Being Misunderstood by Non-Catholics Started in the Second Century

December 30, 2011

As a Protestant I was taught that during the Early Church pagans accused the Christians of being cannibals in reference to Communion. It seemed like a huge distortion of the truth regarding  communion and eating a cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice. But I figured it must have been because they heard that Jesus said, “This is My Body, eat it and …This is My Blood, drink it….”

Now, as a Catholic, and because of the teaching of transsubstantiation, with the bread and wine becoming the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus, the misunderstanding is not as hard to fathom. But the depth of error, in the 2nd Century, of the author Minucius Felix’s Octavius is amazing. Compared to this, Protestant errors about the Catholic Faith seem minor.

Sometime between 150-270 A.D.the reference in Minucius Felix’s Octavius

Now the story about the initiation of young novices is as much to be detested as it is well known. An infant covered over with meal, that it may deceive the unwary, is placed before him who is to be stained with their rites: this infant is slain by the young pupil, who has been urged on as if to harmless blows on the surface of the meal, with dark and secret wounds. Thirstily – O horror! they lick up its blood; eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are pledged together; with this consciousness of wickedness they are covenanted to mutual silence.

The Roman critic appears to have gotten the details of the Nativity and the Eucharist all mixed together. Which is itself significant. The Nativity story involves a journey to Bethlehem (which means “House of Bread” in Hebrew, and “House of Meat” in Arabic), and placing Jesus in a manger, that is, a food trough. Jesus’ Flesh is the Bread upon which Christians feed. So the Romans were inadvertently right in seeing a connection to the two, even if they screwed the details up badly.

Conclusion

An English Lutheran put it simply:

“If what you believe and teach concerning the Supper of the Lord, couldn’t be misinterpreted by some people as sounding like cannibalism, then your understanding and/or teaching of the Supper is deficient.”

The early Christians believed something about the Eucharist that sounded like cannibalism to outsiders. If we don’t believe that today, we’ve lost their faith. And when Jesus’ Jewish critics accused Him of teaching that He was going to give us His Flesh to eat, He didn’t deny it, but reinforced their point.


Did the Catholic Church Rely on Forged Documents for Dogmas?

December 29, 2011

Travis:  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.

Bread From Heaven: I am providing an article written by Steven O’Reilly originally published in This Rock magazine by Catholic Answers.

The False Decretals

by Steven O’Reilly

Anti-Catholic apologists often charge that Catholic doctrines regarding the primacy and infallibility of the bishop of Rome are founded upon a set of documents forged in the ninth century, known as the “False Decretals” or the “Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals,” which purport to be written by early popes. It is alleged that Roman bishops relied on these forgeries to establish their authority and that without these forgeries popes never could have “become” infallible.

Dave Hunt devotes a whole chapter of A Woman Rides the Beast to Rome’s “Fraud and Fabricated History.” According to Hunt, the popes “labored mightily to satisfy their lust for power and pleasure and wealth.” Not being able to find justification for these powers in Scripture or the Church Fathers, rewrite history by manufacturing allegedly historical documents.” Another anti-Catholic apologist, William Webster, says in The Church of Rome and the Bar of History that Rome was the “first to use” the False Decretals and that they “completely revolutionized the primitive government of the Church.” Similar claims regarding the False Decretals are made by former Catholic and ex-priest Peter de Rosa in Vicars of Christ.

Anti-Catholic apologists argue that the False Decretals provided the scriptural and historical precedents upon which papal doctrines are founded. Examples from the False Decretals suffice to illustrate how they appear to support the anti-Catholic argument. The so-called First Epistle of Zephyrinus applies the words “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19) to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Bishops are said to be judged by the pope “and by no other.” The equally fraudulent First Epistle of Pope Callistus calls the Roman Church the “mother of all Churches” and “head” of the Church and declares that anything done contrary to the Roman Church “cannot on any account be permitted to be held valid.”

J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, the nineteenth-century historian who defected from the Church after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility, says it is “with perfect consistency that Pseudo-Isidore makes his early popes say: ‘The Roman Church remains to the end free from the stain of heresy.”‘ Dollinger claims that prior to the False Decretals “no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility” and that “the popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege.” Upon such forged letters, or so the anti-Catholic alleges, the papacy is built.

That the False Decretals contain material that supports papal claims does not prove that the bishops of Rome played any part in their manufacture. Forgers often mix actual events, widely-known facts, and personalities into their work in order to improve a document’s credibility. One cannot presume the subject matter of a forged document easily or necessarily reveals the identity or the agenda of its true author. The spurious “Arabic Canons” of Nicaea, which call the pope the “head and prince of all patriarchs,” are more explicitly pro-primacy than are the genuine canons of the council of Nicaea. These spurious canons were written not in the West but in the East. If this fact had not been known widely, anti-Catholic apologists might have added the Arabic Canons to their list of alleged Roman forgeries.

By Webster’s reckoning, the False Decretals were written in 845. Pope Nicholas I (858-867), the first pope to quote them, did not begin his reign until thirteen years and three pontificates later. These facts suggest the False Decretals had been in circulation and had obtained credibility before Nicholas I used them. If they had been intended to advance Roman claims of authority, one would expect that they would have made their Roman debut centuries earlier than they did. Regardless, the long-held opinion of scholars, including Dollinger—who is the main source for Hunt, Webster, and De Rosa on this matter—is that the False Decretals were written in France, not Rome.

More devastating to the anti-Catholic apologist’s argument is that Dollinger admits that the goal of the forger was not the extension of papal authority. Rather, he says, “The immediate object of the compiler of this forgery was to protect bishops against their metropolitans and other authorities, so as to secure absolute impunity and the exclusion of all influence of the secular power.” Dollinger asserts this object was to be gained through “an immense extension of the papal power.”

In essence, he argues that Roman primacy and infallibility were created by the forger to be the means by which his real goal—the protection of local bishops—could be achieved. But this argument is unreasonable. The concocting of such a grand, elaborate, and “new” theory of papal powers to achieve the relatively modest end of protecting local bishops would create more difficulties for a forged document’s credibility than it could hope to solve. What seems more probable is that the forger appealed to an authority his audience already knew and accepted and by means of this acceptance hoped to advance his agenda. Such an appeal would not be the first time a forger had attempted to use the prestige and authority of the Roman see to his advantage. For example, the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III (680), examined heretical letters said to have been written by Pope Vigilius, but it rejected them as frauds. 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.


• Steven O’Reilly freelances from Snellville, Georgia.

© This Rock, Catholic Answers, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177, (619) 541-1131.


Protest-ant Beliefs vs. Catholic Church

December 27, 2011

Kerrin says,Catholic Salvation is:Through the Roman Catholic Church

Bread From Heaven: Yes, this is very true but only because Jesus founded the Church to bring the Gospel to every Generation until the end of Time. Without Jesus there would be no salvation through the Catholic Church or any other way.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Merited by doing good works

Bread From Heaven:Absolutely WRONG. We cannot in any way merit salvation by our good works. Aside from our works making our faith perfect as James says, our works and sufferings etc are not for the purpose of saving ourselves but to make reparation for the temporal consequences of our sin. To purify our souls from attachment to sin. And what is not completed in this earthly life is completed by the grace of God in Purgatory. So that we may be Holy as He is Holy. (I Peter 1:16)For a full understanding of the Catholic teaching on purification see also my post–>Where is the Biblical Evidence for Purgatory?
Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: By faith PLUS the law, sacraments, and good works
Bread From Heaven: Well this is just what scripture says:
Law:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Sacraments:Baptism

John 3:5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Eucharist:

John 6:54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life (see John 6:26–65)

Confession:

John 20:21 …I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins [c]have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

Good works

James 2:14-26 faith without works is dead.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Attained by man

Bread From Heaven: Absolutely WRONG.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is:A process from Baptism through purgatory

Bread From Heaven: Salvation is through Jesus Christ. But we cannot enter into the Holy Presence of God until we are purified. Baptism is the first purification from all sin, eternal and temporal. Confession is a further absolution of the eternal consequences of sin, the sacraments give grace to strengthen our souls to stay the course and Purgatory finishes the purification of our souls, so that we will be Holy as He is Holy.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Never assured in this life

Bread From Heaven: As long as we live we are able to fall from grace through mortal sin. But we always have hope and if we should fall into mortal sin we can avail ourselves of confession. As long as we are not in mortal sin we are sure of salvation. But Protestants, pretend to assurance of salvation with their once saved always save tradition. However, because all know of Christians who have committed adultery or some other mortal sin, they will say that the truth of the matter is:
Once saved Always saved IF saved. So they contend that those who fall were never saved in the first place. Therefore, no one really knows that they are saved for sure. They may be pretty sure they may assert that they are sure, but the reality is that until they die they too retain the ability to sin mortally. There are some sects who contend that once saved always saved NO MATTER HOW MUCH ONE SINS OR THE GRAVITY OF SIN.

This theology is rejected by the majority of Protestants. They may say, “Once saved always saved” but in the back of their mind they are adding, “If saved.” This why they are constantly judging each other; trying to determine is so and so is a REAL Christian.

Kerrin says, Catholic:Sins are expiated by suffering in purgatory

Bread From Heaven: Not entirely true.As I have said earlier. Jesus paid the full price for the Eternal Consequences of Sin but we must make reparation for the temporal consequences of sin. Where is the Biblical Evidence for Purgatory?

Kerrin says:Mary and all the saints are also glorified

Bread From Heaven: As heroic examples of Faith for us to follow. They are not glorified in the same sense as Our Lord or worshiped.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: This work continues with daily sacrifices

Bread From Heaven:This is a misunderstanding of what we celebrate at mass. Do we have daily sacrifices? Yes. Are these daily sacrifices a continuing of the daily sacrifices of the Old Testament priests? NO. We do call the mass a sacrifice but not because it is a NEW sacrifice. Not because it is ANOTHER sacrifice. But, at our mass a great mystery takes place. At every Catholic Mass the curtain of time is pulled back and we enter in to that ONE SACRIFICE that our precious Lord made on the cross 2000 years ago. We re-present the ETERNAL SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ. It happened once in Time but since it is eternal we are able to bring that sacrifice into the present by following the command of God the Son to “Do this in Remembrance of Me.” –>Sacrifice of the Mass


WISHING YOU BLESSED AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 23, 2011


Did Jesus Dishonor His Mother?

December 23, 2011

HDavis Something this important should have at least some scriptual example or support.

Bread From heaven:
Only if one believes in Sola Scriptura which we do not since it is not found anywhere is Scripture. I have no idea why Protestants who profess to believe nothing EXCEPT what can be found in scripture believe in Sola Scriptura when it CANNOT be found in Scripture. This is very strange.

HDavis We are instructed to pray to god no one else.


Bread From heaven:
Where????

HDavis On earth we pray for each other as we are in the flesh and need prayer.


Bread From heaven:
Where are prayers for one another alive, in the body of Christ limited ONLY to those who are living on Earth in Time? That is your bias. It is not in Scripture.

HDavis On earth Jesus all but ignored his mother’s request at the marriage feast at Cana.”What is that to me and you women? My time has not come.
His mother said to the servants, Whatever He may say to you,do it.”


Bread From heaven:
I am amazed by your assertion that Jesus ignored His mother’s request. He absolutely did as she requested. He, in obedience to the commandment, honored His mother. She trusted in His answer to her request. The phrase, “What is that to me and you, woman.” is a Hebrew idiom. The use of woman is generally a sign of respect in this ancient culture unlike in our own. But, because sons did not usually address their mothers in this way, even though respectful, we see it as a direct allusion to Eve and the promise in

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”


What is that to me and you
had a flexible meaning depending upon context. It could mean a disagreement and rejection of another. But it could also mean,the free consent of one party to the request of another party, with our without a sense of reluctance. The way Protestants typically interpret this passage would entail Jesus the God/Man dishonoring his mother in direct disobedience to the commandment to honor your father and mother. Protestants never think of this. They do not mean to have Jesus sin in such a way. But that is what happens when you try to interpret scripture out of context of the culture and history of the Church.

HDavis Mary is standing “outside”with His ‘brothers and sisters’ at a gathering Jesus was teaching and Jesus said ‘Who is my mother?… Whoever does the will of God is my mother.’


Bread From heaven:
Surely Mary did the will of God. Again, Jesus did not in any way dishonor His mother here even though Protestants want to see Him being dismissive of her in order to bolster their claim that Catholics honor Mary too much. He did, however, want to emphasize that obedience makes one a part of His intimate family.

HDavis In His kingdom there are no special believers as she like all other believers with no power or authority except that which has been given by man!


Bread From heaven:
All the Grace that Mary possesses was given her, not by man but by God. And there certainly is a hierarchy of honor in the Body of Christ. We see Jesus, taking Peter, James, and John with him and leaving the other disciples. These were His inner circle. Mary was chosen above all women to bear and mother the God/Man Jesus. This was a high honor.

HDavisBut on the other hand,the apostles had power to heal,raise the dead,help and guide the church until the New Testament was completed.But,we are not told to pray to them in heaven!We are not told they intercede for us in any scripture.We are told the Holy Spirit does intercede for us.Romans 8: 26-7


Bread From heaven:

John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 21: 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.


Deuterocanonicals: 7 Books Deleted by Martin Luther

December 21, 2011

Question: Where did the seven extra books Catholics have in their Bible come from?

Bread From Heaven: The Jews did have these books in the Greek version of the OT. That is why we have them in our Bibles. The Church simply adopted the Greek OT as it was received. Later, the Jews disowned these 7 books claiming they could not find them in Hebrew anymore so they were suspect. But, the fact is that the Jews translated into Greek, several centuries earlier, what was known at the time as the Jewish Scriptures (OT). This Greek translation is the Septuagint. The passage below in Wisdom was one of these scriptures used by the evangelists to make Jewish converts to Christianity. The book of Wisdom is attributed to Solomon. Also Scholars affirm that most of Jesus’ OT quotations come from the Septuagint OT and fewer come from the Hebrew OT. Therefore, if the Septuagint was good enough for Jesus it was good enough for the Church.

Wisdom 2:12Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.

13 He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD.14 To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, 15 Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways.16He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father.

17 Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. 18 With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. 19 With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. 20Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” 21 These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them,

Matthew 27:41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Canon of Scripture-For info on why idea that NT Quotation=OT Scripture proves too much.
Five Myths About the 7 Books

Who Decided Which Books Should be in the Bible?

When did Catholics add books to the Bible?


The Sin of Presumption Opposed to Hope

December 18, 2011

Sonya: The sin of presumption…I have not read this on your post but I understand Catholics believe it’s a sin to “know” your going to heaven. How does this compare to John telling us “these things have I written unto you…that ye may know that ye have eternal life” along with Jesus telling his disciples he was going to build a place for them (would it be wrong for the disciples to take Jesus at his word?).

Bread From Heaven: Not in a general way. But for a person to presume he was Heaven-bound absolutely is certainly not humble but presumptuous/arrogant. It is the vice opposed to the virtue of HOPE. And we know that “Faith, Hope and Love abide…

Hope is a cardinal virtue. On one extreme is the vice of despair. But on the opposite extreme is presumption. We are to have hope and to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”If one is sure he is going to Heaven he does not have hope he has assurance and neither will he “work out..salvation with fear and trembling” b/c he thinks it is a done deal.

There are thousands of verses warning believers and Jews not to “harden their hearts” “fall away”” apostasize” etc. To believe that God was making empty threats like a lax parent is demeaning. Since we possess free-will we are always capable of sinning egregiously and so lose salvation.

Sonya: Also the thief on the cross…Today though shalt be with me in paradise…

Bread From Heaven:Jesus made this promise. Don’t know what you mean exactly by this point. But, I will point out that the thief did not go to Heaven on that day b/c Jesus did not go to Heaven that day either.

Click–>Thief on the Cross Did Not Go to Purgatory

Here is the pertinent part of that post:

SARAH: Another verse; Luke 23:43TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” Jesus does not go on to say after a couple hundred years of purification. JESUS states, “today”. Is Jesus capable of lying? misquoting the truth? Or is the son of God simply mistaken?

BFHU:I understand why you ask these questions. You are convinced that your interpretation of these verses leaves no other possibility than to believe that Jesus was a liar or at least not omniscient if Catholic theology is accepted. But, there are some other possibilities, after all. First of all, Jesus did not go to Heaven that very Friday as we find out when Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, on Sunday, that He has not ascended to the Father yet. Therefore, Jesus and the thief did not go directly to Heaven on Friday.

The possibility is that the Greek should be read: “I tell you today, you will be with Me in Paradise” rather than “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. There are no commas in the Greek. Both are legitimate interpretations but the second one doesn’t line up with scripture.

Another possibility is that “paradise” referred to the happy part of the Sheol/Abraham’s bosom where Jesus did go to preach to the dead and lead the captives free. And the Good Thief accompanied Him there, which would have been just as good news as being told he was going to Heaven

Sonya: Paul seemed to know…to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Was he sinning when he wrote this scripture?

Bread From Heaven: This is an inaccurate quote of the verse, perpetuated among Protestants unwittingly, in support of their rejection of Purgatory. Here is what the scripture actually says:

2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The verse, in context, just doesn’t mean that a soul is either in the body or in the presence of God. It is not particularly doctrinal but expressing St. Paul’s preference to be with the Lord. St. Paul says, he would be willing (he would rather) to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. The way it is usually quoted by Protestants makes it sound much more absolute than it is. Paul is not making a doctrinal statement as it is used by Protestants. I can say, “My flight leaves at 8AM and arrives in New York at 3:00PM. This in no way implies that there are no layovers in Denver or somewhere else on the way.

Paul did not have assurance of Salvation in the sense Calvinism teaches. He only had hope of Salvation. And earlier in this section he uses words like “might” and “may” to describe his hope.

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.



Baptism, Church Authority, Salvation, Eucharist & Mortal Sin

December 15, 2011

Bread From Heaven: Baptism without Faith will not ultimately save a person except a baby who dies without reaching the age of reason or a person baptized on their deathbed. There may be other exceptions, but generally baptism is the first step.The salvation is through the water just as Noah’s ark saved those on it as the Peter passage notes. Baptism corresponds to this.

Sonja: but this is a completely different baptism than
Jesus showed us.

Bread From Heaven:
But the fact is that neither Jesus not anyone else, ever described baptism as being full immersion. While that is the general meaning of the word so the conclusion that immersion is what was done is legitimate, nothing explicitly precludes other methods.And the Jews had been instructed by God to pour and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices to cleanse and consecrate. So these methods were chosen for the cleansing and consecration of baptism when immersion was not practical. (Heb 9:13 Lev. 16:19

Leviticus 16:19
He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 12:27
Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat.

2 Kings 16:15
Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Sonja: Do you accept the churches authority on faith alone or what is
your reason for doing so?

Bread From Heaven: That is a good question. I accept the Church’s authority because in my reading of history and theology I became convinced that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded 2000 years ago and her beliefs were found
to be as old as the Church itself. When I looked at the writings of the early Church Fathers
if they had been writing in such a way as to support Protestantism I would still be Protestant.
However, uniquely Catholic doctrine existed at the dawn of the Church. No Catholic doctrine
contradicts Scripture but only Protestant interpretation of Scripture. Have you read my conversion story? You can read it–> My Conversion

Sonja: As far as faith alone…

Eph.2:8,9
For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Bread From Heaven: I agree and the Catholic Church does not teach that we can save ourselves by works. And Eph. does not say by grace through faith alone. Martin Luther, on his own authority, added the word alone to that passage in his German translation of the Bible. But it is not there. This is a Protestant Tradition. It is contradicted by Scripture.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless…as a result of the works, faith was perfected;…24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. … 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Also, if Protestant theology was correct then the demons would not shudder but be saved because they KNOW and BELIEVE in Our Lord God.

James 2:19… even the demons also believe, and shudder.

Sonja:I have already listed several verses that include belief/faith as a means for salvation, but you reject them as only “partial” truth. Many of them have no mention of baptism in them at all as the one above.

Bread From Heaven: True. You can find many different things linked to salvation/eternal life but not all of them are ever in one scripture. This is precisely why the Catholic Church does not teach that salvation is by ______alone. But the other reason is that the Bible is NOT a book of systematic theology. In order to understand, one must take it as a whole in order to be “in context”. To say we are saved by faith alone is taking the verse out of context b/c James 2 contradicts that idea. But since we accept scripture does not really contradict itself we need to find an understanding that makes sense out of both of those scriptures and many others. Some of the things scripture links with salvation/eternal life/heaven etc.

Faith
Eph 2

Good Works-

James 2 Faith without works is dead.
Ephesians 2:10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do.
Romans 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

LOVE

I John 4: 7 Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 12 …if we love one another, God lives in us

Matthew 5:44-46 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Keeping the Commandments

John 15 .. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. .. bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. … 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Can one be saved without abiding in Jesus? Then one MUST keep His commandments.


I John5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Can we be saved without loving God? How can we love God? By keeping His commandments.

John 14:1515 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:23
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you… 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. … 17 This I command you, that you love one another.

Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Endurance to the End


Hebrews 10:35-39

35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive [a]what was promised.
37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
39 But [b]we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the [c]preserving of the soul.
I could go on and on but I think I have shown that FAITH as Ephesians speaks about it must be a multifaceted entity that encompasses all of the above and more.

Luke 21:19
By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Revelation 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:12
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Sonja: I did read the baptism selection. It mentioned that communion was to sanctify.
This is different than saying the physical bread gives us eternal life. Which do
you believe?

Bread From Heaven: I believe both b/c Jesus said we must eat His Flesh and drink His blood in order to have Eternal Life. But it is not about taking communion one time for salvation. Ongoing communion cleanses and strengthens our souls to stay the course until death and end our lives in friendship with God. So, it is not an either/or but both/and.

Sonja: Do believe that one is subject to damnation until they partake of
communion?

Bread From Heaven:That is for God to decide. The Catholic Church NEVER pronounces who is damned. That is the domain of Our Lord. He is able to save in any way He wishes. But He has given us the sacraments and commandments to guide our souls to Eternal Life with Him. It is the sin of presumption to reason that “just b/c God can save a soul who does not conform to this or that, that therefore I am free to disregard all of these gifts and commands He has given us through the Church. Therefore, based on the teaching of Jesus and His apostles the Church teaches the way of Eternal Life and bestows sacramental graces upon the Faithful to keep their souls in Him.

Sonja:Cause if you take that passage literally that is what you must
accept. I don’t see another way of seeing it.

Bread From Heaven: This is the Problem. You are INTERPRETING the passage. The passage does not say that all who do not eat and drink are damned. I understand why you think this is a logical conclusion. But God’s ways are above our ways.

Sonja: Again you put your faith in the priests that bless the bread (mere humans) to put Jesus into the bread.

Bread From Heaven:No I trust the words of Our Lord and His power to work this miracle for the faithful even through a sinful priest. This the Church has always believed. To see some quotes from the first century A.D. –>Early Church Beliefs in the Eucharist

Sonja: As far as grape juice and wine, you are wrong about our reason for staying with
grape juice, although there are many protestants that believe alcohol is sinful.
The Bible never differentiates between the fruit of the vine that is fresh
(unfermented wine or grape juice) and fermented wine. They both have the same
name. (For example in proverbs when it says Look not upon the wine when it is
red.) We don’t ferment it cause it takes yeast and yeast represents tainting.
The same reason we eat unleavened bread.

Bread From Heaven:That is interesting. You are correct as far as what Jesus actually said. But I am quite sure that the Jews used wine for the Passover, fruit of the vine is a euphemism for wine, so Jesus certainly would have used wine at the Last Supper. But I am not all that hung up on wine vs. grape juice. It is just an interesting digression.

Sonja: I assume on the last point that the church has decided which sins are unto death
for the believer?

Bread From Heaven: Well, not exactly. In order for a sin to be mortal it has to meet 3 requirements.

1) It has to be a very serious sin, like adultery, murder, abortion etc.
2) The person must KNOW it is a sin
3) The person must do it freely not forced or coerced.

Then it would be considered mortal. There is not a list of mortal sins but scripture gives us several lists to make us aware of what grave or serious sin is. The ten commandments is a good place to start.

Sonja: I’ll have to look at these verses more carefully. I’ll read
through 1 John a couple times to try and understand it better. I do try and
understand the more “complex” passages, but it seems there is just too much that
seems completely contrary to what the Bible teaches in the Catholic church for
it to be right if you put the Bible first and the church secondary.

Bread From Heaven:Yes, I am sure it does seem so because you have been taught to interpret scripture according to the Protestant methods. But the doctrine of putting the Bible and personal interpretation first and the teaching of the apostles secondary is a Protestant Tradition with NO SUPPORT in Scripture. Here is an explanation of we mean by Tradition. Also, private interpretation is not approved.

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.”

Before my conversion, I was a very zealous Protestant, sola scriptura adherent and I used Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries and interlinears to “search the scriptures.” All contradictions of Catholic doctrine with the Bible are apparent rather than real. What Catholic Faith contradicts is merely Protestant interpretation of Scripture, not Scripture itself. But Catholics have perfectly legitimate alternate interpretations. It has been a very interesting journey. I applaud your careful reading and analysis of the Scriptures and your willingness to seek the Truth. baptism


The Rosary vs Divination

December 12, 2011

Sonja: Praying to dead saints…this not necessarily clearly refuted by scripture but definitely not taught either. The only time I recall someone trying to contact the dead was when Saul tried to contact Samuel the prophet. He did it through a seer (clearly against the command of God) and Samuel seemed pretty irritated Saul had called him from his rest.

Bread From Heaven: Yes, this was clearly a sin. But it was a sin of divination. The seeking of occult knowledge from the dead. This is definitely condemned in scripture. But divination is not the same things as asking for prayer, to join you in praying. No occult knowledge is sought at all. The attempt to equate the two in order to condemn the communion of the saints is very sloppy exegesis. But, hey, I used to believe it.

Sonja: Also wouldn’t mind seeing the Hail Mary prayer since I was under the impression that it was more of a prayer to her???

Bread From Heaven:

Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Sonja: What do get out of the repetition with the rosemary beads?

Bread From Heaven:While we say the Hail Mary ten times we meditate on an event in the Life of Christ. (there are only two about Mary) That is called a decade of the Rosary. There are five decades for five events to meditate on. Five decades is usually what people mean when they say, “I prayed the Rosary.”

Joyful Mysteries of Life of Christ

The Annunciation-Angel tells Mary she will have son of God

Annunciation

Visitation

Nativity

Dedication in Temple

Finding of Jesus in Temple

Sorrowful Mysteries

Agony in Garden

Beating

Crowning of Thorns

Carrying Cross

Crucifixion

Luminous Mysteries

Baptism of Jesus

Wedding at Cana

Preaching the Kingdom of Go

Transfiguration

Last Supper

Glorious Mysteries

Resurrection

Ascension

Pentecost

Mary Assumed into Heaven

Mary Queen of Heaven


Can Mary Mediate and Intercede?

December 8, 2011

Immaculate Conception

Kerrin:There is a very big difference between what you call Intercessory prayer and praying for one another, please don’t confuse the two.

The bible very clearly states that Jesus is the only Mediator (Intercessor) between God and man, in the following verse:

1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

The Bible also very clearly says that we should pray for one another, in the following verse:

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

As you see, the Bible makes a very clear and definable difference between praying for one another, and Intercessory prayer (Mediating), which is only possible through Jesus.

Bread From Heaven: Mary joins her prayers to ours to our Lord. Asking for her to pray for us is nothing more than asking our friends to pray for us. James 5:16.

I think you are incorrect about the use of the words intercede and mediate. Let’s take a look at the definitions,

in·ter·cede

1.to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition: to intercede with the governor for a condemned man.
2.to attempt to reconcile differences between two people or groups; mediate.

So any human may intercede for another human. But, if we use it as in the second definition, only Jesus can intercede to reconcile many with God. But any human can also attempt to reconcile differences between two people. And any human may intercede or petition God on behalf of another as in the first definition.

me·di·ate

1.to settle (disputes, strikes, etc.) as an intermediary between parties; reconcile.
2.to bring about (an agreement, accord, truce, peace, etc.) as an intermediary between parties by compromise, reconciliation, removal of misunderstanding, etc.
3.to effect (a result) or convey (a message, gift, etc.) by or as if by an intermediary.

As we look at the definition of mediate, we see why it was used in I Tim 2:5. It is much more about bringing peace and reconciliation between two parties. It is more like the second definition of intercede. And Jesus is the only one who can bring reconciliation between God and Man in regards to salvation and the forgiveness of sin. It is in this way that He is the One mediator between God and Man.

But any human can mediate in the sense of the third definition and convey a message to God for another. So, any time I join my prayers to my friends’ prayers I am conveying a message to God on behalf of my friend, even when I pray for someone’s salvation. I am in the middle, mediating between God and my friend. But, NOT, in the sense of the definition one or two. Only Jesus can actually DO that.

Now, as regards your assertion:

nowhere in the Bible does it state that she is (an intercessor).

I must make the point that nowhere in the Bible does it say that all religious truth MUST be found ONLY in the Bible. Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone, is a tradition of the man Martin Luther. But we are told to pray for one another. So, our asking Mary to pray for us and her praying for us is, according to James 5:16is simply “praying for one another.”

Any prayers to her are futile and worthless at best. Pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, but whatever you do, NEVER pray to Mary.

Why? What is wrong with it? According to your own beliefs, where in Scripture does it say we cannot ask another member of the Body of Christ to pray for us?

Jesus himself put Mary on the same level as any other sinner that ever lived, in need of repentance and Salvation through his sinless Sacrifice.

Where is this in Scripture? I can tell you now that you will not find it.

Mary was human. Yes.

She needed a savior. Yes.

But Jesus saved her at her conception and removed the fallen nature from her, that she otherwise would have inherited from her parents. Mary, through the grace of God and her cooperation with that Grace, remained sinless throughout her life. Just like Adam and Eve could have done, but did not. Even if you do not believe this you have to admit that God could have done this great grace for Mary. (published on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary)


Where Did Peter Ever Claim to be the First Pope?

December 2, 2011

Sonya: Do you know of any evidence of Peter claiming to be the first “pope”?

Bread From Heaven:Peter never claimed “to be the first pope” as such. Jesus proclaimed him as such in

Mt. 16:19 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.”

Jesus gave all the apostles the authority to bind and loose

Mt 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

but he only gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom. This promise finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.

Even Protestant scholars will acknowledge that Peter seemed have been designated with more authority that the other apostles by Jesus and based on NT evidence. But then they will contend that this authority was not passed on to another via apostolic succession. But I ask, why would Jesus designate an authoritative leader for His Church that would only last for the remainder of Peter’s short life? If the Church needed leadership in the first century, where many knew Jesus personally and knew the apostles and those who were taught by them, why would later generations not need this same authority and sure guide to the truth?

Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

We see this verse also as indicating a special office for Peter in having responsibility to strengthen the other apostles.

John 21:15-1715 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Here is the well known passage of Jesus reinstating Peter after his betrayal. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confers upon Peter the office of Shepherd of the Church. Of course the other apostles were also shepherds. But He does not specifically confer this office on the others.

But in every list of the apostles, except one, Peter is first. And when Peter and John race to the empty tomb, John beats him there, but waits until Peter arrives and then enters after him. I know these are not the kind of proofs you would like to see but these are the scriptural indications of Peter’s primacy. Matt 16 is the main proof.

But we also have in Acts 15 the first Church Council: A dispute arose between Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity regarding the necessity of circumcision. So, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to have the dispute settled. This is the first council of the Church. 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, removed the 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. Bishops will request minor changes to Church law that are necessary for the culture they are shepherding. There are differences between cultures and what works in Rome may not correlate to Africa, for instance.

There is nothing in Scripture alone that explicitly authorizes Peter to do this. There are implications but nothing clear and unequivocal. That is because the Christians in the infant Church were NOT Sola Scriptura. But the Jews were.

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.

Then of course there is historical evidence. Which I guess you will reject since it is not in scripture just like I did when I was first presented with this evidence. But I was hot on the trail of Pope Honorius and papal FALLIBILITY.

Honorius was declared a heretic by a later Pope. In my reading, as the Church and heretics battled over the current heresy (I can’t remember which one it was) I noticed a very curious thing. The heretics were all making attempts to get the approval of the Bishop of Rome and no other Bishop. This indicated to me that they knew that if they could get the stamp of approval for their beliefs from this bishop,they would triumph over those where calling them heretics. It was even more convincing to me b/c I stumbled on it and was not even looking for historical evidence of Papal primacy.

In Corinth, the people deposed their Church leaders, and some appealed to the Bishop of Rome, despite the fact that St. John was still living and closer to Corinth than Rome. We have Pope Clement’s response

Sonya: ” or any proof of linus being his successor?

Bread From Heaven: Linus was Peter’s successor according St. Irenaeus, writing between 175 and 190, not many years after his Roman sojourn, enumerates the series from Peter to Eleutherius (Against Heresies III.3.3; and Eusebius, Church HistoryCh 6). His object, as we have already seen, was to establish the orthodoxy of the traditional doctrine, as opposed to heretical novelties, by showing that the bishop was the natural inheritor of the Apostolic teaching. He gives us the names alone, not the length of the various episcopates.


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