miss understanding of Catholics
In this article I am going to talk about various miss conceptions Protestants have about Catholic; and it’s not their fault, it’s how others, both Pastor and third party friends who spread errors and hate for the Catholic Church. You were not born knowing the truth, what you think is the truth is what you were told, without proof or evidence, from family members, relatives, friends and even the pastor of your church who himself was taught wrong. When you ask these people were you ever in a Catholic Church and study with them? To your surprise you find out that 99% will tell you no. they know what they were told by others, and those others were told by others etc. You must maintain an open mind and heart and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
I have found out in my life experience that people hear only what they want to hear and believe only what they want to believe and turn blind eye to the truth, even when they read the truth from the Holy Scriptures themselves.
1. Miss conception of graven images of God’s second commandments.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
Understanding: If you carefully read this law, God commands not to carved images of anything that is above in heaven (Bird in the sky), or anything on earth (animals & insects), and anything that is in the water under the earth (Fish and sea creatures). We shall not bow down to them and worship them as gods. God does not command that we make no carved image of what believe to be God the Father, or of Jesus His Son, or of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.
Catholics do not worship statues or Icons, they respect what they represents and venerates (honor) them. Statues remind us of ancient events that has happen and they establish and strengthen our faith. Icons are pictures of holy events and each icons tells a story of those events and they have nothing to do with worship. When I stand before the statue of Mary, mother of Jesus I am reminded of the great honor Mary was given her to bear the Son of God, and I call Mary “Blessed Mother” as it commands me in the New Statement (Luke 1: 44-55
2. Protestant incorrect understanding of Matthew 23:8-10
"Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven" (Matt. 23:9).
Understanding: Protestants say that Catholic are not following Jesus commandment on “Call no man father.” Out of ignorance Protestants go around telling other people that Catholics are sinning calling their priest fathers, yet they themselves sin by calling the man who is their biological father and head of the family “father.” The problem with Protestants theologians is that they take this passage literal instead of spiritually. A careful examination of the context of Matthew 23 shows that Jesus didn’t intend for his words here to be understood literally. You can’t just pick out from a passage that which supports your ideology, you must include the entire passage. "But you are not to be called ‘rabbi,’ for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called ‘masters,’ for you have one master, the Christ" (Matt. 23:8–10).
We are safe to say that the imperative "call no man father" does not apply to one’s biological father. It also doesn’t exclude calling one’s ancestors "father," as is shown in Acts 7:2, where Stephen refers to "our father Abraham," or in Romans 9:10, where Paul speaks of "our father Isaac."
Common sense: Call no man “rabbi” which in English means “teacher” yet we have thousands of Catholic and Protestants school teachers. Call no man “father” yet both Catholic and Protestants call their patients father and mother. Call no man “master” yet thousands college graduate receive the title (name) of “master” in earning their degree from college, for they are the master of that subject they earned their degree in. Through common sense we can see that Protestant theologian got the passage of Matthew 23:8-10 wrong.
Catholic priests are a priesthood of spiritual fathers and St. Paul says it right “"I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:14–15).
3. Protestants incorrect understanding about Catholic priests authority to forgive sins.
Understanding: I have studied with Protestant pastors and theologian of various denomination, assembly of God, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Jehovah witness, Seventh Day od Adventist, and at no time did any of these Church ever study the Bible passage of St. John 20:21-23 “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and who’s soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit gave the twelve Apostles the authority to forgive sins, and this authority was passed onto their appointed bishops (overseers) of the Church. Had they not done this the Christian Church would not have survived to this day. At the time of Christ all pagan religions had male and female gods, priests and priestess, and no pagan religion ever offered forgiveness of sins. Only the God of Israel forgave sins through animal sacrifices and Christian Church through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. These bishop passed on this authority to other bishop before they were killed by the Roman Empire for their faith. In the Catholic Church sins are forgiven in two ways 1.) At the beginning of Mass where you confess your sins between you and God, silently and then the priest forgives you by the power of the Holy Spirit that works through the bishop first then to the priest who is in common with the bishop and 2.) Private confession with a priest who absolves you of your sins and should also offer you advice on how not to commit that sin again. The Holy Scriptures says “Confess your sins one to another” (James 15:16) KJV, then why not to an ordained priest who has the power to forgive you?
When you go to your bedroom and kneel down and confess your sins before God, are you sure that you are forgiven? You can say yes out of faith but there will always be room for doubt in the back of your mind, and that’s just being human and God knows that; and that’s why he gave priests the authority to forgive sins. When you confess your sins before a priest and he absolves you of your sins and you hear him say you are forgiven, you will know 100% that you are forgiven. It’s hearing that voice that makes you believe that you are forgiven, it add comfort to your faith.
4. Protestant confusion about praying to Mary, the Apostles and to other saints.
Understanding: Are their saints in heaven we can pray to for help, and the answer is yes. Did not “Enoch” walk with God 300 years and then he was no more for God took him? Was not Elijah taken up to heaven in a Chariot of fire? Did not Elijah and Moses appeared to Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration? Who knows how many others are not in heaven that the Holy Scriptures do not talk about. Jesus truly loved his mother “Mary” for he created her, and she took good care of him, protected him, and felt the pain he did when he died on the cross Luke 2:35 then why is it wrong to believe that Jesus took, upon her death, his mother “Mary” up into heaven to be with him, did not Jesus so loved his mother? It is not a sine to believe that Mary is in heaven, and it’s not a sine to not to believe; but it gives great comfort to many people who do believe.
As the Holy Scripture teaches us, those in heaven are aware of our prayers. This is found in Revelation 5:8, where John tells of the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us”. These prayer go to Jesus for Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man. Catholics know that the saints they pray to are not mediators, for only one the true mediator and that is Jesus Christ (I Tim. 2:5).
5. Protestant are confused about why Catholic Bibles have more books than the Protestant Bible.
Understanding: The Catholic Bible has 27 book in the New Testaments and the Protestant Bible has the same 27 book in their Bible. The Protestant Bible has 39 books in the Old Testament and the Catholic have 53 books in their Bible, that 14 more books the Protestant don’t have, why? It’s simple, the Protestant Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew Manuscript called “Masoretic Text.” In the Catholic Bible the Old Testament is translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) manuscript.
Septuagint: The Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta "translation of the seventy interpreters", Greek: "translation of the seventy." However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term Septuaginta. The Roman numeral LXX (seventy) is commonly used as an abbreviation, as are. Seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. The Septuagint has the 14 books in Greek taken from the Hebrew manuscript available at that time, the same books that the Catholic Old Testament has. The Protestants did not accept the Greek translation Old Testament they want the Hebrew manuscript.
Note: When they found the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 the same books not found in the Protestant Bible are found in the Dead Sea Scroll written in Hebrew. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD the Dead Sea Scrolls where hidden and other copies also survived, but not all copies. The Jewish “Masoretic text” are messing the 14 books found in the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Note: In the Catholic Bible the book of Psalm’s has 155 chapters and in the Protestant Bible the book of Psalms’ has150 chapters. The Protestants scholars says the Catholic added them but this is not true, because those same five chapters are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, written in Hebrew, making the Septuagint a very accurate manuscript.
6. The Protestants are always hung up on the word Catholic
Understanding: In the year 110 AD St. Ignatius was on his way to be killed in Rome for his faith. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote seven letter while traveling to Rome by overland, and the letter he wrote to the Smyrnaeans, in Chapter 8 he wrote “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” It on the internet you can read it yourself. Copy and paste link below. (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ignatius-smyrnaeans-longer.html
At the time of St. Ignatius there was no Roman Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church, but only one true Christian Church, the Catholic Church of which the “Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith” still practice what was founded by the Apostles. http://scjministry.vpweb.com/
The word Catholic comes to us from the Greek that means “Universal” the Christian Church was spreading fast throughout the Roman Empire and it was becoming universal.
7. Protestants are confused about the Catholic teaching of the Holy Eucharist and the real present of Christ in the bread and wine.
Understanding: The use of the word “Eucharist” is not found in the Bible. It was a word used by the early Church Father to describe the last supper Jesus Christ established for us so he may live within us. As God rest upon the Ark of the Covenant so God may be with his people; so Jesus is in the Holy Eucharist so he may live within us, to keep us strong in our faith, to protect us from harm and danger, to help keep us from sinning.
Ancient Writing: These writings were written by men who knew the Apostles and their teachings. We know that St. Ignatius studied with John the Apostle. Protestants are told not to read the writings of these early Church Father for they may find out the truth and that they have been believing in a lie taught to them by a false Church.
In the Didache(c. 90 A.D.) And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs. ( 9:1-5)
St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.): They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)
St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 - 165 A.D.): For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)
St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 - 202 A.D.): When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE -- flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST… (Against Heresies 5:2:2-3)
Warning to Protestants
At the beginning, Paul was persecuting the Christian and his wise mentor “Gamaliel the Elder” told Paul not persecute them for if their message comes from God you will never be able to put them down and you find yourself at war with God (Acts 5:39) The Catholic Church has been here since the beginning of the Church by the Apostles some 2000 years old and still here. The Protestant Churches have been around some 499 years, and they might fight out in the end that they are fighting against God himself, for leaving the true Church and starting their own.
The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church was found by Jesus Christ and his Apostles.
The Lutheran Church was found by Martin Luther
The Methodist Church was founds by John Wesley
The Presbyterian Church was founded by Reformed Protestantism
Reformed Protestantism Church founded by John Calvin
The Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith
The Jehovah Witness Church was founded by Joseph F. Rutherford
The Church of England (Anglican) by found by King Henry the VIII
The Episcopal Church is a branch of Anglican Church
The Assembly of God Church is branch of Pentecostal
The Pentecostal Church was founded by Charles Parham
As for me and my family, we belong to the Church Jesus Christ started with his Apostles “The Catholic “Church.