Is Catholic Theology Is Like JW's And Mormons?

My friend from Calvary Chapel(Bible Alone)said Catholics have bad theology “like JW’s and Mormons sincere people can be misled and sincerely wrong”. I asked him if he wanted to learn more about the Truth found in the Catholic Church. I asked him if he wanted to read about the conversion stories of some of the famous converts to the Catholic Church. You know the ones with books,tapes and videos also are on radio and TV. He said to be frenkly “I have the truth”. He said “Gods word teaches All truth” also “God did not make a mistake, He put His Word above His name”“Even Jesus who was The Word”. What do I say I don’t know where to start!

Jeffrey

[quote=GerardPaul]My friend from Calvary Chapel(Bible Alone)said Catholics have bad theology “like JW’s and Mormons sincere people can be misled and sincerely wrong”. I asked him if he wanted to learn more about the Truth found in the Catholic Church. I asked him if he wanted to read about the conversion stories of some of the famous converts to the Catholic Church. You know the ones with books,tapes and videos also are on radio and TV. He said to be frenkly “I have the truth”. He said “Gods word teaches All truth” also “God did not make a mistake, He put His Word above His name”“Even Jesus who was The Word”. What do I say I don’t know where to start!

Jeffrey
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Sounds to me that Calvary Chapel and your friend, both have bad theology. I’m with you I wouldn’t know were to start. :confused:

If the Bible is the only tool we need, ask Him why, when Jesus left his disciples & returned to heaven did He NOT give them a Bible? He could have - we’re talking Jesus - GOD - He totally could’ve handed them a Bible & said, “Here you go… pray to to Holy Spirit for direction and this is all you need to guide you.” But He didn’t do that. Because you could read the Bible one way, and I could read it another and who’s going to decide which one of us is right? Tell your Calvery Chapel friend that’s why there are so many Protestant demoninations who all use ONLY the Bible but believe differently.

God, in His wisdom knew that wouldn’t work so instead He left His people a Church. The Holy Spirit guided that Church for centuries as it still does today.

A side note… I wouldn’t trust JW or Mormon theology and I’m sure your friend wouldn’t either. If he thinks that the Catholic Church is just like them, he shouldn’t trust the Bible since the Catholic Bishops decided of the hundreds of letters & writings, which books belonged in the Bible.

Something for your Calvery friend to chew on…

I am wondering how old your friend is? This is not for anything more than reference. You see, I am a post Vatican II cradle Catholic, and I have started to discover some interesting things over the past year. 1) Most Cradle Catholics were taught something incorrect or we have gaps in our education that kept us from understanding the why behind the what we believe. 2) Most of my peers who left the church for something easier, did not bother to find the why and therefore found the CC too confusing and ridgid. 3) All of my non-Catholic peers are so far from the Prodestant Reformation they do not really understand what and why things happened. The great majority think WE ADDED BOOKS TO THE BIBLE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

So here is where you should start, go read Keatings book on Romanism verses Fundamentalism, it really gets to the meat of things. I found it to be a real eye opener to explain without being too heavy on the doctrine on why and what CC believes. You will have more information than you thought if you are a post Vatican II baby also. It really brought me closer to the church. It also explains some of the minor things that really make sense like the term “I pray to Mary” means something different to a non-Catholic as opposed to a Catholic. (prayer does not mean worship) Second, History is on your side! Yes you might want to skim over those few bad popes until you are more comfortable with them but the majority is on the side of the Catholic Church. The bible was not even completed until 150’s AD. Before that they used the early Fathers teachings and traditions. Read Acts very closely! or even that the Gospel of Luke was written by Luke who wrote down everything that Paul was preaching in Greece, it is second hand knowledge as opposed to John who was with Jesus.

The most important thing you can do is pray! Only the Holy spirit can truly open his eyes to the truth. Pride is a very strong force and you are going to have a difficult time getting through that on your own.

[quote=GerardPaul]My friend from Calvary Chapel(Bible Alone)said Catholics have bad theology “like JW’s and Mormons sincere people can be misled and sincerely wrong”. I asked him if he wanted to learn more about the Truth found in the Catholic Church. I asked him if he wanted to read about the conversion stories of some of the famous converts to the Catholic Church. You know the ones with books,tapes and videos also are on radio and TV. He said to be frenkly “I have the truth”. He said “Gods word teaches All truth” also “God did not make a mistake, He put His Word above His name”“Even Jesus who was The Word”. What do I say I don’t know where to start!

Jeffrey
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It might help you in your discussion if you look through Calvary Chapels’ web sites - they are very pointed in their anti-Catholicism - not quite coming right out and saying that the pope is the anti-Christ, but if you read the sermons posted on their site, it’s clear that the congregation is getting a whopping dose of bigotry with their “Bible only.” :frowning:

I do believe that I saw “Whore of Babylon” in reference to the Catholic church on at least one of their sites and a lot of their doctrine is aimed squarely against Catholic teachings. If you read through what they teach, you might get a better idea of what you’re up against.

I tried to tell someone of that church that the notion of “Bible only” is not only extra-Biblical but counter-Biblical and even that does not register.

But, after one discussion that was headed down a sad road, I just dropped it. I said that I’m very glad she’s a Christian and that I’d rather not discuss it at all if it was going to cause us to be divided.

She’s asked for clarification on the Blessed Mother and I started to try to answer, but she ONLY wants information about Mary. Nothing else.

Well, as you know, there’s no way to isolate the information about Mary and avoid going into other facets of Catholicism. But that’s exactly how they’re taught - to compartmentalize and separate - that’s how fundamentalists win so many converts - they isolate points of faith and argue one point at a time. If they were to argue the whole faith, they could not be so effective, because the inconsistencies would show up more clearly.

If she really wants more info, I’m going to send her Rome Sweet Home and the Scott Hahn conversion story on CD from catholicity.com - from a former Bible-only scholar, she might hear and accept it all better than she would if it’s coming from me.

Good luck with your discussions!
Elizabeth

Calvary Chapel’s Home Page

Firefighters for Christ

[quote=Ric]Calvary Chapel’s Home Page

Firefighters for Christ
[/quote]

Ric, Ric, Ric–you never quit! :slight_smile:

These sites are “AWESOME” only if you’re unfortunate enough to be a non-Catholic. We just got finished talking on this thread about the anti-Catholic ways of Calvary Chapel–why would anyone here want to visit such a site?? :whacky:

[quote=Fidelis]Ric, Ric, Ric–you never quit! :slight_smile:

These sites are “AWESOME” only if you’re unfortunate enough to be a non-Catholic. We just got finished talking on this thread about the anti-Catholic ways of Calvary Chapel–why would anyone here want to visit such a site?? :whacky:
[/quote]

Well because (even though I am not a member of a Calvary Chapel) I believe that Calvary Chapel is the closest example of the Early Church we have today! :thumbsup:

Ric, I have been in Calvary Chapel, I see very little similarities between Calvary Chapel and the early Church.

Please give some specific examples of how Calvary Chapel (started by Chuck Smith) can trace it way back to the early Church in belief.

Feel free to give specific quotes from early Church Fathers.

God Bless
Scylla

Also why would Chuck Smith even need to start a new church? Who gave him the authority to start a church on his own. This is like Simon Magus asking to have hands laid on him to have authority. No-one in the early church went out on their own authority they were called to it and it was passed on. This is a very serious thing, should we just go out and start a church if we feel we have a good system or should we contribute to the church that Jesus Christ founded?
This is similar to saying to my wife that I am happier with my girlfriend I will go out on my own and live in another house with my girlfriend as she provides me with a better relationship. Should I start my own church apart from Jesus’s Church to have a better relationship or should I stay united in the faith?
Jesus prayed that the Church would be one as He and the Father were one. Can anyone starting his own church to his best ability fulfill that? How then does this fit with scripture in resolving differences. If they wont listen to even the Church they should be treated as a heathen and a publican. Matt 18.
If this is a dissagreement on doctrinal issues which divides churches which one should you listen to. The division in Bible churches directly contradicts scripture and is a scandal to Christianity.

Now I have gone on a sort of diatribe and I am sorry, but there is but one truth, you need to trust in Jesus and trust that he is able to make a Church that even the gates of hell wont prevail against.

So I suggest you prayerfully look at early Christian writings and look for yourself if your church fits historically. If you do not trust Catholic sources I really suggest you look at outside sources to make sure they are fair and you can read the whole of writings in context. Don’t just go for quotes read them prayerfully, as if your church is the absolute truth it will fit directly and you will be able to trace the same beliefs to this day.

Here is www.penguin.com (not a Catholic website) seek the truth out for yourself, and trust in Jesus.

God Bless
Scylla

catholics have the most firm theology and doctrines since the beginning of christianity.

One more thing about tradition\ apostolic succession comparisons, than with just the Bible.

One thing that should be pointed out is all Bible believing churches have tradition. In that their beliefs are in line with their creators.

For example
Calvary Chapel has the tradition of belief which was first created by Chuck Smith, (if it isn’t then he wouldn’t have had to start it.)
Lutheranism is the same way, it has the tradition of belief first created by Martin Luther.

Now all these can change gradually over time and sometimes they get reinterpreted but they hold firm to their traditions or else they then become another denomination such as in the case with Calvary Chapel and Vineyard.

If there was a true Bible only church there would be absolutely no need to start others as you would just have to join the one started by Martin Luther\ John Calvin, etc. Unless you think they are wrong, if they are wrong then what makes this new position right as it is based only on the Bible alone.
This is saying that everyone has had it wrong for 1600-1700-1800 or 1900 years and we finally have got it right, now follow me.
What kind of faithfulness to Christ is it if I cannot remain united to his Church and contribute instead of starting my own church?

God Bless
Scylla

Ric,

I went to one of your sites listed. The one with the comparisson chart. It would be pretty scary if it was accurate, but it is not on the side of Catholicism. Especially the whole section on Mary. Just like most non-Catholics, they got it wrong.

Mary is considered the highest of the Saints (people we believe to be living in Heaven, not gods or demi-gods), but she is no where on an equal plane as the Holy Tinity.

Mary interceeds on our behalf, she does not make things happen for us. In other words, she puts in a good word for us to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit since she is living there with them.

Also our definition of prayer is different than yours. When a Catholic says they are “praying to…” it means in quiet, reverent discussion. When a non-Catholic says “I pray to…” they mean “I worship…”

I hope this helps!

[quote=scylla]Ric, I have been in Calvary Chapel, I see very little similarities between Calvary Chapel and the early Church.

Please give some specific examples of how Calvary Chapel (started by Chuck Smith) can trace it way back to the early Church in belief.

Feel free to give specific quotes from early Church Fathers.

God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

Read the book of Acts.

Ric, you keep bringing up how the Catholic Church is in error, but you give no specifics.

It’s up to you to show where and how, and a vague reference to “Read the Book of Acts” isn’t sufficient to explain your viewpoint.

The statement of faith of Calvary Chapel says that they are a “Bible only” church, but this notion is not only UN-Biblical, it’s actually COUNTER-Biblical. Several other points are in direct contradiction to the Bible including Once Saved Always Saved, Sola Fide and baptism.

If you choose to follow them, that’s your prerogative. Personally, I took a look at how they threw out a heck of a lot of Biblical teachings and want to maintain neutrality on hot-button social issues, but they kept at least one OT teaching in particular - the one on tithing.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was enough to expiate the sins of all people who would merely profess a faith in Christ. No works required, except tithing and in that case, it’s strictly 10% off the gross income.

Pick and choose, cafeteria style.

Elizabeth

Ric,

You seem to be starting something here, so I will give you another question I have always wondered about Bible only faiths.

If you say your doctrine comes from the Bible only, then why did you alter the Bible? Martin Luther took out several books because they did not agree with his Faith and Bible only mentality. Two of these books are the books of Maccabees (I and II). So, if you do not have these books in your bible, how do you relate to our Christian Ancestors, the Jews, and their celebration of Hannakka which is contained in these two missing books? It seems that your dcotrine is forcing your bible, not the other way around. Or how about Luther adding the word “alone” to a scripture passage to help substantiate his belief in faith/scripture alone. Something does not follow.

If your Bible is infallible, 1)what makes it infallible, and 2)why alter the one already in circulation. The RC says the original Cannon is infallible becuase we have a structure in place to support this, the papacy, which is not able to make an incorrect statement on faiths and morals. I would think it to be a sin to alter God’s words into a new meaning if the original was already confirmed to be inspired by God and in place for well over a thousand years.

You might counter with Cavary is not an off shoot to Lutheranism, but it still follows the Wycliffe essays on Sola Scriptura. Luther was just the first to make the break in 1517, Calvinism was not until 1538. However, you all use the King James Version which ultimatly comes from Lutheranism.

Just planting seeds! I will leaving the tending to someone of a higher ranking authority!

I read Acts and I do see some things that disturb me about Calvary Chapel. Didn’t Simon Magus want to have hands laid on him by his own accord? I see an authorative Church passing down authority, with absolutely no historical continuity to Calvary Chapel.
I don’t see the book of acts endorsing causing division by starting another church in 1965 by Chuck Smith.

I will prayerfully read Acts again as you have asked but I believe that there is truth in Calvary Chapel since they are based on the Bible, can they claim absolute truth? if they do then others don’t have the absolute truth since beliefs differ(even among non-denoms). If they don’t claim absolute truth then there would be no need to start Calvary Chapel.

May God Bless on your journey of faith,
Scylla

Ric,

It is your opinion that Calvary Chapel most closely resembles the early Christian Church. It is my considered opinion that it does not. Moreover, it is my opinion that the Catholic Church most clearly resembles the early Christian Church.

I guess that means that we are now at an impasse based on our opinions.

Sadly, opinions are like elbows. Everybody has some. The problem is figuring out which opinions are the correct ones. I refuse to place my views and opinions on the meaning and intent of scripture in opposition to the Catholic Church. The 2000 plus years of Christian wisdom contained within the constant teaching of the Catholic Church dwarfs my puny thoughts, interpretations, and opinions. Everytime I have questioned something and then carefully researched the Catholic teaching on the matter it became crystal clear that the Church got it right.

You would be well served if you compared all of your understandings of Catholic teaching against what the Church actually teaches rather than what Calvary Chapel says the Church teaches.

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