The non-Catholic claim of Catholics being idolaters

Non-Catholics often claim that Catholics are idolaters because we worship stautes of Mary and saints.  My first response is to ask the accuser how he knows my heart better than I do?  So when Jesus says “judge not lest you be judged”, the accuser isn’t exactly following Jesus’ wishes, is he?

So the First Commandment is, paraphrased, ‘You shall love the Lord your God above all earthly things.’  The Second Commandment is, again paraphrased, ‘You shall have no other gods before me’. 

What does this really mean?  Certainly we are not to create images and worship them, but does it really say not to make images?  When the Hebrews were wandering through the desert, and complaining about nearly everything, God sent seraph serpents to punish them, and many died.  Moses interceded, and God told him to make a serpent and put it on a staph.  Those that looked at the serpent were healed.  So clearly, God does not intend that we should not make images, but that we not make images and worship them.

Well, now, what are some of today’s biggest idols?  Some are people-rock stars, sports stars, movie stars; some are things-food, drink, money, television.  So here’s the question:  Look inside your heart, and ask “What do I love right now more than God??”  There’s your idol.

Many Catholics go to mass faithfully every week. Most have done little or no preparation.  Do you go to mass with a chip on your shoulder or a sin hanging over your head?  Do you take time to read each week’s readings and listen to what they say to you?  Do you arrive at mass with 2 minutes to spare (or later), in your beach-wear (or worse), and leave as soon as the priest says “The mass is ended. Go-“. Do you actually listen to the homily?  Are you someone who does none of these things, but notices everyone who does? There’s your idol.

Many Catholics don’t go to mass every week, or seldom.  They say, often, that they don’t have time.  Question: Did you eat breakfast that day you missed mass?  Did you watch the game on TV that day you missed mass?  Did you play golf that day? There’s your idol-you love that thing more than you love God.

Do you go on vacation and leave God at home?  I know lots of folks who make every attempt to get to Disneyland early to be among the first to enter the park that day, and don’t attend mass.

Non-Catholics aren’t required to attend mass every week, but they have a few of these attitudes above.  One that many Americans have, as well as those who were influenced by the American way of living, we spend so much time in the pursuit of wealth, and forget that we couldn’t even breathe if God forgot us for the least amount of time. Work, spend, work, spend. (Then put $1 in the collection basket…)

It is high time we all examine ourselves, and as a New Years resolution, resolve to make more time for God in our lives.  For Catholics, make use of the sacraments, including Reconciliation, pray the Rosary, attend Eucharistic Adoration, make an attempt to learn something about your faith, minister to the elderly, feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit those in prison.  Attend daily Mass.  Ask God, daily, to come into your heart.

Thanks for reading.


79 thoughts on “The non-Catholic claim of Catholics being idolaters

  1. Re: Your opening point about non-Catholics thinking that Catholics are sometimes idolators. I encountered this attitude frequently growing up in the north of Ireland. There was a lot of ignorance, fear and suspicion of Catholicism involved. (Little did I know back then the extent to which child abuse scandals would later vindicate such suspicion.)

    And I do also take your point about who knows what lies within another’s heart. And yet…

    In theory no Catholic should be worshipping the BVM or any saint, merely asking for their intercession. Fair enough. But I have encountered Catholics whose devotion to Mary appears to go beyond intercessionary pleas. Sometimes there’s an aspect of of accessing the female side of God, and calling it Mary.

    Also – I was struck by the insides of Catholic churches in South America. Where I grew up, despite the veneration of the BVM, Jesus was central in church imagery. In fact the church was somewhat plain in decoration (admittedly a couple of bomb attacks contributed to the decor).
    But in Venezuela in particular, some saints have positions so much more prominent than Jesus that it certainly seems as though they’re more important. In theory not so, but it looks that way. And to a non-Catholic visitor: If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck – you could be forgiven for thinking it is a duck.

    So while I used to raise my eyes to heaven at the ignorance of those who asked why Catholics worship the Virgin Mary, I;m these days more likely to wince with the feeling that some, probably, do.

  2. I think, regarding your parenthetical comment, that you will find that, while horrific in the extent of the abuse, there’s really less of it inside the church than in other institutions. Doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is.

    On the larger point of your comment, yes, some people in the Church can take one aspect of the Church’s teaching and go to the extreme. This happens in any faith, and yet, those other faiths point at our veneration of Mary and the saints as a ‘gotcha’. In truth, there needs to be better catechesis all over the place. We know that anything taken to extreme can become superstition. I guess my biggest plea here is for people not to judge the hearts of others.

    Regarding churches and their decoration, the only thing that really matters in any Catholic Church is the altar, the crucifix, and the tabernacle. Regardless of the other statues around the perimeter, it’s just that-the perimeter. These are art pieces to remind us of certain aspects of our faith, whether it be the life of a man or woman saint, the blessed Virgin, Jesus’ Sacred Heart or the Stations of the Cross. In worship, only the sanctuary matters. Folks who are unfamiliar with our faith need to keep their interpretations to themselves. I fully understand how they could feel some way, but all is not as it appears…even Jesus didn’t look divine when he walked with his disciples, except at the Transfiguration.

  3. I like your final sentence – good point well made.

    About the one before though… I don’t mind when people ask questions, and in fact it can even be invigorating to be challenged in an intellectual rather than a hostile way about these matters.

    I’ve done it myself. An episode in a Sikh temple springs to mind when I subjected my host to some tough searching questions. I suspect he was not entirely comfortable with some of my lines of enquiry, but he was very polite, hospitable and more importantly responsive. I left feeling very much better informed and impressed.

    But I wonder if perhaps you have had to endure some hostility rather than measured mannered questions about the church, and if so, I understand how that could try your patience.

    Anyway, thanks for the response. You explain things well.

  4. A lot of it is in the way a question is asked. Yes, especially on the internet, where people can’t see the people they’re hurting or being hostile to, I have endured some hostility toward Catholic ideas. I believe we all need to have some tolerance. I know I don’t completely understand what goes on at an Assemblies of God service or a Mormon service, but I try not to make value judgements.
    But you’re right, we should always be charitable, remembering that God loves everyone equally, for he created us all.

    God uses all these encounters (this one with you, and others) to teach me how to better impart my faith. There’s no such thing as coincidence, and we always need to try and understand what God has in mind for us.

    God bless.

  5. hello

    we have the same sentiment

    i’m a catholic and i don’t worship mama mary and i don’t worship idols too

    take note though that I call her mama because we catholics believe that when Jesus gave her to his beloved disciple to be his mother, all followers of Jesus Christ also accept Mary as mother

    anyway there was a time when i was accused of idolatry by someone who belongs to another religion

    the words used are horrible so you can’t blame me if i have this annoyance towards that particular religion

    i felt like, who do they think they are to tell what is inside my heart?

    only God knows

    there is only one Judge

    and I am not afraid because between me and Jesus, we know that the accusation is not true

    i guess it’s just disappointing that some religions will insist that we catholics are idolaters just so they can invite more members to their church

    and for me that’s ridiculous

    if they are really true, they won’t look down on other religions because that would be self-righteousness

    God bless you

  6. Frankly speaking, if you really intend to just honor the “Virgin,” then why do you people go on to make statues of her?? What? Do you think that you’d forget how she had looked when she was alive or something? Is that really all that necessary? Christian faith is all about believing in Christ to be saved from the eternal damnation. By believing in Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, we are cleansed of our sins and becomes eligible for the promised eternal life. Even if you wanted to keep an image of her around you, you don’t go kissing, hugging, or even bowing down before the said statue. It’s immoral and blatant act of idolatry.

    Mary is just a small detail in God’s plan and you people have to realise that fact. She was a human, just like the rest of us are. It’s true that she was favored by God and had conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Mary, however, as it states in the bible, needed Jesus to save her. This makes Mary a sinner, just like the rest of us are and because she was a sinner, she needed a savior to rescue her soul.

    Mary is not the mother of God. It’s true that she’s the mother of human Jesus. I get that, we all get that. The Trinity from the Christian doctrine states that Father is God, Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but the three persons are distinct from one another, which leads us to the conclusion that the notion of Mary being the mother of God cannot be true.

  7. Corrections to be made for my previous Comment: It’s not the need of a savior, which had made Mary a sinner, but it instead became a proof that she was a sinner who needed Jesus to save her: This proves that Mary was a sinner, just like the rest of us are and because she was a sinner, she needed a savior to rescue her soul.

  8. Doesn’t civilization make statues of those they revere? Go to New Orleans, there’s a statue of Robert E. Lee. Do we worship him?

    We honor our revered ancestors in the faith. Regardless of how she ‘really’ looked, it’s what she stands for that we honor, not the statue. Kissing, hugging, and bowing are not necessarily acts of worship. Do you not kiss and hug your children or relatives? Bowing to someone is not worshipping them, either. Christ said “Judge not, lest you be judged.” So it’s your own judgement of actions that tells you it’s idolatry, not what’s in the hearts of those who might do such things? So tell me, do you get on your knees to read the Bible? Are you worshipping a book?

    Regarding Mary’s sinlessness, let’s take an example. Let’s say your walking down the street, and you walk out into the street into the path of an oncoming car. There’s two ways to save you. I could either grab your arm and stop you, or I could jump out and push you out of the way. Mary was human, for sure, and it was no act of her own that saved her. But a special grace of God did. Since God is outside of time, he could, and we say he did, save her before she was born.

    Excuse me, it’s heresy to say that Mary is the mother of Jesus’ human nature. Women don’t give births to nature. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man from the time he was conceived, so therefore, Mary IS the Mother of God.

  9. How does the comparison justify the actions of the Roman Catholic Church? Robert E. Lee’s statue was forged by the people of the world, the ignorant ones. Catholics teach that Mary was the “mother of God.” In doing so, the “brightness” of Mary tend to outshine the importance of Jesus. In people’s subconscious, the teachings of Mary’s importance in their religion remains. People, following the worldly natures of their minds, begin to put Mary at the same height of hierarchy as that of God. This is because they think that since Mary’s the mother of God, Mary’s rank must be equal to or higher than that of God. For they were criticized for their traditions, the Catholics are now aware of the dangers of speaking out Mary’s importance out in the public, thus the psychological seal on their minds.

    The Roman Catholic Church’s so-called “holy” traditions were created based on the opinions of the elders of the Church. They believe that their tradition weighs much more than that of actual scriptures of the Bible. The Bible, however, is a compilation of God’s words. So, by claiming that their traditions hold more truths than that of the Bible, the Catholics are saying that their human opinions values more than that of God’s words. They did this, in order to cover up the resulting contradictions between their own traditions and the Bible. What they failed to realize is the fact that any belief, practices, principles, or traditions that are contradictory to the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith.

    Here’s the definition of the term, “worship:” “The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity: “ancestor worship.” I find it very troubling to see that the way you reason things is not from the side of God, rather it’s from the worldly views of men. This is the problem. Catholics have a tendency of throwing in a worldly argument, then sugarcoats the argument by saying that it’s been inspired.

    Well, again, that’s either your opinion or the stuff that the Catholic teachings have crammed directly into your grapefruit. Mary recognized that she needed the Savior. The Bible never says that Mary was anyone but an ordinary human whom God chose to use in an extraordinary way. Yes, Mary was a righteous woman and favored (graced) by God. At the same time, Mary was a sinful human being who needed Jesus Christ as her Savior, just like everyone else.

    It’s unbiblical to address Mary as the “Mother of God.” Mary was the human mother of the human Jesus Christ, who was indeed God incarnate. But she was not the mother of God, neither is she the ”queen of heaven,” another title given to her by the Catholic Church which has no basis in Scripture. God doesn’t have a mother, nor does He have a queen. He is an eternal, infinite Being, uncreated and unborn, self-sufficient and self-sustaining. While Mary was certainly a godly young woman greatly blessed in that she was chosen to bear the Savior of the world, she was not in any way divine, nor was she sinless, nor is she to be worshipped, revered, venerated, or prayed to.

  10. Making a statue is of no consequence. As we keep pictures of people, memorials of our heroes, that’s the significance. We do not worship Mary as equal to God.
    This argument of yours is 1700 years old and has been debated by minds greater than mine and yours put together, but essentially, Mary, the Mother of God does NOT diminish Jesus, rather it reflects the light of Jesus as the moon reflects the sun. Regardless of what people do, the Church does not request the faithful to place Mary at the same level as Jesus. Otherwise, you could blame everything on the Catholic Church. (aside, look at how we celebrate St. Patrick’s day- it’s an excuse to get drunk now. But the fact is that the Church venerates St. Patrick and his example, his ministry to Ireland. Has nothing to do with drinking and partying.)

    Regarding tradition, you must distinguish between Sacred Tradition (the writings of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus) and tradition, such as priestly celebacy. We do not hold any tradition higher than Scripture, but Sacred Tradition is on the same par. For Christianity is the religion of the spoken word before it is the religion of books. Jesus never wrote a word, nor did he exhort his disciples to write. They did later, when they realized the importance of what they were preaching.

    No, you’re right-worship is that reserved to God. No other is due ‘worship’. That’s my belief, that’s what the Church teaches. By that definition, WE DO NOT WORSHIP MARY. We honor her, but we don’t worship her. But you’re wrong about her sinfulness. She was given a gift by God because he fore-knew her role in salvation. She wasn’t sinless by her own doing, but as a gift from God.

    It may not be in the Bible explicitly, but it is implicit, that Mary is the Mother of God. When Solomon was king of Israel, who was the queen? Bathsheba, his mother. Jesus is God, and the King of Heaven, Mary is Jesus’ mother, and the Queen (cf Revelation 12), Mary is His mother. Jesus is not two persons. He is one person. Mary gave birth to Jesus, one person, God. Mary is the mother of God.

    Remember, we go by more than just Scripture. And by your last statement, now it looks like we’re arguing about how much veneration is due to Mary. So I ask you, should we just bring her out when we sing “Silent Night” and the rest of the time be done with her?

  11. Yeah, I get that, but how does reiterating your previous point justify the statue needs of Catholics? You certainly do not need statues of Mary or a saint in improving your faith as a Christian. Church is a site of worship. There is no need for a statue of a dead person to be placed there. And yes, there were statues of angels and saints placed in the Temple of Solomon, but they were placed there for the purpose of decoration. No one in the history of Christianity, save for a couple of heretics and you, Catholics, has expressed any form of emotion towards a mere decoration. Did you know that Buddhists cite the same words that you, Catholics, use to venerate Buddha? But do you, as a member of the Catholic Church, have the same respect towards Buddhists, the pagans? Yeah, 1,700 years of history of argument with the opposing side contradicting the words from the bible. You aren’t making any sense here. If Mary’s high standing in Church stems from her status as the mother of Jesus, then how is it possible that she illuminates the greatness of Jesus with him being her source of importance? The direct teachings of the Roman Catholic Church can’t become an excuse here, as a person’s subconscious cannot be controlled or led in a direct manner.

    Yeah, like I said before, I know of your claims and you need not remind them to me. The reason why I said you, Catholics, regard your human traditions over the scriptures is because, despite the fact that your traditions contradict with the words of bible, the words of God, you continue to keep your human traditions. The bible tells us that traditions of men are those that nullify scriptures or are not supported by the holy writing, the bible. Before his resurrection, Jesus cited verses from the Bible in verbal warfares against his enemies or opposers, and countered Pharisees’ bold statements by telling them that he will not keep their human traditions to avoid breaking the commandment of God. In this, we see that Jesus respects the words from the scriptures and rejects any form of tradition that goes against the words of God. I am not trying to make a chicken-egg debate here. All I am saying here is that the Catholic Church’s human traditions should not be followed for above reasons.

    Now you are being downright stubborn. If you are that devoted in proving that your traditions do not have any wrong in them, why don’t you stop reiterating your claims and support your claims with a set of valid supporting statements? Also, according to Rom 3:23 from the bible, every human have sinned before the coming of the glory of God. Mary isn’t exempt from “all.” In fact, she was a part of “all.” No where in the bible does it say that Mary was a sinless person. It’s an old assumption formed from the human minds of Catholic Church, which goes against the words of God.

    Now, you are being just plain ridiculous. In all honesty, you compare the characteristics of God to that of a human?? To have Mary to be the mother of God, then she must be the mother of the Father as well as the Holy Spirit too. Why? The Trinity tells us that God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the Father cannot be the Son, Son cannot be the Holy Spirit, and the Father Cannot be the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Mary is not the mother of God, for God is eternal and always existed, not born from anything but always has been, is, and will be in existence, and because the fulfillments of being the mother of God cannot be accomplished by Mary, she cannot be the mother of God. The phrase “the queen of heaven” appears in the Bible twice, both times in the book of Jeremiah. The first incident is in connection with the things the Israelites were doing that provoked the Lord to anger. Entire families were involved in idolatry. The children gathered wood, and the men used it to build altars to worship false gods. The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven.” The concept of woman being the partner of a man results in the equality of the said two beings, thus the couple. Though God did say that the wife had to come to a certain degree of subjugation under her husband, he also told the first human couple that the two are equals in their relationship. If so, how in the world is Mary ever going to be an equal to God? In that sense, we see that she, Mary, can never become the “Queen of Heaven.” More so, because God does not share his authority with anyone.

    You aren’t making any sense here. What I’ve gone over in my last statement from my previous post was the argument of Mary’s marital status. The term “veneration,” like I’ve stated repetitively in my last two posts, is the cover for the process of “worship,” which you fiercely rejected without a valid basis for your claim.

    So far, all you’ve shown me here is a bunch of scribbles of how you respect your religious traditions. No basis, little questions, absurd comparisons, and “facts” from your traditions. Each time I throw you my rebuttal to your counter statements, you either dodge it or paint a sun under the presented gloomy sky. And from your most recent comment, I see that you take a good deal of pride in how long the Roman Catholic Church lasted and how wierd it seems to you to see another person belittling your traditions. From that I can see that you aren’t trying to communicate with me here, but your intentions are to protect the integriety of your traditions. Please do keep in mind of the fact that the endlessness of the 1,700 year old argument is made possible, not due to the Roman Catholic Church’s well-constructed argument, but because of the power and authority of the Catholic Church in the world. It’s never something you boost of. I am through showering you people with my respect. By next one or two posts, you will get to see a page long argument of papacy, origin of the Catholic Church, and the legend of rosary.

  12. What you consider ‘valid’ and what we Catholics consider valid are two different things, thought what we consider valid includes the Bible.

    I don’t need to defend the Catholic Church. The Church stands on her own-Bible, Tradition, and Authority. And I could care less if you don’t agree. That’s your problem, not mine.

    Your supposition that if Mary is the mother of God, she must be mother of the Holy Spirit and the Father, too. Patently false. We hold that she’s mother of God in the second person of the Godhead. Regarding Mary as queen of heaven, if Jesus is the King of Heaven, then his mother is the queen, as Bathsheba was the queen of Israel when Solomon was king.

    Regardless of how you present equivalency, that’s a misinterpretation of what Catholics do. If I say the Spanish word “senor” which we know means ‘mister’, and you believe it means ‘baby’, doesn’t mean it means ‘baby’. It means ‘mister’ regardless.

    Lastly, you call the rosary a legend? And yet you hold that Scripture is central to Christianity…hmmm, and yet the Rosary is a body of prayer that contemplates the life of Jesus as told in Scripture…

  13. Alright, that’s it. Since your intentions are now clear to me, I don’t believe I would have to hold back anymore. You never cease to amaze me with your repetitive, baseless, and invalid reasoning. You contradict yourself by claiming that you do not care whether or not I agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church, yet, at the same time, you continue to put up your empty words just so that you could have them pitted against mine. It’s not that I started anything here, you were the one who latched on to me and kept on insisting that the Catholic Church’s POV is not flawed without even trying to understand what I am trying to get you to understand.

  14. Should church traditions be accepted as equally authoritative as Scripture? Or, should church traditions be followed only if they are in full agreement with Scripture? The answer to these questions play a large role in determining what you believe and how you live as a Christian. It is our contention that Scripture alone is the only authoritative and infallible source for Christian doctrine and practice. Traditions are only valid if they are built on the firm foundation of Scripture, and in full agreement with the entirety of Scripture. Following are seven biblical reasons supporting the teaching that the Bible should be accepted as the authority for faith and practice:

    (1) It is Scripture that is said to be God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), and it is Scripture that has the repeated, “Thus saith the LORD…” In other words, it is the written Word that is repeatedly treated as God’s Word. Never is it said of any church tradition that it, too, is God-breathed and infallible.

    (2) It is to Scripture that Jesus and the apostles appeal time after time in support or defense of their actions and teachings (Matthew 12:3,5; 19:4; 22:31; Mark 12:10). There are over 60 verses in which you find “it is written…” used by Jesus and the apostles to support their teachings.

    (3) It is to the Scriptures that the church is commended in order to combat the error that was bound to come (Acts 20:32). Likewise, it was the written word that was seen in the Old Testament as the source of truth upon which to base one’s life (Joshua 1:8; Deuteronomy 17:18-19; Psalm 1; Psalm 19:7-11; 119; etc.). Jesus said that one of the reasons that the Sadducees were in error concerning the resurrection is that they did not know the Scriptures (Mark 12:24).

    (4) Infallibility is never stated as the possession of those who would become church leaders in succession of the apostles. In both the Old and New Testaments, it is seen that duly appointed religious leaders could cause the people of God to err (1 Samuel 2:27-36; Matthew 15:14; 23:1-7; John 7:48; Acts 20:30; Galatians 2:11-16). Both Testaments exhort people to study the Scriptures to determine what is true and what is false (Psalm 19; 119; Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). While Jesus taught respect toward religious leaders (Matthew 23:3), an admonition which the apostles followed, we have the apostles’ example of breaking from the authority of their religious leaders when it was in opposition to what Jesus had commanded (Acts 4:19).

    (5) Jesus equates the Scriptures with God’s word (John 10:35). In contrast, when it comes to the religious traditions, He condemns some traditions because they contradict the written word (Mark 7:1-13). Never does Jesus use religious tradition to support His actions or teachings. Before the writing of the New Testament, the Old Testament was the only inspired Scripture. However, there were literally hundreds of Jewish “traditions” recorded in the Talmud (a collection of commentary compiled by Jewish rabbis). Jesus and the apostles had both the Old Testament, and the Jewish tradition. Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus or any of the apostles appeal to the Jewish traditions. In contrast, Jesus and the apostles quote from, or allude to the Old Testament hundreds of time. The Pharisees accused Jesus and the apostles of “breaking the traditions” (Matthew 15:2). Jesus responded with a rebuke, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3). The manner in which Jesus and the apostles distinguished between the Scriptures and traditions they possessed is an example for the church. Jesus specifically rebukes treating the “commandments of men” as doctrines (Matthew 15:9).

    (6) It is Scripture that has the promise that it will never fail, that it will all be fulfilled. Again, never is this promise given to the traditions of the church (Psalm 119:89,152; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Luke 21:33).

    (7) It is the Scriptures that are the instrument of the Holy Spirit and His means for conquering Satan and changing lives (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17).

    “And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

    According to 2 Timothy 3:15-17, it is Scripture that is able to give one knowledge of salvation, it is God-breathed, and it is what we need to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. To be “thoroughly” equipped, means that it has all that we need. Scripture contains the information from God that is all we need for salvation and to live a life of good works. According to Isaiah 8:20, it is the “law and testimony” (terms used to refer to Scripture, see Psalm 119), that is the standard by which to measure truth.

    “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-11). Here the Jewish people of the town of Berea were commended for testing the teachings they were hearing from Paul by the Scriptures. They did not just accept Paul’s words as authoritative. They examined Paul’s words, compared them with Scripture, and found them to be true.

    In Acts 20:27-32, Paul acknowledges publicly that “wolves” and false teachers would arise from “among yourselves” (within the church). What did he commend them to? To “God and the word of His grace.” He does not commend them to the “church leaders” (they were the church leaders), nor to the traditions of the church, nor to a particular overseeing elder. Rather, Paul pointed them to the word of God.

    In summary, while there is no one verse that states that the Bible alone is our authority, the Bible over and over again gives the examples and the admonitions of turning to the written Word as one’s source of authority. When it comes to examining the origin of a prophet’s or religious leader’s teaching, it is Scripture that is appealed to as the standard.

    The Roman Catholic Church uses a number of biblical passages to support their use of tradition as of equal weight with Scripture. Here are the most commonly used of these passages, along with a brief explanation:

    “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). These passages relate to the traditions the Thessalonians had received from Paul himself, whether oral or written. They do not relate to traditions handed down, but to teachings that they themselves had received either from the mouth of Paul or from his pen. Paul is not giving his blessing on all tradition, but rather only on the traditions he had passed on to the Thessalonians. This is in contrast to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, which have been handed down from the fourth century and later, not from the mouth or pen of one of the apostles.

    “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14-15). The phrase “pillar and ground of truth” does not indicate that the church is the creator of truth, or that it can originate tradition to supplement Scripture. The church being the “pillar and ground of the truth” simply means that the church is the proclaimer and defender of the truth. The New Testament praises churches for proclaiming the truth, “for from you the word of the Lord has been spread abroad” (1 Thessalonians 1:8). The New Testament commends early Christians for defending the truth, “partakers with me…in the defense and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7). There is not a single verse in all of Scriptures which indicates that the church has the authority to develop new truth, or to decree new truth as being from the mouth of God.

    “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). This was a promise given to the apostles alone. The Holy Spirit would help the apostles to remember everything that Jesus had said to them. Nowhere does this Scripture state that there would be an apostolic line of successors, and that the promise would also be for them.

    “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19). These verses are used by the Roman Catholic Church to support their teaching that Peter was the first pope, and that the church was built upon Him. But when taken in context with what takes place in the Book of Acts, you find that Peter was the one who opened up the gospel to the world in the sense that it was he who first preached the gospel of Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It was he who first preached the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). So, the binding and loosing was done through the preaching of the gospel, not through any Roman Catholic tradition.

    While it is clearly evident that Scripture argues for its own authority, Scripture nowhere argues for “authoritative tradition equal with Scripture.” In fact, the New Testament has more to say against traditions that it does in favor of tradition.

    The Roman Catholic Church argues that Scripture was given to men by the Church and therefore the Church has equal or greater authority to it. However, even among the Roman Catholic Church’s writings (from the First Vatican Council), you will find the acknowledgment that the Church councils that determined which books were to be considered the Word of God did nothing but recognize what the Holy Spirit had already made evident. That is, the Church did not “give” Scriptures to men, but simply “recognized” what God, through the Holy Spirit, had already given. As A. A. Hodge states, when a peasant recognizes a prince and is able to call him by name, it does not give him the right to rule over the kingdom. In like fashion, a church council recognizing which books were God-breathed and possessed the traits of a God-inspired book, it does not give the church council equal authority with those books.

    In summary, one cannot find a single passage that states that “the written Word alone, and not tradition also, is our sole authority for faith and practice.” At the same time, what must also be admitted is that repeatedly, the Old Testament writers, Jesus, and the apostles, turn to the Scriptures as their measuring stick, and commend the same to any and all that would follow them.

  15. The Bible is absolutely clear that we are to worship God alone. The only instances of anyone other than God receiving worship in the Bible are false gods, which are Satan and his demons. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26; 14:13-14). The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). The response is always the same, “Worship God!”

    Roman Catholics attempt to “bypass” these clear Scriptural principles by claiming they do not “worship” Mary or saints, but rather that they only “venerate” Mary and the saints. Using a different word does not change the essence of what is being done. A definition of “venerate” is “to regard with respect or reverence.” Nowhere in the Bible are we told to revere anyone but God alone. There is nothing wrong with respecting those faithful Christians who have gone before us (see Hebrews chapter 11). There is nothing wrong with honoring Mary as the earthly mother of Jesus. The Bible describes Mary as “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28). At the same time, there is no instruction in the Bible to revere those whom have gone to Heaven. We are to follow their example, yes, but worship, revere, or venerate, no!

    When forced to admit that they do, in fact, worship Mary, Catholics will claim that they worship God through her, by praising the wonderful creation that God has made. Mary, in their minds, is the most beautiful and wonderful creation of God, and by praising her, they are praising her Creator. For Catholics, this is analogous to directing praise to an artist by praising his sculpture or painting. The problem with this is that God explicitly commands against worshipping Him through created things. We are not to bow down and worship anything in the form of heaven above or earth below (Exodus 20:4-5). Romans 1:25 could not be more clear, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.” Yes, God has created wonderful and amazing things. Yes, Mary was a godly woman who is worthy of our respect. No, we absolutely are not to worship God “vicariously” by praising things (or people) He has created. Doing so is blatant idolatry.

    The major way Catholics “venerate” Mary and the saints is by praying to them. As the following article demonstrates, prayer to anyone other than God alone is anti-Biblical – praying to saints and Mary. Whether Mary and/or the saints are prayed to, or whether they are petitioned for their prayers – neither practice is Biblical. Prayer is an act of worship. When we pray to God, we are admitting that we need His help. Directing our prayers to anyone other than God is robbing God of the glory that is His alone.

    Another way Catholics “venerate” Mary and the saints is by creating statues and images of them. Many Catholics use images of Mary and/or the saints as “good luck charms.” Any cursory reading of the Bible will reveal this practice as blatant idolatry (Exodus 20:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 John 5:21). Rubbing rosary beads is idolatry. Lighting candles before a statue or portrayal of a saint is idolatry. Burying a Joseph statue in hopes of selling your home (and countless other Catholic practices) is idolatry.

    The terminology is not the issue. Whether the practice is described as “worship” or “veneration,” or any other term, the problem is the same. Any time we ascribe something that belongs to God, to someone else, it is idolatry. The Bible nowhere instructs us to revere, pray to, rely on, or “idolize” anyone other than God. We are to worship God alone. Glory, praise, and honor belong to God alone. Only God is worthy to “…receive glory and honor and power…” (Revelation 4:11). God alone is worthy to receive our worship, adoration, and praise (Nehemiah 9:6; Revelation 15:4).

  16. The Roman Catholic Church’s teaching about the pope (“pope” means “father”) is built upon and involves the following Roman Catholic teachings:

    1) Christ made Peter the leader of the apostles and of the church (Matthew 16:18-19). In giving Peter the “keys of the kingdom,” Christ not only made him leader, but also made him infallible when he acted or spoke as Christ’s representative on earth (speaking from the seat of authority, or “ex cathedra”). This ability to act on behalf of the church in an infallible way when speaking “ex cathedra” was passed on to Peter’s successors, thus giving the church an infallible guide on earth. The purpose of the papacy is to lead the church unerringly.

    2) Peter later became the first bishop of Rome. As bishop of Rome, he exercised authority over all other bishops and church leaders. The teaching that the bishop of Rome is above all other bishops in authority is referred to as the “primacy” of the Roman bishop.

    3) Peter passed on his apostolic authority to the next bishop of Rome, along with the other apostles who passed on their apostolic authority to the bishops that they ordained. These new bishops, in turn, passed on that apostolic authority to those bishops that they later ordained, and so on. This “passing on of apostolic authority” is referred to as “apostolic succession.”

    4) Based upon the claim of an unbroken chain of Roman bishops, Roman Catholics teach that the Roman Catholic Church is the true church, and that all churches that do not accept the primacy of the pope have broken away from them, the original and one true church.

    Having briefly reviewed some of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church concerning the papacy, the question is whether those teachings are in agreement with Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church sees the papacy and the infallible teaching authority of “Mother Church” as being necessary to guide the church, and uses that as logical reasoning for God’s provision of it. But in examining Scripture, we find the following:

    1) While Peter was central in the early spread of the gospel (part of the meaning behind Matthew 16:18-19), the teaching of Scripture, taken in context, nowhere declares that he was in authority over the other apostles or over the church (see Acts 15:1-23; Galatians 2:1-14; 1 Peter 5:1-5). Nor is it ever taught that the bishop of Rome was to have primacy over the church. Rather, there is only one reference in Scripture of Peter writing from “Babylon,” a name sometimes applied to Rome, found in 1 Peter 5:13. Primarily from this, and the historical rise of the influence of the bishop of Rome (due to the support of Constantine and the Roman emperors who followed him), come the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. However, Scripture shows that Peter’s authority was shared by the other apostles (Ephesians 2:19-20) and that the “loosing and binding” authority attributed to him was likewise shared by the local churches, not just their church leaders (see Matthew 18:15-19; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 2:15; 3:10-11).

    2) Nowhere does Scripture state that in order to keep the church from error, the authority of the apostles was passed on to those they ordained (the idea behind apostolic succession). Apostolic succession is “read into” those verses that the Roman Catholic Church uses to support this doctrine (2 Timothy 2:2; 4:2-5; Titus 1:5; 2:1; 2:15; 1 Timothy 5:19-22). What Scripture DOES teach is that false teachings would arise even from among church leaders and that Christians were to compare the teachings of these later church leaders with Scripture, which alone is cited in the Bible as infallible. The Bible does not teach that the apostles were infallible, apart from what was written by them and incorporated into Scripture. Paul, in talking to the church leaders in the large city of Ephesus, makes note of coming false teachers. To fight against their error does NOT commend them to “the apostles and those who would carry on their authority,” but rather to “God and to the word of His grace” (Acts 20:28-32).

    Again, the Bible teaches that it is Scripture that is to be used as measuring stick to determine truth from error. In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul states that it is not WHO teaches but WHAT is being taught that is to be used to determine truth from error. While the Roman Catholic Church continues to pronounce a curse to hell, or “anathema,” upon those who would reject the authority of the pope, Scripture reserves that curse for those who would teach a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

    3) While the Roman Catholic Church sees apostolic succession as logically necessary in order for God to unerringly guide the church, Scripture states that God has provided for His church through the following:

    (a) Infallible Scripture, (Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; Acts 17:10-12; Isaiah 8:20; 40:8; etc.) Note: Peter speaks of Paul’s writings in the same category as other Scripture (2 Peter 3:16),

    (b) Christ’s unending high-priesthood in heaven (Hebrews 7:22-28),

    (c) The provision of the Holy Spirit who guided the apostles into truth after Christ’s death (John 16:12-14), who gifts believers for the work of the ministry, including teaching (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16), and who uses the written word as His chief tool (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17).

    While there have been good (humanly speaking) and moral men who have served as pope of the Roman Catholic Church, including Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, the Roman Catholic Church teaching about the office of the pope should be rejected because it is not “in continuity” with the teachings of the original church related to us in the New Testament. This comparison of any church’s teaching is essential, lest we miss the New Testament’s teaching concerning the gospel, and not only miss eternal life in heaven ourselves, but unwittingly lead others down the wrong path (Galatians 1:8-9).

  17. The term “vicar” comes from the Latin word vicarius, which means “instead of.” In the Catholic Church, the vicar is the representative of a higher-ranking official, with all of the same authority and power that that official has. Calling the pope the “Vicar of Christ” implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ had over the church. The title is derived from Jesus’ words in John 21:16-17 to Peter, “Feed my lambs . . . Take care of my sheep.” This, according to Catholic reasoning, defines Peter as the Prince of the Apostles, the first pope, and fulfills the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18-19 (calling Peter the rock upon which Jesus will build His church).

    For a better understanding of whether or not it is biblical to consider that a mere man is the representative of Christ, we turn to the pages of Scripture to find out what it says about Jesus’ role in our lives, when He walked the earth and what He continues to do right now. The letter to the Hebrews draws the comparison between Jesus and the high priest Melchizedek (Genesis chapter 14) and contrasts this with the old Levitical priesthood. The question posed is, if perfection could be obtained by following the law, why was another priest to come (Hebrews 7:11)?

    The writer says, “For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of power of an indestructible life. For it is declared ‘You are a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’ The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:14-19).

    This makes Jesus superior to the priests, and more importantly, the high priests. This is the key text: “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:23-25).

    This means that Jesus is our high priest forever. Since He is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, [and] exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26), He is unlike other priests in that He “does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once and for all when He offered Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). Men are appointed by the Law, and men are weak. But the Son was appointed by the New Covenant, and He has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:28). The ministry of Jesus is superior to the old, and it is founded on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).

    The Bible says of Jesus that there is no other name by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12). There is only one mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). We can now see that there is no biblical foundation for claiming to be a representative of Christ on earth. No man could do what Christ has done, or what Christ is now doing on behalf of humankind. But the title of vicar also carries with it another implication: the bearer has the same jurisdictional power of the official he represents. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ is the one who says He will build His church; He never delegates this power. By claiming the title of Vicar of Christ, the reigning pope is, in fact, promising to do what Christ promised.

    Jesus does indeed predict a “vicar” in the sense of a “replacement” for His physical presence here on earth. However, this “vicar of Christ” is not a priest, high priest, bishop, or pope. The only biblical “Vicar of Christ” is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 declares, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:16-18 proclaims, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” The Holy Spirit is Christ’s “replacement” on the earth. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, Teacher (John 14:26), and guide into all truth (John 16:13).

    In claiming that the pope is the “Vicar of Christ,” the Catholic Church rejects the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ’s priesthood, and grants to the pope roles that Christ Himself declared would belong to the Holy Spirit. It is therefore blasphemy to ascribe to the pope the title of “Vicar of Christ.”

  18. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the pope is infallible when he speaks from his position of authority on a particular issue or doctrine (speaking ex cathedra). Many misunderstand “papal infallibility” as indicating that everything the pope says is infallible. This is not what the Roman Catholic Church means by “papal infallibility.” According to the Roman Catholic Church, this infallibility of the pope, only when speaking ex cathedra, is part of the Roman Catholic Church’s Magisterium, or the “teaching authority of the Church” which God gave to the “mother Church” to guide her infallibly. This “teaching authority of the Church” is made up of the pope’s infallible teaching ability, the infallible teaching ability of church councils assembled under the authority of the pope, and the “ordinary” Magisterium of the bishops. This “ordinary” Magisterium involves, among other things, bishops in various places beginning to teach the same particular doctrine (for instance, the teaching that Mary was conceived without sin), and that if this teaching gains acceptance throughout the church as a whole, it is an indication that the Holy Spirit is working through the bishops and that this teaching is from God. The pope may later recognize this and proclaim infallibly that it comes from God and is to be accepted by all Roman Catholics.

    The question is whether this teaching is in agreement with Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church sees the papacy and the infallible teaching authority of “mother Church” as being necessary to guide the Church, and uses that as logical reasoning for God’s provision of it. But in examining Scripture, we find the following:

    1) While Peter was central in the early spread of the gospel (part of the meaning behind Matthew 16:18-19), the teaching of Scripture, taken in context, nowhere declares that he was in authority over the other apostles or over the entire church (see Acts 15:1-23; Galatians 2:1-14; 1 Peter 5:1-5). Nor is it ever taught that the bishop of Rome was to have primacy over the church. Rather, there is only one reference in Scripture of Peter writing from “Babylon,” a name sometimes applied to Rome, found in 1 Peter 5:13; primarily upon this and the historical rise of the influence of the bishop of Rome come the Roman Catholic Church teaching of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. However, Scripture shows that Peter’s authority was shared by the other apostles (Ephesians 2:19-20) and the “loosing and binding” authority attributed to him was likewise shared by the local churches, not just their church leaders (see Matthew 18:15-19; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 2:15; 3:10-11). Thus, the foundation of papal infallibility—the existence of the papacy itself—is not scriptural.

    2) Nowhere does Scripture state that, in order to keep the church from error, the authority of the apostles was passed on to those they ordained (the Roman Catholic Church teaching of “apostolic succession”). Apostolic succession is “read into” those verses that the Roman Catholic Church uses to support this doctrine (2 Timothy 2:2; 4:2-5; Titus 1:5; 2:1; 2:15; 1 Timothy 5:19-22). Paul does NOT call on believers in various churches to receive Titus, Timothy, and other church leaders based on their authority as bishops, but rather based upon their being fellow laborers with him (1 Corinthians 16:10; 16:16; 2 Corinthians 8:23). What Scripture DOES teach is that false teachings would arise even from among accepted church leaders and that Christians were to compare the teachings of these later church leaders with Scripture, which alone is cited in the Bible as infallible. The Bible does not teach that the apostles were infallible, apart from what was written by them and incorporated into Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:18-21). Paul, in talking to the church leaders in the city of Ephesus, makes note of coming false teachers, and to fight against such error he does NOT commend them to “the apostles and those who would carry on their authority”; rather, he commends them to “God and to the word of His grace” (Acts 20:28-32).

    3) Nowhere in Scripture is the “teaching Magisterium,” or mastery of bishops, taught and treated as of equal weight with Scripture. What history has shown is that, when any other source of authority is treated as being of equal weight with Scripture, that second authority always ends up superseding Scripture (such is the case with the Mormons’ other accepted writings and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower). So it is with the Roman Catholic Church. Repeatedly, Catholic Catechisms state that many of their doctrines are not found in or based on Scripture (e.g., Mary being Co-redemptress and Co-mediator, sinless, and conceived without sin; Mary’s ascension; praying to saints and venerating them and images of them; etc.). For Roman Catholics, it is the “mother Church” that is the final authority, not Scripture, no matter that they say that the Magisterium is the “servant of Scripture.” Again, the Bible teaches that it is Scripture that is to be used as measuring stick to determine truth from error. In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul states that it is not WHO teaches but WHAT is being taught that is to be used to determine truth from error. And while the Roman Catholic Church continues to pronounce a curse to hell upon those who would reject the authority of the pope, Scripture reserves that curse for those who would teach a different gospel from what had already been given and recorded in the New Testament (Galatians 1:8-9).

    4) While the Roman Catholic Church sees apostolic succession and the infallible Magisterium of the church as logically necessary in order for God to unerringly guide the Church, Scripture states that God has provided for His church through:

    (a) infallible Scripture, (Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; Acts 17:10-12; Isaiah 8:20; 40:8; etc.)

    (b) Christ’s unending high-priesthood in heaven (Hebrews 7:22-28),

    (c) the provision of the Holy Spirit Who guided the apostles into truth after Christ’s death (John 16:12-14), Who gifts believers for the work of the ministry, including teaching (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16), and Who uses the written word as His chief tool (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17).

    In summary, the Bible speaks of only one abiding, “tangible,” infallible guide left by God for His church. It is the written word of God, not an infallible leader (2 Timothy 3:15-17). And, as He gave the Holy Spirit to bear holy men along in the writing of those Scriptures (2 Peter 1:19-21), so He has given His Holy Spirit to indwell, fill, guide, and gift members of His church today for the purpose of directing His church through the proper interpretation of that written word (1 Corinthians 12 and 14; Ephesians 4:11-16). That there are schisms and false teachings today should be no surprise, for the Bible also warns us that there would be false teachers who would twist the written word (2 Peter 3:16) and that these false teachers would arise from within the churches (Acts 20:30). Therefore, the believers were to turn to God and the “word of His grace” for their guidance (Acts 20:32), determining the truth not by who said it, but by comparing it with the gospel already received by the early church, the gospel recorded for us in Scripture (Galatians 1:8-9; see also Acts 17:11).

  19. While much of what the prayer of the rosary contains is scriptural, the whole second half of the “Hail Mary” and portions of the “Hail, Holy Queen” are blatantly unbiblical. While the first part of the Hail Mary is almost a direct quotation from Luke 1:28, there is no scriptural basis for (1) praying to Mary now, (2) addressing her as “holy” Mary, or (3) calling her “our life” and “our hope.”

    Is it right to call Mary “holy,” by which the Catholic Church means that Mary never sinned nor had any taint of original sin? The believers in the Bible were called “saints,” which can be interpreted as “set-apart ones” or “holy ones,” but the understanding of Scripture is that the righteousness that believers in Christ have is an imparted righteousness from Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) and that while in this life, they are not yet sanctified from sin in practice (1 John 1:9-2:1). Jesus is called our Savior repeatedly in Scripture because He saved us from our sin. In Luke 1:47, Mary calls God her “Savior.” Savior from what? A sinless person does not need a Savior. Sinners need a Savior. Mary acknowledged that God was her Savior. Therefore, Mary was acknowledging that she was a sinner.

    Jesus said that He came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). The Roman Catholic Church claims that Mary was saved from sin differently from everyone else–that she was saved from sin through the immaculate conception (her being conceived free of sin). But is this teaching scriptural? The Roman Catholic Church openly admits that this teaching is not found in Scripture. When a young man addressed Jesus as “good Master” (Matthew 19:16-17), Jesus asks why he calls Him “good” since there is none good but one, God. Jesus was not denying His own deity, He was trying to make the young man aware that he was using the term too loosely without thinking about what he was saying. But Jesus’ point is still valid or He would not have said it–there is none good but God. This excludes all but God, including Mary! This ties in with Romans 3:10-23; Romans 5:12; and countless other passages that stress the fact that in God’s eyes no one measures up. Never is Mary ever excluded from such all-encompassing statements!

    What of the question of praying to Mary or to anyone else besides God? We are never told in the Bible whether anyone else in heaven can even hear us. We do know that God alone is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. Even the angels, with whatever great abilities they may have, seem to have their limitations and can’t always make it to help us as they might like (Daniel 10:10-14). When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He gave them what is commonly called the “Our Father.” He teaches us to address our prayer to God. Whenever prayer is addressed to anyone, it is done to God! Never can you find a single example of someone praying to any “saint” or angel or anyone else (besides prayers to false gods). Further, any time that any pious person prostrates himself (in a religious setting) to honor someone else besides God (chiefly to the apostles or angels), he is told to get up, to stop it (Acts 10:25-26; Acts 14:13-16; Matthew 4:10; Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:8-9). The Roman Catholic Church states that it worships God alone but that it “venerates” Mary and the saints. What is the difference? A person praying the rosary spends more time calling out to Mary than to God! For every one praise of God in the rosary, there are 10 praises of Mary!

    The Bible states that Jesus is our Redeemer (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9). The “Hail, Holy Queen” calls Mary our “most gracious advocate,” but the Bible calls Jesus our Advocate to the Father (1 John 2:1) and our one Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). The only time in Scripture that the title “Queen of Heaven” is found it is in a negative way (Jeremiah 7:17-19; 44:16-27). The whole of Scripture teaches us to pray to God alone. Never once can you find an example or admonition to pray to anyone else! The only basis for the idea of getting to God through Mary is the biblical story of Mary coming to Jesus to ask for his help at a wedding feast (John 2). But in light of all of the other verses, including Jesus’ own instruction on how we are to pray, is it taking this passage in context to use it to teach that we ought to continue to go through Mary to get to God?

    Likewise, is it appropriate to call Mary our “life” and “hope”? Again, these are terms that are used of God alone in Scripture, particularly God the Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14; Colossians 3:4; 1 Timothy 1:1; Ephesians 2:12; Titus 2:13). Thus, the practice of saying the rosary goes contrary to Scripture in a number of ways. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. The Bible nowhere instructs Christians to pray through intermediaries, or to petition saints or Mary (in Heaven) for their prayers.

  20. The Roman Catholic Church contends that its origin is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ in approximately A.D. 30. The Catholic Church proclaims itself to be the church that Jesus Christ died for, the church that was established and built by the apostles. Is that the true origin of the Catholic Church? On the contrary. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament will reveal that the Catholic Church does not have its origin in the teachings of Jesus or His apostles. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the papacy, worship/adoration of Mary (or the immaculate conception of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the assumption of Mary, or Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix), petitioning saints in heaven for their prayers, apostolic succession, the ordinances of the church functioning as sacraments, infant baptism, confession of sin to a priest, purgatory, indulgences, or the equal authority of church tradition and Scripture. So, if the origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, what is the true origin of the Catholic Church?

    For the first 280 years of Christian history, Christianity was banned by the Roman Empire, and Christians were terribly persecuted. This changed after the “conversion” of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine “legalized” Christianity with the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313. Later, in A.D. 325, Constantine called the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify Christianity. Constantine envisioned Christianity as a religion that could unite the Roman Empire, which at that time was beginning to fragment and divide. While this may have seemed to be a positive development for the Christian church, the results were anything but positive. Just as Constantine refused to fully embrace the Christian faith, but continued many of his pagan beliefs and practices, so the Christian church that Constantine promoted was a mixture of true Christianity and Roman paganism.

    Constantine found that with the Roman Empire being so vast, expansive, and diverse, not everyone would agree to forsake his or her religious beliefs to embrace Christianity. So, Constantine allowed, and even promoted, the “Christianization” of pagan beliefs. Completely pagan and utterly unbiblical beliefs were given new “Christian” identities. Some clear examples of this are as follows:

    (1) The Cult of Isis, an Egyptian mother-goddess religion, was absorbed into Christianity by replacing Isis with Mary. Many of the titles that were used for Isis, such as “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” and theotokos (“God-bearer”) were attached to Mary. Mary was given an exalted role in the Christian faith, far beyond what the Bible ascribes to her, in order to attract Isis worshippers to a faith they would not otherwise embrace. Many temples to Isis were, in fact, converted into temples dedicated to Mary. The first clear hints of Catholic Mariology occur in the writings of Origen, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, which happened to be the focal point of Isis worship.

    (2) Mithraism was a religion in the Roman Empire in the 1st through 5th centuries A.D. It was very popular among the Romans, especially among Roman soldiers, and was possibly the religion of several Roman emperors. While Mithraism was never given “official” status in the Roman Empire, it was the de facto official religion until Constantine and succeeding Roman emperors replaced Mithraism with Christianity. One of the key features of Mithraism was a sacrificial meal, which involved eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a bull. Mithras, the god of Mithraism, was “present” in the flesh and blood of the bull, and when consumed, granted salvation to those who partook of the sacrificial meal (this is known as theophagy, the eating of one’s god). Mithraism also had seven “sacraments,” making the similarities between Mithraism and Roman Catholicism too many to ignore. Constantine and his successors found an easy substitute for the sacrificial meal of Mithraism in the concept of the Lord’s Supper/Christian communion. Sadly, some early Christians had already begun to attach mysticism to the Lord’s Supper, rejecting the biblical concept of a simple and worshipful remembrance of Christ’s death and shed blood. The Romanization of the Lord’s Supper made the transition to a sacrificial consumption of Jesus Christ, now known as the Catholic Mass/Eucharist, complete.

    (3) Most Roman emperors (and citizens) were henotheists. A henotheist is one who believes in the existence of many gods, but focuses primarily on one particular god or considers one particular god supreme over the other gods. For example, the Roman god Jupiter was supreme over the Roman pantheon of gods. Roman sailors were often worshippers of Neptune, the god of the oceans. When the Catholic Church absorbed Roman paganism, it simply replaced the pantheon of gods with the saints. Just as the Roman pantheon of gods had a god of love, a god of peace, a god of war, a god of strength, a god of wisdom, etc., so the Catholic Church has a saint who is “in charge” over each of these, and many other categories. Just as many Roman cities had a god specific to the city, so the Catholic Church provided “patron saints” for the cities.

    (4) The supremacy of the Roman bishop (the papacy) was created with the support of the Roman emperors. With the city of Rome being the center of government for the Roman Empire, and with the Roman emperors living in Rome, the city of Rome rose to prominence in all facets of life. Constantine and his successors gave their support to the bishop of Rome as the supreme ruler of the church. Of course, it is best for the unity of the Roman Empire that the government and state religion be centered in the same location. While most other bishops (and Christians) resisted the idea of the Roman bishop being supreme, the Roman bishop eventually rose to supremacy, due to the power and influence of the Roman emperors. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the popes took on the title that had previously belonged to the Roman emperors – Pontificus Maximus.

    Many more examples could be given. These four should suffice in demonstrating the true origin of the Catholic Church. Of course the Roman Catholic Church denies the pagan origin of its beliefs and practices. The Catholic Church disguises its pagan beliefs under layers of complicated theology. The Catholic Church excuses and denies its pagan origin beneath the mask of “church tradition.” Recognizing that many of its beliefs and practices are utterly foreign to Scripture, the Catholic Church is forced to deny the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

    The origin of the Catholic Church is the tragic compromise of Christianity with the pagan religions that surrounded it. Instead of proclaiming the gospel and converting the pagans, the Catholic Church “Christianized” the pagan religions, and “paganized” Christianity. By blurring the differences and erasing the distinctions, yes, the Catholic Church made itself attractive to the people of the Roman Empire. One result was the Catholic Church becoming the supreme religion in the “Roman world” for centuries. However, another result was the most dominant form of Christianity apostatizing from the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the true proclamation of God’s Word.

    Second Timothy 4:3-4 declares, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

  21. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven. A properly disposed member of the Christian faithful can obtain an indulgence under prescribed conditions through the help of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. An indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment.”

    The following definitions are also very important in understanding this issue: Eternal Punishment: “the penalty for unrepented mortal sin, separating the sinner from communion with God for all eternity; the condemnation of the unrepentant sinner to hell.” Temporal Punishment: “purification of the unhealthy attachment to creatures, which is a consequence of sin that perdures even after death. We must be purified either during our earthly life through prayer and a conversion which comes from fervent charity, or after death in purgatory.” Purgatory: “a state of final purification after death and before entrance into heaven for those who died in God’s friendship, but were only imperfectly purified; a final cleansing of human imperfection before one is able to enter the joy of heaven.”

    The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sin has a double consequence. For a member of the Catholic Church, committing a mortal sin causes “eternal punishment,” involving eternal separation from God and suffering in hell. (The Catholic Church also teaches that under normal circumstances those who have not been baptized by either the Roman Catholic Church or another church teaching baptismal regeneration are also condemned to hell because the stain of original sin remains upon their souls.) Venial (minor) sin, in contrast, does not cause “eternal punishment” but does cause “temporal punishment.” Roman Catholic teachings sometimes refer to these “temporal punishments” given by God as a means of purifying His children (either in this life or in Purgatory). But the Roman Catholic Church also sees venial sins as creating a debt to God’s justice that must be atoned for in a way that is distinct from Christ’s atonement for eternal punishment. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that because of the unity of the Body of Christ (the Communion of the Saints, including living believers, believers in heaven, Roman Catholic saints in heaven, Christ, Mary, and the imperfect believers in Purgatory), it is possible for the merit generated by the good works, prayers, almsgiving, sufferings, etc., of one or more of these members of the Body to be applied to the temporal debt of another. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the combined merit of Christ, the saints, and godly believers is stored in a place referred to as the Treasury of Merit (it is also sometimes called the Treasury of Satisfaction, the Church’s Treasury, or the Thesaurus Ecclesiae). And through apostolic succession from Peter, it is the Roman Catholic Church alone that has the authority to withdraw merit from this treasury and dispense it to believers in this life or in Purgatory to atone for some or all of their venial sin. This it does through the granting of indulgences.

    Again, indulgences pertain only to temporal, not eternal, punishment and can only be distributed through a Roman Catholic Church leader to someone who is either in Purgatory or is still living and whose soul is in the state of sanctifying grace (i.e., he/she would go to Purgatory, not hell, if he/she were to die at that moment). An indulgence can be obtained through a good deed done, a Mass being offered on behalf of someone, prayer, abstinence, giving to the poor, or some other meritorious act performed in accordance with requirements set by a Pope or bishop having jurisdiction over that individual. The offering of a Mass for someone is seen as one of the most effective means of reducing the temporal punishment of that person in Purgatory. A partial indulgence will reduce the temporal punishment a person has. A plenary indulgence will remove all temporal punishment.

    Is the concept of indulgences biblical?

    Various Roman Catholic Church doctrines are derived from tradition rather than from Scripture. And as the Roman Catholic Church sees their tradition as consistent with Scripture and equal to Scripture in authority, this is not an issue with them. But to most other Christian groups, the Bible alone is the source of authority and is more than sufficient in supplying Christians with all the resources they need to know and serve Christ as God intended (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Acts 20:32). But because the Roman Catholic Church states that its doctrines are not contradictory to Scripture and accepts Scripture as part of its authority, it is appropriate for both groups to ask, “Are indulgences biblical?”

    An examination of the passages the Roman Catholic Church uses to support such doctrines as temporal punishment, vicarious atonement by fellow believers and saints, and Purgatory illustrates the Catholic reliance on tradition above and beyond Scripture. Other doctrines, such as the Treasury of Merit, the “pristine and unfathomable merit of Mary,” the “superabundant merit of the saints,” and the existence of indulgences, are foreign to Scripture altogether! Is the doctrine of indulgences scriptural? A consistent and contextual interpretation of Scripture will neither support the teaching of indulgences nor the doctrines it is built upon.

    Indulgences and Purgatory

    The Roman Catholic Church cites a few passages for their scriptural support of Purgatory. In addition to a passage from the apocryphal 2 Maccabees, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Matthew 5:26; and Matthew 12:32 are also given as scriptural support. Matthew 5:26 is part of a parable on the issue of forgiveness. Matthew 12:32 is addressing the issue of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Neither passage focuses upon what happens after death nor gives a clear teaching of what takes place after death. It is a principle of hermeneutics (the study of how to rightly interpret Scripture) that one should interpret “unclear” passages that merely touch on an issue by passages that focus on that issue or are clear about that issue. To interpret these verses as teaching that there is a place of further atoning and purifying in Purgatory after death flies in the face of many clear statements in the Bible that there are only two places that one will end up in after death: either in heaven with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) or in hell in torment (Luke 16:23-24; Revelation. 20:10-15). The Bible does not say that after death comes “further purification”; it says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:28). See the article on What does the Bible say about Purgatory? for a further discussion on this issue.

    Indulgences and Penance

    Catholics speak of “doing penance” for their sins. At the end of confession to a priest, the confessor is given certain things to do (such as certain prayers to pray) that are a part of “doing penance.” Part of the purpose of this penance is to bring about a returning of one’s disposition away from sin and back toward God. But another purpose mentioned repeatedly in Roman Catholic literature is that of paying or atoning for one’s sins. This is not the same as making restitution to those hurt by one’s sin, but rather involves making a payment toward the temporal punishment to satisfy God’s justice. This latter purpose is closely tied to the idea of indulgences and is not mentioned in Scripture. The Bible does speak of repentance, referring to a “change of mind about one’s sin that results in a change in behavior.” John the Baptist’s ministry and teaching is summarized in Luke 3:3-18. He told those that were baptized by him (their baptism being a sign of their repentance) to show by their deeds that their repentance was real. But never is there the message of “you must pay or atone for your sins by doing some good deed or by abstinence,” or by anything else. By this call to good works, John was essentially saying, “Show me your repentance is genuine by your works” (cf. James 2:18). But again, the idea of “doing penance” as an atoning for our sins or a repaying of a temporal debt to God’s justice is never mentioned in Scripture!

    Indulgences and the Treasury of Merit

    The doctrine of the “Treasury of the Church” was first officially expressed in 1343 by Pope Clement VI. He describes this treasury as not only consisting of the merits of Christ’s atonement but also “the merits (atonements) of Mary, the Mother of God, and of all the chosen, from the greatest to the least of the just, contribute to the increase of the treasure from which the Church draws in order to secure remission of temporal punishment.”

    The Bible never once refers to anything like the “Treasury of Merit,” and never is there the thought that atonement can be made by one believer for the sake of another’s sin. Paul expresses that, if it were possible, he would sincerely be willing to be accursed, if that would mean the redemption of his fellow Israelites in Romans 9 and 10. But that is not possible because Paul and the other writers of Scripture state that, for a believer, the just Judge was satisfied when Jesus Christ became the atonement (propitiation) for our sins and that apart from Him there is no atonement (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 10:1-18). Never is there any hint of the idea of vicarious atonement by believers, either alive or dead, for the sake of their fellow believers. The Roman Catholic Church may make a distinction between atoning for people’s eternal punishment and their temporal punishment, but the idea of anyone other than Christ atoning for anyone’s sin and its corresponding punishment is never found in Scripture. Never is there any teaching about the “superabundant satisfactions of the Saints” or that the prayers and good works of Mary “are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God.” In Scripture, there is only the unfathomable and infinite value of Christ’s atonement…period.

    Indulgences and Temporal punishment

    The Catholic Catechism speaks of temporal punishment as being a purification process. But elsewhere, throughout Roman Catholic official teachings, it speaks of it as a spiritual debt that needs to be atoned for, either by the individual who sinned or by someone else vicariously. Again, the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between eternal punishment for “major” sin and temporal punishment for “minor” sin.

    It is clear that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a forensic or “legal” nature to temporal punishment; i.e., that it involves the need to satisfy the justice of a just Judge and that if that justice is not satisfied by atonement in this life, it must be atoned for in the next in Purgatory. It is that forensic or “payment to satisfy justice” aspect that is unscriptural. Scripture does teach that indeed one’s sins can be forgiven in the eternal sense (with the sinner no longer being condemned to hell) or even in an earthly sense (in not having the penalty laid down by the Mosaic Law inflicted upon the sinner, 2 Samuel 12:13). Sin changes things in this life and how God interacts with us in this life. It has to for a number of reasons given in Scripture:

    1) This is a real world where real actions have real consequences. If we plant barley in the spring, we don’t harvest wheat in the fall. If we plant sin, we eventually reap turmoil, hardship, destruction, and death (Galatians 6:7; Romans 3:16; James 1:15).

    2) Our sin and God’s response to it affect how we and other people view our God. If we sinned and there were no obvious effects to it, we would see sin as something that is “no big deal” to God, and thus His holy character would be blasphemed. This is one of the reasons God cited for the death of the child conceived by David in adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:13-14)—if there were no earthly consequences to David’s murder of Uriah and his adultery, then God would be viewed as One who condoned such sinful actions.

    3) Others “looking on” would be encouraged to sin. First Corinthians 10:1-12 states that all of the punishments imposed by God upon the Israelites for their disbelief, idolatry, lust, etc., were recorded for our admonition so that we could learn from their mistakes. Proverbs says that others are encouraged to sin when punishment upon sin is delayed (i.e., if we see someone else “get away with it,” we are also encouraged to repeat their sin). So, an earthly punishment is either imposed by God or the natural consequences of sin are allowed to come to maturity so that others may learn not to sin.

    4) God disciplines us for our benefit so that we may enjoy the fruit of righteousness that He intended for us. When a person places his faith in Christ, God ceases to be his Judge and becomes his Father (John 1:12). We will stand before Him as a Judge of our works done after salvation (2 Corinthians 5:10-11; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15), but now we have peace with God (Romans 5:1-10) and there is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1). But as a loving father disciplines his children for their good, so God disciplines us for ours (Hebrews 12:3-11). But when you look at the description of this heavenly discipline given in Hebrews 12, you find no thought of punishment as in the sense of one being required to pay or atone for a crime!

    So, one does find that God either imposes earthly consequences or allows the natural consequences as a result of sin, but in no passage does it say that these consequences are imposed so that His temporal justice may be satisfied!

    In conclusion, having discussed the lack of scriptural support for some of the foundational doctrines necessary for the existence of indulgences, it must also be stated that there is not a single scriptural example of, or teaching about, an apostle or church leader doling out an “indulgence” to a fellow believer. Not one! From its foundation to its summit, the whole structure of the doctrine of indulgences is unfounded biblically.

    It is our prayer that as the apostle Paul saw many converted to Christ because they compared his teachings to Scripture (Acts 17:10-12), so those who read this summary would read the inerrant and infallible Word of God for themselves and simply ask, “Are the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church found in what I have read? Do they ‘fit’ both the immediate context of any given passage and the context of the New Testament as a whole? Is the ‘system’ of the Roman Catholic Church found in the New Testament?” It is our prayer that all those who claim the name of Christ would turn to the simplicity of trusting Christ alone and desire to live for Him out of gratitude for all He has done for them (Romans 3-12).

  22. You know what they say…you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

    As for your claim, YOU came to MY blog, friend. I’m a Catholic, this is a Catholic blog. I’m not a Catholic who spent my life Catholic and didn’t pay attention. I took the trouble to understand the claims. The one that stands out to me is the Christ instituted a Church. One Church. Not many Churches. And validly, the claim of the Catholic Church is that we are the Church Christ instituted.

  23. So you’re saying that Scripture alone is the authority for Christians? Well, then tell me…who declared the canon of Scripture? We know there’s no table of contents, so how do we know that Mark wrote Mark? And that Peter wrote his letters? For that matter, how do we know that Matthew’s account is accurate? Your second point seems to suggest that it’s the Old Testament that’s the body of Scripture…re point 3, what was the Sadduccee canon of scripture? Did they have Isaiah in their canon? Regarding #4, Jesus promised that his church would be protected from error by the Holy Spirit. That’s infallibility.

    Regarding what you call ‘tradition’, name a Catholic tradition you’re referring to. Careful, I’d be very surprised if you’re talking about the same thing as I am, when I say Sacred Tradition…

  24. You’re right, we Catholics only worship God…In the Greek, we ‘latria’ God. We ‘dulia’ our heroes. We ‘hyperdulia’ Mary. Regarding prayer ‘to’ Mary, no, we don’t. We implore Mary to bring our petitions to Jesus. EVERYTHING we do regarding Mary points directly to Jesus.

    Regardless of your criticism, it bears no weight.

  25. Actually, just by the way scripture refers to Peter, he is the greater among equals. Just as the Pope is the head bishop of all the other bishops. Acts 15, Peter makes the decision about how Gentiles are accepted into the Church.

    You take some words of scripture out of context. “Babylon” was a code word. Christians were wanted people in the Roman Empire.

    If scripture is infallible, and our understanding is fallible, by what authority do you interpret Scripture?

  26. Actually, “Vicar” means representative. In ‘place’ of. Does not take away from Christ or his supremacy.

  27. Is all your prayer ‘scriptural’? Or do you pray in your own words? Yes, when the angel Gabriel called her “Full of grace” that means she had no room for sin. By God’s gift.

    You demand scripture to prove things, we don’t, not exclusively. Mary’s holiness and queenship are scriptural, indirectly.

  28. And exactly what have you done to persuade me?

    That’s irrelevant to the issue of your decision to rash out at me without the ability to make the distinction between the validity of a matter and the factor in which makes a claim valid. So, how does the addition of your own personal history or agenda help you in your quest of persuading a member of the Protestant group? And how do you figure that this “Church,” one Church, is, in fact, the Catholic Church? Please enlighten me Lewitzky.

  29. Yes, I am indeed saying that the scripture alone is enough to be the guiding light for the Christians. But, no. I am not saying that the scripture itself is the only source of knowledge for believers in Christ. And, since you seem to be fond of bringing that up, I will give you a full-packed details of the accuracy of the Bible.

  30. Our answer to this question will not only determine how we view the Bible and its importance to our lives, but also it will ultimately have an eternal impact on us. If the Bible is truly God’s Word, then we should cherish it, study it, obey it, and fully trust it. If the Bible is the Word of God, then to dismiss it is to dismiss God Himself.

    The fact that God gave us the Bible is an evidence and illustration of His love for us. The term “revelation” simply means that God communicated to mankind what He is like and how we can have a right relationship with Him. These are things that we could not have known had God not divinely revealed them to us in the Bible. Although God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible was given progressively over approximately 1500 years, it has always contained everything man needs to know about God in order to have a right relationship with Him. If the Bible is truly the Word of God, then it is the final authority for all matters of faith, religious practice, and morals.

    The question we must ask ourselves is how can we know that the Bible is the Word of God and not just a good book? What is unique about the Bible that sets it apart from all other religious books ever written? Is there any evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word? These types of questions must be seriously examined if we are to determine the validity of the Bible’s claim to be the very Word of God, divinely inspired, and totally sufficient for all matters of faith and practice. There can be no doubt that the Bible does claim to be the very Word of God. This is clearly seen in Paul’s commendation to Timothy: “… from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

    There are both internal and external evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word. The internal evidences are those things within the Bible that testify of its divine origin. One of the first internal evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word is seen in its unity. Even though it is really sixty-six individual books, written on three continents, in three different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life, the Bible remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction. This unity is unique from all other books and is evidence of the divine origin of the words which God moved men to record.

    Another of the internal evidences that indicates the Bible is truly God’s Word is the prophecies contained within its pages. The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations including Israel, certain cities, and mankind. Other prophecies concern the coming of One who would be the Messiah, the Savior of all who would believe in Him. Unlike the prophecies found in other religious books or those by men such as Nostradamus, biblical prophecies are extremely detailed. There are over three hundred prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Not only was it foretold where He would be born and His lineage, but also how He would die and that He would rise again. There simply is no logical way to explain the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible other than by divine origin. There is no other religious book with the extent or type of predictive prophecy that the Bible contains.

    A third internal evidence of the divine origin of the Bible is its unique authority and power. While this evidence is more subjective than the first two, it is no less a powerful testimony of the divine origin of the Bible. The Bible’s authority is unlike any other book ever written. This authority and power are best seen in the way countless lives have been transformed by the supernatural power of God’s Word. Drug addicts have been cured by it, homosexuals set free by it, derelicts and deadbeats transformed by it, hardened criminals reformed by it, sinners rebuked by it, and hate turned to love by it. The Bible does possess a dynamic and transforming power that is only possible because it is truly God’s Word.

    There are also external evidences that indicate the Bible is truly the Word of God. One is the historicity of the Bible. Because the Bible details historical events, its truthfulness and accuracy are subject to verification like any other historical document. Through both archaeological evidences and other writings, the historical accounts of the Bible have been proven time and time again to be accurate and true. In fact, all the archaeological and manuscript evidence supporting the Bible makes it the best-documented book from the ancient world. The fact that the Bible accurately and truthfully records historically verifiable events is a great indication of its truthfulness when dealing with religious subjects and doctrines and helps substantiate its claim to be the very Word of God.

    Another external evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the integrity of its human authors. As mentioned earlier, God used men from many walks of life to record His words. In studying the lives of these men, we find them to be honest and sincere. The fact that they were willing to die often excruciating deaths for what they believed testifies that these ordinary yet honest men truly believed God had spoken to them. The men who wrote the New Testament and many hundreds of other believers (1 Corinthians 15:6) knew the truth of their message because they had seen and spent time with Jesus Christ after He had risen from the dead. Seeing the risen Christ had a tremendous impact on them. They went from hiding in fear to being willing to die for the message God had revealed to them. Their lives and deaths testify to the fact that the Bible truly is God’s Word.

    A final external evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the indestructibility of the Bible. Because of its importance and its claim to be the very Word of God, the Bible has suffered more vicious attacks and attempts to destroy it than any other book in history. From early Roman Emperors like Diocletian, through communist dictators and on to modern-day atheists and agnostics, the Bible has withstood and outlasted all of its attackers and is still today the most widely published book in the world.

    Throughout time, skeptics have regarded the Bible as mythological, but archeology has confirmed it as historical. Opponents have attacked its teaching as primitive and outdated, but its moral and legal concepts and teachings have had a positive influence on societies and cultures throughout the world. It continues to be attacked by pseudo-science, psychology, and political movements, yet it remains just as true and relevant today as it was when it was first written. It is a book that has transformed countless lives and cultures throughout the last 2000 years. No matter how its opponents try to attack, destroy, or discredit it, the Bible remains; its veracity and impact on lives is unmistakable. The accuracy which has been preserved despite every attempt to corrupt, attack, or destroy it is clear testimony to the fact that the Bible is truly God’s Word and is supernaturally protected by Him. It should not surprise us that, no matter how the Bible is attacked, it always comes out unchanged and unscathed. After all, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). After looking at the evidence, one can say without a doubt that, yes, the Bible is truly God’s Word.

  31. Like I’ve said before, how should I deal with this doubt in my mind and every instinct in me drive me into thinking that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ?

    Salvation, Assurance of salvation, Good Works, Baptism, Prayer, Priesthood, Sacraments, Confession, Mary, Pope/Papacy, and etc…

  32. In other words, no matter how much time we may spend on persuading you people, your hearts will be so hardened that you won’t be able to hear us, correct?

  33. Peter was annointed to be the leader by none other than Jesus himself. Your Pope, on the other hand, was brought up to be the head of the Church under the authority of the Emperor Constantine.

    Okay, then I will just have to quote the words from one of your Popes, right? “The Pope is not simply the representative of the Jesus Christ: On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ, himself, under the veil of the flesh.”

    I believe I’ve already presented my reasons.

  34. Oh, really? Very touching, but umm….your Pope disagrees with you. “No man outside obedience to the Pope of Rome can ultimately be saved.”

  35. The bible has been mistranslated at the time, the correct version of the verse should be, “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Again, Mary was favored, not full of grace.

  36. Prove your assertions, sir.

    Cult of Isis, Mithraism, especially. If the pope was a created office after the legalization of Christianity, why do we have popes dating back to the death of Peter? And if the Roman Empire held to these cults, why were Christians martyred because they didn’t proclaim the Emperor the one true God?

    Regarding your general assertion that Catholicism contained paganism, may I ask if you’re circumcised?

    And finally, if you really have the idea that the Catholic Church stems from paganism, then your church does too, for it stems from the Catholic Church, because ALL protestant churchs are branches of Catholicism. 🙂

  37. Sin Results in Guilt and Punishment

    When a person sins, he acquires certain liabilities: the liability of guilt and the liability of punishment. Scripture speaks of the former when it pictures guilt as clinging to our souls, making them discolored and unclean before God: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is. 1:18).

    We incur not just guilt, but liability for punishment when we sin: “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless” (Is. 13:11). Judgment pertains even to the smallest sins: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14).

    Punishments are Both Temporal and Eternal

    The Bible indicates some punishments are eternal, lasting forever, but others are temporal. Eternal punishment is mentioned in Daniel 12:2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

    We normally focus on the eternal penalties of sin, because they are the most important, but Scripture indicates temporal penalties are real and go back to the first sin humans committed: “To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children (Gen. 3:16).

    Temporal Penalties May Remain When a Sin is Forgiven

    When someone repents, God removes his guilt (Is. 1:18) and any eternal punishment (Rom. 5:9), but temporal penalties may remain. One passage demonstrating this is 2 Samuel 12, in which Nathan the prophet confronts David over his adultery.

    While Jesus paid the price for our sins before God, he did not relieve our obligation to repair what we have done. If you steal someone’s car, you have to give it back; it isn’t enough just to repent. God’s forgiveness (and man’s!) does not include letting you keep the stolen car. When we first come to God we are forgiven, and when we sin later we are able to be forgiven, yet that does not free us from the penalty of physical death. Even the forgiven die; a penalty remains after our sins are forgiven. This is a temporal penalty since physical death is temporary and we will be resurrected (Dan. 12:2).

    God Blesses Some People As a Reward to Others

    In Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus heals a paralytic and forgives his sins after seeing the faith of his friends. Paul also tells us that “as regards election [the Jews] are beloved for the sake of their forefathers” (Rom. 11:28).

    When God blesses one person as a reward to someone else, sometimes the specific blessing he gives is a reduction of the temporal penalties to which the first person is subject. For example, God promised Abraham that, if he could find a certain number of righteous men in Sodom, he was willing to defer the city’s temporal destruction for the sake of the righteous (Gen. 18:16-33; cf. 1 Kgs. 11:11-13; Rom. 11:28-29).

    God Remits Temporal Punishments through the Church

    God uses the Church when he removes temporal penalties. This is the essence of the doctrine of indulgences
    In the early Church, penances were sometimes severe. For serious sins, such as apostasy, murder, and abortion, the penances could stretch over years, but the Church recognized that repentant sinners could shorten their penances by pleasing God through pious or charitable acts that expressed sorrow and a desire to make up for one’s sin.

    The Church also recognized the duration of temporal punishments could be lessened through the involvement of other persons who had pleased God. Scripture tells us God gave the authority to forgive sins “to men” (Matt. 9:8) and to Christ’s ministers in particular. Jesus told them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21-23).

    If Christ gave his ministers the ability to forgive the eternal penalty of sin, how much more would they be able to remit the temporal penalties of sin! Christ also promised his Church the power to bind and loose on earth, saying, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). As the context makes clear, binding and loosing cover Church discipline, and Church discipline involves administering and removing temporal penalties (such as barring from and readmitting to the sacraments). Therefore, the power of binding and loosing includes the administration of temporal penalties.

    God Blesses Dead Christians As a Reward to Living Christians

    In the Old Testament, Judah Maccabee finds the bodies of soldiers who died wearing superstitious amulets during one of the Lord’s battles. Judah and his men “turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out” (2 Macc. 12:42).

    The reference to the sin being “wholly blotted out” refers to its temporal penalties. The author of 2 Maccabees tells us that for these men Judah “was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness” (verse 45); he believed that these men fell asleep in godliness, which would not have been the case if they were in mortal sin. If they were not in mortal sin, then they would not have eternal penalties to suffer, and thus the complete blotting out of their sin must refer to temporal penalties for their superstitious actions. Judah “took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this . . . he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (verses 43, 46).

    Judah not only prayed for the dead, but he provided for them the then-appropriate ecclesial action for lessening temporal penalties: a sin offering. Accordingly, we may take the now-appropriate ecclesial action for lessening temporal penalties— indulgences—and apply them to the dead by way of prayer.

  38. Because Christ created a Church, and just as God spoke Creation, Christ spoke His Church. The Catholic Church is the only Church that can claim to be the one spoken by Christ.

  39. I have answers to all those questions, but your hard heart will not listen…The answers are not mine, they’re God’s.

  40. 1 Timothy describes apostolic succession. Christ said His Church would last until He returned. He did not let his succession die out. Jesus instructed Paul in the faith, Paul instructed Timothy and told him to pass on the Traditions Paul taught him to Timothy’s successor. This is the principal of Apostolic succession. We believe the Holy Spirit appoints Peter’s successor.

    No pope actually said those words. It was a Cardinal speaking, who later became the Pope.

    As first reported by Evangelical Christendom, the Cardinal’s homily was, in context, boldly asserting the Pope to be the sole authority to appoint the Princes of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Sarto later became Pope Pius X (1903-1914). His sermon was also cited in:

    Catholique Nationale, July 13, 1895 (Reported in the Protestant Church Review of October 3, and November 14th, 1895, and the India Watchman, in The Friend, A Religious And Literary Journal, Volume LXIX, 1896, Philadelphia, pg. 154.)

    Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place In It, A Study of the Historical and Futurist Interpretation, by Joseph Tanner, published in London by Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, pages 153, 154.
    In Publications of the Catholic Truth Society, Volume 29, 1896, The Catholic Truth Society of London published a booklet by Rev. Sydney F. Smith S. J. titled Does The Pope Claim To Be God. On pages 10 and 11 it reveals that Cardinal Sarto was queried about the alleged homily, and that he gave the following reply in a letter written sometime before Jan. 10, 1896:
    “… I have read all the homilies I have made since my coming here in Venice, and only in the sermon for the anniversary of the election of the Holy Father, I said these exact words: ‘The Pope represents Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love. Love, his weapons; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, —i.e., the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on earth and in heaven.’ … &c.”

    The Pope at the time, Leo XIII, was elected on February 20th, 1878, so the date referred to by Cardinal Sarto for his homily celebrating the Pope’s anniversary would have been on or about February 20th of 1895, while the blasphemous homily attributed to him was given at the first Mass he celebrated in St. Mark’s, which was on Sunday November 25th, 1894, some three months earlier. Note that the above article in Evangelical Christendom was already in print and on the street some two months before Cardinal Sarto gave the sermon he offers as the genuine one! I find that very curious indeed.

    Clearly when Cardinal Sarto was contemplating his reply, he was not aware of the Evangelical Christendom article of January 1st, 1895, that essentially pinpointed the homily as the one he gave the day after he had so triumphantly entered the city of Venice as its new Patriarch, a mere five weeks earlier. And who would need to check their records in order to ascertain if they had ever given such a sermon and made such claims? I would suggest that rather than being a credible denial, Cardinal Sarto (Pius X) offered an evasive and inadequate reply that does not exonerate him, rather it tends to support the reported blasphemous homily as being completely genuine.

    A new and revised edition of Rev. Smith’s booklet titled Does The Pope Claim To Be Divine? published in 1929 makes no mention of, or defense of, Cardinal Sarto’s homily. Very curious indeed.

  41. No, sorry, the Greek word is Kecharitomene found only in verse 28 of ch1 Luke. The verb is a perfect passive participle
    i.e. action in past expressing action done to subject relevant to the future. So it means that sometime before the announciation Mary was filled with divine grace (past) and that she remains full of this grace (present).

  42. Idolatry Condemned by God , idolatry is the most serious. The first commandment is this: have no other gods before Me” (Exo. 20:3). Then in the second commandment God’s people are ins worship Him directly and not through any intervening object: “You shall not make for yourself an id mage], or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the e shall not worship [bow down to] them or serve them” (Exo. 20:4-5, NASV). There are literally score passages in the Bible which also forbid the making or venerating of images. A few examples are: You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sac nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God (L Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the w hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret (Deut. 27:15). Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold o stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man (Acts 17:29).[They] did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols o of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk, if you are papist you make such claim that we are not bowing to any statues but horing them

  43. We only worship God.

    Your translation says ‘you shall not make for yourself an idol image…’ but what is an idol image? It’s an image that people


    . We don’t


    any images.

    If the Bible forbids the making of images, why does God tell Moses to make an image?

    So, I wonder, what makes you think we worship images??? Please explain.

  44. It is true that God told Mose Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.” serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.” (Numbers 21:6-9 hoped you got me Here people were looking at that bronze statues not bowing down to it, So all I can say is that I can prove that across the world Catholics people bown down to images even pope himself bown down to many of those images and dead people who they claim are now considered to be holy
    Maybe you can explain me more???

  45. Just because you bow down to someone or something doesn’t mean you worship them/it. There are three Greek words we use which all connote worship. There’s worship of God, latria, there’s veneration of humans, which is dulia, and there’s what we reserve for Mary alone, hyper-dulia.

    The key is that it’s what’s in your heart that determines whether you worship something or not. People don’t bow to money, yet they spend their lives doing anything and everything to attain it, including working on the Lord’s day. I’d say those people love money more than God, and maybe they worship it. But I think we have to leave it to God to judge whether we worship something/someone more than we love Him…don’t you? After all we’re not to judge men’s hearts…

  46. The Bible declares that at the name of Jesus NOT at the name of Mary or Pope every knee will bow down and worship, when you said we worship God while there is many pictures that prove that most Catholics worship the images which bible condem such kind of practice

  47. Dear Rootofjesse2

    Catholics Do pray to Mary and forgetting that Mary is simply a human just like anyone else the fact she was blessed because she give birth to the saviour of the world then Claim that she was born without sin, so you do Pray to her because you got you rosary which is dedicated to her in the rosary there is something like this “TO ALL THOSE WHO SHALL PRAY MY ROSARY, I PROMISE MY SPECIAL PROTECTION AND GREAT GRACES” sounds great, but what is the special protection and what are the great graces??

  48. What does it mean to ‘pray’? It simply means to ask. I’d ask you to pray for me in my new job. Am I asking you to worship me?

    The rosary is a way of knowing the key events in the life of Jesus. Mary only leads us to Him. We will find out what God’s graces are all about in Heaven.

  49. Let’s inspect the Rosary. 1. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 2. We pray the Lord’s Prayer 3. We pray the Apostles Creed. 4. We remember a scene from the Gospels, then pray The Lord’s Prayer, then 10 Hail Marys. We do that 5 times, then end with other prayers. What is the Hail Mary? It’s also a scene from the Gospel of Luke, when the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary “Hail, Full of Grace”, then we ask Mary to pray for our sins. Who does Mary intercede to? Her son.

    No Pope ever said to worship Mary. Never in 2000 years.

  50. So Mary is exalted high than God? Biblical Mary was a simply a godly woman there’s no evidence in the whole bible that the apostles pray to her because they did know that Only God is worthy of all of our praise,

  51. Where do you see that Mary is exalted higher than God?

    Mary was, simply, the mother of God. She held Jesus, God incarnate, inside her womb. You claim to revere the 10 commandments, yet you don’t think we should honor Jesus’ mother?

    Regarding prayer to Mary, do you ever ask someone to pray for you?

  52. Where in the 10th commandements bible mentioned that we must honor Mary?, I lived with many Catholic people I saw them bow down to images even kissing those statues and when you said we are not worshipping her but honoring her you make me wonder That’s why you Church Claim to be Above bible because they think they can add or removed anything in the bible

  53. So, you’re breaking Jesus words by judging people based on their outward actions. Just because people bow to something doesn’t mean they’re worshipping that. I’ll bet you get on your knees to pray before you go to bed. Are you bowing to worship your bed? Bowing and kissing are not necessarily acts of worship. I kiss my spouse, do I worship her?

    There is no claim of the Church to be above the Bible. And you cannot show that we’ve added anything or subtracted anything from the Bible. If you can, please provide your proof.

  54. Catholic often repeatedly say the prayer the same over and over again, That’s my proof You practice vain repetition and bible say that practiced is wrong, Praying to the dead and your Church practiced the sale of indulgences and Confessing your sins to a priest who doesn’t deserve that role And One of the blasphemous Mary Dogma while bible say very little about her.

  55. Who says it’s vain? You? Who are you to judge? We don’t pray to the dead. We pray to the living. The Catholic Church NEVER sold indulgences. We confess our sins to Jesus in the person of the priest.

    If all you can do is criticize and point, you’re acting just like a Pharisee. When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to him, he told them “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and the Pharisees disappeared one by one…Your criticism is very much incorrect, proving you don’t know much about the Catholic Church…

  56. Dear David

    “But when ye pray,
    use not vain
    repetitions, as the
    heathen do: for they
    think that they shall
    be heard for their
    much speaking.” —
    Matthew 6:7 God Hates Vain Repetitions!
    The chanting
    of the Roman
    Rosary is VAIN
    It is exactly
    what God hates. God is not
    impressed with such empty
    and meaningless prayers.
    Some Catholics try to
    justify vain repetitious
    prayers with Scriptures
    such as Matthew 26:44,
    “And he left them, and
    went away again, and
    prayed the third time,
    saying the same words.”
    But, asking God three times
    for the same thing, is very
    different than mumbling
    the same dead words (the
    Rosary) over and over for a
    Furthermore, this was not
    the norm when Jesus
    prayed. There are times in
    our life where we will want
    to keep asking God for
    something; but, that is
    certainly not the same as
    mumbling the same
    WRITTEN, dead,
    repetitious, religious, words
    over and over. A Catholic
    repeats 52 “Hail Mary” in
    each DAILY Rosary prayer.
    Jesus clearly states that
    the “heathen” pray with
    useless repetitions. Since
    Catholics claim that their
    repetitious Rosary prayers
    are not “vain repetitions”;
    then I ask, who was Jesus
    speaking about? Do you
    realize that a faithful
    Catholic who prayers the
    Rosary every day, will in a
    lifetime say “Hail Mary”
    well over 1,000,000 times!!!
    Think about it.
    And yet, not one mention is
    made of the name of Jesus
    Christ in the Rosary. Like it
    or not, the Word of God
    condemns formalized
    religion. It is abundantly
    clear that the nuns who are
    chanting the Rosary (which
    you are now hearing) are
    praying with VAIN

  57. It is your judgement that it’s vain repitition, not Truth. And, of course, you’re out of context. Let’s not forget the two verses prior to Matt 6:7: 5“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

    The point was to not pray so that you look holy, but to really be holy. The rosary, prayed the way it was meant to be prayed, is not vain repetition. While we’re praying, we’re to think of the Gospel passage associated with the particular mystery.

  58. I’m not judging here scriptures do
    Consider first of all, the
    form of the rosary. It is 10
    repetitions of the ‘Hail Mary’ for
    five times. What did our Lord say
    about repetitious prayer? “When
    you pray, go into your room, and
    when you have shut your door,
    pray to your Father who is in the
    secret place; and your Father who
    sees in secret will reward you
    openly. And when you pray, do not
    use vain repetitions as the heathen
    do. For they think that they will be
    heard for their many
    words” (Matthew 6:6,7). Prayer is
    the spontaneous expression of the
    heart before God – of praise and
    thanksgiving, confession and
    petition. Repeating the same prayer
    over and over again tends to dull
    the mind. Such repetitions are vain
    and pagan.
    Secondly, and more importantly,
    note that Jesus told us to address
    our prayer to God. “Pray to your
    Father.” There is no example or
    permission in the whole Bible of
    Christians praying to anyone except
    God. And for a good reason. God is
    able to hear our prayers from
    heaven (there must be thousands of
    people praying at this very
    moment), because He knows all
    things. “whatever prayer, whatever
    supplication is made by
    anyone…then hear in heaven Your
    dwelling place, and forgive, and
    act, and give to everyone according
    to all his ways, whose heart You
    know – for You alone know the
    hearts of all the sons of men” (1
    Kings 8:38,39). God knows our
    heart and He hears our prayer. But
    Mary is not God. She is a finite
    human being. She does not know
    the hearts of all people. God alone
    knows them. “For You ALONE know
    the hearts of all the sons of men.”
    Thirdly, when Catholics pray to
    Mary: “Pray for us sinners, now
    and in the hour of our death,” they
    are placing their trust for salvation
    in the hands of a creature, rather
    in the Lord and Savior, Jesus
    Christ. Mary herself did not do so
    because she acknowledged God as
    her Savior (Luke 1:47). The
    Catholic Catechism explains the
    significance of the ‘Hail Mary’: ‘Our
    trust broadens further, already at
    the present moment, to surrender
    the hour of our death wholly to
    her care’ (paragraph 2677). Please
    find Act 7:59 in your Bible and
    read about a Christian at the very
    moment before his death. To
    whose care did he commit his
    spirit before he died? And then ask
    yourself, to whom am I
    surrendering the hour of my death
    – to Mary (a saved creature) or to
    the Lord Jesus (our God and Savior)

  59. As I said, there’s nothing vain about repeating prayers. That’s your judgement, not God’s.

    To your second point, you seem to have no idea what prayer is. Do you ask your mother for money, do you ask anyone for anything? “Pray” means “Ask”. And we know that, when we ask Mary to help us, she takes our prayers to her Son.

    To your third point, I hope, then, that you never ask anyone to pray for you about something. Again, to pray is to ask. So when I ask my friends to pray for me while I’m sick, they will ask God to help me get better. If they ask Mary to intercede for me, then Mary will ask God to help me get better. All Marian doctrine leads us to Jesus, which is right where we need to be.

    Regarding Marian doctrine, there’s nothing in Catholicism that says we must pray to Mary. Therefore, it’s a practice of some people, not a doctrine. If you don’t want to pray to Mary, you don’t have to. There is no requirement.

  60. Sound great, I do ask for a people to pray for me So I don’t ask a dead person to pray for me, So how do you know if that person you keep on praying if s/he heard you?

  61. You wrote
    Neither do we. We ask those in
    heaven, who are very much
    alive. Their bodies are dead,
    but their souls are eternal.

    Dead people are not aware of what is happening on earth, God condemed such kind of practiced, Either you go directly ask God to answer your prayer

  62. Then how did Jesus, Moses, and Elijah speak? Do you believe that Jesus descended to the dead before He rose to heaven? Why would he visit the dead if they weren’t alive? I guess you don’t believe that, when you die, your soul goes to heaven? If it’s true that your soul goes to heaven when you die, then you are alive, to live with God eternally. Also, if you go to hell, your soul lives eternally in damnation. So those in heaven and hell are ALIVE.

  63. Jesus with those two thieves he tell one of the guy that he will be with him in paradise, Elijah didn’t die i’m not sure if people once used to pray to him in other to get they prayer answerd

  64. The point is that when Jesus transfigured on Mount Tabor, he met with Moses and Elijah, both of whom were seen by Peter, James and John as alive. So if we die, and are truly dead, why did Jesus descend to the dead after he died on the cross? And why would Moses and Elijah be alive with Jesus on Mount Tabor?

  65. Your Church’ s Apostle creed Claim Jesus go straight to hell, just look
    Before Jesus Christ ascended to
    heaven (Acts 1:9 ), God’s children
    went to a place called “Abraham’s
    bosom” when they died rather than
    going straight to heaven. When
    Jesus told the person next to him
    on the cross, “Today you will be
    with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42 )
    it is most likely that “Paradise”
    referred to “Abraham’s bosom”.
    Jesus’ account of the rich man and
    Lazarus (Luke 16:22-26 ) gives us a
    contrast between Abraham’s bosom
    and the place where the unsaved
    go, a place the Bible calls “hell”.
    The Bible seems to indicate that
    when Jesus died He “descended
    down into the earth” (Ephesians
    4:9 ) to Abraham’s bosom and “led
    captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8 );
    that is, He led everyone in
    Abraham’s bosom to the presence
    of God in heaven. Ever since Jesus
    ascended to heaven, God’s children
    go straight to heaven rather than
    going to Abraham’s bosom when
    they die.
    The place the Bible calls “hell” is
    where all the unsaved people wait
    for the final judgment at the end
    of time, after which they will go to
    “the lake which burns with fire and
    brimstone” (Revelation 21:8 ). One
    fact that is often overlooked is that
    the lake of fire is the final
    destination of the unsaved, not the
    place the Bible refers to as
    “hell” (the New Testament Greek
    word Hades and the Old Testament
    Hebrew word Shoel are both
    translated “hell” in English). The
    Bible seems to indicate that
    nobody has been to the lake of fire
    yet. Even fallen angels are waiting
    in hell for the final judgment: “For
    if God did not spare the angels
    who sinned, but cast them down to
    hell and delivered them into chains
    of darkness, to be reserved for
    judgment…” (2 Peter 2:4 ) After the
    “Great White Throne” Judgment
    ( Revelation 20:11 ) the unsaved will
    be cast into the lake of fire: “And
    anyone not found written in the
    Book of Life was cast into the lake
    of fire.” (Revelation 20:15 )
    The passage that states Jesus
    descended “down into the earth”
    has led some to think that Jesus
    had to go to hell to pay for our
    sins; but the differentiation
    between “hell” and the “lake of
    fire”, along with passages in
    Hebrew chapter 9, clear up this
    misunderstanding. Rather than
    going to hell to pay for our sins,
    the book of Hebrews states that
    Jesus went to “the Most Holy
    Place” in heaven, and there He
    offered “His own blood” to pay for
    our sins and obtain “eternal
    redemption” for everyone who
    trusts in Him ( Hebrews 9:12 ). The
    steps of Jesus into “the Most Holy
    Place” in heaven

  66. I didn’t say he went to hell. I said he descended to the dead. And that’s what my church teaches-he descended to the dead. At any rate, those in heaven aren’t dead, and so we do not pray to the dead. We do pray for the dead, however.

  67. Did Jesus Go to Hell?
    More specifically, did Jesus go to
    hell between His death on Good
    Friday and His resurrection on
    Easter Sunday? The Apostles’ Creed
    states that Jesus, “was crucified,
    dead, and buried. He descended
    into hell. The third day he rose
    again from the dead.” The
    Athanasian Creed, speaking of
    Jesus, asserts, “Who suffered for
    our salvation, descended into hell,
    rose again the third day from the
    dead.” Therefore, two of the three
    great ancient creeds affirm that
    Jesus “descended into hell”
    sometime between His crucifixion
    and resurrection. But is that what
    the Bible teaches?
    The short answer to this question
    is: “No.” The biblical authors were
    more accurate in their use of
    words than some of our Bible
    translators or creed writers. There
    are two Greek words for the abode
    of the dead. (Greek is the language
    in which the New Testament of the
    Bible was originally written.) Hell
    (Geenna in Greek, also called the
    lake of fire and the eternal fire )
    was made for the Devil and his
    minions (Matthew 25:41) and will
    be occupied by all the unrighteous
    after the last judgement (Revelation
    19:20-21 and 20:10-15). There is
    no biblical evidence that anyone
    has gone there or will go there
    until after Jesus’ Second Coming
    (Revelation 19:11-16). This
    includes Jesus Himself.
    The other Greek word is Hadas
    (from which we get the English
    word Hades ). This is the region of
    the dead. Before Jesus’ ascension,
    the spirits of all people went to
    Hades. After His ascension, only
    the spirits of unbelievers go to
    Hades, while the spirits of believers
    go directly to be with the Lord (2
    Corinthians 5:1-8). It is into this
    region that Jesus entered after His
    crucifixion (Acts 2:25-31 in which
    Peter quotes from Psalm 16:9-10).
    Ephesians 4:8-10 says that Jesus,
    “had descended into the lower
    parts of the earth.” This may also
    speak of Jesus’ visit to Hades
    before His ascension. Finally,
    Romans 10:7 refers to Jesus in “the
    abyss” while He was among the
    dead. After the final judgment,
    Hades will be cast into Hell
    (Revelation 20:14). Therefore, the
    longer answer is: “Yes, Jesus
    descended into Hades but not into
    So, how did the idea of Jesus
    descending into Hell get
    incorporated into the church
    creeds? The early church taught
    that Jesus descended into Hades.
    The Old Roman form of the
    Apostles’ Creed (about A.D. 140)
    did not have the phrase, “He
    descended into Hell”, and it did
    not appear in the Nicene Creed
    (A.D. 325). It seems to have been a
    late addition (perhaps around A.D.
    390). The phrase first appeared in
    the Creed of Aquileia, (4th century,
    in the Latin words descendit in
    inferna – descended into Hades).
    In addition, the Athanasian Creed,
    which does contain the phrase,
    may not have been written until
    the time of Charlemagne (8th
    century). So, why the addition?
    One possible explanation is that at
    the end of the fourth century
    (around A.D. 381) the church was
    battling the teachings of
    Apollinaris. He taught that Jesus
    was not fully human – He had a
    human body and soul, but a divine
    spirit. The church, on the other
    hand, taught that Jesus had to be
    fully human for His death to be a
    true death and an effective
    sacrifice for sin. To demonstrate
    that Jesus was fully human, with a
    human spirit, the church may have
    added the Latin phrase from the
    Creed of Aquileia to the more
    popular Apostles’ Creed. By the
    time of the Middle Ages, the words
    Hell and Hades had become
    confused and Jesus was thought to
    have descended into Hell.

  68. The Greek wording in the Apostles’ Creed is κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα, (“katelthonta eis ta katôtata”), and in Latin descendit ad inferos. The Greek τὰ κατώτατα (“the lowest”) and the Latin inferos (“those below”) may also be translated as “underworld”, “netherworld”, or as “abode of the dead.” Modern versions of the Apostles’ Creed often translate this more literally as “he descended to the dead”.

    You’re illustrating exactly why we need an authority, the Catholic Church, to explain what the context of the text is…Nice cutting and pasting, by the way…I wish you’d credit the actual authorship of that which you post here.

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