What Makes Catholicism the Only Church?


#1

As some of you already know, I’m a cradle Catholic who was never really serious about the Church and its traditions. I had a personal relationship with God and did my best to lead a decent life, and that was good enough for me.

As I’m trying better to understand the Catholic faith, a question popped into my head: how do Catholics know that their faith is the only one brought forth by God? What if we have it all wrong and the Catholic faith is not righteous with God?


#2

1 Tim 3:15: if I am delayed, you may know how ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and bulwark of Truth.

Matthew 16:18 "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this Rock, I will built My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loose in heaven.

Scripture Reference that Jesus Established an Authoritative Church
scripturecatholic.com/the_church.html

As Catholics, we believe that Jesus establish a Church upon Peter, and the Apostles. Just as the Father in Heaven send Jesus with authority, he too grant his Apostles authority, and this authority was handed down to the bishops as their sucessors. Peter being the first Pope.

The Church has two natures, human and divine. Yes, its members are sinners, and it is also Holy because the Holy Spirit is its Soul. The Church is view as the Bride of Christ as mention in the Book of Revelation, the Bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem. The Church also the Mystical Body of Christ. How do we know this? Well, in the Book of Acts, while Saul was persecuting the Christian Church, Jesus appear to him and said to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me."

In Matthew 16:19, Jesus promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church. He also promised that he will be with us forever. Jesus also promise the Holy Spirit will lead us in all Truths.

The Church, the Catholic Church is the Only One Truth Church of Jesus Christ. There are other Christians who are not members of this Church due to schisms. They themselves contain partial truths, and do not contain the fullness of truth, which the Catholic Church has.

I hope this helps. I trust Jesus will remain his Church, and like in the Book of Revelation, the Church will be made perfect.


#3

It is a foundation of our faith to believe that God gave Moses an oral explanation of the Torah along with the written text. This oral tradition is now essentially preserved in the Talmud and Midrashim. Just as we depend on tradition for the accepted text, vocalization, and translation of the Torah, so must we depend on tradition for its interpretation. The Written Torah cannot be understood without the oral tradition. Hence, if anything, the Oral Torah is the more important of the two. Since the Written Torah appears largely defective unless supplemented by the oral tradition, a denial of the Oral Torah necessarily leads to the denial of the divine origin of the written text as well…

Scripture
I. The Word of God is Transferred Orally
II. Learning through Oral Apostolic Tradition
Matt. 15:3 - Jesus condemns human traditions that void God’s word. Some Protestants use this verse to condemn all tradition. But this verse has nothing to do with the tradition we must obey that was handed down to us from the apostles. (Here, the Pharisees, in their human tradition, gave goods to the temple to avoid taking care of their parents, and this voids God’s law of honoring one’s father and mother.)
2 Thess. 2:5 – Paul yet again refers the Thessalonians to the previous teachings they received from Paul when he taught them orally. These oral teachings are no less significant than the written teachings.
2 Thess. 2:15 - Paul clearly commands us in this verse to obey oral apostolic tradition. He says stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, either by word of mouth or letter. This verse proves that for apostolic authority, oral and written communications are on par with each other. Protestants must find a verse that voids this commandment to obey oral tradition elsewhere in the Bible, or they are not abiding by the teachings of Scripture.

III. Examples of Jesus’ and the Apostles’ Reliance on Oral Tradition
Matt 23:2 - Jesus relies on the oral tradition of acknowledging Moses’ seat of authority (which passed from Moses to Joshua to the Sanhedrin). This is not recorded in the Old Testament.
Jude 9 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of the Archangel Michael’s dispute with satan over Moses’ body. This is not found in the Old Testament.
Jude 14-15 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of Enoch’s prophecy which is not recorded in the Old Testament.
scripturecatholic.com/oral_tradition.html
aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Oral_Tradition.asp

In the case of discussion of the canon, that is a problem that cannot be resolved by the Bible at all, because the Bible never lists its Table of Contents. The canon is logically prior to the Bible, because it determines the extent and specificity of what books are in what we call “the Bible” in the first place. So the “Word of God” doesn’t do much good there, does it? Christian Tradition has to decide. And for a Christian worldview that does not allow for an infallible Tradition, that is a HUGE problem indeed, and at the level of the very fundamentals of Protestantism: you can’t have sola Scriptura if you don’t have a non-circular, non-traditional rationale to determine what the Bible is that is to have sole infallible authority.

authority doesn’t come from a human personality but from the Word of God.
That’s impossible to do (in a practical sense). The book doesn’t interpret itself (though Protestants claim that it does). Furthermore, this “Bible vs. authoritative human beings in the Church” mentality is not the view of the Bible itself, which refers to Church authority and a binding tradition. So (ironically) to claim to be following simply the “Bible Alone” is to land right back into a Catholic notion of ecclesiology and authority. It’s inescapable.

Every Christian tradition is passed down through men. We freely acknowledge this. Protestants want to play the silly game of pretending that you rely on no human authority. You certainly do. I can trace every belief you have back through some theological and/or denominational tradition. It always breaks down at a certain point. The question always reduces to: which Christian tradition has the most plausible claims of authority (because everyone has to choose some humanly-mediated tradition, or their own new tradition-of-one)?

Due to the Protestant experience of effectual calling and belief in the Word of God as sole authority This is a distortion of the classic Protestant understanding of sola Scriptura (and is more accurately described as SOLO Scriptura). In the former conception, Scripture was the sole infallible or ultimate authority, but not the sole authority, period.

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism
The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants
socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/09/importance-of-studying-luther.html


#4

Hi, TheGoodLife,

I’m a convert to Catholicism after over 40 years of evangelical Protestantism.

Take a look at history. The Catholic Church was the first Christian Church.

Try Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley. amazon.com/Church-History-Plain-Language-Updated/dp/0849938619

This book is written by a Protestant. I read it as a Protestant and became convinced that the Catholic Church is the “original” Christian church! It may look long and boring, but it’s really easy to read and interesting.

Now if you’re asking about Christianity vs. other religions, again, it goes back to history. Christianity (along with it’s precursor, Judaism) is the only faith that isn’t based on someone’s personal revelation. Christianity is based on a series of historical events, validated by historians who were not even Christian or Jewish.

Try the book. It’s Protestant, but it will encourage you about your Catholic Church.


#5

Mannyfit75 and Dosdog, both of your posts have left me with a lot of ‘food for thought’. I’ve skimmed over the links within your posts and some of what’s said still isn’t clicking with me, so I’ll read them more thoroughly when I have time. Thank you.


#6

Cat, thanks for the reading material suggestion and I will look into it. I really do enjoy learning about the Catholic faith, but it seems like whenever I find the answer to one question, two more questions pop up! Hopefully I can fully understand and dissect the Catholic faith before I die.


#7

No Prob comes down to who are you going to believe - God did not say to Moses let them read it and figure it out for themselves

The Reformation Attack on the Bible. The deuterocanonicals teach Catholic doctrine, and for this reason they were taken out of the Old Testament by Martin Luther and placed in an appendix without page numbers. Luther also took out four New Testament books—Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation—and put them in an appendix without page numbers as well. These were later put back into the New Testament by other Protestants, but the seven books of the Old Testament were left out. Following Luther they had been left in an appendix to the Old Testament, and eventually the appendix itself was dropped (in 1827 by the British and Foreign Bible Society), To justify this rejection of books that had been in the Bible since before the days of the apostles (for the Septuagint was written before the apostles), the early Protestants cited as their chief reason the fact that the Jews of their day did not honor these books, going back to the council of Javneh in A.D. 90. But the Reformers were aware of only European Jews; they were unaware of African Jews, such as the Ethiopian Jews who accept the deuterocanonicals as part of their Bible. They glossed over the references to the deuterocanonicals in the New Testament, as well as its use of the Septuagint. They ignored the fact that there were multiple canons of the Jewish Scriptures circulating in first century, appealing to a post-Christian Jewish council which has no authority over Christians as evidence that “The Jews don’t except these books.” In short, they went to enormous lengths to rationalize their rejection of these books of the Bible

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life" (Heb. 11:35). There are a couple of examples of women receiving back their dead by resurrection in the Protestant Old Testament. You can find Elijah raising the son of the widow of Zarepheth in 1 Kings 17, and you can find his successor Elisha raising the son of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4, but one thing you can never find—anywhere in the Protestant Old Testament, from front to back, from Genesis to Malachi—is someone being tortured and refusing to accept release for the sake of a better resurrection. If you want to find that, you have to look in the Catholic Old Testament—in the deuterocanonical books Martin Luther cut out of his Bible. The story is found in 2 Maccabees 7, where we read that during the Maccabean persecution

Certain books, such as the gospels, acts, and most of the epistles of Paul had long been agreed upon. However a number of the books of the New Testament, most notably Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Revelation remained hotly disputed until the canon was settled. They are, in effect, "New Testament deuterocanonicals.While Protestants are willing to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage (the councils they most commonly cite) for the canonicity of the New Testament deuterocanonicals, they are unwilling to accept the testimony of Hippo and Carthage for the canonicity of the Old Testament deuterocanonicals. Ironic indeed! ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DEUTEROS.htm


#8

You’ll find many Catholics here try to convince you with reason and logic. Also, with their version of history.

A true relationship with God requires Faith in Jesus and repentance from sins. You can’t just live a decent life. Jesus said love God with all you heart, mind, & soul… AND love everybody like He loved us.


#9

The Bible tells us we must have faith in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6). Yet is faith nothing more than believing and trusting? Searching the Scriptures, we see faith also involves assent to God’s truth (1 Thessalonians 2:13), obedience to Him (Romans 1:5, 16:26), and it must be working in love (Galatians 5:6). These points appeared to be missed by the reformers, yet they are just as crucial as believing and trusting. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) should be heeded by all it’s certainly an attention grabber.

Paul speaks of faith as a life-long process, never as a one-time experience (Philippians 2:12). He never assumes he has nothing to worry about. If he did, his words in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) would be nonsensical. He reiterates the same point again in his second letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:5). He takes nothing for granted, yet all would agree if anyone was “born again” it certainly was Paul. Our Lord and Savior spoke of the same thing by “remaining in Him” (John 15:1-11).

Paul tells us our faith is living and can go through many stages. It never stays permanently fixed after a single conversion experience no matter how genuine or sincere. Our faith can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19), departed from (1 Timothy 4:1), disowned (1 Timothy 5:8) wandered from (1 Timothy 6:10), and missed (1 Timothy 6:21). Christians do not have a “waiver” that exempts them from these verses.

Do our works mean anything? According to Jesus they do (Matthew 25:31-46). The people rewarded and punished are done so by their actions. And our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-20) and words (James 3:6-12) are accountable as well. These verses are just as much part of the Bible as Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:3-5.

Some will object by appealing to Romans 4:3 and stating Abraham was “declared righteous” before circumcision. Thus he was only saved by “believing” faith (Genesis 15:6), not by faith “working in love” (Galatians 5:6). Isn’t this what Paul means when he says none will be justified by “works of law” (Romans 3:28)? No, this is not what he means. He’s condemning the Old Covenant sacrifices and rituals which couldn’t justify and pointing to better things now in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant (Hebrews 7-10). A close examination of Abraham’s life revealed a man of God who did something. In Genesis 12-14 he makes two geographical moves, builds an altar and calls on the Lord, divides land with Lot to end quarrels, pays tithes, and refuses goods from the King of Sodom to rely instead on God’s providence. He did all these works as an old man. It was certainly a struggle. After all these actions of faith, then he’s “declared righteous” (Genesis 15:6). Did these works play a role in his justification? According to the Bible, yes.The Catholic Church has never taught we “earn” our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can’t earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17).

The reformer’s position cannot be reconciled with the Bible. That is why the Catholic Church has taught otherwise for over 1,960 years.
ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/FAWORKS.HTM


#10

Well said, believers remarks are shotdown once agaiin.


#11

If you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God… then REPENT!

John the Baptist said repent.

[LEFT]Mat 3:1-2
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.[/LEFT]

Jesus said repent

[LEFT]Luk 5:32
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Mat 4:12
Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
Mat 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.[/LEFT]

The twelve said repent

[LEFT]Mar 6:7
And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Mar 6:12
And they went out, and preached that men should repent.[/LEFT]

Paul said repent

[LEFT]Act 17:29
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

Act 17:30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
[/LEFT]


#12

The Sacrament of Penance
newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm
christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/healing.html

Catholics do that


#13

The message of repentance in the articles you supplied is buried. It first appears in “Belief and Practice of the Early Church”

Anyway… if you faith in Jesus and have repented… congratulations! you’ve officially joined the true church of God. Now go and love as Jesus commanded. You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and He will guide you. As you read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will help you gain a deeper understanding than you’ve ever had before.


#14

John 15 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. 10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and do abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled. 12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.


#15

Burial or Cremation?


#16

You say this as if it were a BAD thing?? :confused: :eek:

Also, with their version of history.

aka, history itself. Despite what you may want to believe, history is not a subjective matter of your own personal feelings and wishes.

A true relationship with God requires Faith in Jesus and repentance from sins. You can’t just live a decent life. Jesus said love God with all you heart, mind, & soul… AND love everybody like He loved us.

Red herring… nobody ever claimed this was false, so why do you bother mentioning it?


#17

It is bad.

Pro 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

History books are not accurate. They were written by man. The Word of God says let God be true and every man a liar. If you want to trust in history books then you do so at your own risk. The only truth is the Word of God. You guys seem to trust and quote more ECFs like it’s the Gospel.

The RCC does not call sinners to repentance. The RCC calls people to confession and penance. That’s not the same thing as turning away from your sins altogether. The message of repentance is so watered down in the RCC that it seems be non-existent.


#18

forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same. It is called a “sacrament” not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing satisfaction. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, “confession”, and it is said to take place in the “tribunal of penance”, because it is a judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification. Finally, the confession is made not in the secrecy of the penitent’s heart nor to a layman as friend and advocate, nor to a representative of human authority, but to a duly ordained priest with requisite jurisdiction and with the “power of the keys”, i.e., the power to forgive sins which Christ granted to His Church.
newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm


#19

Believers, when was the last time you went to Mass? Each time, everyday, we “Confess to Almighty God that I have sinned through my own fault, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do, and I ask the Blessed Mary ever virgin and all the angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God”

You may not call this “repentance”, but I don’t think that is my fault, that you don’t know the definition of what “repent” is. Please believers, pray for me that I won’t continue to sin. St. Paul said something like, the things I want to do, I don’t, and the things I don’t want to do, I do. I feel the same way. Please pray for me.

Peace,
Kevin


#20

Believers, would you please name one single Protestant on the face of this planet who has turned completely from sin and so needs no further forgiveness?


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