,
    Those passages cause no conflicts for me. Just because something is symbolic, it doesn’t make it worthless. In a way it becomes more meaningful to my mind.
    I help to prepare the Eucharist at my church, and it treat it with respect and the utmost care, not because I am thinking I am handling the flesh and blood, but to show respect to the ritual which reminds us on a weekly basis about the death of Christ.

    Maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised in religion, but I just can’t understand all the fussing (in a general sense, things have been civil here). If Catholicism works for you, and makes you feel as if you are doing the right thing in your relationship with Christ, then great. Whatever floats your boat. But the world would be a much friendlier place if people stopped trying to push their religion as the One True Faith.
    (And I can imagine you will reply back with saying that it may be friendlier, but it will be full of lost souls destined for Hell, and I don’t really have an answer for that. All I know is there has to be a better way than what we have now, and a Catholic’s vision of a Catholic world is unrealistic, just as a Muslim world, Jewish world, or Scientologist world isn’t going to happen. I would rather accept that we all have our own truths, and God is working through all of us.)

  22. This is a great discussion! Thanks for getting it going for us!

  23. Suzanne says:

    It is a shame that many of us don’t have the same amount of time to sit and go through this discussion comment by comment…oh, how I wish I could.
    I suggest further reading by many involved…that is if they are willing to challenge themselves! A couple of books that will do this are Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn, Prodigal Daughters by Donna Steichen…one of the best I’ve read…listing of many women in our time who have come full circle with many different stories full to the brim of examples and truths.

    There are a couple of other wonderful authors who have been through major conversions Karl Keating, Mark Shea, Dr. Mark Miravalle, Joseph Cavanaugh…
    Scott Hahn is one of the most amazing and fact filled truths writers. He is one of the best I’ve studied, because as a former minister, he felt he knew Holy Scripture and he did, yet he found some truths that revealed some great mysteries! He can be downright breathtaking!

    God has allowed things to be interesting…He knows His children all too well! 🙂 God bless and be with us all!

  24. Lorna says:

    (completely off topic… but why don’t I have a picture by my name? Deb if you can dadvise me how to do that 🙂 I’d be grateful )

    Holly, I undestand where you are coming from. the trouble is that we are talking about eternal salvation. People are free to believe whatever they want – but what they choose to believe now affects them forever.

    I do NOT subscribe to the fact that only protestants / catholics go to heaven … or the teaching that you have to do x, y or z to get there is an anathema to me…. (what’s more I think there will some suprises for us when we get to heaven – though I don’t think it’ll be a floating gin palace type social gathering either – we’ll be flat on our faces in awe of the glory of God!) … but I do take the Bible literally when it says that Jesus (faith in Him as Lord and Saviour) is the only way to salvation. That isn’t popular in postmodern tolerant society but all the same I believe it to be the truth – there are eternal consequences for rejecting Jesus.

    Deb is right to raise these questions (though I’m glad it’s civil around here) because they are not only interesting they are important. But I like what you said about symbolism because they do help us understand and remember – I think that’s also why Jesus spoke in parables – the trouble is that we aren’t in the same environment and society now so sometimes they are particularly hard to understand.

    At the Last Supper He picked up bread …a loaf of quite ordinary unleavened bread … and a cup of whatever wine was usual in that day … and he said whenever you eat these and drink these remember me. In the early days the followers ate and drank together – they met for prayer – they took care of each other … I think it’s far from what we now call the Eucharist / Holy Communion. (It doesnt’ make it wrong – it’s just an observation)

    I don’t believe it is His body or blood. I think it remains bread and wine – blessed but still bread and wine – and I think for me it’s a meeting spirit to spirit with God and a kind of – what can I call it – time of refilling? connection point – so I can focus on Jesus, the cross, and what he did for me – why salvation is so important – so I can go out and really be a Christian a disciple and spread the good news.

    The Eucharist is very sacred to me … but I see it differently to Deb … I guess for me it’s a time of re-commissioning.
    That said I respect your and any one’s right to believe what you choose (I just don’t agree with you)

  25. Suzanne says:

    Lorna…
    Jesus said …..”THIS IS MY BODY”…”THIS IS MY BLOOD”. I find it very odd that Christ used the word
    “IS” if He didn’t mean it and I always will and in this way, I just don’t agree with what you have come up with.
    I refuse to believe that Jesus ever meant to cause such
    confusion and controversy. I think some don’t want the Eucharist to be His Body or His Blood, because that means that if we receive Him in this true and profound way, that we are meant to also live and act and be willing to sacrifice alot and forever until we are with the Lord. I think that is what the bottom line is…it is about FEAR. Fear is not of
    God. I do not mean to imply that I am never fearful, because even as a Catholic, I have my times yet this Eucharist is the absolute greatest gift of grace Our Lord gives us and that of the Holy Spirit which helps us to believe and to follow and to hope forever and always…the Eucharist is the center of our Faith and I am so thankful for Him in this Gift of all gifts! Everytime Jesus is offered to me something takes place in my heart at that moment that I can no more explain to you or anyone else, for that matter. It is the ultimate of Grace poured out still to this day and will be until the end of time. Eucharist means
    Thanksgiving.
    Dear Lord,
    Help us…help us to know You, love You, and serve You . Bless us all and we know Your mercy endures forever for those with the desire to follow You the way that You would have it. Amen

  26. Steve says:

    Deb,
    Great discussion, as always. I find myself pretty squarely in the Protestant camp, having come out of catholicism at an early age. The RC church has come a long way since the Reformation, but still clings to what I see as outdated dogma that adds to Scripture. Sola scriptura still works.

    I firmly believe the Nicene Creed and believe in the one holy catholic (small ‘c’) and apostolic church. I don’t necessarily have an issue with denominations, though they can be divisive. God takes us where we are – some are called to liturgical style of worship, as in the Catholic, Anglican or even Lutheran tradition, some to a more open style.

    At the root is our understanding of who Christ is and what He did for us. All else is secondary. I think all of Scripture can be boiled down to Christ’s question to Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, in that case, got it right. We can wrangle over other issues, but that’s the core.

    I’ve heard some harsh “My way or the highway” words between believers in this forum and others, and that saddens me. Man’s dogma, whether it’s style of communion, age of the earth, worship of Mary or whatever, is Satan’s joy.

  27. Suzanne says:

    Steve,
    It is Satan’s joy if we don’t stand up for the fullness of the Truth and back down. We must not be weak in standing up for what we believe or will water down like Protestantism has done. No one said it would be easy
    and the cross surely wasn’t.

  28. Steve says:

    We must not be weak in standing up for what we believe or will water down like Protestantism has done.

    Zing, pow. Smash those nasty protestors!

  29. Lorna says:

    Steve, to be fair that is exactly what liberal scholars (both sides of the great divide!) try to do ….

    but ironically it was the despair the reformers felt as they saw the church becoming increasingly ritualistic and removed from ordinary people (Latin mass mumbled as fast as possible so more masses for the souls could be squeezed in, no preaching, no reading of the scriptures in the vernacular and actual no Bible in the local languages at all) that pushed for reform WITHIN the church (like a renewal movement) when that failed – the protestant movement was formed – and it was a movement more towards God (sola scriptura, sola fidai etc) rather than against the church per se – though indeed it was a protest against some of the practices going on in the church at that time … (indulgences being the one that perhaps broke the camel’s back) … and which the RC themselves have since renounced.

    what you said in comment 26 though Steve was well put and is beautiful 🙂 As Christians surely we can all affirm that You Jesus are the Messiah, the Holy One of God – and in my opinion it is that which pleases God 🙂

    Suzanne, you said

    “I think some don’t want the Eucharist to be His Body or His Blood, because that means that if we receive Him in this true and profound way, that we are meant to also live and act and be willing to sacrifice alot and forever until we are with the Lord. I think that is what the bottom line is…it is about FEAR.”

    With all due respect, here I think you totally misunderstand what is it that makes most Protestants tick. It’s our desire to be close to God and to really be a disciple of Jesus – for it to be seen in our every day behaviour (how we treat each other on this forum, in the supermarket, when we are driving behind a seemingly inconsiderate driver, when our spouse or kids speaks unkindly to us or someone else etc) … how we view the Eucharist (as bread /wine or flesh and blood) does not affect our willingness to live and act and be willing to sacrifice a lot and be true Christians.

    blessings,

  30. Warren says:

    Just a few days ago I got into a discussion on Facebook, with a protestant woman, age 20-something, who likes G.K. Chesterton, as a writer, but thinks he’s in hell at this moment.

    Why? Because he has a different view (as a Catholic) than she does, of where and how salvation will happen.

    To her, “being saved by faith” means, “being saved by believing in the ideas that I was told to believe in, and not believing in any of the ideas that are so bad, so wrong, and so evil, that believing in them will cause you to go to hell”. Such as being catholic, in her opinion. In her view, Catholicism is a “works based salvation”.

    How is there any unity? Denomination is a kind word, and perhaps it’s fine to compare Baptists to Christian Missionary Alliance, and say, “we’re only a little bit different, sect and cult are not applicable, we’re just different denominations”.

    The thing is, that the Catholic Church really is quite a lot different. It has, in its own view, a claim to the title “Catholic” (one, for all the world) church.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why I am catholic now, whereas I was raised to think Catholics were not even christians. So by my own (earlier) logic, I am now going to Hell. So much for Unity.

    Warren

  31. Lorna says:

    well Warren … there are some people who do think like her (and we bless them anyway) but I think she is wrong because the Bible says we are saved by faith alone.

    I never quite know what to make of infant baptism – or those who only go through the motions of church for the sake of it (both sides of the reformational fence!) but I do believe that there will be Jesus lovers of many denominations in heaven. So see you there 🙂

  32. Suzanne says:

    Lorna,
    I didn’t say you didn’t believe in sacrifice and being a good person. I never said that…what I mean is that it seems very possible that many people who say they don’t believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, may not out of fear…down deep. Think about it…if (and I believe it is) the bread and wine can be miraculously transformed through Transubstantiation to be the true complete Body and Blood of our Lord, what does that say to us who walk up to receive this Gift? It is an awesome responsibility…that is what it says…and its not to be taken lightly and that along with this Gift of Grace we must be willing to give more and more because we have this Gift now..within us! It is huge!
    As a Catholic, I also hope to be in life just as you describe and I feel believe Christ left this Eucharist to help us to carry that out and perhaps things besides.
    Believing that He left this Sacrament for us helps me to remember what all He did for me for otherwise, I would be extremely weak. How can I not receive Him and not long to try more to please Him.

    Well, Steve, you do choose to protest……. why..I’m not sure. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever see the point of protesting the Eucharist. 🙂

  33. Lorna says:

    Suzanne 🙂

    Think about it…if (and I believe it is) the bread and wine can be miraculously transformed through Transubstantiation to be the true complete Body and Blood of our Lord, what does that say to us who walk up to receive this Gift?

    This is how I feel about the HOLY SPIRIT. Do I deserve it? no Am I worthy ? no. Do I accept it lightly . Absolutely not – but that gift enables me to live out my faith day in day out – the Spirit of God lives in me – and you – and that’s as holy and as awesome as it gets 🙂

    As for pleasing God. You know what pleases Him most? It’s our spending time with Him – (that can be in a myriad of ways -reading the Bible, worshipping, listening to him in prayer – talking with him in prayer … and yes in the worship service (themass as you call it) too … don’t you love that?

    blessings

  34. ukok says:

    Holly,
    I’m not trying to change your mind. That isn’t my job. I believe you are in error, but that won’t cause you any concern, I know.
    As for your hell comment, well, I would NEVER say that hell will be full of non Catholics. No one can know the state of anyones soul at the point of death and we entrust all souls to the Mercy of God and pray in earnest for them.
    I’m not in disagreement with your last comment. My argument on that score is not that there is no way of knowing Jesus outside the Catholic Church, but that the fullness of truth lies only within the Catholic Church because it alone has been entrusted with the Deposit of Faith.
    Lorna,
    I don’t know why you haven’t got an image next to your name. It could be that you haven’t uploaded one. If you go into your profile you should be able to upload a pic and resize it to be used in all your wordpress comments 🙂
    Good point to Holly about what we believe now affecting our eternal lives. That’s why it’s crucially important to know what we believe in and why we believe it. Not to be aloof about faith, like it’s no more important than any other social gathering or a trip to the supermarket.
    Now Lorna, you do have some dodgy ideas about what Catholics believe. I’ve a good mind to ship my copy of Catholicism for Dummies to Finland for you, but I don’t know if you’d read it and I can’t afford to send it if you won’t!
    (Don’t be offended by the ‘dummies’ bit on the end – it’s the name of the book).
    Okay, firstly, I DONT believe that only Catholics, or non Catholic Christians go to heaven. where on earth do you get this idea from?
    The Catholic Church DOESN’T say that you have to do X,Y and Z to get to heaven, once again….where do you get these ideas from?
    Despite your observations about the Last Supper and the way in which we celebrate the Eucharist, I would say that we are still at table with the Lord. We are still sharing that same unleavened bread that has become for us His Flesh, still drinking the wine that has become for us His Precious Blood.
    We who are Catholic, when at Mass, are present at the Last Supper each time the Mass is celebrated. Christ’s once and for all sacrifice is not offered again and again and again. It is re – presented to God. Not resacrificed, not a representation, but a re-presentation.
    Steve,
    I disagree that Sola Scriptura works, it so obviously does not. But that’s the topic of another post 😉
    I don’t recall anyone saying ‘my way or the highway’ here, but I’ve come across that attitude from all faiths, over the years that I’ve engaged with others online. I don’t believe that all non Catholics are whisked off to hell as soon as their last breath is breathed. I apologise if you felt that I believed this was the case. There’s a huge difference in not knowing/not being able to accept that the Catholic Church is the Church that Christ founded and of which we should all be members…..and in knowing it and denying it for reasons of pride, convenience, lack of fortitude etc.
    For example, here’s a (possibly) hypothetical for you…. an Anglican Reverend who does not accept the ordination of women in the Church of England and who believes in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in the Catholic Church….but who will NOT at this time convert, because it would be too much of an upheavel for his family….This is a case of having full knowledge;, but of not doing anything about it because the person puts their own circumstances before trusting in God to provide for their needs.
    Warren,
    thanks for your thoughts, I hope that the conversation with the young woman ends without bitterness and anger, as so oft such discussions do 🙂
    Lorna,
    Why wouldn’t the Lord give us himself to nourish our very souls and sustain us on our journey to heaven? You say to Warren, ‘think about it’ as if he’s just got up one morning and decided to become Catholic.
    The Eucharist LED me to the Catholic Church. I prayed and prayed, not from my mind but from my very heart (in tears, and in more tears) and God revealed to me that I was not receiving Him in the Anglican Church and showed me where he could be found.
    You make some really good points in your closing comment, we are to live out our faith in all the ways that you describe, but in others of which, sadly (in my opinion, because i know what a great gift these are) you are unable to participate in, ie; receiving Sacraments such as the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
    Thanks for your thoughts all, Gotta go to bed know.
    Be Blessed!

    P.S I’ll do my best to respond to as much as I can, but please my fellow Catholics, feel free to prayerfully and considerately post in reponse to questions and statements from our non Catholic friends, in my absence

  35. “we all have our own truths”.. that is an incorrect statement. Truth is not fluid. It is unwavering and unchanging, like the Church. Opinions change, certainly. We (the various religions) cannot all be right in our beliefs and opinions.

    As to the Church granting divorces, not true. Henry the 8th wanted an annulment which he was not grant. He broke with Rome and the Anglican Church was born. Annulments are granted after lengthy and arduous study to verify that the marriage was not valid sacramentally. There probably have been annulments which have been granted in error. Human error. Not God’s error.

    Catholics do not worship Mary or the saints. Worship is for God alone. We make ask for the prayers and assistance of the saints in an intercessory way but it is always with a mind that any prayer answered is answered by God. The saints bodies may be dead, but their souls are very much alive.

  36. Steve says:

    CoM,

    Truth is not fluid. It is unwavering and unchanging, like the Church.

    Boy, you are so close. I fully agree with your statement, up until the comma. ‘The Church’ is man’s attempt to reach God, and is no more infallible than, say, Scooby Doo. The catholic church is probably a little less flexible in their doctrine than the Mormon church, but it still tailors its teachings to society. Remember Vatican II? Dispensations? The Inquisition? I don’t say this to poke fingers, but to suggest that the ‘catholic church’ described in the Nicene Creed is best rendered as the universal set of believers.

    Any other understanding of the term is going to lead the wrong direction.

  37. Steve says:

    Oops. There should have been a close tag after ‘like the Church.’

  38. There is no inconsistancy there. The dogma of the Church has not changed. The stance of the church on moral issues such as birth control, abortion, divorce, homosexuality, morality.. has not changed. There are certain teachings that Catholics are *required* to believe. Those teachings have not changed.

  39. Steve,
    also, about Vatican II… here’s a link to another blog Dymphna’s Well. She recently posted about Myths of Vatican II. She says it better than I ever could.
    http://dymphnaswell.blogspot.com/2007/06/myths-of-vatican-ii.html

  40. Steve says:

    I remember (barely) the mass before and after V-II. It wasn’t the same critter. The last few popes (J2P2 and Benedict, I think) have back away from the infallible decisions of Vatican II. I’m not critiquing that, because churches – catholic and otherwise) have always changed with the times, to some degree.

    When I was in catholic grade school, we were not taught the Bible “because that was for the priests.” That’s the same thinking that got Martin Luther so ticked off and thinking that maybe it was a good idea for the common folk to read Scripture. Luther went a little overboard in some areas. He called the catholic church of his day the AntiChrist. (Reading Revelation tells me that at some point in the future the A-C will either come from or take up residence in the catholic church. That’s not a slam, just a reading of John’s vision of the Last Days.) But Luther was dead on track about the abuses of catholicism, many ordained by the popes, that were later changed.

  41. Steve says:

    We could go on with a list of things within the catholic church that I don’t believe are Scriptural, but the important thing, in my mind, are the core issues on which we do agree, such as those spelled out in the Nicene Creed. (Though, as mentioned above, I read ‘catholic’ as being the universal church, rather than the Catholic Church.)

  42. Lorna says:

    erm Deb

    1. I don’t think I said that I thought that you believed that non-catholics go to hell. If I did (or implied it) then I’m sorry because I don’t believe that of you at all – and so often our correspondence has ended in … see you in heaven 🙂 and I mean it.

    (some RCs and some protestants might think differently – but on this we do agree. )

    2. I probably do have some misunderstandings of the RC faith. That’s why I like to discuss with you. As my friend Maria says “you learn something new everyday” … engaging here is one place of learning – not necessarily absolute truths, but how you and some of your RC friends (and others who are not RC who visit here) think. I really value that.

    3. re the hypothetical rev in the CofE. Many anglo-catholics do, as I understand it anyway, believe in the real presence. when in Australia I went to a very catholic Anglican church – they used exactly the same rite as in the RC church and bells and insense. The priest faced the altar not the people. It was almost pre vatican II mass but in English not Latin.

    My point though is (from what you’ve said and I’m not judging him) is that the CofE don’t have a problem with a wide range of understanding of the Eucharist – and don’t revoke his ordination for that. As for he question of women in ordination (open a new thread for that if you will ) but your priest converted for that very reason – does he now think that every mass he celebrated prior to that was invalid?

    4. Re confession. I might be wrong in this but I think that a RC priest would hear my confession and grant absolution even knowing that I wasn’t RC. I do know that I have been but whether he was aware that I wasn’t RC I cannot be sure -but we talked about my church so I think it was clear. It might also be a case of putting ministry before theology. (The priest we have here is Jesuit -very nice – but he of course is much much stricter in how things are done. Again in some anglo catholic churches they do practice the rite of confession (and even have those little confessional boxes) and one lovely thing in Hki cathedral (Lutheran) is that there they hear confessions too and give counsel – also to visitors! Although as you know most protestant churches practice the confession to God and receiving the absolution directly. That works too – but I think that confessing it directly to someone is biblical and also makes you more accountable.

    As for your book RC for dummies (and I know the title from other books) … it would cost you too much to send it though I would read it to check things so it wouldn’t just gather dust on the shelf here 🙂 books very rarely do here 🙂

    I also want to say that there is a danger in the world today that we become so tolerant that we water down our faith. I think that is the biggest danger of postmodernism. I do not agree with Prince Charles that all faiths are equal – and while he might be comfortable in becoming the defender of faiths (i.e. you can believe what you like) for me that is to deny Christianity – to deny what Jesus did on the cross for you and for me.

    But I do see the church catholic in a much wider way that you. I would willing shared the Eucharist with you – baptise your babies – hear your confessions – because deep down just as I believe there is only one faith, one baptism one Lord – and there is one church – that both you and I belong to. It doesn’t have a denominational title because it belongs to God – Jesus is the head – and the HS is poured out onto the priesthood of believers – that’s you and me – so that we can go out with joy, with compassion, with love and share the good news of salvation and eternal life and say “you can have this too” …

    🙂

  43. Suzanne says:

    Lorna, Yes, we can have this too, so why be afraid of the Eucharist…please don’t say you aren’t…you and Steve both are for whatever reason..I mean be afraid to believe. Steve would do well to get over his past and see the way he is choosing to be unforgiving. All kinds of people say that we weren’t suppose to mess with the Bible on our own…well, that isn’t the way today…noone tells me not to read and study Holy Scripture. So, really, I guess what I am trying to say, is that if we say we love the Lord so much…what is all the fretting about and don’t say it isn’t…or maybe some just thrive on fretting.

    Sincerely, I posted in the comment box quite a ways up and I listed several authors and I’ve been really interested to know why no one wants to comment on further study…because unless you read some of these works, you cannot say you’ve heard it all and made your final decision..that’s all I’m saying…
    God bless

    I am going on a retreat this weekend. I’ll sure be praying for all of us as I treasure the Eucharist.

    Oh, ps…Lorna…I am glad you feel the way that you do about the Holy Spirit…so still what is there not to love about the Holy Eucharist…the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity? 🙂

    Blessings!

  44. Lorna says:

    Suzanne, now I do take exception to what you wrote!

    I do not fear the Eucharist in any way. And what I do believe might actually surprise you 🙂 This discussion was about the church – and in that area my only fear is that we continue to grieve God by failing to see that we are one church, one faith, one baptism and one Lord! It is very very unfortunate that the RC was in the state it was in the Mid middle ages – and had IMHO gone far from what Jesus and the apostles’ first built, that the reformation needed to take place at all. (and I’d be the first to admit that not all that happened because of the Reformation was good!)

    In Vatican II the RC did a lot to reform their/your church – again not all RCs liked that – but IMHO the changes were good and very much needed … and I do wonder if the RC church had been open for reform back in the 1500s if the reformation would even have happened.

    As for the Eucharist – I love Jesus – but to me He is more than the Eucharist (if that makes sense?). He paved the way for you and me – and even today continues to intercede for us.

    I noted your book list with interest. I haven’t read them – and haven’t even ordered them. If you looked at the booklist I should buy for seminary and then at my bank balance you might understand why they aren’t the biggest priority right now, but do understand I have quite a lot of books written by good RC theologians and churchmen – and since the Eucharist was the subject of my thesis especially in that area.

    I have however read a lot about it. I’ve talked to a lot of very different people here in Finland (clergy and lay, including RC and OC as well as protestants) and well, at the end of the day it is a faith question – do we believe the bread and wine are transformed into flesh and blood and if so /if not how does that affect how we relate to Jesus and the Church and each other?

    Personally I do not believe that whether we believe that the elements are transformed or not affects our salvation – what I do think is important is that we celebrate the Eucharist often (possibly in many different ways) because Jesus told us to remember what He did – and celebrate the victory He won for us!

    But the topic of this thread wasn’t the Eucharist (that was last week’s news!) it is the church.

    As I understand it you see that the RC is the only one true church, built on Peter who you see as the first Pope. I disagree.

    I see that any church or congregation or actually group of people who profess Jesus as Lord and who can stand by the Apostles’ creed as the church –

    for me it’s the people not the building, not the institution nor the leaders (lay or clergy) – and that is why I can say with all my heart that I truly believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

    But you and I understand that to mean different things. I think. Your one ness is only the RC (not many) … your catholic is with a capital C and for you apostolic is not about the original apostle’s teachings per se, but about apostolic succession – and from that comes church tradition (based also on the teachings of the early Church Fathers – who were not in agreement on everything btw -and successive popes!)

  45. Holly says:

    ‘I believe you are in error, but that won’t cause you any concern, I know.’

    You’re right: no concern at all. One of the gifts of impetuous youth 😛

    I have nothing more to add to the discussion, but I will look on with interest (and a little amusement).

  46. Steve says:

    Suzanne,
    so why be afraid of the Eucharist…please don’t say you aren’t…you and Steve both are for whatever reason..I mean be afraid to believe. Steve would do well to get over his past and see the way he is choosing to be unforgiving.

    I’m with Lorna on this one. There is no fear involved. I believe in what Scripture says about the Lord’s Supper and our call to commemorate Christ’s sacrifice through it. I have an incredible freedom to worship and participate and understand the relationship with Christ that I never had in the catholic church. Yes, I’m over my past, thankfully. I’m not bitter or angry or fearful, except for a lost and dying world that we are called to reach. And I’m happy for you, Suzanne, that you have a meaningful religious life.

    I think we’re going to be surprised at who we will meet in heaven. There are many Christian believers within the catholic church and I look forward to meeting them in glory.

  47. Steve says:

    I’m off to Scout camp with da boys for the next week, so please don’t think I’m ignoring you.

  48. Gordon says:

    Everyone seems to be starting their own denomination these days.
    So much so I decided to help them find names for them:

    http://www.hudson.nu/church_name_generator.html

  49. Holly says:

    If I started my own church, I would call it the Holy Church of the OMG.

  50. Warren says:

    Holly,

    I think “Holly Church of the OMG” (two L’s) has a nicer ring to it.

    Warren

  51. I’ve only been able to read about half of these comments, so forgive me if someone has already said this. How is it possible to believe in the authority of Scripture without the authority of the Church? Jesus did not hand us a complete Bible. It was only through the authority of the Church that the writings that make up the Bible came to be considered sacred Scripture. If authority does not rest in the Church, how can Scripture be considered authoritative? By what authority is it Scripture?

    Great post, Deb. I love these discussions….

  52. Holly says:

    I think you are to something, Warren. I could be like Bob, the leader of The Church of the SubGenius. Chocolate chip pancakes would become communion wafers, and pyjamas would be holy vestments.

  53. Steve says:

    How is it possible to believe in the authority of Scripture without the authority of the Church?

    If ‘church’ means the body of believers, specifically the pre-catholic church fathers, I’m somewhat okay with that. Formation of the canon of Scripture was an act of the Holy Spirit, not of a man-made bureaucracy. Are you placing the authority of the RC above the Holy Spirit? You’re on very dangerous ground there.

  54. Lorna says:

    Holly and Warren. I love it 🙂

    Rosemary – the Bible is the inspired word of God – the NT Gospels are based on the eye witness accounts of the apostles and other disciples – and was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As was the OT.

    There were many other letters and books which did not make it into the Bible (the so called Gospel of Thomas is one such book. It’s interesting but it’s not canonical because it did not meet the criteria to be included)

    And yes the church was responsible for deciding on which books went in and which books were rejected. It was not without controversy …. 2 Peter was disputed for a long time on the grounds of questions of authorship, and the council of Rome I believe didn’t accept / include 2 Corinthians in an early list. The canon was finalised in the council of Trent in 1545 (?) as a response to the Reformation – and Luther, who as we know erroneously wanted to remove Hebrews and James. (It didn’t happen!)

    The church did – and does – carry authority. It was given to US by Jesus. It includes the authority of the priesthood of beleivers (that’s you and me) to go out in His name, to bind and release spirits, to heal and even to raise the dead … (spiritually and also literally!) but the question of the authority of the church and the authority of the Bible are two different things.

    As a protestant I don’t put any letters between the church fathers on par with the letters of Paul which are included in the NT. Do you?

    I think that’s the crucial question.

  55. Lorna says:

    oh and in case we’re all taking OURSELVES too seriously watch this utube on religion and lighten up …

    http://sallysjourney.typepad.com/sallys_journey/2007/06/a-bit-of-irreve.html

  56. March Hare says:

    Wow! 55 comments already!

    Deb–those classes are really paying off. Your arguments (in the classical sense!) are clear and concise. The discussion following in the comments section (as far as I’ve read–about half) have been civil and well-thought out. I’m learning quite a bit!

    So, my two cents on what I’ve read so far…

    -Catholics do probably the WORST job of teaching the tenets of their faith to their own and to the rest of the world. Especially prior to VII, although (as I was in Catholic school at the time), we did have Bible Study along with the Baltimore Catechism. The theory behind the Q&A style of the BC is a subject for a post of its own.

    -On the subject of Popes in general: Paul repeatedly defers to Peter’s judgement in the Acts of the Apostles, as do the others. They bring questions and matters of interpretation to his attention all the time, much as the Jews bring such matters to their rabbis (and, as I understand it, Muslims bring questions to their mullahs). Why wouldn’t they continue that tradition after Peter’s death? In fact, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome and First Among Equals. The buck has to stop with someone; in the Catholic tradition it is the Pope.

    -We Catholics believe the Pope is selected through the grace of the Holy Spirit. IOW, we get the Pope we need, not necessarily the one we would prefer. IMHO, I think JPII and BXVI are excellent examples of this, as is JXXIII. I’ve always found PVI kind of a puzzle. But then, I was in high school and university–I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention then.

    -The Catholic Church has often been described as a church for “children and adults.” I’ve certainly found that to be the case. My young adult children retain only the most tenuous connection to the Church. I was a bit more active when I was their age, but certainly not as grounded nor as aware as I am now. Protestant churches seem to do a much better job keeping and attracting teens and young adults.

    -For many of us “cradle” Catholics, our Catholicism is as much cultural as it is spiritual. We don’t “feel” right unless we are married in Church and our children are baptized. That’s why Churches are packed during Christmas and Easter–going to Mass is as much part of the celebration as is having ham or goose or ravioli. Or pumpkin pie. Do members of Protestant denominations have the same cultural ties?

  57. Steve,

    “Formation of the canon of Scripture was an act of the Holy Spirit, not of a man-made bureaucracy. Are you placing the authority of the RC above the Holy Spirit? You’re on very dangerous ground there.”

    I completely agree that the formation of the canon of Scripture was an act of the Holy Spirit. Of course it was. How else could Scripture be inerrant? But the Holy Spirit was acting through the authority of the Church as given by Jesus Himself. “Whatever you shall bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven.” You must agree that the formation of the canon was done by the church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Do you think that the Holy Spirit inspired the church then, but not now? Was it only in the decision making regarding the canon of Scripture that the Holy Spirit was guiding?

    Lorna, no I don’t put them on the same par. The letters of Paul are part of the inerrant canon of Scripture. But I do believe that the Holy Spirit has guided the church through all of Christian history and continues to do so. Authority was given by Jesus to the church. Do you think that that authority ended with the formation of the canon of Scripture?

  58. Steve says:

    Rosemary,
    I fully believe that the Holy Spirit inspired believers then and now. It comes down to what you mean by ‘church’. As a Protestant (and former-catholic), I think the catholic church is a man-made thing, that can get in the way of the personal relationship with Christ. The canon of Scripture evolved about the same time that the catholic church did (second/third centuries), and yes, the RC had a hand in it.

    Steve

  59. ukok says:

    Well, I’m back, briefly, and after seeing the many comments in this post I was about to beat myself up for not getting back here and responding to comments sooner…especially those made by Lorna, Steve and Holly – (many thanks to you for your contribution to this thread, it’s always very interesting to have your input 🙂 )
    Anyway, no need for beating muself up about not getting back on track here because what do I find on my return? I find that I have a great bunch of blog buddies who speak the faith in love and who seek to respond to all the questions asked and thoughts that have been conveyed.

    I am so pleased to have such wonderful friends. I only wish that I could share real time with you, my what discussions we would have. But of course, if we were to meet for afternoon tea, you’d have to drink my English Bergamot Earl Grey 😉
    Love

  60. ukok says:

    Holly,
    LOVE the banter with Warren about the Holly Church! I’d love to see that bemused expression of yours ….
    Steve, have a fantastic week, I hope I’ll *see* you around the blogosphere on your return!
    Lorna,
    I can’t decide whether to respond to your comments here or your email questions, I want to do both but probably can’t. So I’ll defer to my blog mates in the thread to respond here and I’ll knuckle down to responding to your emai, if that’s okay with you.
    Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  61. Steve, where is your evidence that the Catholic church did not exist before the second/third centuries? What kind of church do you believe preceded the Catholic church?

    Also, if the Holy Spirit is inspiring ALL the different Protestant denominations as well as the Catholic church now, then why are there contradictions in their beliefs? Surely, we agree there is only one truth.

    Do you believe that the Catholic church is “man-made” but Protestant denominations are not?? (I decidely do not agree that the Catholic church is man-made)

    There is nothing about the teachings of the Catholic church that could “get in the way of a personal relationship with Jesus. ” Are there Catholics who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus? Sure. There are protestants without one too.

    Thanks for contributing to this discussion. Your perspective is appreciated….

  62. Deb, I would love to drink some of your English Bergamot Earl Grey. Mmmmm Sounds good…

  63. March Hare says:

    Deb–Thanks for the offer of the tea. Right now it’s warm enough that I’m having lemonade! 🙂

    Steve–have a good time at Scout camp. Hubs & one of the boys just returned (DS#1 just left to pick them up from their drop-off spot.

    I was going to ask Steve if he thought Protestant Churches/denominations were not man-made, but someone beat me to it. (I also find it interesting that he capitalizes Protestant but not Catholic when he’s referring to the RCC specifically, as opposed to catholic meaning universal. Not trying to be nit-picky, but it’s a very consistent trait.)

    Someone–and it might have been Steve–brought up infallibility, asserting that JPII and BXVI were backing away from the “infallible” teachings of VII. Which led me to the Catholic Encyclopedia online to look up the doctrine of infallibility. I never realized that, yes, a Council can be infallible on matters of dogma, as can the pope. However, did VII, in fact, issue any infallible rulings? As far as my limited studies have led me, VII did NOT change any dogma per se, but tried to separate the essential from the trappings (the very thing many Protestants urged). The Council tried to answer the question: what makes us truly the RC; what Truth do we hold that others do not? I would be very surprised if JPII and BXVI “backed away” from VII, as both were there as active participants. What both Popes have done is state, unequivocally, what that Truth is. There have been (and still are) many misinterpretations of what went on at VII and what was agreed on.

    As for non-Catholics going to heaven… Well, my grade school Sisters were from the “Old Country” (Ireland). They used to tell us there were many non-Catholics–including non-Christians– who would get into heaven before any of us did! 🙂 (I didn’t doubt that for a minute!)

  64. Steve,
    there *was* no other church than the Catholic Church until Luther made his break. To be christian was to be Catholic. Also, March Hare is correct, VII did not change any dogma. The church is not man-made. Christ himself told Peter and the Apostles He would send the Holy Spirit to guide them.

    The priesthood was given to the Twelve and whomever they commissioned, not to everyone. Jesus told the Twelve “whatever you bind on earth is bound in Heaven, whatever you loose on earth is loose in Heaven”. That wasn’t a tidbit for the general populace.

  65. Steve says:

    CoM,
    Sure there was. The early church following Pentecost was predominantly Jewish in nature, because the apostles came from that tradition. Even the Jews in Jerusalem were divided between traditionalists and Hellenists (Greek-born or influenced), though, so there was plenty of diversity of worship styles. As the apostles, particularly Paul, spread the Gospel and established elder-led house churches, these diverse influences led to differing interpretations and understandings. One author said,

    Paul frequently confronted the efforts of the Judaizers. In Corinth, one of their points of contention had to do with the authority of the Jerusalem apostles ( 2 Corinthians 11:4-5; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:21-23). It appears that, in Philippi, he addressed a campaign to circumcise Gentile Christians (Philippians 3:2-3). In his letter to believers in Rome, Paul expands on his teaching in Galatians, indicating that perhaps a similar problem was developing there. At Colossae, circumcision, observance of food laws, feast days, new moons and Sabbaths were aspects of a heresy being urged on the Colossian Christians. (Colossians 2:8, 11, 16-23). We see in the Pastoral Epistles concern for heresies involving the law, circumcision and other aspects of Judaism (1 Timothy 1:7; Titus 1:10, 14; 3:9).

    To resolve this, ‘super-elders’ or bishops were appointed in the major cities. There was a bishop of Jerusalem, of Antioch, Alexandria, and yes, of Rome. Even these guys didn’t agree, and when Constantine established the ‘Holy Roman Empire,’ he promulgated the Decree of Milan in 317 AD, establishing the Roman church as not the central authority for Christianity.

    So gradually the Christian church became the Roman Church. You’re probably right, CoM, that following the Decree of Milan there were few non-Romanized churches, because they were pretty well squelched. It was only in the years following Constantine that the “Roman Catholic Church” as an entity (and bureaucracy) became firmly established. The eastern (i.e., Orthodox) church resisted Romes influence and largely went their own path, though there were and are many similar traditions.

    Break, break. I am off early tomorrow morning for a week in the woods at a Scout summer camp, so I will have no internet. I’ll check back after that to see if I’ve been summarily excommunicated. Have a great week!

  66. Steve says:

    Oops, last line of the middle paragraph should read, “establishing the Roman church as the central authority for Christianity.”

  67. Holly says:

    In response to Child of Mary’s point about truth…
    In most cases, I would agree with you. Truth is static, unwavering and unquestionable. It is informed by pure knowledge. Up is the opposite of down. There are 24 hours in each day. The least talented Spice Girl is Posh. All truths.
    But when it comes to religion, truth is not informed by knowledge. Truth is informed by belief. The existence of God cannot be proven, nor the divinity of Jesus Christ. That makes it an entirely different matter, and much more meaningful. Your life is enriched by something that you have chosen to place your faith in, for which you don’t need evidence. Your beliefs become your truths. Plonk yourself down in the middle of Saudi Arabia and the popular opinion would be that you had no truth, and those surrounding you would be looking upon you as someone lost and disconnected from God and truth just as much as you would look upon them and feel likewise.
    So how do you reconcile having your own truth, your perfect complete truth, in a world where others have differing truths, or no truths at all? Be thankful that God spoke to you, and whispered in your ear. If you believe that your truth is the only one that you could live with and nourish your soul, be thankful that He didn’t give you a different life, a different family, a different experience. He gave you the one that has got you here, believing the things that you do right now.

    Connecting this with our currect discussion, I would believe that the Eucharist is both the transubstantiated body and blood *and* simply symbolic bread and wine. They are both truths.

  68. Lorna says:

    What Steve wrote about the early church should give us all pause for thought I think.

  69. Alexa says:

    Doesn’t matter what anyone has written, actually, what has happened has happened – and the Holy Spirit has led the Church through it all and ultimately what has transpired has led to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome.
    Disagreements and clashes are going to happen throughout history – until the end. Whoever is not against us is for us, I say.
    But this does not change the fact that the Catholic Church is the one initiated by Jesus Christ Himself. He gave Peter the keys.

  70. Alexa says:

    As far as what is Truth… truth is one thing. The Truth is Jesus Christ. He embodies the Truth and hands it to Peter, who then, embodies it. To seek the Truth in Jesus Christ, not just truths, one must look to Peter.

  71. Lorna says:

    “He gave Peter the keys” Full stop. Thanks for that info Alexa … no need for any discussion then. … honestly!!!

    Deb, you’ll be thrilled to hear that our pastor talked about HC and real presence today – but quite a different (startlingly actually) way from the way you did in your previous theology post … there was something very good about the breaking of one loaf … I’ve asked him for a copy of his sermon – if I get it I’ll share it with you.

    In the meantime let’s get out THERE and loving the people into the Kingdom of God ok?

  72. ukok says:

    Lorna, darling. I am doing my best to love people into the Kingdom of God. Do you really think I sit here writing long posts about topics like this just for the fun of it 😉

  73. ukok says:

    Lorna,
    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, lot’s happening here. I’m sure you’ll understand.

    Okay, let’s jump straight in shall we!

    1. You mention the Church Fathers, specifically Jerome arguing against the inclusion of the Deuterocanon in the Canon of Scripture… I like how you mention that St. Jerome wanted to reject the deuterocanon, but you failed to mention that Jerome didn’t object so strenuously that he jumped ship and ‘did a Luther’….no, Jerome was told by Pope Damasus to include all 46 books of the OT in the Canon of Scripture and Jerome recognised the authority of the Pope, the 36th Successor since St. Peter, and did so.

    Y’know, Jerome was an incredibly intelligent man. Why d’you think he would do that if he didn’t recognise the authority of the Pope and of the Church? It’s also important to remember (when discussing dissent of opinion in the church) that though Jerome may have been a great Church Father, he wasn’t infallible.

    2. You write that the Canon of Scripture wasn’t completed until the Council of Trent. But I say to you that the complete canon of scripture was affirmed way before the Council of Trent. (As I’ve already said in the previous answer).

    The Church often speaks ‘officially’ only when there is dissent in the church. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity, wasn’t defined until A.D. 325 at the Council of Nicaea,but do you think the church didn’t believe it during those 300years after Christ?

    3. Your third point seems to be that the deuterocanon is somehow not as important as other books of the bible. But all scripture is the living Word of God and the infrequency of it being read at Mass does not diminish it. (I seem to recall I sent you an email about this a couple of years ago and I’d found out the readings from the deuterocanon for that particular year. Needless to say that they are read at Mass. It would takle too long to sort through the Mass readings for the this year to prove it, but they are read 🙂

    4. I wasn’t quite sure about the Spiritus Paracletus mention. But it is indeed a Papal encyclical on St. Jerome by Pope Benedict XV.

    The only bit I could find about the ‘critical methods’ you mention is this “We warmly commend, of course, those who, with the assistance of critical methods, seek to discover new ways of explaining the difficulties in Holy Scripture, whether for their own guidance or to help others. But we remind them that they will only come to miserable grief if they neglect our predecessor’s injunctions and overstep the limits set by the Fathers.”

    I can’t see anything untowards in that, am I missing something?

    Here’s the link to the Papal Encyclical
    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Ben15/b15spiri.htm

    5. About your love of the Church Father’s, I share that love. Presumably, you can understand from Scripture and from the writings of the ECF’s that there was ONE church. It amazes me that you put more belief into Luthers splintering off from the Church, than the history of the church that has stood for 2,000 years. Do you really believe in your heart that one man’s revolt against the Catholic Church carried more weight and authority than the Apostles, the Apostolic Succession that gave us 266 Popes thus far and the Church that Christ founded?

    6. About your comment to the Papacy in Medieval Times. I think that it would be grossly innacurate to claim that the church was devoid of Spirituality and that it’s primary focus was the acquisition of land and money.

    I’d like to look at this particular point of yours a little more, but I’m not sure to what you refer exactly, so rather than try to guess, I’ll ask you to clarify please.
    Okey dokey, I’m gonna go get myself a nice cuppa cha’
    Deb X

  74. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been away…this has been amazing! All I can add to this, is watch out to those who do not believe in the Real Presence of the Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist…just know that I spent a weekend with approx. 2,500 young people who were on their knees in jubilant and holy ADORATION of the the Blessed Sacrament!!! I saw weeping and joy all in one day! I witnessed many young women and even many more young men go up before their peers, boyfriends, and girlfriends to say they feel strongly called to the Catholic Religious and Priesthood! The Holy CatholicChurch is alive and well! Do not mistake it!
    Just as Christ said…He will be with us until the end of time! Alleluia and praise be to You, Lord God Almighty! Amen!

  75. Lorna says:

    erm

    I didn’t say or even imply (as far as Iknow) that the church was devoid of Spirituality

    I said that Luther was PART of a renewal movement which tried to get rid of some of the things which had gone wrong in the Med church.

    He couldn’t renew it in the end – but many of the things he fought for did come to pass in Vatican II (removal of mass solely in Latin, translation and USE of Bible in the vernacular, removal of idea of indulgences)

    anyway I’m bailing out now as you’ve now moved on to discuss other doctrines (now purgatory) and I’m taking a sabbatical.

    Thank you all for being such loving apologists.

    Oh and Suzanne; Glad the retreat was wonderful … young people turning to Jesus and being renewed and reformed (no pun intended!) by the presence of the LIVING GOD is a wonderful thing. I rejoice with you 🙂

  76. ukok says:

    Lorna,

    It was in an email to me that you mentioned the lack of Spirituality in the Church, I quote;

    “So much of the papacy in Med. times was a political thing (rather than spiritual) and at the end of the day – no fault of the popes themselves probably- I think that’s where things went wrong. Love of money (prestige, power) is the root of all evil according to the Bible.”

    Perhaps I read it wrong?

  77. Lorna says:

    no … I thought you meant I’d written it here, which is what confused me.

    so much (but obviously not all) of the papacy was about politics. Yes I stand by that today.

    anyway, today when looking for something else, I came across this on my blog. (March 16th)

    What goes around comes around….

    “What’s the difference between a church and the church?” This was an exam question for me over 30 years ago in an RE class. Now here I am, pondering the same question (with more sophisticated wording of course!), for my doctrine paper.

    The Apostles’ Creed states “I believe in one … church” – and there are many ways to interpret this of course.

    Closest to my heart is the belief that “the church is the body of all believing Christians regardless of their denominational affiliation”. Yet there’s a part of me that would like to see Christians – the church around the globe – united once more as one church, proclaiming one faith, one baptism, while still retaining space for real diversity.

    http://stf.heavenlytrain.com/?p=1087

    seems we have come round in a full circle 🙂

  78. elmantheman says:

    ukok,

    Yes there is “bible” found in the bible. But catholic church, your mother church is in the bible too. Although I believe it is the one found in revelations:

    Revelation 17
    The Woman and the Beast
    1One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
    3Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5This title was written on her forehead:
    MYSTERY
    BABYLON THE GREAT
    THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
    AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

    When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

    9″This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. 11The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

    12″The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

    15Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

  79. elmantheman says:

    The Catholic Church is the one asking for payments from birth to death, even for prayers for the dead.

    When you are born, you are asked to pay for baptism.
    When you grow a little more, you are asked to pay for confirmation.
    When you get married, you are asked to pay for matrimony.
    When you get to death bed, you are asked to pay for the prayer of the sick.
    When you die, you are asked to pay for the prayers again.
    When your family or neighbor dreams of you or see a ghost of you(as if a dead relative can come back as ghosts), you are asked to pay so you can get out from the purgatory.

    Correct me if I am wrong OF THE ABOVE, may I please continue even on the other cohorts.

    Freely received, Freely give

    June 9th, 2007 – No Responses

    I noticed, as I browse from one blog to another, that preachers rumble about their views of the Word of God in the form of a blog. They also exchange scriptural idealism based on their own understanding. They too formed circle of friends through blogs and within advertise each others’ merchandise through comment-posting. What do you think are their merchandise? They sell their books containing their views about the gospel!

    From their blogs, some allow comments outside of their circle, but some really delete comments that oppose their views. You can try to browse and see for yourselves.

    2 Corinthians 2:14-17 says:

    But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God

    But how about the aroma that these peddlers spreads? It stinks for us who understands the Truth:

    Ecclesiastes 10:1-3
    1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
    2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
    3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.

    Imagine, these peddlers does not only write a little folly but a whole book or more! But time will come that they shall weep, unfortunately not because they received the judgement for their folly but because no one buys their merchandise.

    Revelation 18:11-13,19
    the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. 19And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth!For in a single hour she has been laid waste. 20Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets,for God has given judgment for you against her!”

    Their hearts were hardened already. Can we just believe to be saved? To whom shall we believe in? Who shall speak in behalf of God? Let us hear what Apostle Paul said about believing and salvation on my next post.

    ANOTHER THINGS OF LOTS OF…:

    Why is it the sisters in your church, which you call nun, are only those who has veils On their head? Why can’t they teach that you too needs to wear it (as if the VEIL cover is the true covering, which I believe Should instead be the long uncut hair of the woman). If you will say that because they use it for prayer, oh c’mon, they where it everywhere. Why can’t you wear it too?

  80. elmantheman says:

    Revelation 18:11-13,19
    “the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore…and slaves, that is, human souls…”

    Correction to my above post: Nuns wear veils everywhere, Why then can’t you wear it too?

  81. elmantheman says:

    And for your information, the authority of your Pope was just enforced by the Roman Empire.

    They killed Peter, and I think even St Paul.

    And who are you to say that Peter was the rock mentioned by Jesus Christ?

    Jesus has prophesied already that Peter shall be used as a rock but Peter is a pebble.

    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    …22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

    23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    Jesus Christ is the Rock. He is the foundation of Christianity.

    Isn’t correct that St Paul is the minister to the gentiles?
    Aren’t you a gentile? Is St Peter a gentile? How can Peter ministers to the gentile when the authority is not given to him but rather to St Paul?

    The other Jews did not accept Jesus Christ. And we are not Jews. How come we will have a jew pope? Why should there be someone to call pope on earth?

    Matthew 23:

    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are

    The Holy bible, even from the old and new testament states that the Church is called the Church of God, and even written and explained by St Paul.

    1 Corinthians 1
    1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

    2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

    3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The reason why your administration changed the name of the church to Roman Catholic is to fool people, AND to make them believe that the Pope is the representation of God on earth.

    All of you are hypocrites, even if you know your Catholic church history, you are blindy following your MOther church! YOu are making each of your brothers a hypocrite thus and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are! I never seen in the Philippines that catholic officials are excommunicated when found guilty of graft and corruption. I never seen even one of those in the highest position gets excommunicated for having so many wives.

    .

  82. elmantheman says:

    And for your information, the authority of your Pope was just enforced by the Roman Empire.

    They killed Peter, and I think even St Paul.

    And who are you to say that Peter was the rock mentioned by Jesus Christ?

    Jesus has prophesied already that Peter shall be used as a rock, but Peter is a pebble.

    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    …22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

    23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    Jesus Christ is the Rock. He is the foundation of Christianity not Peter. And now, the prophecy is correct, Catholics believe that Peter is the Rock.

    Isn’t correct that St Paul is the minister to the gentiles?
    Aren’t you a gentile? Is St Peter a gentile? How can Peter ministers to the gentile when the authority is not given to him but rather to St Paul?

    The other Jews did not accept Jesus Christ. And we are not Jews. How come we will have a jew pope? Why should there be someone to call pope on earth?

    Matthew 23:

    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are

    The Holy bible, even from the old and new testament states that the Church is called the Church of God, and even written and explained by St Paul.

    1 Corinthians 1
    1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

    2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

    3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The reason why your administration changed the name of the church to Roman Catholic is to fool people, AND to make them believe that the Pope is the representation of God on earth.

    All of you are hypocrites, even if you know your Catholic church history, you are blindy following your MOther church! YOu are making each of your brothers a hypocrite thus and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are! I never seen in the Philippines that catholic officials are excommunicated when found guilty of graft and corruption. I never seen even one of those in the highest position gets excommunicated for having so many wives.

  83. ukok says:

    Elman,

    1 comment, even 2 comments in a row is permissable, but 5 in a row, well that constitutes spam.

    Your words are hate-fueled and full of ignorance. I’m not going to stoop to your level of engaging in discussion in such vile tones.

    Make one reasoned comment including only the most succinct of points and post it here, then I can delete all of the above and respond accordingly. I’m preparing to go on vacation and don’t have time to read 5 comments of yours and go through each nasty remark you make, one by one.

    Also, if you want me to respond, please refrain from calling the Catholic Church a whore, and me, a hypocrite. If you continue to do so, then you will be banned from posting comments here altogether.

    I want to help you understand what the Church really teaches, rather than what you think it teaches. But I’m not going to waste my time doing that if you continue on as you have thus far.

  84. elmantheman says:

    Spam? While having a continues comment would bore anybody, so those that needs highlighting, I tried it posted separately.

    Also, I thought that having two similar long post would give you a hint that I edited my first comment and posted the edited one. I left you the initiative to delete the first one.

    And please do not address me as needing to understand your Church that teaches its members to bow down on idols made by the hands of men through catechism and traditions. Which are these idols? Those are the graven images of your Jesus, Mary, Apostles etc.

    If you do not know this, try to check your Catholic books. And if you will attest that bowing to the graven images is purely veneration, then I say you really are like your popes.

    When John tried to worship the angel, the angel quickly said:

    Revelations 19:10

    At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

    Exodus 23:24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

    I do not hate you ukok, It is your works that I hate. Instead of disproving my points, and since its the truth, you tried your diversion tactics of me my points hate-fueled and full of ignorance.

    Just write the word “graven images catholic” and see for yourself of the facts, that is, if you are just trying to ignore the obvious.

  85. ukok says:

    Goodness Elman,

    Where do I start? There are so many errors in what you write and I am packing for my holidays!

    Please read the following article that read exactly what I would write in my response to you, if only I had the time.

    On ‘Graven Images’:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/07664A.htm

    On the Whore of Babylon to which you previously referred, please read this for my viewpoint:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp

    On your suggestion that Peter is a pebble:

    please read this (you will read what the protestant church leaders say about this pebble business too)

    http://catholicity.elcore.net/SimonIsTheRock.html

    And this

    Part One: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/lesson_plans/lp0001.html

    Part Two:
    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/lesson_plans/lp0002.html

    Part Three:
    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/lesson_plans/lp0008.html

    On what you percieve to be ‘Mary worship’ :

    http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Customs/rosary/mary_worship.asp

    God Bless you!

  86. elmantheman says:

    Which god are you referring to? What an excuse and a diversionary attack, Holidays.

    Catholics have so many holidays even for a rooster, but never for the God the Father.

    By the way, I am sorry for saying that Peter is a pebble.

    I was corrected by our presiding minister, Bro Eliseo Soriano at his wordpress post.

    by saying that peter is a stone instead.

  87. ukok says:

    Elman, I’m a lone parent of two children, I work both in and out of the home and I am entitled to go on vacation (holidays, I live in England) with my children! Stop being an idiot or I will no longer respond to you.

  88. elmantheman says:

    Take your time.

    Don’t forget, esoriano.wordpress.com

  89. ukok says:

    I won’t be visiting your blog until you’ve read the articles I posted and have understood them as the Catholic perspective on all the erronious allegations you made against Catholicism. When you have understood them as the Catholic viepoint, then you can step up to debate. No one with any sense argues against what he doesn’t know. You can know what Catholics believe and respectfully disagree, but if you point-blank refuse to read any of sources, then I point-blank refuse to waste my time refuting your lies and abuses.

    Many great protestant Christians have agreed and accepted much of Catholic Doctrine and teaching. You don’t have to naively accept what your pastor tells you, I don’t. I researched Catholicism for 2 years before I even stepped foot inside a Catholic Church.

    Read the documents, then feel free to disagree, but don’t disagree only about what you ‘think you know’, because form the Catholic perspective, what you think you know, doesn’t represent what we believe at all.

    I’m going to have a wonderful holiday and I believe that on my return, responding to you will not be on my ‘list of things to do’ when I return.

  90. elmantheman says:

    When it comes to abuses, look who’s talking.

    esoriano.wordpress.com is not my blog but rather it is Bro Eliseo Soriano’s post. He is our Presiding Minister. If you want a debate, visit him.

    Until now, I haven’t read of your stand against the facts above.
    Observe and look at your children, hope you can teach them Christianity, not Catholicism.

    I pray that God open your eyes.

  91. ukok says:

    You just exhausted your welcome here.

  92. elmantheman says:

    Hi! Ukok,

    It’s me again. I have commented a lot from some of your previous posts and it is but proper that the our doctrines should be learned directly from our presiding minister. I don’t want that the group that I belong to be judged according to what I said. Thus, may I just invite you to our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseo Soriano’s Blog at:

    esoriano.wordpress.com

    Thanks for the space and God willing that we grow in the Truth.

    Elman

  93. Joyce says:

    elmantheman sounds like he could belong to a cult.

  94. elmantheman says:

    How can we be called cult, do you know The Church of God as preached by St Paul?

    Or you are still under the spell of the Roman Catholic Church.

    If you do not belong above, well, it is commanded in the bible to compare the spirit of every religious group that calls themselves Christians, and if they are teaching differently from what the Apostles taught, then, call them cult and be acursed!

    Galatians 1:

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    I rest my case.

  95. Joyce says:

    UKOK,
    I forgot I made that last post about the cult. Wow. Elmantheman just removed all doubt from my mind. Now I know he is something other than Christian. (Can you feel the tension and hate eminating from his words?) Galatians does say that if anyone preaches anything other than what Paul and the other apostle’s were preaching, as divinely inspired by Christ and the Holy Spirt. So, his point is?

  96. ukok says:

    It’s terribly old to hear again and again that we Catholics belong to the ‘whore of Baylon’ or are under the ‘spell of the Roman Church’ and suchlike.

    We must pray, Joyce, we must pray…

  97. Steve says:

    Oh, come on, admit it. You really are part of the Romish conspiracy. Where’s that maniacal laughter coming from?

  98. Steve says:

    And who wouldn’t want a ‘Whore of Babylon’ t-shirt? Well… Okay, maybe not.

  99. ukok says:

    yell from the Pope:

    “duck Steve, she’s about to throw what looks like a very heavy Catechism at you….that girls a wildcard I tell you!”

  100. Joyce says:

    Poor Steve. I think he’s lost it.

  101. Joe says:

    Looks like you got the comments going with this post! Heavy topic, with lots of things to say! I believe the words that I have uttered all my life in the Creed. What about the Orthodox semi-catholic churches? I am yet bound to my ex, who has remarried in some sort of orthodox church, that claims (I suppose) to be catholic. I do not see how they could marry her while she is still bound. It is not that I am carrying a torch for her, but I still feel bound to try to help assure her salvation. This wrinkle leaves me in limbo.

  102. Steve says:

    Poor Steve. I think he’s lost it.

    Ouch!

    Joe, you seem to be implying that since she (and presumably he) are not in a real catholic church they are no longer saved. Are you saying that only good catholics get into heaven. We’ll be quiet when we get there, so we don’t disturb you…

  103. Joyce says:

    Steve,
    You make me giggle. I love this witty banter! But more than that, I love being Catholic.

  104. Joyce says:

    UKOK,
    You just do not know how much I have enjoyed your site. I just happened upon it accidently one night and now I’m a regular visitor. I’m a convert to Catholicism and though I didn’t always understand it, I was, since the age of 15, drawn to the Church. People like you are what makes being a part of this religion so wonderful. We have so many just like you in our Parish, and I thought that we were rare. Anyway, I’m going off the subject. When I read this passage from the First Letter of St. Peter it reminded me of you and the way you speak in your posts. “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15) Praise be to God, Ukok. Praise be to God.
    Pax!

  105. elmantheman says:

    Hi Joyce,

    If you think there’s tension and hate eminating from my words when I quoted below:

    Galatians 1:

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    …I just can’t stop feeling angry because you are insisting of many teachings made by man not from God!

    The apostles did not preach any churches that gentiles should be affiliated with neither they taught of a Roman Catholic Church but rather, they teaches us in the bible to affiliate ourselves in the Church of God. How?

    By following all the commandments of Jesus Christ.

    Is there a word like “Catholic Church” in the bible?

    Isn’t not the church is the body, the christians that follows all the commandments of Jesus Christ, and also where Christ is the Head: is called the Church of God? Since it is owned by God, isn’t rightful, truthful, logical, correctly to say that the One True Church is The Church of God?

    Catholic means, general or universal church.

    Catholic – derived, through Latin, from the Greek adjective καθολικός, meaning “general”, “universal”

    If it is a universal church, then, it can be anyone’s church, even hell.

    I just want to point out, the bible; the holy Scriptures as written by Apostle Paul and even from the Old Testament that the Church is owned by God, the Living God, the God that cannot lie.

    Let us open our hearts to the teachings of Jesus Christ because if not you really have been continually drowning by the teachings of the serpent.

    The Father God wants all men to be saved. How come these Catholic hypocrites claim in their dogma that “Extra Ecclasiam nulla salus” or “Outside the Church there is no salvation”?

    http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Outside_the_Catholic_Church_There_is_Absolutely_No_Salvation.html#Chair

    Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra:

    “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[

    Who then shall attest or blame me if I then exclaim, “How cruel these daughters of the Testament of the Beast are!”

  106. Pingback: Hypocrites’ testament « elman, the man

  107. elmantheman says:

    Let me add then, Joyce, “look who’s talking!”

  108. elmantheman says:

    “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)

    what does this verse imparts?

    15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

    Prove first that what you do is God’s will or the will of your Pope!

    Now, you want to know the will of God,

    visit http://www.esoriano.wordpress.com

    Ask Bro Eliseo Soriano, the bible shall answer.

    Thanks for the space!

  109. Joe says:

    Steve, I said no such thing. My point was that the the catholic church I know has a sacrament called matrimony that is for life, not until you feel discouraged. One woman, one man. If the orthodox are “in communion” with Rome, how can they marry a “roman” catholic in their church while she is still married in the roman church? By the way, my faith doesn’t think it has a monopoly on or controls God. He can save whoever he wishes. Even you. It is just the church that Christ started and protects.

  110. Steve says:

    Joe,
    The ‘church Christ started’ is the catholic church (small ‘c’, meaning universal). The Catholic Church (big ‘c’) came much later. I just don’t see Christ implementing a huge, bloated bureacracy. For more detail, see post 65 or so above.

  111. Joe says:

    well, I can see it when I look back through history and see all the times he saved us from our human frailties. Every institution has it’s humans. The one with the capital C did stuff like stand by while Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, but looking back later, they canonized her. Pope Benedict wore a nazi uniform at one time, but now can and does champion God’s causes. Try to look behind the humans and you just might be able to see God in it. I am personally convinced. Hooray for God!

  112. Joyce says:

    elmantheman

    Look who’s talking… What?

  113. elmantheman says:

    Read my comment #106. My answer seems to be restricted here.

  114. Joyce says:

    elman
    sorry… can’t see the comment.

  115. elmantheman says:

    Well then, if you can’t find the means to click the title to the left of # 106, please click below:

    http://elmantheman.wordpress.com/2007/10/06/hypocrites-testament/

  116. WIll says:

    The Catholic Church IS the One True Church because it is the only one that was established by Christ. All other denominations were established by people in protest of God’s Church and are therefore false.

  117. elmantheman says:

    Will, list all the commandments of Christ as given by the Father and let us see who are protesting against God!

    Do Catholics eat blood?

  118. ukok says:

    Elman,

    Catholics believe JESUS told us himself that those who do not accept this teaching, who do not receive him in such a way, have NO life within them. You can twist it any way you want to, and I fully expect you will, but these were Jesus own words. Protestants often bash their bibles saying that Scripture must be taken explicitly….except when it comes to Scripture that is difficult for them to read….and then they say ‘oh, but’….like ‘oh, but…on this occassion, Jesus didn’t mean what he said….”.

    Jesus said:

    “I am the bread of life.

    Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;

    this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

    I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

    The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”

    Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

    For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” John 6:48-56

  119. elmantheman says:

    You correlate the verse as spoken by Jesus Christ for having a Catholic Church? What a miss. Look who’s twisting the verse!

    Ukok, the words of Jesus Christ is to His apostles is also to teach all whatsoever He commanded to them

    matthew 28:

    19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Thus, even the name of the Church should be according to what he preached and commanded! And we are gentiles, I believe so, and I know you are, I hope so you may have an idea. It is Paul who mentioned the name of the Church which is the Church of God. Paul is the apostle to the gentiles haven’t you have any idea?

    1 Corinthians 1
    1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

    2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

    3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  120. Lorna says:

    interesting that this is still raging after 4 months.

    I disagree with what Will wrote though – but I would really have hoped for more dialogue and less argument here. Until now all discusion has been friendly – though we haven’t always agreed.

    El – I appreciate your use of scripture but it should never be used as a brick to hit people over the head with. No-one here disputes the authority with which St Paul wrote!

    blessings to you all.

    (and at least this keeps your site busy ukok!)

  121. bigmikey says:

    Wow.
    This is really exciting – and I haven’t even read the original post yet!
    Ukok – I appreciate your graciousness in asserting your convictions and allowing a vibrant dialogue. Keep up the good work!

  122. smolville says:

    I dont think the catholic is the one true church that God established. I was once a catholic but since I started to read the bible I discerned its teachings are unbiblical and as it was written in the bible the Church of God is the true church that God purchased with his own blood.

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
    The Acts 20:28
    King James Version

  123. ukok says:

    Unless commenters can respond to the post and the comments specifically and not just spam out the comments box with, well, spam… then the combox will be permanently closed on this post.

    I do not have time to read reams and reams of articles, so please make a clear, concise point or don’t make one at all.

    thanks

  124. AutumnRose says:

    “Can a child or a babe have faith? Can a moron, a Mongoloid, or a mentally retarded believe? ”

    Although I’m not keen on some of the terms you use here, my answer (as a Catholic) would be such are entrusted unto the mercy of God.

  125. elmantheman says:

    1 Corinthians 1
    1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

    2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

    3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—

    6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.

    7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
    Divisions in the Church
    10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

    13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

    26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

  126. ukok says:

    Elman, you’ve had a fair amount of warnings, but you consistantly show an inability to even read and respond to any of the speciifc comments and posts I (and other friends) have made. In my last comment prior to this I asked you not to cut and paste articles or out of context Scripture. Once again, you have spat your dummy out and decided that you don’t want to play by the rules, or post within the confines of the requests that I am making. You are not genuinely searching for clarity of the Catholic position. You have yet to show maturity in your dialogue. I recall that in on one of your comments you even accused me of being wrong for wanting to go on vacation with my family and for my not having the time to correspond with you.

    Until you can be reasonable,I am asking you to post no more on my blog. If you do, your comments will be deleted.

  127. smolville says:

    It is good that you know that catholic missionaries travel the far reaches of the earth to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to know Christ, but I dunno which christ it is, but here in Canada, a catholic missionary set up a residential indian school and the natives suffered a tremendous ordeal under the governance of catholic nuns and priest which the govt of canada now are paying the victims for retribution. The exploitation did not only happened to the native american but it also happened in an orphanage ran by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada which is a branch of a lay Roman Catholic order which was founded in Ireland. This exploitation is part of catholic’s history. Just google it, residential indian school, mount cashel orphanage, and catholic priest child molester and read how those innocent children were exploited by the member of your church. I was once a catholic, but after reading this horrendous stories, I really felt ashamed. My only consolation was its not my choice but my parents when I was baptized as a child. But I can now proudly say, Im out of that bondage and curse. Try to wake up chaps, its not yet late.

  128. ukok says:

    Smolville,

    You might want to check out the home page of this blog. I have made an announcement which you need to be made aware of.

    Thank you.

  129. hojo says:

    As a former Protestant (Lutheran) and a convert to the Catholic Church, and from my personal conversion experience to Jesus Christ as a born-again Christian, there is no doubt that the Catholic Church IS the one true Apostolic Church that Jesus Christ founded! Unfortunately, much distorted, mis-represented, anti-Catholic rehtoric is being used in a deliberate attempt to undermine the Catholic Church with the use of hostility: There are some Protestant’s, with their beligerent and divisive attitudes, continue, in their attempt to place a wedge and divide the Body of Christ of believers and of the faithful followers of Christ. I grew up with this narrow minded “tunnel vision” Christianity while attending the Lutheran Church, A Lutheran University and a Lutheran Bible College! I suggest that these “bible only” Christians RE-READ their bible regarding Pauls writing and his warning to the Christians who were dividing the Body of Christ- and not unifying it and begin to live the Fruits of the Spirit referred to in Galations 5:16-23,Love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-contol, ect.!!!! In conclusion to all who profess to be Christians, there remains, no doubt, that Jesus Christ, founded and spiritually instituted, the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and, further, that The Roman Catholic Church possesses the “Fullness of the faith”,(that Jesus Christ offers to us), the Fullness of Gods Grace”, (completely open to His gifts) and possesses the “Fullness of Divine Truth” with the Holy Bible and 2000 years of SACRED Tradition ( in the moving of the Holy Spirit.

  130. Steve says:

    Hojo,
    I will be pleasantly surprised to find that there will actually be Catholics in heaven, as some Catholics will be surprised to see who is (and isn’t) there. It’s not ‘who has the right brand of Christianity,’ but rather, do we exemplify a Christ-like life? To say there is no doubt that the Catholic Church IS the one true Apostolic Church that Jesus Christ founded! is just being divisive, just as to say [ducking quickly] that non-Catholics can’t receive communion.

    The Nicene Creed is a great statement of the key elements of Christian faith. Everything added to that, to include bureaucracies, speaking in tongues, paid indulgences, young earth/old earth discussions, is extra. If you can agree to everything in the Nicene Creed, I’ll say you’re on firm ground. Again, though, the bottom line is not a creed, but a life given to and lived for Christ.

  131. hojo says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for your comments! I am not here to judge you or anyone else of their salvation in Jesus Christ! Only God can make that judgement regarding heaven or hell! I have many born-again Lutheran friends whom I openly dialogue with! We are all brothers in Christ and we all respect each other denominational differences and share each others journey with our one Lord! Yes–The Catholic Church IS the one true Apostolic Church–It is not the only Church –but it is the one true Church
    founded by Jesus 2000 years ago! It was Martin Luther who chose to break the Apostolic succession–
    followed by other Protestant reformers: Zwingli (in Zurich), then the Anabaptists (in Holland), then John Calvin, then John Knox, then the Episcopalians, then the Methodists, and on and on!
    Yes, there are many Churches, (yes, committed to Jesus Christ) but only One True Apostolic Church. All of these are off-shoots of Jesus Christs original Church—all of which have the faith, and possess Gods grace—but they do not possess the fullness of the faith, the fullness of Gods grace and the fullness of the Truth—they chose to “throw-out and disguard” the SACRED TRADITION of which the fullness of Churches teaching had been originally past down for 1500 years prior to Luther. The Protestant Churches exist on “Cheap Grace”—God does not nor has not cheap grace–it is mans Choice to cheapen it by rejecting the fullness of Gods gifts to all Christian. This is why non-Catholics are refused the Eucharist; the TRUE and consecrated body and blood of Christ—if a person chooses not to accept all of the teachings of Christs true Church, yes–they are refused communion—Some Protestants believe it is a wafer an oreo cookie,or a just a symbol–some believe that abortion is O.K, some believe in Gay marriage, homosexuality is O.K.,some in Euthenasia, embroyonic stem cell research, and the list goes on–The Catholic faith is not a cafeteria, a smorgasbord of cherry picking–one must believe in the teachings of the Church (all) to remain in the Grace of God to accept the Eucharist and the Sacraments!——— Many blessings to you on this Holy Week

  132. Aly says:

    Hi there. I am a catholic. My boyfriend is an Anglican. I was like trying so so hard 2 ask him 2 go for our mass at St Peter’s Catholic Church. He finally agreed. But, he did nt promise to become one. Im kinda upset. I couldnt convince him that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE church!
    How could i or how can i convince him?
    Plz reply… Thanks alot.

  133. Yes I am interested in reading this I am one of a strong christan faith. In my house I have too many different other believers with me.

    Yes some time argument just would start up which church is true. Sometimes I pray for god to me strong heart not to argue but temtation comes I can just loss my mind and talk in a way that it is not good in front of my master.

    I always reply to them and say stay as you beleive and I will remain as what i believe.

    My question is this – What is the true church?

    My ans to them is – the catholic church is the true it is a foundation and you are branches that comes out from the tree that grow.

    Can you help me in that.

    thank you I will be waiting for your response

    • ukok says:

      Cecilia, well done on defending your Catholic beliefs. The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion and that he did not create lots of different churches, each practicing different things and holding different beliefs….in fact, if you read the New Testament you will see that St. Paul writes to the smaller churches and corrects any erroneous beliefs that are contrary to the Church that Christ founded. God never wanted there to be 300,000 different denominations or how ever many there are, he founded One Church, the Catholic Church. If would you i would ask your friends to prayerfully discern where God wants them, if they do so without any bias, then he will lead them to where he wants them to be….but they have to want to co-operate with the will of God 🙂

  134. Steve says:

    That is, that it is that which we who believe and adhere to the Nicene Creed, profess – that the Church is;

    * One
    * Holy
    * Catholic
    * Apostolic

    I guess I would make one tweak – make it a lower case ‘catholic’ and we’re agreement. The body of believers are the universal, catholic church. That can include big-C Catholics as well.

  135. Liz says:

    The Way to heaven is through the Son. (as stated biblically: No one come to the Father except through the Son) Thus the reason for the Holy Eucharist. You can’t enter a room by a symbol of a door (a picture of a door) You enter through a door. Thus while Protestants have Christ within in a Spiritual Communion; in the faith that is Christ’s words in John chap. 6 verse 46 – 54 “Take and eat: my body is real food and my blood is real drink.” Yes, THE MAN He spoke it himself. And why would He say such words that sounded so preposterous many walked away in disbelief?

    Take a look at the world of today: people are wounded souls; biting and snapping at one another, in an attempt to pass their hurts and wounds to another ‘clean soul’ (and generally speaking such is going well…one person with anger within them passes the anger to another and so it goes) I’m sure our Lord saw this in His day. Our Lord, if He put John Chap. 6 verse 46 – 54 into today’s vernacular…would have said: “hey guys gals…please…don’t bite at one another…your way only drags you down, keeps you with the earth;
    BITE and EAT of ME… give your failings, faults, sins TO ME in sacrifice and I will give you MY LIFE … and in that LIFE you will RISE. (and this fits in context to Luke chap. 9 verse 23 and 24…to gain your life you must lose YOUR LIFE) Lose all that petty stuff that weighs on your soul. AND
    LOVE others as I HAVE LOVED YOU.

    For our FAITH in HIS WORD (not our human interpretation) we receive
    Sanctified Grace. (different than actual grace) — The Church teaches that justification consists of an actual obliteration of sin and an INTERIOR sanctification. Protestantism, on the other hand, makes of the forgiveness of sin merely a concealment of it, so to speak; and of the sanctification a forensic declaration of justification, or an EXTERNAL imputation of the justice of Christ.
    as stated at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06701a.htm

    But fear not Protestant bretheran of many diverse denominational creeds and doctrines. There is indeed ONE ‘body of Christ’ (not many) and Christ is the head. While in the earthly view; Martin Luther and others thought they formed a ‘new church’ … (by reason of moving to a new building and separating from Catholics) it is no different than those who are still in the Catholic pews and ‘at a different level’ of spiritual understanding. There is ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD who is FATHER of all. Not all of the all – understand His way as He expects us to come to know Him, love Him and serve Him. A person in teen years can’t understand as much as
    one who is 95. Faith is a growing experiential thing. So…God is there for
    the different levels of understanding to those Catholics and if some of the flock want to sit ‘across the street’ in a different pasture… WELL; God doesn’t MOVE from HIS TRUTH; the person did. The graces that are imparted to those in THE FULLNESS of TRUTH… can effect our separated bretheran. If the Catholic Church did not exist neither would any ‘church’ of
    faithful. * Why is that? TRUTH is TRUTH and ONE is ONE… the graces found in the fullness of God’s church are granted to those other denominational churches ‘just as much’ as His grace is there for those sitting and growing within the very pews of the Catholic Church. God can only
    judge on what a person is capable of understanding, while on earth. Only those who deliberately reject and move from His truth, way and life….will God be lost. As Catholics, when we pray for our Protestant friends ‘in love’
    they are connected to us ‘in love’ (love being God) One humanity ‘in God’
    When as Catholics we do good for God and offer it up for the sake of unity of the body of Christ (ie: for our separated bretheran) God bestows grace to
    our Protestant friends…in the different pews. (only in earthly view has a ‘new’ church been founded…but not in the Divine eyes; God wants all his followers together as one… and by our prayers for such to happen; God will bring it to be)

    This link may say the above better: http://www.marys-touch.com/SpecialRevelations/Mystical.htm

    Sanctified grace brings a soul to live in the presence of God. (not any good deeds of our own doing)

    *p.s. – when we eat of the flesh of our Savior at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we are partaking of the resurrected body of Christ…His glorified body, blood, soul and divinity. Not all ‘flesh’ is the same as spoken in the bible in
    1st Corinthians verse 39 – 42 – All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. . . 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body. Jesus’ physical body
    was crucified…but HE ROSE (and his physical and spirit body became the
    GLORIFIED BODY of CHRIST…which we as Catholics ‘take and eat’ in
    remembrance of His words in John chap. 6. We take that Real Presence within by faith in HIS WORD and we are transformed also into THE LIFE of CHRIST. As He increases, I must decrease.

  136. Mike Gantt says:

    Belonging to man-made churches is missing the point. The church you should seek is the one that the Lord Himself pastors. It is the kingdom of God. His church consists of those who acknowledge His presence in the earth, hear His voice, and do His will.

    The Catholic Church is the largest and most impressive – from a worldly point of view – of all man-made churches. But it is still a man-made church and therefore misses the point.

    The point is Jesus Christ. Let us not miss Him.

    • Howard Johnson says:

      Correct! The point IS Jesus Christ in HIS One True Apostolic biblical and Historical Church (the universal, all encompassing Catholic Church) the Bride of Christ which He founded, established and initiated in Matt 16:13-21. The Church which is mentioned over 30 times in the New Testament, (the word Church) originally translated from the Greek here is “ecclesia” which refers to visible, hiearchical, authoritative Church, NOT an invisible, ethereal body of believers loosely connected by faith in the Bible alone. The Church was instituted at Pentecost by the coming of the Holy Spirit.(Acts2) and was originally governed by the Apostles, aided by the elders, Bishops and Deacons (Acts6:3,14:23,15:2, 4,22, I Tim 3:1, 8, 4:14, 5:17, Titus 1:5-9 I Peter 5:1 The Pastoral Epistles contain Pauls directions for proper organization and administration of the Church. in the first Church in Antioch (Acts 13:1). The One True Apostolic Catholic Church of Jesus Christ is historically and biblically proven and authenticated by the Apostles who were given the authority by Jesus Himself, (who were divinely inspired) and not just man-made as the 40,000+ conflicting and contradicting Protestant Churches that came after the Reformation. Solo Scriptura (bible only) beliefs that are being “passed off” as the ONLY truth in which they claim that God chose to transmit his infallible word, were NEVER believed by ANYONE until after the Reformation, which is what you call “man-made up” a tradition of man, condemned by Jesus.—Solo Scriptura completely contradicts itself because NOWHERE in Sacred Scripture is it EVER taught and NOWHERE in the Bible did Jesus tell us that God chose to transmit the word of God , ONLY in the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul does command the faithful in 2 Thess 2:15 that we are to obey Tradition, whether it is oral OR written (he never says written alone and he never repeals this command ANYWHERE else in Scripture.–Finally, in 1 Tim 3:15, Paul calls the Church (not the bible) the pinnacle and foundation of the TRUTH. We all know and agree that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but it is not the only authority for Christian TRUTH .

      • Howard Johnson says:

        Jesus is the way the truth and the life, growing and being nurtured in the Salvation of Christ in His One True Apostolic Catholic Church

  137. Mike Gantt says:

    You misrepresent my view. I do not argue for “an invisible, ethereal body of believers loosely connected by faith in the Bible alone.” Rather I argue for faith in Jesus Christ alone.. Nor do I argue that “God chose to transmit the word of God , ONLY in the Scriptures.” Rather I argue that the word of God by any other means will not contradict the Scriptures.

  138. Robert says:

    Jesus Christ as well as His Apostles said that a man must be baptized to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Scores of people have died without a knowledge of Christ, let alone ever having the opportunity to be baptized. A just God would not/does not condemn people for something they never had the opportunity to receive. Until the Catholics and/or Protestants can explain this I will keep searching for true Christianity.

  139. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I
    appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the site is also really good.

  140. BOB says:

    FIRST of all baptism does not save anyone,we are saved thru christs death on the cross period.greek teteistai,the Debt has been paid in FULL.. We are saved NOT by works, an it is NOT of ourselves that we can boast!! BAPTISM is important, an follows like nite an day after we put are TRUST in Christ alone, we then are commanded to be baptized, which is a symbol that we die to our old selves an raised anew, regenerated by the HOLY SPIRIT. MARRIAGE is similar,we attest before god an eternal contract an the RING like baptism is the symbol. Purgatory is non-sense,read lukes account of lazarus in a state of bliss an the rich man in torment. PAUL says when we die an have TRUSTED ( metanoia) in Christ we are present with the LORD,so there is no Purgatory, but I truly believe that CATHOLICS are brothers in Christ. Remember many controversial doctrines from both catholics an protestants or Christians on secondary issues should NOT divide us but can be debated. After many years of study I find the catholics have been unduly targeted in many areas without careful thought, as their essential issues are spot on, Essential doctrine 1, THE NATURE OF GOD. 2.SALVATION BY GRACE 3, VIRGIN BIRTH. Yet the catholic church does say that anyone who is not catholic is heretical. I find that troublesome. Remember FAITH IS NOT A WORK. GOOD works cannot get you into heaven. CHRIST is the only way an HE, as john 1 says is the light of the world an his light is in all men. GOD gives ALL his Light an whether you have heard of Christ or not, if we respond to that light, we get the LIGHT OF CHRIST. SO as Paul states all people are without excuse!!!. Paul continues . god made from 1 man a nation of men an appoints to all the exact times and places where we all should live,he did that so we might seek an find HIM, but he is not far from Us. So that’s why the bible can say there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. NO matter what religious bent you are if you seek the light you will receive that light. GOD is the GOD of All. the GOD of the Bible. AMEN

  141. BOB says:

    PAUL says absent from the body,PRESENT with the LORD. So if we have trusted in Christ as our SAVIOR then Purgatory is not necessary.

  142. ask says:

    Excellent way of describing, and nice post to get data about my presentation subject matter, which i am
    going to deliver in academy.

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