Does Science Show That the Unborn Are Human Beings?

December 4, 2012


The Bible & Homosexuality: How to Respond to Dan Savage’s Attack

November 30, 2012


Was Same-Sex “Marriage” a Christian Rite?

November 25, 2012


TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY

November 20, 2012


SOLA SCRIPTURA & THE BEREANS

November 14, 2012


Is St. Peter the Rock on Which Jesus Founded His Church

November 4, 2012


Are the Gospels Really True?

October 31, 2012


Is Repetitious Prayer Condemned in Scripture?

October 26, 2012


Perpetual Virginity of Mary

October 22, 2012


The ONLY Leader is Jesus!

August 11, 2012

STEPHANIE:
The only leader or priest one should have is Jesus. If you kneel down to a pope or a pastor where is God in that? Why give glory to a human being that is not the reason for you being alive. The pope did not give you eternal salvation. Catholicism is a religion and Jesus broke down all religion because it took away from God. It did before and it still does now.


BREAD FROM HEAVEN:
Jesus is our King. But every King has administrators who are given authority by the KING. Left to ourselves alone our faith/religion becomes something we ourselves invent. There is no assurance of TRUTH. If we then make the step of accepting only Scripture our Faith/religion then has a lot of Truth we still have no assurance that our own interpretation is TRUE. So once again we are left with a faith/religion that we can only rely upon ourselves for assurance of TRUTH. The Protestant theory of “the Holy Spirit will lead me into all TRUTH,” is a wonderful theory but in the 500 years of history since the Protestant Reformation, it has proven false. If it were true all Protestants would be led to unity of TRUTH because God is not a God of confusion and yet each year brings new denominations brought about by different interpretations of Scripture. Today there are thousands of different Protestant denominations.

Jesus Himself desires that we be ONE even as He and His Father are ONE.

2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

So, Protestantism’s theory of being led by the HS in interpreting scripture has not proven true. Jesus desires UNITY, but Protestantism has resulted in thousands of denominations. And Protestantism encourages private interpretation of Scripture contrary to Scripture itself. This is what led to disunity and confusion.

But, Jesus Himself founded the Catholic Church on Peter and the Apostles 2000 years ago. We have the assurance of TRUTH as that which Jesus taught His apostles some of which was written and became the Bible canonized by the Catholic Church. And some of the apostolic truth was passed on orally and gradually has also been written as a witness to historic Christianity.

I will go with the Church founded by Jesus. He is our king. He gave us a pope and bishops and priests. Who am I to say He did it wrong.


CONCEPTION TO BIRTH

May 23, 2012

Did Jesus Exist Before His Mother?

May 16, 2012

Jonah: If Mary was not the Queen of Heaven referred to in Jeremiah (because she was not in existence at the time), when did she begin to exist…at the time of Jesus??

Bread From Heaven: Mary began to exist about 15-16 years before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. She began to exist at the time of her Immaculate Conception as a result of the union of her parents and God saving her from the stain of original sin.

Jonah: Does that mean that God the Father and all the old testament people pre-existed the Queen of Heaven?

Bread From Heaven: Yes, God the Father and all the Old Testament people absolutely existed before Mary, Queen of Heaven.

Jonah: King Jesus was around for eternity, just incarnated around 2012 years ago…so he pre-existed his own Queen Mother? How would you spin this one?

Bread From Heaven: Yes, Jesus the second person of the Trinity, is eternal and therefore existed before the mother of His Flesh. There was no Queen of Heaven before Mary’s Assumption into Heaven.

The Holy Trinity is Eternal. Human beings are created creatures. Once created, our souls are eternal even though our bodies die as a result of The Fall of Adam and Eve. Jesus came to enable our salvation and Eternal life in Heaven. If we reject Him we will have Eternal Hell.

To read the post that sparked these questions click here–>Mary, Queen of Heaven


Did the Disciples Discern the Body of Jesus in the Eucharist?

May 14, 2012

Tom: We have no record in the Gospels, as to whether the disciples believed that it was His body and blood or that it was merely bread and wine, and that they may have believed Jesus was speaking metaphorically as when He called himself a vine.

Bread From Heaven: Jesus was not speaking metaphorically as in when He says I am the vine, or I am the door. I have addressed this common Protestant work-around for the literal interpretation of John 6 in the following posts.

Communion-Symbol Only?

The Body of Christ is Symbolic!!!

Tom: It may well be that the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”.

Bread From Heaven: I see how you might think even the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”. We don’t know b/c we have not been left a record. But, even if they did not discern or were totally confused at the Last Supper, this was all VERY new and our gracious Lord would give them grace during this time of transition. Surely, after the resurrection they understood, a short three or four days later.

But, I think it is very likely that the Last Supper was a big “Ah Ha!” moment for them. A year earlier at near the time of the Passover, Jesus had multiplied the bread and fish and then told everyone that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. Many others left Jesus but the disciples stayed but were surely puzzled by this seeming reference to what sounded like cannibalism.

So, when Jesus said of the bread, “Take and eat; this is my body.” and of the cup “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” They must have breathed a sigh of relief and thought, Oh! So, this is what Jesus meant last year about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.”


Mary Queen of Heaven

May 9, 2012


Mary: Read Jeremiah chapter 7 and 44 and see what God says about praying to the Queen of Heaven.

Bread From Heaven: We do not pray TO Mary in the same sense that we pray TO God. God is able to answer our prayers. Mary and the Saints are able to intercede for us just like any other human person that we ask to pray for us TO GOD.

1) Mary is not an idol. She is a human alive in Heaven.

2) She actually is the Queen Mother of Heaven because Jesus is King.

3) The Queen of Heaven mentioned in Jeremiah could not possibly have been referring to Mary, since she had not even been born yet, and neither had her parents or their parents.

4) The Queen of Heaven referred to in Jeremiah was a mythical pagan goddess. Mary was not Pagan. She was not mythical. She is not a goddess.

5) “All generations shall call me blessed.” Mary declared under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Which Church still calls Mary the Blessed Mother? Does your Church? How will you answer when you stand before Jesus and He asks you why you did not?

6) Catholics honor Mary. We do not worship her. We honor her in obedience to the Commandments to honor our Father and Mother. Since we are a part of the body of Christ, Mary is also our mother. And we are told in Revelation 12

17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring —those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.


Contraception and Bulimia

March 7, 2012


Q. If bulimia and contraception are abuses of the pleasure of eating and sexual union, then why do I agree that bulimia is disordered but contraception doesn’t seem disordered at all?

A. Contraception doesn’t seem or feel as disordered because in our culture bulimia is still disapproved of but contraception is highly approved. We are steeped in the teaching of our culture. In all the surrounding culture contraception is not just OK but it is a duty. It is a duty if you are not married to your partner. It is a duty if you have financial problems. It is a duty if you already have two children, especially, if you have a boy and a girl. This is often unspoken but this mindset lies behind the comments to the newly pregnant woman like, “Oh, a surprise pregnancy, right?” “Don’t you know what causes these things?” or from a friend, “sigh…..Now it will be even longer before we can do lunch. (I have seven children so I have heard these and more for myself)

This worldly wisdom seems practical and logical based on the little we know about ourselves. But God knows fully what is best for us. He knows how this Sexual Union Abuse wounds our souls and our marriages. The abuse of the sexual union with contraception, both in and out of matrimony has created chaos in the culture, disordered relationships, and deeply wounded hearts and minds.

Compare the mindset of most people today with the convictions of respected leaders from the very recent past:

Contraception is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement–Theodore Roosevelt

The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all sexual perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it.–Sigmund Freud

Contraceptive methods are like putting a premium on vice. They make men and women reckless. Nature is relentless and will have full revenge for any such violation of her laws….If (contraceptive) methods become the order of the day, nothing but moral degradation can be the result. As it is, man has sufficiently degraded woman for his lust, and no matter how well meaning the advocates may be, (contraception) will still further degrade her.”-Ghandi

“Contraceptives are an insult to womanhood. The only difference between a prostitute and a woman who uses contraceptives is that the former sells her body to many men, the latter to one only . . . It is the work of our generation to glorify vice by calling it virtue.”–Ghandi

By accepting contraception, the world is trying to form a civilized but non-
Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization and save the world from suicide.”–T. S Eliot

These are “the consequences of methods of artificially limiting the increase of children. Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality. … men—… growing used to the employment of anti-conceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion” –Pope Paul VI: Humane Vite 17.

We have slid

way,

way

down

the

slippery

slope of immorality.

 

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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.


Perpetual Virginity of Mary

November 30, 2011

Sonya: I also think the perpetual virginity argument is weak at best because if the Bible said she remained a virgin till her death, I am pretty sure we wouldn’t be having a discussion about it.

Bread From Heaven: But, neither would we be having this discussion if Jesus or any of the writers of the NT said that all Christian truth must be found ONLY in the Scriptures. And I know that if Scripture did say Mary was ever virgin and immaculate Protestants would believe it. But why do you believe in Sola Scriptura, since it is NOT taught in scripture?

So you think that Mary’s perpetual virginity is weak b/c it is not found in scripture. OK, that is your choice.

Did you know that Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli firmly believed in her perpetual virginity? So, by whose authority was it rejected among Protestants?

Martin Luther: “It is an article of faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin…Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact.” (Works of Luther, V. 11, pp319-320; V. 6, p 510)

John Calvin: “there have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage (Mt 1:25) that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly this is! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…And besides this our Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn. This is not because there was a second or third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or no there was any question of the second.” (Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, published 1562)

Ulrich Zwingli: “I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.”.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., V6,1 P. 639

But, what surprises me, unless you haven’t read it, is that the refutation of the Protestant contention, that Jesus MUST have had brothers and sisters would be irrelevant to you. –>Who Were the Brothers & Sisters of Jesus?

Protestants reject the Perpetual Virginity of Mary b/c they know the scriptures speak several times about the brothers and sisters of Jesus. So, if it is scripturally possible that these passages refer to Jesus’ kinsmen or step siblings as opposed to Mary’s offspring, then there is no absolute scriptural refutation of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. This was amazing and convincing to me twelve years ago when I first looked into Catholicism.


All Have Sinned and the Immaculate Conception

November 26, 2011

Sonya: The immaculate conception of Mary…I ‘ve read that you believe she is an exception to “all” just like Jesus. However, the only reason we believe Jesus was an exception is because we are plainly told in the scripture that he “knew no sin” and was “yet without sin” etc. No mention is ever made of this toward Mary. Seems the most reasonable explanation for all is all if there is not a clear exception shown.

Bread From Heaven: If Sola Scriptura was an authentic and scriptural doctrine regarding all theology your point might be correct. However, since it is not in Scripture and did not exist in Christian thought until Martin Luther invented it a mere 500 years ago, you certainly are not bound by it, even as a Protestant. And the Catholic Church, which wrote and canonized the Scriptures is most definitely not bound by a Protest-ant and Heretical teaching.

This will not satisfy you as proof but Mary’s sinlessness is obliquely referred to when the angel announces her divine maternity. For what Biblical evidence we have, see–>Immaculate Conception

All does not always mean absolutely all in scripture. For instance, regarding the plagues of Egypt scripture says that they occurred in “all the land of Egypt” and yet we are also told that the Israelites, who also lived in Egypt, escaped these plagues. So, all did not mean absolutely all.

Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

And then we have the same author talking about men who are righteous, who do good in many other passages in Psalms.

Psalm 18:20
Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me

Psalm 1:5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
Psalm 1:6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,But the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 5:12For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,
Psalm 11:3If the foundations are destroyed,What can the righteous do?”
Psalm 11:5The LORD tests the righteousand the wicked,

Psalm 52:6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:So, it seems that we can’t count on all meaning absolutely all. It is hyperbolic and not meant to be taken absolutely literally. Click Here–> The Righteous. Noah, Abraham, Job,

Remember, the authors of the New Testament did not include everything they knew. But they could teach everything over time, orally. They did not write a book of systematic theology. They wrote enough to explain who Jesus was and evangelize. And they were promised that,

“the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.John 14:26

This was a promise Jesus made to His apostles and not to anyone else. He could have made this to everyone. But I don’t think too many would claim that He has brought to their personal remembrance all that Jesus said in His life on Earth.

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: 25And 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.



How Was Baptism Administered in First Century?

November 24, 2011
Question: Baptize means to fully immerse. Why doesn’t the Catholic Church follow the words of Jesus? Why place tradition above scripture? As is the concept “age of reason” your idea or is it Catholic?

Bread From Heaven: Clearly, TRADITIONS (The Teaching of the Apostles) were handed down for many years before, what we know today as the New Testament, was actually written. Therefore, the New Testament was given birth OUT OF the Teachings of the Apostles. But there was more to it than what got written down. That is why St. John says the “world could not contain the books” if it all was written down. Because of this, all the teachings of the Catholic/Christian Church was used to decide what got canonized and what did not get canonized. Therefore, all that the Church teaches is NOT contradicted by scripture. I submit to you, that despite the strict definition of baptizo, by the time the NT was canonized the method and meaning of baptizo had expanded to include pouring because the Church had been baptizing validly using this method for years already.

It was never an issue until Protestants came along and were motivated to find fault with the doctrine of the Catholic Church (in addition to Catholic who sin) as an excuse to separate from the Church founded by Jesus.

I would like to suggest to you that if the Catholic Church taught that baptism by full immersion was wrong, then this would clearly contradict scripture or nullify the word of God. And what the Catholic Church teaches does fit into scripture much more cohesively that any of the Protestant teachings I was familiar with. There were always scriptures that just didn’t fit Protestant doctrine, and Protestant explanation or commentary on those things just did not ring true to me.

That the “born of water” refers to natural birth is an interpretation. Since the scripture does not specifically say this refers to the waters of natural birth. And this interpretation is not universal among Protestants. It actually derives from those sects to deny the necessity of baptism or want to make it completely optional.

What I am trying to communicate to Protestants is in regard to this very discussion we are having. You are convinced that baptism is by full immersion based ONLY on the definition of the word baptizo in Scripture.OK I understand that. But, what did the Christian Church of the first century do? How did they baptize? Before those words in the New Testament were ever even written, how were converts being baptized?

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before. Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) 90A.D.

So, you see that the Oral Traditions preceded the New Testament. This is settled practice it is not a new instruction. If Satan had actually been able to destroy proper baptism, then that would mean that Jesus was unable to keep His promise.
” and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (His Church). Mt 16:18
The age of reason is a Catholic concept. It is usually around 7 years of age but can vary. Until this time, even though a child is born with a sin nature they are not judged to have committed their own sin until after the age of reason. They must first of all know that a certain behavior is a sin and then freely consent to sin. If what is done is very serious the sin is mortal. If it is less serious it is deemed to be venial sin.

Baptism, Church Authority, Salvation, Eucharist & Mortal Sin

November 22, 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 encompases 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


Necessity of Baptism

November 19, 2011

April: This is wrong. You do not have to be baptized in water to be saved.

Bread From Heaven: I know Protestants often believe that baptism is optional or done only out of obedience. But, on what authority do you just completely ignore so many other verses ?

Bread From Heaven: Are certain verses so important that other verses may safely be dismissed?

April: In John 3:5, Jesus is talking about being born from your Mother in water, meaning you have to be human.

Bread From Heaven: This is a Protestant interpretation to explain away the necessity of baptism. The verse says NOTHING about birth water. It says nothing about normal childbirth. This is purely a Protestant tradition.

John 3:3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus tells Nicodemus he must be born again. Nicodemus specifically asks Jesus how he can be born when he is old. There is no reference to normal childbirth. They are talking about being BORN AGAIN. Jesus’ answer, born of water and of the Spirit. I guess it could be interpreted it as childbirth but there is no historical evidence that it ever was. Why, when Nicodemus wants to know how he can be born when he is old, Jesus would tell him first he had to be born of woman? Duh! Do you think Nicodemus didn’t know a person had to be born first to be saved? They aren’t talking about the qualifications for salvation with a need to specify being human. Besides are there not birth waters for most mammals?

Not only this, Titus specifically mentions being saved through the washing of REBIRTH.

Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy

April: Imposing that you can’t be saved without being baptized is completely unbiblical.

Read Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Bread From Heaven: I did not say that one cannot be saved without baptism. Many will be saved who were never baptized. But, that is God’s call not ours. We have no authority to make baptism optional. Salvation is actually multifaceted. We must believe, be baptized, love God and neighbor, obey God, repent, confess our sin, eat and drink the body and blood of Christ etc. Do you honestly believe that a person can just say “Jesus is Lord” and believe this and he will be saved not matter whether he loves God, loves his neighbor, obeys God etc? Really? There are many scriptures linking many things to salvation and eternal life. The Protestant doctrine of Faith Alone does not cohere with all of scripture.

How is it unbiblical? It just contradicts the Protestant doctrine of Faith Alone. It certainly does not contradict anything in the Bible nor is it not found in scripture. The verse you quoted in Romans is linking salvation to two of the many facets of salvation. But the way you are interpreting it and applying it contradicts all of the following verses. How do you explain away:

John 3:3…Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.   Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 3:20-21 ..when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you

St. Paul also speaks of baptism through which we enter into Christ in order to live and he it is who wrote the verse you quoted above.

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,


The Rosary vs Divination

November 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?

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.”

Bread From Heaven:

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


Baptism, Eucharist, & Mortal Sin

November 12, 2011

Sonja: I confess not to completely understand the passage in Peter,

I Peter 3:21 baptism now saves you

there are so many other instances where the Bible talks about belief/calling on the Lord only…John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, .
Bread From Heaven: What is said in I Peter regarding baptism is very clear. What is unclear is why, Protestants, who profess to believe in Scripture and ONLY Scripture teach their members to reject what this scripture clearly says.

Faith and belief are also necessary for salvation. Baptism initiates us into the family of God exactly like circumcision did for the Jews (infant circumcision and infant baptism correspond to each other)

Col 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Sonja:In Acts when he is talking to the jailor…how do you explain those away?

Bread From Heaven: Let’s look at the passage from ACTS.

Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

As you see they believed and were baptized. The Catholic Church teaches that if one believes but dies before being able to be baptized they are still saved through a Baptism of Desire. God can save us without baptism in His mercy and omniscience; but we were told by Jesus to be baptized.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Being a disciple implies the Faith necessary for salvation. But, where does Jesus make baptism and obedience optional? Where does Jesus say salvation is by FAITH ALONE?

Many Protestant pastors and teachers tend to dichotomies: either this or that. ie. Either Faith or baptism saves us. But the Catholic Faith, with a 1500 year head start on Protestants in reading and understanding Scripture recognize dichotomies don’t do justice to Scripture. More often it is not either/or but both/and…faith and baptism and obedience as we see in the Matthew passage above. Other passages mention other requirements for salvation/eternal ,  “eating My Flesh and drinking My Blood”. Trying to force Scripture into an either/or dichotomy distorts the message beyond repair; or else many scriptures are totally ignored or interpreted away.

Sonja:Furthermore, does not baptize in the Greek meant to immerse? This is what I’ve been taught, but admittedly don’t know Greek myself, but it seems the only way you could accurately picture the death burial and resurrection like they pointed out in one of the letters

Bread From Heaven: And yes, baptismo means immerse. So, immersion is certainly a fuller sign of dying to self and rising to new life. But, if baptism initiates us into Christ and is necessary for salvation (Jn 3) then what of conversions on a sick/death-bed? What of infants close to death? Haul them miles and miles away to a body of water deep enough to fully immerse? They might die on the journey. For many reasons the Church compassionately and for practical reasons decided that a valid baptism could be accomplished without full immersion. A lake or river with moving, (living water) is preferred but at least the pouring of water on the head was required three times, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

CCC-1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This is an except from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But the whole entry is very beautiful. You can read it here Baptism.

Sonja: The Eucharist…the bread and wine have to be representative as there was never actually any physical bread that came down from heaven. The “bread” was Jesus Christ. If you could show me physical bread that came from heaven, I would probably concede to a literal interpretation here. Also, if you take these passages as literal they say whoever partakes of this bread will be saved. That is apart from all your other sacraments and belief only this one thing would need to be done. So the only logical way I can take it as meaning partaking spiritually in his body and blood via excepting his sacrifice for my sin…We do have unfermented wine and unleavened bread, but only “in remembrance” of what he has done.

Bread From Heaven: You are correct. Jesus IS the Physical Bread that came down from Heaven. A better Bread than the Miracle of the Manna that came down from Heaven. The physical Bread that we eat is JESUS’ body,blood,soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, after plain bread has been consecrated by our priests. It is no longer mere bread but JESUS, under the appearance of Bread. We partake of this Bread that comes down from Heaven by a miracle, of God, through the hands of a priest, at each of our masses.

Grape juice is just not wine. Grape Juice is grape juice and wine is wine. Wine comes from fermented grape juice. Grape juice does not come from unfermented wine but grapes. This is a very plausible sounding way for Protestants to try to get around the fact that, contrary to the fact that wine was one of the elements Jesus used at the Last Supper, they have arbitrarily decided to use grape juice instead. Protestants often do not use wine b/c of the tradition from a few years ago surrounding Prohibition and their recent tradition that drinking alcoholic beverages is sinful. This is another Protestant Tradition of men b/c it is nowhere supported in scripture. Getting drunk is a sin but drinking without getting drunk is not a sin.

Sonja:…mortal and venial sin…not sure what you think is a “sin unto death” but Revelation 21:8 lists liars as having their part in the second death. James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.” The next verse explains why…the same God told you not to do it. There are some things however that do seem to be worse in the eyes of God when dealing with things on earth. I would agree there. Would love to hear any rebuttals (please make them educated and Bible based) that Catholics have.

Bread From Heaven:  You are correct. There are several lists in the epistles that list very serious sin. I John mentions mortal sin/sin unto death.

I John 5:16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

The Catholic Church calls these sins that lead to death, Mortal Sins and the lesser sins that we, ourselves,  can pray for forgiveness for, Venial Sin. We have merely given a shorter name to these sins than “sin-that-leads-to-death” and “sin-that-does-not-lead-to-death”.

Regarding

James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.”

Of course, it is TRUE. Any sin, small or large, brings us condemnation. An offense against and Eternal God is itself of Eternal Magnitude. And only and Eternal Sacrifice could suffice to make reparation for our sin both mortal and venial. However, as you so aptly pointed out some sin is an abomination in the eyes of God just like they are in the eyes of men. Even before I became Catholic I thought it was crazy to think that God saw all sin EQUALLY especially when so many verses refuted this sophistry.


Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics Worship Idols

October 22, 2011

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.


Does “call no man father” Contradict the Church?

September 8, 2011

Bread From Heaven: “There is NOT ONE THING CATHOLIC, THAT CONTRADICTS ANYTHING IN SCRIPTURE. ”

Steve: I will address this really fast.

(Mat 23:9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

I believe the proper title used in the catholic church for the priest/preacher is “father” and the title you have given your pope is “holy father”

These are the ministers you send into the world, and immediately a Scripture is contradicted and a command from Jesus is broken.

It doesn’t matter how a catholic and a protestant interprets Scripture, it matters how God does. If we as men don’t interpret His way, what does it matter?

BFHU: The call no man father verse does seem to contradict Catholic practice; so, Protestants use this verse very effectively to seemingly “prove” that the Catholic Church advocates something clearly prohibited by scripture. But the reality is that, once again this is just another case of the Catholic Church contradicting Protestant interpretation of scripture and not actually contradicting scripture at all.

Because, as any Protestant worth his salt will tell you scripture cannot be taken out of context. But, that is exactly what Protestants do with this verse in order to denigrate Catholic practice. The author of “call no man father” is Jesus. Now, if what he meant, was that the faithful should NEVER call their priests “father” then one would have to conclude that St. Paul was a heretic. How else can a Protestant explain:

St. Paul addresses the Jewish religious leaders as fathers. Did St. Paul also ignore Jesus’ rule?

Acts 22:1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

1 Corinthians 4:14-15
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

St. Paul continues this father/child relationship in the following epistles. He identifies himself as a spiritual father either directly as in I Thess. or indirectly by calling Timothy and Titus his “true son in faith”.

1 Thessalonians 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith(that makes Paul a father in the faith): Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

St.Paul fathered those he brought to life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as he says in I Cor. And he had no problem with appropriating this title to himself.

And there is more. Even Jesus Himself called a religious leader Father.This would make Jesus a hypocrite according to Protestant interpretation of the call no man father verse

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Luke 16:24 & 30 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire….’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

Once again we see that the Catholic Church merely imitates our Lord and St. Paul in calling our priests, father. We uphold ALL of Scripture. And the Church founded by Jesus is able to interpret scripture His way. Do you claim the ability to infallibly interpret scripture?

Please see my post Scripture vs the Catholic Church


Does Protestant Tradition Negate the Word of God?

May 14, 2011

Ever since becoming Catholic I have been struck with the irony that while claiming to take Scripture literally, Protestants ignore every scripture that supports Catholic Theology, except when it comes to John 6. This they try to explain away.

As a Protestant I was taught to believe NOTHING unless it was in Scripture and that Catholics and others were in danger of going to Hell because they believed things not found in Sacred Scripture.

And yet, as many of you know if you have read a few posts here, I find myself constantly responding to many Protestant assertions,

“Where is that is Scripture?”

Not because I believe in Sola Scriptura but because Protestants do. And to raise their awareness that not everything they believe is actually found in Scripture.

We all believe things not stated explicitly in Scripture. The difference is that we Catholics tend to know this but Protestants seem to be largely unaware of it. They are as surprised as a deer caught in the headlights when asked about their doctrine:

Where is that in Scripture?

But the elephant in the room that Protestants don’t talk about is, that Sacred Scripture does not say anything about the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura invented by Martin Luther 500 years ago, which they use so effectively to put Catholics on the defensive.

So, that is one issue. The irony that Sola Scriptura is not found in Scripture.

But what about the fact that Protestants, who claim to take the Scriptures literally, completely ignore and/or explain away with mental and verbal gymnastics, many key passages of Scripture that SUPPORT Catholic beliefs.

Is that not ironic? Here are a few. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

BAPTISM for salvation and entrance to the Kingdom of God.

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

1 Peter 3:20-21… who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…

THE EUCHARIST-Bread and Wine become the body and blood of Jesus

John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
John 6:51,53-58 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.…So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me,
and I in him.
“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
“This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

I Corinthians 11:23 The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.

MORTAL & VENIAL SIN

I John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.

And, God calls some sins an ABOMINATION!!

Leviticus 18:22‘ You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you.

For more click–>Sins of Abomination

And GOD hates these sins:

Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

1) haughty eyes,
2) a lying tongue,
3) hands that shed innocent blood,
4) a heart that devises wicked schemes,
5)feet that are quick to rush into evil,
6) a false witness who pours out lies
7)and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Most Protestant teach that all sin is EQUAL. That there is no such thing as sin that is worse than other sin.  I have no idea why, when we have scripture that clearly indicates otherwise and there is no scripture that states all sin is equal.

SACRAMENT of CONFESSION

John 20:22-23And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.

This is the first dispensation of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles only, prior to Pentecost. It empowered them to hear and absolve…or not… sin. Confession had to be audible in order for the apostle to forgive or retain.

CELIBACY IS ENCOURAGED

I Cor 7:1 It is good for a man not to marry…An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.”

Matthew 19:12
For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

CALLING OUR PRIESTS “FATHER”
Using this verse out of context Protestants denounce the practice of calling our priests, ‘father’.


Matthew 23:8-12
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[a] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted

And yet they completely ignore the fact that Jesus, St. Paul, St. Stephen, and St. John call men ‘Father’.

Jesus Himself referred to FATHER Abraham. Did Jesus break his own rule?

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Luke 16:24 & 30 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire….’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

U> Acts 7:1-2Then the high priest asked him( Stephen), “Are these charges true?”2To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me!

1 John 2:13-14I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

St. Paul also addresses the Jewish religious leaders as fathers. Did St. Paul also break Jesus’ rule?

Acts 22:1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

St. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians reminds them that they only have one father in Christ, himself. And he claims them as his spiritual children.


1 Corinthians 4:14-15
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

St. Paul continues this spiritual father/child relationship in the following epistles. He identifies himself as their spiritual father either directly as in I Thess. or indirectly by calling Timothy and Titus his “true son in faith”.

1 Thessalonians 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith(that makes Paul a father in the faith): Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

St.Paul fathered those he brought to life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And he had no problem with appropriating this title to himself. So, either St. Paul was wrong or the Protestant tradition is wrong.

REJECTING PRIVATE INTERPRETATION IN FAVOR OF CHURCH TEACHING

2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

UNITY- One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One faith, One baptism; One God and Father…Eph. 4:4

John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

And yet I have heard Protestants who praise the diversity of all the thousands of different Protestant denominations as a good thing. I have always been too polite to quote John 17 to them.

The thoroughness and meticulous cohesion of Catholic doctrine as compared to the instability of many Protestant doctrines played no small part in my conversion to the Catholic Church.


Worth Revisiting: Development and negation: the struggle continues

May 7, 2011

Development and negation: the struggle continues

 

The latest installment in my “Development and Negation” series was about slavery. More specifically, the question was whether the development of Magisterial teaching on the moral status of slavery negates any previously taught doctrine that meets the Church’s own criteria for irreformability. My answer was, of course, no—as it has been in every case where dissenters of the right or the left charge the Magisterium with discrediting itself by contradicting itself over time. What I shall do here is illustrate the significance of the general topic by presenting what happened to the debate over the slavery question.
The critic against whom I have lately defended the Magisterium was theologian Joseph O’Leary, an unreconstructed prog of a kind all too familiar on ostensibly Catholic theology faculties. The original target of his criticisms was Avery Cardinal Dulles, who had addressed the slavery issue among others in his article “Development or Reversal?” In criticizing my own position on the slavery issue, which accords with Dulles’, O’Leary repeats a charge he has made in almost every debate he and I have had in the past: “Liccione has devoted huge intellectual effort to proving that the Church has never reversed its official teaching on any point of morality.” As anybody who reads my series can verify for themselves, however, that is not what I have devoted effort to proving. I have openly acknowledged cases in which Church authorities have reversed their application of moral principles to specific moral questions, such as how heretics may be punished, whether borrowers may ever be charged for loans beyond the principal, and when the death penalty can be justified. What I have instead sought to show is that no moral tenet taught by the Church in such wise as to meet her own criteria for irreformability has thereby been repudiated. Tenets that do meet such criteria are, to be sure, sometimes wrongly applied; others take time to be recognized and formulated for what they are. That is why development and refinement in Catholic moral teaching are both possible and necessary. But my thesis has been that such development and refinement do not entail negation of any tenet taught in the past with the Church’s full authority. Tenets so taught are infallibly taught and are thus “irreformable,” meaning “not to be contradicted.” So the Church does not contradict or negate them. What’s happened in my debate with O’Leary well illustrates the importance of that point.

In his last comment here on my slavery post, O’Leary proceeds in characteristic fashion by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. I had claimed, as an aside, that magisterial support in the Middle Ages for the physical punishment of heretics—such as the papal bull Ad Extirpanda—did not meet the Church’s own criteria for irreformability. I have made that claim before, and I’ve made it because AE’s subject matter was not any irreformable moral tenet, but rather a prudential judgment on the specific, very time-bound question whether the good of the body politic requires that heretics be physically coerced into confessing their heresies. Those who exercise magisterial authority, including popes, can be wrong about that without logically discrediting their own claims to teach infallibly, and thus irreformably, about “faith and morals” under certain conditions. In this case medieval ecclesiastics, including St. Thomas Aquinas, were wrong about the socio-political importance and necessity of torturing heretics. I’ve explained why before, but I don’t want to distract readers any further by getting into that again. Here, rather, is what O’Leary says in response to my claim that “Ad Extirpanda does not satisfy the Church’s own criteria for the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium”:

 

Do you refer to the papal teaching office or the universal teaching office of bishops, which is usually what people mean when they talk of the ordinary magisterium? As far as I know there are only 2 candidates for infallibility of the former, namely the dogmas of 1854 and 1950. I tend to follow G. Hallett SJ in thinking the claim of infallibility to be meaningless (thus neither true nor false), The infallibility of bishops is a Bellarminian thesis unwisely embraced, without disucssion, by the bishops at Vatican II and ruthless exploited since then to claim infallibility for Vaticanist doctrines on contraception, women’s ordination etc., at the very time as any autonomous teaching authority of bishops is beiing undercut.

Let’s leave aside the rather elementary point that the “ordinary” magisterium of the Church is not to be contrasted with the “papal” magisterium but rather with the “extraordinary” magisterium. Either the pope or the bishops can and do exercise either magisterium (though the bishops can only do so legitimately in communion with the pope). It’s bad enough that O’Leary, an ostensibly Catholic theologian, has missed that. But he’s actually suggesting that the dogma of papal infallibility is “meaningless” and asserting that the doctrine of the infallibility of bishops, authoritatively taught in Lumen Gentium 25, is “a Bellarminian thesis unwisely embraced, without disucssion [sic], by the bishops at Vatican II.” Again, let’s leave aside the irony that a theologian who signs himself “Spirit of Vatican II” is rejecting a very important ecclesiological doctrine authoritatively taught by the Fathers of Vatican II. O’Leary is out to end the game before it starts.

If the dogma of papal infallibility is “meaningless” and the infallibility of the bishops, as explained in LG §25, a mere thesis “unwisely embraced,” then the question whether the Church’s development of doctrine has ever negated an irreformably taught doctrine cannot be usefully debated. Before that question can be usefully debated, there must be some agreement among the participants both that there are infallibly taught doctrines and that there are consistently applicable criteria for identifying doctrines as such. For reasons I’ve given, the class of “infallible” doctrines is co-extensive with that of “irreformable” ones. Among Catholic theologians who care about teaching with and in the name of the Church, such agreement holds in substance, if not always at the margins. But between me and O’Leary, it does not hold in any sense at all. So, we do not even agree on the premises of the discussion. Perhaps that is why O’Leary consistently misrepresents what I aim to do.

The only useful strategy for the O’Learys of the world—and their name is legion—would be to argue that the historic development of Catholic doctrine precludes any doctrine of magisterial infallibility (ordinary or extraordinary, papal or episcopal) that could be (a) meaningful, (b) useful, and (c) definitively held. If there is no such doctrine of infallibility, then the question which tenets count as irreformable is purely a matter of opinion, and my “development and negation” project is not worth pursuing. That is roughly the tack Hans Küng took in his once-celebrated book Infallible? An Inquiry. A debate about his argumentative strategy is worth having because it can be settled by facts and logic. As I read Küng’s book and researched his sources three decades ago, my debate with him was gradually settled. I concluded his case was not compelling on either historical or logical grounds. More important, I soon realized that if he were right, then the claims of the Catholic Magisterium to be preserved from error under certain conditions are so much hot air. In that case, there would be no compelling reason to remain in full communion with Rome, other than to undermine her claims from within.

That, I suspect, is the real point of the O’Learys of the world.


John Calvin on Sacraments

April 17, 2011

The excerpt below comes from the conversion story of Dr. David Anders, How John Calvin Made Me Catholic at Called to Communion

Calvin’s thoughts on the sacraments were shocking. Unlike Evangelicals, who treat the theology of the sacraments as one of the “non-essentials,” Calvin thought they were of the utmost importance. In fact, he taught that a proper understanding of the Eucharist was necessary for salvation. This was the thesis of his very first theological treatise in French (Petit traicté de la Sainte Cène, 1541). Frustrated by Protestant disagreement over the Eucharist, Calvin wrote the text in an attempt to unify the movement around one single doctrine.

Evangelicals are used to finding assurance in their “personal relationship with Christ,” and not through membership in any Church or participation in any ritual. Calvin, however, taught that the Eucharist provides “undoubted assurance of eternal life.”5 And while Calvin stopped short of the Catholic, or even the Lutheran, understanding of the Eucharist, he still retained a doctrine of the Real Presence. He taught that the Eucharist provides a “true and substantial partaking of the body and blood of the Lord” and he rejected the notion that communicants receive “the Spirit only, omitting flesh and blood.”6.

Calvin understood baptism in much the same way. He never taught the Evangelical doctrine that one is “born again” through personal conversion. Instead, he associated regeneration with baptism and taught that to neglect baptism was to refuse salvation. He also allowed no diversity over the manner of its reception. Anabaptists in Geneva (those who practiced adult baptism) were jailed and forced to repent. Calvin taught that Anabaptists, by refusing the sacrament to their children, had placed themselves outside the faith.

Calvin once persuaded an Anabaptist named Herman to enter the Reformed Church. His description of the event leaves no doubt about the difference between Calvin and the modern Evangelical. Calvin wrote:

Herman has, if I am not mistaken, in good faith returned to the fellowship of the Church. He has confessed that outside the Church there is no salvation, and that the true Church is with us. Therefore, it was defection when he belonged to a sect separated from it.7

Evangelicals don’t understand this type of language. They are accustomed to treating “the Church” as a purely spiritual reality, represented across denominations or wherever “true believers” are gathered. This was not Calvin’s view. His was “the true Church,” marked off by infant baptism, outside of which there was no salvation.

Making Sense of Evangelicalism

Studying Calvin raised important questions about my Evangelical identity. How could I reject as unimportant issues that my own founder considered essential? I had blithely and confidently dismissed baptism, Eucharist, and the Church itself as “merely symbolic,” “purely spiritual” or, ultimately, unnecessary. In seminary, too, I found an environment where professors disagreed entirely over these issues and no one cared! With no final court of appeal, we had devolved into a “lowest common denominator” theology.

Church history taught me that this attitude was a recent development. John Calvin had high expectations for the unity and catholicity of the faith, and for the centrality of Church and sacrament. But Calvinism couldn’t deliver it. Outside of Geneva, without the force of the state to impose one version, Calvinism itself splintered into factions. In her book Orthodoxies in Massachusetts: Rereading American Puritanism, historian Janice Knight details how the process unfolded very early in American Calvinism. 8

It is not surprising that by the eighteenth century, leading Calvinist Churchmen on both sides of the Atlantic had given up on the quest for complete unity. One new approach was to stress the subjective experience of “new birth” (itself a novel doctrine of Puritan origins) as the only necessary concern. The famous revivalist George Whitefield typified this view, going so far as to insist that Christ did not want agreement in other matters. He said:

It was best to preach the new birth, and the power of godliness, and not to insist so much on the form: for people would never be brought to one mind as to that; nor did Jesus Christ ever intend it.9

Since the eighteenth century, Calvinism has devolved more and more into a narrow set of questions about the nature of salvation. Indeed, in most people’s minds the word Calvinism implies only the doctrine of predestination. Calvin himself has become mainly a shadowy symbol, a myth that Evangelicals call upon only to support a spurious claim to historical continuity.

The greatest irony in my historical research was realizing that Evangelicalism, far from being the direct descendant of Calvin, actually represents the failure of Calvinism. Whereas Calvin spent his life in the quest for doctrinal unity, modern Evangelicalism is rooted in the rejection of that quest. Historian Alister McGrath notes that the term “Evangelical,” which has circulated in Christianity for centuries, took on its peculiar modern sense only in the twentieth century, with the founding of the National Association of Evangelicals (1942). This society was formed to allow coordinated public action on the part of disparate groups that agreed on “the new birth,” but disagreed on just about everything else.10

A Calvinist Discovers Catholicism

I grew up believing that Evangelicalism was “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” I learned from Protestant Church history that it was hardly older than Whitefield, and certainly not the faith of the Protestant Reformers. What to do? Should I go back to the sixteenth century and become an authentic Calvinist? I already knew that Calvin himself, for all his insistence on unity and authority, had been unable to deliver the goods. His own followers descended into anarchy and individualism.

I realized instead that Calvin was part of the problem. He had insisted on the importance of unity and authority, but had rejected any rational or consistent basis for that authority. He knew that Scripture totally alone, Scripture interpreted by each individual conscience, was a recipe for disaster. But his own claim to authority was perfectly arbitrary. Whenever he was challenged, he simply appealed to his own conscience, or to his subjective experience, but he denied that right to Bolsec and others. As a result, Calvin became proud and censorious, brutal with his enemies, and intolerant of dissent. In all my reading of Calvin, I don’t recall him ever apologizing for a mistake or admitting an error.

It eventually occurred to me that Calvin’s attitude contrasted sharply with what I had found in the greatest Catholic theologians. Many of them were saints, recognized for their heroic charity and humility. Furthermore, I knew from reading them, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Francis de Sales, that they denied any personal authority to define doctrine. They deferred willingly, even joyfully, to the authority of Pope and council. They could maintain the biblical ideal of doctrinal unity (1 Corinthians 1:10), without claiming to be the source of that unity.

These saints also challenged the stereotypes about Catholics that I had grown up with. Evangelicals frequently assert that they are the only ones to have “a personal relationship with Christ.” Catholics, with their rituals and institutions, are supposed to be alienated from Christ and Scripture. I found instead men and women who were single-minded in their devotion to Christ and inebriated with His grace.


John Calvin Made Me Catholic

April 14, 2011

The excerpt below comes from the conversion story of Dr. David Anders, How John Calvin Made Me Catholic at Called to Communion

Calvin shocked me by rejecting key elements of my Evangelical tradition. Born-again spirituality, private interpretation of Scripture, a broad-minded approach to denominations – Calvin opposed them all. I discovered that his concerns were vastly different, more institutional, even more Catholic. Although he rejected the authority of Rome, there were things about the Catholic faith he never thought about leaving. He took for granted that the Church should have an interpretive authority, a sacramental liturgy and a single, unified faith.

These discoveries faced me with important questions. Why should Calvin treat these “Catholic things” with such seriousness? Was he right in thinking them so important? And if so, was he justified in leaving the Catholic Church? What did these discoveries teach me about Protestantism? How could my Church claim Calvin as a founder, and yet stray so far from his views? Was the whole Protestant way of doing theology doomed to confusion and inconsistency?

Understanding the Calvinist Reformation

Calvin was a second-generation Reformer, twenty-six years younger than Martin Luther (1483-1546). This meant that by the time he encountered the Reformation, it had already split into factions. In Calvin’s native France, there was no royal support for Protestantism and no unified leadership. Lawyers, humanists, intellectuals, artisans and craftsman read Luther’s writings, as well as the Scriptures, and adapted whatever they liked.

This variety struck Calvin as a recipe for disaster. He was a lawyer by training, and always hated any kind of social disorder. In 1549, he wrote a short work (Advertissement contre l’astrologie) in which he complained about this Protestant diversity:

Every state [of life] has its own Gospel, which they forge for themselves according to their appetites, so that there is as great a diversity between the Gospel of the court, and the Gospel of the justices and lawyers, and the Gospel of merchants, as there is between coins of different denominations.

I began to grasp the difference between Calvin and his descendants when I discovered his hatred of this theological diversity. Calvin was drawn to Luther’s theology, but he complained about the “crass multitude” and the “vulgar plebs” who turned Luther’s doctrine into an excuse for disorder. He wrote his first major work, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), in part to address this problem.

Calvin got an opportunity to put his plans into action when he moved to Geneva, Switzerland. He first joined the Reformation in Geneva in 1537, when the city had only recently embraced Protestantism. Calvin, who had already begun to write and publish on theology, was unsatisfied with their work. Geneva had abolished the Mass, kicked out the Catholic clergy, and professed loyalty to the Bible, but Calvin wanted to go further. His first request to the city council was to impose a common confession of faith (written by Calvin) and to force all citizens to affirm it.

Calvin’s most important contribution to Geneva was the establishment of the Consistory – a sort of ecclesiastical court- to judge the moral and theological purity of his parishioners. He also persuaded the council to enforce a set of “Ecclesiastical Ordinances” that defined the authority of the Church, stated the religious obligations of the laity, and imposed an official liturgy. Church attendance was mandatory. Contradicting the ministers was outlawed as blasphemy. Calvin’s Institutes would eventually be declared official doctrine.

Calvin’s lifelong goal was to gain the right to excommunicate “unworthy” Church members. The city council finally granted this power in 1555 when French immigration and local scandal tipped the electorate in his favor. Calvin wielded it frequently. According to historian William Monter, one in fifteen citizens was summoned before the Consistory between 1559 and 1569, and up to one in twenty five was actually excommunicated.1 Calvin used this power to enforce his single vision of Christianity and to punish dissent.

A Calvinist Discovers John Calvin

I studied Calvin for years before the real significance of what I was learning began to sink in. But I finally realized that Calvin, with his passion for order and authority, was fundamentally at odds with the individualist spirit of my Evangelical tradition. Nothing brought this home to me with more clarity than his fight with the former Carmelite monk, Jerome Bolsec.

In 1551, Bolsec, a physician and convert to Protestantism, entered Geneva and attended a lecture on theology. The topic was Calvin’s doctrine of predestination, the teaching that God predetermines the eternal fate of every soul. Bolsec, who believed firmly in “Scripture alone” and “faith alone,” did not like what he heard. He thought it made God into a tyrant. When he stood up to challenge Calvin’s views, he was arrested and imprisoned.

What makes Bolsec’s case interesting is that it quickly evolved into a referendum on Church authority and the interpretation of Scripture. Bolsec, just like most Evangelicals today, argued that he was a Christian, that he had the Holy Spirit and that, therefore, he had as much right as Calvin to interpret the Bible. He promised to recant if Calvin would only prove his doctrine from the Scriptures. But Calvin would have none of it. He ridiculed Bolsec as a trouble maker (Bolsec generated a fair amount of public sympathy), rejected his appeal to Scripture, and called on the council to be harsh. He wrote privately to a friend that he wished Bolsec were “rotting in a ditch.”2

What most Evangelicals today don’t realize is that Calvin never endorsed private or lay interpretation of the Bible. While he rejected Rome’s claim to authority, he made striking claims for his own authority. He taught that the “Reformed” pastors were successors to the prophets and apostles, entrusted with the task of authoritative interpretation of the Scriptures. He insisted that laypeople should suspend judgment on difficult matters and “hold unity with the Church.”3

Calvin took very seriously the obligation of the laity to submit and obey. “Contradicting the ministers” was one of the most common reasons to be called before the Consistory and penalties could be severe. One image in particular sticks in my mind. April, 1546. Pierre Ameaux, a citizen of Geneva, was forced to crawl to the door of the Bishop’s residence, with his head uncovered and a torch in his hand. He begged the forgiveness of God, of the ministers and of the city council. His crime? He contradicted the preaching of Calvin. The council, at Calvin’s urging, had decreed Ameaux’s public humiliation as punishment.

Ameaux was not alone. Throughout the 1540s and 1550s, Geneva’s city council repeatedly outlawed speaking against the ministers or their theology. Furthermore, when Calvin gained the right to excommunicate, he did not hesitate to use it against this “blasphemy.” Evangelicals today, unaccustomed to the use of excommunication, may underestimate the severity of the penalty, but Calvin understood it in the most severe terms. He repeatedly taught that the excommunicated were “estranged from the Church, and thus, from Christ.”4


Why Do You Use So Much Scripture?

March 30, 2011

Constantine: First of all, don’t you find it ironic that you rely so heavily on Scripture to make your case while at the same time decrying Sola Scriptura? I don’t find one instance in this article where you cite a pope, a cardinal or even a council and yet you seem to rely solely on Scripture to make your case.

BFHU: I use so much Scripture on purpose. I am trying to explain the Catholic Faith to Protestants and Catholics who have questions based on questions or accusations raised by their Protestant friends.

Since Protestants will accept nothing except Scripture I try to explain the Catholic Faith using the best Scripture support there is. Quotes from Popes, councils or Cardinals would fall on deaf Protestant ears. The Catholic Faith has very much surprising support in scripture which Protestant do not see because they are taught to interpret them differently, they just don’t ever notice them or they just ignore them.

Constantine:Secondly, can you please show us where, in any official, dogmatic Roman Catholic document, the official “infallbile” interpretation for any of the bible verses you cite? No? I didn’t think so. So you are really just doing what you rail against Protestants for doing. That is, you are just using your own “private interpretation” and holding it out as though it were a Magisterial teaching. So you really are no different than a Protestant.

BFHU: There is no official infallible commentary on the scriptures. But there is all kinds of writings all the way back to the first centuries in which the scriptures were interpreted and commented upon. These are not at all remotely similar to Protestant interpretations. Plus, if you look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church you will find thousands of scripture used in conjunction with doctrine and teachings. I did not just make this up. These interpretations are as old as the Church.

Constantine:My dear bfhu, that is not even remotely true. St. Cyprian called a council to purposefully contradict the bishop of Rome; St. Augustine and the bishops of North Africa purposefully contradicted the bishop of Rome; the Inquisitors of the 16th century contradicted the bishop of Rome and the entire Gallican Church refused to allow papal bulls to be circulated until the local bishops approved them – and this up until 1800! So the history of Christianity is that nobody – until this most recent century – thought the bishop of Rome was a final authority. I am happy to provide you with numerous sources if you’d like.

BFHU: Rebellion and heresy does not constitute proof that the bishop of Rome is not the final authority. There have always been, are today, and always will be rebels and heretics. Martin Luther was one. Calvin was another. But for the faithful, when voices of men are contradicting each other we are always safe to go with the Bishop of Rome when he teaches on faith and moral to the whole church. This has been the case for 2000 years.


Pope Rock

March 29, 2011

Constantine: I am always startled when I see the utter disrespect that Roman Catholics pay to the Old Testament. After all, those were “the Scriptures” that Jesus affirmed, down to every pen stroke (Matthew 5:17-21).

So when you wrote, “And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God” you showed my suspicions to be true! The entire Old Testament demands that the title Rock be applied only to God.

Here are just a few examples:

For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? Psalm 18:31

Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:8

“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2

So just in these three example, we have David, the prophet Isaiah and the prophet Samuel saying exactly that the title “Rock” can only mean God!

BFHU: I have an immense respect for the Old Testament. You are misunderstanding what I said.

I said:

“And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God”

I did not say that Rock in the OT does not refer to God, which is what your OT Quotes show. I agree with you and the OT, that in the OT Rock is one of the names of God. While the OT uses Rock to refer to God there is nowhere in Scripture that demands that Rock can ONLY & ALWAYS refer to God. You are interpreting these passages as demands but they don’t say that explicitly. In fact in the New Testament Jesus changes Simon’s name to ROCK.


Constantine:
You remember how often Jesus cited the book of Deuteronomy, don’t you bfhu? He quoted it more than any other book in the Bible. Does Deuteronomy say that Peter is the “rock”?

BFHU:That is a silly question. Moses did not know Peter.

Constantine: He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. Deuteronomy 32:15

You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. Deuteronomy 32:18

BFHU: These are great quotes. I don’t dispute them. I never said that the Rock in the OT referred to Peter. It refers to God.


Constantine: So, only the Roman Catholic Church, taking only one example from the New Testament which was unknown to the Apostles and Christ, Incarnate, takes God’s rightful title away from Him and gives it to a man. That strikes me as a blasphemy.

BFHU: Well it would be blasphemy if mere men “took God’s rightful title away from Him and gave it to a man.” But, Jesus is the one Who changed Simon’s name to ROCK. God is very generous.


History of the Precious Feet Pin

January 28, 2011


Primacy of Peter

January 12, 2011


Good questions.

JB: While it appears that Jesus is giving Peter the singular authority to permit and bind in Math 16:19, he gives the same authority to a much larger audience, in Math 18:18.

BFHU: Let’s take a look at the scriptures.

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.”

Mt 18:18 (At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked)… 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.

You see that Jesus did give the same authority to all the apostles to bind and loose, which was a Rabbinic idiom for “the authority to rule”. Which is absolutely still true for our Bishops. However, Jesus also gave Peter a greater responsibility by giving Peter and only Peter the Keys of the Kingdom.

Jesus give Peter the Keys to the Kingdom

You may dismiss this as irrelevant or just an omission from the Mt 18 passage but we see this as significant. But remember, the Catholic Church did not look at this verse and say, “Ah ha! Peter is greater than the other disciples.”
No, historically the bishop of Rome was the final authority in the Christian Catholic Church. It is easy to find. But you have to have eyes to see. Apologists for the Catholic Church point out this verse because Protestants demand scripture even though their teaching of Sola Scriptura is not found in the Bible.

JB: I understand that the argument for Peters sole authority would then deduce that Math 18:18 would suggest that all spoken to at that time understood Peter to be prime, but that is still a stretch and really only can be seen if the reader assumes Jesus was establishing Peter as the ‘Rock’ of the Church.

BFHU: Here you touch on a very important difference between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. For Protestants, there exists in their minds an either-or mentality. Such as, either Peter is the Rock or Jesus is the Rock. If Peter is the Rock then that detracts from Jesus/God who is designated often in the OT as the Rock of Israel, etc. Therefore Peter CANNOT be the Rock Jesus is talking about.

But, for Catholics this mindset is not foundational as it is in Protestantism. We have a both-and mentality. Jesus/God is certainly the Rock of Israel/ God.

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a <strong>spiritual rock</strong> which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Isaiah 30:29You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival,And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel .

But In Matthew 15 Jesus changes Simon’s name to Rock/Peter/Cephas and tells him He will build His Church on Rock/Peter. Of course, Jesus is also Rock. Both Peter and God are Rock, a strong foundation. We don’t have to choose either one or the other but both. And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God.

JB: In addition; 1 John 4:1 creates a problem in that the Catholic church teaches (you need to understand that I spent the first 28 years of my life in the Catholic church and received the first 5 Sacraments), that Catholics are to accept the teaching of the church by faith. I was also told on numerous occasions, that the reading of the Bible was for the church leadership (Priests, Bishops etc.) and not for the laity…I am not asking your opinion on this point; I am telling you that was the teaching I received from the four churches I attended, three in Massachusetts and one in New Brunswick.

BFHU: The Catholic Church does not forbid following I Jn 4:1. The Church is our Mother. If the Mother of a child tells him not to run out into the street it is to protect her child. Should the child test the truth of his mother’s instruction and run out into the street to see if it is true? It is the same for the Catholic Church. The young and immature in the Faith need to trust the teachings of the Church because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Because levels of maturity vary it is safest for the Church to encourage her children to trust rather than test every doctrine. However, any well instructed and faithful Catholic who seeks the truth can certainly explore and test what the Church teaches. I did and converted from being a zealous Protestant to a zealous Catholic. All her Doctrines are sublime.

But, many Catholics explore and test with an agenda, perhaps even an agenda hidden from themselves. They really want a good excuse to free themselves from certain Catholic Doctrines that they don’t like. Unpopular doctrines like the prohibition of contraception, sinfulness of homosexual intercourse, prohibition of divorce, obligation to attend Church every Sunday and Holy Day. So, they “test” the spirits and VOILA! ….thanks to Protestant interpretation of Scripture they find just the rationale they sought to leave the Catholic Church. They have unwittingly fallen into the very trap John warned about:

1 John 4: 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Does the Catholic Church acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh ?
YES! It certainly does.

JB: How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God? You know; I am a sub-contractor and as such am required to sign a sub contract which is based on the prime contract. I am permitted to see the prime contract, and read it, in order to be satisfied that the sub contract is in fact aligned with the requirements of the prime.

BFHU: The Church does not forbid the reading of Scripture. We are cautioned to read it WITH THE CHURCH. But scripture reading and meditation are encouraged.

There was a time when it was forbidden due to the Protestant revolt that inflamed the minds with error. But this is no longer the case. If you were told not to read scripture it was the people who told you that for whatever reason, I don’t know. Maybe that is what they were taught. Or maybe your questions scared them or they did know how to answer them, so they told you not to read scripture. But the Church does not and has not forbidden the reading of Scripture by the laity for a long time.

JB: How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God?

BFHU: The testing had to be done spiritually and comparing sound doctrine to the words of so-called prophet or teachers. This passage COULD NOT HAVE MEANT THAT IN ORDER TO TEST THE SPIRITS ONE HAD TO READ SCRIPTURE.

That is impossible.

Since John wrote in the 1st Century, hardly anyone in the population could read. Even today worldwide illiteracy is 20%. So, it is an impossibility that salvation and testing of spirits depended upon reading Scripture.

And besides, at today’s $8.00/hr minimum wage ONE Bible would have cost more than the equivalent of $16,000, to produce, before the invention of the printing press. For more information see –>Sola Scriptura

Therefore, one does NOT have to read scripture to test the spirits. But, the Catholic Church has always read the scriptures to the faithful.

JB: Even in Timothy there is an admonition to study to show oneself approved.
BFHU: Timothy was not laity. Paul was not addressing this admonition to everyone. Timothy must have had the ability to study/read and access to books.

JB: My point is; I understand the Catholic churches stand, I am just not convinced the very Scripture that is the linchpin of the claim says precisely what they think it says

BFHU: I understand your point. But you have fallen back into the Protestant error that the Catholic Church derives her doctrine and beliefs FROM Scripture. We do NOT. Rather, scripture was born FROM the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles and the Catholic Church. So the Mt. 15 passage is NOT any sort of linchpin for the claim of Peter’s primacy. Don’t you find it unsettling that Sola Scriptura is

NOT IN SCRIPTURE?

SOLA SCRIPTURA IS NON BIBLICAL.

SOLA SCRIPTURA IS A “TRADITION OF MEN”


Mary, The Mother Of God

January 1, 2011


Q. Why do Catholics call Mary The Mother of God?

A. For the simple reason that Mary was the mother of Jesus and since Jesus was God we also say she was the Mother of God. Mary was chosen by God to give her flesh, in the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. And since Jesus was born of woman as a baby who grew up just like all human babies He needed a Mother to care for Him. Mary was the Mother of Jesus, the God-Man. As she nursed and cared for her child she mothered Jesus in His totality. She did not mother only the flesh of Jesus, that would be absurd. Jesus was both fully Man and fully God and Mary was His mother–The Mother of God.

Q. But is this a wise title for Mary since it falsely gives the impression, perhaps, that Mary preexisted God?

A. Perhaps some will jump to the wrong conclusion at first. But, people of good will, will seek more understanding. The Catholic Church cannot stop teaching the truth just because some people might get the wrong impression.

Besides we know we are on safe ground because in Sacred Scripture Mary is called the mother of my Lord by Elizabeth in Luke 1:42-45. “Mother of my Lord” could just as easily be translated Mother of my God. But the Jews would not speak the name of God and substituted “Lord” for His name. But the meaning is exaclty the same.

Also, in those same verses Elizabeth prophesies that all ages will call Mary blessed. But, most Protestant churches fail to fulfill this prophecy and do not refer to Mary as the Blessed Virgin Mary as we do in the Catholic Church. They do agree that Mary was blessed by God to bear the messiah in her womb, but they never call her Blessed.

The history of this title of our Blessed Virgin goes back to the first few centuries of the Church when a heresy arose that denied the humanity and the deity of Jesus. This title: Mary the Mother of God affirmed in a short and to the point way the doctrine of the Incarnation. The smallest child could teach and affirm this complex doctrine with those simple four words.


Tradition Adds Error to the Bible

May 17, 2010


Q. The Scriptures give us all we need that pertain to life and godliness and are able to make us perfect, and complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work [2 Tim 3: 16-17]. If we need it, it is in the Scriptures. Therefore, the Traditions cannot add anything necessary that are not given to us in the Bible, they can only take away by adding error.

BFHU: You said:

the Scriptures give us all we need that pertain to life and godliness and are able to make us perfect, and complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work [2 Tim 3: 16-17].

You added the 2 Tim citation which would make many readers think they had just read a line straight out of scripture. And, I know from experience that this is how you have been taught to interpret this verse. But let’s take a look at what scripture actually says:

II Tim.3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The difference between what you said and what the Scriptures actually say is significant. The Timothy passage does NOT say “the Scriptures give us all we need that pertains to life…”

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

The sacred scriptures NO WHERE teach anything like your assertion that”

” If we need it, it is in the Scriptures.”

Sola Scriptura is a tradition of men. It is not Scriptural.


Chief Rabbi of Rome Honors Pope Pius XII

May 13, 2010


Eugenio Pacelli was the Vatican ambassador to Germany. He HATED NAZISM. He had to do all that he could do without fanfare or publicity because when the Church made a stand against the Nazi’s the Jews and Catholic priests suffered imprisonment and execution as retribution. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert and Carmelite Nun was killed in Auschwitz in 1942, as revenge against the Church for speaking against the Nazis.

The Jews themselves begged the Church not to oppose the Nazis publicly. So, not being stupid, Pius XII did all he could do for the Jews and other Nazi enemies secretly. You can read about this Here–>Edith Stein

But the most incontrovertible evidence that Pius XII helped the Jews is the story of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, and his conversion to the Catholic church less than a year after Rome was liberated by the Americans. And not only that, he chose as his baptismal name, EUGENIO, the name given to the Pope by his parents.

A few days later, the Chief Rabbi relinquished his duties, and went to find a priest in order to complete his instruction in the truths of the faith. On February 13, 1945, Archbishop Traglia conferred the sacrament of Baptism on Israel Zolli, who chose ‘Eugenio’ as his Christian name, in gratitude to Pope Pius XII for his decisive action on behalf of the Jews during the war. Zolli’s wife, Emma, received Baptism with her husband, and added the name ‘Maria’ to her first name. Their daughter Miriam would follow her parents after a year of personal reflection.

You can read the rest of his amazing conversion story at Salvation is from the Jews

There you will find many Jewish conversion stories. The webmaster’s own story is told in great detail in his book Salvation is From the Jews
I would also recommend Honey From The Rock a book of Jewish conversion stories.


Pope Pius XII Saved Jews

May 9, 2010


Stolen from AMERICAN CATHOLIC
Venerable Pius XII always believed that it was part of his duties as Pope to be accessible to virtually everyone who wished to see him. His audiences would normally be crowded as a result. In the autumn of 1941 he held an audience which was no different. Italians, pilgrims of all nations, German soldiers (German soldiers flocked to see the Pope until the Nazis forbade such visits, fearing the influence the words of the Pope, in direct contradiction to the doctrines of National Socialism, might have on the Landsers.), humanity from across the globe, all eager to see, and perhaps have a word with, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Among the people waiting to see the Pope was a Jew. He was a German refugee. He wanted to tell the Pope about a group of Jews interned by the Fascist government of Italy on an island, in danger of starvation. Why go to the Pope? The whole world in 1941 knew that the Pope was a friend of the Jews and an enemy of the Nazis, so of course a Jew would seek his aid.

The turn of the Jew arrived to speak to the Pope. At first he spoke in broken Italian, but the Pope invited him to speak in his native German which the Pope both understood and spoke. He did, explaining to the Pope that he was a German Jew. After he had told the Pope about the interned Jews, the Pope told him, in German, “You have done well to come to me and tell me this. I have heard about it before. Come back tomorrow with a written report and give it to the Secretary of State who is dealing with the question. But now for you, my son. You are a young Jew. I know what that means and I hope you will always be proud to be a Jew!”

The Pope then raised his voice so that everyone in the hall, including the German soldiers, could hear him: “My son, whether you are worthier than others only the Lord knows, but believe me, you are at least as worthy as every other human being that lives on our earth! And now, my Jewish friend, go with the protection of the Lord, and never forget, you must always be proud to be a Jew!”

The Pope’s interlocutor didn’t forget his warm reception and wrote about it in the Palestine Post anonymously on April 28, 1944. The story at the time caused no great stir, because, of course, the whole world knew that the Pope had always been a friend of the Jews.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BREAD FROM HEAVEN UNLIMITED:

Eugenio Pacelli was the Vatican ambassador to Germany. He HATED NAZISM. He had to do all that he could do without fanfare or publicity because when the Church made a stand against the Nazi’s the Jews and Catholic priests suffered imprisonment and execution as retribution. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert and Carmelite Nun was killed in Auschwitz in 1942, as revenge against the Church for speaking against the Nazis.

The Jews themselves begged the Church not to oppose the Nazis publicly. So, not being stupid, Pius XII did all he could do for the Jews and other Nazi enemies secretly. You can read about this Here–>Edith Stein

But the most incontrovertible evidence that Pius XII helped the Jews is the story of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, and his conversion to the Catholic church less than a year after Rome was liberated by the Americans. And not only that, he chose as his baptismal name, EUGENIO, the name given to the Pope by his parents.

A few days later, the Chief Rabbi relinquished his duties, and went to find a priest in order to complete his instruction in the truths of the faith. On February 13, 1945, Archbishop Traglia conferred the sacrament of Baptism on Israel Zolli, who chose ‘Eugenio’ as his Christian name, in gratitude to Pope Pius XII for his decisive action on behalf of the Jews during the war. Zolli’s wife, Emma, received Baptism with her husband, and added the name ‘Maria’ to her first name. Their daughter Miriam would follow her parents after a year of personal reflection.

You can read the rest of his amazing conversion story at Salvation is from the Jews

There you will find many Jewish conversion stories. The webmaster’s own story is told in great detail in his book Salvation is From the Jews
I would also recommend Honey From The Rock a book of Jewish conversion stories.


ARE LUTHERANS RECEIVING REAL COMMUNION?

April 29, 2010



j linka Says:

April 28, 2010 at 12:52 am edit

I am Lutheran and know we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ. I have not read all of your replies carefully but feel you are saying that the Catholic Church does not believe we are receiving real communion in our own church. Is that the Catholic view?

FOR SOME REASON I AM UNABLE TO POST A REPLY. SO I WILL HAVE TO DO IT IN A POST
Dear J linka,
You may be receiving communion with the members of your church but you are not receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ because all Protestant denominations have lost apostolic succession and proper prayer for consubstantiation. This is not meant as a point of arrogance or pride but so that the Catholic Faithful can properly fulfill their obligation to attend a valid mass. Going to a Protestant communion service does not fulfill this obligation. However attending an Orthodox mass or SSPX mass when necessary b/c no alternative mass is accessible, can fulfill the obligation.

We believe that were are saved not merely by believing in Jesus but also by eating and drinking His flesh and blood as He tell us in:

John 6:48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

The Lutherans along with all Protestants do not have a valid Eucharist because after the Protestant prayers it is still just bread and wine.

So, it is safe for you to partake of your Lutheran bread and wine b/c it is merely bread and wine. It only symbolizes Jesus.

You might find some other posts here interesting:
Eucharist p3
Eucharist p.2


Loaves and Fishes: Natural Sharing or Supernatural Miracle?

April 16, 2010

Today, I heard a homily that claimed what really happened about the five loaves and two fish, is that bystanders took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting of selfishness, and this was the true miracle according to this preacher. He went on to justify his reading that this was a miracle of sharing rather than a miracle of multiplication, because:

How many of us would go on a trip away from home for a couple of days without our credit card to provide food and lodging?
If we wouldn’t leave home without making plans for food and lodging then what makes us think these people, in the crowd with Jesus, made no provisions?
Were they any different that us? Therefore, Jesus changed their hearts and they shared all they had with each other. this is the true miracle.

This is appealing to people these days because we lack FAITH. We lack the Faith to believe that Jesus/God can do ANYTHING. So, those who subscribe to this interpretation hope to make the Gospel more palatable to modern men. But the above appeal to reason does not ring true for the following reasons:

1) This passage does not say anywhere that the people had been away from home for more than a day. So the above pastor built his rationale on a false premise. Of course, people then, just like us, make plans to provide for themselves on journeys. But there is nothing in the passage that indicates this was anything other than a day trip. And the parallel passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke indicate that the people could have gone into nearby villages for food and lodging.

Luke 9:12 “and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.”

But Jesus had other plans.

2) There is NO mention that Jesus performed a miracle of convincing people to share. And we would have to believe that the disciple were so stupid and out of touch with their culture that they had no clue the crowd were all hiding food under their cloaks.

3) But the Gospels do say,

Matthew 14:19 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”
Mark 6:41 “and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all.

Luke 9: 16Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.
John 6:11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.

There is not the whiff of a hint that this is not a supernatural miracle of multiplication of the loaves. The Gospels say Jesus gave the food to the disciples who gave it and kept giving it to the people. Not a single word about the people giving food to each other.

Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels–the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Even the miracles of raising the dead are not recorded in every Gospel. While sharing is a wonderful virtue, it just is not a supernatural miracle. Why was this miracle so important that every Gospel writer included it?

Because this was a prefiguring, on a small scale, of the Eucharistic sacrifice. This is the supernatural miracle of the multiplication of the body and blood of Christ for the faithful at every mass, every day of the year, around the whole wide world; the Mass, the source and summit of our Faith. John, purposely locates this story right before Jesus’ discourse on the necessity of eating His Flesh and drinking His blood in order to have Eternal life.


Bible Never Mentions Purgatory

April 16, 2010


Becca:Also the Bible never makes mention of Purgatory, it states in John 14:6 that “no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

BFHU:Of course we agree that Jesus is the Way to the Father. But you are basing your belief in Christ Alone on a Protestant tradition and not on the whole Bible. This is prooftexting.

Becca:Not by Purgatory,

BFHU: You might want to take a look at my post here–>Where is Purgatory is Scripture?

Becca:not by sacraments,

BFHU:How about the sacrament of:

Baptism:1 Peter 3:21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you

Eucharist: In order to attain eternal life:

John 6: 47“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48″I am the bread of life 49″Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50″This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51″I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” 52Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55″For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56″He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57″As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58″This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

Becca:not by confession,
BFHU: Then why do you think Jesus gave the apostles the authority to forgive or not forgive sins? Why did He institute the sacrament of confession then?

John 20: 21 So Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And 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 have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

These men cannot pronounce forgiveness or not without audibly hearing a confession of sin.

    Becca:not by works but by Christ alone do we get to heaven.
    Your statement above flatly contradicts St. James:

    James 2:14-25 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

    20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and NOT by faith alone.


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