Saturday, December 24, 2011

Catholic Symbols and Its' Meaning

Most of the things spread against Roman Catholics are lies and misconceptions. I saw this website called it shows an uneducated person's blog which shows symbols being used against the Catholic Church, both Eastern and Western.
 The Skull and Bones

He doesn't clearly know what the "Skull and Bones" symbol symbolize. They are put in Crucifixes in reference to a legend that the place of the crucifixion was also the burial place of Adam or, more likely, in reference to the New Testament statement (King James Version: Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, and John 19:17) that the place of his crucifixion was called "Golgotha" (tr. "the Place of a Skull"). The skull under Christ's foot symbolizes Christ's triumph over death. Not as a masonic symbol. Another symbol is the All seeing eye of God.

The All Seeing Eye of God 

Aachen Cathedral

The all seeing eye of God or the Eye of Providence is a symbol used in Christianity to show (often with the addition of an enclosing triangle)  an explicit image of the Holy Trinity. Seventeenth-century depictions of the Eye of Providence sometimes show it surrounded by clouds or sun bursts. Most people apply them only to Freemasonry not to Christianity. The person only applies it to masonry and Illuminate. They also think as a symbol of the devil. Since God sees everything He can be symbolize by an eye.

"Together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God.."

         The Saints share in Christ's glory, and are partakers in the divine nature. St. Paul says to imitate them. The Bible says that the saints in heaven are equal to the angels.  The Catholic Church has a wealth of holy saints in heaven that have said many great things while they were alive. Protestants believe that saints are not worthy to ask for their intercession. They see saints as "dead" and contacting the "dead" is unbiblical.  They also accused Catholics as saint worshipper. They, the Protestants, do not understand us. I think they can't read. 

"Pray for us."

    This line clearly says that we ask the saints to pray for us. Since the saints are in heaven, they are close to Jesus and God. We can ask the saint's prayer to be brought to Christ. Catholics do not think the saint do the miracles. It is through the saints that Christ works His miracles. 
     Worship and adoration is only reserved to God. Not one Catholic worship nor give adoration to the saints. We only give them honor and veneration. They are people who have lived a virtuous and faithful life. By their example we know that they are in Heaven and dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven with Jesus. 

Where is it in the Bible?

John 17:22- "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:"

Revelation 8:4- "The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand."

 Luke 20:36- "and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection."

Hebrews 13:7- "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."

2 Peter 1:4- "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

If they say the Bible is the only authority, then doesn't the Bible clearly states Catholic beliefs? So you decide which church is to be called "Evangelical"?

The Council of Trent

    "that the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their prayers to God for men, that it is good and beneficial suppliantly to invoke them and to have recourse to their prayers, assistance and support in order to obtain favors from God through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone is our redeemer and savior.... and that they think impiously who deny that the saints who enjoy eternal happiness in heaven are to be invoked, or who assert that they do not pray for men, or that our invocation of them to pray for each of us individually is idolatry, or that it is opposed to the word of God and inconsistent with the honor of the one mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ, or that it is foolish to pray vocally or mentally to those who reign in heaven. Also, that the holy bodies of the holy martyrs and of others living with Christ, which were the living members of Christ and the temple the Holy Ghost,"- Council of Trent session 25

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Bible and Apostolic Tradition

Technically, the word "inspiration" does not appear in Scripture. The term that is translated "inspiration" is theopneustos, but "inspiration" is not best translation of this term. "God-breathed" is, and even that term only appears in 2 Tim. 3:16.
In Catholic theology "inspiration" is a technical term. An inspired book is one which has God as its primary author. Apostolic Scripture falls into this category because even though God wrote it through human agency, he chose the actual words of Apostolic Scripture.
Is Apostolic Tradition inspired? In one sense it is, but in another it isn't. When God initially revealed doctrines to the apostles he determined the form in which these teachings came to them, so the original giving was inspired. But God did not directly fix the way the apostles expressed these teachings to others. The apostles might express a single doctrine from God in a variety of ways. So while the original giving of Apostolic Tradition was inspired, the words in which it has been passed down to us are not inspired.

The Word of God was Orally Transferred
In Mark 16:15 - Jesus commands the apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature. But Jesus did not want this preaching to stop after the apostles died, and yet the Bible was not compiled until four centuries later. The word of God was transferred word of mouth or orally. Jesus told his disciples to preach but did He say write it down?

Sola Scriptura Is Wrong

This teaching was spread by Martin Luther , the Protestant Reformer. This belief is based on Paul's writing in Timothy 3:16-17 which says

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect (complete, adequate, competent), equipped for every good work. [2 Tim. 3:16-17, RSV]
In  2 Thessalonians, Saint Paul talks about keeping the tradition which were taught by them.
2 Thess. 3:6"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us."
Protestants use this verse all the time to reject using Tradition . Actually Jesus talks about Tradition that have been perverted by the elders. Not the Tradition the Apostles taught since Jesus was the one that gave them the traditions.
Mark 7:8-9, "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.9He was also saying to them, You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition."
This Tradition from the Elders is the one talked about in the Gospel of Saint Matthew . In the passage from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Jesus clearly address who made up the particular Tradition. In that Passage it  didn't say "Tradition of the Apostles" it says "Traditions of the Elder". 
Matt. 15:1-6 "some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, 2"Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." 3And He answered and said to them, "And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4"For God said, Honor your father and mother,' and, He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.' 5"But you say, Whoever shall say to his father or mother, "Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God," 6he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition."
 In Paul's Writing, he talks about the Scripture in his letter to Timothy. 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).
Even Protestant scholars often appeal to Tradition.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Faith and Works

During the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, a familiar term regarding salvation was "sola fide," Latin for "by faith alone." The reformers, at that time, accused the Catholic Church of departing from the "simple purity of the Gospel" of Jesus Christ. They stated it was faith alone, without works of any kind, that brought a believer to eternal life. They defined this faith as "the confidence of man, associated with the certainty of salvation, because the merciful Father will forgive sins because of Christ's sake."
 This belief of faith only is needed to enter Heaven is a false teaching. This teaching is always used to attack our Church.

Where is Faith and Works found in the Holy Bible?

In the Epistle of James, James says ,
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.-James 2:14-18
There must be a balance of Faith and Good works to enter the Kingdom. Protestants have taken there notion of "Sola  Fide" from the Epistles of Paul. Which says,

 "But my just one shall live by faith ..."-Heb 10:38)
"But without faith it is impossible to please him (God) ..."-Heb 11:6
Faith and works does not only appear on the  Epistle of James.

1 Pet 2:12
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Rev 2:2
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance ...
Mt 5:16
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
Mt 16:27
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
Mt 25:34-36
Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
The Bible makes it clear that there must be a balanced relationship between our faith and its expression in good works.
James 2:14-18
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
1 Cor 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Heb 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
James 2:20-22
Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.
Mt 16:27
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
1 Cor 3:8
The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
Col 3:23-24
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance.
James 2:24
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James 2:26
For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Rom 9:31-32
Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, did not attain to that law ... because they did it not by faith, but as if it could be done by works.
Gal 3:11
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for "the one who is righteous by faith will live."
The Bible declares that salvation is a gift of God alone and constantly reaffirms that faith has a primary role in that salvation.
Eph 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.
Heb 6:1
Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God,
Heb 9:14
... how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
2 Tim 1:9
He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Titus 3:4-5
... the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy.
Rom 3:27-28
What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Gal 2:16
Martin Luther, one leader of the Protestant Reformation.
(We) know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
It clearly states in the Bible that we are saved by our Faith and work, not only faith.  The Bible indicates that it is wrong to disturb the balance of works expressing a life of faith. Man is not saved by faith alone.   On January 13, 1547, this constant teaching of the Catholic Church was clearly restated.

The Council of Trent (1545–63)
Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. VIII
When the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, "without which it is impossible to please God" and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification. For, "if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise," as the Apostle says, "grace is no more grace."
Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. XVI
Therefore, to men justified in this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received or recovered it when lost, are to be pointed out the words of the Apostle: "Abound in every good work, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shown in his name"; and "Do not lose confidence, which hath a great reward." Hence, to those who work well "unto the end" and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits.
The Catholic Church has never taught we "earn" our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can't earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17). The Reformer's teachings cannot be reconciled with the Bible. I guess Luther skipped these verses during his Reformation.
God Bless you all.