Other Christians Are Wrong, Sure. So Try to Get Inside Their Heads.

By David Mills Published on November 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This piece is part of our series on Christian Unity.

My Protestant friends think this kind of thing is just bats. But maybe really heretical. The shirt he’d just put on scratched his neck, Joe Grabowski explained on Facebook. “I was about to change the shirt when I realized today is Friday, and now I just can’t bring myself to do it.”

Catholics observe the day of the Crucifixion with little acts of penance. Traditionally, we don’t eat meat and maybe even skip a meal. Sometimes we throw in a few other small sacrifices, like wearing an uncomfortable shirt.

My Protestant friends would say that Joe’s wearing the shirt was either: a) silly and pointless (that is, bats) or b) a denial of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the Cross (heretical). As a Catholic, let me say: Given what you believe God has told man, fair enough. Go ahead, make fun of Joe.

He’s a Good Guy

But don’t just make fun of him. Readers may know Joe as the media guy of the National Organization for Marriage and a writer for The Stream. If you talked to him about any other subject, you’d think he’s a good, sane, thoughtful guy.

Separated Christians may want to stay away from each other, but the world throws us together. You know your Joes, if you’re a Bible-thumper or Mackerel-snapper. Guys you trust, guys who love God, good, sane, thoughtful guys you think completely screw up the Christian faith.

So here’s the trick, my Protestant friends: Assume he really is a good, sane, thoughtful guy. Even when he’s doing something you think bats or even heretical. Assume that he loves Jesus as much as you do, because he does, and that maybe he see’s something you don’t. If he’s as wrong as you think, you need to figure out why he’s wrong before you can help him get it right.

That trick depends on an even harder one. Here’s the harder trick: Try to get inside his mind and imagination. Learn his theology if you can, but it won’t tell you much. 

Try to see the world as he sees it. Work to feel things as he feels them. See what he really loves. Watch how he loves the things he loves. See who he thinks about and who he tries to please. Find out what sends him to his knees and brings to his feet. Keep yourself from arguing with him. That you can do later, if you feel you need to. Now just to try to understand him from the inside.

That’s really hard work. Not everyone can do it very well. Even fewer people can do it and explain it to others.

But you have to try if you have friends like Joe. And you do. Separated Christians may want to stay away from each other, but the world throws us together. You know your Joes, if you’re a Bible-thumper or Mackerel-snapper. Guys you trust, guys who love God, good, sane, thoughtful guys … that you think completely screw up the Christian faith. Either bats or heretics, but brothers in Christ.

Really Hard Work

How can you do this, because your friend’s religion really is weird? I think one thing really helps. As I said, skip his theology for now. Look at your friend’s devotions and hymns. How does he pray? What does he sing?

When I was a teenager, some friends took me to their Baptist church. I thought a lot of it weird. Lovely people but gosh, what they believed … They read a lot of Paul, which made no sense to me. The theology I didn’t find appealing. They lived pretty narrow lives. Some were strikingly kind, but a few were mean, snarling fundamentalists from the Book of Liberal Stereotypes.

Try to get inside his mind and imagination. Try to see the world as he sees it. Work to feel things as he feels them. See what he really loves. Watch how he loves the things he loves. See who he thinks about and who he tries to please. Find out what brings him to his knees and brings to his feet.

But those Baptist hymns struck me. They’d sing “Just as I am, without one plea,” and another one that began, “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.”

The first time I heard that second one, I can’t tell you how gross I thought it was. A fountain filled with blood? Eeeeeuw. But here’s the thing. I also watched everyone sing. I saw how many believed every word, including a lovely older man who teared up all the time. Because they believed it, I began to think about it. Because I thought about it, I saw how beautiful is the hymn’s vision of God’s love for man. I saw what my friends felt.

That first verse: “And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.” To be clean, to be innocent again, wow, I thought. I didn’t believe it, but I saw why they sang it with tears. And that last verse, gosh:

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
  Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
  I’ll sing Thy power to save:
  I’ll sing Thy power to save,
  I’ll sing Thy power to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
  I’ll sing Thy power to save.

A Life of Singing

Heaven would be a life of ongoing gratitude. It would be a life of singing. I loved that. Whatever screwy stuff these people believed, I thought, they wanted something really good. I had to respect that.

So, friends, do the hard work of trying to get into each other’s minds and imaginations. Start with what your friends love, with how they pray and sing, how they worship the God you both adore. It’ll be a stretch. Protestant friends, wait till you get to the Memorare. But try. As a Baptist friend says, “I think this will bless your heart.” 

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  • Dean Bruckner

    Thanks, David! I don’t think Joe is batty or anything remotely close to it. The Apostle Paul was the one who said, speaking of worship on a different day than some other Christians, “…he who observes the day does so for the Lord” as an act of personal obedience and worship. Remember, the concept of conscience and liberty in Christ was most fully developed by Paul, out of all the apostles. You Catholics fast on Fridays and during Lent? My assumption is that you do so for the Lord’s sake.

    • Vincent J.

      Paul had something to say on this subject: Gal 4:9-11 NIV “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[a]? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.”

      He calls these practices enslavement. Is that what Catholics want, to be enslaved by worthless practices?

  • Chip Crawford

    Assuming God is right and his word is his will, interpreted by the Holy Spirit, perhaps it should be consulted. Making one’s own adjustments is just fine right? Like what’s going on with judges and a whole party in our country, tossing out what is written for their traditions and what seems right to them. There just might be more to these things than we have figured out in our finite brains. Emotionally, our attempts to be inclusive and generous may also backfire. Again, God is smarter than us, knowing more, seeing ahead and he is love. We don’t have to fix his word or his ways to make them nice in our eyes. When we don’t understand or see into his things, his word or his will or ways, we are to ask. He says he will answer, and he does what he says. Come with your heart open to him and find out. It’s late in the day for us to be embracing or adding codicils and amendments to his Last Will and Testament. Indeed, we should be about shedding all weights and hindrances, and that certainly includes funky man made traditions because one lacks revelation of the core of a matter. Let’s be about going after God and allowing him to turn lights on, making things brighter and clearer, rather than defending our twilights in any areas.

  • Nunyadambizness

    Growing up as a Protestant, In my life I’ve had friends who were Catholic, and friends of other Christian (as well as non-Christian) beliefs. For those who profess a love of the Lord and who do their best to live up to the scriptures they read (presumably), I have no condemnation nor judgement whatsoever–as the Word says–we all must work out our own “salvation with fear and trembling”, and frankly I’m not the one going to judge another’s attempts at doing so. In the same way, I don’t think it right that anyone put themselves in that place either, as we have only one Judge and Savior (“and you’re not Him!”). I find it troublesome however, that there are those who profess a love of Christ and yet would condemn those who disagree with their particular interpretation of the Word–If we agree that Christ is who He said He was, and if we agree on the salvation that is offered to us for our belief in Him (see Rom. 8:1, Eph 1:7, and Eph 2:8), then we can disagree on some finer points in the same way a husband and wife can be agreed on how to raise a child but differ on certain specifics–and we can work things out in the same manner (hopefully without all of the yelling). 😉

    For my non-Christian friends, I will continue to offer the gift that I have been given, in the best way I know how and in the hope that they will come to know the Lord before His return.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Scripture reminds us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    Yet the same heart that can speak doctrinal compromise or worse blatant unbelief
    seems to wax poetic when words penned by sanctified souls put to rhythm & rhyme are
    sung. That melody seems to originate somewhere deeper than the origin of the discordant doctrinal diatribes accosting the “weaker brothers ” ears . All of us are perceived to be weaker brethren at one time or another by those who hold divergent views on matters we deem significant among ourselves. Yes it is a challenge as the indian proverb suggests , to walk a mile in another mans shoes . Perhaps among the many redeeming virtues that music provides is the ability to open up our hearts to profound & eternal truth. Likewise it is this criteria which prevents it from being merely a lifeless recitation of doctrinal declarations. That as Mr Mills implies. which can truly unite us in spite of the vast doctrinal discrepancies existing among ourselves is our devotion to the Father & to His firstborn Son ; Yehoshua /Yeshua/ Jesus.
    Paul had his reasons for exhorting us to be speaking to one another in “psalms, hymns & spiritual songs & making melody in our heart to the Lord’ …..!

    • Chip Crawford

      The fact that what is sung, with music particularly, has a way of getting into the heart is all the more importance that the words be truth.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Yes, that was my point. Songs which challenge foundational redemptive gospel truths will not produce the kind of charisma that can unite a sometimes disenfranchised body of believers. Worship , which the author was referencing goes a whole lot further in drawing together a disparate group of believers than songs of questionable scriptural integrity. Worship can only proceed from a heart that leans towards God …

        • Chip Crawford

          Actually, the heart can be right while the head is wrong. Heartfelt worship while belting out unscriptural expressions is likely received by God for its sincerity. However, being sincerely wrong is not enjoined. I think God will receive the heart worship, but endeavor to correct the error. Such does not edify the singer or the hearers. Again, the Father does not particularly care for it either, if his reactions in the word are to be believed.

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            Yes, once again we are in agreement. My point is that apart from foundational biblical truth, there is not the “power” to convict either an unbeliever or a potentially divisive believer of the appropriate fundamentals upon which unity among the brethren is accomplished when enjoined through the musical expression of worship …

          • Chip Crawford

            whatever you say blue jay 🙂

  • Hmmm…

    Perhaps one of the golden verses is about speaking the truth in love … and a challenge, as are things of value. In my view, the church is unduly passive today, and I think our reticence with gentle confrontation or speaking forth with holy boldness is one thing that is lacking. More about apologetics is being discussed, it seems. That seems good, because we need to be taught and to train in relating to unbelievers. But there’s this area of coming together with others not of our “camp” who believe variations from what we do. We have knowledge, but I like the statement that wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. That seems to be what is needed. Back to the truth in love — gaining that balance does not mean compromising or going along with error, even if not foundational, in my view. Yet, all the while one should maintain a spirit that expresses acceptance and gives worth to the other person – from the heart. Ouch. That is costly discipleship indeed, yet to which the master seems to call us.

  • Linda

    I love this humble exhortation, with the personal examples. The picky shirt guy has a sensitive spirit. Despite being a longtime member of a Pentecostal church which I have no plans to leave, I admire the deep faith and rituals of my Russian orthodox friends and their priest. I don’t doubt for a moment that the Lord is blessed and honoured by their liturgical services. I am even coming to appreciate their saints.

  • Dean Bruckner

    Wait, what? Catholics drink the blood of Christ but have an issue with a fountain filled with blood? Hmmmm….

    Both have scriptural support. The gospels for communion/eucharist as Jesus’ blood; Zechariah 13:1 for the fountain cleansing us from sin: “On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity….” The book of Hebrews indicates that only Jesus’ blood can cleanse us from sin.

    Taking this in the spirit it’s offered, thanks for sharing, David!

  • Kelly B

    I’m a devout Protestant, and, were you able to view my previous posts concerning the RCC, you’d see that I tend to have a dark view of it.

    But one morning about a year ago, as I was ruminating on the lostness of Filipinos who are some of the most fanatic of catholics, the Lord spoke directly into my spirit “They love Me too.”

    I was both delighted (that the God who made the universe would occasionally speak to a nobody like me!) and wounded (that I knew I was bringing grief to that same loving Father).

    I immediately asked Him for forgiveness, and to make me think like He does concerning Catholics. Since then I refrain from posting excoriating attacks on Catholics, and hope it helps me grow in the Lord, just a little.

    • Hmmm…

      It’s so good that God can reach and work with anyone anywhere and he does. My Catholic relatives embraced much error, but some had a real heart for God. He honors that. My mother used to roll up her slacks, put a coat on and go over to the Catholic Church nearby and work on her stations of the cross, with special intentions for things she and the family needed. She prayed to St. Jude especially. I fully believe that God honored that, because it is hearts that he hears and sees. And all of these had their hearts turned to God. I did their rituals and some of it captured my childish imagination, but it was a good day when the Gospel was shared with me in truth. I’ve never looked back. Many of these others I mention have had a similar real encounter. There is no question that God is faithful and he is love, and wants us to see and share his love for individuals, hearts. He tells me too of his love for the people. However, that overall system has cracks and fissures that its sandy foundation will not be able to support in the day of the Lord. History records their many departures from the way from which they started. Catholics definitely need our prayers and our love.

      • Kelly B

        yes – and “They couldn’t help that they were taught worthless trash” is so true – catholicism tends to be a family affair, just like Islam – and it really isn’t their fault that they don’t know any better – especially Muslims, since, when they are disowned by their family, it is MUCH worse than what happens to a catholic who picks up the bible and realizes that Jesus is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life. I’ve known several ex-Catholics whose families aren’t happy with them, but there is certainly no honor killng involved…

    • Kathy

      I have felt led in the opposite direction. I was raised a Lutheran, but attended the RCC with my husband for 30 years. It was not until I left that church, after many years of doubting many of their teachings, that I researched for myself. God opened my eyes and heart to Him in the process. It’s been about 6 years now and I still feel compelled to share what I’ve learned with Catholic people, even after many people have tried to discourage me from doing it for various reasons.

      It all boils down to the authority of Scripture. The RCC has added doctrine decreed by men, namely the pope, some harmless, others that totally contradict Scripture. Most of Protestantism consist of minor differences. The “higher” mentioned above do still ascribe to some RCC teachings, like infant baptism, while some of the “lower” have gone as far as ignoring Bible verses, like disregarding the sacraments of baptism and communion.

      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Kathy as a Catholic ( by the way the Roman bit doesn’t need be added ) am surprised by your objection of Baby’s being Baptised. Granted the first of it in Scripture with John the Baptist were mostly all adults as of the story of Our Lord in scripture. But am sure he would have and did Baptise Infants and children. We know of course that in Christ Day Children were more or less hunted away from Adult men anyhow, but in Christs own words ” suffer little Children to come unto me ” am sure he meant that both in the Physical and in the spiritual. Am sorry to hear that you left Catholicism . I for one cannot understand how one could go so long and doubt so much especially had you or if you did attend Traditional Latin Mass . Kyrie Eleison.

        • Kathy

          The issue concerning infant baptism is that infants have no concept of repentance, belief and placing their total trust in Jesus Christ as adults would. What do you believe is the reason for baptizing a child too young to realize what is happening?

          I have never experienced a Latin Mass, but all Masses are beautiful and moving. However, there seemed to be much more emphasis placed on the rituals, traditions and requirements rather than the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, which should be absolutely paramount. It was beautiful, like I said, but a distraction from what is most important.

          • EC

            All human beings are born with the debt of sin, inherited from Adam. Baptism removes this, by incorporating a human being into the mystery of God’s own incarnate life in the Person of His Son, raising that person to the state of grace (heading to Heaven!) so long as that grace is not resisted. Objections which are based on an inability to repent or desire salvation imply that the rite itself an empty shell void of any real power or meaning… We can repent, after all, without having water poured on our head with special words being said. We find absolutely no teaching about refraining from baptizing infants in Scripture. On the other hand, we find that we are supposed to baptize “all” – see also Acts 10, where Peter baptizes Cornelius’ household. We are not told there are children, but why should there not be? The biblical foundation exists in the whole theology of the sacramental economy: we must be reborn by dying in baptism. We must enter the Ark, we must cross the Red Sea, we must traverse the Jordan… Baptism imbues the soul with grace by destroying the old man (Adam) and putting on the new (Christ).

            It does indeed all boil down to the authority of Scripture… WHY is Scripture an authority? After all, it was written by mere men, and compiled by mere men, and now commented on by mere men… Wouldn’t God somehow have to have given some special group of human beings His own authority to teach in His name – that is, infallibly?

          • Kathy

            Absolutely! We are born with a debt of sin. The ritual of baptism does not remove that sin and guarantee a place in heaven, as I understand you are saying. The act of repentance and putting your faith in what Christ did on the cross, enduring the full wrath of God for that sin, is what provides salvation. Baptism is a public proclamation of that trust we have in Jesus.

            One example: The thief on the cross was never baptized, yet he placed his faith and trust in Jesus as he was dying and Jesus assured him “Today you will be with Me in paradise”.

          • EC

            You read my statement backwards…

            We do not earn Heaven except by grace. Why should grace necessarily involve me working then? Children have nothing to repent of anyway, no actual sin, just the debt of Adam which excludes from Heaven.

            There was no such sacrament until the Great Commission (Christ had to die and rise in order for people to be baptized into His death and Resurrection)… Nor is God limited to the sacraments – baptism of blood and of desire are both efficacious, and in fact a baptism of blood is superior. To be empowered by grace to die in testimony to the Faith is its own process of justification, and so too is to long for baptism by water.

          • Richard A

            You are mistaken. Baptism does remove sins and guarantee a place in Heaven, a place which we can subsequently lose if we fail to live the life of good works to which we are called. We must be born again of water and the Holy Spirit. We must eat the Body and drink the Blood of our Savior if we are to have eternal life. We are called to preach to all nations and to baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism IS that act of faith in Christ’s saving action on the cross.
            The necessity of baptism and the Eucharist was clearly preached by Christ and His apostles. It was a pattern He established, and from which He can vary, if He chooses, as He did regarding the good thief on Calvary.

          • Kathy

            I must keep this brief….Jesus said we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of heaven, as you mentioned. I was baptized as an infant, but was a going-through-the-motions “Christian” until just 6 years ago. God opened by eyes and heart to Him and, without detailing my full experience, I have become a fully committed follower of Christ. I experienced the new birth, a transformation in other words. Baptism is an affirmation of that new birth, the cleansing of sins granted to us at our conversion.

            Works are done in faithful obedience and gratitude to God, not in order to keep our salvation. How would anyone know how many good deeds are enough? The thief on the cross had no time to perform good deeds or get baptised, yet Jesus welcomed Him because he turned from his sin and put his trust in Christ.

          • Richard A

            Christ commanded water baptism so as to inherit eternal life, He commanded His disciples to baptize, and that is what they obviously did in the Acts of the Apostles. The church has a well-worked out teaching on “baptism of desire” and “baptism of blood,” to account for those who are prevented by death from receiving the baptism for which they were preparing. Apart from that, baptism is necessary.
            “Baptism is an affirmation of that new birth …” No, baptism IS that new birth. Your words are, unfortunately, a departure from what Christ told Nicodemus on the subject.

          • Kathy

            As you know, Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus was recorded in

            John 3:1-21. Beginning in verse 7 “You must be born anew. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes: so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. As happened during Pentecost, the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, not with water, and transformed into new creations, the new birth. I experienced that myself, Richard.

          • Chip Crawford

            Me too. It’s the spirit baptism. So needed; that’s why it is endorsed all over the New Testament. Folks need to do more study so as not to confuse the different baptisms. they should check the Greek words used in the passages so as to be accurate which one is being used.

          • Kathy

            It seems you have been on this journey longer I have been….I am learning from many of your posts. From what some of these people are saying, it’s as if anyone can just request that they be baptized (with water) and through that, suddenly become right with God. Don’t think they believe that, but I get that impression.

          • Chip Crawford

            I am much edified by your posts as well, your heart, and wanted to lend a hand, as that person is very heavily persistent, shall we say. If only they would come into the real, all of this substitutionary would be eliminated. Who would exchange the vital life of the spirit, the revelation of the word of God, for these fables and shadows. One of the biggest leaps in my Christian growth came when I began to get solid word teaching. There is nothing like sitting under anointed preaching and teaching. Transforming! You likely have been led to some with the gift of teaching in the body, and I pray you would continue to be connected with vital channels of revelation knowledge. I thank God for your walk and heart after God in truth.

          • Kathy

            Thank you, and I certainly appreciate your help! I think we’ve both come to realize how complicated people’s faith walk can be when they put their trust in sinful and fallen human beings. All we have to do is look at the corruption in the Catholic church from the beginning to realize we should not rely on men.

            Teachers of the Word that I pay attention to always encourage us to refer to Scripture and not automatically believe everything they are teaching. There are so many false prophets in all denominations! Not sure I can mention names here, but I definitely look for anointed preaching and teaching and have disregarded some I realized were deviating from Scripture.

            I always refer to Jesus chastising the Pharisee’s for making the faithful’s life difficult with rules, rituals and traditions that they must abide by (not Torah-based) to be “good” Jews I see the same happening in our faith, as I know you do.

            Sure I will be enjoying more posts from you on future articles on this website. 🙂

          • Chip Crawford

            I have appreciated graduates and associates of Rhema Bible Training Center in that respect, with the added benefit of not denying the power that is to accompany the Gospel.

          • Jeffrey Job

            I am not surprised that you were a Catholic for so long and learned almost nothing from it. That’s the norm unfortunately at least in my experience. All research bears this out.

            This is a common experience; going through motions devoid of faith, having a genuine encounter with the Christ, faith suddenly comes alive and a person’s life begins to be transformed. Then a belief that the truth was kept from you by your current church so it must be the wrong one and then the Church shopping starts.

            This also happened to me and this also was my path out of Catholicism and into Evangelical Protestantism, developing anti Catholicism and a desire to save my poor misguided family.

            Two problems with that. The first is that Truth without faith or understanding produces nothing
            Second is that when faith does come alive it’s a false conclusion to decide the problem was that the Church wasn’t teaching it.
            The problem I had was the truth was being taught but I was unable to hear it. Also I thought I knew the Catholic faith but did not. Knowing externals but devoid of faith is not knowing the faith at all. Also being immersed in Catholic culture is not faith either but I and many ex Catholics thought it was.
            This phenomenon isn’t only among ex Catholics either. A pastor I know was raised Lutheran, didn’t get it, encountered Christ and promptly decided that Lutheranism kept Jesus from him and off he went to greener pastures.

            A large number of objections to Catholicism you and others cite are rightly to be rejected- except they aren’t catholic teaching at all. You say you’re not supposed to worship Mary and you’re right except we don’t.
            You say you don’t need to offer any more sacrifices for sin,that Calvary was enough and you’re right, it was a once for all event.
            You say Mass is offering new sacrifices but it isn’t. It’s making the same once for all Sacrifice present to us. God is not limited by time and space. We couldn’t be there at Calvary with Him so He makes Calvary present to us.
            You say rituals are not efficacious and that you need faith and you’re right. Any dead work is worthless. Except the Church teaches that Sacraments are Sacraments OF FAITH and that nothing done while separated from Christ by sin has any effect at all. I could go on and on but my point is this. People know almost nothing of Church teaching then when they leave they suddenly become experts in all things catholic. Except they don’t.

          • Kathy

            Thank you so much for taking the time to explain your position. It got a little overwhelming with so many chiming in with their thoughts. I absolutely agree with much of what you wrote.
            I was raised in the Lutheran church, baptized as an infant, confirmed at 13 (protocol), and married a cradle Catholic in my twenties. He went to Catholic school, even had an uncle who was a priest. However, he was never a devout Catholic or a Christian, as I was not. Went to the CC instead of the Lutheran church because his mother would have given us grief, my parents said as long as you are going to church, it doesn’t matter. Raised our sons in the CC as well.

            I thought they were so similar, what does it matter? In other words, I didn’t know much. I learned a lot while at the CC that was, in my mind, questionable. I did not want to upset the apple cart for my family, so I just continued going along. Too many details, but my sons left the CC (like us, they were nominal Christians) when they left home, and I followed suit a few years later. My husband stayed for a while, but did not like going alone, so he left as well.

            I could write a book since then, but when I left, I did a lot of reading to try to confirm or to refute my doubts about the CC, and all were confirmed, so I think I am pretty familiar with the teachings. I felt God opened my heart during that time, it was actually pretty overwhelming for me, and was “born again”, a term I once associated with those “weird Fundamentalists.” I didn’t even realize that Jesus said we must be to enter His Kingdom…that’s how much I knew about the Bible. Sad…

            My husband “compromised” and we joined the Lutheran church, even though I had doubts about that as well. I stopped going there, and just set out on my own to a small non-denom church. So simple and basic…you may be familiar with it. What was the Protestant church you attended? As I said, the huge number of denominations is crazy! I can understand why Catholics see the folly in that.

            Since it’s the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I read a book called “Why the Reformation Still Matters”. It has only, once again, affirmed my belief as most of the posts on this article have. I have never wavered from that, just as I didn’t when I corresponded with an atheist for a year. Not the same, of course, but writing helps us to sort it all out.

            Like you said, heart faith matters, not just head faith. It was not a church that transformed me, it was finally comprehending the Word of God. So, not sure I could blame my lack of true faith on any church, even the CC. I just can’t agree with many of their teachings. There are more than I mentioned, but if that church helps you grow in your walk with the Lord, that’s great! I could not go back. (Actually, I did for 3 funerals recently…did not change my mind at all)

            It got a little heated with us all…guess we all have our convictions. There were definitely some misunderstandings involved as well. Thank you again, Jeffrey. As Chip said, our Father is not the God of a denomination or group, He is the God of all true believers in His Son. Do you agree?

          • Kathy

            I wrote a lengthy reply to this early this morning, and just saw that it was detected as Spam, but they are “working to get it corrected”, so don’t know if you will ever see it. I don’t know how to resend it, and it would take some time to type it over.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Kathy I did read your response from the email this site sent me. I responded but then it didn’t post. I understand your experience and your views. I can respect them because they are honest. Quick story that may sum up your experience as it did mine.
            A man is walking by a window, looks inside and sees people laughing, bobbing their heads and dancing. He thinks it looks like fun so he goes in and starts mimicking the others but just doesn’t see how it’s so great. In fact he doesn’t get it at all- because he’s deaf. Without the gift of faith any religious activity looks crazy to those who don’t have it. Liturgical worship is almost like speaking in code. Their is so much symbolism and background information needed to even begin to know what’s going on. A danger of Liturgy is it can become mechanical and outward without engaging the heart. But so can any religious practice.

          • Kathy

            Glad you saw it, Jeffrey. It is not that I was clueless as to why things were done during the mass, it was a myriad of other things as well that I questioned. If you would like me to list everything, just let me know. I have learned other things I didn’t know at the time since.

            Jesus said “Come to Me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Think that includes our sin burden. Didn’t look up the exact verse, but sure you know it. The Pharisees laid a heavy burden upon the Jews with all of their extra rules and rituals, and you know that Jesus was not happy about it. I don’t get why anyone would think that doesn’t apply to the church today.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Another perspective that helped me. We all agree that repentance is needed but where I focused on was to stop doing wrong things. These are called sins of commission but then I saw the flip side of that- sins of omission. I was doing things I should not have been but I also was NOT doing things I should be. Like honoring the Lord’s day and praying. So if you truly repent of not praying you have to START praying and honoring the Lord’s day. If you repent of NOT helping the poor you have to START helping them.
            Chip in another post says he pities me cause I must be exhausted which is another misunderstanding. I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me. We Catholics see grace as twofold- actual and sanctifying. Sanctifying grace is receiving the very life of God such as Baptism. He indwells us, He initiates the offer with no prior merit on our part. It only is efficacious for us if we respond in faith. Therefore actions without faith in and union with God are mere superstitious practices that accomplish nothing. The other grace is actual which is Gid giving us His strength to do something He requires of us. This is what we recieve in all our faith practices. Again, if we aren’t united to Him the only strength He gives us is to once again repent and start over again.
            Protestants think grace is only about forgiveness if sin. They also seem to think grace makes obedience unnecessary. We think grace makes it possible.

          • Kathy

            Yes, the Holy Spirit prompts you to repent of both kinds of sin that you mentioned. Absolutely, repenting is not just confessing, but turning away from those sins and/or then doing the things that were omitted in your past.

            You have not said what Protestant denomination you ascribed to, but I don’t at all think that obedience is unnecessary. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. Yes, and actions without faith are dead works, while faith is dead without works. However, these good works are done in love and gratitude to God (your response to His saving grace and love initiated by Him) not as an assurance in keeping your salvation. Someone posted that

            In you have experienced the new birth, there is no need to keep receiving grace upon grace…it is already imputed to you at your conversion. What I think you are saying is that to keep it ongoing, you MUST DO all of these extra things. Otherwise the grace is depleted or removed from you. Am I misunderstanding?

            Just to clarify, there are Protestant churches I would stay away from (prosperity gospel oriented, liberal/progressive, etc) I have stopped listening to or reading anything by preachers I perceive to stray from the Word of God…everyone must be discerning. I believe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps us do that.

          • Richard A

            The apostles had already been water baptized. It is not mentioned in the Gospels, but consider:
            1) Jesus Himself was baptized – with water – and declared it necessary to fulfill all righteousness;
            2) Jesus commanded his apostles to baptize;
            3) Paul was baptized after he met Christ on the road to Damascus. It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the apostles were themselves baptized and not reasonable to conclude that they were not.

            I also experienced a baptism of the Holy Spirit, many years after my baptism with water.

            You manage somehow to ignore that Our Savior specifically commands water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit.

          • Chip Crawford

            O Lofty One, you manage to bore to the core. Prating assertions do not substitute for sound instruction. Kindly note.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Your pride and insulting lack of charity reveal you aren’t as close to God as you imagine you are. The Bible says that anyone who claims he loves God Who he can’t see but despises his brother he can see is a liar.
            You ignore Scripture others cite and ignore valid questions you can’t answer. You aren’t interested in an honest discussion, just a condescending monologue to show everyone how wrong they are. Imho.

          • Kathy

            So, what was the point in being baptized with water if you hadn’t yet been baptized by the Holy Spirit? What did the water do for you? I realize water baptism is a commandment, but I always wonder about the thief on the cross. He was obviously baptized by the Holy Spirit when he came to the realization that Christ was the promised Messiah. He was never baptized with water or had a chance to do his “good works”., yet Jesus welcomed him with arms wide open, literally.

          • Richard A

            Well, it’s a commandment. Which you understand. The Holy Spirit accompanies baptism, which is how it can have its effect.

            Christ’s commands it,to us. Christ, obviously, can save souls without it.

            Christianity developed a whole theology of baptism, both regarding its necessity and how someone who comes to faith in Christ but dies before being baptized can be saved which I outlined above.

          • Kathy

            How about the real simplicity of it, Richard. You experience the new supernatural birth by the Holy Spirit (born of water means your first natural birth) and then are compelled to obey that commandment to be baptized with water to seal your ongoing commitment to Christ. I grew up with infant baptism all around me (my whole family included), but realized later that it doesn’t mean a thing unless you have an actual heart change and transformation through the Holy Spirit, which the thief had.

          • Richard A

            I for one would be reluctant to describe anything done that Christ commands as “not mean[ing] a thing.” It may not be enough, but it isn’t meaningless. Unless obeying Christ is meaningless.

          • Kathy

            I was a Christian essentially in name only even though I was baptized as an infant. There was no spiritual birth there at all. I do not believe because you are baptized with water, you suddenly become a truly committed follower of Christ and are assured of salvation. I guess I am not making myself clear.

          • Richard A

            Baptism cleanses from original sin and all actual sins and infuses the soul with saving grace.
            You still need to follow it up with a life committed to Christ. It doesn’t fill ignorance with knowledge or compel the will to follow the path upon which it has embarked.

          • Kathy

            This will be my last post to you on this thread…I just noticed this comment. I can’t help but think that what you are saying about water baptism “infusing the soul with saving grace” gives the impression that even an atheist could request a water baptism and be forgiven of his sin and granted salvation. Not that an atheist would do that…just trying to make a point. You must be born again of the Spirit, which actually does infuse us with saving grace – a real change of heart (the wind blows where it will…..in John 3) Know I keep repeating myself, but the thief on the cross was not baptized with water, only the Spirit.

          • Kathy

            Ooooops, know I will be chastised for not includingr this. Then, and only then, you request to be baptized with water, Jesus didn’t tell the rich, young ruler or just anyone he encountered to just go ahead and be baptized and you will be forgiven and saved.

          • Richard A

            Yes, if an atheist were to request and receive Christian baptism, he would at that moment be cleansed of original sin and the guilt of all the actual sins he had committed up to that time. Because that’s what baptism does. Because it flows from and is dependent on the grace won by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He would at that moment be infused with the Holy Spirit and if he were to be struck dead by a meteorite the next second he would enter into eternal life.
            You keep circling back to the thief on the cross, as if an exception based on obvious necessity completely vitiates the basic requirement. Water baptism was necessary for you and me, because we were not facing imminent death.

          • Kathy

            So, you don’t really have to believe in God at all before you are baptized? Wow, that is one of the most insane things I have ever heard in my life! Did your church actually teach you that.? If they did, it’s even worse than I thought. Why the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if non-believers could be granted forgiveness and salvation? Why bother evangelizing at all? Why not just walk around sprinkling water on everyone’s head? Like FoOF always says, I am astounded! Tell me I have misunderstood something, please!

          • Richard A

            You brought up the atheist, whose interior disposition, I am to suppose, is more powerful than the promises of Christ and the grace of God?
            And why the Great Commission, with its explicit command to baptize all nations, if we don’t really have to do it?

          • Kathy

            The atheist reference was just to make a point. There must be repentance (a confessing and turning away from our rebellion against God, and placing our faith and trust solely in the wrath of God we deserved (yes) being poured out on His Son on the cross. Baptism is a public profession of that heart transformation and the cleansing Jesus provided from that sin. And, a dying to self and being raised with Him. I am not denying that it is part of the Great Commission, but it seems you are saying the water baptism is all that is necessary.

            Read this earlier by CH Spurgeon: “The life of faith is represented as receiving an act that implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift” I know, it is so contrary to our culture…you must do more to earn acceptance. Very difficult to get away from.

            What is different is that Jesus did the work for us…no need to be concerned with doing more to earn His approval. “If you love me, follow my commandments”, not you must do penance, good works, etc. to REALLY earn my favor. How freeing that is to just accept His gift! Didn’t He come to set us free? Like I said, how much penance, etc. would be enough anyway?

            RE: 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 reward…loss…saved…as through fire. Although those who have believed in Jesus have already been justified by faith and will not face condemnation on the final day, God will still judge their works and REWARD them accordingly. (From a Study Bible)

            Hope this helps.

          • Richard A

            “…but it seems you are saying the water baptism is all that is necessary.”

            Odd. I specifically said in at least two responses to you that water baptism was not all that is necessary. It is the beginning of the life of faith in Christ; we still need to walk in it. You seem, to me, to be claiming that baptism does nothing in the soul of the one who is baptized.

            Exactly. God will judge the works of every Christian and REWARD accordingly, with fire if those works are unworthy of Him.

          • Kathy

            From what I understand, you said baptism comes first and that is what transforms the inner person, as if even a person that rejects God will experience this transformation just by having water placed on their head. Jesus said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He didn’t say be baptized first and you will automatically repent and acquire a transformed heart..

            I didn’t read anything in the study Bible about “the fire” referred to, but I have read before that it means being saved by the “skin of your teeth” or “narrowly escaping the flames” by not bearing much, if any, fruit in your life. In other words, I guess, no rewards are granted, but you are still saved.

          • Richard A

            It is obvious from Scripture that one becomes a Christian by being baptized. For non-Christians old enough to choose baptism freely, it’s clear that some faith already is alive in the heart. For those like you and me, however, who were baptized as infants, the spiritual effect still occurred, because Christ, Who established and ordered it, is not limited by our physical or intellectual weakness.
            Obviously, we still need to nurture our faith and conform our hearts to Christ. Surely you know of some adults who have fallen away after making an adult commitment to Christ and receiving baptism? If not, blessed are you. Even St Paul did (track Demas through his letters some time).
            I wouldn’t want to speculate on what the “study” adds to your Bible, but the verses themselves are full of references to fire. And not only are no rewards granted, the one experiencing is “suffers loss”; though not loss of eternal life in Heaven.
            Read C S Lewis on the subject of purgatory. He provides an explanation that is consistent with the Catholic Church’s understanding and makes sense in the light of the passage in Scripture we’ve been discussing.

          • Jeffrey Job

            There’s your faulty understanding of Catholic teaching again. Once more from the top: all Sacraments are Sacraments of faith. If faith isn’t present they do nothing. The Church agrees with you. Infant baptism is effective because the parents provide the faith the child at the moment can not. Just like they provided everything else a child can’t. Second misconception you have: Baptism INITIATES a life of faith, it DOES NOT guarantee anything.

            The thief on the cross? You remember that in one of the Gospels it says BOTH were reviling Him but then something causes him to believe, repent, obviously came to faith in Jesus to save his soul but he also did something else you overlook. He accepted his just punishment and Jesus let him STAY on the cross.

          • Kathy

            I did not see this earlier. From what I understand, the only sacraments that are biblical are Baptism and, what I call, Holy Communion…the others were added by the CC. Why add? That’s what I don’t understand…why make things more complicated than needed? The Pharisees did that, something Christ always chastised them for… making the faithful’s life more difficult.

            The Jews dedicated their infants in the temple, as Jesus was dedicated. My church does baby dedications, it is only when a child or adult professes faith (through the Spirit birth) that they are baptized with water. One of my concerns is I remember when Catholic parents were told if their infant is not baptized with water before it dies, the baby will be in limbo, hell or whatever. Besides losing the child, how horrible to have to deal with that guilt!

            I can’t wrap my head around the torturous suffering of Christ on the cross for us if we still must be punished after that for our sins, or add to our own merit. To me, that is an affront to His sacrifice. Again, adding human works to the equation. Faith is a gift of God, “that no one should boast” Again, how much punishment, good deeds, etc. is enough?

          • Jeffrey Job

            Thanks for a genuine reply. You are, in my opinion, asking honest questions.
            One possible area of misunderstanding of Baptism that both sides may be overlooking is that it is much more than sins being washed away. The Church sees herself as the partial fulfillment of the Jewish promises so there is continuity between Judaism and Catholicism.
            The Jewish dedication of infants on the eighth day ( 8 is the Jewish number for re-creation) along with circumcision were initiation into the Covenant that God had made with His people.
            We see Baptism as an initiation into the New Covenant. We see faith as a personal thing as do you. However, like Judaism we also see faith as a communal thing and Baptism joins us in the community. Sin is washed away but that isn’t the entire story. We are anointed with Holy Oil as a sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Remember the word cristos in Greek and the Word messiah in Hebrew both mean anointed. As in Jesus the Anointed. Jesus at His Baptism was anointed or overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and so are we.
            The very word Christan means anointed.
            Also Paul refers to us being adopted into God’s family. Sorry I can’t cite the chapter and verse.

          • Kathy

            The Messianic Synagogue congregation we attended for a while would probably beg to differ with you. The timeline they gave us described how Constantine devised doctrine in defiance of the Jewish believers…to get as far away as he could from them, one being the change of the Sabbath Day to Sunday.

            Even Protestants will tell you that’s not the reason…even they say it is because Sunday is the Lord’s Day for various reasons. The CC church even belittled the Protestants for keeping that doctrine, citing the Protestants claim to solely adhere to Scripture. It was an anti-Semitic move.

            They identify most closely to non-denominational churches (considered Biblical Christians) other than their continuing Jewish traditions and observations of their Holy Days. It was a very enlightening few months there. They are the first true church… “to the Jew first, then the Greek”

            Many people need physical and visual aids to help them grow in their faith…they need the “hands on” approach. Sometimes, as you know, they can be a hindrance and distraction, which happens with many people…that is their focus. I found the mass to be very robotic and repetitive…many people rely on routines, so they like that.

            Jesus came to free us of all that, not place more requirements on us. Love Him with all we have, love our neighbors (which is not always easy, for sure) obey his commandments and teachings, learn all you can about the Trinity, and be witnesses through our lives, which includes telling others about Him. It’s as simple as that.

          • Chip Crawford

            Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward change — not the inward change. Romans and John and other passes deal with what is required to be saved — believing in the heart and so forth. Got a Concordance? Looks like you’ve got some study to do.

          • Richard A

            You MUST be born again of water and the Holy Spirit. That’s one of the things that John mentions that is required, one of the “so forths”. Like actually eating the flesh and blood of our Lord are also necessary for eternal life.
            Salvation is a package deal. When the New Testament instructs us in one thing that is necessary for salvation, it is not to the exclusion of other things mentioned elsewhere that are also necessary for salvation. Faith, the sacraments, the life of holiness are all commended and are all necessary.

          • Richard A

            You are mistaken about the preaching and the teaching of God’s Word being absolutely paramount. What is absolutely paramount is Christ’s act of perfect adoration of the Father upon the cross, which brings forgiveness of sins and salvation to all those are baptized into His death and rising. The Catholic Mass and the Orthodox Divine Liturgy are true re-presentations on earth of that one eternal act of worship ongoing in Heaven by which we are united to Christ in that act.

          • Kathy

            Well, I would say much of the preaching of God’s Word consists of teaching about Christ’s supreme act of obedience to the Father by His suffering and sacrifice on the cross. While we are on the subject, is it true that Catholics believe that Christ perpetually hangs on the cross for future forgiveness of our sins? I heard that just recently. Also, from what I understand, Christ’s body and blood are sacrificed to God each time the Eucharist is celebrated in the Catholic church. I remember something about “Please accept the sacrifice…” before partaking of the bread and wine, which I was not permitted to do because I never converted.

            Thank you for reminding me about “baptized into His death and rising”, one important point I neglected in my post concerning baptism to EC a few minutes ago.

          • EC

            You may indeed have heard that – but it is not true. There are many myths and haters out there.

            It is an “unbloody sacrifice” – the flesh and blood sacramentally separate, though they also remain united. It is not striking the rock (Christ) a second time (as Moses did), it is speaking to it.

            And He told us to do this, anyway… The remembrance is really to make Him present. There is much available to read on the topic. I can recommend Sheen’s “Calvary and the Mass”.

          • Kathy

            The perpetually hanging on the cross was something written by a Catholic contributor of this website.

          • EC

            Then hopefully it was metaphorical (which would be an acceptable image, insofar as the Church on earth – which is His mystical body – continues to “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ”). If not, then the author was gravely mistaken.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Exactly. I’m guessing most of Protestant misconceptions about Catholicism comes from Catholics who sadly know almost nothing about the actual teaching of the church.

          • Richard A

            Fifty to sixty years after Christ’s death and Resurrection, John saw a vision of Heaven in which was a “lamb standing as though slain” – clearly Christ, the Lamb of God, still eternally offering Himself as a pure offering of worship to the Father and a sacrifice for the sins of the world. I did not encounter the article to which you refer so I won’t speak to how doctrinally correct it is. Most Catholics think of Christ in Heaven in His resurrected, glorified body, not as still on the cross. But we are creatures trapped in time and the life of Heaven is timeless, as is His paschal mystery.

          • Jeffrey Job

            The double consecration is a sign of His death. Whenever blood is separated from the body death occurs. As St Paul says, “ as often as we eat this Bread and drink this Cup we proclaim the death of the Lord till He comes again.”

          • Richard A

            Yes, each Mass is a sacrifice, because it is sacramentally united to the One sacrifice of Christ to the Father on Calvary, made present in an unbloody manner.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Richard- the catechism states that in every Mass the Sacrifice is one and the same as Calvary. It isn’t sacramentally united- it is sacramentally presented.

          • Richard A

            That works for me.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            No it is Not True that Catholics believe that Christ Hangs permanently on the cross for our Sins . Kathy as one who was a Catholic for 30 years you must surely have read and prayed The Apostles Creed . If you haven’t I suggest you do so . You do not say which Protestant Sect you belong to . If it is Anglican then their Apostles Creed is not much different from ours and may even be in your Prayer Book .

          • Kathy

            We recited both the Apostles and the Nicene creeds in the Lutheran church I grew up in along with the Lord’s Prayer, or the Our Father as you may call it, so I am very familiar with them. We both share those professions of our faith, don’t we?

            I now attend a non-denominational church where the truth in the Word of God is taught extensively and exclusively, the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are celebrated, and we praise the Lord with music and singing. Very simple… it’s unfortunate our faith has become so complicated. We must discern what we are being taught, however, and I have tried to avoid anything that deviates from God’s Word.

          • Jeffrey Job

            We are participating in the one Sacrifice on the Cross. We are participating in the one worship of God in Heaven. The Bible is the menu, Holy Communion is the meal.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy if you attended Mass for 30 years as a Catholic and never read or heard the Epistle and Gospel readings well that’s your view. As concerning the Sacrament of Baptism in Infants and Children you surely Must know why this is done . As far as Repentance is concerned True Repentance. That requires a thorough examination of Ones conscience and the Sarement of Penance or Confession. Am sure you wouldn’t or couldn’t see the Sacrament of Penance and Confession as a ritual .

          • Chip Crawford

            Hey, the Holy Spirit is GOD. He’s up to the entire gamut of human interaction and his multi-purposed ministry. Accept no substitute!

          • Kathy

            I had to take a break from this thread and tend to other things…it was getting overwhelming besides. Just a quick reply to say that I never converted…I was raised in the Lutheran faith and just attended the Catholic church with my husband, figuring at the time that I was at least going to a church every week! Things have changed dramatically since then. As far as the sacraments you mentioned, I never participated in any of it.

      • Kelly B

        I agree with you 100%

        • Barbara Golder

          Does it occur to you that the Biblecame from the Church, rather than the other way around?

          • Kathy

            Jesus Christ Himself quoted from the books of the Old Testament continually, one reason we know that they are God-breathed. The “Church” did not even exist at the time. As for the New Testament, the books were written by Jewish believers (all of the apostles, including Paul) in Yeshua in the Hebrew language, with some Aramaic. They were not called Christians in the first century and there was no church as we know it today. Later, the church recognized that these new writings were not the wisdom of men, but the Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and collected them as the New Testament.

          • E V

            “As for the New Testament, the books were written by Jewish believers” or the Church if you want to make it easier.

          • Kathy

            I just got the impression that the Catholic church was the “Church” she was referring to, but I may be wrong.

          • E V

            Well, it may seem intelligent to look at an oak tree and say “There’s no way that was an acorn at any point!” Yet here we are. You make the same claim. “This Oak tree is unrecognizable when compared to an acorn. There’s no way they’re related.”

          • EC

            Christ does not quote most of the books of the Old Testament.

            Paul talks about “the Church” (ekklesia) constantly. It is one of his favorite topics.

            Probably almost none of the New Testament was written in Hebrew or Syriac (maybe Matthew and Hebrews), probably none of it (except a few words) was written in Aramaic.

            Luke was not a Jew, nor an apostle.

            Acts 11:26 – “So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” This is the first century. (They were also called Catholics in the first century, by a bishop of Antioch… See Ignatius’ letter to the Smyrnaeans.)

          • Kathy

            Don’t think I said “most” books. Is it your belief that God spoke through the prophets in the Old Testament, or was it the ideas and thoughts of uninspired men?

            Yes, Luke was a Gentile physician and was not an eyewitness to Christ’s resurrection.

            You are correct about the reference to Christians at Antioch. They, at that time, however, were not like the Christians/Catholics of today…they still observed many of their Jewish customs and practices. The only similarity I know of is the sharing of the Gospel and meeting to worship and celebrate the breaking of the bread.

            Wasn’t it Constantine that instituted actual Roman Catholicism? Catholic means universal, like the catholic that is referenced in the Creeds.

          • EC

            Hi Kathy,

            Of course God spoke through the prophets.

            No, you did not, but the implication seemed to be “it’s canonical if Christ quotes it,” which works for the things He quotes, but it does not cover all the texts that even both Catholics and Protestants would call the Old Testament. So some other authority must be at work, which would be “the pillar and bulwark of the truth,” which is the Church, as Paul says. Only the Church has the authority to speak for God, as it is Christ’s own mystical body… but that does not mean all of the parts are always working together.

            No, they were not, you are right. Many things were different, due in part to the infancy of the Gospel, which takes time to unpack into a holistic way of thinking, living, and worshiping. It was also due to the radically different world in which they lived.

            Constantine legalized Christianity. It quickly flourished here in Rome.

          • Richard A

            There was already the Catholic Church by the time of Constantine, where did he get those bishops from that came to Nicaea? Obviously there was a Church in the first century; He clearly stated His intention to establish a Church in the gospel of Matthew; how can you think then that He did not do it?
            The first generation of Christians had no Bible, per se, they had the gospel preached by the church. There was no New Testament, and what books were to be considered inspired was disputed by different congregations of Jews (which is actually still the case today). There was mostly wide agreement on many of the Jewish scriptures, but not completely.
            What is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that flatly contradicts Scripture?

          • Kathy

            I don’t have all day (or night) to answer your last question, Richard.

          • Richard A

            It would take all day (or night) to come up with one?

          • Kathy

            Sorry, guess I skipped over the “a” part. Where is the concept of purgatory? I realize there may be an allusion to it in one of the Maccabees books, but don’t recall Jesus ever discussing any afterlife destination other than heaven and hell.

          • Richard A

            Every Christian will have his life’s work tested when he dies, and those works of his that are unworthy of Christ will be purged away as if by fire. Though he gains Heaven himself, he will have suffered some kind of loss. Right?

          • Kathy

            That would be during the White Throne Judgement, I believe. Jesus already suffered the judgment and wrath of God that we deserved…it is an affront to Him and His sacrifice your us to add anything to it. All we must do is place our total faith and trust in Him..He will take only that into account. That is the freeing gift of salvation He provided. If we still must suffer in purgatory, He may as well have just said we all are totally responsible to work harder and do better, and how do you know if you have done enough? What a horrendous doctrine..there is no assurance there.

          • Richard A

            And yet, there it is in 1 Corinthians 3. Your issue is with St. Paul, not me.
            I, for one, might take some assurance from the knowledge that even if I do not live perfectly the life of good deeds that the Lord has prepared for me, I can still attain Heaven.

          • Kathy

            No one can ever live perfectly except our Lord..we are all still sinners, but Christ has done the work for us. How stressful to keep trying to attain that perfection! And then you must suffer even more after you die, in fire besides? Sounds like hell to me. I know the chapter you are referring to, but how does that constitute a “place”?

          • Richard A

            The circumstance of Christians described by St. Paul, after death but before entry into Heaven, during which unworthy deeds are purged away as if by fire, is what we call purgatory. I asked for a doctrine of the Catholic Church that contradicts Scripture, and you came up with one that is exactly described in the letters of St. Paul.

          • Kathy

            You know what? I have read/heard another thought about that and will try to remember to ask one of the pastors at my church. Yes, sometimes we have difficulty with fully understanding certain passages, but the main things are the plain things, the plain things are the main things, as I’ve heard said.

          • Richard A

            Be sure to consult the 1500 years of Christian pastors between Christ’s resurrection and the sixteenth century.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy actually Saint Luke never met or knew Christ,but he did most certainly meet and talk with his Blessed Mother . Luke’s Gospel is the only one with the Magnificat it is the only one about Elizabeth and Zechariah and of John the Baptist with the story of why Zechariah was struck dumb until he called his son John . Also it’s the only one with the Child Jesus teaching and listening to the Doctors of Law in the Temple where Mary and Joseph go back to find him ” Being about his Fathers business ” when he was 12 . He then went up to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his Blessed Mother stored all these things in her Heart . Luke got his information especially for the first part of his Gospel from a first hand source. Our Blessed Lady . The Mother of Christ.

          • Kathy

            I am in no way discounting the favor of God toward His servant the Virgin Mary in choosing her to participate in fulfilling His purpose, but there is really not all that much mention of her after the birth of Christ. In fact, he referred to her as “Woman”, not Mother. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that she should be given any veneration other than the acknowledgement that she is the mother of our Lord Jesus.

          • Chip Crawford

            Yes, in Matthew 12, Mary and some of the brothers came to the door where Jesus was teaching, sending word for him to come out. There’s indication that they thought Jesus had taken things too far at that point and were trying to pull him out of the session. He did not go out to them, but said these to whom he was ministering were his mother and brothers. It was easy for some to think Jesus had taken things too far. Yet, Mary was there at the cross, so she came back around. After being saved, having left the Catholic Church, I got in the word with vigor, and was amazed at how little there was about Mary. Wisdom decrees one make much of what the Bible emphasizes and be silent where it is or equal proportion. Seems right to me.

          • Jeffrey Job

            You’re reading the Bible through a 21st century American but it was written to and through first century Jews. We equate importance with numbers of mentions but Jewish people equate importance with WHERE a person is mentioned so let’s review. Mary is present at His Incarnation. His birth. His childhood. His beginning of His ministry. At His itinerant preaching. At His death and burial. In the upper room at Pentacost which is the birthday of the Church. Jewish readers of the New Testament would see where she’s mentioned and realize how VERY important her role is in salvation history.

          • Chip Crawford

            You’re working very hard here to make it the way you say it is, I notice, on several posts. Hey, this intermediary thing is outrageous in light of Calvary. Jesus is God, yet we are defending Mary’s importance in the scheme of things. Jesus bridged the gap. There’s no other name under Heaven whereby we might be saved. If we are to exalt someone, I’d go for Paul. However, Jesus is lord and no one else. Our family left the Catholic Church years ago when they actually de-canonized some saints that had been in place for ages. There were some other shifts in their “foundation” at the same time. It was so grievous to my mother, in particular. Thank God, we came to Jesus, who is the firm foundation! who will never shift, not long after that. Both our parents came into the kingdom, my mother soon, my dad right before he died. Hey, Jesus did the heavy lifting. You can rest on it and cease from your labors, hard worker! He’s what makes the Gospel good news – and no other.

          • Jeffrey Job

            The only time the words faith and alone are used in the same verse is when James, under inspiration if the Holy Spirit, says we are NOT saved by faith alone. James 2:24. To be a non Catholic means you falsely think you are led personally by the Holy Spirit to correct interpretation. But thousands of you disagree with each other and divisions only increase with time so it’s obvious that’s a false belief.
            Since almost nobody believed the Protestant heresies for 1500 years that should tell you something. Read the writings of the people behind fed to the lions such as St Ignatius of Antioch to see what they believed and you will see it is Catholic.
            In 107 AD he wrote seven letters on his way to Rome to be killed.
            He learned the faith from St John the Apostle so it would be absurd to say the faith was corrupted at that early date.
            “Let no one do anything concerning the Church apart from the Bishop for where the Bishop is there let all the people be. Just as wherever Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church.”
            “ they absent themselves from the assembly because they deny the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

            Bottom line for me returning to the Church was I just couldn’t be arrogant enough to say that every brother in Christ who disagreed with my interpretations were wrong but I and I alone was right.
            Jesus wrote no book but He did build a Church and we have direct apostolic succession from the Apostles right down to today. He gave these men authority and that authority has been handed down in dynastic succession through the centuries.
            The truth is available and it is knowable but to cling to sola Scriptura is to say truth isn’t knowable or that it really isn’t important as long as you love Jesus.

          • Chip Crawford

            I truly pity you. You must be exhausted. So stubborn. If you would only yield to God instead of fighting him constantly to prove your point and hold onto such an empty independence of him. Truly sad.

          • Kathy

            They do make everything so much more complicated that it needs to be. To say we need more than God’s Word is telling Him He isn’t quite good enough and neither is the sacrifice of His son…that needs to be added to with works and more sacrifices in the Eucharist. As you know, many other faiths also add to Scripture…Mormons, JW’s, Scientology. Which one could possibly be the true if they all add their own man-devised doctrine to it?

          • Chip Crawford

            Well said.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Another false assumption Protestants have: the Word of God is only the written Word. Jesus is the Word- flesh and blood. In 1 Thess 2
            St Paul writes:
            that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us,
            you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God”.
            Did you catch that?
            The Word of God from HEARING St Paul?
            There is Biblical evidence that oral preaching is also the Word. Not merely writing.

          • Forthewest C

            Yes. Saying that the Church has no authority is saying that Jesus “wasn’t quite good enough” to found a Church with authority. But we must be careful with experts like Kathy who taught us that Christians didn’t call themselves Christians in the first century, correcting the Bible itself here.

          • Kathy

            Yes, not sure where you got the impression that I didn’t believe that Jesus is the Word. The Word of God is Jesus, recorded in the Holy Spirit -inspired writings in the books of the Bible. Preaching needs to align with that Word, not deviate from it.

          • Forthewest C

            “To say we need more than God’s Word is telling Him He isn’t quite good enough”

            I take it then that you don’t have pastors in your sect? Are you one of the ones that believes that baptism is necessary (Lutheran) or that it isn’t (Salvation Army)? The Eucharist is not “another sacrifice”. To say that the sacrifice of Jesus is all that is needed and nothing else for our salvation would be consistent with holding the view that not even faith is needed, – God redeemed us all with the crucifixion, after all, and we could just ignore it otherwise we are “telling Him He isn’t quite good enough” by saying that we need to seek and believe. It’s as silly as declaring sola scriptura and then throwing out a bunch of books of the Bible, or as teaching that Christians did not even call themselves Christians in the first century.

          • Kathy

            Wow, everyone is getting rather testy. Yes, of course faith is needed! Works come from our love and gratitude to the Father, not to earn points.

            We certainly have pastors and they always tell us to refer to Scripture to confirm what they are teaching us. I was raised a Lutheran, was going-through-the-motions at the Catholic church for 30 years as you’ve probably seen in previous posts, but now attend a non-denominational one after experiencing the new birth. Scripture is taught exclusively (sorry if I haven’t go it down pat just yet), we celebrate the only two sacraments commanded by our Lord, Baptism and Holy Communion, and offer our heartfelt devotion to God alone through prayer and praise. I will admit I miss the reverence for God I felt in the RCC, but do not need to focus on rituals and man-made rules (like you MUST attend Holy Days of Obligation) that distract from focus on our Lord Himself. See my post to Faith of Our Fathers about reading a timeline I was given on the birth of Christianity. Wish I could send it to you all. I will commend you all for actually caring to study the Bible, not at all common in most Catholics I know.

          • Chip Crawford

            Hey good lady. Testy indeed … “sect” – they should know about that.

            So, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?
            Maybe it’s gotten to casting your pearls …. and time to shake the dust off your feet here and move on. Let the Holy Spirit take it from here.
            You are loved. Maybe take a deep breath, get a good cup of tea, a walk, spend time with a child, talk to Jesus for sure and let him affirm his love for you. Sheesh!

          • Kathy

            You are very kind, Chip, but I can take it. I may not have memorized Scripture just yet, but I have my confidence in the Holy Spirit, not solely in the teachings of fallen and sinful men, as I know you understand.

          • Kathy

            Should clarify that…pastors, priests, bishops, cardinals, popes.

          • Chip Crawford

            Well, be sure you should. You are not your own. The lord will not expend you to be torn by dogs. There comes a point when that is what is happening. Let him soften them up a bit before trying again. He knows how to convict the misguided of truth. They seem very bent on retaliation and have become uncivil at this point. Consider if this is the best use of your time. God bless.

          • Jeffrey Job

            You don’t trust the teaching of fsllen men but you do trust the interpretation of yourself even though you are fallen? Logical inconsistency.

            I trust Christ’s Church gaurded from error

          • Chip Crawford

            2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

            18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
            19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
            20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
            21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

            Hence: We born again people are no longer fallen. Jesus raised us up with him!

            JJ: The RCC is not THE CHURCH by any stretch. In fact, parts or more may not even be included since the early framers became apostate in their beliefs and practices – departed the faith. It is for those still laboring in these departures to be reconciled to God in Jesus, put away their idols and humble themselves before God’s actual word and spirit. Jesus’ promises are to his real church, which is born again people in many denominations and groups. He is a God of spirits, not groups or sects.

          • Kathy

            Absolutely, Chip! They all seem to have preconceived notions about us Accusing us of not comprehending the love of Christ? Just insane! Trying to explain anything seems to be a waste of time, but I think you just did a fantastic job.

            Wish they could all read that 70 page timeline I have from the Messianic Synagogue. If they want to know about the first church, the Messianics are it! It is the real history of the church, and during and after the reign of Constantine, the news is not pretty.

          • Chip Crawford

            I’ve blocked them; can’t abide their hype and tripe. God bless. See you elsewhere.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Can you point me to this timeline as I have not heard of it or the group that cited it? Thanks

          • Kathy

            Hope you have received the two replies I sent you today. It is in a notebook they gave up, Chapter titled, “A History of Messianic Judaism & Messianic Terminology. Not sure if you can access it online, but sure you can locate something on the early Jewish believers.

          • Kathy

            I don’t have to add to what Chip replied regarding this, but why do you put so much faith in a clergy that has been so corrupt over the years (I am NOT saying continually and not every priest, etc.) even to the present day? Just take a look at what your pope is doing now. A Catholic writer on this website criticizes his actions all the time. Are they are really to be totally trusted…they have proved themselves they are not worthy of that trust.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Kathy, thanks for asking a serious question. Where to begin?

            I guess first of all start with common ground. Like you I was a go through the motions Catholic growing up. I’m not saying my parents,teachers and pastors didn’t tell me the Gospel but I am saying that I didn’t hear it if they did. What I heard was here are the rules, here are the consequences for breaking them and pull yourself up by your spiritual bootstraps and do better tomorrow. Because the warden is watching and waiting and when he gets fed up with you it’s off to hell you go!
            Sooo… THAT’S “Good News?”

            So from my own experience I can agree with Chip on one point- works righteousness is exhausting and can only have two logical outcomes.
            1) you give up in despair because the commandments aren’t merely difficult to obey they are impossible to obey.
            2) you lie to yourself and hide behind a facade to fool both yourself and others around you.
            So I figured if I’m going to hell anyway I may as well enjoy the trip. In other words I chose despair.
            Sad reality is I discovered the road to Hell wasn’t all that much fun. I learned three things about sin,
            it takes you lower than you planned on going- it keeps you longer than you planned on staying and it costs you more than you ever imagined.

            So in the mystery if His grace He encountered me Himself but that’s another thread.

            Bottom line is I absolutely DO NOT put my faith in the clergy. All throughout the history of the Catholic Church some of the clergy have failed and failed spectacularly starting with Judas.

            During the Arian heresy in the fourth century almost 800 Bishops agreed that Jesus was not divine which left only 4 in the entire world that maintained the truth. During the reign of King Henry VIII every Bishop except one signed off on heresy and he lost his head over it.
            Today faithful Catholics are near despair over the pathetic state of the human side of the Church and once again it seems to be the clergy leading the charge into apostasy.
            After meeting Jesus and growing in grace I became disgusted with what I saw in the Church and reasoned that Jesus must not be there or all this stuff wouldn’t be happening so off to Evangelical Protestantism I went. Chuck Swindoll became my favorite teacher and I admire him to this day.
            What I learned was that sin, lukewarmness and faithlessness weren’t only evident in the Catholic Church but plenty to go around in any group of fallen people. I learned that the Church is not just the human side but it is the Bride of Christ and His Mystical Body. He is guiding her and promised hell will not prevail over her. So I trust Jesus at work in His Church not the people He has to work through per se. Especially myself and my own faulty understanding.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Kathy-I do not trust clergy and I am sickened by what I see some of them teaching today. I have to point out another overlooked point of our faith. These positions the clergy are in are divinely ordained offices. Like the presidency is an office. The office is fine but many people in that office are a disgrace to it. Judas held the office of Apostle but was unworthy of it snd he was replaced by Mattias.
            In 107 AD St Ignatius, who learned the faith from St John the Apostle wrote about the three fold office of Bishop- Priest and Deacon. This is way too early to claim the Church was in apostasy or that her teaching was already corrupted. The Canon of the New Testament wasn’t even settled on until 275 years later.
            Jesus disabused the idea that if a leader in an authoritative office is evil you can ignore him. In Matt 23-1 He told the people they had to obey the Pharisees because they were in offices established by God. He said “you must do whatever they tell you- because they sit in Moses’ seat or chair or cathedra depending on what language you’re using. Jewish people knew the Chair of Moses meant religious authority they had to obey. Not because they were good men but because of their divinely instituted office.
            It’s the same today. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and He transferred His Authority from Moses’ chair to Peter’s chair after His Resurrection. The people all understood that because history shows they obeyed Peter and his successors till Luther decided he had the authority to tell an authoritative office it no longer had authority.

            St Clement the Bishop of Rome in Italy wrote a letter to the Church in Corinth, Greece in 96 AD to end their divisions and obey their Priests which they did.
            Here’s a guy from Italy telling people in Greece to get with the program and they did. St John was likely still alive but it wasn’t him but the Bishop of Rome who ordered them to get in line.

            To answer you previous question about my denomination I attended a Baptist Church and generally agreed with their theology but I could never get on board with once saved always saved because I thought it denied free will. I can choose Christ and He will honor that decision but later I can choose to abandon Him but then He will NOT honor THAT decision?

          • Kathy

            Not sure if you saw another reply I wrote yesterday ( or Saturday?) beginning with the comment about the Messianic Synagogue timeline. Regarding Peter, it reads “185 C.E. – Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, preserved a list of the first twelve bishops of Rome. The first was Linus. Interestingly, Peter’s name is never mentioned. Later, Eusebius, the father of early Church history, never mentions Peter’s name as a bishop of Rome either. From this information, we can conclude that the RCC claim that Peter was the first pope is patently false.” I sent Richard A. something else regarding Peter from a study Bible I have. Don’t know if you noticed it.

            I don’t believe that if any clergy tells their flock to do something blatantly against God’s Word that they still must obey it. The Pharisees were just adding unnecessary rules out of pride and arrogance, which complicated the life of the faithful. Jesus chastised them all of the time for that.

            I don’t believe we are to obey the president or anyone that tells you to disobey God. What are Catholics to do now with a pope that is going off the rails like he is? Or, a liberal Protestant minister that begins marrying gay couples? If they disregard God’s Word, you are not required to obey them and stay in their church. THAT would be a sin.

            I believe that if you abandon the faith, you were never truly in it to begin with…never truly regenerated by the Spirit, so I agree with you…not always saved. Isn’t there a verse regarding that, like “…they were never truly of us”?

          • Kathy

            I don’t see any indication that you are receiving the replies I’ve been sending to your latest posts. Seems you’ve been responding to some of my old ones the past two days, but I’ve sent 3 new ones since Saturday.

          • Jeffrey Job

            This thread is up to 262 comments now so when trying to respond to your posts it is getting very time consuming to scroll thru all of them to find your so I am posting my email. Hopefully we can continue our discussion tht way.
            fargo1208@gmail.com

          • Forthewest C

            “Yes, of course faith is needed! ”

            I did not claim otherwise. My point is that saying that the Crucifixion is all that is needed and to suggest otherwise blasphemously suggests a limit to what God can do actually blasphemously suggests that God cannot require things of us in order to be saved by Jesus. It is a bogus argument, proved by the fact that everyone actually agrees that God does require things of us, such as to seek truth in order that we be graced with faith.

            Under sola scriptura, nothing except the actual words of the Bible have any authority. All a pastor can do without violating it is stand before his flock and read scripture, adding nothing (that would be “just the words of men”) to explain what it means. Of course, it wouldn’t matter if everyone agreed what it meant, but we don’t. So one man’s declaration that the other’s interpretation or explanation of meaning is “just the words of man” applies vice versa as well. Hence 40,000 new denominations, because, under sola scriptura there can be no authority (except, inconsistently, the pastor standing at the front of the church waving his arms around and adding all kinds of non-scritural words).

            Where in scripture does it tell us that the book of “Wisdom” or “Ecclesiasticus” is not canoniocal, as Luther declared 1500 years after the foundation of Christianity? This is a serious question.

            Sola scriptura does not work. Literally, it is self contradictory. One cannot teach the Bible if it is true, only hand out copies, and which version should it be, since disagreement also arises over translation. I could claim, also, since it denounces the authority of the Church and implies that Christ could not found a church that had any more authority than a two bit Bible thumper with 15 followers.

            “do not need to focus on rituals”

            Rituals are a crucial part of what makes the true Church a rock. The meaning is contained in the rituals. When people feel free to change the rituals whenever they like it, rituals are not the only thing that changes. We end up losing central things. The Salvation Army, a branch of Methodism, even threw away baptism. Somebody just thought it would be a good idea for some good sounding reason, someone with insufficient humility (which Jesus taught) to think “Who am I? What do I know?” that he elevated his personal opinion to mighty high levels. With no ritual decided by the Church, one day one thing is thrown out, the next day someone else throws out something else, or adds in something a little shaky based on personal opinion, and after a few hundred years, as happens with the Chinese whisper game, we have hordes of different churches, all believing different things, and all different from the rock.

          • Kathy

            Ugh, why would God go through the extreme agony of that kind of that sacrifice if we still had to do more? It was a free love gift to us! Of course, we are to obey His commandments and teachings, I am not saying otherwise. But to say we have to make more “bloodless” sacrifices and do good deeds just to earn more favor is what is blasphemous.

          • Forthewest C

            Because we deserve to have to.

            You do not understand. I came from a Protestant background where I spent my whole life until I was confirmed RC last Easter. Never until that Easter in the RC Church did I weep for Jesus, and if you do not feel deep sorrow for that sacrifice, you hardly begin to understand God’s love. As a Protestant, I would not even watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Now, I understand that that sacrifice is at the very heart of love.

            Jesus said, “No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends”. Without suffering more than any human has or can suffer, God would love us less, by Jesus’ own words, than many humans who sacrifice their loves for others, have. The death on Cross was the most fitting love. Nowhere but in the RC Church will you weep over that death, will you feel the love in your very bones, will you love God back as powerfully as a human can. The Protestant refusal to but up crucifixes is a refusal to understand the very heart of God’s love.

            In time, the suffering of Christ was but a few hours, but in eternity, God suffers eternally. Willingness to suffer for another is the greatest love. God’s love is the greatest love. Therefore God suffers eternally.

            Sola scriptura is nonsense. We can use our powers of reason to understand what causes disagreement in scripture. An authority is needed, just as a Supreme Court is needed. The denunciation of Church authority caused the breakup of Protestantism into movements that are much farther apart than RCC is with Lutheranism, and yet the Protestants must denounce the RCC. Why? Because if the RCC is the legitimate church than the Protestants are rebels. That’s why the RCC is denounced, not because the Protestants are very close in opinion compared to the RCC and many Protestant Church’s. That is what makes sense. I don’t have to read it in the Bible. I just have to think (oddly enough, many Protestants denounce thinking as well). Sola scriptura makes no sense as a guide to truth, but it does make sense as something needed to denounce the authority of the Body of Christ so that a rebellion could be justified. Now that makes sense.

          • Kathy

            Well, I guess everyone has different experiences and mine was after I left the Catholic church. I don’t think you really paid attention to my posts, thinking that I don’t fully grasp the gravity of our Lord’s sacrifice. That is why I say HE IS ENOUGH. We can’t do anything to help Him…He Is God! He doesn’t need us, He just WANTS us that badly.

            I don’t need to look at an image (he was in a lot worse condition, as you saw in the movie – you can add totally naked to that, part of the humiliation – than on a crucifix wall hanging), I can picture it in my mind. I said that the Passion is the best and most authentic movie about Christ’s last days that I can ever remember seeing. Sorry you waited until after your conversion to see the movie. Actually, I was converted (mine was the new birth, as it sounds like you may have experienced) before I even watched it as well.

            This is my last post regarding this whole thread. I think we’ve learned a lot from each other, whether we liked it or not. 🙂

          • Forthewest C

            “thinking that I don’t fully grasp the gravity of our Lord’s sacrifice”

            It is not the gravity of our Lord’s sacrifice that is the point. It is the depth of the love, that all of human suffering is less than the infinite suffering of perfect infinite love for the sake of undeserving humanity.

            “HE IS ENOUGH”

            That is irrelevant. Whoever said that he isn’t? It does not follow from that that God does not want something from us.

            “he was in a lot worse condition, as you saw in the movie – you can add totally naked to that, part of the humiliation – than on a crucifix wall hanging”

            Even more so than on an empty cross hanging on a wall, which pointedly ignores the sacrifice. BTW, it was neither that nor the Mel Gibson movie that made me weep. It was the love. In fact, my church is a dumb post Vatican II church. It has an ascendant Christ where the crucifix traditionally goes, but we are changing it to what it should be. No image, movie, or crucifix adequately depict the sacrifice. Not even the words of the Bible. The real presence of Christ helps though.

          • Kathy

            Oh yeah, I told Faith OOF that I think the myriad number of denominations are crazy. Look on my post to him/her.

          • Chip Crawford

            “sect” – you should know about that, presumptuous and bumptious heretics —

            Still have pedophiles and sodomites luring school children and young seminary students into your hellish toils? Is that from your Apocrapha too? A tree is known by its fruit. Those millstones around your necks will drag you into a just damnation in an eternal hell lest you repent and humble yourselves before the living God.

          • Forthewest C

            Not all Protestants have your hatred, but this kind of hatred is one of the things that drove me from Protestantism. Do you really think pedophilia is concentrated in the Catholic Church? Think again buddy. Way to go for echoing atheist hatred of all Christianity, too. Way to go for judging, something that disgusts non-Christians when they see it and makes them less likely to convert.

            Personally, I doubt that God listens to you on who should be damned and who shouldn’t.

          • Chip Crawford

            I’m getting copies of your interactions with these lunatics, whom I am now blocking so I won’t. Best wishes on your onerous contacts.

          • Jeffrey Job

            Typical Protestant, ignore the statements presented to you and start another ad hominem. Please enlighten me:

            Point 1- how do you explain a man like Ignatius learning the faith directly from a Biblical author, loving Jesus enough to WANT to be ripped to shreds by lions and writing all those distinctly Catholic beliefs probably while St John was still alive?

            Point 2- Jesus praying for unity of His Church the last night if His life and Protestant disunity and thousands of competing misinterpretations if Scripture?

            Point 3- Jesus founded one Church which is still in existence today yet you think you are above His Church’s authority.

            Please answer these points one by one. I will be happy to clarify any point you are having trouble with. Please stay on point and if you answer these questions you can then ask more.

          • Jeffrey Job

            I noticed that You continually avoid the points I make and have still not answered the 3 questions I asked you. You seem intent on having a monologue and talk down to me rather than engage me in dialogue. You ask a question I answer. Then I ask YOU a question you disregard it and ask another one. This is a common tactic of those who aren’t honestly interested in a conversation. My questions obviously intimidate you or trigger cognitive dissonance because to answer them your assumptions would be challenged. I’m still waiting for your response but I don’t expect one for the reasons cited above but please surprise me.

          • Chip Crawford

            I had meant to block you so I wouldn’t get any more notices of your postings. Here is why I left off communication with you: Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. Now, I am definitely blocking you, so will not receive any further of your miss-ives.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy I am actually astonished at your ignorance of scripture. When being called -Woman-in Christs time it was a form of reverence. If you refer to the Marriage at Cana when Christ said ” Woman my time has not yet come “.
            Also for to say she should not be given “any veneration other than the acknowledgment that she is the mother of our Lord Jesus ” is in bad taste at best Herecy at worse . You obviously in the 30 years you were a Catholic did not open your mind or your heart up . Did you even read anything in the least about Fatima-Lourdes-or Guadalupe to name but 3 Supernatural events .

          • Chip Crawford

            Put a sock in it, bully. Who elected you sheriff? Your stuff’s a crock, anyway. How do you like that?

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Actually our STUFF as you say is far from crock it’s the Catholic Christian Truth . The main thing is you cannot or will not look at it from an open mind .

          • Chip Crawford

            Looking at it through the real Bible — buzzzz, fails the test … They had 20 years to mess with my innocent open mind, and the betrayal of that trust could have been tragic, but thankfully, someone shared the Gospel with me. Gospel= Good News indeed. Someone has said the too good to be true news as the effect on very parched souls fed on dribbles of sour milk. Thank God he is real and he is Good. I have a strong basis of comparison, I beg your pardon. So, take your rinky dink peddler’s wagon elsewhere, sir; your goods are shoddy at best.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            You speak like a very bitter Man . Indeed I will take myself anywhere that means I defend my Faith from ignorant people such as yourself . Unless of course you also believe that you own the Internet. Kyrie Eleison.

          • Chip Crawford

            It’s outrage

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            I once was doing a job in a Protestant Church and became very friendly with the Protestant Minister . Once though our conversation became really heated and went a bit too far where both of us started to be righteous. He stated that lots had to be changed and was during the Reformation. I disagreed and then asked him if he as a Protestant Minister had a Degree in Christian Theology which he said he had . I then said to him ” If you know the TRUTH from the beginning why are you still a Protestant Minister ” . I never ever got an answer from him . Why . Because he knew what Jesus Christ meant when he said.
            ” Your name is Peter and on this ROCK I will build my Church and the Gates of The Underworld shall not prevail against You . I will give to you
            The Keys of The Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth it will
            be loosed in Heaven whatever you shall bind upon Earth shall be bound also in Heaven ” .
            Kyrie Eleison.

          • Chip Crawford

            The word for rock here is not Peter, the man. It’s the rock of the revelation knowledge just evinced by Peter about Jesus, what Peter spoke; again, not him personally. Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus did not build his church on a man. He reveals the church is built on the rock, Jesus, the son of the living God. We have a GOD. He is more than enough. It is about GOD, not men.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            What a stupid arrogant man you are . Do you Honestly THINK –that’s if you do -THINK- that Catholics believe that our Faith was built upon Man . No wonder your a Protestant. At least when you don’t believe the Sect your going to at the Moment you can always go to the one round the corner.
            I notice you didn’t answer the TRUE message in my post which was why The Protestant Minister never answered me . But then that would mean you really looking at Truth.

          • Kathy

            I guess you didn’t have a chance to read some of my other replies to you below. I was never a Catholic…I “showed up” in that church with my husband and raised our boys in the faith. They have both turned away from the Catholic faith, even before I did.

            Therein lies the issue. You mention reading about Fatima-Lourdes-or Guadalupe. Many supernatural events are demonic, disguised as light by the Father of LIes himself to distract people from the truth. I realize this is probably upsetting since you and many others have put their faith in these apparitions. One more reason to trust ONLY in the Word of God in the Bible.

            Yes, I may have listened to sermons/homilies in churches, but it wasn’t until my new birth by the Holy Spirit (born again, as Jesus said you must be to enter His Kingdom) that I actually became interested in reading and learning the Scripture. So, I am fairly new at this, but still do not believe we are to give that kind of reverence to another fallen human being. You may call it heresy, but she was not “born sinless” like you were taught. Where is that in Scripture? The only sinless person to ever live is Jesus Christ.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy you astonish me by saying that Lourdes Fatima Etc are Demonic. To say Our Lady is a fallen human being means then that Christ ( in your opinion of his mother) must also be a so called fallen human being . If you read a CATHOLIC Bible and read the Gospel of Saint Luke and meditate on same you surely cannot come up with the Opinion of Our Lady that you have. Also although you do say revere which is right . Catholics do NOT worship Mary as many Protestants seem to think . Kathy also the ” Born Again ” of The Spirit. Do you think that Catholics do not read the scriptures and discern what Christ said to Nicodemus when he told him ” That he must be Born Again ” Nicodemus said ” How can I go back into my Mothers Womb ” and Christ said ” You must be born of Spirit ” . He wasn’t telling Nicodemus to go swim in the River Jordan he was telling him to open up his Mind to the Word of God . Also to tell me my Teachers of the Church that what they taught to me is Herecy is very arrogant indeed. Also you must have read in scripture about the scribes saying that Christ came from the Devil . Then one said ” How can anyone do such good and Holy works come from the Evil One ” The same can be applied to Our Lady . All of her messages to Saint Bernadette and Fatima Etc were all of God none were from Satan . Kyrie Eleison.

          • Chip Crawford

            Lourdes, Fatima, the Mary extreme fetish = doctrines of demons

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            O ye of Little Faith. How closed your mind must be that God would not Elavate the Human Being who bore his son . I my friend do not wish to argue with you or change your beliefs. Please extend the same courtesy.
            Kyrie Eleison.

          • Kathy

            Not sure what you are trying to say regarding being born again. What do you think being born of the spirit means?

            Teachers in the church are not infallible…sure you realize you must discern for yourself what you are hearing. I am not belittling Mary whatsoever, I am just saying God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit deserve all of our devotion, no one else. Did you realize that some people of other religions think that Mary is the second person of the Trinity because they see how Catholics elevate her?

            I could go on and on. I will end with this: We attended a Messianic synagogue (Jewish believers in Yeshua – congregation is about half Jewish and half Christian with many former Catholics) for a while and participated in a study on the birth of Christianity. We were given a 70-page timeline beginning 30 AD. First, Jewish believers and Gentile believers were never supposed to be separated. What followed was an extremely disturbing chain of events, especially when Constantine came into the picture. The history lesson was very enlightening.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy you really astound me with every post . You surely did not attend or whatever Catholicism for 30 years and not witness or see The Sacrament of Confirmation being administered. As to your statement about what People of other Religions believe about Our Lady because us as Catholics revere her is dumbfounding in the least . Surely they should believe whatever the Religion that they follow believe. So what your now saying is that I as a Catholic should tell my fellow Catholics to stop the adorations and beautiful prayers such as The Rosary . Because of we Johnny down the street who goes to some Protestant Sect once or twice a year and Thinks that Our Blessed Lady is part of The Trinity. When you said you could go on and on I dare say you could your dislike for The Mother of Christ certainly shines through and strong .

          • Kathy

            What I dislike is the extreme focus on another human being. She was special in that she was chosen to be a servant of God to help in accomplishing His purpose. Every book of the Bible tells of God working through men and women for His glory. Yes, she carried our Lord in her womb, gave birth and was most likely an excellent mother (no real reference to that), was one of the only people present at His crucifixion, but how unlike most good mothers is that. Doctrine like she was born sinless, remained a virgin and never had other children and was assumed into heaven was all added by various popes over the years.

            A woman proclaims how blessed the woman is that gave birth and nursed you, talking to Jesus. He said that rather, the blessed are the men and woman who listen and hear His Word. It is not Protestants that think that about the Trinity, it is other religions, like Muslims.

            I know all about the extra sacraments the church added on to the biblical commandments of just two. To the point…Jesus is available to you, our sole mediator to God. The veil was torn in the temple after Christ said “It is finished” and breathed his last. All faithful believers are now permited direct access to God, where before that, only the High Priest could access the Holy of Holies.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy you can have the last word as I certainly do not wish to go down The Muslim Route. I do know of course that lots of Muslims adore Our Lady but as they do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God you contradict yourself. It’s obvious we’re miles apart in Our Faiths and I as a Catholic still do not know which Protestant Religion you belong to . So God Bless and Take Care I wish you all the best in your search for Truth.

          • Kathy

            Yes, the Muslims revere Mary as the mother of Jesus. I have read that they think the Catholics include her as part of the Trinity…The Father, Mother and the Son.

            I actually agree that the many Protestant denominations are ridiculous. Luther just wanted to reform the corrupt RCC, not begin new sects of Christianity. However, he was branded a heretic and excommunicated. He was angry when people began calling themselves Lutherans. That is why I am at a non-denominational one…absolutely no “fluff”. Very simple and basic.

            I am spending way too much time on my computer, but it strengthens my faith to communicate it and I always strive to help others to what I feel is “seeing the light”. Just maybe….

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy I still have to correct you on the name it’s Catholic Church. And if you think that you are letting anyone see the Light So To Speak your even more way out than Luther was . And boy was he way out . As Catholics we are not Perfect but as far as from your beliefs we’re more than 500years apart .I leave you anyhow with a Latin God Bless although you probably won’t believe in that either.
            Christe Eleison.

          • Kathy

            This is my last reply. So, you agreed with the sale of indulgences to fund elaborate buildings, telling people that it will lesson the time their family and friends spend suffering in purgatory? I am reading an excellent book called “Why the Reformation Still Matters”. May our loving Father bless you as well. Thank you!

          • Forthewest C

            Where in scripture is it found that Fatima-Lourdes is demonic? This is just made up and completely contradictory to sola scriptura

            You tell us in one sentence that “I was never a Catholic” and then two sentences later tell us that your sons turned away from the Catholic faith “even before I did”. How could you turn away from the Catholic faith if you were never a Catholic?

            Etc.

            “Many supernatural events are demonic”

            and you are the expert who, without scriptural authority, will tell us which is demonic and which isn’t? That sounds a little “demonic” to me.

          • Kathy

            You are right…should have said “church” instead. Isn’t that the wicked and adulterous generation looking for signs and wonders when you are looking at graven images (which God forbids) to show signs?

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy I take it that you are referring to Statues of Christ Our Lady and the Saints which we as Catholics bow down to and adore the paint and plaster of Paris of which most are made up of. As of course you witnessed so many times in those 30years that you attended Catholic Services. You do not talk much of your Husband and having had a long marriage I do not know if he is alive or dead . If he is I dare say that you have many Photos of him in and around your Home . If not of your Husband then most certainly you will have Photos or even memorabilia of your Parents maybe even Aunts and Uncles. When you look at any of these Photos say maybe of your Father you’ll maybe bring up memories of him and perhaps even say a prayer for him . Are you worshipping a graven image when you do this . Well in your opinion and statement above you obviously are .
            Kathy this cannot be said to many times to Protestants Catholics DO NOT WORSHIP STATUES. Catholics do not WORSHIP Our Blessed Lady .
            Catholics Worship God as is stated in the First Commandment.

          • Kathy

            All I can say is I have seen the pope kissing various statues, many Catholics and Eastern Orthodox bowing and praying in front of them. If that doesn’t look like worship, I don’t know what does, It’s not just looking at pictures. We have no idea what any of these figures looked like anyway…Mary was a Middle Eastern Jew, not a pasty white blue-eyed European.

            One problem I have with the crucifix is that it is so sanitized…Jesus was beaten to practically a pulp and was totally naked on the cross. I love the movie “Passion of the Christ”, probably the most realistic one there is, even though it is difficult to watch.

            What is a graven image to you?

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Kathy you actually leave me Speechless. What would I see as a graven Image . The Golden Calf which the Jews carved out and Worshipped when Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from almighty God . You really always have to get a dig in . First you say you don’t believe in something then you say Crucifixes are so sanitized . I can assure you I have one Hanging in my Bedroom and it’s anything but .

          • Kathy

            Sanitized in that it doesn’t show what He most likely really looked like on the cross. I have never seen anything other than a few scratches (other than the nails in His wrists and feet and the crown of thorns) He suffered much more than that depicts. Even had his parts of His beard plucked out. I am not endorsing the crucifix, and am merely pointing out a fact. Okay, enough.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            You know Kathy am no Saint nor profess to be so . But you can be a nasty piece of stuff. If you think that people praying in front of a Crucifix or other Image are actually praying to the Image your way out . On that I have left an example below . I have no doubt it will fall on Deaf Ears as one sometimes has to have an open mind and yours most certainly is not .

          • Kathy

            You are considered a saint if you are a true believer, so don’t sell yourself short. We will not be perfect this side of heaven. I am just stating what I have learned to be facts. Most pictures I have seen of the Virgin, that is how she is portrayed. God opened my heart and mind a few years ago. I could never have written these things, nor would I have even considered it. Not much thought at all about it.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            No Kathy your Opinion that your considered a Saint here on Earth yet will not or cannot extend the same to the Mother of Christ. As I said before your beliefs and mine are more than 500years apart.

          • Kathy

            Well, just saw this. If we are all saints, then we must revere everyone who is a true believer, not just Mary and the “canonized” ones. That is the reason we are to revere God only.

          • Forthewest C

            If the Pope kisses a statue, it is as a symbol of what it represents, not as a veneration of the statue itself. Have you ever kissed a picture of a person you love? Do you really think that a person who does this loves the paper and dyes in her hand, or could it be that she loves what the picture represents? Let’s put on our thinking caps and think a little.

            Do you think that when a person swears an oath on a Bible to tell the truth in a courtroom, that the person is idolatrously venerating the ink and paper held out in front of him? No, he venerates what it represents. Let’s put on our thinking caps and think a little, even though many Protestants will say you shouldn’t think “because you have to be like a child” (and therefore you have to listen to my thinking here).

            It’s just dumb, dumb, dumb. Elsewhere we are told to be as wise as serpents. Huh? A contradiction? No, but we have to use our thinking caps to understand. Thankfully, the interpretation authority God gave to the mystical Body of Christ means that in the Church, only one, well thought out interpretation is correct. The true church sometimes deliberates for centuries over an important question, like the immaculate conception. Who am I to be so sure that it is the magisterium and not me making the mistake?

            What we are supposed to do is be not proud. If we do not understand the Church’s dogmatically defined doctrine, we must be patient and wait. Since it is God’s Church Militant, it is guaranteed that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. The Magisterium will get it right, and with patience and study, we will come to understand what at first we could not give our assent to.

          • Kathy

            You know, it is when I did start reading, studying, researching and asking questions that I came to these conclusions, and like I said, God opened by heart to Him in the process. Being as a child means being humble before God, not devoid of thinking as an adult.

            My mom has recently told me she never questioned anything she was taught in church, she just believed it. I was pretty much the same, but had my doubts. Was too lazy or busy at the time to do anything about it.

            I think the mainline Protestants are getting so off base at this point, that I would never go back to the Lutheran faith either. Our church is more like yours, actually. They allow only men to be pastors and elders, we are pro-life, anti gay marriage (especially not allowing them to serve in the clergy like some mainline churches do) and definitely agree with you on all moral issues.

            Yes, Catholic churches are visually appealing, but I don’t think that should be our focus. People in China meet to study the Word underground and sit on dirt or cement floors. These persecuted Christians are probably the most Christ-like of any of us Americans.

            As for images, no, I don’t think you are revering the plaster or painting. I guess some people need physical images to really connect. I don’t feel I do, I get it by reading, and as the men on the road to Emmaus said to each other after walking with our risen Lord, my heart burns within me.

          • Richard A

            Well, someone clothed her with the sun and put a crown of twelve stars on her head.

          • Kathy

            I’ve actually seen and heard many times that the “woman'” refers to Israel and the 12 stars are the 12 tribes.

            Have you ever read Jeremiah 7:18-19 or Isaiah 42:8?

            A Lutheran pastor I know is a former Catholic priest. I asked him about the veneration of and praying to Mary. He told me that many people are more comfortable relating to a woman for various reasons rather than a father figure. like Christ would be.

            He wants you to go directly to Him for everything…the veil was torn…no longer any intermediaries required. If you try to go through anyone else (Mary, saints, priests) you are hindering your relationship with Him.

          • Forthewest C

            “They were not called Christians in the first century”

            Sure about that?

            “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” – Acts 11:26, KJV

          • Kathy

            Yes, you are correct….my mistake. However, there were no Roman Catholics until the third century. I get the impression from many people posting here that even the apostles were known as Roman Catholics. Sure you know the story of Constantine..it’s not a pretty one after he put an end to the the Christian persecution.

          • Richard A

            “Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, martyred for his faith in the year 107, writing to the Smyrnaeans. By the beginning of the second century, the Christian Church (there is only one, accept no substitutes) was being called “catholic.”

            The term “Roman” Catholic was applied in English-speaking countries to those Christians who remained faithful to the old faith to suggest that their political loyalties were with Rome rather than England. Now there is a not pretty story.

          • Kathy

            Wanted to look for a perfect reply of Chip’s. He said “Jesus’ promises are to his real church, which is born again (I will add of the Spirit) people in many denominations and groups. He is a God of spirits, not groups or sects.”

            As in ALL churches everywhere, Richard, there are Christians who are that in essentially name only, like I was at one time.

          • Richard A

            You keep adding “of the Spirit” and avoiding adding “of water”, even though our Savior added both when explaining this to Nicodemus.

            The letter of Chip to the Americans is not in my Bible; I don’t recognize “He is a God of spirits, not groups or sects”, whatever that may mean. He is God of all creation and king of all nations. His Son is the Bridegroom of one bride, the Church.

            There is one Church, the foundation of which is Peter (Matthew 16:18) AND the apostles and prophets with Christ as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Since the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth, if you don’t understand a truth revealed in Scripture (like what baptism is, what its effects are, how and why it is necessary), find out what the Church has always taught about it and don’t rely on your own private interpretation, since that way, obviously, is unreliable.

          • Kathy

            I believe Chip was saying that it is NOT ONLY people that are of the Catholic faith, or any other denominational Christian faith, that are the Bride of Christ, it is all people that have experienced the new birth (not just going through the motions at their church) and are committed followers of our Lord.

            My sons were told in their Catholic confirmation classes that all of their non-Catholic friends and relatives are going to hell. Some kids were crying in the classes, they were so upset. I complained about it and was told the teachers are not supposed to say that, yet two different ones did. Do you agree with those teachers?

            You are correct about God of all creation and king of all nations. That does not mean everyone on earth will be alive with Him eternally…only those that believe (John 3:16)

            I don’t know why you seem so fixated on baptism, as if that is the be all, end all. I was baptized with water as an infant, yet it took me 54 years to “get it”. I know atheists/agnostics that were baptized as infants. How do you explain that if they are supposedly transformed solely by the water?

            Matthew 16: I can understand that people would think that Peter is the foundation in verse 18. From my study Bible: “Protestants have generally thought that it refers to Peter in his role of confessing Jesus as the Messiah, something he could not have done apart from the that being revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, and that the other disciples would share in the role if they made a similar confession.

            Jesus statement did not mean that Peter would have greater authority than the other apostles,(Paul corrects him publicly in Gal.2:11-14) nor did it mean that he would be infallible in his teaching (Jesus rebukes him Matthew 16:23) nor did it imply anything about a special office for Peter or successors to such an office.”

            Peter appears to be the spokesman in the first half of Acts, but he was always the most outspoken anyway. All I can say now is, look at the fallen nature of many popes and other clergy in ALL denominations. Christ is the foundation…He never fails us.

    • Chip Crawford

      One can caution concerning the lack of Biblical foundation without excoriating attacks. There’s a difference between the people and the teachings.

      • Jennifer Hartline

        Chip, I have no delusions about changing your mind via the comments section, but I must, as a Catholic, dispute the very ignorant claim that the Catholic Church has no Biblical foundation. I’m not sure how you arrive at such a conclusion, but it is in error. Reading all these comments here about the Catholic Church being unbiblical, with questionable doctrine, etc., is so disheartening. Not entirely surprising, but disheartening nonetheless.
        Peace to all of you.

        • Chip Crawford

          Many of us have been there (20 years for me, 30 for someone else here) and then elsewhere, so comparative in real time. So, no ignorance. We are in the bible and studies, have a working knowledge in many cases, and again, background there and in other varieties of Protestant churches. I am so sorry if your feelings are hurt, but surely, you have heard this before. Perhaps you might go God direct and ask him to resolve this issue in your heart and mind. I hope you do God direct, because it’s available and the Holy Spirit is the teacher of the church — I found out elsewhere. I also hope you credit God’s word, the Bible (not sure about your extra books), as the one that settles these matters with finality, instead of a catechism. God bless you.

          • EC

            I know God personally too, and I speak with Him. He assures me that you are wrong about the Bible. How will we settle this? Did God leave us orphaned, with no clear and visible authority to turn to? Are we living in the times of the Judges? Are we rebuilding the Tower of Babel, trying to figure it all out on our own? Where does this “Bible” come from anyway? How could mere men ever decide what God really said?

            Protestantism, in various forms, is deeply anti-Biblical. It undermines the value of moral imperatives (faith alone), it depreciates the goodness of human nature (total depravity), and it subverts the authority structure which emerged immediately from Pentecost (sola scriptura), and it destroys the meaning of the central mystery of Christian liturgy (see John 6)… nor can a Protestant give any sensible explanation for the development of the biblical canon which does not saw off the branch on which they sit. The Word did not simply become more Words…

          • Chip Crawford

            I respectfully disagree with you. (However, the respect is for you as one made in the image and likeness of God. I do not respect your beliefs, and consider them to be folderol, as you have expressed you do mine.) God bless.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Oh my.. dear Chip… I have no need to resolve issues in my heart or mind. My hope and my anchor are quite secure. Don’t worry.
            Your statements about Catholic belief and practices betray an ignorance of what the Church *actually* teaches and believes. I will not argue with you here. I wish you all God’s best.

          • Chip Crawford

            Obadiah 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee …

          • GPS Daddy

            Jennifer,

            The day is coming, and may be here already, that we will need each other beyond what we can imagine. We need to work through issues like these. No church has it all together. I have blind spots in my “theology”. We all do.

        • GPS Daddy

          Jennifer,

          I grew up in the United Church of Christ. Once when I was a kid I wanted to get some counseling. My parents had me talk to one of the lady minsters at our church. At the end of the session I said to her “It does not matter what you believe, just as long as you love. It does not matter if your a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or an atheist.” She said, “exactly, you have it exactly right”.

          The UCC is clearly an apostate church. I’m sure you agree that ideas and beliefs are the core of the spiritual battle that rages. I accepted Christ in college in an evangelical group. From that idealistic time in my life I saw the Catholic Church as being in error. Since then I have found that any main-stream church has numerous errors. There are two main concerns I have with the Catholic Church, the first is it focus on Mary. The second is the seeming focus on actions over heart… telling someone that if they do such and such their sins will be forgiven.

          But since that time I have found that there are many Catholics that walk the walk and have the faith. I can learn much from Catholic that I have encountered, many that are much younger than I. Since I am not the Judge anyway it pointless to judge those that are doing their best to walk as Jesus did. I still have my convictions on theology and that will come into play at the right time if I have the wisdom.

          But this is a true statement: I will do well to model the walk of many Catholics I have encountered.

          • EC

            Mary is the Mother of God incarnate – wouldn’t loving Him mean loving her? Does she not tell us to “do whatever He tells you”? Does she not exhibit perfect faith and humility, at the Annunciation and in singing the Magnificat?

            I encourage you to look at the “actions” vs. “heart” – I can assure you, Catholics are not Pelagians… any meritorious act is impossible without being prompted by grace – “It is God who begets any good desire in you,” etc.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>wouldn’t loving Him mean loving her

            I’m talking about worship. Praying to Mary. etc…

          • EC

            We ask other people to pray for us all the time – sinners, at that, who may not even be heading Heaven-ward. Why should we not ask God’s own mother, who is in Heaven?

            We do not worship Mary, no more than a person who’s lost a loved one worships that individual when looking at a picture or visiting the grave…

          • GPS Daddy

            There is a difference between asking another living human to pray for us and praying to a dead person.

          • EC

            Of course there is… Souls who see God face to face are in a much better position to pray, are they not? (And Mary has no tomb anyway……) He is the God of the living, not the God of the dead, and those alive in Him surely share in His knowledge according to His design. The souls of the just are in the hand of God… And the saints gathered around the Lamb are surrounded by the same smoke of the thurible which the angel carries – the prayers of God’s people… Are we still not one Body? Do we have no need of the glorified part of that Body, which merely awaits reunion with flesh?

          • Chip Crawford

            1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

          • EC

            And yet we are all quite insistent on the need for someone to baptize people…

            We could play Bible bingo forever. That is part of the problem.

          • Chip Crawford

            I don’t play Bible bingo, sir. 1 Timothy 2:5 is canon, God’s inspired word. Believe it or don’t. But please don’t blow off this one:
            Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

          • EC

            I believe it. I also believe that it is canon is irrelevant to the endless game we could play of serving verses back and forth, which I am ok at but have learned through much experience is usually fruitless. My questions about WHY such and such a canon is so, and HOW we could ever authoritatively interpret Scripture without a visible authority among us are much more useful…

          • Chip Crawford

            One must believe what the bible says, not play ping pong with it. When you find out what it says, believe, and it becomes alive to you, accomplishes that for which it was sent. Everyone got saved that way, the greatest miracle there is. If they didn’t; they’re not. One is born again from hearing, believing and speaking the word concerning salvation. One’s spirit comes alive to God and one’s name is written in the Lambs Book of Life.

            If you set aside the word of God, there’s no hope. There are no side books and reading matter that usurp it, unless you allow that. There is no book like the Bible. However, it takes the Holy Spirit to cause it to come alive. But he’s not hard to find when the heart is turned just the least little bit toward God. It takes humbling yourself to be led this way. but you get GOD, the living God, his companionship and leadership in this life and a place with him in Heaven forever. There’s no other book supported by the Holy Spirit’s workings. A head religion is man’s reach to God. Christianity is God’s reach to man.

            You speak of problems. Just stop making them. Believe the living word of the living God and throw away your idols.

          • EC

            I speak of problems because there are problems. I’m sure I have many idols in my life, but zeal for a coherent account of the process of revelation is not one of them.

          • Chip Crawford

            Carnal people gravitate to the natural, require physical manifestations and signs, natural means known to their physical senses – sense knowledge. God is a spirit. He unites us with him in the spirit at the new birth, where our spirit comes alive. He sent the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, as just one of his ministries on our behalf. He tells us to renew our minds with the word. But you know better. Regardless of these amazing actions in the plan of God, you demand outward, natural, worldly, visible manifestations – right out there where the god of this world (Satan) can interfere, mimic, mask. But you prefer that medium where you are comfortable. When you get ready to yield to God as God, to Jesus as Lord, then things may get more interesting for you, finding yourself enriched by the spirit instead of bored with it.

          • EC

            Then why does Paul ask for other people’s prayers constantly? Is not “the prayer of a holy man” powerful, as James says?

            Why do men have to baptize as a ministry, rather than God simply giving grace “immediately”?

            Why do the Eleven receive power and authority to forgive sins? Just for fun?

            Why is Peter tasked with feeding the sheep, not once, not twice, but three times?

            Why… why… why… I could go on. I’d rather stick to the question about the biblical canon, because that is really the bottom of the issue. How do you know that this collection of books, and not another (like the collection sitting next to me, which I bet has more books than yours,) is inspired?

          • Chip Crawford

            People pray TO GOD on behalf of others. The Word of God does not teach praying TO men or women, or for them to pass along the message to God. We now have direct access through Jesus to God ourselves. To access God on behalf of others is taught in the Word of God – the inspired Bible.
            Your collection does no doubt have more books, like the ones that speak of purgatory. You are welcome to them. I certainly won’t try to argue you out of them, being as attached to them as you are, along with a myriad of other books.

            I have experience with my bible and the Holy Spirit working with it. I got saved through it, have led others to the Lord through it, have had its words come to mind in answers to problems and questions, to give guidance. My heart burns within me (not the blood pump but the inner man) at times in reading and hearing it. There is a connection of life and sometimes it is tangible. The Holy Spirit bears witness and fruit from its truth. But without the HolySpirit, it is indeed a dead letter. Your heart condition of openess and seeking to the God of the Bible is what causes it to come alive and witness to its authenticity.

            Besides that, archeology and science “discoveries” only validate it authenticity, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

            You likely are one who likes the last word, so this is mine; go ahead with yours.
            God bless.

          • EC

            The Word of God is more than the Bible, Chip. That is the point. God’s Word is now enfleshed in Christ and by extension in the Church, His mystical body, through which He continues to teach, to govern, and to sanctify. We get to participate in it… Yes, one mediator, but we are part of His mediation! There is so much more than the dreary vision of spiritual life that Protestants have – we can do MORE than the Commandments (see the Rich Young Man), we can participate in His priesthood (John 6, John 20, etc.), we can receive salvation through baptism without the WORK of repentance if we are truly unable (because God’s grace cannot be earned anyway), and there is a whole living tradition which explains and enriches the words of Scripture.

            Peace to you, Chip.
            -EC

          • Chip Crawford

            Sorry, could not let this go. I can see why you cast shade on the Bible as the Word of God. It nullifies the many egregious additions you describe and we know are resident in Catholic teaching and practice. Sir, you need to be aligned with the God of Heaven in what you practice and believe. There is another spirit, a wrong spirit, and he disguises himself as an angel of light. I caution you and exhort you to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, including his revealed word.

            Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

            Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men …
            Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

          • EC

            So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

            Peace, Chip.
            -EC

          • Chip Crawford

            That was before they were written down. Much of scripture was oral before it was written.

            Your interpretation of that scripture does not agree with God’s word elsewhere, such as the ones I previously related.

            2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

            Peace to you EC

          • EC

            And I suppose YOU know exactly which teachings Paul was talking about? How is that, exactly?

            Your Peter quote does not affect my point about Paul. (You do know that Peter cautioned about reading Paul incorrectly, which he said was easy to do, right?)

            Chip, you are proving several of my points. Bible “ping pong” as you called it is the M.O. for Protestants, and I will not play it anymore. We could go on forever, and we will disagree about passages, and each will say that God has made it clear. So where does that leave us? Orphaned, if the Protestants are right. Responsible parents don’t let their little kids stay home for an evening alone, and yet Protestants say that God left us – whom He compares to sheep in the spiritual life (dumb, dumb animals) – alone with a very complicated, albeit inspired, book written in ancient languages. Really? In this, the last age, where the fullness of deity resides in bodily form, we are left with paper and ink? No living Pentecost among us? Strange.

            I see you’re quite the Indian-giver… I will really give you the last word, unless you want to have a real conversation about the structure of revelation.

          • Chip Crawford

            You are annoyed because the scripture contradicts your assertions concerning extra and non-biblical beliefs and practices. Rather than submit to God through his word, you choose to disqualify it for various reasons. Wrong again. Many among us are living the book of Acts (being the Acts of the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit is available for interpretation of God’s written word, the Bible. He’ll be glad to help you out just as soon as you ask him. He says without him, the word is a dead letter. So, stop doing without him.

          • Richard A

            Since my Church, now, often refers to the Bible as the “Word of God”, I do not dispute the aptness of the characterization. But there is no place in the New Testament where “the word of God” or “the word (logos)” specifically means “the Scriptures”. So what would be your biblical warrant for that usage?

          • Richard A

            And yet we do know that it is the Church in Heaven that presents the prayers of the saints on earth to the Father as incense. And God is the God of the living, not the dead, so the Church in Heaven is alive.

          • GPS Daddy

            >> Souls who see God face to face are in a much better position to pray

            That may be. But we do not know them. Except the ones whom you have known who have passed away. So how do you know that they can hear you? Mary is the most common saint that Catholics pray too, right? How can Mary hear all the prayers that Catholics are praying unless she is on the plain of deity?

            The saints in heaven is the church in heaven. And we do ask those in the church here on earth to pray for us. Got that. I think thats the strongest point the Catholics have. My contention is two fold:

            1. With Mary I see Catholics crossing the line to worship. Consider the “Miracle of The Sun”. Near hysteria comes from some Catholics at times.
            2. How much time does the average Catholic spend praying to Mary verses praying to Jesus? If there is a competition of time then there is a problem.

          • EC

            GPS, I will answer your questions, but I think there are some more basic problems here.

            First of all, what is your understanding of the existence of a separated soul? Namely, how does it think or even exist at all? What does it do while separated? How does it do it?

            Second, do you really reject the Assumption, which was practically a unanimous belief of the early Church, and which is today partially confirmed by the fact that there is not even a putative grave of Mary? If she is really physically dead, where is she? There are only a few spots that would make sense… And nothing is there.

            Third, what is the point of having anyone pray for you at all? How does that not equal “mediation”? Do you understand the Catholic teaching on mediation? It is indeed that there is one Mediator, but that He allows people to participate in His mediation. The reason we have to pray at all is to grow in our participation in the will of God… We do not actually tell Him anything He does not already know, after all. Ministry, especially sacramental ministry, is a participation in Christ’s being… It is He Himself that does the work, albeit with an instrument. But “mediation” is quite specific – can we not pray to the Holy Spirit directly? Can we not pray to the Father directly? What then is the character of this “mediation”?

            To your first question, yes, there are plenty of misguided individuals who practice Mariolatry. This is particularly bad in South America. However, I do not think that a crowd of thousands of mostly skeptical persons who showed up out of curiosity about a couple of reportedly clairvoyant peasant kids and who cowered in holy (and natural) fear at what they experienced at Fatima 100 years ago counts as Mariolatry, nor do I think a devotion to Mary under the aspect of her appearances there is Mariolatry. It is the phenomenon of being star struck – except there, people literally thought a star was going to strike them, and the famous person who had been appearing was way more important than any Hollywood celebrity.

            To your second question, I struggle to grasp what “the average Catholic” means, but by and large, the circles I am around here in Rome, there is not “competition of time.” The average day for me and many of my confreres consists of an hour of private prayer in church, Mass, the breviary, some spiritual reading, and a rosary. So we are talking about 2 hours of “non-Marian prayer,” and about 15 minutes praying the rosary, if there is no integration with the hour of personal prayer.

          • Kathy

            Sure you have seen much hysteria over the pope as well. Guess the same could be said about secular, even Christian, people getting all worked up over sports figures, actors and actresses…you name it. We all have idols that must be diminished so that we can more easily focus on Who should be our One and Only.

          • GPS Daddy

            Yea, the difference I see is that Mary is tied up in theology verse just being a pop star.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            Are the saints in Heaven dead? Really? “He who believes in me will never die…” What happened to eternal life?

          • GPS Daddy

            Yes, Jennifer, the bodies of the saints in heaven are dead. If their bodies were alive they would be here on earth with us. There is the resurrection to come. Thats when we will be bodily resurrected, or resurrected. Resurrection in the bible is that of our physical bodies. A Christian is born anew into the Kingdom of God. We are a new creation. Thats out spirit side. That never dies. But this body we have does die. Our resurrected bodies will be eternal just like our born again spirits.

            God tells us not to contact the dead. Mary is dead. Her spirit is alive with Jesus. But she is NOT an intermediary between us and Jesus. When we pray we pray to Jesus and no one else. You do not know if Mary can hear you. The bible says that the ONLY person we are to contact beyond the grave is God Himself.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Wrong. Get a Catholic Bible a real First Edition First Century one and read the Gospel of Saint Luke not a 16 Century chopped and changed one . In the Magnificat ( which you don’t believe in anyhow ) but Our Lady States before the Angel Gabriel. “From henceforth all Generations shall call me Blessed ”
            If that were a Lie the Angel would have corrected her . As he chastised Zachariah because he would not believe-First off – That his wife was Pregnant with John the Baptist. Also as regards the Praying to the dead as You Say .
            On the mountain at the Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah and Jesus were renowned in all their glory Peter said ” it is wonderful for us to be here ” Moses and Elijah were therefore Living not Dead .

          • GPS Daddy

            Also, Jennifer, don’t take offense. I know that can be hard. But by tackling my questions and showing me where I am wrong you grow in your ability to communicate your views.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Jennifer there are none so Blind as Cannot See . Imagine having a Diamond Ring on your hand for many years and trading it in for a Plastic one .
            ” O ye of Little Faith. Have I been with you so long yet you have learned Nothing “

          • Chip Crawford

            People lose authority in the earthly realm when they leave the earth realm. It is only God, who continues as the Source in any event or realm. We don’t need their influence with God to begin with, and they can’t do anything on their own. How absurd can you get? When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he gave them the prayer that speaks to the Father. He never mentioned saints or Christians, live or dead, as needful in the process in any respect.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Wrong –In the Parable of Lazarus and the poor man when Lazarus was in Hades he called out “Father Abraham please help me for I am in torment in these Flames ” Abraham replied ” Remember when you were on this Earth and had Everything in plenty and Lazarus lay suffering now it is his turn to be comforted. ” “Then Father Abraham please send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tounge ” Abraham replied that Lazarus could not . ” Then Father Abraham I have 5 Brothers please send Lazarus to warn them not to come to this place of Torment ” Abraham replied ” They have Moses and the Prophets “. Lazarus replied ” Yes Father Abraham but if one were sent who was dead to warn them then they would Believe ” . Abraham replied. ” If they don’t believe in Moses and the Prophets they will still not believe even if one were to rise from the Dead “.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>O ye of Little Faith. Have I been with you so long yet you have learned Nothing

            Hmmm, Jesus was saying this to teach the disciples that if they need to get ahold of Him once He is gone they need to ring up Mary first so she can get His attention?

          • Jeffrey Job

            Here’s an example of two people using the same words but talking past each other.
            In the Protestant mind praying to is synonymous with worship. As a cradle catholic turned zealous Evangelical turned Catholic revert I think I understood both sides of these issues. A lot of misunderstandings Protestants have are because Catholics don’t explain things with theological precision. We don’t actually “pray to” Mary, we ask her and saints to pray FOR us. We do this because web believe Jesus has one body. Not one in Heaven and another on earth. We believe death doesn’t separate us or cause us to stop loving or caring for each other so we ask for their prayers as easily as you ask brother this and sister that to pray for you.

          • GPS Daddy

            I get the idea. A few years ago when I was watching the ice skating competition during the winter Olympics there was this young Catholic girl (don’t remember her name right now) who had a statue of Mary with her. The camera caught her before she went out onto the ice. She kissed the statue and looked to recite something before she skated. This young girl does not have a relationship with Mary. One day she will. Not now.

            So in this idea of asking dead saints to pray for you I see the following assumptions in play:

            1. That dead saints can hear you speak to them.
            2. That dead saints can hear millions of people speaking to them at the same time.
            3. That Jesus needs a dead saint to help Him.
            4. There are other assumptions but they open of other issues that are not related to this discussion directly.

            This goes against the following verse:

            1 Timothy 2:5-6English Standard Version (ESV)
            5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

            I would be more accepting if Mary was not so exalted by Catholics.

            But here is one thing I need to consider more:

            Whats the difference between asking someone who is alive to pray for you and asking someone who has gone on ahead of you to pray for you?

          • Chip Crawford

            For one, you don’t find references to praying to dead saints in the bible, positive ones that is. That practice is associated with the dark side. We can ask GOD for more light on the workings there. Things definitely change when one leaves this earth. I think authority in this realm changes. Certainly, the will is not in place for making choices affecting earthly things. Of course, we understand that these are bible questions, which must be answered from the bible, where you have referenced, not reasoned out as seen hereabouts. One aspect of all this getting someone to pray for you, here or there, is the point that we can pray for ourselves!! As we grow in the lord, we should be developing in faith and reliance on the lord directly. I seldom ask someone to pray for me, maybe to agree with me according, once again, to scripture. Then, develop in praying for younger ones, hearing in the spirit on their behalf (don’t faint, Catholics) and sharing the word with them in encouragement and exhortation.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Sir when Catholics pray to Our Lady or to a Saint ( for intercession ) maybe that Saint or Our Lady has touched our Hearts and Minds in certain ways or even ( I know it maybe hard for you to believe ) a Supernatural event has happened or occurred in their Life . Now when we Pray we DO NOT pray to ANYTHING that is Dead . We believe in The Living Saints and in the Living Blessed Mother of Christ.” Nothing is impossible with God ” As for myself. One of my Favourite Saints is Maximilian Kolbe who gave up his life for another Fellow Prisoner during WW2 . I was in the Church of Saint Max Kolbe in Malta and had a spiritual experience. Its to long to go into here and anyhow your mind is to closed to believe even if I did . Also I have a Brother who was cured of Cancer and our Family has no doubt that the hand of God was at play . Again it’s pointless to go into such things if one who Professes to be a Christian believes that Catholics Pray to Dead Saints for after all like Kathys statements above That Would Be Demonic.
            Kyrie Eleison.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>Supernatural event has happened or occurred in their Life .

            Typically, I attribute supernatural events to a divine being. Mary is not divine.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Even with All the reading you have done as a good Christian you still do not get it so here goes again. Catholics Do Not Worship Our Blessed Lady .
            Catholics do not worship Statues or Saints .
            Catholics do not worship Plaster of Paris .
            Catholics worship God and God alone . No matter what Muslims think.
            Kyrie Eleison.

          • GPS Daddy

            Do you attribute divine or supernatural characteristics to Mary?

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            You still do not get it . You talk about a living Spirit yet refuse to even look at the power of that Spirit. You say that the Saints are dead when you believe in the living Spirit of God . You read Saint Paul when he says ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ” . Not some things All Things . Saint Paul was beaten with rods 5 times within an inch of his life . In Roman times if you were given 40 lashes after the 39 if the Centurion or Commander gave the Thumbs down and the 40th Lash did not kill that person then the one who was administering the punishment got 40 lashes themselves. He was stoned twice and didn’t die . On one of the times he was stoned he got back up and went into the Town to preach more about Christ. He was bitten by a Poisonous Snake and didn’t die . He was shipwrecked 3 times and didn’t die . When he wrote about running the good race and fighting the good fight do you suppose that was so he could die . No he suffered all that so he could Live . The reason I write all this about Saint Paul is lots of this was in The Acts of The Apostles ( not all but lots ) of which you will Believe and which was written by Saint Luke the same man who got most of his Gospel from Our Lady without doubt the earliest part at least . You believe all that yet you will not Believe that Our Lady asking a favour from Jesus Christ will be granted . You say that Our Lady the Mother of mine of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was just another fallen human being. Do you think that one who taught Saint Paul for 3 years in the Desert when he was taken up into the 3rd Heaven would do all this ,yet leave his Holy Mother who bore him a Spiritual Pauper.No he would not and did not . Ask and you shall receive Seek and You Shall Find Knock and it will be opened unto YOU . If by Devine acts it’s been already pointed out so many times that US as Catholics pray to Our Lady and the Saints for Intercession we do not Worship Our Lady or the Saints . As to the Supernatural Kathy already gave the Protestant View that -Lourdes-Fatima-Guadalupe Etc Etc were Demonic . O ye of Little of Faith. There’s not really much more I can say than try and talk to Saint Luke personally and have him post a reply.

          • GPS Daddy

            First, you did not answer my question.

            >>You believe all that yet you will not Believe that Our Lady asking a
            favour from Jesus Christ will be granted .

            1 Tim 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus”

            >>You say that Our Lady the Mother of mine of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was just another
            fallen human being

            Yes, Mary was a fallen human. She needed the be cleanse in the blood of Jesus just like you and me. To say otherwise is to attribute divine attributes to Mary. Which is the basis of my criticism.

            Rom 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            As in regards Sir -God Bless you -but I personally don’t really care what you believe or don’t believe as you will twist scripture in any form but not read the whole message . But for Gods Sake open your Mind . No one is asking you to do anything. But you will not accept Our right for Our Beliefs. As in regards Our Lady and the above post there is really nothing more I can add . The bit about Saint Luke was of course Sarcasm. On Our Lady at Fatima which Kathy believes was Demonic she left this Prayer for us to say .
            O My Jesus Forgive us Our Sins save us from The Fires of Hell
            And Lead All Souls into Heaven Especially those in Most need
            of Thy Mercy .
            There were of course Many other Signs Including the Miracle of The Sun
            which was reported by a Freemason Anti – Catholic Newspaper. I very
            much doubt were she Demonic she would have left such a Prayer.
            Kyrie Eleison.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>But you will not accept Our right for Our Beliefs

            I do accept your right for you to have your beliefs. But I have a right to question those AND I have an obligation as a Christian to stand against theological error.

            >>The bit about Saint Luke was of course Sarcasm

            Ok, But its not sarcasm that Catholics do pray to dead saints. My comment is still valid.

            >>Miracle of The Sun
            “”The prophecy was that the Virgin Mary (referred to as Our Lady of Fatima), would appear and perform miracles on that date”

            Again, this is putting Mary on the plain of deity and worship. Why so worked up about Mary? Would you be that worked up about me? I hope not!!! We get that worked up about Jesus… not Mary. Mary is no different that you or me. She was given a great honor. She carried that honor well. But she is still just like you or me and Jesus died for us just as much as He did for Mary.

            We are just as much saints as Mary or Paul or Peter. We are a royal priesthood. The members of that royal priesthood are all those who are saved by the blood of Jesus.

            >>But for Gods Sake open your Mind

            Its kind hard having your deeply held religious beliefs challenged. I get that but we need to have these discussions if the body of Christ is to unite.

            >>as you will twist scripture

            Ok, how so? Show me from the bible without personal attacks.

          • Kathy

            Well said, and it IS hard to grasp there may have been error in your long-held convictions. I’ve learned through experience that we should all research what we are being taught and not automatically believe it to be true.

          • GPS Daddy

            It is Kathy. We see the same thing in the age of the earth debates. On that topic I’m an “I don’t care earther” for despite what both sides claim the age of the earth is not important to the text.

            I like to work to keep my core theological views as simple as possible. Which are: I’m not God. God does exist. Jesus is that God.. really God is the Trinity. I have value beyond understanding BUUUT I have a sin problem that separates me from God. Jesus took care of that at the cross and I am doing my best to trust HIm.

          • Jeffrey Job

            I may be wrong here but I can’t find the reference you cite that claims Mary performed the Miracle of the Sun. If that was claimed then it’s a false statement. Mary predicted the miracle would happen on Oct 13 at noon. She did not perform it or any other, that would be claiming she has divine power. Just like every human involvement with the miraculous is God working through someone. As in Moses parting the sea or Joshua making the Jordan stop flowing. Another error Protestants make is not seeing that God usually works through intermediaries instead of directly.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            After all the back and forth you still don’t get even a little of whats been said. Catholics Do Not WORSHIP MARY. Catholics do not believe she made the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Catholics do Believe that as The Magnificat in Lukes Gospel states as I have posted that she’s special. “From Now on all Generations Shall Call Me Blessed for the Lord has done great things “. Not to believe that the Mother of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has a special place at the Celestial Banquet is astounding to say the least. But then again that would probably be Demonic also.
            Kyrie Ellison. Over and Out.

          • GPS Daddy

            I googled it and found a wiki page on it. I don’t know much about it BUT some Catholics refer to it as it actually being Mary AND a supernatural event. So you need to talk to them about it.

            My point is that if they think Mary is doing supernatural stuff then thats another thing that would put Mary on the side of deity. Not a good thing.

          • Faith of Our Fathers

            Sir you see my Religion as Theological error yet a Protestant Minister of whom I had that discussion many years ago would not come back with the Answer of Truth from The Beginning. The Reformation did not disclose any Truth it distorted Truth. But if your believe is based on Reformation Truths and are happy with your Faith .God Bless You. As for me and my household we will follow The Catholic and Apostolic Faith as it was taught from the start of Christian Creation.
            Kyrie Ellison.

          • GPS Daddy

            Kyrie, you have accused me of twisting scripture. I have shown you from the bible why I think your wrong. Now its your turn. Show me from the bible why I am wrong.

          • Jeffrey Job

            To say Mary was sinless is NOT attributing divine attributes to her.

            Were Adam and Eve both created sinless? Yes they were but that’s not attributing divinity to them. They were sinners after the fall but not before. You’re sssuming sin is man’s natural condition but it is not. At least that wasn’t the plan. I could be wrong but it seems like your side views salvation too narrowly in that it’s seen as a legal construct where the only issue is getting forgiveness for transgressions. We see it as an ongoing process where we are initiated into the life and family of God by being born again but sanctification is a radical and transformational return to lost innocence. He doesn’t just declare a reprobate righteous but really does change us ontologically. We become new creations in Christ.
            One more point- Mary did need a Savior like us. However she was saved BEFORE she fell into sin whereas we are saved after falling into sin.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>I could be wrong but it seems like your side views salvation too
            narrowly in that it’s seen as a legal construct where the only issue is
            getting forgiveness for transgressions

            I think you need to get to know me more before you go making claims like this. Really?

            >>To say Mary was sinless is NOT attributing divine attributes to her

            Romans 3:21-25, But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

            >>We see it as an ongoing process where we are initiated into the life and
            family of God by being born again but sanctification is a radical and
            transformational return to lost innocence. He doesn’t just declare a
            reprobate righteous but really does change us ontologically

            Jeffery, how old are? There is a reasonable chance I was reading the bible before you were born. May I suggest you first get to know my views before you go off on stuff like this?

          • GPS Daddy

            >>than try and talk to Saint Luke personally and have him post a reply

            Why would you choose saint Luke when you have a direct hotline to Jesus?

          • Jennifer Hartline

            GPS Daddy,
            Thanks for your kind response. I understand your concerns, for I’ve heard them a million times before, and they are the common objections many other Christians have. Let me just assure you that Catholics do not worship Mary. Worship belongs only to God alone. We *honor* Mary because God honored her by choosing her to be the mother of Christ, who is fully God. Therefore, she has the title “theotokos”: mother of God. That title says more about Christ than about Mary. It is intended to signify the full divinity of Christ, along with his full humanity, in answer to heresies that suggested Christ was not fully divine.

            We love her as our Mother, since Jesus gave her to us before He died. She who raised Christ can certainly raise me! There is no better example from any human person of how to live in perfect obedience and faith than Mary. If I can ask for your prayers on my behalf, why should I not ask for her prayers and intercession? Finally, no one could possibly love Mary more than Jesus does, so I have no fear of loving her “too much.”

            And then, the Catholic Church does not tell anyone that they can achieve forgiveness by doing “such and such” or anything at all other than confessing their sins and asking forgiveness. We believe in the Sacrament of Penance because we believe Jesus set it up that way with His apostles. But penances are not a way of “earning” forgiveness. It is merely helping to bend the stick backwards, if you will. Training the will, the mind, and the heart to reject sin. We humans need that.

            It’s not about actions over heart, but about actions that build up and support the heart. We are body, mind, heart, and spirit as one, integrated person. What we do in the body affects the heart and the spirit. And faith without works is dead. Dead.

            I hope that makes sense.

          • Jeffrey Job

            It does to me. Two points; it’s not either/or it’s both/and
            Example: Jesus OR Mary, no. Jesus AND Mary

            Faith OR works? No. Faith working through love.
            We see faith as a verb not an intellectual assent to a philosophical proposition.

            Faith; God’s intervention in my heart TO WHICH I RESPOND.
            Every movement towards Him is a response to His initiative. As St Augustine said our works begin and end with His prevenient grace. Therefore when He chooses to award merit to our works done in Him He’s only rewarding His work.

    • Jeffrey Job

      Kelly you are not alone in your assumptions about others and their spiritual condition.
      St Thomas Aquinas said 800 years ago ,” the Church has people God doesn’t have and God has people the Church doesn’t have.” That’s not indifferentism because Truth matters but one of the criteria we are judged by is if we obeyed the truth we had access to or not.

  • What’s interesting to me is that Protestants will find all sorts of reasons to disparage Catholicism over differences but seem to shrug over differences between Protestant denominations, which can be breath taking diverse. When you span the Protestant universe from high Anglican (which is nearly Catholic) to Lutheran (not that far off from Catholicism) to Calvinists (quite different) to Baptists (very different) to Quakers (exceptionally different) to Amish (what?) you find dislocations you can’t see how they are synthesized. And yet it’s the Catholics that are strange. 😉

    • Hmmm…

      Not so; not said by me. It’s about things essential to salvation being a concern. That’s not found among mainline Protestant churches. That’s life or death, certainly of concern. I don’t recognize your list as being entirely Protestant related at all. And you missed some larger ones in the group. What about Methodists and the Christian Church, Pentecostals, Assembly of God, Charismatic, Word of Faith, Presbyterian, Church of God, Church of Christ? There certainly are variations of doctrine, and certainly a need to move toward unity.

      • Those Protestant denominations fit in between the ones I listed. I was just outlining the broad range and diversity of Protestantism. I didn’t mean to be comprehensive.

        What’s not found in mainline Protestant churches, anti Catholicism? You might be right. I’m not sure where the anti Catholicism comes from but it does exist.

        • Hmmm…

          I don’t know that it’s anti-Catholicism, but a caution is not necessarily an anti-. I do not endorse Mormonism, but that doesn’t mean I am anti-Mormon. The Catholic doctrine is also questionable, however with its un and extra Biblical aspects. They also have a way of esteeming and teaching that they are the one, true church, the only complete church at best. It’s a real issue that has a way of binding people to it. The people need to be loved and honored, but compromise is a bad thing, so be led, pray about, pray for, speak truth in love if necessary seems best.

          • I can point to Protestant practices that aren’t Biblical as well but let’s not turn this into a theological discussion. Maybe you aren’t sensitive to the Catholic bashing so you don’t notice it. Like I was saying above, there are Protestant denominations that are way more different than Catholicism but do Protestants go out of their way to rebuke the other Protestant denominations? I haven’t seen it. Mormonism isn’t even Christian so that’s not a good comparison. Actually I’ve seen Protestants not even consider Catholics to be Christian, which is about as ignorant a statement as I’ve ever seen. Do you consider Catholicism to be Christian?

          • Chip Crawford

            Pass. I’m leaving this as best practice. I’m sure you understand. God bless.

          • Hmmm…

            It doesn’t matter what I think, but what the bible says. I find that being a Christian is being born again, saved. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. It’s God’s salvation; we need to consult and follow his word, imho. There are other passages, like in John, many references overall. It’s not a matter of where you go to church. Ignorance is not knowing what God’s word says, but – good news! – it can be cured.

          • EC

            Can God save the mentally handicapped, who do not and cannot know about God’s word or believe in and confess the Resurrection?

          • Richard A

            Of course.

          • EC

            I agree. I am curious how that would fit most Protestant soteriologies, however.

          • Nicely said. All denominations have some form of “being saved again” whether they call it that or not.
            In the spirit of what Mr. Wills intended, let me end with this passage from Ephesians 2:13-16:

            “Now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God: in his own person he killed the hostility.”

            We are closer than those who believe we are apart. Peace in Christ, and God bless.

    • Forthewest C

      An attitude you need to have if you want to justify rebellion. The Catholics must be denounced because if the Catholic Church is the true Church, then they are (actually were, we can’t say it of Protestants today) true rebels and schismatics. So the Catholic Church must be evil to justify their own existence. Same goes for interpretation authority. Even though every Protestant preacher who preaches his own interpretation is a one man magesterium, the Catholic Church cannot have an interpretation authority. Again, that makes most sense in the light of the need of Protestantism to justify itself, even if it means to denounce the authority of the Body of Christ and substitute anyone who reads the Bible and interprets it to his flock himself. Seems blasphemous to me, but then who am I?

      (I began as a baptised but unconfirmed Protestant, but was chased into the Catholic Church by such inanities. Who needs arguing Bible verses with one man magesteriums, and the one with the most verses on his side “wins”, when the whole processes lacks sense – but then, you see, you are not supposed to think, etc. All nonsense.)

      • Yes, I’ve made similar observations. You’re right, it’s not complicated. God bless.

  • Barbara Golder

    Getting into each other’s minds is hard work. It requires humility–the idea that someone else might have something of value to offer us. It requires believing that the Body of Christ is not complete without all its members.

  • onewaytoheaven

    If you follow Christ and His commandments, wearing a scratchy shirt is only the beginning. Yes, you will certainly be hated, rejected, ostracized, mistreated, slandered, persecuted, discriminated against…
    1 JOHN 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

    • Stand 4INDICTMENT KNEEL 4flag!

      Dooshbag 6969: You’re an a55hole.

  • Morrie Chamberlain

    In all of the back and forth that follows in the comments section I will point out rarely does the Protestant try to get in the mind of the Catholic. In the mind of the Catholic is the following:
    1. Jesus founded a visible Church with apostles that had the power to bind or loose in heaven what they bind or loose on earth.
    2. Only one of these apostles, Peter, was given the keys which implies an ongoing office.
    3. That the early church had a hierarchy, bishops, priests, and deacons.
    4. That the early church most definitely Catholic in beliefs and worship. Read the writings of Justin the Martyr, Ignatius of Antioch, Iraneus, the Didache. If you don’t read these writings and only believe what your 20th century pastor tells you or what you decide is true from your own abilities, then you are not in the mind of a Catholic.
    5. That the Bible did not plop down from heaven but instead developed as part of worship and that there was not concensus on what books of the Bible were inspired until The Catholic listed the books in the late 4th century.
    This is just a start and I can continue

    • Chip Crawford

      Spare us the rest if it’s as totally bereft of fact and truth as the foregoing. In addition, you fail to note what is in mind of the Protestant or, indeed, the necessity of doing so. However, given the shamble quality of your existing enumeration, just parity would require that you refrain. Thank you

      • Jeffrey Job

        Again you bypass the facts because you have no answers. I’m still waiting for a logical response to my 3 simple questions.
        Waiting…. waiting…

  • benevolus

    I thought Pentecostalism was batty, until I started listening to Kenneth Copeland. Before long, I was speaking in tongues, ministering healing, and seeing demons cast out. I joined an Assembly of God church and was water-baptized by full immersion there (I was infant-sprinkled as a Catholic). But I have Baptist friends, Catholic friends, etc. It’s our love for and devotion to Christ that keeps us together. Keep your eye on the ball, er, the Savior.

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