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God Vs Religion – The Catholic Church

The Catholic religion has been around just about as long as Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven, they have some of the most beautiful cathedrals. I remember walking into the one in New York after the attack on September 11, 2001, so big and beautiful, filled with worshipers that came from all over the world to see it.

The world associates Christianity with the Catholic religion, in fact, it is the center of it, from the pope who rules to the church itself, when most people hear the word Christian, they think Catholic. In fact, according to Encyclopedia Britannica online, Roman Catholicism, is the spiritual force in the history of Western civilization, it along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, is one of the three major branches of Christianity.

When And Who Founded The Church?

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church in 33 AD, and that Jesus appointed the Apostle Peter as the first pope. They draw this conclusion when around 45 AD, Peter went to Rome and assumed control of the church. During the persecution of Christians by the emperor Nero, Peter was imprisoned and scourged. He gave his farewell blessing to all of his flock, and especially to Paul, who was going to be beheaded the same day outside of Rome. He was then led to the top of Vatican Mountain to be executed by crucifixion. Deeming himself to be unworthy to die in the same position as our Lord, he asked to be crucified upside down, in which it was granted and he later died on June 29, 67 AD.

For the next 300 years, Rome would begin serious persecution against the Christians, it was so bad they began to meet behind closed doors, forming a church, and before the end of the century bishops led the church, with a group of elders under him.

In 306, Constantine became sole emperor of Rome, his mother Helena became a Christian and urged him to ease up on persecuting Christians. After some consideration, he decided that Christianity would be a state religion, but noticing much division in the church, he decided to call a meeting, held in Nicaea, May of 325 AD to discuss and unite over the issues that divided the church. Three hundred eighteen bishops assembled and established the Nicene Creed. Several doctrines were also decreed, The Oneness of Deity, Easter to be celebrated on the same day. Preachers not to be married, Certain meats not to be eaten on Sunday by bishops, and a greater recognition was to be given to the bishops of Antioch, Constantinople, Alexandria, Rome, and Jerusalem. These bishops would be patriarchs, and all authority would be under them. Then in the year 606 AD, Boniface III was given the title “universal bishop,” also known as the pope of Rome.

What Does The Church Believe?

According to Catholic.org, Man is raised to the supernatural order only by grace, a free gift of God. The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. Besides believing what God has revealed, we must keep His law in addition to these things. The Ten Commandments of God, The Chief Commandments or Laws, of the Church, To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation, To fast and abstain on the days appointed, To confess our sins at least once a year, To receive Holy Communion during the Easter time, To contribute to the support of the Church, To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

God gave the Law of Moses as a guide for not only Jews, but all believers who wanted God in their lives to follow. The first ten commandments were written by the finger of God Himself, they are actually the basis for us to follow the will of God for our lives. They are not, let alone any of these man made commands, what saves us, works do not nor ever have saved. Works are a product of our faith and obedience to God, not our salvation. Salvation comes from God alone, and is now through Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, no one else, no amount of fasting, communion, or even confession of sin will not save us. We need Christ to save us.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” – Romans 3:9-11,20-24.

And if you need some Old Testament Scripture to see this, here it is:
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” – Psalm 3:8.

And there is only one Authority over the church, and that is Jesus Christ.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” – Ephesians 5:23.

About The Bible:

According to catholic.com, the authority of the Bible depends on that of the Church. Then we use the Bible to prove the Church; we use it not as an inspired volume, but merely as a historical document. From the Gospels as historical documents we learn that Christ founded a Church, but the authority of the Gospels as inspired writings rests on the word of the Church.

We can define the Bible as “a collection of writings, which the Church of God has solemnly recognized as inspired” (Catholic Encyclopedia). What is the non-Catholic’s definition? Paul says, indeed: “All Scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). But he gives no list of Scriptures nor any method for discerning which they are.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

The Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God. The Bible does not say this, but it was penned down by forty men who were inspired by God to write down both what He wanted them to tell about Him and their own testimonies. Men like Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Paul, and John were all guided by God to tell His and their stories. You can take that verse, and the King James Bible says it this way, “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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – II Timothy 3:16-17.

The person saying that the Bible does not give us a list of Scripture for discerning what gives us reproof, which means to charge with a fault or censure, correction, or instruction on how God wants us to be has clearly not read the Bible, the entire book shows us how we may be perfect before God. And by the way, while none of us are perfect nor will ever be, we are perfect in Christ, who is our righteousness, and we need nothing else. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” – Romans 10:3-4.

About Sin:

According to the Catholic Pages, Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and the conscious, it is the failure to genuinely love God and our neighbor because of the lust for certain goods.

Sin is offending God, and turn our hearts away from Him, it is the love of oneself, and a contempt of God. Catholics are led to believe that there are two primary groups of sin, mortal, and venial. Mortal meaning things we do knowingly, and venial, things we do by our own nature.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

There is actually all sorts of rules that they come up with, even reasons as to why it is okay to sin in some instances, but I stopped it at this because we must understand that all sin comes with the same eternal punishment. Yes, there are some sins that are an abomination to God, but every sin is detestable to Him and carries the same eternal consequence, hell, if we are not saved. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” – Romans 3:23-25.

For a sin to be mortal, it must be committed with full knowledge, deliberate, and be grave, meaning deadly. In other words, it must be a serious sin, such as murder, theft, sexual sins, which include using contraception and fornication, and lying. Anyone committing these sins, knowing full well that they are grave matters and nevertheless deliberately commits the sin, commits a mortal sin, and are subject to hell.

Venial sins, are not subject to hell, but should be avoided as they separate us from God. Quoted from the Catholic Pages, “We are all called to Holiness and Perfection. Attachment to any sin, even venial sins, prevents us from attaining those goals. In addition, although we are washed of the stain of Original Sin in our baptisms, we are still left with the “Concupiscence” which our First Parents’ sin caused to become part of our human condition. Concupiscence is a tendency to sin. That is, without the grace of God, we tend naturally to sin against God. We must therefore call on God’s grace to resist sin and choose what is good. Without His Grace, we can do nothing on our own to merit salvation.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

While it is true that we can do nothing to merit salvation on our own, that is something we can only obtain by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. And we cannot wash away sin simply through being baptized in some water, we need be baptized with Jesus Christ to have our sins washed away. ““Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” – Colossians 2:12-13.”

About Jesus: According to Catholic.org, Jesus Christ is God the Son, who became man for us. Jesus Christ is truly God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, the Eternal Word, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit always was, is, and always will be. Jesus Christ was not always man but he became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. God the Son became man to free us from sin and open to us the way to Heaven and everlasting life with God. Jesus was anointed by God the Father to be our Saviour.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

The majority of their belief in Christ is correct, God sent Jesus in the form of man to make redemption permanent once and for all, and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” – Hebrews 10:1-6.

About Salvation: In order to be saved, all persons who have attained the use of reason must believe explicitly that God exist and that he rewards the good and punishes the wicked; in practice they must also believe in the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Believing that God exists or that Jesus walked the earth does not save is, none of these things mentioned works, believing in the Trinity, or believing that Jesus was born of a virgin does not save us. We are only saved by grace when we believe in the Gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, and never sinned. And trust that He is truly our only way to heaven. We must also confess that we are sinners and need Him to save us, and personally accept Him as our Saviour. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” – Romans 10:9-12.

About The Trinity: By the Blessed Trinity we mean one and the same God in three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

This is correct, God is three persons in one, meaning God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit). He is omnipotent and omnipresent, giving Him the ability to be all three persons at the same time. If we want to go into terms that give us visuals, think of man who has is in a family and is married with children of his own.

1. He is a father to his children.

2. He is a son to his parents.

3. He is a husband to his wife.

All three of these represent three different people, yet he is the same person.

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” – I John 5:6-8.

The Word is Jesus Christ Himself.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” – John 1:1,14-17.

About Heaven: To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. Man must know, love and serve God in a supernatural manner in order to gain happiness of heaven.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

This is completely false, there is only one way to heave and that is Jesus Christ.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6.

About Hell:

According to catholicaction.com, hell exists as does Heaven. Hell was created primarily for the fallen angels who rebelled against God and fought the Archangel Michael. Human beings have the potential or possibility of going to Hell because we also have the possibility and potential to go to Heaven (by God’s grace).

Particular Judgment occurs immediately after a person dies and their soul is separated from their bodies. The soul is judged and if the person dies with an unforgiving, unrepentant mortal sin, they go directly to hell for eternity. Lucifer and the other bad angels were cast into hell after they rebelled against the dominion of the will of God. They preferred to be masters of their own destiny rather than be happy as servants of the Lord.

Hell is the eternal separation from God and it is utter and sheer loneliness. No matter how many demons, devils or damned souls are in hell, everyone there is totally isolated from each other and most of all from God, who is love.

While the Church can infallibly declare someone in heaven as a Saint, she has never pronounced or declared any particular person to be in hell. That is because the Divine Mercy of God is awesome and mysterious. There is a possibility of any sinner being able to repent of their sins and seek the forgiveness of God. There is also, sadly, the possibility of a sinner being obstinate and freely rejecting the grace of repentance. That is why hell is possible for anyone and must be avoided at all costs.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

While it is true that hell is just as real as heaven and is reserved for the devil, his angels, and all sinners who have not repented. And it is true that hell truly is eternal separation from everyone else in hell, the rest is false.

Okay, here is the story, and it comes directly from the Bible, Lucifer was an archangel, but he was not satisfied with that, he wanted to be God, and he gathered some angels with him and there was a war in heaven. Lucifer and these angels were cast out of heaven, but does not reside in hell right now, he is walking about causing havoc on everyone in the world. God allows him to reach some part of the heavens to converse with Him. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” – Job 1:6-7.

The fallen angels are in hell, reserved there, awaiting the return of Jesus for judgment themselves. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” – II Peter 2:4.

Hell is a real place, and it is more than eternal separation from God and utter darkness, it is literally a fiery furnace of torture, not only that, they can see those in heaven and their loved ones on the earth, and if they could they would get a hold of every single person they know on earth and tell them about hell, they would. “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” – Luke 16:24-26.

In regards to a sinner that needs to repent of moral sin in order to get into heaven, this is also incorrect. Repent; Applied to the Supreme Being, to change the course of providential dealings. The course for every sinner, whether it is a sin that was committed knowingly or out of ignorance is hell. There is no escaping hell unless we are good, which means perfect. And since we are not perfect repenting of a sin will not save us. It is good to repent of sin, to feel such deep sorrow over it that you turn away from it, but that is not what saves us from hell. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10-12.

Since God loves all mankind and knows that there are none good, He made a way for a soul to repent, to change the course of hell for the sinner, and that was redemption. Redemption is to be pardoned from sin. Now, before Jesus came here in the flesh to pardon those who come to Him for redemption a temporary blood sacrifice was used. This we know was in the form of an unblemished (perfect) animal, the sinner would offer the living animal to God, and then in turn God would pardon them, but Jesus made that redemption permanent when He went to the cross. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” – Hebrews 9:11-12.

About Baptism:

According to the Catholic Pages, there are two primary categories of sin: mortal sin and venial sin. Mortal sin by a baptized person removes the person from the State of Grace and therefore denies them the reward of Heaven. A baptized person who dies with mortal sin on their soul will go to Hell. Venial sin, on the other hand, while it requires us to do satisfaction for our sin and is deserving of punishment, does not bring us eternal punishment.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Water baptism does not remove sin, only Jesus Christ does that, and He did that with His blood. The only way we are cleaned from sin is by confessing to Jesus that we are a sinner, that we believe in His sinless death, burial, and resurrection, and confess that we are only trusting in Him for our salvation. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” – Romans 10:9-12.

Water baptism is a profession of our faith in Christ, it does not save us nor is required in addition to our salvation. However, we do need a spiritual baptism. The second we believe in and receive Christ as our Saviour we are baptized in Him, redeemed forever. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” – Colossians 2:12-13.

All the information I obtained and listed here, came directly from Catholic.org, catholicpages.com, and catholicaction.com

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