Friday, May 30, 2003

Q: Do Catholics believe "Outside the Church there is no salvation" ?

A: I think what you want is at Lumen Gentium is one of the documents of Vatican II which was held almost 35 years ago.
Lumen Gentium paragraph 15 says, "The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ's disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth."

Paragraph 14 deals with the Catholic faithful. It is in this context that you find, "Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved."

Paragraph 16 deals with those who have not yet received the Gospel.

Also, you should know about "Dominus Iesus", which tried to clarify Lumen Gentium. Some Catholics thought it meant that it didn't matter which doctrines one believed, so "Dominus Iesus" tried to clarify how non-Catholics and non-Christians could possibly be saved. Start with Para 20.
I found this commentary on "Dominus Iesus"
"The Declaration "Dominus Iesus", ( ) published in September 2000 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has sparked off various reactions by different people and communities, also by Jews.

Obviously, there have been some misunderstandings. The highly technical language of this document for the instruction of Catholic theologians- a document that is perhaps a little too densely written- raised misunderstandings on the very meaning and intention of the text among people who are not very familiar with Catholic theological "jargon" and with the rules of its correct interpretation. Many of these reactions appear to be based on information which obviously uninformed secular mass-media have thrown into the arena of public opinion."

After 450 years of being split, the Catholic dictionary has some meanings that are not held in common with others. The RCC has multiple definitions for the word salvation that you don't find in Protestant circles. The book The Salvation Controversy by James Akin explains this.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

On Agnostic and not wanting to be so :-( forum:
Quote --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

do you believe that only those who ascribe to Catholic dogma have found truth? What if God wasn’t the power behind religion as we know it?

My Reply:
All religions have some truth, even paganism because God has written the law on our hearts. We can all know the moral laws in the 10 commandments if we listen to our conscience. The question is whether all religions have the fullness of truth as revealed by Jesus. Any doctrine invented after the first century can't be his revealed truth. Only the Catholic and Greek Orthodox church can trace the origin of all doctrines to the 1st century. Jesus promised in Matt 16 that the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. He did not say churchES. He only founded one church. If one sets aside all the garbage they think Catholics believe and find out what it actually teaches, they would find a faith that is consistent with the whole Bible and not have to ignore passages that don't fit their preconceived ideas. It would all make sense. After all, the Catholic church put the Bible together and decided what books would be included. It would be pretty stupid to include books that contradicted their teachings. Martin Luther, on the other hand, took out 7 books from the OT because they had verses that contradicted his teaching. In the process of making a gospel he was comfortable with, he truncated some important stuff. So some truth is missing. True, Catholics and Protestants have much in common, but we differ on some important understandings about salvation. We are not one as Jesus is with the Father, and that is a sad state of affairs. I want us to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. The only way to do that is to follow what Christianity was in the beginning, not what Martin Luther, Calvin or Zwingli or some later founders taught. Let's get back to basics.
On Once Saved, Always Saved forum:
Scripture talks about salvation in the Past, Present, Future Tenses.

Past Tense
Titus 3:4-8, Romans 8:29, 1 Cor 6:11

Present Tense
Jn 6:27-29, Heb 6:9-12, 1 Cor 15. 2, Eph 2:5-10, Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12

Future Tense
Romans 2:5--8, Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15, 1 Tim 6:18-19, Heb 10:36-39, 2 Pet 1:10-11, 2 Pet 3:10-14, Galatians 3:23-24


On One Verse Christianity forum:
What do I think are the most important Scripture verses?
These are very important to me:
John 3:5 "Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
Acts 2:38 "Peter (said) to them, "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."
Titus 3:4-7 "But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."
1 John 3:24 "Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us."
1 John 2:6 says we ought to live as he [Jesus] lived.
Romans 1:4 says "Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;"
John 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
Eph 2:8-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them."
James 2:17 "So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
James 2:24 "See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."
2 Pet 1:10 "Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your call and election firm, for, in doing so, you will never stumble."
James 5:14-16 "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful."

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

from the forum:
"Religion will tell you that you must turn or burn; and even though we know that any parent with such a conditional love would be considered evil, religion seems satisfied with such a God. Today I have found that both of my idealistic axioms are true. God is the ultimate designer, and his love is really unconditional.

You will only find peace in God as you find the love in God and you won’t find the love of God in historic religion.

You can’t be taught the joy of God, you can only experience it. Once you have really embraced his ‘unconditional love’ your desires and actions will follow freely... without any contradiction.

Religion isn’t all bad, there are many who have found a life changing and genuine relationship with God through traditional religion (you’ll find a lot of them here). However, as a rule, religion will change the outside, but only his love can change the inside.

God bless your journey and may I encourage you to not look for Him the orthodox way.***"


My reply:
Religion will tell you that you must turn or burn? Fear of punishment is imperfect contrition. One is supposed to avoid offending God because one loves God. The hellfire and brimstone message might scare some people straight, but it turns many people off. God's love is not conditional. It's our free will that is the problem. We have to learn the hard way that sin is not in our best interest because it cuts off our relationship with the infinate love of God that we crave.

"You won’t find the love of God in historic religion?" I don't know which ones you have experienced, but I don't think this is the norm. One can find a loving God anywhere, even in a historic religion. Don't underestimate what God can do. If only a few people found God in historic religion, it would not have continued to exist. The historic religions, such as the Catholic Church, have a systematic approach to interior conversion. For example, some books have become classics because they have helped so many people. Here are some of them:

Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola
Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis De Sales
Interior Castle, Teresa of Avila
Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross
These books are for people who want a very deep union with Jesus and a deeper conversion. They are not for beginners. In fact, the best books on prayer are written by Catholics. If you haven't check them out, you're missing the deeper levels of intimacy with Jesus. You can't stereotype historic religions. They are not all alike. Sometimes the orthodox way is the easiest way because one does not have to reinvent the wheel or waste time on the wild goose chases. I'm sorry you have not had a good experience with historic religions.

In another forum:
"God's time is not linear like ours... take God off the linear timeline and this aremnian/ calvanistic argument ceases to exist."
God lives in the eternal NOW. He has no past or future as we think of them. However, we live in space and time, where one event precedes another. We see things as cause and effect. Predestination assumes past and future events. If one further assumes that salvation is a process of a free will cooperating with grace instead of instantaneous, the argument gets even weaker.
"A wise brother on another board, who has struggled long and hard with the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism, confided to me not too long ago that he thinks in the end, when we get to heaven, we will learn that the truth of it all is somewhere in the middle, that God elected, but we still had free will somehow."
If one assumes free will is true and that God wills all people to be saved, predestination means something entirely different. One either accepts the free gift of salvation or rejects it. A God that gave us no choice whether to love him or not would not be honored by our choice to love him.
"God knows what choices we will make before we make it."
Foreknowledge does not necessarily imply controlling what happens if free will is involved. If a meteor crashes into Earth, we're probably doomed, but there is nothing I can do about it. God does not suspend the laws of physics or of free will because that is how he made the world.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Debate on the virginity of Mary:
Just as "brother" can mean a close male relative, the word "sister" can mean close female relative. Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary, mother of James and Joseph/Joses, were sister-in-laws because Clophas was a brother of Joseph.

Eusebius of Caesarea’s church history, Book 3, Chapter 11 says, "Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph."

I have a sister and a sister-in-law named Carol. I also have two brother-in-laws named Mike. It is very possible to have the same name used more than once in a family.

The idea that Mary did not remain a virgin started with the Helvidius/Antidicomarites heresy. For more information about the Helvidius/Antidicomarites heresy (4th c.) go to
James (the younger, listed in Acts 15) and and Joseph (Joses) are the sons of Clophas (Alphaeus) and Jesus's mother’s sister, Mary (John 19:25, Mt 27:56, MK 15:40). Since there were three Marys at the cross according to John 19:25, one has to keep them straight by saying who they were related to; ie, Mt 27:56 says Mary the mother of James and Joseph (notice it does not say Jesus) to keep her separated from Mary mother of Jesus or Mary Magdela. Therefore, they are not the sons of Joseph and Mary.

Lk 5:9-10 says the other James (killed in Acts 12) and John are the sons of Zebedee; therefore not the sons of Joseph and Mary. Mark 1:19, Mk 4:17, 10:35, Mt 4:21 also say that.

Luke 6:13-16 says Judas is the son of James; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.

John 6:71 says Judas the betrayer is the son of Simon Iscariot; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.

Mt 16:17 says Simon is the son of Jonah; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.


One more thing, if Mary and Joseph were given the parentship of the Lord, should they not be better examples to him than to intentionally disobey the command of God to "be fruitful and multiply?"


There was also a law against a woman having more than one spouse. Since Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, perhaps she believed she had the Holy Spirit for a spouse. If you were Joseph, would you want to get it on with the mother of God? I think he would feel unworthy.

There are hints that Mary is prefigured by the ark of the covenant. That is, the ark held the word of God. Mary's womb held The Word of God. 2) When Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke), it is spoken about in the same way as when the ark of the covenant was brought up to Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in the same way Gabriel says Mary will be. And what would happen to anyone who touched the ark? They would be struck dead. I don't think Joseph would dare touch the spouse of the Holy Spirit.


Then there is that ossuary with the inscription: James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.


That still does not say "son of Joseph and Mary". You are reading between the lines.Betty G.

The question which gave occasion to it was whether the Mother of our Lord remained a Virgin after His birth. (purpetual virginity of Mary) Helvidius maintained that the mention in the Gospels of the "sisters" and "brethren" of our Lord was proof that the Blessed Virgin had subsequent issue, and he supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus. The outcome of his views was that virginity was ranked below matrimony.

Jerome vigorously takes the other side, and maintains against Helvidius three propositions [as recorded in] The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary by St. Jerome "Against Helvidius"

The Perpetual Virginity Of Blessed Mary By St. Jerome"Against Helvidius"

If a heresy started in the 4th century, it can't be the teaching of the apostles.
What I want to focus on is the word "echad" which is translated "one." However, this "oneness" is not an absolute unity, but a collective unity.


Here's another interesting tidbit. Gen 1:1 says "In the beginning, God created..." The word "Elohim" is the word for God. The "im" on the end of that word makes it plural, just as adding "s" makes a word plural in English. So from the very beginning, God was a plural oneness - a Trinity. "Let US make man in OUR likeness." as in Gen 1:26 says. This info was what converted a Jewish person I know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

We're having a discussion about Mary's virginity at forums:


To all those who rely on "tradition" outside the bible,


Some people claim that Jesus had brothers, which means his mother, Mary, did not remain a virgin after Jesus’ birth. To support this, they quote Mk 6:17 “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him.”

Let’s look at what the rest of the Bible can tell us about these “brothers” of Jesus. I can't do this in this forum because it requires using a table to display the info. So go to:

There is no place in the Bible that anyone is the son of Joseph and Mary other than Jesus. James and Joses and Judas and Simon are elsewhere in the Bible described as sons of different people than Mary and Joseph. If that is true, they can't be also children of Mary and Joseph. It is reading between the lines and assuming that "brothers of Jesus" means the same thing as children of Mary and Joseph. It is not. The web site above spells this out or you can check it out for yourself. Look up John 19:25, Mt 27:56, MK 15:40, MK 15:47, Lk 5:9-10, Mark 1:19, Mark 3: 15-19, MK 10:35, Mt 4:21, Mt 16:17, Luke 6: 13-16, John 6:71, Acts 1:13.

Catholics don't make assumptions or read between the lines. Brothers can mean the same as cousin, nephew or other male relative. For example, Gen 14:14 ... Lot, Abraham's nephew (Gen 11:26-28), described as Abraham's brother (KJV).
Gen 29:15 ... Laban, Jacob's uncle, calls Jacob his "brother" (KJV).

One does not have to rely on tradition to get the truth in this matter. It takes some detective work, but it is all in the Bible. I know Mary isn't the main focus, but I care about the truth. I don't want people to assume things that aren't true.
God bless,
Betty G.

I looked at your chart and don't get it.

James (the younger, listed in Acts 15) and and Joseph (Joses) are the sons of Clophas (Alphaeus) and Jesus's mother’s sister, Mary (John 19:25, Mt 27:56, MK 15:40). Since there were three Marys at the cross according to John 19:25, one has to keep them straight by saying who they were related to; ie, Mt 27:56 says Mary the mother of James and Joseph (notice it does not say Jesus) to keep her separated from Mary mother of Jesus or Mary Magdela. Therefore, they are not the sons of Joseph and Mary.

Lk 5:9-10 says the other James (killed in Acts 12) and John are the sons of Zebedee; therefore not the sons of Joseph and Mary. Mark 1:19, Mk 4:17, 10:35, Mt 4:21 also say that.
Luke 6:13-16 says Judas is the son of James; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.
John 6:71 says Judas the betrayer is the son of Simon Iscariot; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.
Mt 16:17 says Simon is the son of Jonah; therefore also not the son of Joseph and Mary.

One more thing, if Mary and Joseph were given the parentship of the Lord, should they not be better examples to him than to intentionally disobey the command of God to "be fruitful and multiply?"
There was also a law against a woman having more than one spouse. Since Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, perhaps she believed she had the Holy Spirit for a spouse. If you were Joseph, would you want to get it on with the mother of God? I think he would feel unworthy.
There are hints that Mary is prefigured by the ark of the covenant. That is, the ark held the word of God. Mary's womb held The Word of God. 2) When Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke), it is spoken about in the same way as when the ark of the covenant was brought up to Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in the same way Gabriel says Mary will be. And what would happen to anyone who touched the ark? They would be struck dead. I don't think Joseph would dare touch the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Then there is that ossuary with the inscription: James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.
That still does not say "son of Joseph and Mary". You are reading between the lines.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

We're having a discussion about free will at forums:
In the Apocrypha, free will is very clear. This is the reason Martin Luther removed this book from the Bible when it had been canonical since the earliest centuries. Wisdom, Chapter 15:13 "For this man more than any knows that he is sinning, when out of earthen stuff he creates fragile vessels and idols alike."

But there are other verses that support free will.
[28] But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. [29] "Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the LORD. [30] In vain have I smitten your children, they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. [31] And you, O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, `We are FREE, we will come no more to thee'? [32] Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
Proverbs Chapter 21:7 The oppression of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is right. 8 The way of the culprit is crooked, but the conduct of the innocent is right.

2 Corinthians, chapter 8
1: We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedo'nia,
2: for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part.
3: For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own FREE WILL,
4: begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints --
5: and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

Philemon, chapter 1:13: I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel;
14: but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own FREE WILL.
15: Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever,
The opposite of free will is free stuborness or hardness of heart. For example---
Mark, chapter 7:[15 there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him."
Mark, chapter 10:5: But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
Mark, chapter 16:14: Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
Matthew, chapter 19:8: He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
Matt.15:18-20 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."

Ephesians, chapter 4:18: they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart;
Acts 7:51-52 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
The Catholic Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529 AD)[296] and at the Council of Trent (1546 AD).[297]

Thursday, May 15, 2003


So you can easily see how people come up with various answers. The person might be practising sin, have the wrong motive, not have real faith, not desire God's will, etc.
So if I don't agree with you, then you accuse me of practising sin, have the wrong motive, not have real faith, not desire God's will, etc. What if I accuse you of the same thing? We still don't know who is right. We've only changed what we disagree about. I've seen numerous times where I've quoted Scripture in these forums that contradicted someone's position, yet they don't see that they aren't obeying the Good Book. Instead they call me wrong. Does that mean they are sinners? No, I think they have been taught wrong and can't take the blinders off. The real question is, "Do we conform our lives to the truth, or do we try and conform the truth to fit our lives?" It doesn't matter what you feel—what matters is the truth. By what authority does one know what is true? We will never have unity until we are together on doctrine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

From the "Apostles Doctrine" forum at
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you [this is the pastoral/elder aspect] , taking the oversight thereof [this is the overseer/bishop aspect]... NEITHER AS BEING LORD'S OVER GOD'S HERITAGE [this is a rebuke to a hierarchy or any attempt to become "clergy"], but being [ex]amples to the flock".

If, indeed, every church had a "bishop" over the elders, then it would have been clearly revealed when Paul gathered together the elders of Ephesus. Scripture, not tradition, provides a pattern for church government and church practice, . ....

Elders are appointed by the Holy Spirit within the local assembly, not by a human bishop outside the local assembly. .....The traditions of men have perverted all these truth,

I don't agree with your interpretation of 1 Pet 5. For starters, you stop at verse 3. Keep going a couple more verses to verse 5. "Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters." If 1 Pet 5:5 says "be subject to the presbyters", how can you say it is a rebuke to a hierarchy or clergy? "Do not lord it over those assigned to you" in v. 3 means be a humble servant, which is what priests are -- servants and teachers. And that is not the only place that tells us to obey those in authority over us. Heb 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account,.." It seems like you don't want to admit that the Bible tells us to submit to authority.

Other verses say presbyters/elders (priests) were ordained, preached and taught the flock, administered sacraments. (1 Tim 4:14, 5:22; 1 Tim 5:17; Jas 5:13-15, Acts 1:15-26; 2 Tim 2:2;)
Titus 1:5 says "appoint presbyters in every town" means they presbyters were ordained by humans to provide an unbroken succession from the apostles and give authority of the Holy Spirit to teach. Humans were acting on behalf of God in Acts 15:6, "The APOSTLES AND THE PRESBYTERS met together to see about this matter."
Acts 15:23, 28 "This is the letter delivered by them: "The APOSTLES AND THE PRESBYTERS, ...are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: 28 'It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of US not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, ..." In the Council of Jerusalem, they did not look it up in their Bible (since the New Testament wasn't even written yet). Rather, they remembered what Jesus taught them and acted accordingly. They made decisions that were for MANY churches.
Here are some more verses for you to think about:
1 Tim 6:20 "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you."
1 Cor 12 ... different roles of members of body.

and the Nicolaitans were instrumental in bringing in the hierarchy, with its clergy and laity
I don't think the Nicolaitans did what you say they did. I looked them up at this web site: That web site says, "Nicolaitans were "a sect mentioned in the Apocalypse (ii,6,15) as existing in Ephesus, Pergamus, and other cities of Asia Minor, about the character and existence of which there is little certainty. Irenaeus (Adv. haer., I, xxvi, 3; III, xi, 1) discusses them but adds nothing to the Apocalypse except that "they lead lives of unrestrained indulgence." Tertullian refers to them, but apparently knows only what is found in St. John (De Praescrip. xxxiii; Adv. Marc., I, xxix; De Pud., xvii). Hippolytus based his narrative on Irenaeus, though he states that the deacon Nicholas was the author of the heresy and the sect (Philosph., VII, xxvi). Clement of Alexandria (Strom., III, iv) exonerates Nicholas, and attributes the doctrine of promiscuity, which the sect claimed to have derived from him, to a malicious distortion of words harmless in themselves."

Nicolaitans probably were hedonists and had nothing to do with establishing the clergy. Acts 1:15-26 shows by replacing Judas that succession was there from the very beginning. "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place." It was humans who did what they had been taught -- ordain men to serve the body of Christ. This authority did not come out of the blue.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

More from the forum:
I know your post was not addressed to me, but let me give my slant on this.
well during one part of this dicussion it was brought to my attention for the reasoning why catholics believe what they do. As far as the eucharist and other things like praying to dead people. Instead of praying to Jesus Christ who is alive. (dead people: Saints/mary) And telling me that God says we are to pray to mary because God said we are to pray to angels. And those who do are just following God's word. Those who don't well.. obviously they'd be wrong. Right? Well, I don't believe in praying to dead people who cannot hear me. I believe in praying to God THROUGH Jesus Christ.
Those who have died are alive in Christ and perhaps more alive than we are.
Mk 12:26-27 ... "not God of the dead, but of the living."
Jn 15:1-8 ... vine and its branches.
1 Cor 12:25-27; Rom 12:4-5 ... body of Christ.
Eph 6:18; Rom 15:30; Col 4:3; 1 Thess 1:11 ... intercessory prayer.
Jos 5:14; Dan 8:17; Tob 12:16 ... veneration of angels united with God (Mt 18:10).
1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 ... saints also united with God.
Lk 20-34-38 ... those who died are like angels.
2 Mac 15:11-16 ... deceased Onias and Jeremiah interceded for Jews.
Rev 8:3-4; Jer 15:1 ... saints' intercession.

most catholics believe anyone who isn't catholic or out right disagree's with their doctrine.. if that's what they call it. They aren't going to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
That is not what Catholics teach. There are shades of gray. God does not hold people, as long as they are not in a state of serious sin, accountable if they are ignorant or can't be convinced of what the RCC teaches. In this case, ignorance is a good excuse.

If I don't believe that Jesus' blood and flesh are actually present in my cup of grape juice or in my pita bread.. then I'm sinning against God. It isn't man made or man enforced laws that get you to know God. It's faith. God did away with a lot when Christ died on the cross.
The Real Presence is not a man-made doctrine. Jesus told us the bread and wine were his body and blood. What IS man-made doctrine is the idea that the bread and wine are merely symbolic. No one taught that until Zwingli. I don't have the authority to change what Jesus said or meant, so why did Zwingli?

If I never take communion again for as long as I live that will not be a factor in my final judgement. Did I do the work of God? Did I follow Christ's example? Did I bring people to Christ? Not if say.. I drank blood and ate flesh.
Catholics do not believe in "total depravity" as taught by Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Calvin. Catholicism believes that, in a mysterious way, man cooperates with the grace which always precedes all good actions. In Catholicism, man's nature still retains some good, although he has a propensity to sin. We need the grace of God to cooperate with him in becoming holy. Catholics believe we are called to a profound, life-transforming repentance and radical discipleship (1 Peter 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:2). That is why we need to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. If one believes that salvation is an instantaneous event, not a life-long process, then this need for more grace won't make sense. But we believe it because Jesus said that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we will have no life within us. We don't make it up. It's in John 6. Of course it takes a lot of faith to take Jesus at his word about the Real Presence, but then so does a lot of other things.

Monday, May 12, 2003

More from the forum:

In reply to Don5253:
I don't know that much about Martin Luther, but if he is the one that birthed protestantism, I believe that God meant it for a purpose.
God's will is that Christians should be one, not divided. I can't see how division within the body of Christ serves any good purpose. It makes it harder for the world to believe the Father sent Jesus, harder to be brought to perfection, and harder to believe in God's love for us. That is what John 17: 17-23 says. "Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me."

If we are to be consecrated to the truth, which truth is that? If we can agree on it, why would non-Christians want to convert? We are a much poorer witness to the revelation of Christ because of the diversity of opinion. Does Christ speak out of different corners of his mouth? And we as a body should speak with one voice in harmony with what the apostles taught. Otherwise, it's like saying Christ is the head of a multi-bodied creature. The answer is not to deny what is going on. The solution is to focus on what Christ would want us to do --- be one.
Christ wanted to save us as a people of God; that is, a flock of his sheep. While he loves us as individuals, there is a communal aspect in his relationship with us as the good shepherd who tends his flock. When a sheep wanders off on his own, he is in danger. In the same way, when believers wander off into thinking they can decide what truth is, they are in danger of getting it wrong. The doctrinal inventions of the reformers are based on the same premise as the ideas of the Jesus Seminar -- "I'll decide for myself what is true".

Division leads to theological relativism ("it may be true for you but not for me") and a constant, unnecessary process of "reinventing the wheel." (I'll decide for my self what is true. I won't listen to anyone else).
The absence of the idea of submission to spiritual authority in most of Protestantism has leaked over into the civic arena, where the ideas of personal "freedom," "rights," and "choice" now dominate to such an extent that civic duty, communitarianism, and discipline are tragically neglected, to the detriment of a healthy society. It is tragically prone to accommodation to the spirit of the age, and moral faddism.

I don't see thousands of different interpretations. I don't even see a hundred.
In one sense, it doesn't matter how manner different interpretations there are. Even one division is one too many. In another sense, the more division, the weaker our witness to the world is. If we have a common goal to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, wouldn't it be more effective to join together and preach one Gospel? People seems to have decided to become indifferent to religion rather than letting it guide their lives because if we can't decide what is true, how can they? About all that all Protestants agree on is that Catholicism is wrong! If you think there isn't much diversity, read a book called Separated Brethren. You won't believe the variety of opinions people believe and teach.

I see obvious "teachings of men" coming from the Catholic Church which have been thrown out by protestant churches, which is a good thing.
Are you aware that Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Instantaneous Salvation, Once-Saved-Always Saved, Predestination to hell, rejection of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the authority of the hierarchy, rejection of seven books from the Old Testament, rejection of sacraments, imputed righteousness, rejection of free will, rejection of tradition, etc are inventions of the 1500's that have no roots in apostolic teaching. These things are not authentic, original Christianity. They do not restore Christianity back to what it was originally. These Protestant ideas are the teachings of men - Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others. Trace their doctrines back to all the centuries of Christianity. You won't find anyone teaching their ideas.

Many people believe what they have been taught by other Protestants about what the Catholic church teaches without really checking it out for themselves. Without hearing the other side of the story, they assume what they have heard is true, when it's full of myths, distortions, and ignores the Scriptures that support Catholic positions. I see this all the time in this forum. When I quote Scriptures that support Catholic doctrines, I don't hear a "Wow, Catholics have as much right to believe what they do as we do!" response. Mostly, I usually get a "You're wrong!" response, even when the Catholic interpretation of Scripture is more consistent with the whole of Scripture than the other point of view. At least you have something kind to say about Catholics. Thanks!

So, I know that He is using protestant churches to further His kingdom and purposes on this earth

I don't doubt that a minute. I used to listen to a Protestant radio station before there was a Catholic one in town. I sensed the zeal for the faith and the power of the Holy Spirit working there. But I sense the same thing now on the Catholic station. In the pro-life movement, the best allies Catholics have are the Evangelical Protestants. God writes straight with crooked lines. He works with us imperfect humans because we are the only messengers he has. If only we could work shoulder-to-shoulder in other ways to build up God's kingdom, we would be more effective messengers.

But there are some folks who think they and their particular faith are going to be the only ones in Heaven. They are going to be surprised, I do believe.
I'm not saying that God will only save Catholics. We don't teach that. Jesus came to die to save the whole world. God wants every one of his children in heaven. Yet, I think it will be easier if one is following the truth. For example, I hear some people think they don't have to obey the 10 commandments once they are "saved". How can one please God if they are deep in sin? This teaching seems so contrary to the Bible, that I worry about some people being taught the wrong thing. Perhaps you mistake my zeal for the faith and truth as condemning others. I don't think it is their fault if they have been taught wrong. Gal 1:9 says what will happen to those who teach a Gospel other than the one Paul taught. I leave that to the judgement of God.

Friday, May 09, 2003

More from the forum:

I do believe you put yourself in a difficult position regarding John 6 though. Throughout the bible, God has revealed things to us with a great economy of words. A tremendous amount of wisdom is contained in a few books and Jesus never wasted His words. If you take your position however, then one has to believe that Jesus said a lot of unecessary and confusing things in John 6. I find that very difficult to reconcile and wonder how you can be comfortable with such an understanding?

Have you ever noticed how the apostles thought Jesus was talking figuratively when he spoke about his upcoming death/resurrection? On the road to Emmaus, they found out that the prophesies were literal, not figurative. OTOH, the blind man knew Jesus was the Messiah when he called him Son of David. Isn't it odd that the blind man could see what people with eyes could not see?

Those of us who believe in the Real Presence have to be like the blind man and see with the eyes of faith, not our own senses when we look at the bread and wine. I would be uncomfortable believing the Eucharist is figurative when Jesus said it was not, especially since he said it multiple times with a "Amen, Amen" verse in there in John 6.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Re: Will the Real Believers/Saints Please Identify Yourselves? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dont read everybody elses Ideas about God or spiritual life, read the Bible and God will teach you the truth.


I'm glad you care so much about the truth, but I don't think reinventing the wheel is the way to know truth. I think we can all benefit from reading other's ideas, but to much open-mindedness can have pitfalls. It's like the old joke:

"So your sister got fired’

"Yes. But she was going to leave anyway. Her boss is so conceited---he thinks the words can only be spelled his way."

There isn't a different truth for each person. There is one truth that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What is true for one person is true for everybody. Some people want to have their own "spelling rules" when it comes to faith. They want to make them up as they go. Many heresies have started this way. Not everyone is a Biblical expert enough to decide for themselves because Scripture is not self-interpreting.
2 Pet 1:20 "there is no prophesy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation... 2 Pet 3:15 "as our beloved brother Paul...wrote to you, ...In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."
So I think reading Scripture makes one complete and holy, but it is not a good way to find out what doctrine should be. That should be left up to authority. 1 Pet 5:5 "be subject to the presbyters."

I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart. I find freedom in knowing the truth He revealed and in being His disciple. I made a life-long commitment to serve Him however He leads me. I happen to believe I can be helped to know what that is by listening to the teaching of His church.
More from the forum:
Re: Where in the Bible does it say Abortion is wrong?

Here is a good article on this:

http://www. catholic .com/library/Abortion.asp This link works if you take out the spaces. I found this:

As the early Christian writer Tertullian pointed out, the law of Moses ordered strict penalties for causing an abortion. We read, "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [Hebrew: "so that her child comes out"], but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Ex. 21:22–24).

Actually, this passage can also be interpreted as "if there is injury to the woman (not the fetus), you are the take life for life..." This interpretation is used by the pro-choice camp. So it really comes down to what the Tradition from the early church fathers taught,which is very pro-life. Without the teaching from the Tradition, one can explain away most of the Scriptures. Though I am very pro-life, I can see how they can write off the pro-life position if it comes from Scripture alone. It's there in principle if one wants to believe abortion is wrong. People tend to see what they want to see though.
I would love to know how the pro-choice camp finds Scripture to support abortion. I've heard it is along the lines of "don't be judgemental". I want to be prepared to answer them.
“So your sister got fired’

“Yes. But she was going to leave anyway. Her boss is so conceited---he thinks the words can only be spelled his way.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Re: Jehovah's Witnesses? [Reply to Lonely_Road_of_Faith2003]

If you need to debate with Jehovah's Witnesses, here is a good web site:

They are into predicting the Second Coming which the Watch tower said would happen in 1914. When it didn't happen, they said Jesus came back "invisibly" even though Mt 24:27-30 says everyone would be able to see Jesus come back and Jesus said that we know not the day or the hour when he would come back.
They say only 144,000 will go to heaven (This is a big part of their beliefs.
)when Rev 7:1 talks about seeing the earth, land or sea and trees then says in v. 4 about the 144,000. The multitude no one can count (v. 9) are standing before the throne and before the Lamb. So the JWs have got it backward about the number who will go to heaven. Since their "translation" is so warped, you have to challenge them about the authority of the Watchtower saying things that are not true. It's too hard to go after doctrinal issues like the Trinity with them, though Thomas' statement to Jesus about being "My Lord and My God" sometimes works.
More from the Tradition forum:

While there are clearly many local assemblies of believers all over this planet, the CHURCH is actually a heavenly entity.


While some people believe the church is invisible, I don't think Scripture agrees with that. There are too many places where a visible church on earth is doing what God commissioned them to do--spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. That couldn't happen in one lifetime, so He established His church to carry on His work and gave it authority to act for Him. Look at these:
Eph 5:25-26 ... Christ loved the Church.
1 Tim 3:15 ... church is pillar/foundation of truth.
Mt 16:18; 20:20 ... Christ protects Church.
Heb 13:17 ... obey your leaders.
1 Pet 5:5 be subject to the presbyters.
Mt 18:17-18 ... church as final authority.
1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20 ... excommunication.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

More from the forum:

I've been trying to decide whether or not I believe that Jesus was the son of God who died for our sins and whether the Bible really is the word of God but I keep changing my mind. A lot of the for-arguments seems to revolve around showing that the bible has predicted countless events in history but when I examine the passages that these predictions supposedly come from I find them so vague and ambiguous that they don't really do much to convince me.

On the other hand, arguments concerning how the bible was put together, whether it was Ishmael or Isaac that Abraham was told to sacrifice, and the questionable set of morals depicted within the 66 books all point quite strongly towards a bible that is man-made and erroneous.

I'm also confused as to why it's fair that someone should be punished (sent to hell) for not putting their faith in Jesus. If God gave us free will to make our own decisions then why are we then penalised for not making the decisions that God wants? From what I've read I get the impression that you need to have complete faith in Jesus in order to be saved but how can I get rid of my doubts when my God-given ability to reason does not provide the tools necessary for me to prove His own existence?

It may sound like I've made up my mind already but I can't get rid of the thought that the Bible may be true after all and that if it is I'm in trouble. I want to believe but I'm finding it very difficult... any advice as to what to do would be appreciated.
I would recommend a book called The Case For Christ as a good source that shows the Bible is what it says and that it is trustworthy.

God works both through the Holy Spirit and through humans so I wouldn't discount the fact that humans wrote, compiled, translated, preserved and distributed the Bible. If God wants to get through to us, He has to do it through humans and I believe God loves us so much that He will do what it takes to make a relationship with him. The surest way to know that the New Testament is true is that for three centuries people were willing to burn at the stake rather than burn a pinch of incense to Caesar and deny what they believed to be truth. Why would they do that? They would be fools to die for a lie. As CS Lewis said, Jesus is either a liar, lunatic or Lord. When Thomas said to Jesus, "My Lord and My God", Jesus did not laugh at him; which I think he would have done had it not been true.

As for sent to hell for not putting their faith in Jesus, 1 John 2:2 says that Jesus "is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world." That seems to conflict with "no one comes to the Father except through me", I think it means that all who are saved are saved through the death/resurrection of Christ.
God knows who will be saved and who won't be, but God doesn't create people for hell, rather people choose it for themselves and if people are determined to go there, He allows them to. That is what is called free will. God gives us the grace to choose good, but some people don't cooperate. (Acts 7:51) As I understand it, God knows everything that we do for all time, as the concept of time doesn't exist for Him. He sees where our will takes us, and even if it takes us to eternal separation from Him, and wills our creation anyway. Essentially, we choose evil and choose to run away from His graces, but God will lovingly take us back if we turn to him with a contrite heart.

Things don't come into existence out of nowhere. There has to be a cause. But how did the first thing get created? There has to be an uncreated being that caused the first thing to be created? Who made the Big Bang go bang? Who made the matter/energy that was involved in the Big Bang? How did a world that is so perfectly designed happen by accident? Every design must have a designer.

A classic writer on this topic is at

Have you ever heard of Pascal's wager? If a Christian dies and finds out that there is no heaven or hell, nothing is lost. He/she has lived a moral life that helped him/her to get along with other humans. But if an atheist dies and finds out there really is a hell, he/she is in a ton of trouble. A betting man always makes the safest wager, so it's a good idea to believe in hell just in case if for no other good reason.

Have you ever asked for the gift of faith? It's something God wants you to have, so if you ask, I'm sure he will show you somehow.

As for me, I came to believe that I could not save myself from myself and that I needed the help of someone more powerful than any human. I was drawn to God's love for me that filled the deepest yearning of my soul and brought me out of the pit I was in. It all started making sense after that.

Friday, May 02, 2003

More from the forum:
There are two ways of looking at the supposed apostacy of the Catholic Church.
At Pentacost, Peter acted as spokesman for the apostles and taught with authority. In Acts 15, Peter made a decision about how Gentiles should act. In 96 AD, Clement of Rome settles a dispute in the Corinthian church by exercising his papal authority as successor of Peter while St. John is still alive.
In 180 AD, St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, stated that the teaching and tradition of the Roman See was the standard for belief.

You say it happened when the pope started asserting authority. In that case these events were decided by an apostate church:

Between 244 and 383, the Catholic Church contended with numerous heresies -- Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Bogomils, Catharis and Albigenses, Montanists, Novatian, Arianism, and Donatism. Read what these heresies were about and decide if the Catholic church decided them correctly. Where were the Evangelical writers speaking out against these heresies? You say, "The Evangelical Protestant doctrines are not a recent invention! They are a restoration of biblical doctrines." If so, why are there no writings before the 1500's that support these doctrines? Monophytism, Waldenses, modernism heresis came later. Do you agree the RCC decided them correctly or do you identify with the heretics?

370-405 The Catholic Church decided what books were inspired by God, and put them into one book, "The Bible". The list of the 73 inspired books, as we have them today in the Catholic Bible, was first compiled by St. Athanasius (c.297-373). This list was confirmed by the Council of Hippo (393), Council of Carthage (397) both in North Africa (St. Augustine was active in both councils), Pope Innocent I (405), and the Council of Trent (1545-63).

If an apostate church defined the extra-biblical doctrine of the Trinity and decided which books are in the Bible, then the Protestants have inherited the doctrines and writings of an apostate church. That is what the Mormons say.

Then there is the other way of looking at things:

Despite that about 30 of the first 34 popes were martyred for the faith, they kept appointing popes. If you knew it was a death sentence to be elected pope, wouldn't you have to have a very good reason for taking the job? Perhaps the popes have done exactly what Jesus told them to do. Perhaps they felt they would be disobeying the Lord if there were no pope. If they thought they were doing the right thing, who are we to judge them?

If you accept the doctrines of the Trinity and the table of contents of the Bible, don't you have to admit the Catholic Church was not apostate at the point when the pope asserted authority; that is, when Peter spoke at Pentacost? If you truncate all the traditions, you'd have to truncate the Trinity and the Bible's table of contents too.

If 75% of all Christians are not Protestant and do believe Christ gave authority to the popes, doesn't that tell you that Protestants are the minority opinion? Isn't it a bit brash for the late-comers to Christianity to tell the others that they have had it all wrong from the beginning? If one is to call it a Reformation, wouldn't that mean you clean up the sinful stuff and leave the basic structure alone? If you re-invent it, shouldn't one call it something other than Christianity because it is not the same as what it started out to be.

Have you ever read the writings of these people? See for yourself whether they sound like people who did not have the Holy Spirit in them. St. Patrick (432 AD), St. Benedict, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Boniface, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Claire, Thomas a Kempis, who wrote the "Imitation of Christ", St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and St. Jeanne de Chantal (1572-1644) and countless others. All of these people believed in the authority of the pope. Christianity would not be what it is today without them.
Read more about the history of the Catholic Church at

Thursday, May 01, 2003

More from the forum:
I know that this wasn't written to me, but with all due respect, have you read any of the Eastern Orthodox threads on this board? On how the RCC apostatized from the "True Church." This was the dicotomy that I was referring to earlier. Almost everyone believe that they belong to the only true church. Is this the same church that dug up Wycliff's bones and burned them seventy-five years after he was dead???? To follow the presbyters as you would want, you would have the Catholic's version of the spiritual descendants of the Apostles molesting children with the Arch-Bishop (another non-biblical term) covering it up.
The Eastern Orthodox have told their side of the story about how the RCC apostatized, but you probably haven't heard the RCC side of the story. One of the issues is the phase about the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father AND THE SON" in the Nicene Creed. The EO object to the AND THE SON part. Most Protestants subscribe to the AND THE SON part. You inherited that from the RCC. There were a few other less important reasons, but for the most part, we are very similar in our doctrines. I hope the rift will be settled someday. JP 2 has worked on it a lot, but nationalism and grudges get in the way.

I've heard they burned Wycliff's bones to keep Protestants from making relics of them. Some of his ideas were later picked up by Hus and Martin Luther, I think.

No matter how sinful priests are as individuals it does not give anyone the right to ignore their authority. Anyone who does that elects themselves Pope. Some liberal bishops weren't following the rules and that is how the homosexuals in the priesthood crisis started. In more conservative dioceses, there hasn't been a problem. They never should have been ordained. The Boy Scout's rules are right about homosexuals, IMHO.

Does you organization have Bishops married to only one wife? Who are the deaconess in your congregations? Why were priests allowed to be married and then prohibited a thousand years later? Didn't have it right the first time?
Celibacy was started as a reform measure to stop nepotism. Paul recommended it so that a man could focus on serving God and not worry about the needs of his wife.
Mt 19:12 eunuchs for the kingdom; 1 Cor 7:7-9 ... Paul unmarried. 1 Cor 7:32,33 ... celibacy.
If you were aware of how much women do in the church, you would see there is no need for deaconesses. The nuns and lay women have a lot of clout.
How can a baby repent and be baptized?
Baptism washs away original sin, not actual sin. "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them" Col 2:11-12 says circumcision (normally performed on infants c.f. Gen 17:12) was replaced by baptism.

What scripture verse is the rosary based on?
Hail Mary's (Ave's) come from Lk 1:28 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" Lk 1:42 "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Also included are the Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), one Glory Be (Gloria Patri).

The Rosary is a meditative prayer on 20 events in Jesus' life. It's a great, but totally optional, way to chill out if one does it right. See http://www. catholic .com/library/Rosary.asp for more info. Take out the spaces in the URL.

I believe in Bishops (overseers), Elders, Deaconess, etc. In all of the offices of the New Testament. I believe that Jesus Christ loved the Church so much that he died for her. I don't believe that the Church is limited to your particular brand of worship.
I'm only trying to point out the fullness of truth. Private interpretation of scripture and sola scriptura are not scriptural. I thought folks would want to know that.

Your assumption that you can think for other people who do not agree with you is a little more than brash. Is someone telling you how you think Catholicism is? I can try it if you wish, but it isn't really isn't my style.
When someone calls the RCC a pagan religion, I feel obligated to defend it. Some folks believe all kinds of things that aren't true. I just want to point out the assumptions.
Privacy and Morals: Who Decides?
Cal Thomas writes about moral dominoes
From the debate on Eucharist... actual body and blood? forum at
In Reply to Ephesians432
It will take a long, off-topic reply to answer you, so please bear with me.
No, Betty, we don't accept your doctrine of the Eucharist because the Catholic church has apostasized from the teachings of the apostles to such an extreme that it is like a pagan religion. The only thing you seem to have going for you is a belief in the Triune God.
Are you aware that the church you say is apostasized is the one that defined the doctrine of the Trinity in 325 AD at the Council of Nicea? The Arians were saying Jesus was a created being and therefore was not really God in the same sense as the Father is God. Without the authority of Roman popes, the Arian heresy would have won out. Four of the five patriarchs of the day were teaching Arian doctrines for centuries. Only Rome held on to the doctrine of the Trinity as Christians know it today. BTW, you can't really prove the doctrine of the Trinity from Scripture. It is an extra-biblical tradition and so is monogamy. The Trinity is in the Bible only by inference and hints, but there is no place that says Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, has two natures, divine and human, with the divine nature uncreated and the human nature 2000 years old. Without this extra-biblical tradition of the Trinity, no one has room to criticize Jehovah Witnesses, who are Arians.

Have you ever read the writings of the early church fathers? All of them consistently teach Catholic doctrines. None of them teach Evangelical Protestant views. How do you explain the absence of writings from the Evangelical side when there are a ton of Catholic writings that refuted heresy? If Evangelical Protestant writers existed, why didn't they speak out against these heresies? Where were the Evangelical Protestants pointing out that the Trinity is an extra-biblical tradition and is not binding on believers? The Arians did. The only explaination is that Evangelical Protestant doctrines are a recent invention that have no apostolic roots.

How can you explain the miracles that have happened in every century of Christianity? Would God have let an apostate church have such a powerful witness to His power? If the Catholic church is an apostate church, have the gates of hell prevailed against it (Mt 16)? Would an apostate church do a good job of deciding what books belong in the Bible? If the Catholic church is an apostate church, how do you know that all the books that are there are supposed to be there? Is there any place in Scripture that says what books should comprise the Bible? Or was the Table of Contents divinely revealed like the Koran?

Exactly in what year did this apostacy take place? Who did it? Where did it happen? I don't think you can make that charge without backing it up with the details. Especially when that is not what the Western Civilization history course I took in college said. Instead, you find a church that compiled, copied, translated, and distributed the Bible intact for 14 centuries before the invention of the printing press. Yes, there were corrupt people leading it at times, but that doesn't mean the teachings became corrupt or that people had the right to rebel against its authority.

Catholics try to limit the power of the Holy Spirit and make people dependant upon an organization instead of the salvation that is available in Jesus Christ. The Catholic church has no authority. The believer has authority---we are a royal priesthood, and children of the most high God.
This is another example of dicotomous thinking --- Jesus vs. the Church, not Jesus and His Church. Christ founded his church on Peter and the apostles. There is not only a royal priesthood of believers, but also the office of bishop (overseer), presbyter, and deacons in Scripture. There was a priesthood of believers in the OT, but they also had a Levite priesthood. Bloody sacrifices were abolished in the NT, but the priesthood was not. It was transformed. Where are your bishops, presbyters, and deacons? Scripture is very clear they existed from the very beginning. It is an extra-biblical, Evangelical tradition that priests and the church are not necessary.
I don't believe in proof-texting, but for your sake, here is the proof:
Eph 5:25-26 ... Christ loved the Church.
1 Tim 3:15 ... church is pillar/foundation of truth.
Mt 16:18; 20:20 ... Christ protects Church.
Mt 18:17-18 ... church as final authority.
Mt 23:2 ... Pharisees succeeded Moses (seat of Moses).
John 20:20- As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
Heb 13:17 ... obey your leaders and defer to them
1 Peter 5:5 be subject to the presbyters.
1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20 ... excommunication.
Acts 1:15-26; 2 Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5 ...unbroken succession.
Acts 15:6,23; 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22; 1 Tim 5:17; Jas 5:13-15 ... presbyters/elders (priests) were ordained, preached and taught the flock, administered sacraments.

I hope you don't take all these questions as attacking you. That is not what I mean to do. I am asking them to challenge you to think about what you believe and not assume anything. It is in the spirit of Christian charity that I point out your assumptions.