09 June, 2009

Fundamentalist Criticism of Catholicism answered.

The following in quotes was an email from someone with the Yahoo screen name of "Lover of God and not of self " and the following is my answer to the criticism.

"well I pray that the Holy spirit leads you out of catholicism. I'm not in a denomination, I'm Christian I believe that The Bible is the only inspired word of God, not the apocrpha (sp sorry) or the catechism or any other extra biblical teaching. Do you believe in speaking in tongues the bible says that believers will speak in tongues , do you believe in abstaining from marriage the Bible is clear that is wrong...or how about lent don't eat meat on friday....there is a scripture heck i'll give it to you. 1 Timothy 4:1 - 4 -- Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
Don't say it's your choice to not marry, because you do it because the church doesn't allow priests or nuns to be married. 8] But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. [9] And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. [10] Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.Matthew 23 8:10
Catholics have an excuse to why they call you father but it's clear as day yet you disobey."

Why would you want or even suspect that the Holy Spirit would lead anyone from Christ's Church? It took 50 years for the Holy Spirit to lead me to His Church. I was once an anti-Catholic just like you and hated the Church that Christ founded. I too, was seduced by the man-made churches with their doctrines of men. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one and God the Son prayed that we would all remain one in His Church in the garden of Gethsemane. You are the one that remains separated from His Church and outside of God's will. It is you that will be drawn by the Spirit to Christ's Church. You are in a denomination, whether you acknowledge that fact or not. You are a member of a man-founded ecclesiastical group of one community in protest of the Church Christ founded following the doctrines of men. You are fed some truth mixed with the false teaching and practices. The fullness of truth and Christ's teaching is only found in His Church as one using intellectual reason with their faith should conclude.

I also believe and the Church teaches that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Inspiration was decided at the African Synods in the late fourth and early fifth centuries through the authority and inspired leadership given to the Church from Christ. The Church has always taught, since the Synods, that the Bible is His inspired Word. You would not believe this yourself if the Church had not taught it. Do you know the true meaning of apocrypha? Do you know that all of the apocrypha books were banned by Pope St. Gelasius in the fifth century. Most of these were the Gnostic gospels. They were never a part of the Christian Canon. The OT Christian Canon that was approved at the African Synods and contained the books properly called the Deuterocanonicals was contained in the Greek Septuagint which contained the Scriptures quoted by Jesus and the disciples as recorded in Gods Word. So the Deuterocanonicals are not extra biblical just because the heretic Martin Luther decided to leave them out of his Bible. Calling them apocrypha is just being pejorative and that is not something a Christian should say about God's written Word.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not an extra-biblical book but simply explains the Catholic teaching on morals, faith, doctrines and practices. Therefore, there is no excuse for people bearing false witness against His Church when what we tell you and others is clearly written down in the Catechism. But rather than to check out your claims you intentionally do the work of Satan and falsely besmirch the Church founded by Christ with the promises that it will endure for all times free from apostasy. Christ said His Church would forever be the "pillar and ground of the truth." Do you really believe that Christ was a liar when He taught these things?Furthermore, Jesus did not give the authority for teaching to a book that would not be found inspired for over 300 years but instead to the Church. Jesus taught that the Church are those that gather around the valid bishop in apostolic succession. With that definition are you in his Church or outside of His Church because truly he only founded the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church. So that makes you a protester of Christ's teaching.

I do believe in speaking in tongues as I am a tongue speaker and charismatic but I believe that this is just one of the gifts of the Spirit and that people are given the gifts according to the need among the Body of Christ. Not everyone has the same gifts and not one should be exalted over another. The blessing of spiritual gifts should make one humble to have been chosen by God to share their gift for the building up of the faithful and His Church. Catholicism does not teach abstaining from marriage but instead encourages marriage at every opportunity, no one is forbidden to marry. The Church allows and encourages everyone to marry but some are given the spiritual gift of celibacy like St. Paul. He himself spoke of the virtues of dedicating oneself to the work of Christ and remaining celibate. He and Jesus are our examples. We take seriously God's commandment to go forth and multiply. We do as the Bible teaches and fast to better focus on God's will. The Church does not teach anything that conflicts with 1 Tim 4:1-4. The Scriptures you quote to support your false teaching that the term "father" is not to be used for priests are misinterpreted. Do you really think that Jesus was forbidding the respectful terms of father to be used as well as teacher, mister, doctor and etc.? Then why did St. Paul instruct others to call him father? Do you use the terms father, mister, doctor, professor and etc.? Of course you do and you are intentionally ignorant of what Christ was teaching in these verses in order to bear false witness against His Church. He is simply instructing not to show more respect or the same respect for men as we do to God. He was not forbidding these terms at all or the practice of showing each other respect as you seem to surmise. All the in depth answers to your criticism of Christ's Church are explained at my blog. Thank you for your comments and the opportunity to clear up your misconceptions. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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