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Protestant disinfo debunked-Catholics are also Christians

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posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:07 AM
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 Thessalonians 2:15)

“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
7.) Purgatory
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

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:08 AM
5.) The rosary is the way in which the “Hail Mary” is delivered. The Hail Mary is nothing more than asking Mary to pray for you, just like you would ask a friend on Earth to pray for you. Dead Christians like Mary and the saints are still part of the Body of Christ-they can pray for you!

But what about Jesus’ admonition against repetitive prayers? (Matthew 6:7 ) Of course, Scripture follows this with “The Lord’s Prayer,” which every Protestant repeats many times in his or her lifetime!

When Catholics pray the rosary, they are instructed to meditate on the mysteries of Christ. The rosary is nothing more than a guide, one that keeps the flesh occupied so that the mind and heart may fixate upon Christ.

It should be understood that “repetition” is something that takes place in the heart. One can pray the same prayer every day, but have it mean something fresh, while another person can pray a different prayer every time, but their heart is not in it. Which one does God prefer?

6.) Scripture is clear that there are degrees of sin. There is unforgivable sin, (Matthew 12:31-32) sin that leads to death, (1 John 5:16) and sin for which there is no more sacrifice. (Heb 10:26) Paul makes a list of sins, and then repeats some of them, highlighting certain ones that keep us out of Heaven. (Ephesians 5:3-5.) The Catholic Church teaches that if you die with certain sins unconfessed and unforgiven, it will keep you out of heaven completely (mortal sins) and some only send you to Purgatory for a time (venial.)

7.) Purgatory is a misunderstood concept. It is not “Hell Lite.” It is not where Christians go to “work off” their sin. It is a state, after death, in which believers are prepared to enter Heaven. While our sins are forgiven when we repent, our tendency to sin has not changed. A lifetime of Christian growth may not be enough to rid us of these tendencies, and Purgatory is where we go to be tested and refined. Purgatory is alluded to in Scripture and by the early church fathers. There are many good examples here:

8.) This is often misunderstood as well. Protestants often believe that Catholics think that the Pope can’t make a mistake at all! What papal infallibility refers to is the Pope speaking on matters of faith and morals, and only when seated in the chair of St. Peter. When the Pope sits in said chair, he is only allowed to make pronouncements that align with tradition and Scripture. Therefore, it is impossible for him to err, just as someone who follows a recipe exactly cannot err when baking a cake. When he leaves the chair, he is free to make whatever statements he wishes, but they are not considered infallible.

While this is by no means an exhaustive explanation, it will, I hope provoke you to thought and deeper investigation.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:30 AM
Good job.
I would still not be ok with many of the ideas that you have.
But if they work for you,go for it.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:38 AM

Originally posted by Snsoc

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
7.) Purgatory
8.) Papal Infallibility

1 The scripture reference that you gave does not infer that the household included infant children. It is much more likely and accepted that the household included servants and adult friends and relatives.

2 The scripture reference you cited states that we are compelled to confess our faults to one another, not our sins.

3 Transubstantiation is a Catholic tenet that states the bread and wine are literally transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus each time it is blessed by the priest. There are several scripture references disputing this but at this point I am just giving a brief synopsis for debate. Details can follow later.

4 Prayer to saints and Mary- scripture states that there is one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus.

5 The rosary- Jesus taught us how to pray and it did not include Hail Mary.

6 Mortal and Venial sin- scripture tells us that if we broke one commandment we have broken them all. Sin is sin in the eyes of God- it is imperfection before a perfect being.

7Purgatory- it is actual written and recorded church history that during the struggle for power in the roman empire, the catholic church went door to door raising money by the selling of indulgences to lessen time in the new tenet of "purgatory"

8 papal infallibility- scripture states that there are none righteous, none perfect and none sinless except Jesus.

Add to this:
The Vatican keeping the scripture from the common man for centuries
The pope as the representative of Jesus on earth
The declaration of anathema against the protestant church
Jesuit involvement in numerous corrupt scandals historically
The current Vatican statements concerning aliens and the supposed origin of Jesus being from a star child

Disclosure: I am not a proponent that Catholic parishioners are not faithful Christians, I just think that the organization is corrupt. It's the same as not hating citizens just because their government is corrupt.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:53 AM
reply to post by Snsoc

Very solid work, congratulations! And I hope you get many more comments like micmerci's. You can't have a discussion with someone who won't talk to you.

Might I add a couple of thoughts? Even Protestants can agree that at least the first half of the "Hail Mary" is biblical: Luke 1:28 KJV

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
The Hail Mary?

Hail mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.
And Luke 1:42

And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
The Hail Mary?

blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Can't get more biblical than that.

I think the problem that lies at the heart of the entire discussion is sola scriptura. As I understand it, Protestants don't accept the idea that both the Scriptures and Tradition is the Word of God. This could turn out to be an amazing thread. Glad you started it.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:01 AM
reply to post by charles1952

Yes, I agree. The problem comes in with, Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

That brings up another point- it is Catholic belief that Mary was a virgin for life when scripture clearly states that Jesus had brothers and sisters.

I to enjoy these types of threads and I again want to emphasize that I am not anti- Catholic attendee. I just do not agree with the official church doctrine, which BTW, most Catholic parishioners are not aware of in full. To be fair, that can be said for most Protestant attendees as well

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:06 AM

1 Catholicism

1.1 Catholic Church
1.1.1 The Latin Church
1.1.2 Eastern Catholic Churches
1.2 Other churches
1.2.1 Independent (self-identified as Catholic)

2 Eastern Orthodox

2.1 Eastern Orthodox Church
2.2 Other churches

3 Oriental Orthodoxy
4 Church of the East
5 Protestantism

5.1 Pre-Lutheran Protestants
5.2 Lutheranism
5.3 Anglicanism
5.3.1 Anglican Communion
5.3.2 Other Anglican Churches
5.4 Calvinism
5.4.1 Continental Reformed churches
5.4.2 Presbyterianism
5.5 Congregationalist Churches
5.6 Anabaptists
5.7 Brethren
5.8 Methodists
5.9 Pietists and Holiness Churches
5.10 Baptists
5.10.1 Spiritual Baptists
5.11 Apostolic Churches – Irvingites
5.12 Pentecostalism
5.13 Charismatics
5.13.1 Neo-Charismatic Churches
5.14 African Initiated Churches
5.15 Messianic Judaism / Jewish Christians
5.16 United and uniting churches
5.17 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
5.18 Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement
5.19 Southcottites
5.20 Millerites and comparable groups
5.20.1 Sabbath-Keeping churches, Adventist
5.20.2 Sabbath-Keeping churches, Non-Adventist
5.20.3 Sunday Adventists
5.20.4 Sacred Name Groups
5.21 British-Israelism
5.22 Christian Identity
5.23 Miscellaneous/Other

6 Nontrinitarian groups

6.1 Latter Day Saints
6.2 Oneness Pentecostalism
6.3 Unitarianism and Universalism
6.4 Bible Student groups
6.5 Swedenborgianism
6.6 Christian Science
6.7 Other non-Trinitarians

7 New Thought
8 Esoteric Christianity
9 Syncretistic religions incorporating elements of Christianity

There's a whole crap load of Christian denominations. Mormonism isn't on the above list, but it considers itself a Christian sect too. For a group of people that claim to have "the truth" there sure is a lot of disagreement.
edit on 7-4-2013 by coyotepoet because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:08 AM
reply to post by Snsoc

I cant quote where in the Bible, but you are to address 1 and only 1 as "Father." God the Father. Definitely barking up the wrong tree there. Nowhere have I remember reading to worship Mary, mother of Jesus. Granted she is the mother of our Savior, but still. YOu cant go wrong if you go only on the words of Jesus in the Bible. Seems to cover any situation.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:09 AM
reply to post by micmerci

Dear micmerci,

I'm glad you've entered into this discussion. You seem reasonable and thoughtful. How else do we reach some understanding of each other and learn? Thank you.

I would have asked the OP, but he's gone. How do we handle this thread? If each post deals with all eight areas of disagreement we'll end up with two posts per page containing the dreaded "Wall o' Text."

Do we go through the points one at a time? Is sola scriptura relly the core that should be addressed first? I'm not sure how to get the most from this discussion. I'm open.

With respect,

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:16 AM
reply to post by coyotepoet

There certainly is a lot of disagreement. But as Charles 1952 mentioned, most mainstream Protestants reference only the Bible as the basis for their doctrine. Mormons may consider themselves Christian but they use the book of mormon as doctrine in addition to scripture where most protestants reject that book.

I think there are so many sects of christianity because of minor interpretive differences. I don't think that each is calling the other heretics. Actually I feel it is beneficial because each focuses on different characteristics of our Lord and can provide the most comfortable path to Jesus for people. People are so diversified so it is beneficial to have diversity in approach to Jesus.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:17 AM

Constantine found that with the Roman Empire being so vast, expansive, and diverse, not everyone would agree to forsake his or her religious beliefs to embrace Christianity. So, Constantine allowed, and even promoted, the “Christianization” of pagan beliefs. Completely pagan and utterly unbiblical beliefs were given new “Christian” identities. Some clear examples of this are as follows:

(1) The Cult of Isis, an Egyptian mother-goddess religion, was absorbed into Christianity by replacing Isis with Mary. Many of the titles that were used for Isis, such as “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” and theotokos (“God-bearer”) were attached to Mary. Mary was given an exalted role in the Christian faith, far beyond what the Bible ascribes to her, in order to attract Isis worshippers to a faith they would not otherwise embrace. Many temples to Isis were, in fact, converted into temples dedicated to Mary. The first clear hints of Catholic Mariology occur in the writings of Origen, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, which happened to be the focal point of Isis worship

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:24 AM
reply to post by charles1952


I would suggest to the OP to study church history and history of the Roman Empire as well as read the writings of the early church fathers. That would shed plenty of light on many of the subjects he brought up and of their origins.

Unfortunetly, it is almost 2:30 am in my corner of the earth and I am way past my bedtime. I will check in on this thread, as I always do, in the morning.

Nice chatting with you.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:24 AM
reply to post by micmerci

I think there are so many sects of christianity because of minor interpretive differences. I don't think that each is calling the other heretics. Actually I feel it is beneficial because each focuses on different characteristics of our Lord and can provide the most comfortable path to Jesus for people. People are so diversified so it is beneficial to have diversity in approach to Jesus.

I'm in agreement with you there to a point. My perspective however is a little more expansive. I believe the same could be said for all religions because "each focuses on different characteristics" of God (whatever name each religion uses- Atman, Tao, Allah, etc.) I believe that every path leads ultimately to God and that there is so much diversity because people resonate to different things.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:25 AM
To become a protestant one has to accept Jesus and His salvation plan, what do you have to accept to become a catholic?

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:02 AM
reply to post by Snsoc

Does it occur to you that Protestants are responding to the arrogant Catholic assumption that Protestants are "outside the church".?
Tell them to give up that assumption, and accept Protestants as equals and fellow-members of the church, without demanding obedience to "the authority of the Pope", and we might be able to get somewhere.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:57 AM

Originally posted by DISRAELI
Does it occur to you that Protestants are responding to the arrogant Catholic assumption that Protestants are "outside the church".?

Does it occur to you that Catholics have to put up with fundamentalist protestants assumption that Catholics are not really christian? A whole lotta' protestants live by Jack Chick and Hal Lindsey and other erroneous hate filled crap that spews from their ignorant 'ministers'. (and no .. having a doctorate in 'hate filled crap' from a fundamentalist seminary doesn't make someone smart) A whole lotta' protestants think they are the only ones going to heaven and everyone else is damned.

You want to talk about arrogance?
When I lived in Alabama for 9 years ... THIS is how life went down there ...

The Baptists said everyone except them were going to hell. The Church of Christ said everyone but them were going to hell. The non-denominational bible thumpers said that everyone except those who attended their little churches were going to hell. Within the Baptist churches, some said that those who allowed deacons to remarry were all going to hell and others said that allowing deacons to marry at all would get you put into hell. The 'Holiness' protestants thought everyone but them were going to hell because the women outside their church cut their hair and wore pants and went into swimming pools with men. ETC ETC Wanna talk arrogance? THAT IS ARROGANCE.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 06:20 AM
reply to post by FlyersFan

Fair enough, the abandonment of arrogance needs to be mutual.
I've got a series on 1 Corinthians on the drawing board, beginning with a definition of the church based on ch1 vv1-9.
In that version, membership of the church is based entirely on the relation with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

edit on 7-4-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by micmerci

But as Charles 1952 mentioned, most mainstream Protestants reference only the Bible as the basis for their doctrine. Mormons may consider themselves Christian but they use the book of mormon as doctrine in addition to scripture where most protestants reject that book.

Good morning, ATS. I was intending to read through the whole thread before posting, but this statement by you, micmerci, stopped me and prompted me to jump in now. Keep in mind, please, I haven't gotten past it yet.

There are just as many misunderstandings about "Protestants" as there are about "Catholics." And it is NOT TRUE that 'most mainstream Protestants' reference 'only the Bible.' The MAJORITY of Protestants are members of churches such as Lutheran, Episcopal, Anglican, etc. - old, very well established spin-offs of Catholicism. They are ALL "Christian", INCLUDING CATHOLICISM, as the OP stated.

Perhaps we need another thread to complement this one, to clear up the misunderstandings of what Protestants are and what they believe. The wiki list linked on page 1 (above - don't know what page this will land on) is fairly comprehensive, and I know from experience and research and a Protestant upbringing that it is ONLY the Evangelicals and Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, and Charismatics - that is, the televangelism types - who teach "Bible only". And they get it wrong. Way, way wrong.

The other, older Protestant religions all work with tradition as well as the Bible and usually a Prayer Book. Children are baptized usually as infants - then confirmed when they are tweenish or in their early teens. Among Latinos, the Quincenera is a girls 'virginal entry' into the Catholic Church as an adult - it's a HUGE deal for 15-year olds, similar to a debutante ball, or social 'presentation'. Youth who have not been through Confirmation - whether Catholic or other older Protestant faiths - do not take Communion, as they are not prepared for it by traditional teachings. I was raised as an Episcopalian, but was allowed as a kid to join a friend who invited me to a Baptist revival. It was one of the SCARIEST nightmarish things I had ever seen. I was TERRIFIED.

Protestants who say "Catholics are not Christians" are ignorant, and troublesome. Please DON'T lump all Protestants in with them - they are not "mainstream Protestants", they are just REALLY NOISY and obnoxious, pushy and judgmental haters.

edit on 7-4-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by FlyersFan

Ha! You beat me to it, Flyer.
I'll leave my post there anyway.


posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by Snsoc

Excellent thread, S/F, for if and when you come back. Even if it was just a fly-by thread, it's important information, and accurate.

That sort of Protestant that claims Catholics are not Christians are the WORST sort of religious people. They and their ridiculous 'bring on Armageddon' and their "Rapture" are the furthest thing from 'Christian' that can exist. The one exception might be Westboro, of the 'Churches' operating in the USA. Even the rapture crowd says that Westboro is a hate group - yet they refuse to see how they themselves mimic Westboro!!

Honestly, some days I get so fired up about the Evangelical nonsense that I wish their stupid "Rapture" would make them all disappear. Somehow I think the world would be a much better, more peaceful place. And they can all go party with the dictator, hating "Man Upstairs" that is a fiction anyway. He broke it, let HIM fix it! Just save the rest of us from them, please!

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