Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics Worship Idols

Bread From Heaven: On my post Where Does Scripture Say Mary Was Sinless? I made the oft repeated comment: “The Catholic Faith does not contradict anything in Scripture.” To this Erica replied:

Erica: How about IDOLATRY…?

Go and continue worshiping your godly images and let’s see how far you will go…

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, IDOL WORSHIPERS, and all liars–their fate is in the FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. This is the SECOND DEATH.”
Revelation 21:8

HAHAHAHA!!!

Bread From Heaven: Since I had just made a presentation to all of our confirmation students just last Sunday I decided to make my talk into one more post on this topic:

Does the Catholic Church worship Idols?

Protestants say we do. Where do they get this idea?

TEN COMMANDMENTS
First Commandment

Exodus 20:You must not have any other god but me.You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them

Therefore, many Protestants criticize Catholics because we have pictures and statues in our Churches and our homes. Most Protestants never have these in their churches because they think they are idols. They take this very seriously.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind…

Protestants are very sincere, BUT…are they right?
No, they are forgetting some very important Bible verses where God told Moses to place in the Temple, in the very presence of God, in the Holy of Holies:

2 ANGELS of hammered gold …their wings spread upward..The angels are to face each other..-Ex. 25:18-20

So, God Himself wanted  images of “things in Heaven” in the Tabernacle

And did you know God told Solomon to decorate the Temple with images of things in Heaven and Earth?

600 Pomegranates, Lilies, Gourds, 12 Bulls, Lions, Angels, Palm Trees, and Golden Flowers

And it stood upon twelve oxen, of which three looked towards the north, and three towards the west, and three towards the south, and three towards the east, and the sea was above upon them, and their hinder parts were all hid within.–I Kings 7:18-46

And then we have the incident where the children of Israel were bitten by fiery serpents and …

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Obviously, God has not forbidden art because He commanded specific kinds of art to decorate the Temple and to save the Israelites from snakebites. He just didn’t want us to Worship these things

“You must not bow down to them or worship them”

Why does the Catholic Church have Art in Churches? I can think of 5 reasons.

1. Pictures and statues are like family photos in our houses of worship only we have images of the Family of God.

Doesn’t every house have family pictures?

2. As an aid to prayer and to keep us focused.

3. To remind us of those who set an example of heroic Christian living.

4. As reminders of Stories of Faith; to teach our children when a child asks, “Who is that?”

5. To tell the stories of our Faith to all the generations in the last 2000 years when Bibles were too expensive for individuals to own and most people could not read anyway. Did you know, even today 20% of the world population cannot read? But everyone can understand art.

But Protestants will say, “The Bible says: You must not bow down to them or worship them….”

Therefore, Protestants reason, since Catholics have images in their churches and they kneel or bow to them, Catholics worship images and commit idolatry!

So, Protestants think this kneeling is Idolatry?

.

.<–But not this

.

.

Or this–>

……….or this–>

Is President Obama worshiping the Emperor of Japan?

No! He was merely honoring him.

Why do Protestants think only Catholic kneeling is Idolatry?

Simple. Because their leaders have taught them that Catholics worship idols. Protestants trust their leaders and so when they visit a Catholic Church and see statues and pictures with people kneeling in front of them they jump to the conclusion that they are actually seeing modern day idolatry.

They do not question this judgement because they have been taught that this is true. They fail to recognize that they are unable to know the heart and mind of the kneeling person and therefore their judgement may, very well be, uncharitable. They don’t mean to be uncharitable…..But…..

They are simply WRONG!

We bow and kneel in order to honor Mary and the Saints. We do NOT worship them. The Catholic Church condemns the worship of anyone except God, the Holy Trinity!

There is nothing wrong with art in our Churches

Because God Himself commanded Moses to decorate the Jewish Temple with images of:

Things in Heaven–>Angels

and

Things on Earth–>Plants and Animals

The idea that all kneeling is, without question, Worship, is absurd.

If all kneeling =Worship then:

A Knight kneeling to a king is worshiping him.

A little girl kneeling by her bed is worshiping the bed…

A boy kneeling by a Bible and baseball glove is worshiping them.

.

When God said: You must not make …an image of any kind or …bow down …or worship them…

He did not mean all images are idols and all kneeling is worship.

He simply meant : Don’t worship anything or anyone but ME.

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42 Responses to Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics Worship Idols

  1. SR says:

    I am a Convert to the Church. I did a post on the same thing at: CatholicHappiness.wordpress.com. For some reason some are having a hard time getting to me so go to http://en.wordpress.com/tag/catholic. Look for my avatar and this will get you to my blog. Also are some of my struggles coming into the Church your class may find helpful. They do not understand (such as Erica. They do not know and it is confusing for Protestants at times. As far as “See how far you get” Since when does God give to us the right to get anyone, anywhere. God Bless, SR

  2. SR says:

    Thank you. I am trying to help a Mormon who is trying to come into the Church, who is really having a struggle. Do you mind if I refer them to your blog? I know what I know, but I do not teach RCIA and I think a fresh view might help. SR

  3. cinhosa says:

    I am a convert to Catholicism in 2000. My experiences in church growing up were Lutheran and ecumenical / non-denominational Christian.

    I totally agree that most of the Protestants are not educated on the teachings of the Church. Further, Protestant tradition often teaches that Catholics are unfaithful, are ritualistic, do not read the Bible, etc.

    Before I became Catholic, I felt uncomfortable the 2 or 3 times I was in a Catholic church – for many reasons – statues of Mary, incense, giant crucifixes, kneeling, group recitation of prayers, etc.

    It was only through the gift of RCIA that I learned the meanings behind the symbols of our faith. For non-Catholics who read this and want more information, perhaps they could visit: http://www.beginningcatholic.com/ ?

    Finally, I enjoyed the cross references to scripture. It’s always fun Sola Scriptura contradicts assertions by Protestant leadership. :)

  4. SR says:

    Hey Cinhosa, Thanks for that address and I forgot about you:>)))))) lol I think I will tell my friend to hopefully give you a glance also. You know how hard the struggle is. Thanks

  5. SR says:

    Oh forgot what is your address so he can find you?

  6. Your Intrepid Blogger says:

    A wonderful exposition of the Catholic position on images — and also of the Orthodox! We also have images and kneeling before them, but we also repudiate the worship of anyone or anything but Almighty God. Thank you for this excellent post!

  7. SR says:

    Thanks Chinosa. I will give. Gave the address for the Catholic beginners and got comment today that they liked. Thanks again. SR

  8. As we are parts of one body in Christ must we also love one another as St Paul wrote. We can’t live without each other. We are more than brother and sister in Christ as St Paul said but we are a Church. A community of people that worship together. So the people that have gone before who died for Christ and did good deeds should not be honoured? They shouldn’t be emulated for their simple acts of kindness? This is utterly wrong and of the Devil. He wants us divided into little Denominations to weaken us. God as our father, Mary as Jesus commanded as our mother and Jesus as our brother and the Holy Spirit as the Power of God. They are family. Everybody that has ever lived from Adam and Eve to now is part of the family of God. Jesus said to love your neighbor as well as your enemy. He meant you to love everyone and pray for everyone. To respect everyone. If you love, God lives in you and you in God. DO NOT DOUBT BUT BELIEVE!

  9. Andrew says:

    A DISTINCTION WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE
    “In fact, the distinction between latria and dulia, as they called them, was invented in order that divine honors might seem to be transferred with impunity to angels and the dead. For it is obvious that the honor the papists give to the saints really does not differ from the honoring of God. Indeed, they worship both God and the saints indiscriminately, except that, when they are pressed, they wriggle out with the excuse that they keep unimpaired for God what is due him because they leave latria to him. But since the thing itself, not the word, is in question, who can permit them to make light of this most important of all matters?

    But — to pass over this also — their distinction in the end boils down to this: they render honor [cultus] to God alone, but undergo servitude [servitium] for the others. For latreia, among the Greeks means the same thing as cultus among the Latins; douleia properly signifies servitus; and yet in Scripture this distinction is sometimes blurred. But suppose we concede it to be unvarying. Then we must inquire what both words mean: douleia is servitude; latreia, honor. Now no one doubts that it is greater to be enslaved than to honor. For it would very often be hard for you to be enslaved to one whom you were not unwilling to honor. Thus it would be unequal dealing to assign to the saints what is greater and leave to God what is lesser. Yet many of the old writers used this distinction. What, then, if all perceive that it is not only inept but entirely worthless?
    Source: Calvin’s Institutes, 1:12:2

  10. Andrew says:

    Where is the evidence from the NT that indicates that the early Christians used images in their worship? Where is the scriptural evidence that God only condemns the worship of images in themselves but allows his people to bow down before them in order to adore him and venerate his saints?

    When the people of Israel were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai, and Moses was delayed on the mountain, they demanded a visible representation of God. When Aaron produced the golden calf, the people acclaimed the appearance of their God: “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32 NAB) They knew that the Lord God had delivered them from the slavery in Egypt, and accepted the newly-formed image as a representative of their powerful Redeemer. Evidently Aaron shared their belief because he went on to build an altar and proclaim a feast “to the LORD (Yahweh)”.

    Immediately after those events, the Bible records God’s intense displeasure with his people because they worshipped “his” image. He had told them not to bow down before statues – how could they delude themselves in thinking that they would please God by contradicting his will?

    The Israelites were not permitted to fashion images of those or any other manifestation of God, and bow down before them. To emphasize this prohibition, God did not appear in any visible form when he established the covenant with Israel in the wilderness so that they will not be tempted to make a graven image of him (see Deuteronomy 4:15, 16).

    So, the incarnation of the Son – the ultimate revelation of God to us – does not justify the making of graven images of God incarnate or bowing down before them. On the contrary, since God has perfectly revealed himself in Christ, and since it pleased God to reveal his Son in the Word, we ought to be content with that knowledge rather than create an imaginary image of our Lord.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Where in scripture does it prove that I have to show scripture for Catholic beliefs? No where.

  12. Excuse me Anonymous commenter….

    You want a passage that shows that Christians should only believe what is taught in the pages of Scripture? Here is one…2 Tim. 16-17 which says:

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

    Is teaching the marian doctrines, papal infallibility, and the veneration of images/saints a “good work”?

    If you say no then why would anyone teach these?

    If you say yes then Scripture must clearly teach these in Scripture. But, as your comment suggests they are not taught in Scripture. Your faith is not in God but rather in a false church. I pray that God opens your eyes to the truth of HIs Word.

    Travis (anotherchristianblog.org)

  13. bfhu says:

    Travis: You want a passage that shows that Christians should only believe what is taught in the pages of Scripture? Here is one…2 Tim. 16-17 which says:

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”


    Bread From Heaven:
    We Catholics agree with the verse you quoted. But, if you read it carefully it asserts that all scripture is God breathed and profitable. Absolutely! But the verse says nothing about the Sola Scriptura doctrine that ONLY what is found in Scripture may be believed by a Christian. Also, at the time this was written the only Scriptures were the Old Testament scriptures.St. Paul was not refering to the New Testament b/c it did not exist at the time he wrote this epistle.

    Travis:
    Is teaching the marian doctrines, papal infallibility, and the veneration of images/saints a “good work”?

    Bread From Heaven: Yes, teaching the Truth about the Gospel could be considered a good work.

    Travis:
    If you say no then why would anyone teach these?

    Bread From Heaven:
    Because it is historically true.

    Travis: If you say yes then Scripture must clearly teach these in Scripture.

    Bread From Heaven:
    Why? This is just a Protestant Tradition of men. It cannot be found in Scripture. No where does any scripture command or assert that all religious truth must be found in scripture alone.

    Travis: But, as your comment suggests they are not taught in Scripture. Your faith is not in God but rather in a false church.

    Bread From Heaven:
    How is your harsh judgement called for? How can you possibly know my Church is false? It is the Church founded by Jesus Christ. So, I prefer it to ones founded by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Chuck Smith, etc a mere 40 to 500 years ago. The Catholic Church is the only church that dates back to the apostles. Why would anyone not want to be in the Church Jesus built on the Rock?

    Travis: I pray that God opens your eyes to the truth of HIs Word.

    Bread From Heaven:
    One can always use prayers. Thanks.

  14. BFH: Also, at the time this was written the only Scriptures were the Old Testament scriptures.St. Paul was not refering to the New Testament b/c it did not exist at the time he wrote this epistle.

    Travis: So Paul didn’t know that he was writing Scripture? Paul wasn’t aware of any of the NT texts? How can you prove this?

    Notice that when I quote a verse saying that the Scriptures are used to teach every good work you simply say that the NT didn’t exist. But the NT never speaks about the doctrines that you call part of the “Gospel”.

    Also BFH can you seriously trace back the Roman Catholic Church back to the apostles? What about the fact that the Church had 3 Popes at one time? What about the fact that in Acts 15: 7-21 James is the clear leader of the Jerusalem Council? If Peter was the first pope then we why wouldn’t we see him leading the council in Scripture?

    Travis

  15. bfhu says:

    Dear Travis,

    I don’t know that St. Paul was aware he was writing scripture when he wrote letters to the churches. There is no evidence that he knew he was writing sacred scripture equal to and surpassing the Pentateuch. In his humility, I doubt it very much.

    The apostles wrote their gospels decades after Jesus’ death and the books that we now consider infallible were not finally canonized for 400 years after the birth of Jesus. The pilgrims landed in America about 400 years ago to give you an idea how long it took for Scripture to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

    So, early churches had no Bible as we know it today. And probably most churches, if they possessed any scrolls that were eventually canonized, also had scrolls of letters and writings that were NOT later canonized. And most churches did not possess all of the books that were eventually considered biblical.

    Notice that I do not dispute what II Tim. says about teaching what is profitable. You were contending that scripture does indeed teach scripture alone. Here is what you said:

    Travis: You want a passage that shows that Christians should only believe what is taught in the pages of Scripture? Here is one…2 Tim. 16-17

    You have now pretended that you quoted the verse to show :

    Travis: “Scriptures are used to teach every good work”

    I absolutely agree with your quote above. So, now are you admitting that the scriptures do not command, teach, or support the doctrine of sola scriptura?

  16. bfhu says:

    Dear Travis,

    Travis: Also BFH can you seriously trace back the Roman Catholic Church back to the apostles?

    Bread From Heaven: Yes

    Travis:What about the fact that the Church had 3 Popes at one time?

    Bread From Heaven:
    Catholics are not immune from sin, pride, factionalism, and desire for power, unfortunately. But only one of the popes is recognized as authentic. That was just one ploy of Satan to send the Church into confusion and division. But, it ultimately failed.

    Travis: What about the fact that in Acts 15: 7-21 James is the clear leader of the Jerusalem Council?

    Bread From Heaven: That is a Protestant interpretation motivated to discredit Peter as the leader of the Church.

    Travis:If Peter was the first pope then we why wouldn’t we see him leading the council in Scripture?

    Bread From Heaven: We do see Peter leading the Council of Jerusalem. Of course, this is a Catholic interpretation.

    Acts 15 the first Church Council:
    A dispute arose between Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity regarding the necessity of circumcision for Christian converts. So, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to have the dispute settled. This is the first Council of the Church at Jerusalem. It is discussed with much passion. Finally, Peter stood up and proclaimed his decision that circumcision was not necessary. End of discussion.

    No wonder all were silent. This was astounding!!! Peter, had decreed that the ancient Mosaic law of circumcision was no longer binding. He had already removed the ancient Jewish dietary laws of the Old Covenant. But no one challenged him. Why? Because everyone knew Jesus had appointed him as the chief of the apostles.

    Then Paul and Barnabas related what signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles. Then, after this James, takes the decision of Peter and makes it specific and gives detail regarding how it is to be followed by the Church.

    We know from Church History that St. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem and as Acts 21:15-25 describes, he was concerned for Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who felt their ancient customs threatened by the great number of Gentile converts. This background explains why St. James made the later remarks at the council and asked Gentiles to respect certain Jewish practices.

    This is exactly how things are still done today. When the Pope, or even a Church council make a decision, bishops may request minor changes that are necessary for the culture they are shepherding. Because, there are differences between cultures and what works in Rome may not correlate to Africa, for instance. These requests may or may not be approved. So, Peter the Pope made the decision and James the bishop of Jerusalem applied it to his local church.

    Also, Paul submits his teaching to him and the other apostles in Jerusalem in:

    Galations 2:1-2 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

  17. To say that Peter was the head of that council shows me that you are simply following Sola Ecclesia. If the Church tells you it is true then its true. Of course, how could you ever prove that the popes of the past were always teaching infallibly? You simply trust that instead of the God breathed Scriptures.

    • bfhu says:

      I trust the Church. You trust your interpretation of scripture. I know for a fact that individuals are not able to interpret infallibly b/c if the Holy Spirit actually helped each reader of scripture to infallibly interpret it we would not have the factions and divisions in Protestantism in spite of Jesus’ explicit desire that “all be ONE.” Jesus seemed to be guaranteeing infallibility to the pope and leaders of the Church when He gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom and the power to bind and loose to all the apostles. I KNOW I’m not infallible but if you trust in yourself…OK.

  18. bfhu says:

    No. Jesus only gave Peter the keys of the kingdom. This corresponds to an office a king gives to his 2nd in command to guard and make decisions in the absence of the King.(Is 22:20-24)

    The power to bind and loose (a Hebrew idiom meaning authority to rule) was conferred only on Peter in the Mt. 16 passage. But, as I mentioned above all the disciples seem to be given the power to bind and loose in Mt 18. Which is what they do have the authority to do in their diocese. But Peter and the Pope, have the authority to bind and loose for the whole Church.

    • So, the Bible records for us where Jesus says he will give the keys of the kingdom but doesn’t record for us where they were actually handed over? Isn’t the rational response that Jesus gave all the apostles the keys since keys are needed to bind and loose?

      Honestly, if the Roman Catholic Church didn’t define that only Peter received the “keys” would anyone reading Scripture come to this conclusion?

    • April says:

      Where does it say Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom?

      • bfhu says:

        Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      • April says:

        April: Jesus was talking about Himself in that passage. The “rock” He was referring to was Him, not Peter. The name Peter (Gk., Petros) means “rock” or “rock-man.” In the next phrase Christ used petra (upon this rock), a feminine form for “rock,” not a name. Yeshua used a play on words. He does not say “upon you, Peter” or “upon your successors,” but “upon this rock”—upon this divine revelation and profession of faith in Christ.

        Bread From Heaven: That is a Protestant Interpretation in order to avoid the plain meaning of the passage as giving Peter the Keys and founding His Church on Peter as the head of the apostles. But if “This Rock” refers to Jesus why didn’t He say I will found my Church on Me? And why did He change Simon’s name to Peter? Was He trying to be confusing?
        Most scholars say the Jesus spoke Aramaic. In that language there is just one word for Rock–Cephas or Kepha which we see Peter called in other NT passages. In Greek Petros and Petras were synomyms by the time of Jesus and the Apostles. The Gospel writer did not want Jesus to give a man a girl’s name so the ending was changed to masculine. That is really all there is to it. Plus, if the This refers to Peter’s confession which is the traditional Protestant interpretation, it would be grammatically so confusing as to make pronouns useless. The pronoun “this” is in verse 18. Peter’s confession is in verse 16. That is two verses, three sentences and seven nouns away.

        16: Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.“
        17: And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
        18: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on THIS rock I will build my church

        If pronouns in English or any other language could have seven nouns in between the pronoun and the antecedent it would be incomprehensible.
        Petros/Petra vs. Rocky/Rockelle
        Catholic Church Founded by Jesus

      • April says:

        16:17-20. Peter’s words brought a word of commendation from the Lord. Peter was blessed because he had come to a correct conclusion about who Jesus was and because great blessing would be brought into his life. The Lord added, however, this was not a conclusion Peter had determined by his own or others’ ability. God, the Father in heaven, had revealed it to him. Peter was living up to his name (it means “rock”) for he was demonstrating himself to be a rock. When the Lord and Peter first met, Jesus had said Simon would be named Cephas (Aram. for “rock”) or Peter (Gr. for “rock”; John 1:41-42).

        But his declaration about Jesus led to a declaration of Jesus’ program. Peter (Petros, masc.) was strong like a rock, but Jesus added that on this rock (petra, fem.) He would build His church. Because of this change in Greek words, many conservative scholars believe that Jesus is now building His church on Himself. Others hold that the church is built on Peter and the other apostles as the building’s foundation stones (Eph. 2:20; Rev. 21:14). Still other scholars say that the church is built on Peter’s testimony. It seems best to understand that Jesus was praising Peter for his accurate statement about Him, and was introducing His work of building the church on Himself (1 Cor. 3:11).

      • April says:

        Christ is called a rock, Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:8. And it has been thought that he turned from Peter to himself, and was basically saying, “Upon this rock, this truth that I am the Messiah – upon myself as the Messiah, I will build my church.” How many times has Jesus been talking about Himself, but didn’t come out and just say it? Almost every time He spoke. For example: John 2:19 “Destroy THIS temple and I will raise it up again in three days”. Destroy THIS temple, upon THIS rock. Sounds pretty similar to me.

      • April says:

        I’ll break it down even further…

        Jesus called Peter ‘Petros’, but called the rock upon which He would build the church ‘Petra’.
        Petros is a small rock, Petra is a large rock (or boulder).
        What was that large rock? You can find that in verse 16.
        15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
        16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
        17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
        18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
        The rock upon which the church would be built was the statement by Peter that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. The term Christ means ‘anointed’ as does the term Messiah in the Old Testament. This was a statement that Jesus was the Messiah of prophecy.
        As to the ‘it’ of verse 18, the word was ‘autos’ which can mean ‘he’ ’she’ or ‘it’. In this case it should say ‘against her’, not ‘against it’. Why is it feminine? Because the church is to be the Bride of Christ, therefore it would be referred to in the feminine.

        The church is all those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. End of story

      • bfhu says:

        Dear April,
        The Church is built on Christ and Peter. By this we mean that Peter and his successors lead the Church into Truth by the power and grace of Jesus.

        Rock is one of the names of God and to point out His chosen leader, to lead the Church on Earth after His ascension, Jesus deliberately chose the name “Rock” for Simon. This was deliberate and everyone knew “Rock” was a designation for God. So it must have been a little shocking. And this was the interpretation for 1500 years until after the reformation/rebellion.
        You are free to trust an interpretation unhinged from history and removed in time from the actual events by 1500 -2011 years if you wish. I much prefer the interpretation from the first century.

        Yes, that is an interesting point about This temple and This Rock but we are clearly told in scripture that he was not referring to the obvious physical temple but to the temple of His body. No such clarification exists in scripture about This Rock. You are merely speculating that Jesus turned away from Peter and indicated Himself. I am still going with the ancient interpretation.

        I am fully aware of the argument regarding petras and petros. But Jesus actually said, in Aramaic,

        You are Kepha and on this kepha I will build My Church.

        When it was translated into Greek the two Greek words were used one masculine, to designate Peter a man. And the other feminine b/c that was the usual word for rock.

        Did you read–>Petros/Petra vs. Rocky/Rockelle and
        Catholic Church Founded by Jesus

      • April says:

        To say that Jesus was referring to Peter is blasphemous. “Rock” was always used to describe God, and never a man. In every instance it was used, it was NEVER used to describe a man and this Scripture is no different. Why would it be? Why would the Church be built around a man? No, the Church is built around Christ; completely centered upon Him.

        And why put Jesus in a box? Do you know for a fact that He only spoke Aramaic? This doesn’t fit well at all. He would have spoken Greek and Hebrew as well. The Romans spoke both Greek and are the ones who put Him to death. Jesus spoke directly to them then. Did the Scriptures say anything about a translator? As accurate as the Gospels are, I don’t recall any. Do you remember back in the 90′s when they found Caiaphas’s (the High Priest between 18 and 36 AD in Jerusalem) grave and it was inscribed in Greek? In fact, 70 percent of the inscriptions on graves found were in Greek. Not only that, but 40 percent of the Jewish inscriptions are in Greek in Jerusalem and these were dated before 70 AD (the fall of Jerusalem). That tells you that Greek was a language spoken often in Jerusalem. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the fact that most Jews in the area spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in the first and second century.

        Furthermore, was the New Testament written in Aramaic? No, it wasn’t. It was written in Greek. It wouldn’t make sense for it to be written in Aramaic, seeing as how most of the people in the surrounding areas spoke Greek. Who do you think the New Testament was written for? The purpose was to SPREAD the Gospel, not to keep it contained to one area. Most of the surrounding areas were Greek speaking areas. Even 3 or 4 miles from where Jesus lived was Sepphoris (a Greek city).

        As for Jesus referring to His own body as this temple. That’s exactly the point I was making. Jesus said THIS temple (His body) and THIS rock (His body). When speaking, you will notice He almost always uses a play on words. Just look at the parables. The context argues for interpreting “this rock” as referring back to the revelation and its content. In other words, the Lord Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) would be the solid rock upon which our faith would rest on. Every doctrine and practice would be founded upon Him. Every true believer would hold to a common conviction: Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

        The cultural context of the passage also supports interpreting “this rock” as referring to Jesus in His identity as the Son of God. Matthew wrote his Gospel for a Jewish audience. He expected his readers to be familiar with Old Testament imagery.
        How would a Jewish reader interpret “upon this rock”? If we trace the figurative use of the word rock through Hebrew Scriptures, we find that it is never used symbolically of man, but always of God. For example:

        There is no one holy like the Lord; Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God. —1 Samuel 2:2

        For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? —Psalm 18:31

        Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none. —Isaiah 44:8

        Right there, that tells us that there is NO OTHER ROCK!

        The wider context of the New Testament also confirms that Jesus, not Peter, is the rock. For example, Peter himself wrote of Christ as a rock (petra):

        For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense.” —1 Peter 2:6-8

        Paul also refers to Christ by the Greek word petra. In Romans he wrote of Christ as “a rock (petra) of offense” (Romans 9:33) over which the Jews had stumbled. In First Corinthians he wrote of a spiritual rock encountered by Israel in the wilderness. He identified that rock, saying, “…and the rock (petra) was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).

        Interpreting Christ as the rock upon which the church would be built also harmonizes well with other statements in Scripture. Paul warned, “No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Here he emphasizes that Christ is the foundation upon which the church is built. In Ephesians, Paul speaks of the church as “having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). Here Paul pictures Christ as the principal stone and the apostles and prophets as secondary stones.

        The inspired New Testament Scriptures were written in Greek, not Aramaic. What Jesus might have said in Aramaic is conjecture and just a way to avoid facing the realty of our beliefs not being built around a mere man. When the Holy Spirit inspired the Greek text of the New Testament, He made a distinction between Peter (Petros) and the rock (petra). The reason for the difference is clear from the context. God bless

  19. bfhu says:

    Dear Travis,

    I am sure you realize that the Keys of the Kingdom were not actual physical keys,therefore Jesus gave them to Peter in Mt. 16.

    Unlike Protestants, here is how we received our Christian Doctrines.For the Catholic Church our doctrines and dogmas were taught to the disciples by Jesus and they in turn taught them, to “faithful men able to teach”. Eventually, they wrote some, of what they knew and were taught by Jesus, down in their Gospels. John tells us that all that Jesus did did not get written down b/c the whole world could not contain the books.Jn 20:30 & 21:25.

    The Catholic Church NEVER sat down with scripture alone and figured out what should be believed. The Catholic Church already KNEW what she believed long before even one book of the New Testament was ever written. But everything Jesus had taught was not contained in this written Tradition. Other teachings were contained in Oral Tradition. So, it doesn’t really matter how many people read Mt. 16 and come to a different interpretation than the Catholic church. The Church KNOWS what it means b/c she KNOWS what Jesus taught and what the Church has always and everywhere believed. Martin Luther came along 1,500 years later and decided he knew what scripture meant better than the ancient Church and all her scholarly study of those scriptures and Christian history since there were sinners in the Catholic Church. His excuse was that Catholics sinned. Shocker!

    What is tripping you up and always causes problems for Protestants, is your tradition of Sola Scriptura. The Protestant tradition teaches that Christianity and Christian beliefs are to be derived OUT of scripture. So, the Bible gives birth to Protestant teachings. But, for the Catholic Church, Apostolic teachings preceded all of the New Testament. Catholic Christianity is derived directly from what Jesus taught the Apostles and this teaching then gave birth to the New Testament.

    When a Catholic shows a Protestant scripture to support Catholic beliefs, we do so b/c we know that is the ONLY thing Protestants will accept. We do the best we can with the available scriptures to support our doctrines for Protestants, in answer for their demand for scripture. But, don’t make the mistake b/c of your Protestant tradition, that we think these scriptures always clearly and indisputably portray Catholic doctrine. We show these scriptures and then explain how we interpret them. This is often a shock to Protestants who are in denial that they themselves are interpreting or that there could possibly be any other legitimate interpretation except a Protestant interpretation.

    Apostolic Teaching–>Catholic Teaching–>New Testament

    New Testament–>Some Apostolic Teaching–>Protestant Teaching

    • bfhu: “Other teachings were contained in Oral Tradition.”

      Me: How could you possibly know this? You are assuming that the Catholic Church is true and wouldn’t ever lie about their doctrines or dogmas. Yet, papal infallibility first arises in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. I will gladly take God-Breathed Scripture over a Catholic Church that has, many times, used fake documents to “prove” their teachings.

      • bfhu says:

        I know nothing about the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. So I will look into this. In the meantime there is a very long article about them in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. Protestants of noble character and good will, will not just read what Protestants say about them but what the Catholic Church says also and then make up their mind.

        THE FALSE DECRETALS
        by Stephen O’Reilly

        This is an exceprt from Catholic Culture You can read the whole interesting discussion by clicking the link.

        …The more serious accusation is that the forgeries brought about a “revolution” in the government of the Church. While the anti-Catholic charge appears damning at first glance, it must be remembered the Roman claims were well-established before the False Decretals were penned in the ninth century. Roman bishops long had applied verses of Scripture to their office. For example, papal legates at the Council of Ephesus (431) refer to the pope as the successor of Peter and as having the powers to bind and loose (Matt. 16:19), while Pope Hormisdas, in 517, applies Matthew 16:18—where Peter is declared “rock”—to the Apostolic See. Although the False Decretals describe the Roman Church as “head,” numerous genuine documents that predate these forgeries explicitly declare as much. The records of the ecumenical councils of Ephesus, Chalcedon (451), Constantinople III, and Nicaea II (787) contain many references to the pope or the Apostolic See as “father,” “head of all Churches,” “archbishop of all the Churches,” “spiritual mother,” “sacred head,” and so forth.

        It was no ninth-century innovation to claim that anything done against the will of the Apostolic See was invalid. Fifth-century historians Sozomen and Socrates, in separate histories of the fourth-century Church, record in similar words that “an ecclesiastical canon commands that the Churches shall not make any ordinances against the opinion of the bishop of Rome.” Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna, declares in his Letter to Eutyches (449) that cases of faith cannot be tried “without the consent of the bishop of Rome.” At the Council of Chalcedon, papal legates—without opposition—declare the holding of a council without the pope’s authority to be a “thing which had never taken place nor can take place.” The Council of Ephesus declares itself “compelled” by the canons and by the decision of Pope Celestine to depose the heretic Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. The pope was recognized in both East and West as having the authority to hear appeals from bishops, to depose them, and to restore them to their sees, as proved by the course of history and by the canons of the Council of Sardica (343).

        While infallibility may be inferred from some of the genuine documents cited, more explicit affirmations of it may be found in other places. For example, in 517 the Eastern bishops assented to and signed the formula of Pope Hormisdas, which states in part: “The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, ‘Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.”

        In a letter from Pope Agatho, accepted by Constantinople III, the Pope says the Roman Church “has never erred,” has never yielded to “heretical innovations,” and “remains undefiled unto the end.” Agatho links this claim directly to the “divine promise” found in Luke 22:32, where the Lord prays that Peter’s faith would never fail. Declarations that the Apostolic See “has been kept unsullied” are claims of papal infallibility.

        In short, there is no reason to suspect the papacy to be the forgery factory conjured up in the minds of anti-Catholic apologists. If many, including popes, presumed the veracity of the False Decretals for a time, it was because the documents in many respects corresponded to the already long-accepted reality of the primacy and infallibility of the popes. Furthermore, no doctrinal error may be inferred from the fact that False Decretals were quoted by popes, since papal infallibility applies to definitions on faith and morals, not to judgments about the authenticity of documents. The important point is that none of the forgeries served as the basis for a single doctrine regarding the papacy. The doctrines came first, the forgeries long centuries later.

        So, some in the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages were deceived by these forgeries.But their questionable authenticity was called into question in the mid 1400′s by Catholics long before the Reformation. They were officially repudiated long after the primacy of the Bishop of Rome was established and long before the dogma of papal infallibilty was promulgated and were in no way relied upon for the declaration of this dogma of the Catholic Church.

        And if you read the whole article you will find that the forgeries were motivated by, what else? Political reasons.

  20. bfhu says:

    I know this because the Catholic Church has always believed in:
    The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
    Confession
    Purgatory
    Immaculate Conception of Mary
    Assumption of Mary
    Baptismal regeneration, etc.

    The only Christian Church in existence for 1500 years believed these teachings. Because all of these teachings are not spelled out explicitly in the Bible, except the Real Presence, where did they come from? Protestants want to accuse the Catholic Church of just making things up or adopting pagan beliefs and so corrupting the purity of Christianity. Our only recourse is historical evidence which sometimes they will still reject since it is not scripture…..sigh. So, we point out the scriptures that DO support or imply Catholic beliefs.

    St. Paul, in his letters tells us to cling to the traditions he gave, both written and oral. So the Catholic Christian Church has always obeyed St. Paul.

    I Cor 11: 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.

    • 2 Thessalonians 2:15
    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    • 2 Thessalonians 3:6
    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    But, 500 years ago Martin Luther came up with a novel idea of Sola Scriptura (non scriptural) and private Interpretation (which contradicts Scripture).

    2 Peter 1:20
    Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

    And the word translated “prophecy” does not mean fortelling the future but according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary:

    Propheteia: signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.”

    Even though Luther clung to Marian beliefs and belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, heirs to his heresy of Sola Scriptura quickly jettisoned these ancient beliefs. Even though scriptural evidence for the Real Presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is very strong in Scripture, Jn 6, Protestants interpret this passage in such a way as to reject this doctrine. And thus unhinge themselves from the ancient Church established by Jesus Christ, the ancient established Scriptural interpretation, and all teachings Jesus taught the disciples that did not get written down in Scripture.

    But contrary to their Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, they, for the most part, still cling to the Doctrine of the Trinity, a Catholic Tradition that is just not explicit in Scripture and the canon of the New Testament which is also not listed anywhere in Scripture and is therefore a Catholic Tradition.

    But in the last couple of hundred years we have seen the rise of Protest-ant “churches” that reject the Ancient Doctrine of the Trinity (Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons) accept additional books, (Mormons), baptize only in the name of Jesus(can’t remember their name) etc. What heresies will another 1500 years bring?

    Luther’s idea that the safest path was to cling to Scripture Alone was great in theory, just like communism. But neither work.
    If Sola Scriptura was true and divinely inspired, then the Holy Spirit should lead each and every reader to the SAME infallible interpretations. And I am sure Luther thought this is exactly what the Holy Spirit would do. But that is not what happened. Today, we do not have one Protestant Church united in their interpretation of Scripture. We have thousands of denominations. Jesus chose to found a church with His apostles as the bishops and Peter as the first among equals. And they were then to lay on hands to ordain other “faithful men able to teach” as their assistants and successors.

    Luther and most Protestants are in denial that they are interpreting scripture. But they are. Private interpretation, unhinged from the historic Church founded by Jesus Christ, has resulted in division after division by arrogant men in their pride that they have infallibly interpreted scripture in opposition to the interpretation of others. Both private interpretation and division are against scripture but Protestants do not let that get in their way.

    A Catholic Church Protestants reject as paganized by the fourth century A.D., canonized the New Testament. But, irrationally, Protestants are willing to accept this Catholic Tradition from the heart of a supposedly paganized Church. If the Church that canonized the New Testament was paganized, how could anyone trust that canon? I could not do this and this is exactly one of the reasons I converted to Catholicism. I either had to become agnostic, and reject the New Testament and Jesus Christ or find out if the Catholic Church was divinely established.

    The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is also not in Scripture but they don’t let that stop them from accusing Catholics of believing things that aren’t in scripture.

    Jesus said that the gates of Hell would not overcome His Church but Protestants don’t let that stop them from declaring that the Church Jesus founded was not protected by Him because it was corrupted by pagans before the New Testament was even canonized.

    Jesus said He wanted all to be ONE (Jn 17) but Protestants do not let that stop them from splitting off incessantly and starting new churches not in union at all with any other Protestant church except in a few bare minimum teachings, let alone the Church Jesus Himself founded and is the ONLY historical Christian Church in the world for 2000 years.

    Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life, but that does not stop Protestants from resorting to private interpretation in order to come up with an excuse to cling to Protestant traditions and reject a literal interpretation of John 6.

    Travis, Catholics have sinned egregiously over the past 2000 years. Some lie, murder, lust etc. you name it and Catholics have committed the sin somewhere sometime or many times. If Protestantism had given birth to a church without sin then accusing the Catholic Church of sin might be proof of her error. But saying Catholics have sinned or lied about the Isidorian Decretals just proves one thing…..We need Salvation through Jesus Christ. Blessed be His Holy Name.

  21. “Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life, but that does not stop Protestants from resorting to private interpretation in order to come up with an excuse to cling to Protestant traditions and reject a literal interpretation of John 6.”

    I would love to go through John 6 because as a reformed believer John 6 is my bread and butter. However, answer this. When Jesus led the first communion where they actually drinking his blood and eating his flesh? Or, was is symbolic?

    You wrote quite a bit and all of your claims of the 2000 year old church are so over played. No one and I mean no one even spoke of the marian doctrines in the councils of hippo and carthage. So, I am not sure why Catholics constantly drum up the 2000 year old church business.

    Also, are you suggesting that the doctrine of papal infallibility did come from faked documents? If that is the case then how can you trust it now if we know that the Isidorian Decretals were frauds?

    Please, stop placing your trust in a Roman Catholic Church that has proven itself false and place it where it belongs. To the Lord of Creation. The Triune God of Scripture.

    • Pablo says:

      Have any of you ever heard of the tilma of Saint Juan Diego?

      Or Veronica’s veil?

      One painted by God’s hand, the other given by Christ on the way to His crucifixion.

      Your arguments about idols is idiotic.

      And we Catholics do not practice Sola Scritura.

      Please, get Thee catechized!

      *

  22. bfhu says:

    Yes, they were actually consuming His flesh and blood. It was not symbolic but a spiritual reality under the appearance of bread and wine. The miracle of transubstantiation took place.

    Councils of the Church never get together and deal with everything the Faith proclaims. They are usually gathered to deal with heresy or other grave confusion in order to set the record straight. The fact that no early council mentioned Marian beliefs just means they were not in dispute. Even Luther believed them.

    Why do you think I believe that the doctrine of infallibility came from faked documents? No I do not believe that.

    I trust in God, the Blessed Trinity. I trust in His Church. Otherwise I would have to trust in myself and my ability to infallibly interpret the Sacred Scriptures. I don’t.

    As a very zealous and studious Protestant, I once did. But I realized the Protestant approach led to cognitive dissonance. In the end there are legitimate interpretive conundrums that people of good will cannot agree upon.And there is no one in all of Protestant Christendom who has the authority to settle these thorny issues. For me, the the issue was eternal security. It is ultimately left to the individual to decide for themselves.

    Also, I found, that the sola-scriptura-me-and-Jesus paradigm led to an insidious arrogant pride that was inescapable due to the fact that, in the end I could only rely upon my own interpretation of Scripture. This became wholly inadequate over time.

    I could find no church I agreed with. I would have had to start my own church, which with seven children I did not want or have the energy to do.

    Trusting in my own interpretation, I had no choice but to attend churches that taught error, to my way of thinking and I would have welcomed an authority to settle the issues for me but who? Who could read and interpret scripture any better than me? There was a belief that if someone disagreed with me and what I saw as my clearly correct interpretation then the reason had to be that they were blinded by sin and therefore their interpretation could not be trusted. This was the only possible explanation because I KNEW God was not a God of confusion and Jesus had promised to lead us into all truth. The Bible had only one interpretation. But who had it right? Me?

    When I found out what the Catholic Church actually taught and believed and the scriptures and historical evidence for their beliefs it all rang true. Here was the Church founded by Jesus 2000 years ago that believed then what she believes now. I went through a period of anxiety. Protestantism was discredited. It was only 500 years old and founded by men with no supernatural accreditation for splitting from the Catholic Church such as we saw with Christianity splitting from the Jews.

    I have been Catholic for 12 years now and I am still thrilled to be Catholic. I no longer have to feel it a personal affront when people don’t agree with me. My ego is not wound up in my beliefs like it was as a Protestant. –>

    My conversion story

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