Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Does the Catholic Church Teach "Doctrines of Demons?"
Catholic Answers ^ | July 21, 2013 | Tim Staples

Posted on 07/22/2013 2:45:09 PM PDT by NYer

Two days ago, we had a couple of converts to the Catholic Faith come by the office here at Catholic Answers to get a tour of our facility and to meet the apologists who had been instrumental in their conversions. One of the two gave me a letter she received from her Pentecostal pastor. He had written to her upon his discovery that she was on her way into full communion with the Catholic Church. She asked for advice concerning either how to respond or whether she should respond at all to the letter.

As I read through the multiple points her former pastor made, one brought back particular memories for me, because it was one of my favorites to use in evangelizing Catholics back in my Protestant days. The Catholic Church, he warned, teaches “doctrines of demons” according to the plain words of I Timothy 4:1-3:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

What is consecrated celibacy if not “forbid[ding] marriage?” And what is mandatory abstinence from meat during the Fridays of Lent if not “enjoin[ing] abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving?” So says this Pentecostal pastor. How do we respond?

Innocent on Both Charges

Despite appearances, there are at least two central reasons these claims fail when held up to deeper scrutiny:

1. St. Paul was obviously not condemning consecrated celibacy in I Timothy 4, because in the very next chapter of this same letter, he instructed Timothy pastorally concerning the proper implementation of consecrated celibacy with regard to “enrolled” widows:

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband . . . well attested for her good deeds. . . . But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge (I Tim. 5:9-11).

There is nothing ordinarily wrong with a widow remarrying. St. Paul himself made clear in Romans 7:2-3:

[A] married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. . . . But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she remarries another man she is not an adulterous.

Yet, the “widow” of I Timothy 5 is condemned if she remarries? In the words of Ricky Ricardo, St. Paul has some “splainin’ to do.”

The answer lies in the fact that the widow in question had been “enrolled,” which was a first-century equivalent to being “consecrated.” Thus, according to St. Paul, these “enrolled” widows were not only celibate but consecrated as such.

2. St. Paul was obviously not condemning the Church making abstinence from certain foods mandatory, because the Council of Jerusalem, of which St. Paul was a key participant in A.D. 49, did just that in declaring concerning Gentile converts:

For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity (Acts 15:28).

This sounds just like "enjoin[ing] abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving." So there is obviously something more to I Timothy 4 than what one gets at first glance.

What Was St. Paul Actually Calling “Doctrines of Demons?”

In A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, the 1953 classic for Scripture study, Fr. R.J. Foster gives us crucial insight into what St. Paul was writing about in I Timothy 4:

[B]ehind these prohibitions there may lie the dualistic principles which were already apparent in Asia Minor when this epistle was written and which were part of the Gnostic heresy.

Evidently, St. Paul was writing against what might be termed the founding fathers of the Gnostic movement that split away from the Church in the first century and would last over 1,000 years, forming many different sects and taking many different forms.

Generally speaking, Gnostics taught that spirit was good and matter was pure evil. We know some of them even taught there were two gods, or two “eternal principles,” that are the sources of all that is. There was a good principle, or god, who created all spirit, while an evil principle created the material world.

Moreover, we humans had a pre-human existence, according to the Gnostics, and were in perfect bliss as pure spirits dwelling in light and in the fullness of the “gnosis” or “knowledge.” Perfect bliss, that is, until our parents did something evil: They got married. Through the conjugal act perfectly pure spirits are snatched out of that perfect bliss and trapped in evil bodies, causing the darkening of the intellect and the loss of the fullness of the "gnosis." Thus, salvation would only come through the gaining, or regaining, of the “gnosis” that the Gnostics alone possessed.

Eating meat was also forbidden because its consumption would bring more evil matter into the body, having the effect of both keeping a person bound to his evil body and further darkening the intellect.

Thus, these early Gnostics forbade “marriage and enjoin[ed] abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving.”

If there are any remaining doubts as to whom St. Paul was referring as teaching "doctrines of demons," he tips his hand in his final exhortation in I Timothy 6:20-21:

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith. Grace be with you.

The Greek word translated above as “knowledge” is gnoseos. Sound familiar? The bottom line is this: St. Paul was not condemning the Catholic Church in I Timothy 4; he was warning against early Gnostics who were leading Christians astray via their “gnosis,” which was no true gnosis at all.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Evangelical Christian
KEYWORDS: demons; evil; exorcism; satan; timstaples
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 701-710 next last

1 posted on 07/22/2013 2:45:09 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/22/2013 2:45:39 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

>> Does the Catholic Church Teach “Doctrines of Demons?” <<

.
Yes!

Most assuredly so.

Particularly the mass, which is straight out of the Lake that burns.


3 posted on 07/22/2013 2:51:40 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Well, this is timely.....


4 posted on 07/22/2013 2:59:10 PM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: editor-surveyor
Oh, Goody.

You've confirmed beyond a doubt that the Catholic Church teaches the pure and unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ.

5 posted on 07/22/2013 3:00:21 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: editor-surveyor

I think it’s talking about the devil here.

Did you read the article?

**The Greek word translated above as “knowledge” is gnoseos. Sound familiar? The bottom line is this: St. Paul was not condemning the Catholic Church in I Timothy 4; he was warning against early Gnostics who were leading Christians astray via their “gnosis,” which was no true gnosis at all.**


6 posted on 07/22/2013 3:01:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Baptists do


7 posted on 07/22/2013 3:05:09 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard
You've confirmed beyond a doubt that the Catholic Church teaches the pure and unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ.

AND Mary.

8 posted on 07/22/2013 3:05:49 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer

bookmark


9 posted on 07/22/2013 3:06:32 PM PDT by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: editor-surveyor
Okay everyone, editor-surveyor has handed down his judgment — it is now official, the Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of demons.

Well, I'm sure glad we cleared that up.

10 posted on 07/22/2013 3:07:21 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: fwdude

You’re not particularly making sense.


11 posted on 07/22/2013 3:07:32 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NYer

All one needs to do is look at the pagan practices, vestments, and beliefs incorporated into the RCC to understand they teach the doctrines of demons.


12 posted on 07/22/2013 3:14:20 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

Mary is mentioned many times more than Christ in the RCC. Read the Rosary, if you doubt it.


13 posted on 07/22/2013 3:21:08 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: fwdude

ROFL!!!!!!


14 posted on 07/22/2013 3:23:04 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: editor-surveyor
Am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church myself and have no plans to convert to Roman Catholicism. I would probably be more inclined toward the Orthodox faith if I was for some reason forced to choose. But I do find many of these articles, by faithful Catholics, some of whom like this writer are converts, defending or at least discussing their beliefs very interesting. We have our disagreements but I recognize them as fellow Christians.

To the best of my knowledge the writer quoted scripture accurately and made a sound point about what Paul was referring to by "Doctrines of Demons" (the beginnings of Gnosticism - which I believe he also fairly and accurately described) in a 1st century context.

Calm and reasoned criticism would probably be accepted by the author with good grace and as a fair challenge. Your comment, on the other hand, was closer to a blood libel than anything remotely persuasive.

So if you don't mind (or even if you do) I'd like to modify your tag line: "editor-surveyor: Not as smart as he thinks he is"

15 posted on 07/22/2013 3:23:24 PM PDT by katana (Just my opinions)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

It’s tragic that you think the overt idolizing of Mary is funny.


16 posted on 07/22/2013 3:26:46 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Does the Catholic Church Teach “Doctrines of Demons?

I don't know but I'm not sure why popes have personal exorcist! If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit you cannot be possessed by a demon and have no need for a exorcist.
17 posted on 07/22/2013 3:28:30 PM PDT by ForAmerica (Texas Conservative Christian *born again believer in Jesus Christ* Black Man!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ForAmerica

The exorcist is not for the Pope, he is sent on directions from the Pope.


18 posted on 07/22/2013 3:29:45 PM PDT by TheThirdRuffian (RINOS like Romney, McCain, Dole are sure losers. No more!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: NYer

You know, when you post articles with provocative questions, expect to get shot at, especially when it elicits an answer.


19 posted on 07/22/2013 3:30:32 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear
My suggestion to you - first, acquire a bible. You can get one for free if you don't mind ebooks. Second, read these selected verses (kindly compiled by John Salza) while thinking about the Catholic mass.

PS Your argument is weak at its face. To say the Catholic Church is pagan because priests wear vestments is akin to saying the US military is a pagan organization because after all, the pagan Roman army wore uniforms too.

Gen. 14:18 Psalm 76:2 Psalm 110:4 Malachi 1:11 Exodus 12:14,17,24; cf. 24:8 Exodus 29:38-39 Lev. 19:22 Jer. 33:18 Zech. 9:15-16 2 Chron. 26:18 Gen. 22:9-13 Exodus 12:5 Exodus 12:7,22-23 Exodus 12:8,11 Exodus 12:43-45; Ezek. 44:9 Exodus 12:49 Exodus 12:47; Num. 9:12 Exodus 16:4-36; Neh 9:15 Exodus 24:9-11 Exodus 29:33 Lev. 7:15 Lev. 17:11,14 Gen. 9:4-5; Deut.12:16,23-24 2 Kings 4:43 2 Chron. 30:15-17; 35:1,6,11,13; Ezra 6:20-21; Ezek. 6:20-21 Neh. 9:15 Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40 Isaiah 53:7 Wis. 16:20 Sir. 24:21 Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3 Zech. 12:10 Zech. 13:1

20 posted on 07/22/2013 3:31:43 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 701-710 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson