WHY BE CATHOLIC AND NOT JUST CHRISTIAN?


Why be Catholic?

Advertisements

Sola Scriptura?


Scroll

Q. I would be interested to know where Mary’s Immaculate Conception is referenced in the Bible. I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless. Thank you.

A. Dear Michelle,

Before I answer your questions let me explain a fundamental difference between the sources of Catholic Doctrine and Protestant Doctrine.

The source for Catholic Doctrine is:

All that Jesus taught His disciples which were both written and orally transmitted.

The source for Protestant Doctrine is:

Many things that Jesus taught His disciples, but not all because limited to:

  1. Only what is in the  Bible after Luther removed 7 books.
  2. A few doctrines adopted from Catholicism

Because Protestants are bound to the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura they judge Catholic Doctrine to be suspect when teachings cannot be found explicitly in scripture. They do not seem to be aware that the Bible is a derived source. A sacred secondary source. A source derived from the primary source which is the teaching of Jesus Christ to His disciples.

The Catholic Church derives her teaching from the primary source. Catholic teaching and the Bible are both derived from the primary source, the teachings of Jesus. For this reason, nothing the Catholic Church teaches contradicts anything in the Bible because they are both derived from the same source. Everything that the Catholic Church teaches can not be found explicitly in Sacred Scripture. But, it can be found in the historic teaching of the Catholic Church which is derived from what the apostles taught and handed down to their successors….that which Jesus taught.

So when you ask,

Where is Mary’s Immaculate Conception  referenced in the Bible? I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless.

This is because you have been taught that nothing must be believed as Christians, unless it can be found in Scripture. But this source (the Bible)  is an incomplete record of all that Jesus did and taught. This is clearly affirmed in Scripture.

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book

John 21:25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Ironically, even as Protestants criticize Catholics for believing things that are not in scripture they unwittingly believe things that also are not to be found explicitly in Scripture.

First and foremost, the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura  is nowhere to be found in scripture.

Neither is the Doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation to be found explicitly in scripture. These were adopted from Catholicism.

For these reasons the Immaculate Conception and perpetual sinlessness of Mary cannot be found explicitly in scripture. But then, again, neither can Sola Scriptura .

For what Scriptural evidence we do have you might want to explore the following post:

Immaculate Conception

Jesus was Born at the end of December!


UnknownQ. Was Jesus really born on December 25th? I have heard he was born in the spring.

A. ARGUMENT FOR DECEMBER BIRTHDATE OF JESUS

 God has allowed His Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on the right day or very close to it. This is not mandatory or a matter of faith, but why doubt it without very good reason?

The argument for assigning late December as the rightful date of the birth of Yeshua is based on the time Zacharias was told that Elizabeth would conceive a child.

Osservatore Romano: December 24,1998

“December 25 is an historical date,” Professor Tommaso Federici, Professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University and a consultant to two Vatican Congregations, has stressed. In an article in the Osservatore Romano on December 24, he wrote: “December 25 is explained as the ‘Christianization’ of a pagan feast, ‘birth of the Sol Invictus’; or as the symmetrical balance, an aesthetic balance between the winter solstice (Dec. 21-22) and the spring equinox (March 23-24).

But a discovery of recent years has shed definitive light on the date of the Lord’s birth. As long ago as 1958, the Israeli scholar Shemaryahu Talmon published an in-depth study on the calendar of the Qumran sect [Ed. based , in part, on Parchment Number 321 — 4 Q 321 — of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls,], and he reconstructed without the shadow of doubt the order of the sacerdotal rota system for the temple of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 24, 7-18) in New Testament times.

Here the family of Abijah, of which Zechariah was a descendant, father of John the herald and forerunner (Luke 1, 5), was required to officiate twice a year, on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of September. It is not without reason that the Byzantine calendar celebrated ‘John’s conception’ on September 23 and his birth nine months later, on June 24. The ‘six months’ after the Annunciation established as a liturgical feast on March 25, comes three months before the forerunner’s birth, prelude to the nine months in December: December 25 is a date of history.”

Therefore, If Zacharias served during the end of September and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December. The explanation is as follows:


1. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was conceived just after Yom Kippur (late Sept) and born 9 months later in (late June).

* John’s father (Zacharias) was a Levite of the house of Abijah who was assigned to serve in the temple during the 8th and 34 weeks of the year. If the Angel’s announcement to Zechariah was the 34th week that would have been during the High Holiday of Yom Kippur.
* It is written that John was conceived shortly after this tour of duty (Luke 1:23-4), and Yom Kippur. Thus, John would have been born around (late June).

2. Jesus was conceived in (late March), six months after John the Baptist (Luke 1:24-27, 36) near Passover, and born 9 months later during late December.

Luke 1:36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

3. Circumstantial Evidences:

Church history, since the time of the late first century, has attested to a late December birth.

Hippolytus, in the second century AD, argued that this was Christ’s birthday.

In the fourth century,

John Chrysostom (347-407) argued that December 25th was the correct date. Chrysostom taught that Zechariah received the message about John’s birth on the Day of Atonement and John the Baptist was born sometime in June or July, and the birth of Jesus took place six months later, in late December (or early January). There was never a question about the period of Jesus’ birth either in the East or in the West; only in the recent years this date was challenged.
Early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. In the normal traffic of shepherds they move around and come near Bethlehem from November to March of the year. But then these were a special class of Levitical shepherds who kept the sacrificial lambs. They do not move around because they supply the lambs for daily sacrifice from whom people bought their approved lambs, which are blemishless. The fact that the Angels announced the arrival of the perfect sacrificial lamb to these shepherds indicates this. The climate near Bethlehem is more like Southern California, it is after all Mediterranian. It is not a Canadian or Russian climate.

Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew, wrote, “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable.”

Edersheim notes that Megillot Taanit states that the 9th of Tevet is considered the day of Christ’s birth, and that puts the birth of Yeshua sometime during late December.

Summary:
If Zacharias served during Yom Kippur and Elizabeth conceived shortly thereafter, we can place the date of Jesus’ birth during the month of Tevet, in late December.

Both views can be seen HERE

There Was NO Papal Primacy for the First 1000 Years of Christianity!


papacyKim: In the first 1,000 years there was no papal primacy,what church are you refering to ?

BFHU: There absolutely was papal primacy attributed to the Bishop of Rome. One of the reasons I was convinced of this is that while reading about some controversy in the early Church ( I was not even researching evidence for papal primacy)I saw that historically, it was always decided, that to settle a matter, they would go to the Bishop of Rome for a final decision. I don’t remember what historical event I was looking up back then but here are a few ancient examples way, way, way, before 1000AD

In the writings of the Early Church Fathers the fact of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is taken for granted. Before, 80 A.D. the Corinthian Church kicked out their bishop. Appeals were made to Pope Clement I,(who died in 80 AD) the fourth Bishop of Rome to settle the matter. And yet, the Apostle St. John was still alive at Ephesus and living a lot closer to Corinth than Rome. Never-the-less the appeals were made to the Pope/Bishop of Rome rather than to one of the 12 original apostles,  because all knew that only the Bishop of Rome had the authority to make a binding decision.Peter & the Keys

Pope Clement I: “You therefore, who laid the foundation of the rebellion, submit to the presbyters(priests) and be chastened to repentance, bending your knees in a spirit of humility.

“If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him (Jesus) through us (Pope & Church) let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger”(First Letter to the Corinthians)

St. Irenaeus180 AD, a student of St. Polycarp (a disciple of St. John the Apostle), exhorts all “Christians (to) be united to the Church of Rome in order to maintain the Apostolic Tradition/Teaching.

St. Irenaeus: “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a small volume as this, the succession of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all,  founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us, after having been announced to men, by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all the Churches must agree, that is all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic traditions. (Against Heresies)

St Peter'sHe then made a list of all the Bishops of Rome up to his time. There is nothing in his writing that sounds like he is trying to be convincing because he is teaching something new, but rather that all Christians took for granted that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church.

Also, for 250 years the Roman Emperors tried to destroy Christianity through persecution. In the first 200 years of Christianity, every Pope but one was martyred. So, even the pagans knew that the Bishop of Rome was the head of the Church.

A Roman Emperor’s greatest fear was a rival to the throne. Nevertheless, the emperor Decius (249-251 A.D.) one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christian Church made the following remark:

I would far rather receive news of a rival to the throne than of another bishop of Rome. (Christian History, Issue 27 1990, vol IX, No. 3, p22)

Decius said this after he had executed Pope Fabian in 250 A.D.
Beginning Apologetics by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham

IS EASTER A PAGAN HOLIDAY?


IS EASTER PAGAN ?

Eastern Orthodox Red Eggs

Eastern Orthodox Red Eggs

Common Protestant Misunderstandings.


 St Peter's

Pastor Karsten:  Sorry, Catholicview, you are wrong believing there is no change Roman doctrine concerning sacraments. The Roman Church changed a lot about the sacraments and itnroduce new ones. Around the year 1000 they started to withhold the wine from believers AGAINST Christ’s explicit words: «Drink from it, all of you;” (Mt 26:27) or according to Luke: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, «Take this and divide it among yourselves;

BFHU: This is not a change in DOCTRINE. It is a change in practice. Similar to the former practice of eating fish on Friday/ no meat, in union with the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. That was not a Doctrine either. I am not sure when the Blood of Christ tended to be reserved to the priest, but it was not to save money, as you assert below, but to prevent desecration of the Blood of Christ. And technically Jesus did not give His Body and Blood to EVERYONE  but only to the future Priests and Bishops of His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. I do not believe that the Catholic Church ever had a doctrine  that all the faithful MUST receive BOTH the Host and the Cup. And,  that they then changed for a while, only allowing the Host to the faithful, and then changed again to allow reception under both species, by everyone.. If you think so please prove your assertion with ancient authoritative documents.

images-4 Pastor Karsten: They also introduced celibacy for priests around that time, because the priests’ wives became a strong influence “undermining” the mind-control of the hierarchy. To increase their power they just forced many good people (priests and their partners) into “out of Wedlock” relationships and they still reap the consequences because the priesthood became a magnet for pedophiles and homosexuals. Even the first pope (Peter) was married (Jesus healed his mother in law). Then the Roman church made the priesthood a elective sacrament.

BFHU: It is true that Peter was married. However, we don’t know if he was still married at the time of his apostleship and later or if his wife seems to have already died. There is historical evidence that the apostles were celibate from the beginning. Even St. Paul exhorts  that all can serve Our Lord better if unmarried. And, it is just much more practical for a busy priest to be unmarried in order to fulfill his duties. Protestant pastors have a very difficult row-to- hoe attending to the flock and his family.

But you will be happy to know that Celibacy is also not a Doctrine. It too is a discipline/practice of the the Church. And this discipline can be changed in the future and allowances made to it. Therefore, we happen to have married priests. In the Eastern Roman Rites married men can become priests. But priests cannot get married after ordination. And probably like the Eastern Orthodox Churches, who also with married priests, the married priests cannot be considered for the office of bishop. So, we have both celibate and married priests. Contrary to the common Protestant accusation no one has ever been forced to become a celibate priest or forbidden to marry. Anyone who wishes to marry certainly may. And marriage is also a sacament. But if a young man feels called to the priesthood, in general, in the Roman Rite he must be willing to give up marriage.

All priests are to be chaste/celibate. They are not to enter the priesthood and keep a sexual partner of any sex or age on the side. This happens because we are all sinners. If only priests committed these sins, you might have a point, but marriage does not cure rapists, pedophiles, adulterers, or homosexuals. If the Church attracts these, it is because the Church is known to be forgiving and merciful and loving. They are not attracted to the Church because the Church approves of these sins, but in hope of overcoming them. Unfortunately they often fail to control their passions. 

 Pastor Karsten: This could have been the end of the Christian church if it was a human institution, but Christ promised to protect it and in his good time he called reformers to bring the church back on track.

BFHU: You are certainly correct that the Church Christ established on Peter would have long since disappeared into the mists of time, if He had not protected it as he said he would, so that even the Gates of Hell would not prevail against her. To Luther and the others it looked like they were just trying to get the Church back on track. There were abuses then and there always will be some b/c men sin. Even Churchmen. However, the reformers did a great disservice to Christ. They did not reform the Church, they shattered it into 30,000+ denominations diametrically opposed to Christ’s desire that we all be one.Jn17. However, the Church founded by Jesus is the Catholic Chruch, still going strong and with doctrine and sacraments in perfect alignment with Sacred Scripture. BTW, the Catholic Church was beginning her own reformation even as Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door.

 Pastor Karsten:We should praise God for his wisdom daily and thank him for Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Huss, Bucer, Calvin, Bonhoeffer, Drevermann (former Roman Catholic Priest and Professor in Paderborn, excommunicated) and the many true believers who listen to God’s Word more than to human tradition and selfelected “authorities”.

BFHU: We need to listen to God’s word in union with the Catholic Church. The problem with Sola Scriptura, born of the Protest-ant Reformation, is that everyone thinks they can infallibly interpret scripture. This breeds pride and arrogance to the point that the more strong-willed break away and start their own “churches”, further splintering Christ, in direct opposition to Christ’s desire for unity but also nullifying the scriptures that say:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 
i Peter 1: 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God

 Pastor Karsten: Indeed, the Roman church changed doctrine again and again, that is what councils where held for. There is a hole that the new pope will actually pick up on that tradition and reform some of the worst heresies within the Roman Church.

BFHU: You are very mistaken. So far you have only given us changes to practices and disciplines; which are perfectly legitimate. We have changed NO DOCTRINE since the birth of Christianity. But I understand the confusion; b/c in Protestantism there are not uniform practices. That is left totally up to each church/ individual. All Protestants have are doctrines (which are different in various denominations) so I understand why you have not discerned the differences in the Catholic Church between doctrine (Unchanging) and disciplines (changeable)

The councils, contrary to Protestant misunderstandings, were NOT held to create changes in doctrine or make up new ones or get rid of old ones. Councils were held to determine precisely and then teach, what was TRUTH and what was ERROR. Most of the early councils dealt with the nature of Jesus. There was much confusion owing to the difficulty of understanding the Trinity, pagan influences, and appearances. The councils hammered out the nature of the Trinity and that Jesus was true God and true Man in a hypostatic union. That is why the concept of the Holy Trinity is absent in Scripture. So technically, believers in Sola Scriptura should reject the Doctrine of the Trinity. It was taught and the Apostles knew what was true but over time and distance, confusion seeped in. So when councils pronounced a teaching, It was never New Teaching. It was always old teaching but clarified teaching to counteract misunderstandings.

To help you understand this I will give a modern explanation. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman ONLY. However the Catholic Church does not have a Dogma on this, promulgated by a Church Council b/c everyone knew and accepted this. There was no confusion. However, today, in the Western cultures, marriage is being redefined and confusion and rebellion are rampant even among Christians. Therefore, at some point in time the Catholic Church may have to have a council to once-and-for-all define marriage as only between a man and a woman. This will be a new dogma but NOT A NEW TEACHING. The teaching has always and everywhere been believed. But for the sake of clarity this Dogma may eventually need to be proclaimed.

Why Not Pray Straight to God?


 eucharist-cover-1

Bongani: Why should I ask any man to talk for me to GOD when I have the Mediator my LORD JESUS CHRIST ‘?

BFHU: You are right we can just pray straight to God. But we, Catholics,  ask the Saints to pray for us b/c it works! God is so secure He has this habit of NOT doing things directly but giving His children the blessed opportunity to be His helpers and carry out His plans when He could certainly have just done it all by Himself if He was worried about some lowly man or woman getting noticed.

Who built the Ark? God could have made it much more quickly, but no…
Who led the Israelites out of Egypt? Could God have done that all by Himself?

When God sent serpents to bite the Israelites for their disobedience, at what did they look to be saved? Why didn’t He just have them look to Him?

Who had to expel the Cannanites out of the Promised Land? Couldn’t God have done that all by Himself?

When Israel was disobedient who did God use to punish them by letting them get conquered?

Who reconquered the land of Israel when Israel repented after they kept getting conquered b/c of disobedience, during Judges? Couldn’t God have done it all by Himself?

When God finally got fed up with them and punished Israel and Judah with exile, did He do that all by Himself? Or did he use warriors from another country? Why did He do it that way?

And then when they had been exiled long enough how did God get them back to the Promised Land? Did He use someone to help out with that? Why?

Then He sends His son,  God-Man to accomplish Salvation. The GREATEST GIFT TO MANKIND EVER! And then who did He leave in charge of that?

Who did He trust to bring the Gospel to the World? Couldn’t He have found some way to do all that all by Himself?

And then who did God trust to compile what we know of today as The Bible? Why didn’t Jesus write that all up? Or at least the New Testament?

Believe me, Catholics are not stupid. We pray to Saints b/c it seems to work better. I am not saying Protestant don’t get their prayers answered. They do. But, compared to my prayers as a Protestant and as a Catholic praying to the Saints….it just works. Not 100% of the time do I get what I want, of course. But why is that? Why oh why does the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth entrust sinful men with ANYTHING? Is He crazy or what?

……or maybe the Catholics are on to something…….