A lot of Christians lately are giving in to false beliefs, all because of pressure to please, either from the media, the culture, or what the church leaders feels. Despite the fact that there's many Bible verses warning on giving in to what the world believes and teaches, that we are to be separate from the world and it's beliefs, many Christians change their mind about things that have always been taught, in the name of peace, love, and getting along with everyone.
On homosexual's, some Christians are accepting them and their lifestyle, only because the media and culture has pressured them to do it. Even when I can see no other reason since the push for acceptance and getting everyone to sympathize with them and not being able to marry each other has started happening around the mid to late 90s. Rob Bell has done it. Recently one of the members of Jars Of Clay has done it. Certain other big name Christians are accepting the homosexual lifestyle as normal. It makes me wonder, what was their opinion of homosexuals 20-30 years ago? Did they approve of them then also? Or did they just give in to the pressure to accept their lifestyle because for the past decade the media has been demanding us to accept them? Wouldn't that mean the Christians and anyone who accepts homosexuals as normal would have to admit they were manipulated? And now Christians get attacked, lose their jobs, get called bigots over following what God has always taught them. The media and the world didn't even care so much for homosexuals until about a decade ago.
The book "After The Ball: How America will conquer it's fear & hatred of Gays in the 90's" by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen goes into detail on how to manipulate the public into accepting the homosexual lifestyle, especially on slick marketing campaigns and how to make people feel guilty on being against homosexuality. It's a book out of print, and kind of hard to find at a good price, but it's worth getting a copy if you can find it. What's really interesting is, most homosexuals have never heard of this book, even though on the cover it says it's a best seller.
On the belief that Christians think the U.S. is a Christian nation, and that we can do no wrong, that is a very dangerous way of thinking. To me, the U.S. is not meant to police the world. It's not a Christian nation, never was, never will be. Even though our country is filled with Christians, we have not made a positive impact in the world or set an example on how to think and believe as a Christian nation would. Our culture is filled with non-Christian things. We are supposed to put our love of Jesus before our country and we are supposed to expose the corruption our non Christian government does. Our military has gotten into the affairs of other countries, sometimes with bad results. We believe God is on our side just because of that belief we are a Christian nation and that we support Israel. What about other countries centuries ago throughout Europe that believed that God was on their side? I think the history has had consequences and maybe it's why Christianity in Europe is shrinking. Even our own countries history has shown we have persecuted Native Americans, Asians, Blacks and other minorities in the name of converting them to Christianity or because they were different and some kind of a threat.
The book "Myth Of A Christian Nation: How The Quest For Political Power is Destroying The Church" by Gregory A. Boyd goes into more detail on this. I recommend it.
Lots of Christians lately have given in to Catholic beliefs, in the name of unity. Even with the false teachings, the worship of idols and relics, the rituals and festivals, the history of bloodshed, the connections with corrupt politicians, the abuse scandals and much more, many mainstream Christian leaders are giving in to the Pope and the Catholic churches beliefs. They like to say some kind of positive thing about the Pope, even when they don't really do anything and are just men. They think joining with Catholics will make the world a better place. So much of what the Catholics believe and do is not mentioned in the Bible or is twisted out of context.
I don't know a whole lot of books that show what's wrong with Catholicism, but I did like "Reasoning From The Scriptures With Catholics" by Ron Rhodes, from what I have read of it at my church bookstore.
Compromise has hurt Christianity badly. There are so many blogs and videos online exposing people who have compromised God's word, just to please people or themselves.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). That time is now. There's far more compromise than ever before with Christians. I think it's going to get worse, especially when the Antichrist and False Prophet deceive the Christians who are not awake.
More info on compromise from a Biblical standpoint here: www.gotquestions.org/Bible-com…
Anti-Catholic writer Loraine Boettner, in his book Roman Catholicism, makes the blanket statement, "God has forbidden the use of images in worship" (281). Yet if people were to "search the scriptures" (cf. John 5:39), they would find the opposite is true. God forbade the worship of statues, but he did not forbid the religious use of statues. Instead, he actually commanded their use in religious contexts!
God Said To Make Them
People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: "And you shall make two cherubim of gold [i.e., two gold statues of angels]; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be" (Ex. 25:18–20).
David gave Solomon the plan "for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all, all the work to be done according to the plan" (1 Chr. 28:18–19). David’s plan for the temple, which the biblical author tells us was "by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all," included statues of angels.
Similarly Ezekiel 41:17–18 describes graven (carved) images in the idealized temple he was shown in a vision, for he writes, "On the walls round about in the inner room and [on] the nave were carved likenesses of cherubim."
The Religious Uses of Images
During a plague of serpents sent to punish the Israelites during the exodus, God told Moses to "make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live" (Num. 21:8–9).
One had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations.
Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.
If one measured Protestants by the same rule, then by using these "graven" images, they would be practicing the "idolatry" of which they accuse Catholics. But there’s no idolatry going on in these situations. God forbids the worship of images as gods, but he doesn’t ban the making of images. If he had, religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things would be banned. But, as the case of the bronze serpent shows, God does not even forbid the ritual use of religious images.
It is when people begin to adore a statue as a god that the Lord becomes angry. Thus when people did start to worship the bronze serpent as a snake-god (whom they named "Nehushtan"), the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4).
What About Bowing?
Sometimes anti-Catholics cite Deuteronomy 5:9, where God said concerning idols, "You shall not bow down to them." Since many Catholics sometimes bow or kneel in front of statues of Jesus and the saints, anti-Catholics confuse the legitimate veneration of a sacred image with the sin of idolatry.
Though bowing can be used as a posture in worship, not all bowing is worship. In Japan, people show respect by bowing in greeting (the equivalent of the Western handshake). Similarly, a person can kneel before a king without worshipping him as a god. When David bowed before Saul in 1st Samuel 24:8, was he worshipping him? Of course not!
In the same way, a Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it. At my Church, I am sometimes overcome with the Holy Spirit, and I kneel before the altar at the front, specifically, facing the cross hanging on the wall. I may be kneeling before the cross or looking at it as I pray, but does that mean I'm praying to it or worshipping it? Of course not! I am simply using it as a reminder to focus on the Cross, and in so doing, focus on the Lord.
Catholics do not worship statues, because only God is deserving of adoration. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is adamant in affirming this (CCC 2112–2114). When a Catholic bows to a statue, he is not worshiping it any more than King Solomon worshiped Bathsheba when he bowed to her in 1 Kings 2:19. In other words, the honor given to images does not detract from the honor that is due to God. After all, if one member of the body is honored, the others should share in its joy (1 Cor 12:26).
If someone enters your house, he should expect to find a picture of your mother. So, when someone walks into a Catholic Church—the household of God—he should not be surprised to find a picture of the mother of God, along with the rest of the heavenly family!
In giving the Israelites a beautiful temple strewn with images (1 Kgs 6), God acknowledged the reason why he gave us our senses: to use them to worship him in spirit and truth.
Finally, one should always keep in mind that up until the Reformation, there was only one main church, the Catholic Church (and the Orthodox, but by your logic, they would also be considered idolatrous, so it doesn't matter). If there was only one church before the reformation, then it must be the only one Jesus founded, the original Christian church. Besides, if the Catholic church was actually idolatrous, that would mean Christ had allowed His church to flounder with no option but sin (in the form of idolatry) for an additional 1500 years after His sacrifice on the cross. I'm sorry, but that does not sound like the Jesus I know. The Jesus I know came to die so that we all could be free from sin, and found His church to further protect us from sin, not encourage it.
Also, why are there festivals around the world that have a statue of Mary paraded in the streets, filled with thousands of people?
You can read about Catholics and the making of statues here. Even God in the Old Testament commanded the making of statues. Ever hear of the Ark of the Covenant? It makes sense the Mary also became the new Ark because she bore Jesus.
If I may ask, you have a whole gallery dedicated to exposing false preachers. Did you by chance do one of the false preacher Alberto Rivera?
Just because we pray to Mary, the angels and Saints does not mean we worship them. In fact, the Church has strictly condemned any form of idolatry in the past and it does so to this day so that alone pretty much kills any claim of Catholics worshipping idols.
We only give Mary the honor she deserves for her "yes" to God. Mary was honored by Elizabeth.
• Luke 1:43
Even angels honored Mary
• Luke 1:28-30
As for Catholics worshipping statues, this is simply not true. The statues of Jesus, Mary, the angels and saints serve only as reminders much like how a photograph serves as a reminder of a loved one.
One of the persons I argued with even said Catholics treat crosses as magical charms. I told him this is not true and he said "We don't care what you RCs claim!" If that statement wasn't an act of pride than tell me what is?
With that said, Catholics do not worship anyone but God. Our Church has never turned to idolatry nor will it do so. Remember, we only honor Mary, the angels and saints.
If you guys don't worship Mary and the saints, then why do all the Catholics pray in front of figurines of them? Sometimes even little shrines are used. Why do you need a statue or figurine of them to remind you to pray to them? Why are there festivals around the world that parade giant Mary statues on the streets? Catholics sometimes even do the same with the bodies of certain people rather then keep them buried or their body parts, like keeping hands, fingers, and other body parts like they are relics. Why does Mary seem to get more attention than Jesus, especially in paintings and other artwork?
Mary was given honor by Elizabeth and the angels because she was the chosen vessel to deliver Jesus. But many Catholics have gone as far as to say she's the mother of God and they have all this respect for her, when the Bible doesn't go into much detail on her personality and character.
Asking for the saints to pray for us does not elevate them to a divine status. If it does, as you claim, then asking our fellow Christian brethren to pray for us is to also elevate such humans to a divine status. This is because asking Mary or the saints to pray for us is the exact same thing as asking our friends to pray for us.
Also, I said it is a reminder to us as it would to you with your loved one. I didn't say it would remind us to pray. The same way you wouldn't need a photo to remember that you have a loved one but you have it anyway.
Well isn't the one who gave birth to you your mother? Who do you think gave birth to Jesus, Nicki Minaj? Of course she is the Mother of God. She was honored, is honored and will always be honored for that, she deserves it after all that she went through for God's sake. The woman isn't a paperbag to use and discard (forget), she deserves a lot more respect than that.
And about the rest you claim, I have been looking forward to someone asking such a question.. I have recently came across an article which i saved which asks almost the same thing and answers it as well... Happy Reading!
"Distorted Devotions – Do Catholics Honor Mary Too Much?"
By Dwight Longenecker
Please read and understand.
What do you do when a Protestant Christian challenges Catholic devotion to Mary as being excessive and distorted? My favorite correspondent came up with some Catholic quotes that were real showstoppers. Among others he quoted Pope Pius IX who, inUbi Primum,[i], wrote these words in praise of Mary:
From our earliest years nothing has ever been closer to our heart than devotion--filial, profound, and wholehearted--to the most blessed Virgin Mary. Always have We endeavored to do everything that would redound to the greater glory of the Blessed Virgin, promote her honor, and encourage devotion to her…. Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of hermerits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God. Her foot has crushed the head of Satan. Set up between Christ and His Church, Mary, ever lovable and full of grace, always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and from the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin…. The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary.
My Protestant friend made the point that if Pius IX’s references to Mary were replaced by references to Jesus Christ, the quote would be uncontroversially Christian. As it is, he protested, it says things of Mary that should be said only of God. Was it true that nothing was closer to Pius IX’s heart than devotion to Mary? Could it be true that the foundation of all [his] confidence” is Mary? Is it really through her that we obtain “every hope, every grace and all salvation”?
On the face of it, this is rather difficult to answer. Pius IX’s words do seem excessive. But when you put them into context the emphasis changes. First of all, the quotation in question is part of Pius IX’s letter to the world bishops consulting with them about the wisdom of defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In other words, he is speaking within a Marian document. Second, Pius IX is expressing his own opinion and love for Mary. He is not making a formal doctrinal pronouncement. Third, this statement has to be placed within the context of the whole worship and life of the church. Taken on its own it sounds like Pius IX worships Mary. Taken in its context its clear that he doesn’t. When the words are read closely it is clear that he is referring ultimately to Jesus Christ. He is the foundation who is found “in Mary.” Jesus Christ is the one who is the source for “every hope, every grace and all salvation” and he comes to us through Mary.
Pius IX’s words can be explained, but there are two underlying points to remember when discussing Marian devotion with non-Catholics. First of all, if we are confronted with florid language about the Blessed Virgin we mustn’t apologise. Devotion to Mary has been part of the worship of the Church from the earliest days. There are many examples of what might seem like excessive language about Mary from the first centuries of the church. Here is just one sample from the writings of Athanasius:
O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all. O [Ark of the New] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides. Should I compare you to the fertile earth and its fruits? You surpass them…If I say that heaven is exalted, yet it does not equal you…If we say that the cherubim are great, you are greater than they, for the cherubim carry the throne of God while you hold God in your hands.[ii]
Protestant Christians look to Athanasius as a hero of the faith. He’s the one who defended orthodoxy against the heretics. He’s the one who stood up against the whole world in defence of the Christology that Protestant Christians embrace today. If some Christians object to Catholic veneration of Mary as being excessive or distorted then they are not only disagreeing with Pope Pius IX in 1849 but also with Athanasius in the fourth century.
Furthermore, proper devotion to the Blessed Virgin was considered to be a sign of a proper understanding of the Incarnation and a full devotional life for Jesus Christ. It may not be those who honor Mary, but those who neglect her who are distorting the historic faith. Those who dishonor Mary should pay attention to Epiphanius who also writes from the fourth century that “who dishonors the holy vessel [Mary] also dishonors his Master”.[iii]
The main problem with the Protestant criticism of Catholic devotion to Mary is their basic mindset. They see the whole question in terms of “either-or” not “both-and”. Because Catholics venerate Mary, non-Catholics assume that this devotion must take the place of proper devotion to the Lord Jesus. A powerful analogy can be used to show non-Catholics how strange this seems to Catholics.
If an Evangelical Christian believes that devotion to Mary replaces proper devotion to Jesus ask him to imagine what it would be like if he discovered that another Christian group thought Evangelicals were in grave error because of their emphasis on the Bible. Ask him to imagine that these fictional Christians accuse Evangelicals of neglecting Jesus because of their devotion to the Bible.
These hypothetical Christians say, “You evangelicals stress the Bible to the neglect of Jesus. You call your churches ‘Bible’ churches and have ’Bible’ colleges instead of ‘Christian’ churches and colleges. Inside your church you don’t have pictures of Jesus, you don’t have any crucifixes; and you don’t have the Stations of the Cross. Instead, all you have is a big central pulpit to preach the Bible.”
The accusers could go on and point out that “The New Testament says the early Christians ‘devoted themselves … to the breaking of the bread’ (Acts 2:42) and that the way to remember Jesus and proclaim his death is through the Eucharist (1 Cor. 11:24-26); yet you Evangelicals have the Lord’s Supper once a month, or even less often, and the main feature of your church service is a long Bible sermon. You have removed the cross of Christ and replaced it with the Bible.”
These accusers say, “You Evangelicals even have a formal doctrine named sola Scriptura. This man-made dogma is a later distortion and addition to the Christian faith—something that is unheard of both in the Scriptures themselves and in the early church. This dogma (which you treat as infallible) states that the Bible and not Jesus is the only source of Truth. You teach your children to memorize Bible verses instead of receiving Jesus in communion. You teach them to sing, ‘The B-I-B-L-E, / Yes that‘s the book for me. / I stand alone on the word of God….’ Notice how they are not to stand alone on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11), but on the Bible instead! Evangelical preachers say that there is no way anyone can come to God without believing the Bible. They declare their undying love for the Bible instead of Jesus. They say how their lives are totally dedicated to preaching the Bible instead of the cross of Christ.”
If someone were to make this charge a good Evangelical might well snort with dismay and bewilderment. How could someone so misunderstand his position? Surely they are doing it on purpose! The good Evangelical would patiently explain to his critic, “You have misunderstood completely. Sola Scriptura doesn’t set the Bible in opposition to Jesus. It does exactly the opposite: it helps us to glorify Jesus. Don’t you see that we love the Bible because it gives us access to our Savior? It’s true that we believe people need to know the Bible, but that’s because the written Word and the incarnate Word are inextricably intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. It is really Jesus we worship and proclaim through the Bible. If you just look at our whole practice and teaching with an open mind you would see how misguided and mistaken you really are.”
But the critic of the Evangelical won’t have it. He replies, “No, no. That all sounds very plausible, but you will never convince me. I just know that you worship the Bible instead of Jesus, and all your clever word play just goes to show how blind you really are.”
To prove his point, the critic then says, “I know you Evangelicals worship the Bible instead of Jesus. Just look at this quotation I found that proves it. This comes from an Evangelical one of your classic theological text books.
The Bible … has produced the highest results in all walks of life. It has led to the highest type of creations in the fields of art, architecture, literature, and music.… [Y]ou will find everywhere the higher influence of the Bible. … William E. Gladstone said, “If I am asked to name the one comfort in sorrow, the sole rule of conduct, the true guide of life, I must point to what in the words of a popular hymn is called ‘the old, old story,’ told in an old, old Book, which is God’s best and richest gift to mankind.” [iv]
“You see,” the critic continues with a flourish, “your famous Evangelical leader says that it is not Jesus, but the Bible that is his ‘one comfort’, his ‘true guide’, and ‘God’s best and richest gift to mankind’? It just shows that Evangelicals worship the Bible and not the Lord.”
Of course this is a ridiculous distortion of the Evangelical view, but the extended analogy may help Protestants understand how Catholics feel when they make similarly extreme charges about the Catholic devotion to Mary.
In the face of such charges Catholics reply, “Are you serious? How can you possibly make such a fundamental and basic mistake about what we believe? We don’t venerate Mary on her own, but because she has given us our Savior and because she constantly leads us to him. If you took time to study our whole teaching and practice you will see how this is true.”
In debate with non-Catholics we should admit that some Catholics may over-emphasize Mary, just like some Evangelicals may take extreme views on the Bible. But we should also admit that both Catholics and Protestants warn against such dangers, and as we ask them to understand our point of view we should also try to honestly understand theirs.
Dwight Longenecker is editor of The Path to Rome and co-author of Challenging Catholics—A Catholic-Evangelical Debate.
"While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." - Luke 11:27-28 (NIV)
Even Jesus said focus on God, instead of Mary.
Also, Catholics ARE Christians. We were the first church. Sure, we follow things that aren't in the bible, but heck, so do other churches.
But this world is not for us, be prepared for more rejection because it is only through this that we know that the truth is with us. People will reject the truth when they cannot understand it or loves anything more than the truth and only loves part of the truth when it shines warmly on them.
To be honest, I feel hurt and offended when people say things like this about us Catholics especially when we explain ourselves time and time and time again. It's obvious now that most of them simply don't like us, don't care to hear us out and are not interested in understanding our doctrines. They are not looking to get along with us, to them, we are evil and should be judged by them and they seem to be the gods sending us to hell *role eyes*. But we cannot retaliate with negativity... we are taught better than that, just so you know of course. We are to remain open minded and pray for unity under God like the Universal Christians we are..
Besides, I still have protestant friends and atheist friends who respect me and I respect them. I hope that you do too. According to our priest, Christians treat others well and while they are bashing us, we have to return love and turn the other cheek while continuously standing strong and defend what is ours. Just bare with all this my sibling of faith. The time will come to free us of this burden.
it's difficult but it's what we do. God Bless!
Lol, you shouldn’t trust Catholics simply because they have different doctrines from you? How does that make them untrustworthy people? FYI, Romans says that we should KILL people for being gay (Romans 1:26).
Romans 1:26 doesn't even mention killing gays whatsoever. Read the verses before that and it's about how God people who were guilty of sexual sins, but felt no guilt to get right, so God let them have their way. And mentions how the women choose to have sex with other women or things that are not normal.
"And most Catholics seem clueless on how to live like a Christian or on understanding the Bible." - Neither do you, you come off like a pretty judgemental person to me. You literally brush off an entire group of people as untrustworthy for being of a different faith from you. That's not Christian at all. Hey, at least a lot of the catholics I know aren't assholes to people because of what version of Christianity they believe in.
Still confused at how being catholic makes you an untrustworthy person? None of the things you list indicate that a person would be untrustworthy. Also, I use to live in Scotland, people were killed regulary because of sectarianism, so I don't take kindly to this demonizing horseshit. Boo hoo, their doctrine is different than yours. Get over it. It doesn't make them untrustworthy people.
I'm an atheist, I have lived in Scotland and witnessed the dangers of sectarianism first hand. Both denominations claim the other side is oppressive, selfish and totalitarian when in actually, both sides have commited a variety of atrocities. Thankfully, sectarianism is on the downslide since the end of the troubles. What this man (ArtNGame215) is saying, is that Catholics are greedy, selfish, liars. He's taking an active part in the bullshit sectarian divide. He would probably be appalled to know that sectarianism is on the downslide in the UK, he wants to add fuel to the fire. Probably inspired by Chick Tracts or his parents. It's an appalling black and white way to see the world.
This man makes me so angry. To add fuel to the flames of sectarianism, something I strongly doubt he's ever had any proper experience with, makes me so angry. Like I said, he's probably very sad that sectarianism is on the downfall in Ireland and the UK.
So much for all that love thy neighbour stuff huh?