Tradition of Men: Catholics worship Idols.


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

Erica: How about IDOLATRY…?

Look at your Churches… There’s a lot of statues of Saints, Mary etc. that almost all of Catholics kneel upon it and even worship it like a God….

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: I have many posts on this topic. Since I had just made a power point presentation to all of our confirmation students 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…

Protestant are very sincere, BUT…are Protestants  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, the Holy of Holies:Unknown-3

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

 So, God Himself wanted a couple of 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.Unknown-2

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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?

3501af7b228156b77b61a7092f6b026f

So Protestant jump to the conclusion that the Pope is

worshipping the statue of Mary because he is praying and

kneeling by it. Why is this idolatry…..

 
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images-1

But not this–>

Why not jump to the conclusion he is worshipping bread?


<—or this. Why not jump to the conclusion

she is worshipping her bed?

 

 

 

 

or this–>images

Why not jump to the conclusion he is worshipping the Bible?

 

 

 

 

 

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, plants, & fruit

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.

Who Is the Final Authority for Protestants? Themselves?


Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation.” – St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

This is a reblog from Principium Unitatis.

MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008
Michael Brown on “Sola Scriptura or Scriptura Solo”
I recently read Michael Brown’s “Sola Scriptura or Scriptura Solo”. What I say below is a reply to his post. (On a related note, my post on Keith Mathison’s The Shape of Sola Scriptura can be found here.)

Michael claims that the sola scriptura position is not “me-and-my-own-interpretation-is-authoritative”. He claims that sola scriptura advocates read and interpret the Bible “with the church”. Sola scriptura advocates, he claims, are not biblicists. Their position, according to Michael, is not solo scriptura.

But when you ask sola scriptura advocates what exactly they are referring to by ‘church’, they will eventually answer with something semantically equivalent to “whoever reads and interprets the Bible just like I do, or at least pretty close to just like I do”. And if you ask them, “Which creeds, confessions and historical theology are authoritative?”, their ultimate answer is semantically equivalent to “those creeds and confessions and historical theology that agree with me-and-my-own-interpretation-of-Scripture.” Some will answer this latter question by claiming that they follow those creeds and confessions and historical theology that were put forward by “the church”. But, again, when you ask them what exactly they are referring to by ‘church’, you find eventually that their ultimate answer is semantically equivalent to “whoever reads and interprets the Bible just like I do, or at least pretty close to just like I do.” Sometimes sola scriptura advocates appeal to Protestant confessions like the Westminster Confession or the Belgic Confession. But if you ask them why they believe those confessions to be authoritative, and not, say, the Council of Trent, you will eventually find an answer semantically equivalent to “because those confessions [or those who wrote them] interpret the Bible just like I do, or at least pretty close to just like I do.” This is what I have previously called “painting a magisterial target around one’s interpretive arrow”, like shooting an arrow into a wall, and then painting a target around one’s arrow to make it look as if one shot a bullseye.

Advocates of sola scriptura distinguish their position from that of biblicists by claiming that biblicists practice solo scripture. And I imagine that most self-described advocates of sola scriptura are not biblicists in the I-only-use-Scripture sense. But this distinction [between sola scriptura and biblicism/solo scripture] is not relevant to the fundamental authority problem of solo scriptura. That is because for both sola scriptura and solo scriptura/biblicism, the individual remains the final interpretive [of both Scripture and Tradition] authority.

This is more difficult for advocates of sola scriptura to see about themselves, because by claiming that the Church is the final authority [where ‘Church’ is defined as “whoever reads and interprets the Bible just like I do, or at least pretty close to just like I do”] they create a semantic and social layer between themselves and their treatment of themselves as their own ultimate interpretive authority.

According to Michael, biblicism, but not sola scriptura, encourages people not to “subject themselves to any theological or ecclesiastical authority that might be contrary to their own interpretation.” But if you ask sola scriptura proponents to whom they themselves subject their interpretations, you will soon discover that the answer is “those who interpret Scripture mostly or entirely like I do.” So in this respect, there is no principled difference between sola scriptura and biblicism.

You can read the rest of this post –> Principium Unitatis

Why Do Protestants Feel Superior to Catholics?


 

This is an exchange from an ongoing conversation on:

My Conversion to the Catholic Church

in which Charles contends that daily scripture reading is commanded for salvation.

CHARLES:Martin Luther did not need new revelations to realise scripture is essential – it was already there in the bible. We should be ‘ obsessed”
by scripture in order to live our lives by it.

BREAD FROM HEAVEN: Martin Luther had NO AUTHORITY to change the Christian faith and add doctrines never before believed in the history of Christianity. He didn’t need to do that in order to realize the benefit of scripture. St. Jerome said in the 400′s AD:

“To be ignorant of scripture is to be ignorant of Christ.”

It is a Protestant myth that the Catholic Church does not value Scripture. And herein lies the difference and the danger of Luther’s doctrine as it affects Protestants. We should not be obsessed with scripture but with Christ, a pursuit of holiness, and evangelization. This is what our Catholic Faith teaches us.

The fact that many Catholics don’t practice this only proves many Catholics don’t practice our Faith. Protestants have a false sense of superiority over the Catholic Church because they leave a church they perceive as “dead” or less than perfect or when they disagree with the pastor or find the pastor in sin, or the music is not to their taste etc. Some even start a new church. These Protestants are very fervent and truly desire to serve Our Lord. And each time they leave for a holier Church or a more scripture based teaching church or a church with more uplifing music they feel their new church is truly following Christ better than the church they left. Until, perhaps as time goes by something makes them see faults and they leave again. This gives them a false sense being in a better church than the Catholic Church in which all Catholics find a home both fervent and less fervent, both saints and sinners and everything in between. This makes it VERY easy to find fault with the Catholic Church as Protestant focus on the less fervent and more worldly Catholics and compare them to their own fervent new church. A proper comparison would encompass all the exemplary holy Saints inspired by our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. But as G.K. Chesterton said:

“It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair.”
-G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Protest-ant Beliefs vs. Catholic Church


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

Tradition of Men Misreads Scripture


Protestants often ding the Catholic Church for holding Sacred Tradition and Scripture as authoritative.

Ironically, Protestants also hold some traditions of their own that actually causes them to misinterpret, misunderstand, ignore or just be blind to what Scripture actually does and does not say.

Not all Protestants will have all of these traditions but they are pretty common among most evangelical Protestants.

Protestant Tradition:All sin is equal in the eyes of God.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

This is the verse used to support this tradition. Now the verse does point out that breaking any point of the law constitutes breaking “all of it”. But this verse does not in any way say that all sin is equal in the eyes of God.

Here are a few other verse used to support this tradition.

Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 3:4-5Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

These verses talk about sin but none of them say anything about all sin being equal in the eyes of God.  There is NO SCRIPTURE that supports this Protestant Tradition. But there are scriptures that talk about an inequality of sin in the eyes of God. How do Protestants miss these? See my post

Is All Sin the Same in God’s Eyes?

Protestant Tradition: Sola Scriptura

The verse used to support the tradition is:

2 Timothy 3:15-17 …you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And, yet, this verse commends scripture but it does not say anywhere in it or elsewhere in the whole Bible that all Christian beliefs must be found explicitly in scripture. And, this verse was written before the NT was canonized so it could only have been referring to the OT scriptures.

Protestant Tradition: Prayers to the Saints condemned

Here is the verse used to support this Tradition:

 Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

12“For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.13“You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 4“For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.

Deut 18:11 condemns those who “call up the dead”, “consult the dead” (NIV), ” practice necromancy” (KJV) So, Protestants reason that since Mary and the Saints are dead, Catholics who ask the Saints for intercessory prayer are therefore “calling up the dead”  which is condemned in the Old Testament. Therefore prayer to the Saints is condemned!

But what they fail to notice because of their eagerness to condemn Catholic practices is that the whole passage is talking about various practices of DIVINATION. Divination seeks occult knowledge from the dead. It seeks information and guidance. It is nothing like asking the Saints in Heaven to pray for us. But the Protestant Tradition blinds them to the context of the passage and the meaning of the actual words used in the Deuteronomy passage.

Protestant Tradition: Peter’s Confession is the Rock in Mt 16.

In Matthew 16:13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”….16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

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.”

In this passage Jesus clearly renames Simon Rock/Petros/Kepha and declares that on this Rock/Petra/Kepha He will build His Church.

But Protestants who have the Tradition of rejecting the Pope and hierarchy say that Jesus is not saying that He will build His Church on Peter but rather on Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah. But this passage says nothing about Peter’s confession being the Rock/Petros/Kepha.

Pronouns, in all languages must refer to a nearby noun.  The pronoun “this” is in verse 18. Peter’s confession is in verse 16. That is two verses, three sentences and seven nouns away! If pronouns in English or any other language could have seven nouns in between the pronoun and the antecedent it would be incomprehensible!

Protestant Tradition: God only chose some

Limited Atonement is a Calvinist doctrine linked inextricably with another Calvinist Doctrine: Eternal Security. Many Protestants hold to Eternal Security but reject the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement. This doctrine declares that Jesus’ salvation is only offered to the Elect. Those who are chosen by God. This doctrine is arrived at by reading Romans 9 out of context of the rest of the book.

Romans 9: 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:12 not by works but by him who calls—… Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Using this passage with others Calvinists assert that God planned for only His Elect to be saved (the objects of His Mercy prepared in advance). The rest were chosen for damnation. Although they don’t talk about that last bit. But it is the only logical conclusion one can come to. This doctrine has God actively choosing some but not others to be saved; as opposed to the idea that Jesus died to save everyone.

Thus based on the Calvinist Tradition of Limited Atonement, the Calvinist finds himself in opposition to the plain meaning of Sacred Scripture in these verses:

I Timothy 2:4  who desires all men to be saved

John 3:17
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

1 Timothy 4:10That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If the Doctrine of Limited Atonement were true then Scripture is lying about God and His plan and desire.

Protestant Tradition: We go straight to Heaven. No Stops in Purgatory.

Because in 2 Corinthians St. Paul says that  “to be away from the body is to be with the Lord.” Therefore, when our soul leaves the body it is with the Lord. No stops in Purgatory–wham!–we will be with the Lord.

So, when this is quoted to Catholics trying to defend the Doctrine of Purgatory it  leaves them speechless. What can a Catholic say to contradict the very words of Scripture?

Easy.

Ask to take a look at the passage.

Here is what it actually says:

2 Corinthians 5:6-8  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

St. Paul says that he would prefer to be away from the body and with the Lord. That is very different than saying dogmatically that to be away from the body IS TO BE WITH THE LORD.

The Protestant Tradition, of the rejection of Purgatory, causes them to misquote this passage in support of their Tradition. In fact, I just went to a funeral yesterday where this passage was misquoted. Protestants have been taught and memorized a misquote rather than what it actually says.

I might prefer to be in New York. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a layover in Denver.

Jesus NEVER called Mary His Mother


David D: 1. NOWHERE is MARY EVER ONCE venerated or prayed to ANYWHERE in the New Testament.

The one example we have of someone venerating Mary is in Luke 11 where Jesus is preaching and a woman in the crowd INTERRUPTS Jesus and heres what happened;

(LUKE 11:27-28) 27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed
is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Jesus negated this woman’s assumption and turned the attention on the WORD OF GOD.

BFHU: Jesus never once said that God is a Trinity either. Did He use the word incarnation. Do you therefore reject the Doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity? Remember, the Protestant idea that all religious truth must be found explicitly in scripture or else it is illigitimate is not to be found in scripture alone.

David D: Jesus NEVER ONCE called Mary HIS OWN mother. Wonder why? lol

BFHU:Everything Jesus said and “did is not written because the world could not contain the books.” John 20:30 So you cannot actually KNOW that Jesus never called Mary “mother”. But what are you saying? You don’t believe Mary was the mother of Jesus?

Did Mary Have Other Children?


Q.The best way to find an answer of what is true is to go
right to the Scripture and let it speak for itself.
A.The Scripture cannot speak for itself. It has to interpreted/understood by a human being. And human beings can come up with different interpretations. That is why the Protestants have splintered into thousands of denominations.

Q. Remember, the scriptures (the Word of God) are the ultimate Authority.

A. Where does scripture actually say anywhere at all that the written word of God is the "Ultimate Authority"? This contention is not based on scripture. Sola Scriptura is surprisingly not based on Scripture!

Q. Hear are some of the scriptures that show that Mary had other children.

 

Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?”

A. This can be understood to mean kinsmen not strictly siblings. Note Jesus is called the Carpenter’s son. Jesus’s mother is called Mary. Jesus’ brethren/kinsmen are James, Joses, etc.. This passage does not designate sons of Mary as you seem to think. It says nothing about sons of Mary or specifically names Mary as their mother.

Q.  Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

A. If you note Mary the Mother of James…is not designated as Mary the Mother of Jesus. And for a good reason. She was not the Virgin Mary. She was “the other Mary” as pointed out in John:

John 19:25 2Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother (Holy Mary), his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Three Marys…And Salome.

So we have the Virgin Mary was Jesus’ mother and Mary the wife of Clopas was most likely the mother of James and Joses etc., “sister” of the Virgin Mary;  Mary Magdalene‘s children are never mentioned so Salome was probably the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Note that the sister of Jesus’ mother is called Mary. Most families do not name two of their children the same name. So, this is further evidence that the Greek word adelpha translated here as sister is more accurately translated as kinswoman.

You come to  scriptures with a bias that James and Joses etc.are Jesus’ siblings and therefore “see” this undefined “Mary” (in Mt.) as Jesus’ mother even though nothing in the Matthew passage identifies this Mary as Jesus’ mother.

And the passage in  John supports the Catholic historical understanding that these “brethren” of the Lord Jesus are  kinsmen and not literal siblings.

Q. the problem is that the Roman Catholic church places tradition over and above the Authority of the Word of God, making it non effectual (mark 7:13).

A. I know this is the standard Protestant contention. But, it is due to ignorance of what the Catholic Church means when we talk about Scripture and Tradition. We too condemn “the traditions of men that nullify the word of God.” What we call Tradition is nothing less than the TEACHINGS of Jesus as taught to His disciples and passed down from one generation to the next for 400 years before the New Testament, as we know, it was canonized.

Q. There is nothing in God’s Word that either implicitly or explicitly says Jesus was the lone son of Mary, or that Mary remained a virgin.

A.    That is correct. But neither is there anything in scripture that says all Christian truth is contained in scripture and scripture alone. All historical information about the apostles and Mary and all that went on in the early church is not contained in scripture.

That does not make that history, therefore nonexistent. It does exist in writings of early church fathers and others. But not all of it as St. John tells us.

John 21:25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

So, scripture itself tells us there is MUCH more information that is not written. The Catholic Church has preserved these unwritten teachings of Jesus and His apostles in her SACRED TRADITION. She accepts all of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, written and unwritten as St. Paul exhorted us to do.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6
    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.