Protestant family misconceptions

Hello all, I was raised a protestant specifically methodist/Baptist. And I have felt for a while drawn to the catholic church, I expressed interest to my parents that I would like to attend one just to see what it was like. Well they didn’t get angry at me, but just deeply expressed concern saying that Catholics worship mary/stautes/ and that they prayed to saints for intercession in the world, and that the Pope is infaliable etc.

And that the whole thing seems very idolatrous to them.

From what little studying I have done, the vast majority of Catholics dont have that vision of there practices st all. They would say that it’s a misconception.

The one that stuck with me when I tried to defend some of these practices was the reply they gave:

“that a hindu that bows before and worships a stone idol , the hindu would say and understand that the stone itself is not literally a god, but its image represents the god. So it’s the same level of idolatry”

I’m dont think they have this right, but I wasn’t sure how to respond to them.

The other point that really stuck in my gut was them saying :

“Why pray to anyone other than God/jesus, if you pray to a saint or Mary, who then asks God, is it not just more efficient to pray directly to God? And avoid the whole potential accidental worship?”

I am a grown man living on my own so I thought about going to a catholic church any way. But I wanted to clear up these questions before jumping in too far

Your family members have brought up some excellent points. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time and energy trying to refute what they said. Instead tell them what you like about the Catholic faith. What would that be? What truth, goodness, and beauty do you find?

For me, it would be the sacraments, that is, our belief in the presence of Jesus in all seven sacraments but most importantly in the Eucharist. I also find a great treasure of truth and wisdom in Catholic teachings about God, morality, and salvation.

The stone idol the hindu is bowing down to is the representation of their god as you said, they consider it to be a depiction of their god. Catholics know Mary, and the Saints are not God. We are not worshiping Mary, but showing her veneration as she is our Mother, whom Jesus the Second Person of the Holy Trinity gave to us, on Calvary, though John who represents us all. And the 4th Commandment is to honor thy mother and thy father…so we honor Mary by our veneration of her.

Have you never kissed the photo of your mother, or of a girlfriend etc with whom you were separated due to distance or whatever reason? You know the picture is not them, you are just expressing your love for that person whom the picture represents. You’d kiss the person themselves if you physically could (ie not being separated by distance as an example). And so Catholics show their love for Our Blessed Mother in the ways we can while on earth - prayers of intercession and also thanking her for her intercession as she interceded on behalf of the couple at the wedding at Cana.

We pray to the Saints in Heaven to ask them to pray or take our petition to God. Who better to ask to pray for us than those who see God face to face? It is no different to us asking family, friends (or members on CAF) to pray for us and our needs. Well the Saints in Heaven are still part of the whole human race/family as we are here on earth, so the same applies - we’re asking them to pray for us.

The articles I’ve linked below I think you’ll find helpful.

Praying to the Saints

Do Catholics Worship the Virgin Mary

11 questions answered about Mary - covers Q: Do Catholics worship Mary? and Q: Why do Catholics pray to Mary when we can appeal directly to God?

Why Pray to Mary and the Saints

Regarding Papal Infallibility these articles should help you-
Catholic Answers - Papal Infallibility

Papal Infallibility by Dr Jeffrey Mirus

Dr Carroll on Papal Infallibilty

Learn, learn, learn! Why not consider obtaining a copy of Catholicism for Dummies and reading it as you ponder the Church? I am betting that even the Pope could learn at least something from it.


Additionally, you can give it to your parents for them to read or use it to deconstruct their arguments - and this is crucial - one at a time. Rest assured: the arguments they have been taught were not made up by anyone familiar with the faith.

It is an excellent reference book that you can rely on for years to come.

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Do your parents like the film the Passion of the Christ?

Actually the different spirits saints or Mary have different anointings. That’s why James said test the spirits and see if they are from God. There are what some call “familiar spirits” and other types
I generally only use the holy spirit because that’s what Jesus said to do. I have identified the Mary spirit that catholics seem to pray to . when I went to medgorie. I could identify it.

Dum… No hate. Have you seen what the bible says about familiar spirits?:sunflower:

Yes as stated their are different kinds of spiritual entity. Different saints . or so called saints . my high school Catholic teachers said most catholic education was dumbed down. And its still true to day.

The Hindus believe that the statues represent a god. They worship the god.

Catholics do not believe the statues represent a god. Mary and the Saints are not gods. And Catholics don’t worship the statues or the people they represent. Catholics worship God only.

We pray WITH people to God. Saints are people.

And you can’t “accidentally worship” someone or something.

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You are very wise to see everything they said as misconceptions. Just like I ask you for prayers if I am sick or someone is in need that’s what we are doing when we ask the Saints & Mary to intercede for us. They are more alive in Heaven with God than they were on Earth. By us asking they add their own prayers and bring them to God directly. The Pope is only infallible when he makes an official declaration on behalf of the Church and that is done rarely. When he does so he is guided by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot lead us astray. Set up an appt with the Priest through the Church office and ask him all the things you have questions about. The Catholic Church is the 1 Church established by Jesus Himself and the gates of help will not prevail against it.
Catholics worship God only, no one or nothing else. If we did worship anyone but God we’d be breaking the first Commandment. Catholics don’t make up things,as we go along. We have the 3 legged string stool of : Sacred Tradition (because Scripture wasn’t written down until hundreds of years after Jesus walked the Earth. It was all carried down orally from those who knew Him personally. Sacred Scripture the Word of God given to
man and kept true by the Holy Spirit and the Magisteriumlead by the Holy Spirit.

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Jumping in to say that I am “borrowing” your image there. I have some family members who believe … odd things about the Church.

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Okay. When you’re watching a parade go by and the flag passes, you put your hand over your heart. When you go into court, you address the judge as “your honor.” You’re not worshiping the flag or the judge, are you? No, you’re just paying them their due respect.

We have statues because we are an ancient church. In the time of Christ, statues were used for communication – illiterate people, seeing a statue would recall the story behind the person it represents. You see a statue of a woman with a wheel, and you remember the story of Saint Catherine, who was tied t a wheel, set on fire and rolled downhill. You remember her courageous martyrdom and it strengthens your own faith.

I have been in Protestant churches and heard the minister ask the congregation to pray for someone who was sick or in difficulty. The minister was PRAYING to the congregation – that’s what “pray” means, “to ask.”

And for what was he praying? For them to intercede with God for the benefit of the person who was sick or in difficulty. If their intercession will benefit that person (and clearly the minister believes it will) would not the intercession of someone already in heaven not benefit them?

Dum is not expressing Catholic teachings, Guest. We do not have spirits/saints with something called ‘different anointings’ (sic) and Medjugore is not an accepted authentic Catholic apparition. Any ‘spirit’ there is again not something we even discuss here as the apparition is NOT approved by the Church as supernatural/worthy of belief.

Do you have Amazon Prime? They have available a video called “Common Ground”. I highly recommend it for both you and your parents.

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Hi and welcome.

…Catholics worship mary/

No. We venerate Mary. We hold her in very high esteem because she is the Mother of God. Jesus is God and she is His mother. We can see this in Scripture.

Matthew 1:18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

We also venerate her because we see that God, the Father also held her in very high esteem. He sent an angel to her with the message that she is “blessed among women”. (Luke 1:28). And this message is inscribed in Scripture for all generations to see and imitate.

stautes/

No. The statues are like the pictures of the people that we love which we carry in our wallet. We love the saints because God loves them.

and that they prayed to saints for intercession in the world, and that the Pope is infaliable etc.

  1. God commands us to pray for intercession.

1 Timothy 2:1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

  1. The Saints in heaven are still alive.

John 11:25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

  1. Since they are still alive, they are still subject to this command.

Do your parents ever ask anyone to pray for them? Why don’t they simply go straight to God when they do so? Do your parents know that we now walk with the Saints? (Heb 12:22-24)

And that the whole thing seems very idolatrous to them.

That’s too bad. It seems to us that Protestants are very cold and have emptied the Gospel of its power. There is a new dispensation in Christ. And it is beautiful to behold the power that God has given unto men.

Matthew 9:8But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

From what little studying I have done, the vast majority of Catholics dont have that vision of there practices st all. They would say that it’s a misconception.

I believe it is because Protestants don’t understand the Word of God. They understand the errors of the Reformers and cling to them for dear life. And they confuse those errors and substitute them for the Word of God.

cont’d

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cont’d

The one that stuck with me when I tried to defend some of these practices was the reply they gave:

“that a hindu that bows before and worships a stone idol , the hindu would say and understand that the stone itself is not literally a god, but its image represents the god. So it’s the same level of idolatry”

On the contrary, that’s not what they say at all. To them, it is their god. I have had hindu friends and they believe their god comes in any form and shape that he wants to. And that statue is one of them.

I’m dont think they have this right, but I wasn’t sure how to respond to them.

Tell them they are wrong. We don’t pray to statues. We do pray to saints, for intercession. The statue is just a reminder of the saint. Like the pictures that they carry in their wallet.

The other point that really stuck in my gut was them saying :

“Why pray to anyone other than God/jesus, if you pray to a saint or Mary, who then asks God, is it not just more efficient to pray directly to God? And avoid the whole potential accidental worship?”

The word “pray” doesn’t mean “worship”. It means “ask”. Let me show you from Scripture.

Genesis 12:13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

Protestants seem to think that words only have one meaning. But they have many and must be used in the proper context. In the Catholic context, when we pray to saints, we ask them for intercession.

I am a grown man living on my own so I thought about going to a catholic church any way. But I wanted to clear up these questions before jumping in too far

I hope that helps.

Here’s a few tips if you go to Mass.

  1. Don’t partake of the Eucharist. One must be a baptized member of the Church in order to do so.

  2. When you walk in, you’ll see many people dip their fingers in water and rub it on their face. They are making the sign of the Cross and remembering their Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  3. When you walk in, remember to hold reverence. Speak in low tones, almost a whisper and before you sit down, genuflect. That means to bow or make a gesture of respect. You are sitting before the King of Heaven. He resides in His Tabernacle.

  4. If I were you, I would sit in the back so that you can see what everyone is doing. Follow their example.

  5. Come a bit early and ask someone for a “missalette”. If you feel comfortable enough, ask them to show you how to follow along in it.

  6. Here’s a link to the order of the Mass. It’ll show you what to generally expect. Although the order is not always strictly adhered to.

  7. If you know a Catholic, ask him to come along.

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