Constantine founded the catholic church. Christ founded HIS CHURCH, not the catholic church. The apostles and disciples of Christ never believed any of the nonsense the Catholics believed, or eliminated one of the ten commandments because they didn’t want their idol/statue sales to go down. They never worshiped Mary or prayed to the saints or believed in purgatory. They never claimed that the pope was God’s representative and his word is God’s word. The catholic church is the anti-Christ, so for you to claim Christ founded it, that’s beyond absurd, because they do not even follow half of His commandments.
Nobody eliminated anything. There are actually 13 commandments in the Decalouge. They’re not actually numbered in the Bible. Catholic and protestants group and number them differently, but they’re all there. The prohibition of graven images is in the First Commandment for Catholics, but the Second Commandment for protestants.
They never worshiped Mary or prayed to the saints or believed in purgatory. They never claimed that the pope was God’s representative and his word is God’s word.
This is all true. We still don’t worship Mary. There weren’t many Saints (in heaven) in the Apostolic era because few Christians had died. The seed of Papal authority was present in the First Century, but nobody had any real notion of what the Papacy looked like. Our understanding of the Papacy developed over many centuries. the same is true for purgatory - people in the Apostolic Age did not have a well-formed understanding (and we still don’t - at least as indicated by the many differences between Catholic and Orthodox teaching on the subject).
We don’t believe the Pope’s word is God’s word, or that the Pope speaks for God. We teach that God prevents the Pope (in very specific circumstances) from teaching error. Nothing says a Pope will teach what ought to be taught, when it ought to be taught.
One thing I would do is to read the post on the earliest use of the name, “Catholic Church” which I have posted for you twice now.
The believers were calling themselves Catholics for about 200 years before Constantine.
Christ established one Church with one set of beliefs (Eph. 4:4–5). He did not establish numerous churches with contradictory beliefs. To see which is the true Church, we must look for the one that has an unbroken historical link to the Church of the New Testament. Catholics are able to show such a link. They trace their leaders, the bishops, back through time, bishop by bishop, all the way to the apostles, and they show that the pope is the lineal successor to Peter, who was the first bishop of Rome. The same thing is true of Catholic beliefs and practices. Take any one you wish, and you can trace it back. This is just what John Henry Newman did in his book An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.
He looked at Christian beliefs through the ages. Starting with the nineteenth century (he was writing in 1844), he worked backward century by century, seeing if Catholic beliefs existing at any particular time could be traced to beliefs existing a century before. Back and back he went, until he got to New Testament times. What he demonstrated is that there is a real continuity of beliefs, that the Catholic Church has existed from day one of Church history, that it is in fact the Church established by Christ.
Newman was not a Catholic when he started the book, but his research convinced him of the truth of the Catholic faith, and as the book was finished he converted. Fundamentalist leaders make no effort to trace their version of Christianity century by century. They claim the Christianity existing in New Testament times was like today’s Protestant Fundamentalism in all essentials.
According to modern Fundamentalists, the original Christian Church was doctrinally the same as today’s Fundamentalist churches. When Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in A.D. 313, pagans flocked to the Church in hopes of secular preferment, but the Church could not assimilate so many. It soon compromised its principles and became paganized by adopting pagan beliefs and practices. It developed the doctrines with which the Catholic Church is identified today. Simply put, it apostatized and became the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, true Christians (Fundamentalists) did not change their beliefs but were forced to remain in hiding until the Reformation.
**The trouble with this history is that there are no historical facts whatsoever to back it up. **Distinctively Catholic beliefs—the papacy, priesthood, invocation of saints, sacraments, veneration of Mary, salvation by something besides “faith alone,” purgatory—were evident long before the fourth century, before Constantine. They were believed by Christians before this supposed “paganization” took place. Another difficulty is that there are no historical records—none at all—which imply an underground Fundamentalist church existed from the early fourth century to the Reformation. In those years there were many schisms and heresies, most now vanished, but present-day Fundamentalists cannot find among them their missing Fundamentalist church. There were no groups that believed in all or even most, of the doctrines espoused by the Protestant Reformers (e.g. sola scriptura, salvation by “faith alone,” and an invisible church). No wonder Fundamentalist writers dislike discussing Church history!
Since the Christian Church was to exist historically and be like a city set on a mountain for all to see (Matt. 5:14), it had to be visible and easily identifiable. A church that exists only in the hearts of believers is not visible and is more like the candle hidden under the bushel basket (Matt. 5:15). But any visible church would necessarily be an institutional church that would need an earthly head. It would need an authority to which Christians could turn for the final resolution of doctrinal and disciplinary disputes. Christ appointed Peter and his successors to that position.
Christ designated Peter head of the Church when he said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). Fundamentalists, desiring to avoid the natural sense of the passage, say “rock” refers not to Peter, but to his profession of faith or to Christ himself. But Peter’s profession of faith is two sentences away and can’t be what is meant. Similarly, the reference can’t be to Christ. The fact that he is elsewhere, by a quite different metaphor, called the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4–8) does not mean Peter was not appointed the earthly foundation. The apostles were also described as foundation stones in a sense (Eph. 2:20, Rev. 21:14), meaning that Christ is not the only person the Bible speaks of as being the Church’s foundation. In one sense the foundation was Christ, in another it was the apostles, and in another it was Peter. In Matthew 16:18 Christ has Peter in mind. He himself would be the Church’s invisible foundation since he was returning to heaven, from where he would invisibly rule the Church. He needed to leave behind a visible authority, one people could locate when searching for religious truth. That visible authority is the papacy.
You are interested in apologetics and so I am highly recommending the book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating.
Everyone is giving you good answers here, and I know for me it is hard to remember all of that. The book I recommended is handy for reference for all the basic misunderstandings and twistings that others give about the Catholic Church. It helped me a LOT!
Karl Keating is the gentleman who started this forum.
You have not yet really explained why you are asking this question. If you are engaged in some debate on a non-Catholic site, there will be no end to the questions you may have because these sites are basically of a sophist bent. Their object is to overwhelm you with questions so that you will give up your faith in dispair. You do not need to answer them at all if that is the case, and that will become evident soon on in the debate. Instead, you should read your Catechism and hold fast to the faith you were given.
And as to those who are demanding you use non-Catholic sources, who do they quote to defend their own faith, is it not their own biased non-Catholic sources?
It looks to me like you need a better grounding in your own faith.
There are good histories of the Catholic Church.
1.The Founding of Christendom by Warren H. Carroll
2.A History of the Church by Phillip Hughes
3.Fundamentals of Catholicism by Kenneth Baker S.J.
But here is a good answer to some of your questions.
Very good advice. Most fundamentalists are fully aware that these objections have been answered many times but act like they’ve never heard of them.
I would also recommend Dave Armstrong’s site. He has scores of point-by-point responses in dialogs with fundamentalists. socrates58.blogspot.com/
Of course they do. They have access to all the information we have here and elsewhere. That’s why sometimes I think it is a time-waster to debate with them if they are die-hards and even faced with evidence, they refuse to accept the truth. Ego is a funny thing. But I always hope, perhaps, even if I can win one over for Christ, it is worth the effort.
The issue is if we do not respond, they may broadcast it to newbies that the Catholic Church has no answer and therefore we are what they claimed. I pray that the Lord can maintain our energies and diligence and not give in to frustrations.
By right our stickies should have all the answers since we (as in the Church) have been defending our positions for 2000 years. But some don’t go there to educate themselves before coming to the forums for answers. I admit, our resources are rather daunting and by the time you comb through them, you are mentally weakened just sifting through it.
I’m confused…you identify your religion as Catholic, but in this and other posts you’ve made, it seems like you’re trying to argue against Catholicism…Are you a Catholic?
I would reply, “Yeah, I’ve heard all that before. Do you want to get some lunch?”
Are you really Catholic?
This person clearly believes that the early Church apostatized at some point. They therefore adhere to something we could call ecclesial deism, or the notion that, after Christ founded His Church, He did not protect its leaders from falling into heresy and grave theological error.
But how does such a person determine theological error and distinguish it from Christian orthodoxy? By reading and interpreting the New Testament?
Well, one of the major problems with this approach, is that we get our New Testament canon *from *the early Church.
As Bryan Cross puts it in his article on this subject:
It would be ad hoc to trust that the Church got the canon right while believing that the Church got so many other things wrong during that same period of time … As a result, those who claim that the Church deviated from orthodoxy at an early point in history, and use Scripture to show this, undermine the very basis for their assurance that the book they hold in their hand is canonically inerrant. They must either turn to critical scholarship, or resort to some internal voice that they perceive to be from the Holy Spirit, in order to verify the canon, before they can use the canon to evaluate the tradition of the early Church.
As Michael Liccione, writing in the comment box of this article says:
To verify the canon, the alternatives for Protestants are either (a) a scholarly magisterium; (b) “bosom-burning”; or © reliance on the tradition of the Church. The more “rationalistic” Protestants adopt (a); the more “charismatic,” (b); the more “high-church,” ©. But none of that permits sola Scriptura, and it all remains just a matter of opinion.
So the very first question I would put to this individual, and the first thing we would have to establish is simply this:
What objective standard do you use to determine whether or not a particular book of the Bible is canonical?
After all, in order for me to bind someone’s conscience to my interpretation of Scripture, we must first agree on what does or does not constitute Scripture to begin with.
In fact, in order for me to bind *my own conscience *to what I think Scripture says, I should have a sensible and consistent method of determining why I believe that a book like Revelation is canonical but a book like *Shepherd of Hermas *is not.
And anyway, who has the authority to determine such a question? Who is permitted to set criteria by which we establish that a certain book was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Can we do so in a way that isn’t arbitrary?
What if I say that The Gospel of *Luke *is canonical but that The Gospel of John, *Revelation, and the First, Second, and Third Epistles of John *are not, and the reason for this is because any book written after AD 80 is simply not inspired by God.
Who are you to tell me that my standard is wrong, and by what authority do you do so? Maybe you just need to study and pray more.
But the ecclesial deist has undermined the authority of Scripture, because he has undermined the authority of Christ’s Church to establish a canon.
If the Church fell away, then it was not protected from falling away by Christ. If it was not protected by Christ, then why should we be bound by councils like that of Ephesus in AD 431 to call Mary the Mother of God? Why should we take the early Church’s views on anything at all seriously, most especially the canon question? How do we even know *when *the Church fell away in the first place, and what standard do we use to establish this?
I have no idea why the OP asked this question. However, I want to thank everyone for their excellent responses!! On Facebook, recently, there has been a meme stating exactly the things in the opening post. It has shown up on my page, primarily posted by people who belong to a sect that considers Catholicism to be pagan- and people who only celebrate Jewish holidays. I’ve been way too busy to address this- but have felt a need because I’ve noticed that it is causing a few people to question their Christian (not necessarily Catholic) faith. I will attempt to make time to respond to it today, using the excellent rebuttal that y’all have provided. So, again, thanks!!!
That was beautiful! I love Catholicism.
Do you know the name of this group? It sounds like what my bi-polar daughter now believes among horrible things about the end days. She doesn’t attend any church as she has anxiety very badly, but reads the web and now only recognizes Jewish Holydays. Of course she says she is Catholic and wants to come over Christmas. I can understand that she has a brain disease that has played a large part in her beliefs, however, I can’t understand a logical Christian believing this stuff.
Constantine didn’t even convert untill he was dying. Ignatius of Antioch who was born only 20 years after the death of Christ, provides a written record of the use of the term Catholic Church while Constantine didn’t convert until the 4th Century. A
What I would say to them is that they need to do much better Scholarship before making false claims.
Catholics don’t worship Mary or anything other than Almighty God.
2095 The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity inform and give life to the moral virtues. Thus charity leads us to render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice. The virtue of religion disposes us to have this attitude.
2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve," says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.13 2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.14 The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.
The 10 Commandments are in Part Three Section of The Catechism of The Catholic Church.
They are all there.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
**THE TEN COMMANDMENTS **
Exodus 20 2-17
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of
anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless
who takes his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God;
in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land
which the LORD your God gives you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ***, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me
. . .
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain
. . .
Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy
. . .
Honor your father and your mother
. . .
You shall not kill.
Neither shall you commit adultery.
Neither shall you steal.
Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.
Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife . . .
You shall not desire . . .
anything that is your neighbor’s.
So far everything he’s said is False. Why are you listening to someone like that?
Here is a short answer that is quite good.