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

Baptism, Church Authority, Salvation, Eucharist & Mortal Sin



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

1 Peter 3:21…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also..

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

Bread From Heaven:
But the fact is that neither Jesus nor anyone else in the NT, ever described baptism in detail so that full immersion was mandatory. While that is the general meaning of the word; the conclusion that immersion is what was done is legitimate, however, nothing explicitly precludes other methods. And the Jews had been instructed by God to pour and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices to cleanse and consecrate. So these methods were chosen for the cleansing and consecration of baptism when full immersion was not practical. (Heb 9:13 Lev. 16:19

Leviticus 16:19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.

Deuteronomy 12:27 Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat.

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

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

Sonja: As far as faith alone…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith
Eph 2

Good Works-

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

LOVE

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

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

Keeping the Commandments

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Endurance to the End


Hebrews 10:35-39

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Peter 1:20
Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

And the word translated “prophecy” does not mean fortelling the future but according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary:

“Propheteia: signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.”

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

Protestant Interpretation


Kerrin, you say these quotes below show the early apostolic Gospel. However, you pick and choose verses that support your Protestant Gospel and ignore those that don’t fit or attempt to explain them away. The Catholic Faith makes sense of all Scripture and is the oldest interpretation.

Kerrin: Only through Christ (Acts 4:12)

Bread From Heaven: Of course! Who else could it be through?

Kerrin: A gift of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Bread From Heaven: Absolutely agree!

Kerrin:By Faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Bread From Heaven: You have used the same verse. Here it is let’s see if it says anything about Salvation being from faith ALONE.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

I do not see where it actually says that salvation is by faith ALONE. In fact, the Scripture NEVER says this. The only time in Scripture when the words faith and alone are together in one sentence is when it says “NOT by faith alone

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

The Faith Alone doctrine was invented by Martin Luther and became a Tradition of Men for the Protestants. But it is very clearly rejected by Scripture if one reads James 2 <–Click Link to read it.

Kerrin: Attained by Christ (Romans 5:9)

Bread From Heaven: Agree!

Kerrin:At the moment a sinner believes the gospel (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Bread From Heaven: Let’s take a look at this verse.

Eph 1:13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation—you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised.14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God’s glory.

I want to address this because this is a very common practice of Protestants. This verse certainly does support the claim that salvation begins the moment we believe. And along with Eph. 2:8-9 it seems to support the Protestant Tradition of Salvation by Faith alone. However, as we saw above James very clearly says that salvation is NOT BY FAITH ALONE. And the reason for this is that:

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

So salvation cannot be by belief or faith alone or else the demons would be saved. As James says:

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

Kerrin: Secured by God (John 10:27-30)

Bread From Heaven: Let’s take a look at this verse.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand

Is this verse true? Of course. Is Kerrin’s interpretation true? NO. He is ignoring other verses regarding the obtaining of Eternal Life.
The necessity of Baptism.

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

I Peter 3:21 baptism now saves you

The necessity of the Eucharist.

John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.

Kerrin: Sins are expiated by Christ’s blood (Romans 3:25)

Bread From Heaven: This is true but ignores
The necessity of confession

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

Kerrin:Salvation glorifies God alone (Ephesians 1)

Bread From Heaven: Agree that the plan of salvation brings glory to God. But, just need to point out that Ephesians does not say anything about glorifying God alone. This is an interpretation; presumably to denounce the honor we give to Mary and the Saints. What Protestants do not recognize is that this honor also glorifies God because Mary and the Saints depended upon God’s grace to enable them to live such holy lives.

Kerrin: The work of salvation is finished John 19:30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Bread From Heaven: Jesus’ work is finished but we too have a part we MUST do. Some of what we must do has been noted in the verses I quoted above. Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession of sin, good works etc.

I could quote hundreds of verses of warning for us not to fall away and lose our salvation but I have to go to mass in a few minutes, so here are a few verses.

Matthew 13:20 this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

Hebrews 3:12
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

2 Peter 3:17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,

Hebrew 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance,

Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Our salvation is not a done deal at the moment we believe. That is only the beginning. We must endure to the end and “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil 2:12

Protestants also contend that they KNOW they are saved and ask Catholics if they are SURE they will go to Heaven. Presumption is a sin against HOPE. Hope is a virtue and Catholics have a firm HOPE of final salvation. However, we do not trust ourselves knowing that we are capable of “sin unto death”. I John 5:17
St. Paul had hope. And he was not guilty of the sin of presumption.

I Corinthians 9:24 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.