Struggling with Catholicism


#1

Hey everyone,

I have been on and off this site reading threads for sometime. Let me start off by saying that I was born and raised Catholic. I am currently 18 years old and am a freshman college student at a Nazarene college. I am no longer and am currently not sure what denomination I will "choose" I guess I should put it because I'm in a little situation.

I really became active in my Catholic faith throughout high school. I recited prayers, prayed the Rosary, attended all of the masses, went to confession, etc. However, a time came during the summer before I attended college. My father separated from the Catholic church and said how he didn't understand why Catholics prayed to saints or Mary when the Bible states we shouldn't worship any other than God, purgatory, sacraments, and the usual things that Protestants argue against. I was strong in my Catholic faith (or so I thought) so I told him that it was what we should do. However, I realized I had no proof to back it up. I suddenly realized other things too. I grew up in private Catholic schools since pre school and found out that I was sort of brainwashed. I knew what we believed but I didn't know why. I also realized I didn't have a personal relationship with God and that it was robotic how I was practicing my faith. It went downhill from there. I didn't seem to get a lot out of mass and saw it as repetitive and robotic too. So I took a break and experimented with a different church. It was a Bible Church and I loved it and continued to attend it. My prayer life became more genuine instead of recited prayers and I was getting a lot more out of the bible church services. It was weird at first because I was a die hard Catholic. So I separated from the faith before I enrolled at my college. My questions are why do Catholics believe what they believe? Why is sola scriptura not ok? Do Catholics believe they are the only true faith and that other denominations won't go to heaven? I'm just concerned because I didn't have a spiritual mentor to guide me through Catholicsm and I may have rushed out of it. I'm not downgrading the faith whatsoever, I like a lot of aspects of it and I just have questions about others. Thanks for your time and I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.


#2

Also, I was wondering how Catholics would refute this website bible.ca/sola-scriptura-proof-texts.htm in regards to sola scriptura being unscriptural. It poses some good points but I’m sure Catholics have solid reasoning against it so I was curious.


#3

Question first…Where do you think the Bible came from? Who do you think compiled the books, among over two hundred writings in the first 3 centuries of Christianity…and canonized these writings into what you now call the Bible?

And which came first, the Catholic Church or the Bible?

This is a couple’s personal testimony on SS…how they applied it to their mission…this is all the proof you need to dispel SS…that is it unbiblical…

freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1858224/posts

How I Solved the Catholic Problem (in 3 parts)

And finally, the Protestant notion of sola scriptura (the Bible alone) fell apart each time I tried to test it. I began to see that Evangelicalism’s insistence on going by the Bible alone led continually into division and problems. Worse yet, claiming to go by the Bible alone didn’t really provide any certitude of belief for believers.

There were other unfortunate parallels with evangelicalism in America. Poor people went to poor churches; the middle-class and wealthy attended more upscale churches which attracted people from their particular level of society. Only in one large, downtown Evangelical church did we ever see rich and poor in fairly equal numbers, though most of the poor people sat in the balcony, not down front where the more affluent folks sat. I had never, until then, realized how Protestant churches are almost always separated by class. I was unsettled to realize that I had never attended a church with poor people. I had always looked for a church with people “like me.” Where was the One Church of Jesus Christ which embraced rich and poor alike? For some reason, I had expected to find it in Guatemala. I didn’t.

This realization was earth-shaking. I saw that evangelicalism had become, by its “Bible alone” principle, a religion of the literate elite. As a missionary taking the gospel to illiterate people, I realized I had to be absolutely sure, before God, that what I was telling them was, in fact, the Christian Faith, free from error. It had to be 100 percent Truth with a capital T. The problem was, using the “Bible alone” principle I had been taught, I had no way to be absolutely sure.

I witnessed among Guatemalan Evangelicals a cacophony of conflicting teachings. Pentecostal television preachers railed against the devil and cast out demons right and left. Fundamentalist non-Pentecostal preachers were just as busy railing against the Pentecostals for speaking in tongues, which was, they warned, a sure sign that they were in cahoots with the devil.

Some preachers were teaching a “health and wealth gospel” in one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nations. Many preached American-style democracy as the “biblical” government God wanted to see in Guatemala. Baptists preached that infant baptism didn’t count and that those who practice it aren’t “true Christians.” Lutheran missionaries were busy baptizing babies. Quakers told people they didn’t need any outward symbols of Christianity.


#4

scripturecatholic.com/scripture_alone.html

II. “All Scripture is Inspired”- 2 Tim. 3:16-17
2 Tim. 3:14 - Protestants usually use 2 Tim. 3:16-17 to prove that the Bible is the sole authority of God’s word. But examining these texts disproves their claim. Here, Paul appeals to apostolic tradition right before the Protestants’ often quoted verse 2 Tim. 3:16-17. Thus, there is an appeal to tradition before there is an appeal to the Scriptures, and Protestants generally ignore this fact.

2 Tim. 3:15 - Paul then appeals to the sacred writings of Scripture referring to the Old Testament Scriptures with which Timothy was raised (not the New Testament which was not even compiled at the time of Paul’s teaching). This verse also proves that one can come to faith in Jesus Christ without the New Testament.

2 Tim. 3:16 - this verse says that Scripture is “profitable” for every good work, but not exclusive. The word “profitable” is “ophelimos” in Greek. “Ophelimos” only means useful, which underscores that Scripture is not mandatory or exclusive. Protestants unbiblically argue that profitable means exclusive.

Tradition / Church Fathers
I. Scripture Must be Interpreted in Light of Church Tradition
“Those, therefore, who desert the preaching of the Church, call in question the knowledge of the holy presbyters, not taking into consideration of how much greater consequence is a religious man, even in a private station, than a blasphemous and impudent sophist. Now, such are all the heretics, and those who imagine that they have hit upon something more beyond the truth, so that by following those things already mentioned, proceeding on their way variously, in harmoniously, and foolishly, not keeping always to the same opinions with regard to the same things, as blind men are led by the blind, they shall deservedly fall into the ditch of ignorance lying in their path, ever seeking and never finding out the truth. It behooves us, therefore, to avoid their doctrines, and to take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but to flee to the Church, and be brought up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord’s Scriptures." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5,20:2 (A.D. 180).

"Since this is the case, in order that the truth may be adjudged to belong to us, “as many as walk according to the rule,” which the church has handed down from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, and Christ from God, the reason of our position is clear, when it determines that heretics ought not to be allowed to challenge an appeal to the Scriptures, since we, without the Scriptures, prove that they have nothing to do with the Scriptures. For as they are heretics, they cannot be true Christians, because it is not from Christ that they get that which they pursue of their own mere choice, and from the pursuit incur and admit the name of heretics. Thus, not being Christians, they have acquired no right to the Christian Scriptures; and it may be very fairly said to them, “Who are you? When and whence did you come?” Tertullian, Prescription against the Heretics, 37 (A.D. 200).


#5

[quote="Tranc7, post:2, topic:276040"]
Also, I was wondering how Catholics would refute this website bible.ca/sola-scriptura-proof-texts.htm in regards to sola scriptura being unscriptural. It poses some good points but I'm sure Catholics have solid reasoning against it so I was curious.

[/quote]

The Catholic way of interpretating and understanding the Bible..with a Biblical model....

mark-shea.com/tradition.html

In the case of the Council of Jerusalem, the common teaching from the apostles included the then-unwritten command of Christ to preach the gospel to the whole world (Mt 28:19). It included the as-yet-unwritten common knowledge of Peter's mystical revelation by the Holy Spirit ("Do not call anything impure that God has made clean" [Acts 10:15]). It included the experiences of Paul and Barnabas in preaching to the Gentiles (Acts 15:12). It is through this Sacred Tradition that James reads Scripture and sees in Scripture, not a judge or "final rule of faith" but a witness to the authoritative decision of the Church in Council. For he says not "we agree with the Prophet Amos" but rather that the words of the prophets "agree with" the Council (Acts 15:15). In short, the Council places the Church on the judge's seat and the Scripture in the witness box, deriving its revelation not from Scripture alone but from Sacred Tradition and the magisterial authority of the apostles in union with Scripture. And so materially sufficient bricks of Old Testament revelation, which we thought were made to build into a synagogue are stacked and mortared with apostolic Tradition by the trowel of the Church's magisterial authority, and turn out to make a cathedral instead.

The biblical Council, like the modern Catholic Church, places Scripture in the context of Tradition and magisterial, apostolic authority. The biblical Council, like the modern Catholic Church, speaks with apostolic authority and declares, "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." (Acts 15:29). And so, the biblical Council, just like the modern Catholic Church, develops a doctrine which, to "Bible-only" eyes, appears to flatly nullify Scripture yet which, upon closer inspection, turns out to uphold it (Rom 3:31).


#6

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]
Hey everyone,

I am currently 18 years old and am a freshman college student at a Nazarene college. I am no longer and am currently not sure what denomination I will "choose" I guess I should put it because I'm in a little situation.

[/quote]

You're certainly not the first cradle Catholic to explore other possibilities as you enter adulthood. I was away for over 20 years but eventually (and thankfully) I returned. I was a slow learner I suppose.

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]

My questions are why do Catholics believe what they believe?

[/quote]

This is really too vague a question to answer in a precise manner. So, I'll answer in a general sense and perhaps it will help. Catholics recognize that God's Truth is revealed in three primary ways; Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium. All three are free from error and all three support one another.

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]

Why is sola scriptura not ok?

[/quote]

1st Point:
Well, the obvious answer that comes to my mind right away is because Scripture doesn't interrupt itself. So then, if someone reads scripture and is unsure what something means they must go to an outside source to learn what is being said. Now, Protestants will say, "That's not true, the Holy Spirit will assist the Christian in deciphering the meaning of passages." Well, how is it then that there are so many different interpretations of specific verses? Why then have newer denominations been formed over disagreements resulting from scripture interpretation? Is the Holy Spirit telling one person that John 3:16 means "this" and to someone else He is saying John 3:16 means "that?"

2nd Point:
Scripture never says that Scripture is the sole infallible authority for God's Word. Scripture also mandates the use of tradition. This fact alone disproves sola Scriptura.

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]

Do Catholics believe they are the only true faith and that other denominations won't go to heaven?

[/quote]

Catholics don't speculate on the eternal destiny of others. That is above our pay grade. God alone decides who will enter Heaven and who will not.

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]

I'm just concerned because I didn't have a spiritual mentor to guide me through Catholicsm and I may have rushed out of it. I'm not downgrading the faith whatsoever, I like a lot of aspects of it and I just have questions about others. Thanks for your time and I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

[/quote]

I completely understand. As I said, I stayed away for over 20 years because I allowed doubt and twisted anti-Catholic words guide me. For 20+ years I bounced form denomination to denomination attempting to discover Truth only to give up entirely and take another look at the Church. Thankfully, I went and spoke with a patient parish priest who was very knowledgeable and he helped me to understand where I was misunderstanding Catholic dogma. After his help, I began to explore further the Catholic faith and discovered that my upbringing within the Church was VERY lacking. I'd like to suggest to you to do the same thing and speak with a Priest to see if he can answer some of the questions that you are having trouble with. You can always do it the way I did and take 20+ years, but it sure would save a bunch of time if you skipped over that part. ;)


#7

[quote="Tranc7, post:2, topic:276040"]
Also, I was wondering how Catholics would refute this website bible.ca/sola-scriptura-proof-texts.htm in regards to sola scriptura being unscriptural. It poses some good points but I'm sure Catholics have solid reasoning against it so I was curious.

[/quote]

Tranc7,

If sola Scriptura was true, then every person who read the bible would understand it in the same way, wouldn't they. But alas, we all know that any two people, both with good intent, can read the same bible passage and come to completely different conclusions. In reality, it is the Faith traditions one has that defines how they understand scripture and so scripture is necessarily subservient to Tradition.

Let me use an example from the proof text you cited.:

Matthew 4:1-11. Three times Jesus was tempted by the Devil and each time Jesus replied exactly the same three dangerous words that defeated the Devil: "IT IS WRITTEN" Read it for yourself! If any one could have used oral tradition, it was Jesus, yet he chose the only safe and sure way to defeat Satan: Scripture. We just with that the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches held scripture alone in the same high regard!

Now lets look at matthew 4:1-11 itself: [BIBLEDRB]Mt 4:1-11[/BIBLEDRB]
Note that in verse 6, Satan also uses scripture in the temptation of Jesus. So even Satan has his own interpretation of scripture. In this case, Jesus uses the correct interpretation of scripture to rebuff Satan.

So how can you know which interpretation of scripture is the correct one? How can you know that your interpretation is that of Jesus and not that of Satan or someone else? Its really not that tough. Go to the source of the Tradition - the founder of the denomination.
For Catholics, its St. Peter and the Apostles, who actually wrote the scripture. For Lutherans, it Martin Luther, who was not shy in his claim to have a superior scriptural interpretation than the Catholic Church. The reformed Churches owe their interpretations to John Calvin. The Anglican/Episcopal Churches to their founder, Henry VIII. Teh Mormons, to Joseph Smith. The Nazarenes who run your school got their start around 1900 through the merger of several smaller churches. In every one of these cases, other than the Catholic Church, men came up with their own interpretation of the bible and claimed it was the correct one through the claim of sola scripture. You can do your own testing on the credibility of these men verses that of the Catholic Church.


#8

Read "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" by Karl Keating. It will sort out a lot of your misconceptions (and your father's), including what likely happened to turn him away from the Church.


#9

Wow I'm speechless. Thanks so much for the posts everyone!! It really means a lot and it definitely helps my situation. I'm starting to realize that I'm a slower learner and need to speak with a priest about it more. I'm very happy though because I feel that the Catholic faith is where I truly belong. I have a lot of reading and discussing to do but I'm headed in the right direction. Again, thanks so much!


#10

Come back for more advice or logic-bombing any time you need it.:smiley:


#11

[quote="Tranc7, post:2, topic:276040"]
Also, I was wondering how Catholics would refute this website bible.ca/sola-scriptura-proof-texts.htm in regards to sola scriptura being unscriptural. It poses some good points but I'm sure Catholics have solid reasoning against it so I was curious.

[/quote]

In short, I don't know of any "text only" religion that's remained consistently faithful to that assumption and has lasted for very long. All the best.


#12

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]
Hey everyone,

hey sister:)

I am currently not sure what denomination I will "choose" I guess I should put it because I'm in a little situation.

*You mean, you are currently not sure where God is going to lead you? *

I really became active in my Catholic faith throughout high school. I recited prayers, prayed the Rosary, attended all of the masses, went to confession, etc.
However, a time came during the summer before I attended college. My father separated from the Catholic church and said how he didn't understand why Catholics prayed to saints or Mary when the Bible states we shouldn't worship any other.. I realized I had no proof to back it up.

I became a Catholic at age 21. I grew up in Protestantism. I had a born again experience and Christ led me into the Catholic Church. My personal relationship with Jesus, my faith in the Bible as the Word of God led me to Catholicism because, as I see it, the Catholic Church is the only truly "Bible believing Church" in the sense that it is the only one that truly makes sense as the author, preserver and interpreter of Scripture. As a Protestant I saw that many things in Scripture were neglected. I converted mainly because of the Sacraments. God gave me the faith to believe that Jesus himself instituted 7 sacraments.. and I tell you, when you have grown up in Protestantism and you realise what Jesus offers in the Eucharist and Confession you thirst for these.

I suddenly realized other things too. I grew up in private Catholic schools since pre school and found out that I was sort of brainwashed. I knew what we believed but I didn't know why.

** I grew up in a Protestant home where we were taught that God existed, lying, stealing, drúnkeness, adultery etc were immoral behaviour. Was I brainwashed? I dont think so. But of course in everyones life there comes a time where you become an adult and you have to test the things you have learned and "make them your own". Its funny, I also had the experience after I converted to the Catholic faith that some evangelicals came to me and said: "You guys worship Mary and the things you believe about her and the saints is nonsense". I was shaken, and I cried out to God and said: "You know I have left one church, and I will follow you wherever you lead me, just speak the truth about to me". That day where my heart was screeming to God, he answered me and told me that the Catholic Church teaches correct dogma about Mary. He didn't tell me I have to pray prayers and sing songs which to me sound exaggerated. But He was very clear, and He spoke to me in a way He has only done 3 times in my whole life. Around the same time I got aquainted with Alex Jones, a Pentecostal preacher who had left his church and converted to Catholicism and taken his whole congregation with him into the Catholic Church. For him it started with a study about the early church, which caused him to realise the early church was Catholic and not "non-denominational or pentecostal.. **

I also realized I didn't have a personal relationship with God and that it was robotic how I was practicing my faith....mass ...saw it as repetitive and robotic too.

*Was this the fault of the mass though, or was it your fault? When I am at mass I am not a robbot. The Catholic liturgy is an ancient compact worship of God. If you immerse yourself in it and pray along with all the liturgy, you will have a deep meeting with Jesus in it. *

So I took a break and experimented with a different church. It was a Bible Church and I loved it and continued to attend it. My prayer life became more genuine instead of recited prayers.

I had this experience.. but for me it happend in the Catholic Church. Its all about where the heart is. There are sleepy and lethargic Christians in all churches.. there are born again, on-fire believing Christians in all churches too.

It was weird at first because I was a die hard Catholic. So I separated from the faith before I enrolled at my college. My questions are why do Catholics believe what they believe? Why is sola scriptura not ok?

*Sister.. Scripture received its current form at a Catholic Church council in 382. Before that, while martyrs were dying in numbers, the believers didn't have their own copy of the Bible, but they were guided in the correct faith by the apostles and their sucessors. Jesus didn't write a word.. He left us a Church and from that Church came Scripture. Sola Scriptura - I grew up with it. It makes no logical sense. *

Do Catholics believe they are the only true faith and that other denominations won't go to heaven?

There is no church or denomination that is the way to heaven. Jesus said: "I am the Way". There is no other way than Jesus. But He also tells us that there are things we may and may not do if we wish to spend eternity with Him. What we must do, based on the grace He has first given us: Faith, Repentance from sin, Baptism, follow His commandments in our obedience and conscience. What me may not do is to sin .. there are many sins and temptations. Pride is among the worst.

I'm not downgrading the faith whatsoever, I like a lot of aspects of it and I just have questions about others. Thanks for your time and I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

*I very much understand where you are coming from. There is nothing in your story I do not recognize from my own life. I recommend you keep searching for the answers. Don't let your emotions quide you, nor the affection for people, or their charisma.. but search deeper, search for the truth while not giving up the company of good Christians of any kind.. *

[/quote]


#13

[quote="GraceDK, post:12, topic:276040"]

[/quote]

Thank you for the post. Just to clarify, I am a boy haha but it's alright I realized I forgot to mention that :). Anyways, you have made some very great points, especially your concluding one. I tend to let my emotions make my decisions or other people make them for me. I have realized that I need to seek God for understanding. I have been praying and reading a lot these past couple days and I can already feel comfort. I know God will lead me the right way if I trust in Him. It certainly is a crazy journey, but I sort of see it as God telling me I need to spend more time with Him instead of spending time with myself if that makes sense (relying on emotions for my understanding).


#14

[quote="Tranc7, post:1, topic:276040"]
However, a time came during the summer before I attended college. My father separated from the Catholic church and said how he didn't understand why Catholics prayed to saints or Mary when the Bible states we shouldn't worship any other than God, purgatory, sacraments, and the usual things that Protestants argue against.

[/quote]

So in other words, your father never understood catholic teaching, and left without ever informing himself of the basis on which his faith had supposedly been built...

I grew up in private Catholic schools since pre school and found out that I was sort of brainwashed.

Really? Brain washed... that sort of hyperbole is a little disingenious.

I knew what we believed but I didn't know why.

So what you're telling us here is that you failed to absorb what was taught to you about WHY we do what we do, that you then failed to research that position, and that you then blamed this absense of effort on "brain washing".

I think what we have here is not a testimony from a serious catholic, but a subersive trolling attempt by a protestant to use CAF as a forum to sucker catholics away from the church.

I also realized I didn't have a personal relationship with God and that it was robotic how I was practicing my faith.

There is no more personal relationship with God than that which was found in the Eucharist. "Evangelical" churches can preach their emotional taglines all they want, but the reality is that when it comes to a "personal relationship with God', the Catholics have it in God giving us His real presence at every mass.

It went downhill from there. I didn't seem to get a lot out of mass and saw it as repetitive and robotic too. So I took a break and experimented with a different church. It was a Bible Church and I loved it and continued to attend it.

No, it was not a "Bible Church". It was an imposter. Perhaps you didn't realize this, but the church denoted in the Bible is the Catholic Church, it is the church which takes it's continuity from it's jewish heritage, which was established by God, seriously. A church which founds itself on the teaching of THOUSANDS of uninterupted years... throwing itself upon the protection of the Holy Spirit in the promise of Christ who said that from the foundation of the Church, the gates of hell would NEVER prevail against it. That means that from the ascension of Christ, there will never have been a time that the church was not present and visible as a "city upon a hill"... all I have to do is go back 50 years and this so called "bible church" didn't exist.

No, the Bible church is the Catholic Church, who proclaims the bible in it's fullness every three years at mass (that's right, attend the mass every day for three years and you will hear almost ALL of the Bible... no complex "reading plan" which gives you the cherry picked verses the "minister" wants you to hear)

My prayer life became more genuine instead of recited prayers and I was getting a lot more out of the bible church services.

While your prayer life may have become more genuine, what you get out of "services" is much less, because it is devoid of the real presence in the Eucharist.

And you are aware that Catholics can pray with EITHER recited or extemporaneous prayer, right? It was your choice to only offer repetitive prayers (and possibly even not the appropriate meditations that go with those prayers)

It was weird at first because I was a die hard Catholic.

What you are telling us here is not that you were a die hard catholic, but that you had all the externals down. Die hard catholics do their research and know their faith... you did your faith, but never knew it.

Again, this is sounding more and more like a protestant trolling to convert people here than a person really questioning their actions.

So I separated from the faith before I enrolled at my college. My questions are why do Catholics believe what they believe?

Pick a belief, start a thread, and we'll discuss it. I don't go for shotgun blast apologetics... there's no way to have a serious discussion in that fashion!
* ... to be continued...*


#15

Why is sola scriptura not ok?

1) It's illogical: a book tells you it's right, so it's right, and because it's right, it gets to tell you it's right, so it's right, and because it's right... circular logic. In other words, sola scriptura offers no LOGICAL proof that the Bible should be believed.
2) It makes no sense when divorced from the church: The Catholic Church established the Canon of the New Testament. Using the Bible outside the church is, therefore, an affirmation of the Church's authority to declare the Canon of the New Testament... but to use a Canon which was declared by a church whose authority you reject makes NO logical sense...
3) The confusion it authors is not of God: Sola scriptura has resulted in the fracturing of protestantism into THOUSANDS of denominations... everyone has got their own interpretation... but to quote scripture "God is not the author of confusion." So what DID God do? He established His church on THREE principles, not one: Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterial teaching. When our interpretation of scripture is in error, we Catholics have some other authoritative source to fall back on (rather than fracturing the body of the Church further)

And that's just the three that came off the top of my head!

Do Catholics believe they are the only true faith and that other denominations won't go to heaven?

We are the ONLY Christian church, and all other "churches" are splintered off groups, who share in Christianity only insofar as they maintain what truth they inherited from their Catholic Forebearers. Will those others go to heaven? Perhaps, but it is the will of God to decide, and internal to them... what I do know is that the path to heaven detailed by Christ lies through the Catholic church, and that people who are outside of the church might be saved, but they will be saved IN SPITE OF the fact that they were outside of the church, not because of that fact...

I'm just concerned because I didn't have a spiritual mentor to guide me through Catholicsm and I may have rushed out of it. I'm not downgrading the faith whatsoever, I like a lot of aspects of it and I just have questions about others. Thanks for your time and I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

You're darned tootin right you "rushed out of it" if you didn't even bother to ask these questions to your priest, your catechist, a spiritual director, at a retreat, online, or any other of the plethora of sources available to catholics today which could have only been dreamed of thirty years ago!

I strongly suggest you go back and reevaluate your decision, take a look at your "bible church" and really question if it smacks of truth, or if it just "feels good", and take a look at the old testament and see which church forms a continuity of faith... ask yourself, from an old testament perspective, would the God who ordered the temple, the sabbath, the passover, etc, would that God then turn around and form something like that "bible church"... or does the bible church offer only good feelings and nothing of the structure and liturgy that is layed out in richness throughout the scriptures and in historical record?


#16

I'd like to add my 2 cents too, because nothing irritates me more than the implication by other "Bible based" churches that Catholics don't read the Bible, don't love the Bible, don't follow it, whatever. I'm not saying that you are saying that, but many churches make that assertion. I'd like to call to your attention that on any given day, Catholics all over the world are hearing the same Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament letters and Gospel. The Catholic Church is the only church (along with Orthodox, I'm guessing) where there is such a systematic reading of the Bible. As you probably know, if you go to Mass every day for three years, you will have heard the entire bible. The Mass has two sections, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. So, reading and understanding Sacred Scripture is very important to us. Now, if you jump over to "Bob's church" that was started because Bob didn't like what Joe was teaching, you will find you are at the whim of the pastor on the readings. Which leads me to my next point which was touched on earlier. If the Holy Spirit were truly ensuring that one can understand all the scriptures, as some assert, then there would never be any disagreements. But instead there are thousands of protestant churches, all with their different take on the Bible. This is why Sola Scriptura cannot be true. Well, that... and the fact the Bible itself demands that one holds to the Sacred Traditions taught by the Apostles. One might want to ask a Bible only Church what Traditions they are teaching that were taught by the apostles. They usually won't have an answer for that. WHY? Because their church wasn't around back then.... they have no connection to the Apostles. But guess what? The Catholic Church is apostolic! We have our roots in the apostles, which has a historical list of popes that goes back to Peter, whom Jesus appointed as the first leader of His Church (Mt 16:18).

As a side note, I once heard a Catholic historian say that he had visited all the ancient archeological sites of the very earliest Christian Churches. He said they all had one thing in common--- they always had an alter. That really means something, and I hope you take it to heart. Historically speaking, most of these protestant churches that came along in the 1500's let alone the 1900's, just do not have a logical argument to say they are the "true Church". The vast majority of them do not have alters (a few do, though they have a different understanding of the Sacrifice) and thus have no connection to the earliest Churches. The historical aspect of the Catholic Church really nails it for me. The first reference to "Catholic Church" is in a letter from Ignatius of Antioch in 107 AD. That is pretty far back. Now, try to find a reference for the name of the "Bible Church" you have been attending.


#17

[quote="promethius, post:15, topic:276040"]
1) It's illogical: a book tells you it's right, so it's right, and because it's right, it gets to tell you it's right, so it's right, and because it's right... circular logic. In other words, sola scriptura offers no LOGICAL proof that the Bible should be believed.
2) It makes no sense when divorced from the church: The Catholic Church established the Canon of the New Testament. Using the Bible outside the church is, therefore, an affirmation of the Church's authority to declare the Canon of the New Testament... but to use a Canon which was declared by a church whose authority you reject makes NO logical sense...
3) The confusion it authors is not of God: Sola scriptura has resulted in the fracturing of protestantism into THOUSANDS of denominations... everyone has got their own interpretation... but to quote scripture "God is not the author of confusion." So what DID God do? He established His church on THREE principles, not one: Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterial teaching. When our interpretation of scripture is in error, we Catholics have some other authoritative source to fall back on (rather than fracturing the body of the Church further)

And that's just the three that came off the top of my head!

We are the ONLY Christian church, and all other "churches" are splintered off groups, who share in Christianity only insofar as they maintain what truth they inherited from their Catholic Forebearers. Will those others go to heaven? Perhaps, but it is the will of God to decide, and internal to them... what I do know is that the path to heaven detailed by Christ lies through the Catholic church, and that people who are outside of the church might be saved, but they will be saved IN SPITE OF the fact that they were outside of the church, not because of that fact...

You're darned tootin right you "rushed out of it" if you didn't even bother to ask these questions to your priest, your catechist, a spiritual director, at a retreat, online, or any other of the plethora of sources available to catholics today which could have only been dreamed of thirty years ago!

I strongly suggest you go back and reevaluate your decision, take a look at your "bible church" and really question if it smacks of truth, or if it just "feels good", and take a look at the old testament and see which church forms a continuity of faith... ask yourself, from an old testament perspective, would the God who ordered the temple, the sabbath, the passover, etc, would that God then turn around and form something like that "bible church"... or does the bible church offer only good feelings and nothing of the structure and liturgy that is layed out in richness throughout the scriptures and in historical record?

[/quote]

I'm sorry, but you honestly did not handle this in a mature manner. Further advice, I suggest you do not react this way to anyone in the future who has similar posts. I am not a protestant troll trying to convert Catholics to a Protestant faith. Nowhere did I ever even come close to saying that or state that as my purpose. If you carry yourself that way whenever non-Catholics approach you with sincere questions, I can see why they may gain the wrong impression of Catholics. I commend the previous people for their understanding responses to my post, but I could not help but to sit in shock at your attitude and tone of your reply. I pray you carry on in a more sophisticated and mature manner next time a situation like this comes up. God Bless.


#18

I’m sorry, but you honestly did not handle this in a mature manner. Further advice, I suggest you do not react this way to anyone in the future who has similar posts. I am not a protestant troll trying to convert Catholics to a Protestant faith. Nowhere did I ever even come close to saying that or state that as my purpose. If you carry yourself that way whenever non-Catholics approach you with sincere questions, I can see why they may gain the wrong impression of Catholics. I commend the previous people for their understanding responses to my post, but I could not help but to sit in shock at your attitude and tone of your reply. I pray you carry on in a more sophisticated and mature manner next time a situation like this comes up. God Bless.


#19

[quote="Prayer_Warrior, post:16, topic:276040"]
I'd like to add my 2 cents too, because nothing irritates me more than the implication by other "Bible based" churches that Catholics don't read the Bible, don't love the Bible, don't follow it, whatever. I'm not saying that you are saying that, but many churches make that assertion. I'd like to call to your attention that on any given day, Catholics all over the world are hearing the same Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament letters and Gospel. The Catholic Church is the only church (along with Orthodox, I'm guessing) where there is such a systematic reading of the Bible. As you probably know, if you go to Mass every day for three years, you will have heard the entire bible. The Mass has two sections, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. So, reading and understanding Sacred Scripture is very important to us. Now, if you jump over to "Bob's church" that was started because Bob didn't like what Joe was teaching, you will find you are at the whim of the pastor on the readings. Which leads me to my next point which was touched on earlier. If the Holy Spirit were truly ensuring that one can understand all the scriptures, as some assert, then there would never be any disagreements. But instead there are thousands of protestant churches, all with their different take on the Bible. This is why Sola Scriptura cannot be true. Well, that... and the fact the Bible itself demands that one holds to the Sacred Traditions taught by the Apostles. One might want to ask a Bible only Church what Traditions they are teaching that were taught by the apostles. They usually won't have an answer for that. WHY? Because their church wasn't around back then.... they have no connection to the Apostles. But guess what? The Catholic Church is apostolic! We have our roots in the apostles, which has a historical list of popes that goes back to Peter, whom Jesus appointed as the first leader of His Church (Mt 16:18).

As a side note, I once heard a Catholic historian say that he had visited all the ancient archeological sites of the very earliest Christian Churches. He said they all had one thing in common--- they always had an alter. That really means something, and I hope you take it to heart. Historically speaking, most of these protestant churches that came along in the 1500's let alone the 1900's, just do not have a logical argument to say they are the "true Church". The vast majority of them do not have alters (a few do, though they have a different understanding of the Sacrifice) and thus have no connection to the earliest Churches. The historical aspect of the Catholic Church really nails it for me. The first reference to "Catholic Church" is in a letter from Ignatius of Antioch in 107 AD. That is pretty far back. Now, try to find a reference for the name of the "Bible Church" you have been attending.

[/quote]

Thank you for your reply. It's surprising how much I am learning from you all already, probably more than I ever learned in school in regards to the in-depth stuff. I plan on purchasing the Catholicism and Fundamentalism book along with Defending the Catholic Faith or something like that. Thanks again!


#20

[quote="Tranc7, post:18, topic:276040"]
I'm sorry, but you honestly did not handle this in a mature manner. Further advice, I suggest you do not react this way to anyone in the future who has similar posts. I am not a protestant troll trying to convert Catholics to a Protestant faith. Nowhere did I ever even come close to saying that or state that as my purpose. If you carry yourself that way whenever non-Catholics approach you with sincere questions, I can see why they may gain the wrong impression of Catholics. I commend the previous people for their understanding responses to my post, but I could not help but to sit in shock at your attitude and tone of your reply. I pray you carry on in a more sophisticated and mature manner next time a situation like this comes up. God Bless.

[/quote]

I agree. You seem sincere, and he has broken a forum rule by calling you a troll. Such unseemly behavior can only push people away from the Church by reinforcing stereotypes - and I'm a staunch defender of traditional Catholicism who has been infracted any number of times for vigorous defense of its teachings.

People who are trying to convert do more talking and less listening, like the seventh-day adventist "Samie" or any number of other CARM-sent individuals over the ages.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.