I have been under a lot of pressure with my non-denomination background, but especially with my mother’s strong views against my decision to attend RCIA classes with my wife (catholic, but not confirmed as well).
Here is a recent email correspondence from her. I am hoping a priest, etc can provide me some tips on how to defend my side vs her assertions made below:
It’s after 8pm - sorry it’s been so long to respond but have been busy w/ helping out w/the kids and Lyla. my response so far:
You can ask me anything (to pray for or w/you) because I’m here on earth w/you. The only way to talk to anyone who has passed from this life on to the next is either to pray (talk to) or to try and communicate in a seance (which is forbidden in scripture). You may want to believe it’s ok (the Catholic Church says "We can pray with and to her.)
I would say that bowing before a statue of Mary is worship. That many of the practices involving Mary is worship because they elevate ary to a place that is equal to God in many functions: intercession, atonement, prayer to, etc.
When Jesus turned to John (the beloved deciple) on the cross and said “behold your mother” how can you possibly read into that statement that Mary is now the Mother of the whole body of Christ? If that doesn’t describe what the last 5 scriptures of the Bible is talking about!
This is a major problem w/ the Catholic Church: in it’s teachings it goes beyond what is written in God’s word (ICor.4:6). It denies the sole and true sovereignty of the living God by promoting prayer to and worship of Mary. Also it denies justification by faith alone in Christ alone. I’m afraid I don’t belive it is synonymous with Christianity. Christianity is properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible. It is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus, you’re a Christian. Mormons believe in Jesus, but their Jesus is a brother of the devil in the pre-existence. The Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is Michael the Archangel. So, just saying you believe in Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian. This is why the Bible tells us who Jesus really is, God in the flesh, creator of the universe. There are essential doctrines, and if any of those essential doctrines are violated, then a church wouls only appear to be Christian but not really be Christian.
- There is only one God and you are to serve no other gods (Ex 20:3; Isa. 43:10; 44:6,8)
- Jesus is both God and man (Jn. 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; I Jn.4:1-4)
- Jesus rose from the dead physically (Jn. 2:19-21; I Cor. 15:14)
- Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal.3:1-2; 5:1-4)
- The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the scriptures.
(I Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9)
- God is a Trinity (Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14)
- Jesus was born of the virgin Mary ( Matt. 1:25 )
So someone who is a true Christian will believe these things and not violate them. Roman Catholicism violates two of them. First of all by its practice of promoting Mary (and the Saints) to the level of God-like capabilities, they break the commandment to have no other gods before the true and living God. Catholic teaching is that Mary made atonement for the sins of man (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, page 213). Mary is the subject of preaching and worship (Vatican Council II, p. 420).
Most seriously, Catholicism violates the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone. Paul, the apostle, tells us in Romans 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.” I recommend reading the whole book of Hebrews, as well. Roman Catholicism denies that and says…so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments"
So even though Roman Catholicism claims to be Christian and that it is the one true church, it violates the essentials of the Christian faith. By claiming that traditions have equal athority w/ the written Word of God, they are able to add to, as well as take away from what the inspired scriptures actually teach. Again, see Rev. the last 5 verses.
Please read 2 Thessalonians 2: the whole chapt. but especially the warning in vs. 11.
Will look at other e-mails in the morning, it’s getting late tonight. Love you, Mom