What is real? What should I believe?


#1

I am growing to see that the “deposit of faith” is very important… this faith we have been given is a gift, and must be protected from contamination, because a lie can be believed just as much as the truth. Yes, I must go before the LORD, and He will lead me, but I have been pondering joining the Catholic Church, even though I do not believe in everything they teach simply because they are resolute in their stand against sin and full devotion to Jesus Christ… I am tired of being tossed to and fro with every passing wind. I do not trust the teachers here in America of so-called Christianity, because there are many very dangerous doctrines they teach, acting as if heaven were here on earth, and as if we should all be millionaires, etc., is their portion in this life or the next? Why did Paul say, “that which was gain to me I count as loss for the cause of Christ” ? Many things which the world deems as praiseworthy are abominations to God because it besets a person in their walk with Christ. A child needs a father. A spiritual child needs a spiritual father. I do not want to be left to believe whatever I think the truth is as being true - I’ve seen (well-intentioned) people preaching with “fire” something completely non-biblical (like the rapture). Why doesn’t the “Lord” (they say they know Him) tell them that they are wrong? Maybe the answer is that they do not truly know how to follow the Lord, and many times they mistake their own brains’ thoughts for the Lord’s voice - which is a very dangerous thing. In this case, you can twist the words of Scripture around to fit anything you think it should (to a certain extent) which could cause people to err from the true faith which produces a holy people, zealous for good works, dedicated to marrying Jesus. The problem of following my own thoughts instead of the Lord wouldn’t be a problem if I had a spiritual father who walked in a faith that I could trust (not a johnny-come-lately) that could correct me about certain things. For that, I appreciate the Catholic Church, but I do not like the “extra” wierd doctrines, which are also not proven in the Bible, no matter how many ways they try to see it (just like the western Christianity teachers) the Spirit of God spoke the Scripture (Old Testament), but other spirits also speak words, as well; if it is in disagreement with Scripture, it is not God’s Spirit, and there is only one other kingdom it can come from if it doesn’t come from God - from satan. I do not trust my own understanding, as I see anyone can convince themselves of anything - and people using “the Secret” can bypass the laws of God by falsely prophesying (witchcraft) the thoughts of their mind. Just because what you speak comes to pass DOES NOT make it from God. No matter even if an angel comes and speaks to me, or a sign is shown, if it is intended to make me break Scripture and worship some other God, it is NOT God; I do not follow signs, I follow truth - signs follow ME. I am not a mindless beast that needs signs, I have intelligence, and that is where God wants to meet me - with words.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5
1IF A prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2And the sign or the wonder he foretells to you comes to pass, and if he says, Let us go after other gods–gods you have not known–and let us serve them,

3You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being.

4You shall walk after the Lord your God and [reverently] fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cling to Him.

5But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has talked rebellion and turning away from the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage; that man has tried to draw you aside from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So shall you put the evil away from your midst.

Signs point people to Jesus - what then? I find the western church utterly lacking in the necessary truths to bring the Christian to full maturity of the faith… whereas in the Catholic church, there is 2,000 years of teaching, of questioning, of practice in bringing saints from being babies to full maturity. I desire to walk in maturity; I don’t want to be a “baby” any longer. You have there the Franciscans, you have nuns, and many other vocations: people who walk closely (in fidelity) with Jesus and will not be tossed with “every wind of doctrine”, and who, in the day of testing, will stand, and afterward, receive a full reward. All I want is to withstand the time of testing that is coming to try “all those who dwell upon the earth” and to be found standing in faith when Jesus Christ returns Luke 18:8. I want to know God’s ways and walk in them - and I am afraid of my lack of understanding of them.


#2

We believe in the truths of our Catholic faith because they are REAL. The truths of our faith are not real BECAUSE we believe. Just because a person believes something doesn’t make what they believe TRUE. The most important truth of our faith St. Paul tells us is the FACT of the resurrection of Christ.

It appears the Lord is giving you grace to acknowledge there is a deposit of the faith that was entrusted - and wants to lead you to fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church.


#3

Please remember that the Bible came after the Church. The Bible is a collection of the writings the Catholic Church determined were inspired and that could be read at mass. That same Bible promises that the gates of hades will not prevail against the Church. The Bible was not intended to be a complete compendium of Christian doctrine. I sure someone else will respond much more fully and completely. From my study I do not find any Catholic doctrine to be in conflict with the Bible.

Peace
Mark


#4

Well, thanks anyways, guys, but co-Mediatrix and queen of the kingdom of the heavens, etc., I cannot profess faith in, seeing how it has not come about as the fulfillment of a single prophecy in the scriptures, whereas Jesus’ being savior, where he was to be born, what he was to be, when he was going to be born, what he would accomplish, that fact that he would perform miracles, the fact that he was to be*** as Moses ***was (as God to the people Ex 7:1 + Ex 18:15 + Zech 12:8 = John 1:21) but as for any belief concerning Mary, I see no Scripture which has foretold it.

However, that being said, I have discovered the true heart of God by His mercy and grace on my life:
Isaiah 58
I thank my God, and will thank Him for ever. I will live with God for ever :crying: :heaven: (I don’t deserve it; He is just that good, to give me the gift of heaven) whoever prayed for me, thank you very much, thank You Jesus, too!


#5

Hi, Dan1el.

The deposit of Faith is not restricted to the Bible. We also have Sacred Tradition (the teachings of the Apostles that did not make it into the Bible) and the definitive teachings of the Magisterium. (Not all teachings are definitive.)

You will find that nothing in Tradition or the definitive teachings contradicts the Bible. Yes, there are some teachings that are not clearly spelled out in the Bible - but there are hints.

Mary as “co-mediatrix” is, so far, not a definitive teaching. What is taught is that she is “co-redemptrix.” When you examine it, you’ll find that all this means is that she cooperated in our redemption by saying “yes” to being the one who gave birth to our Redeemer.

Mary as Queen of Heaven is hinted at in the Old Testament.

Beginning with David, and continuing through Kings and Chronicles, the title of Queen was given to the mother of the King, not one of his wives or concubines.

“So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right.” 1 Kings 2:19 (RSV)

Solomon’s mother is seated at his right hand – the position of honor and power. (Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.)

“And also Maachah his mother, even her he [Asa the king] removed from being queen, because…” 1 Kings 15:13 (KJV) also see 2 Chron 15:16.

“So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he began to reign… His mother’s name was Athaliah… He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.” 2 Chron 22:1-3 (RSV)

Lists of Kings of the Tribes, all containing the mention “his mother’s name was…”

1 Kings 11:26, 14:21, 22:42
2 Kings 8:26, 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, 15:33, 18:2, 21:1, 21:19, 22:1, 23:31, 23:36, 24:8, 24:18
2 Chron 12:13, 13:2, 20:31, 24:1, 25:1, 26:3, 27:1, 29:1
Jer 52:1

So you can see that in Davidic tradition, the “ruling” Queen was always the King’s mother.

Naming Mary as Queen of Heaven agrees with this!

Hope this helps. I studied Mary pretty thoroughly before I joined the Church, because I felt the same way you do.

God bless you,

Ruthie


#6

Yes, but if she is the queen, she cannot also be the new Eve, because Eve is Adam’s WIFE. So, actually, how can she be both? she is not the new eve, because she is the mother of Jesus. that would be wierd, man.


#7

daniel from talking with Protestants it seems they all have a problem with understanding symbolism. Yes, Eve was Adam’s wife but by saying Mary is the new Eve does not imply that she must be married to the new Adam. There is symbolism here that must be interpreted. It does not mean that Eve was brought back again and made out to be Mary. Mary is the “New Eve” and is not the same as the “Old Eve” So in this case you can say that the “New Eve” is not the wife of the “New Adam” but rather his mother.

Now this is just my opinion but this thought came into my mind which is pure speculation but perhaps Mary as the “New Eve” had to be a mother rather then a wife to make the decision to accept God’s will rather than disobey.


#8

There are the gospels and the commandments of love, and the Sacraments, and the centrality of the Eucharist…and if we live in these then we live true Catholicity


#9

And I would add to that - if you love Jesus, you will love Mary. :slight_smile:


#10

Actually, if you want to know where the wife comes from, you have to understand that Adam’s wife was WITHIN him when he was first created.
Secondly, he lived with his wife in himself for a while, because he named all the animals that were created by God first before it was seen that none of the animals were suitable to be his helpmeet. Finally, he was put to sleep and then his wife was taken “out of his side”, and his wife was “bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh”.
Compare to Jesus:

  1. Jesus had his bride within Him. John 3:29
  2. Jesus lived for a while working together with his Father on earth (like Adam).
  3. Last, Jesus died (like Adam, who was put to sleep, which in the new testament, dying is called “Sleeping”) and he was stabbed in his side and water and blood came out. Out of this, God makes the church J 19:34, 1 J 5:6, 5:8, which, the Church being his wife/bride (herself being the New Eve) which is substantiated by Scripture Eph 5:22-25.

As far as mother Mary being my mother, yes she is my mother, for none has left mother brother, sister, houses, lands for the Gospel’s sake in this life without receiving 100 times as much back - with persecution - Mark 10:29-30: this is what we see fulfilled when John was told by Jesus, “Behold, your mother!” John 19:27 (he received many times more mothers, having left all to follow Jesus; however, besides Mary, he, you, and I, will receive many more mothers, brothers and sisters if we truly forsake all to follow Christ, for those who follow His commands are truly our brothers, mothers and sisters Mark 3:31-35.) But we must understand that with God, there is no respect of persons (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Col. 3:25, James 2:1, 2:9, 1 P 1:17); God only respects principles (whether or not you obey His word and love that truth 2 Th. 2:10), which is why Jesus, even though he was a son, suffered through the things which he obeyed Hebrews 5:8 - God respects only principle, not persons.
Jesus is Messiah, but not one teaching has come through the Scriptures to substantiate this claim that we should venerate the woman, Mary. If you want to know how important the Scriptures are, consider Jesus’ usage of them in overcoming the devil Matt 4:4-10, that Jesus charted His course according to them Matt 26:54, Ps 19:5, Ps 119 - Jesus knew that to abide WITHIN the command of God was eternal life John 12:50. Jesus makes a point of describing the blessing that comes from abiding in the Scriptures (old testament) when He says that if any scribe (of the Old Testament) were to be converted (as we see in Paul the Apostle - who wrote the majority of what is called the New Testament - was) that they took out of their treasure “both things new and old” Matt 13:52.

How many times in the New Testament does it say “it is written” or “this happened in order to fulfill” ? I’m not going to count them, but you get the point: Scripture (at that time, nothing but the old testament Scripture existed) is Spirit-breathed, and it is the truth 1 J 5:6. We do not immediately understand the fulness of the Spirit unless and until we are transfigured Romans 12:2 by the renewing of our minds (renewing it according to the same Spirit that lives within us by the words which that Spirit had beforehand spoken, so that we can understand who we truly are - what our identities are in Christ) - by the washing of the water of the Word Eph 5:26, and without the Word, there is NO sanctification John 17:17, Acts 20:32 of the soul.

So, I ask myself, before I put my faith in something, “Where is it written?” :

  1. **"The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
  • Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so*." - Acts 17:10,11**
  1. “Test all things, keep (only) that which is good” - 1 Th 5:21
    and I would ask myself, “Does this truth sanctify me, is it useful for bringing me closer to God?”

However, I DO NOT judge you or hold anything against any of you guys if you don’t believe what I believe; you are my beloved brothers, and I am just here looking for answers. We’re all learning - none of us knows it all except God, and we’re not SUPPOSED to know it all (only the Father knows all); I would just like to find someone who has TRULY learned of the Scriptures to be a father to me in the Spirit… who is open to considering that perhaps they are wrong about something from time to time.

As far as loving Mary, I would love her because it says if I love God, I would love those who are born of God - and the definition of those who are born of God is: those who believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. All of this can be referenced in 1 J 4:20 - 5:1-2.

Thanks, I actually learn stuff as I talk to you guys. lol


#11

:shrug: You say that, but then reject any answers that don’t mesh with your own personal interpretation of the Scriptures.


#12

I do not judge you, regardless of what you believe, but that doesn’t mean that I have to believe everything you believe, just because I don’t judge you. I am looking for answers, but like it says, “test all things, keep that which is good.” 1 Th 5:21


#13

Dan1el, you’re making this too complicated!

If Eve had not disobeyed God, sin and death would not have entered the world.

If Mary had not said yes to God, our Reedemer would not have entered the world.

That’s why Mary is the New Eve.

God bless you,

Ruthie


#14

Eve was not the only one - Adam also disobeyed. Eve was deceived; Adam willfully disobeyed.
Actually, I will not be told “God said” when He didn’t; it is dangerous to label something “God” when it is not.

However, if you want to know VERY CLEARLY to whom Eve pertains, only read 2 Cor 11:3
"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.“
He, once again, compares the church (here, the individual members of the church, as a corporate body) to Eve; not Mary. How many times has the New Testament clearly portrayed the CHURCH as the bride, that is, Eve? Mary is a member of the Body of Christ, Christ being the head:
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1 Cor 11:3
Here it mentions various authorities:
1 - God, the head (authority/covering) of Christ
2 - Christ, the head (authority/covering) of men
3 - Men, the head (authority/covering) of women
Mary is not mentioned as having any authority here; she is a member of the Body of Christ, a member of the collective/corporate body of Christ; which altogether, makes up His bride - those who must be intimate with the truths He espouses. He gets the vision from the Father and we follow His guidance. A mind has a vision; according to that vision, the body moves, according to the signals the mind sends to the various parts of the body:
”…and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God." Col 2:19
so when we act, it should be under the authority of the mind, Christ, who obtains His directions from the Father. Mary is not included here nor in any other place, as being someone I should follow. If I love Jesus, I have fulfilled the two greatest commandments, seeing as He is God and Man: love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength - and love your neighbor as yourself.


#15

Every time someone tries to tell you what the Catholic Church teaches and why, you respond by rejecting it and throwing all sorts of Scripture proof-texts back at them. I don’t see any sign that you are “looking for answers”. :rolleyes:


#16

There are, however, many good teachings which the Catholic church espouses, which I appreciate. Among them is the fact that they do NOT believe in the false teaching of the “rapture” (the way a large part of the “Protestant” Christian church teaches here in North America, falsely.) Also is “all things that were gain to me I count as loss” Philip 3:7 through poverty, and restrictions in living Luke 16:25; Rev 18:14, as opposed to what some people are teaching nowdays, according to 1 Tim 6:10… it is scary how people** warp **the Scriptures in some places by giving teachings on how to get houses and lands and material goods (based on a twisted interpretation of Matthew 19:29) but neglect the greater treasures - mothers, brothers and sisters - that it mentions in the very same verse of Scripture. Then they claim they have the spirit of Elijah - the Elijah who rejected such things 2 Kings 5:26.
If we were to follow Christ as Paul followed Christ, we would not have material goods to prove we were truly disciples; we would have marks of scourgings and lashes, churches built, and spiritual maturity (no hypocrisy, envy, vain glory, wrath, etc.,); not material goods. I understand that God blesses those who follow Him when they have His character, but only because He can trust us to do with those things as He would do on the earth.
Basically, what I am saying is that I test everything and hold to that which is good, regardless of the source - no matter what church, pastor, preacher, etc. - and I do it for my own good… I do not judge the person, I’m just protecting myself, you get me? I am going to be judged on what I let myself believe.

Like it says, and like common sense will tell you: “Test all things, keep that which is good” 1 Th 5:21

Right, my sister? :slight_smile:


#17

Daniel it seems to me that you are not looking for answers. It seems you already have all the answers you want, meaning your own interpretations, and just want to argue with others why you think yourself to be right.

The Church defines scripture and anything pertaining to the faith, not our own private interpretation. We do not pick and choose what we want to believe. We believe in the one and only Truth established by the Church filled with the Holy Spirit.


#18

I see what you’re getting at Dan. As a person currently converting to the Catholic Church I still have some issues with some of the practices of Marian devotion. I can’t bring myself to say 150 Hail Mary’s and get weirded out by some other prayers to her. My relationship with God is what matters most, but I cannot turn away from the Church because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is Christ’s Church and He does indeed dwell within in it through the Holy Eucharist.

I have come to believe in some Catholic truths about Mary in the Bible by (I believe) the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is a very special Lady worthy of praise above all others. In Luke 1 when She visited Elizabeth while she was pregnant with Our Lord Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit simply at the sound of HER voice, in the Spirit Elizabeth proclaimed the blessedness of our Mother and proclaimed “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should visit me.” Her statement “Who am I” says to me that the presence of Mary is extremely special.
Elizabeth also says “Blessed are you among Women and Blessed is the Fruit of you Womb.” She uses the same word to describe both Beings. Of course Christ is infinitely more blessed that She.

Mary then says in the Magnificat, “Behold from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me.” Who else treats Mary as Blessed and as if great things have been done for Her than the Catholic Church? During my years in Protestant churches the most I heard about Mary was the Christmas story and that we shouldn’t worship Her, Her purpose was fulfilled when Christ started His ministry. How is that calling Mary blessed? What great things did God do for Mary if Her purpose was only to conceive Him in disgrace as an unmarried Woman, travel for miles pregnant on a donkey, give birth in a stinky barn, and then raise the Boy only to let Him go and have Him turn His back on Her (so the protestants would have you believe.)

Remember also that at the Presentation in the Temple in Luke Simeon says a sword will pierce Mary, there is deep meaning in this that should not be overlooked. And at the Crucifixion scene in John when Christ gave His Mother to John and John to the Mother. That this was done from the Cross denotes much meaning.

What I have come across in my readings is that scholars of the Church do regard the Church as the new Eve. I don’t believe that it is Catholic dogma that Mary herself is the new Eve.
But she can be looked at as being the incarnation of the Church. The perfect spotless bride of God the Holy Spirit, the Church in the Flesh. So in that sense she is Eve, the Church in the Flesh, as Christ is Adam, God in the Flesh.

I suggest the book “Mary the Church at the Source” by the Cardinal Ratzinger and Hans Urs Von Balthasar for some very deep insights into Mary. It is heavy reading but very much worth it.


#19

Many people do not realize the importance of Mary and that is a shame because it is to their detriment. It is true that Mary is not God, nor is Mary anything near what God is, but Mary has a special place that no other human can claim. She is the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God. If you read through the Bible, you will see that Jesus always listens to his Mother. He never once denies her in anyway. Even when he did not want to do something, if she asked, he would do it. Remember, God is eternal and does not change his nature. Since Jesus is God, he too is eternal and his nature does not change. Logically speaking then, the relationship that Jesus has with Mary would not change in Heaven either. Jesus always listens to Mary but, Mary always does His will so in affect it is Jesus who is doing his own will because Mary’s will and Jesus’ are always the same as each other.

Now another interesting point is this. Jesus is God so while it is of course possible for us as humans to approach Jesus, it is not so easy. We are sinners and unworthy of salvation. So it is easier for us to go to Mary because she can intercede on our behalf to Jesus. It can only help us.


#20

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