Question:

I happened upon your site and didn't have time for the whole thing but I thought I may help you with a correct interpretation on a passage you quote from St. Paul at the top:

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth"

First of all the Catholic church is the original church and follows the traditions set forth by Christ. How could that church depart from itself? The group that departed were the protestants, whose sole existence is one large contradiction. They believe in only the Bible and not tradition, yet none of them can explain nowhere in the Bible can you find anything that says the Bible is the ONLY authority in the church. That is the hypocrisy they speak. They forbid the sacrament of marriage and are not bothered to divorce when times get tough. The fact that clergy do not marry has nothing to do with this, as this has not always been the practice. In fact for about half of the time the Catholic church has existed, priests could marry. Finally, and most disturbingly is the fact that they abstain from the foods in which God created. They do not believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, which is foolish. First of all nowhere in the Bible does it say he is not, but if you read it carefully it certainly says that he is. In Matthew Jesus says "This IS my body...This IS my blood," if he meant it to be a symbol of his body and blood he would have said this is a symbol of my body and blood. If that weren't enough read the sermon on the mount and at least six times Jesus speaks about how he is the bread of life and those who eat that bread will be saved. If you look to the original Greek at the word used for eat it literally means to chew.

I believe you have a good heart and great intentions, but you should study the Bible a little closer before you declare Catholics to be such awful people.


Answer:

In truth, the Catholicism actually departed from the original church. The reason Catholicism left the original practices of the church that Jesus founded is their belief that the church has the right to modify the commands of God. This drifting away process took place slowly over several hundred years and Catholicism as it is today was established between the years of 325 and 606 AD, the years that Catholicism codified its beliefs. Jesus Christ established his church on the day of Pentecost: "praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). See: Why did Catholicism start and when did it happen?

Next you state that the Bible is not the authority of the church, but tradition is. The Bible is Christians' only authority, as Paul wrote to Timothy: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17). The true word of God is in the Bible: "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

It can easily be proven that the Bible is our sole authority: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (II Peter 1:2-4). All things pertaining to life and godliness is obtained through the knowledge God has given us, which is referring to the Scriptures. If anything additional were needed, then the Scriptures would not contain all things pertaining to life and godliness. For further details, see: Our Sole Standard.

While there are traditions approved in the Bible as long as they are in accordance to righteousness (I Corinthians 11:2; II Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6), the traditions of the Catholic church are wrong because they are not from God, but from men. Jesus condemned man's traditions while addressing the Pharisees: "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do" (Mark 7:8). "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men" (Matthew 15:7-9). Paul warned the church in in Colossae about man made traditions: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Colossians 2:8). Catholicism has a boatload of man-made traditions, too many to list here, that their followers adhere to zealously, such as praying to Mary instead of to Jesus, our Mediator to God (I Timothy 2:5). See: What is wrong with Catholicism?

Every Christian who is not a Catholic forbids marriage? Your statement is ironic since Catholicism itself forbids their priests, monks and nuns from marriage. In the true Church of our Lord, marriage is held in very high esteem as God created the institution Himself: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is honorable: "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). The claim that Protestants forbid marriage is clearly false. Perhaps you believe that any marriage not sanctioned by the Roman Catholic church is not a real marriage, but your belief doesn't make it a truth.

Your next accusation is also full of irony: abstaining from foods that God created. Does not the Roman Catholic church have Lent, which forbids eating meat on Fridays for a number of weeks? Nowhere in the Bible is that commanded from our Lord. Christians only restrict eating foods that are sacrificed to idols, animals that are strangled and things with blood (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; Revelation 2:14, 20; I Corinthians 10:28).  Why would following God's command be disturbing and foolish?

The word "Eucharist" is not found in the Bible, let alone applied to the Lord's Supper. You cite Mathew 26:26-29 as proof that is was literally Jesus's body and blood. Yet, in verse 26, we read that Jesus "took the bread, blessed and broke it."  He was taking the bread, not his literal body. Likewise in verse 29, when He states that His blood was of the fruit of the vine, Jesus was speaking figuratively. It is noticeable as a metaphor because Jesus was standing whole before the disciples when He said these words. Roman Catholics claim a miracle took place when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper; but why, unlike the other miracles in the Bible, did this "miracle" take place unannounced, unseen and unnoticed by the twelve disciples?  A similar figurative metaphor can be found in John 8:12, Jesus said "I am the light of the world." He wasn't stating He was a walking lamp even though He did not state that He was talking symbolically.

By the way, the Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew 5-7, not in John 6 where Jesus states He is the bread of life.

Finally, we are not protestants; we are God-fearing Christians who follow the Bible, without adding or subtracting a single word from His word. We follow God's commands, not men.

by Jamie Johnson and Jeff Hamilton