I see a lot of threads regarding Catholicism lately, especially in light of the new Pope. Almost all of them contain responses by (I’m sure)
well-meaning Protestants, who seem to think that the Catholic Church is somehow idolatrous, riddled with false teaching, and generally, not a
Christian religion. I can’t say I’m surprised-I mean its right there in the name-Protestant. But I don’t really blame them. When I was a
Protestant, I was taught exactly the same things: The Pope is the Anti-Christ, The Roman Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon, and Catholics are
idol-worshipers who are trying to work their way to Purgatory-a place that doesn't exist.
Of course, I took the word of all of the people who said these things, without ever checking it out for myself-you know, talking to a Catholic or
reading the Catechism. Then I lost my faith for a while, and then, in the search for it again, I attended RCIA (Roman Catholic Instruction for
Adults), to see what it was all about. I asked them hard questions. I had 15 years of Bible study backing me up. And they convinced me.
So I wanted to write this thread to address common misconceptions about the Catholic Church. This thread is directed at Christians or the merely
curious. I realize that ATS is highly populated by atheists, agnostics, and-well, I don’t know what to call the mystical/metaphysical types, but
they will all find this as boring and juvenile as two nerds arguing over which is the better Star Trek. I also don’t want to spend my time defending
the Church regarding the satanic infiltration by pedos. It is a sickness that must be cut out if the Church is to live, but it no more proves that the
Catholic Church is false than the failures of any other religion prove that religion is false.
Now I’m sure that people wishing to debate me on this (and I welcome them) will dig around until they find statements made by some Catholic-maybe
even a Pope or two-that seem to support false doctrine, that is to say, teaching that contradicts the Bible. It’s important to keep in mind that
such statements are often made by heretics and are not the official doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has one authority-God-who has
revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. The words and actions of Christ are recorded in the New Testament, as are the teachings of his immediate
followers. The Catholic Church also recognizes the Apocrypha, teachings that were censored by the first Protestants because they did not fit in with
the opposing doctrines they were trying to spread. The Catholic Church also recognizes traditional practices and teachings of the early Christian
church, often passed down verbally, some of which may or may not have made into Paul’s letters to become Scripture. But these oral traditions are
backed up by history and by the writings of the “Church Fathers,” the great Christian thinkers in the first and second centuries, and are in
harmony with Scripture. So it is these pillars-Scripture and Tradition-on which Truth rests.
It’s important to establish the validity of oral tradition in Christian doctrine. Not everything that Christians believed or practiced from the
beginning made it into what we call the Bible. Most of the books of New Testament are Paul, Peter and John’s letters addressing problems and sins in
the early church-merely correcting people’s errors regarding the oral tradition they were already given. Christians in the first century did not go
to church and hear the Bible or other Christian books read to them-because those didn't exist yet. They heard speaking from people who had known Jesus
and listened to His teachings. It wasn't until thirty to fifty years after Christ that people began writing things down.
The Scriptures themselves mention that oral tradition is at least equal to, if not superior to, written teachings from the apostles:
“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.” (2
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy
may be complete.” (2 John 1:12)
So, at times, the Catholic Church relies on tradition for authority; tradition that was at first verbal, and then became written.
So, here are 8 things Protestants don’t like about Catholic doctrine:
1.) Infant baptism
2.) Going to Confession
3.) The Mass
4.) (Supposed) worship of Mary, images, popes, etc.
5.) The Rosary
6.) Mortal & Venial Sin
8.) Papal Infallibility
I’d also like to deal with the oft-repeated claim that Catholicism is somehow copied from "Babylonian Mystery religions", but that deserves its own
thread, and I’m still preparing my research.
1.) According to Scripture, when believers were saved, they were baptized, as well as their entire household. (Acts 16:33, 1 Cor 1:16) Infant baptism
is a Christian tradition that dates back to the second century AD. The purpose of it is to cleanse the child from original sin.
2.) Christians are required to confess their sins to people (James 5:16.) The reason that Catholics confess to a priest is that the priest is
supposed to be both impartial and confidential (Imagine confessing to your friends and how biased that would be, or to the church gossip queen.)
What’s more, Jesus told his disciples that they had the power to forgive each other’s sin. (John 20:23)
3.) Protestants practice Communion, but only Catholics believe that it is the literal body and blood of Christ. For starters Jesus said it was.
“This is my body.” (Matthew 26: 26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19) Not “this is a reminder of my body.” Jesus offended many people (and lost
followers) when He said “he who eats of my flesh and drinks of my blood shall have eternal life.” (John 6:53-66) The word “eat” here is
“trogon” and it means “to gnaw on,” the way a vulture or eagle gnaws on a body. He could have said, “Do not fear, my children, I was only
speaking in a parable.” But He didn’t-He was willing to lose followers over this issue. Paul warned people that sinning against the Communion meal
was sinning against the body and blood of Christ, and that God struck people down for it. (1 Corinthians 11:17-30) The New Testament God wouldn’t
kill people over symbols, but he would destroy someone who sinned against the blood of Christ. (Hebrew 10:29)
4.) Protestants have no images of Christ in their sanctuaries, presuming that Catholics actually pray to and worship pictures and statues. This could
not be more wrong. When you carry a picture of your loved ones in your wallet or purse, do you love the pictures and not your family? No. Do you talk
to the pictures and ignore your family? No. The pictures are simply reminders. Catholics don’t worship the Pope-he’s just a man. They don’t
worship Mary-she’s just a woman.
edit on 7-4-2013 by Snsoc because: typo