Thursday, March 23, 2023

Answering @Stephgotsaved 's errors on Catholicism


While on Twitter, I came across this thread full of so many errors that I had to respond. The thread can be found here  https://twitter.com/stephgotsaved/status/1638224505071079427.  My response is below in bold.


<<Catholicism is NOT Biblical.

Here are 14 reasons why. ­čžÁLet me clarify: I don’t hate Catholic people.

My reason for posting this is to bring the truth to light and set people free from this false gospel. Catholicism is the largest denomination in the world, yet not true to the Bible.Global estimates suggest there are approximately 1.2 billion Catholics in the world.

Let’s all remember that Satan is the father of lies and his #1 weapon against us is deception. He twists the truth, has created false gospels/doctrines and deceived many into following a ‘religion’ but never having a personal relationship with Jesus.

Satan is not anti-religion, he is anti-Christ and although Catholics claim to love Jesus, their beliefs and gospel are simply unbiblical.

Catholicism vs. Biblical Christianity>>


Sacerdotus Responds:

You might not hate Catholics, but your content does show hate and ignorance. I will refute each using the Bible and historical facts.  First, the Catholic Church is not a "false gospel" or even a "gospel." She is the Church Jesus Christ founded.  The Catholic Church is the largest religion in the world, but we still have much to do to convert the world.  Yes, Satan is the Father of lies and division. This is why we see in history how people separated from the Catholic Church and formulated their own doctrines and sects deviating from Christ's body, the Catholic Church.  Claims that the Church's beliefs are not biblical are far from the truth. In fact, most of the teachings of the Church came before the New Testament was even completed. 


<<#1 They have a different Bible. The Holy Bible has sixty-six books (39 Old Testament, 27 New Testament). The Catholic Bible, on the other hand, has seventy-three books. Often referred to as deuterocanonical books or Apocrypha. Outside of Catholicism, these extra books are considered heretical. There are many times in the Bible where God says verbatim to not add to His words, in Proverbs 30-5:6 He says: “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” This is just one of many. He gives a stern warning as well in Revelation 22:18-19.>>


Sacerdotus responds:

No, the Catholic Church has the only true Bible. This is because the Catholic Church wrote and compiled the Bible. The canon of Scripture came together under Pope Damasus in the Councils of Carthage and Rome 397 Ad. See: bible-researcher.com/carthage.html.  The official canon has 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New.  Luther removed books that did not agree with his heretical ideas.  The truth is that the Bible comes from the Catholic Church. This is why the Church has the authority. There was no canon of scripture until Pope Damasus called the councils of Rome and Carthage. Please show where in Scripture it tells us what books are canon and inspired. You will not find it. It the Catholic Church that engaged in this endeavor. Pope Siricius called it "bible" and the Word of God. These titles are not in the Bible nor used to describe the Bible.


<<#2 The Pope.

Aside from having a different Bible, the Catholic Church also does not look to it as the sole source of authority and truth. Catholicism turns to the Pope. He has several titles such as Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Vicar of Jesus Christ, and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. As you can see from the names the Pope has, he commands a great amount of power and authority in the Catholic Church. This is heresy.

The reason why is because over and over the Bible tells us not to rely on man, but rather to trust in God. Our only High Priest today worthy of power and authority is Jesus Christ Himself. No man on earth should be looked to as an authority as the Pope is portrayed to Catholics. All spiritual leaders should always deny themselves and point to Jesus as the authority. According to Scripture every man is a sinner. Including “the Pope”. Besides the Catholic Bible and the Pope (as well as priests and bishops), Catholicism has a few other sources of authority.

The Bible clearly states, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). Because Scripture reflects the perfect character of God, it is the standard by which we measure everything else. The Word of God is the absolute authority and anyone can read it, ask God for discernment and have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is our intercesor. The role of a pastor, reverend, preacher is simply to point us all to Christ. Not to himself to be praised as a deity of some sort.>>


Sacerdotus Responds:

Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians often have issues with the Papacy.  The Orthodox Christians feel that the Pope is a regular bishop and does not have any unique authority over the entire Church.  Protestants feel the Pope is unnecessary and some even go as far as claiming that he is the anti-Christ.  These charges are far from the truth.  The Papacy is not something the Catholic Church invented.  It was Jesus' idea.  
Jesus in Matthew 16:17-19 says:

"Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven.”
Here Jesus changes Simon's name to 'Peter,' or "rock."  This is significant because in Scripture the rock image is always used to represent the Lord (Psalm 18:31)  

The changing of one's name shows a promotion of status.  For example Abram becomes Abraham (Genesis 17:5). Jesus did this to show that Peter was to be His representative or vicar on Earth.  This is why the Pope is the "Vicar of Christ."  

He does not replace Jesus as if Jesus resigned or was a failure, rather, he stands in for Jesus as the visible head of the Church and chief shepherd.  In Matt. 17:24-25 tax collectors approach Peter asking him if Jesus pays taxes.  Peter here is demonstrated as the representative of Christ, or the Vicar of Christ.  

Some claim that the Greek word "petra" means pebble and not rock; however, the New Testament was written in Koine Greek and the word "petra" and "petros" means simply 'rock.'  All scholars agree with this.  Had Jesus wanted to call Simon "small rock or pebble," the appropriate word would have been "lithos."  To further give more evidence to what Jesus actually meant, we must remember that Jesus did not speak Greek.  He spoke Aramaic.  The word Jesus actually used in his native tongue was, "Kepha" which means 'rock.'   Peter is the rock upon which Christ built His Holy Catholic Church.  To my knoweldge, there exists no Bible - with the exception of the Watchtower that alters texts - that states, "You are Peter and on this small stone/pebble I will build my Church."  This is a clear indication that the use of the word "rock" was intentional.   

The Keys

Keys are an important tool in human society. They can lock and unlock things.  Keys are also a sign of possession or ownership.  If I have the keys to a house, car, motorcycle or bank vault; I control them - I own them.  As long as I hold the keys and no one else does, I have absolute authority.  Jesus gives Peter the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, what does this mean?  Is Jesus going on vacation and is giving the keys to his place to a mortal?  No, not at all.  

Jesus as a descendant of King David is imitating the gesture of King Hezekiah in Isaiah 22:20-22.  Hezekiah gives the keys to the kingdom of the House of David to his servant Eliakim.  In the Jewish biblical tradition, this gesture grants royal dynastic authority and shows succession as the leader or prime minister of the House of David.  By giving Peter the keys to His kingdom, Christ is giving Peter the authority to represent Him and the authority to change things or leave them as is.  The key is also referred to in Revelations 3:7.  This is further evidence that Jesus was in fact doing the same as Hezekiah.  

The Primacy of Peter
While Peter was indeed an Apostles just like the other 11, he still had a unique role.  In the New Testament, Peter is mentioned by himself 155 times as opposed to the other Apostles who are mentioned together 130 times.  Peter is mentioned first in the New Testament (Matt. 10:2; Mark 1:363:16Luke 6:14-16; Acts 2:375:29).  Coincidence?  Not at all.  It is human custom to name the most important person in a group first.  This custom is still used today in the 21st century.  We will always announce a President, Queen or King, Principal, or University President first before others.  


Peter was the only Apostle invited by Jesus to "walk on water," literally (Matt. 14:28-29)  This shows that Jesus had a particular plan for Him in mind and was preparing him by giving him a lesson on what it means to be faithful even when one is surrounded by turbulent waters and wind.  

As the leader of the Church, Peter and his successors must be strong in faith even if it means contradicting the world.  The world would say not to walk on water because you will sink and drown; however, if God says to do it, even if it makes no sense, we have to do it!  

In John 21:15-17, Jesus specifically commands Peter to feed his sheep and lambs.  He asks Peter if he loves Him three times and then commands three times to feed his sheep and lambs.  This was a foreshadowing of the three times Peter would deny Him (John 18:15-18)  This also shows that no matter how weak Peter was, this did not take away from his authority or validity as Pope.  Despite being called "Holy Father," the Pope is still a sinner and subject to personal failings.  Nevertheless, his office remains firm and valid despite the failings of the man holding it.  

Peter was also a direct target of Satan.  In Luke 22:31-32  Jesus tells Peter that Satan wanted to sift him up like wheat.  This shows that Satan was aware of the importance of Peter and wanted to strike at him directly.  The evidence from Scripture alone is overwhelming in regards to the primacy of St. Peter.  

The Early Christians had this to say:

"The blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute, quickly gasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’. - Clement of Alexandria 
"For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession of faith" - Tertullian

"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect" - The Letter of Clement to James

"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon Peter, who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter" - The Letter of Clement to James

It is obvious that Peter had a significant role as Pope in the first century up to his death whereupon St. Linus took over the Papacy. He is even mentioned in the Bible, 2 Timothy 4:21. Pope Clement is mentioned in Philippians 4:3.   No academic or historian denies this historical truth.


<<#3 Sacred Traditions.

The Second Vatican Council equated sacred traditions, though unbiblical, as equal to the Word of God. This is again, heretical. The Bible makes it clear that the wisdom of man is foolishness to God. (1 Corinthians 1:25) It is heretical to say that anything conjured up by the mind of man to be equal to the Word of God. God’s Word is above anything man could imagine or put together. Man is not equal to God, period.>>


Sacerdotus responds:

Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are part of the same deposit of Truth. In fact, the Bible says in 2 Thess. 2:15 to hold fast to Sacred Tradition. Sacred Tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who guides men. Remember, when 2 Thess. 2:15 was spoken, there was no New Testament. Even the Jews rely on the Talmud alongside the Torah as the Word of God. Both cannot be separated.



<<#4 Nineteen Councils.

The most well-known council is the Council of Trent. It took place between 1545-1563. Ultimately, the Catholic Church deemed the belief that one is justified by faith alone (by no works of our own) as heresy. The Council of Trent also damned anyone who rejected the Apocrypha.

The Bible says:“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9

Scripture makes it clear we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.>>




Sacerdotus Responds:

Before Trent, the idea of faith alone was not mainstream and was condemned. The Bible makes it clear that faith alone does not justify nor work for salvation:

James 2:14-26

New King James Version
Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



<<#5 The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

This book is a summary of Catholic beliefs and was promoted by Pope John Paul II in 1992. Some refer to the CCC as a religious instruction manual for Catholicism.Biblical Christianity leans on the Bible for authority while Catholicism has added man-made sources. In short, Catholic leaders have made themselves the authority which is heresy.>>

Sacerdotus Responds:

The Catechism existed way before Saint Pope John Paul II. It simply explains the tenets of the faith. The Church is the authority. Scripture says in 1 Timothy 3:15 that the Church is the PILLAR and FOUNDATION of the Truth. This means the Church is the authority on the Truth. 


<<#6 Worship of Mary.

Christians all agree that Mary was a virgin when she was pregnant with Jesus. The virgin birth is an important part of the story of Jesus Christ’s arrival to mankind. However, she was still just a woman. A faithful woman who was especially chosen by God, but yet, still just a woman. The Catholic Church has taken Mary and turned her into an almost Christ-like entity in its faith. No one is worthy of our praise, worship and adoration who is not Jesus Christ who was sent by God and was crucified and resurrected for our souls.

Even Jesus Himself said that, in Luke 11:27-28 it says: “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” Here we clearly see that Jesus turns the focus from Mary to the Word of God emphasizing to us that the Word of God is the ultimate authority and the only way to know Him for ourselves. According to the CCC, Mary was a perpetual virgin, but the Bible mentions His siblings (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55; Luke 8:19; Galatians 1:19). The CCC contradicts the inerrant Word of God and misleads people into believing lies- not the truth that God reveals to us in His Word. Additionally, the CCC teaches that Mary was born sinless and lived a sinless life. This is absurd, of course, because she was 100% human and no person is righteous (Romans 3:10). She was a normal person, like me and you who was chosen and used by God. The entire Bible is about JESUS, because only HE can save us. The Catechism also claims Mary suffered along with Christ on the cross. To be clear, there is no suggestion she was literally on the cross, but she, allegedly, suffered, too. I will relent that watching that horror would break any mother’s heart, but Mary’s suffering is likened to Jesus’ suffering in the CCC. Once again, no human person is equal to God. And since Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity, it is contradictory to exalt Mary (a sinner like me and you) to the level of Jesus who is literally God in the flesh, Savior of the world. Finally, Catholicism teaches to pray to Mary. For example, the bride in a Catholic wedding prays to Mary to bless the bride as a wife.  Most disturbingly, according to the Catechism, Mary “will deliver our souls from death.” Only one can do that, and His name is Jesus! Praying to dead people is not biblical. In fact, it is an abomination and forbidden. Communicating with the dead is addressed several times in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 20:6,27; 1 Samuel 28:5-18; Isaiah 8:19-20). Catholics pray to Mary because they believe she intercedes for them to communicate with God. That is unbiblical. JESUS is our intercesor. Romans 8:34 says that Jesus “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” In 1 John 2:1 we read that Jesus is our “advocate with the Father,” and from Hebrews 7:25 we learn that Jesus “always lives to intercede” for us. In Jesus own words, He shows us how to pray in Luke 11. The Bible is our ultimate source of truth and authority as believers in Jesus. The confusion among Catholicism is simply due to them creating new doctrines and adding to the Bible which God strictly prohibits.This is why it’s important to read the Bible for yourself, to know what God is really saying to us.>>

Sacerdotus Responds:

This person began this thread stating Satan is the father of lies and makes a huge lie here. Catholics DO NOT WORSHIP Mary. You will not find any document in the Catholic Church suggesting this, encouraging this or even teaching this. It is a complete falsehood by those bent on tarnishing Christ's Church.  Mary is indeed a special human being. This is why we venerate her. This veneration is called hyperdulia. Moreover, Mary prophesied that people would venerate her and call her "blessed" for generations after the Holy Spirit brought her to say the words in Luke 1:43–49. So the person who wrote this thread is attacking the Holy Spirit and Scripture with these statements against Mary.  Moreover, Luke 11 is often cited as proof that Jesus somehow despised Mary. This is far from the truth. Jesus being God followed the law. This means He followed the Commandments which state to honor father and mother (Exodus 20:12). Context matters. Jesus is not despising His mother any more than He is saying He is not good in Luke 18:18-19. Jesus is setting the stage up to present that the purpose of His coming is faith related. His mission was to bring the people back to the Father. So those who do God's will become His "mother," and "brother" so to speak. This is expounded more in John 1:12 where those who receive Him become children of God. Furthermore, Mary's motherhood is so important that Jesus gives John to Mary and Mary to John as mother and son (John 19:26-27). Mary is a perpetual virgin because there is no historical or biblical record of a second, third, or fourth pregnancy and birth. The verses that mention other brothers of Jesus were written in Greek. The word used is "adelphos" which can mean siblings, cousins, or even uncles. We know that the verses do not mean literal uterine brothers because in  John 19:25, Matthew 27:56 and Matthew 13 the word is used. The mention mentioned in Matthew 13 were NOT uterine brothers of Jesus, yet the word was used in the Greek text.   Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Wesley, and others believed in Mary's perpetual virginity. It was not until the reformation that the false interpretation of Jesus having other brothers came into existence. If Mary had children, the Bible would have made more references to this and Jesus would have chosen them as Apostles, would He not? The fact that none of this happened shows us Mary had no other uterine children. 


We read in Scripture about the Virgin visted by the archangel Gabriel. This Virgin is named Mary and the archangel greets her with powerful words, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you!”  Sound familiar? It is the beginning of the “Hail Mary” prayer.   The word here in Koine Greek is “kecharitomene” which means “full of God’s grace.” It is the passive participle of “charitoos” which means “to pour on or fill with grace.” This means that Mary was literally “full of God.” There was no room for sin or anything evil because God took its place.  If I tell you that a glass is full of water, then that means there is no more room for anything else. This is why the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was the Immaculate Conception. She was conceived without original sin. Mary had to be without sin in order for Christ to be conceived. Psalm 51:5 tells us that people are conceived with sin. If Mary had sin, then Jesus would be conceived with sin. This would mean God is susceptible to sin which would invalidate God. 

The Blessed Virgin Mary is an important figure in Catholicism and Christianity in general. Unfortunately, her importance may come across as worship to our separated friends in the Protestant fundamentalist faith. They often see our devotions and attention to Mary as blasphemous or as an attempt to equate Mary with Jesus as some co-savior.

We know this is not so. Mary cooperated with God in His salvific mission.  However, we must wonder why there is so much hate for Mary.  The vitriol against Mary by Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and others can be offensive and troubling. How can these people who claim to follow Christ have so much hate for His Mother?

Well, the hate is definitely based on ignorance. However, hate for Mary is also demonic. Satan hates the Virgin Mary with passion. In Genesis 3:15 God tells the serpent, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Here God is speaking of Eve and Mary.  How do we know this?  Well for one, Eve was the one present and was the one who listened to the serpent's lies. Moreover, we know Mary is referred to here as well because of what God says will happen in the future tense (Lumen Gentium 55).  He says that the woman's offspring will strike or crush the head of the serpent. Some Bibles have a feminine pronoun written instead, but this is due to possibly an error in the pre-Vulgate Latin versions of the Sacred Scriptures or a confusion on what pronoun to use because some Hebrew texts do have a feminine pronoun.  However, this is beside the point because the text in Genesis still emphasizes the important role of Mary.

This statement in Genesis 3:15 would not make sense if it referred to a mere descendant of Eve. If Adam and Eve fell for the serpent's lies, then what makes us think their descendants will do the opposite?  This offspring mentioned has to be human, but also strong enough to resist the serpent. Of course, we are referring to Jesus Christ who is Son of Man (Adamah/Adam) and Son of God (Luke 1:35, Luke 19:10). Jesus was truly human and truly divine. Because of this, He resisted the serpent when he came with his lies in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11).  While being human, Jesus never sinned, unlike Adam and Eve (2 Corinthians 5:21).  So clearly we see that this offspring mentioned to the serpent with Adam and Eve present was referring to Jesus.

As we know, Jesus did not fall from the sky nor did He materialize into space, time and matter spontaneously.  Rather, Jesus was born unto us via a woman named Mary (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:26-28). God could have done it any other way, but He did it this way in keeping with the statement made in Genesis 3:15. This is why Mary is so important to Christianity and why we Catholics put her on a pedestal as our Queen.  Mary herself foretold of the devotion that will be given to her for generations (Luke 1:48).  Mary saying 'yes' to God and giving birth to the Christ child was indeed a big strike to the head of the serpent.  This "enmity" materialized on the moment the archangel Gabriel told Mary of God's plans for her to carry His Son and her acceptance of that plan.

It is no wonder why Satan hates Mary.  She is not only human but also the Immaculate Conception who said yes to God.  As we know, Satan hates humanity (Wisdom 2:24).  If he hates humanity so much and is envious of us, then how much more would he hate the human who brought Christ to the world. This human happens to be a female. This is the woman the serpent is going to have enmity with.  The serpent hated Mary so much that he waited to attack her and devour her child (Revelation 12:4-5; 13-17). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes:

After the original sin, God addresses the serpent, which represents Satan, curses it and adds a promise: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Gn 3: 15). It is the announcement of revenge: at the dawn of the Creation, Satan seems to have the upper hand, but the son of a woman is to crush his head. Thus, through the descendence of a woman, God himself will triumph. Goodness will triumph. That woman is the Virgin Mary of whom was born Jesus Christ who, with his sacrifice, defeated the ancient tempter once and for all. This is why in so many paintings and statues of the Virgin Immaculate she is portrayed in the act of crushing a serpent with her foot. (http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/angelus/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_ang_20091208.html)

Satan hates Mary because of her devotion and her 'yes' to God.  Mary to Satan is a "cosmic party pooper" who ruined his fun in regards to deceiving humanity while watching us behave like non-human animals instead of the children of God which is what we are (Galatians 3:26).  However, he has no power over her and cannot defeat her.  He has no power over us who remain under her mantle despite waging war against us (Revelation 12:17).  Mary is indeed an important figure in Christianity. She was mentioned before she even existed and is mentioned again in the last book of the New Testament as this powerful Queen who wears the sun as clothing, stars as a crown and stands on the moon (Revelation 12:1).  Anyone who hates Mary is aligning him or herself with the offspring of the serpent.  We must love Mary, not hate her if we are to call ourselves Christian.  She is important to our faith.  Mary is not a goddess or a co-savior. The Catholic Church has never taught this and never will. However, we must acknowledge Mary's important role in our redemption and salvation. In the Church, we call this 'hyperdulia' which is a special veneration given to Our Lady, Our Queen, and Our Mother.  Mary is indeed 'blessed among women' and the Lord's favorite who is full of His grace (Luke 1:42, Luke 1:28).

Those who are with Christ must love Mary. We must cherish her and have devotion to her. As St. Maximilian Kolbe said, "Whoever does not wish to have Mary Immaculate as his Mother will not have Christ as his Brother."

Only Satan hates Mary and anything that has to do with her.  She and her Son have crushed his proud head.  Mary prays for us and interecedes for us. We see this in John 2:1–11 where she gets Jesus to perform His first miracle before the set time. She intercedes for us to Jesus. No Catholic teachings states that Mary is equal to God. I invited the writer to prove this falsehood. 


<<#7 Idolatry: An Unbiblical Catholic Practice

Praying to Mary is undoubtedly idolatry, but it doesn’t end with her. Praying to the saints is a common practice in Catholicism. Do you remember the advertisement for the iPhone in 2009 that coined “there’s an app for that?” Well, in Catholicism there’s a saint for that. Patron saints are dedicated to a particular geographical area, profession, or group of people. The Catholic Church teaches these saints will protect and aid members of these areas and groups when we pray to them for help. This is not Biblical and again, heretical. The Bible teaches us to depend on God, trusting the Father for our provision as we seek his kingdom (Matthew 6:31-33). We depend on Jesus for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), and the Holy Spirit for spiritual renewal (Titus 3:4-7). Catholics claim to believe in the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Spirit) yet we see practicing Catholics praying to statues of these saints and placing immense spiritual power and significance into what they would call relics. These items are often treated at the source of power. Need healing? Pray to an image of Saint Raphael the Archangel. Meanwhile, an individual following biblical Christianity would cut out the middleman and pray directly to Jesus. However, in Catholicism, these idols are treated like lucky charms and talismans that are worn and placed around the house for protection. The first of the biblical Ten Commandments prohibits idolatry, which Catholicism deliberately breaks.

Sacerdotus Reponds:

Praying to Mary and the saints is not unbiblical. In fact, they are biblical We read in Revelation 5:8 where the saints present to the Lamb the prayers of the people. How did they collect or even hear these prayers if Scripture says the dead cannot hear or do not know anything ( Ecclesiastes 9:5)?  The reality is that they do. When we are baptized, we become part of the body of Christ and nothing can separate us from this body, not even death. Romans 8:31-39 makes this clear.  The author disagrees with Scripture by claiming the saints cannot pray for us or are even still a part of Christ's body.  So just because a saint is dead does not cut him or her from the body of Christ, the Church. We are still connected and can pray for each other just like cells in a body communicate with each other. Relics are very much part of the Bible. We read in 2 Kings 13:20-21 how the bones of Elisha brought a dead man back to life. Matthew 9:20-22 tells us how the cloak of Jesus caused a woman to be healed just by touching it. In Acts 5:15, the shadow of Peter healed, and in Acts 19:12 aprons and handkerchiefs healed people. 


<<#8 Saints

Saints in the Catholic Church are unbiblical, in and of themselves, even without the patron saint situation. Catholicism gives the Pope the final say when with saints. He ultimately gives his approval. Prior to that, however, the process of becoming a saint (aka: canonization) is a lengthy five-step process that relies heavily on the works of the potential saint (who is dead at the time of canonization). The Bible, on the other hand, does not describe sainthood as an earned status. Quite the opposite! All believers, who are believers through grace and faith in Jesus Christ, are saints (Psalm 30:4; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 26:10). Nowhere in the Bible is a Pope given authority to decide who is a saint and who isn’t. According to Scripture, Jesus has all the authority.  As you can see, Catholicism relies on prayers to the dead and objects suspected of being imbued with special spiritual power. The Catholic Church teaches its members to turn away from Christ with their worship and focus it toward other people and objects. This is idolatry.>>


Sacerdotus Responds:

Saints are very much biblical. They are mentioned in Scripture.  Romans 1:7, Revelation 14:12, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Psalm 30:4 mention the saints. They are even called a "cloud of witnesses" in Hebrews 12:1 and in Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 are demonstrated as praying for the people of God. The writer here is confused about canonization. The pope does not make saints nor the Church. What the Church does is CANONIZE them or add them to the official list of saints. The writer falsely claims that no sainthood is earned. This is in contradiction of St. Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 9:25 where he says we do an effort to earn an imperishable crown. People who "fight the good" fight as he puts it, earn the crown that does not perish. This is sainthood.  The pope has the authority to declare saints. He has the keys to bind and unbind (Matthew 16:18-19). Again, the pope does not "make saints." He simply declares that based on evidence, a person is a saint per the understanding of what a saint is based on scripture and tradition. 


<<#9 The Unbiblical Priesthood

In the Catholic Church priests are of the utmost importance. Catholics believe they are the mediator between themselves and God. All Christians should confess their sins, on this we can agree, but Catholic teaching says that we must confess to a priest. This is how we are to be forgiven.The Bible disagrees with the Catholic approach. Matthew 27:51 says, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;…” This moment has great significance for believers. That veil separated the first and second rooms of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, respectively.The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant which embodied the presence of God. The High Priest sprinkled sacrificial blood on the Mercy Seat in this room once a year for the forgiveness of sins of God’s people. The veil was a literal and metaphorical separation between God and His people. That is, it was until it tore in half when Jesus died on the cross. Believers, thanks to Jesus’ work on the cross, have direct access to God. The Bible agrees. We can come to God directly in prayer and confess our sins to God in private. The Bible teaches us to have a personal intimate relationship with God and not to rely on man. The truth is in the Bible and anyone can read it. Jesus is open to all who seek and we can come to God directly.

Sacerdotus Responds:  

The Church does not play anyone as a mediator between God and themselves. Jesus is the sole mediator. However, others are mediators between Jesus and men, Mary as Scripture shows us at the wedding of Cana and the saints as we read in Revelation. There is a difference here. However, the priesthood is different from mediation. In the priesthood, a man becomes "another Christ." This does not means Christ is replaced or cloned. This is just a way of saying that the man who is ordained a priest acts in the person of Christ. So when a priest baptizes, says Holy Mass and so on, it is really Jesus acting and effecting the grace, not the priest in vestments. The man is just a vessel for Christ to act through.  We see in John 20:23 how Jesus gives the power to forgive sins. The priesthood is in the bible. We read in 1 Tm 4:14, 5:22 how they are ordained. In 1 Tm 5:17 they preach the Gospel and in Jas 5:13-15 they administer the Sacraments. They are described as presbuteroi or priests in Acts 20:17-38.  The writer of this thread completely ignores the ministry of deacon, priest and bishop which is clear in the Bible.


<<#10 The Seven Sacraments

A major component of the work a priest does is the administration of the Seven Sacraments. They are as follows:

Baptism This involves sprinkling holy water on a baby’s head for salvation.

ConfirmationThis is a coming of age and formal, voluntary admission into the Catholic Church.

Confession It is as it sounds. Catholics confess their sins to a priest in order to be absolved of them.

Holy Communion/Eucharist It is a reenactment of the Last Supper.

MarriageIn the Catholic tradition, marriage is between a man and a woman. They should both be Catholic, and a priest should be the one who marries them.

Holy Orders This refers to when men are ordained into the clergy.

Anointing of the Sick This sacrament is often the last an individual will receive. It is meant to heal physically and/or spiritually as the Lord wills it.

Here’s the thing… The Seven Sacraments simply comprise a list of works. We don’t need priests to keep us on good spiritual terms. We don’t need to work for our standing with Christ. When Christ came into the world, He set us free from sin, death and a long list of rules and regulations. All one needs to do to be in right standing with God is accept Jesus Christ into their heart as their Lord and Savior. We don’t need to perform all these things to be saved thanks to Jesus and what He did on the cross. He set us free!>>

Sacerdotus Responds:

The Sacraments are not a list of works. They are visible signs of God's grace.  Scripture shows us that we need priests to confer these Sacraments. The signs are there of using water to baptize, oil to anoint, laying of hands, and so on.  The write ignores Scripture again by making these false claims.  In fact, Jesus gave us the Sacraments directly. He said to go out and baptize (Matthew 28:19), gives the power to forgive sins (John 20:23), institutes the Eucharist (Luke 22:19-20) and so on. To state otherwise is to completely ignore Jesus and the Bible. 



<<The 7 Sacraments are unbiblical.

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11-14

Jesus sat down because the work was completed. The priests stood, doing their work while never being able to truly take away sin. Christ, on the other hand, finished the job with His sacrifice. Catholic priests, try as they might, cannot and need not play mediator in our relationship with God. 

Jesus gave us access to the Father through that last blood sacrifice on the cross.His last words before drying on the cross were “It is finished”. Meaning God’s plan for salvation was finished with Jesus’ sacrifice. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It is a free gift of God to all who believe and put their faith in Jesus. (John 3:16)>>



Sacerdotus responds:

Again, Tare visible signs of God's grace. Scripture shows us that we need priests to confer these Sacraments. The signs are there of using water to baptize, oil to anoint, laying of hands, and so on. The write ignores Scripture again by making these false claims. In fact, Jesus gave us the Sacraments directly. He said to go out and baptize (Matthew 28:19), gives the power to forgive sins (John 20:23), institutes the Eucharist (Luke 22:19-20) and so on. To state otherwise is to completely ignore Jesus and the Bible. 1 Corinthians 11:24 shows us that the Eucharist continued even after Jesus' death and resurrection. The Early Christians had Mass and the Sacraments.


<<#11 Baptism

Baptism in the Catholic Church is traditionally done to babies by sprinkling holy water on their heads. This act offers salvation for the infant.

Here’s the truth: Baptism won’t save you. The Bible has zero examples of infant baptism. The Bible also displays no need for baptism in order to be saved in various places. The most common example of this is found in Luke 23:33-43 with the account of the thief on the cross. Long story short, a thief being crucified next to Jesus comes to faith, and Jesus tells the thief they will see each other in Paradise that very day. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we are not saved by works, but the Catholic take on baptism is that it saves. Well, that’s a work if we think we are doing it for salvation. We can do nothing but receive salvation as a gift. Let’s also look at what Paul says about baptism in 1 Corinthians. “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” 1 Corinthians 1:17 Simply put, Paul was dealing with believers experiencing division over who baptized them, and verse 17 is part of his response. Notice what he says about baptism. Christ didn’t send him for baptisms. He was sent to preach the gospel. Clearly, the gospel takes preeminence over baptism. Why? Well, baptism gets you wet, but the gospel of Jesus Christ saves. If someone is on their death bed about to breath their last breath, and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they will be saved.>>


Sacerdotus responds:

Baptism is conferred on anyone who asks for it and is prepared. Sprinkling is not the only form. Pouring and immersion are also done.  The act removes Original Sin.  1 Peter 3:21 literally says baptism saves you!  John the Baptist began the process and Jesus never told him to stop. In fact, Jesus said to go and baptize in Matthew 28:19!  Mark 16:16 says that He who believes and is baptized will be saved, John 3:5 says that a man has to be born of water and Spirit or he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Acts 2:38-341 says all have to be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit and enter salvation, Acts 22:16 says not to wait and to be baptized, Romans 6:3-4 says that all have to be baptized in Christ and die in Him, 1 Corinthians 6:11 says that the people were washed and sanctified, Titus 3:5 says God saves after the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.  Clearly, this writer has not read the bible if she believes the lies she wrote.


<<#12 Purgatory 

Purgatory is a place Catholics believe saved people go when they die to undergo purification and suffering for their sins. It is not a permanent place because eventually these people move on after they have suffered enough and finished their sanctification process. The Catholic Church teaches that other Catholics can pray for those in purgatory and even pay “indulgences” to shorten the time served in purgatory. You can try, but you will find no mention of purgatory or anything like it in the Bible. You will find this, though. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28 So, we die and then we face judgment. At death, our chances have run out. We either face the great white throne judgement before being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15), or we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ before spending eternity in the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Purgatory simply doesn’t exist, despite how comforting it may be to think we can help loved ones get into Heaven. Purgatory is another way that the Catholic Church undercuts Christ’s power to save by indicating we need to work off our sin debt rather than Jesus’ payment on the cross being enough. Plus, the indulgences are a handy fundraiser for the Catholic Church, as well.>>

Sacerdotus responds:

Nothing unclean enters heaven (Revelation 21:27). Purification is necessary. Purgatory is a condition or state in which the Soul is purified before entering the Glory of Heaven.  This purification is temporary and a Soul can go through it quicker when we pray and offer indulgences for the Souls (2 Macc. 12:43-45). Purification of souls is mentioned in Isaiah 4:4, Ecclesiastes 12:14, and Malachi 3:3. Matthew 5:26 alludes to purgatory with the payment of the last penny.  In the Gospel, Jesus tells us of the rich man and Lazarus and describes a chasm preventing movement between the realms. This is purgatory. Matthew 12:32 says that whoever sins against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this life or the next one to come. This shows us that sins can be cleansed even after this life on Earth. This is purgatory. God is merciful and will give the soul many opportunities to be purified. Jesus is not an unjust God who condemns.  


<<#13 Holy Communion/Eucharist

In Luke 22:18-20, Jesus takes part in what is known as the Last Supper. He tells those with him to do this “in remembrance of me.” This indicates that when we participate in this Communion or Lord’s Supper, depending on your denomination, we are to remember Him who will not be there in body. The Catholic Church went the complete opposite direction with this. The Mass is set up around this Holy Communion. This is a sacrament that counts positively towards the Catholics who participate. Mass is pretty much all about this sacrament. It is understandable that it is so important to the Catholic faith because of transubstantiation.  Catholicism teaches that the bread is literally Christ’s body, and the wine is literally His blood. This should bother…everyone. Why did He come and accomplish the work of the cross if He would just need to do that again and again and again through a church ritual? Was Jesus lying when He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30)?  The blood sacrifices had come to an end thanks to Christ being the spotless lamb who died for our sins. However, the Catholic Church wants to relive it weekly. Holy Communion is a perfect example of man trying to earn salvation after it has already been given freely without works attached.>>

Sacerdotus reponds:

Was Jesus joking around when He said that bread and wine were His Body and Blood?  

The answer is no.  In John 6:22-69 Jesus gave a long talk about the "Bread of Life."  He goes on to say that the bread Moses gave was not the "True Bread."  The people asked Him for this "Bread of Life" and He then makes the radical statement that HE is the "Bread of Life" and the "True Bread from Heaven." The people began to murmur among themselves because they knew Jesus was the son of Joseph, not to mention that His words were a bit strange and in today's world would be seen as psychotic.

However, it gets "stranger..."  Jesus continues by saying that one has to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life.  This is when the people really had enough.  Many walked out on Him thinking He was a lunatic.  Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks them if they will leave as well. Peter replies saying that they can't go anywhere else because Jesus had the words of eternal life. Peter is always the first to speak up or to lead, this shows why the Pope is the first bishop among all bishops of the world - but that is another blog post.

Moreover, something interesting happens here in regard to how serious Jesus was about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.  Many of our separated brethren believe the Holy Eucharist is a symbol and not literally Christ's Body Blood Soul and Divinity.  However, when people started abandoning Jesus for saying that one has to eat His flesh and drink His blood, Jesus did not run in front of them and say "hey, wait a minute, I was joking." Instead, Jesus let them go.  This shows that He was very serious about His flesh and blood being actual things that someone has to consume.  In 1 Cor 10:16, St. Paul reminds the people that the bread and wine are the Lord's Body and Blood.

Why bread and wine?

In Genesis 14:18 we read about Melchizedek - priest of God and king of Salem- giving Abram bread and wine.  He then blesses Abram.  Jesus uses bread and wine to make the connection to the Old covenant and to show that He is the True Priest who offers the True Sacrifice - Himself.  Bread is a food that is delicious that can be served with literally every food on Earth.  It has a lot of carbohydrates which in turn gives a lot of energy to the body.  It is a food that is easy to make but does a lot to appease hunger and give nutrients.  Then there is wine.  It is used to party with.  It was even used as medicine and a disinfectant agent for wounds. Jesus as Bread and Wine does exactly that to our souls.  He appeases the hunger for God and nourishes the soul.  He brings our souls to jubilation by uniting with it when one receives Holy Communion.  He heals the soul from the harm sin has caused.

Transubstantiation

One may ask:  at Mass, the Bread, and Wine still look, taste, smell, and feel like Bread and Wine, so how can it be the Body and Blood of Christ?  Well, God knows us well.  God designed the human body and mind.  He knows that human beings would cringe at the sight of eating raw meat and drinking blood.  How many times have we ourselves gotten disgusted at looking at our own wounds?  It is not easy seeing blood and flesh in a traumatic form.  At consecration, the Bread and Wine do not turn into a piece of meat and human blood with DNA, platelets, red/white cells, etc - unless a Eucharistic Miracle has taken place which sometimes does occur.  The outside of the accidents of the bread and wine remain the same, but what it is, or the essence changes.  Think of it this way:  We see leaves on trees.  During spring and summer, they are green.  However, during fall they begin to change colors.  They turn red, orange, yellow, and brown. Now let's think:  which one is the REAL leaf?  At one point it was green, then red, then orange, then yellow, and then brown.  The leaf changed colors, so is it the same leaf when it was green?  The answer is yes.  The outside or accidents of the leaf changed, but the essence, or what it is remains the same.  The same with the Bread and Wine at Mass but in an opposite manner.  The outside remains the same (bread/wine) but the inside or what it is, changes and becomes the Body Blood Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Similarly, we ourselves go through many changes.  Our bodies grow and change as we age; however, our temperament remains the same.



<<#14 Salvation

This is the crux of the argument against Catholicism being biblical Christianity. All the other issues with the Catholic Church hinge on the Catholic teaching on salvation.In God’s Own Words

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 14:6

No other gods, plans, works, or otherwise can reconcile us to God. Just Jesus.

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

Philippians 3:9

The Law cannot earn us righteousness. It can only show us how we fail to meet God’s standards. Righteousness is through Christ alone.

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Romans 11:6

Salvation cannot be from grace and works. Catholicism wants people to accept the grace of God while adding our own works, but that’s not possible. It’s grace, or it’s works. Either Jesus is enough, or He is not.

The Catholic Church teaches that we can rely on Jesus, but we also need Seven Sacraments, our good works, sacred traditions, and help from dead saints and mediator priests. Catholics are left hoping they are doing enough, that they’re good enough. Working, working, working. That is the central piece of Catholicism. It isn’t Christ. It’s work. After carefully examining the Catholic faith, I can confidently say that Catholicism is not biblical Christianity. As always, let’s continue to pray for those in a system of works-based faith to find the peace and salvation we can have in His grace. Let me know your experiences or thoughts about Catholicism. Did you know how much Catholicism strayed from Scripture?>>


Sacerdotus Responds:
This writer completely ignores Scripture.  God gives us grace freely (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is the first step. We cannot come to faith nor put that faith to work without God's grace. How can one believe something one has not been exposed to? It is just not possible. That is like knowing math without knowing numbers.  The truth is that God gives man grace freely. Man then responds with faith and then puts that faith into practice (Romans 3:24, James 2:20-24).  This is what leads to justification and salvation.  Works are important. They show our faith is genuine when it is put into practice. This is why Jesus says in Matthew 5:16 to let your light shine before others so that their good works will be seen and it will glorify the Father in heaven. James 1:22-27 tells us not to be just hearers of the word, but also doers. We cannot just sit back and have faith and not put that faith to work. This is not what God wants. 1 Timothy 6:18 says to do good and be rich in good works. James 1:14-26 is the clearest statement against faith alone. It clearly states that faith without works is dead. Here is the King James Version of the text:

"Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?  26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." So as you can see, the Bible has spoken. Faith alone is not a real thing. It does not work. Grace alone does not work. Grace is given freely and man responds with faith and works.  Faith without works is dead and does not save. 


<<I pray for all who are currently ensnared in this false gospel read the Bible for themselves and see that they don’t have to do any of this to be saved and have a personal relationship with God. Jesus is all we need and the Bible makes it clear! We are set free! God loves us so much He did all the work for us. All we have to do is accept what was already done. 


God’s love is not earned, it is accepted. >>


Sacerdotus Responds:
As demonstrated here with the Bible, this writer's commentaries are erroneous and show a lack of knowledge of the Bible and history.  The false gospel is the one she wrote. She cherry-picked verses and ignored the context and the entirety of the Bible. Moreover, she shows ignorance of how the Bible even came to be.  The true Christian faith as given by Jesus and the Apostles can only be found in the Catholic Church headed by Pope Francis. Only She is the pillar and foundation of truth. Everything else is a parody of the Church and heretical. A study of history will show in the early centuries of Christianity there was only one Church, the Catholic Church. Before the Bible even existed, before the New Testament was written, the Catholic Church was already established with popes succeeding popes and a hierarchy of priests and deacons.  



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