Skip to comments.Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion
Posted on 05/12/2008 8:08:07 PM PDT by annalex
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I’m getting back into the swing of things. Will read this thoroughly tomorrow.
Happy Easter. Christ is risen!
Easter is too short. I have a few more conversion stories that I just cannot pass up.
Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Hauled Aboard the Ark
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Ladys Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
The Short Version (the Way International convert)
Shower of Roses-- An Independent, Fundamental Baptist Becomes Catholic Through Mary's Intecession
Confessions of a Catholic Convert
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY
Women's Ordination Was Non-Negotiable
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says
How to become a Catholic
For an article sourced from something titled “Biblical Evidence for Catholicism” I find an apparent lack of evidence, Biblical or otherwise.
The author makes his case on the basis that these ideas can coincide with what the Bible says. That’s no more authoritative than Buddhist’s claims that their religion is compatible with Christianity.
As much as I admire those zealous Catholics who oppose abortion and the homosexual agenda, and as much as I want to think of Catholics as my Christian brethren, postings like these tend to affirm the common Protestant criticisms of Catholicism rather than serve as the intended, effective apologetic.
Not one point is authoritatively supported by scripture, while many are outright contradictions to the clear teachings of the Bible. And the author cites the silence or apparent ambiguity of scripture, not as a difficulty in defending Catholic doctrine and practices, but as if this provides some sort of cover for their allowance.
The most egregious of errors promoted here is that Christ is not central to the doctrines or practices being advocated. Christ is what all scripture is about, and this is the key to understanding its meaning. Christ is the savior of mankind, including Mary.
To elevate her as THE channel of ALL grace is to twist and contort the plain meaning of scriptural teaching on grace beyond all recognition. It is in keeping with the disciples carnal behavior while still in their ignorance when they debated who would be the greatest. And it is like when Peter in his ignorance wanted to make tents for Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses, Elijah, the apostles and Mary are all great examples of faith. Yet, now that Christ’s identity has been revealed in His fullness, there is no room for anyone else to glory except in Him.
But this author is stuck in a carnal mindset that predates the Transfiguration, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Revelation of Christ.
What are you calling "authoritatively supported?" Protestant agreement?
Show me a Protestant system of "authentication" that would approve Peter's reading of Scripture in Acts 1:16 and following, THEN we'll talk about the worth of what you call authoritative support.
To elevate her as THE channel of ALL grace is to twist and contort the plain meaning of scriptural teaching on grace beyond all recognition. It is in keeping with the disciples carnal behavior while still in their ignorance when they debated who would be the greatest. And it is like when Peter in his ignorance wanted to make tents for Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses, Elijah, the apostles and Mary are all great examples of faith. Yet, now that Christs identity has been revealed in His fullness, there is no room for anyone else to glory except in Him.
When self is ultimate, when one's own will is the key to one's salvation, you realize pretty early that you're damned! It's too flimsy a reed to lean upon. Then, when puberty hits (every male reader know what I'm talking about) and your own thoughts and "observations" are mortal sins, the despair deepens. You start looking for shortcuts to heaven, for alternate paths to salvation -- and "find" them, in the maternal deity, the mother goddess, who can offer you the hope and assurance that God withholds.
Calvinism rejoices in a God who is at the center of the universe. We are liberated from the need to put humanity there -- either in person (autosoteriology) or by proxy (mariolatry).
“What are you calling ‘authoritatively supported?’ “
That would be, according to the named source, the Bible.
There is no singular Protestant creed. True believers, without regard to a particular local church they identify with, must hold the Bible as authoritative. This applies to anyone who claims to be Christian, whether they are or not.
“Show me a Protestant system of ‘authentication’ that would approve Peter’s reading of Scripture in Acts 1:16”
Jesus’ standard was when two or three agree together; that is achieved on the basis of their agreeing with His word. Note that in Acts 1:14, the early disciples were in such accord.
My point is that doctrines and practices advocated in this article are not supported in this article with Biblical evidence as the news source title might imply. The author does not because he cannot. The scriptures reprove such doctrines and practices.
I can think of no answer that would evince greater fatuity than this one. It goes without saying it is utterly hypocritical to claim something has no "authoritative support" from the Scripture when one can not show from the Scripture how this "support" is gained or forfeited.
True believers, without regard to a particular local church they identify with, must hold the Bible as authoritative. This applies to anyone who claims to be Christian, whether they are or not.
Where is this "rule" found in the Bible?
I'll give you a hint...it's not. It's nothing but a "tradition of men."
...that is achieved on the basis of their agreeing with His word.
So where is THIS rule in the Bible.
My point is that doctrines and practices advocated in this article are not supported in this article with Biblical evidence as the news source title might imply.
And my point is that yours aren't, either. The difference is the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church were authoritatively developed with the mechanisms Christ gave to the Church He founded, and yours are based on accusations contrived to justify rebellion against that Church and hermaneutics designed to facilitate same.
Nothing in this article that demonstrates a biblical basis for the assumption, the immaculate conception, etc.
It’s all “feeling” and “acceptance of authority.”
The way it comes across to me is: Because he feels the RC authority fits, then just accept everything the RC says, including mariology.
So, the bottom line remains. There is no biblical basis to the assumption and the immaculate conception.
That explains a lot right there since the right brain is the seat of the imagination not logic or rational thinking.
The concept is simple: Eve said "no" to God and Mary said "yes." Eve's choice led to the Fall, and Mary's led to the Incarnation and Redemption. She represented the human race (and for once we got it right). God wanted it to be that way. Human beings had fallen based on free choice and God wanted them to be redeemed by a free choice as well (as opposed to being declared saved apart from their free will).
Now there is a right-brained illogical thought for you. And just where was Mary appointed to "represent the human race"??? And if Mary made the choice for the human race, then the human race didn't have freedom of choice, did it???? especially if they never appointed her as their representative, right???
What do you guys need a teaching magisterium for??? These right-brained converts of yours become your instant theologians.
Problem is; God did not do this...The Catholic church is that which elevated Mary...
The amazing thing is that God would use human beings like that (by extension, any of us) at all. But He chose to do so. And if Mary can be Theotokos and if all of us can potentially be vessels of grace (like a pipe serves to bring water: having no intrinsic relation to the water and not "producing" it at all), how is it implausible for her to be chosen by God to participate in His redemptive plan as an entirely secondary, not intrinsically necessary agent?
It's implausable because there is no need for it...God never said He needs Mary to dispense Grace...God never said He would use Mary to be a conduit for Grace...
Your church has 'made this up' to glorify Mary...
Looking thru the entire article, I see hardly any mention of Jesus the Christ...It's all Mary and the church...
In fact, the only times Jesus Christ is mentioned in this Catholic sales pitch, it is in the negative...
It may be difficult and painful and hurtful, for sure, but no one ever promised that following Jesus was a bed of roses.
Protestants often have pet phrases and things repeated over and over ("praise God," "hallelujah," "thank you Jesus," "glory to God," etc.).
I was a "Jesus Freak" who spent most of my time worshiping God in free-form, spontaneous worship services (often with rock music).
You're far better off being a 'Jesus Freak' than a repetitious Mary moaner...
Obviously, we could not oppose formula per se because that would take out the Bible as well. Protestant "chanting" of verses like John 3:16 could very well come under the same criticism.
And for those of you that have forgotten John 3:16,
oh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
There's God's plan of Salvation and the Catholics call it 'Protestant chanting'...
I only hope you (if you decide to cross over) are not disappointed with our own share of nonsense and ludicrosity, on the human level, in the Catholic Church.
They sure hit the nail on the head on that one...
Read the article closely...You have a choice...Mary, or Jesus...
We choose both.
Did we have freedom of choice when Adam and Eve sought to become like God? Nevertheless, Original Sin still entered the world. The act of disobedience brought forth death - Mary's act of obedience brought the Lamb who conquered death into the world. God doesn't operate a Heavenly Democracy - He appointed Mary to represent us, and she did her job perfectly.
Read the article...
Really? So God had nothing to do with the Virigin Birth? That really Iscool.
It's implausable because there is no need for it...God never said He needs Mary to dispense Grace...God never said He would use Mary to be a conduit for Grace...
The article isn't saying God needed Mary to do His work - it says He CHOSE Mary. Grace came into this world through Christ. Christ came into the world through Mary. C'mon now.
No response, eh?
As attracted as I am to the Catholic Church, and as much as the encroaching liberalism in the Protestant world has been goading me toward the Catholic Church, I simply cannot get past the Marian doctrines. I have stated elsewhere on this forum why and how I believe the Marian doctrines developed.
Can't buy it. From a logical standpoint, a Scriptural standpoint, and a standpoint of basic reason, the Marian doctrines just don't add up.
The website contains a blog. This is a blog entry. The entry itself is not dedicated to biblical evidence for Catholicism. You are correct that it does not rely on scripture quotes and presumes that the reader is familiar with the relevant scripture.
Regarding the Holy Scripture vis a vis Catholicism, the situation is this:
Individual interpretations of isolated verses exist that, some Protestants claim, contradict the Catholic doctrines. In fact, only the interpretation is in contradiction, and it is thereby a wrong interpretation, or at least one lacking substantial authority. Such is for example, the putative contradiction of Mary being free from all sin and prooftexts like “all have sinned” in Romans or the fact that she called Christ her Savior. Neither implies Mary sinned.
At times it is not the interpretation of what is in the scripture, but rather imagining things that are not in it. such are for example, things that attempt to prove that Mary had other children because of the use of the word “brother”. This must be where you fault the author for relying on “the silence or apparent ambiguity of scripture [...] as if this provides some sort of cover”. It is true that the scripture does not definitively say that Mary had no sin, or had not marital relations with St. Joseph. This is not “cover” or a “difficulty in defending Catholic doctrine” to point that out.
Often, stuff is alleged against Catholicism that is in fact not taught by Catholicism: that Catholics worship saints or holy objects like pagan gods or idols, they they resacrifice Christ, that they can pay money to get sins absolved, that they invent novel doctrines to contradict old, etc. Then the scripture is brought to bear against these fallacies.
At other times, devotional practices are said to contradict the scripture because they are not described in the scripture, or a similar practice condemned in a different context. That is simply silly; it might make sense for a practitioner of Sola Scriptura to seek “biblical authorization” for various prayers and devotions, but then the concept of Sola Scriptura is itself counter-scriptural.
There is nothing in the scripture that contradicts Catohlicism. It is that simple. And we did not have to censor whole books or mangle translations to say that.
You don’t offer specific criticism, but you mention that some of Catholic practices seem to you “stuck in the carnal mindset” and not centered on Christ. The answer to that is that we are not stuck in the carnal any more that Christ Himself, who chose to be incarnate to suffer carnally and die carnally for us. He also chose one woman — not two or more, and not zero — to bring Him into the carnal world. A prayer to a saint is a prayer to Christ, always. If it doesn’t seem to you that way, well, this is why you are not Catholic, yet.
If you want to discuss any particular scripture that you think contradicts Catholicism, let us do so.
I always advise potential converts that the road to the Church is not undertaken with Protestant methods. One doesn't "figure everything out" one-by-one and then make the leap. That is the Protestant method, and it is very ingrained (I know, firsthand). When you become a Catholic, at some point you simply accept the Church's authority because it is an entity far far greater than yourself. You may not understand everything, but who does, anyway?
What you come to see is that this is the Church and authority structure -- with all its human foibles and terrible, scandalous shortcomings in practice - that was ordained by God, and how He intended it to be. The true doctrine and "apostolic deposit" was passed down and it has been known all along. It isn't to be discovered in every generation, or "re-invented" like the wheel. All other knowledge works the same way (science, engineering, mathematics, musical theory, the received outlines of history, legal precedents, etc.), yet when it comes to religion, somehow people think that it is this entirely individualistic and subjective affair. It's very weird when you sit down and analyze it.
Emphasis added. The portion in bold is why I have recently recommended everyone at least examine Communion and Liberation. Among such bold claims as "One can come to know Christ exists with as much certainty as anything", CL also teaches the basic concept in bold above, a reasonable concept, but one that is often forgotten and overlooked, even among many Catholics. Many are inclined to believe that "faith" and "reason" are separable, and indeed SHOULD be separated, because "faith isn't objective, it IS subjective". While that's true if one doesn't apply reason TO one's faith, this is not how faith SHOULD be and indeed, if one's faith cannot stand up to reason, then it truly isn't a HUMAN experience. It's just something done because one's family does it, or because one wants to look good in the community. It's a treasure set on a shelf, never used, just looked at and "admired" for its beauty. It's not something that is actually a PART of the person holding it, it's not something that's a natural expression of the "faithful's" HUMANITY. It's a piece of art, a trinket, an *ASIDE*, not a *REALITY*.
The portion in bold above points to another way of looking at "faith". This is, indeed, IMO, what sets the Church apart from every other church, belief system, or institution that competes for my spiritual attention. The Church offers a faith that is a method of reason. It doesn't deny the capacity of man to reason, it actually INVITES man to USE his reason to come to it, and to strengthen his own humanity, that is, to be TRULY human, WHOLLY human.
This concept is what continues to strengthen my resolve with regards to the Church. For, I reason, if there is a God who created me, and if He wants me to follow Him, the BEST way to follow Him is to follow Him the way He created me, through my HUMANITY. That is, why would God create me human, but yet not want me to be human? It is preposterous to believe that. Indeed, it follows from Catholic teaching: We are actually LESS human when we SIN. It's not "human nature" to sin, it's actually human nature, the way God intended that is, to NOT sin. This is one example. Another, is that clearly God gave us ability to reason. It therefore is unreasonable to believe that He wouldn't want us to use said reason, thus, our task as humans is to find a way to use our reasoning ability in harmony with God. This doesn't mean rationalizing our reasoning away, as some are inclined to do ("God gave me reason to make me realize that reason is not only unnecessary, it's a burden"). This cannot be the conclusion we should draw, because it's ultimately circular in its logic.
I digress however. The portion in bold is the key point to remember, and one I've been trying to make. For everything else, we always say, "I'll rely on that person's testimony; I'm not going to work out everything for myself". For science we say this. For art. For finances. No one is completely "self sufficient" in all of those areas. Even the professionals IN those areas rely on other's past experience to guide them. Why shouldn't we do the same for our religious experience? Is not the cliche "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it" relevant here? I believe it is; I believe it's unreasonable, and therefore, inhuman, to do otherwise.