A Voice in the
October 16, 2005
Addressing: Catholic apologists' Scripture Cheat Sheet
Recently a subscriber sent me a book, "Understanding Roman Catholicism" by Rick Jones (a -very- good book that you can also read online), along with a list of Scripture references given in response by the catholic person to whom he had loaned the book. I don't remember the details of their exchange as told to me, but I believe the subscriber had challenged the catholic to support their religion of Babylon FROM THE SCRIPTURES, not tradition, papal encyclicals or man-made catechisms. So, when the catholic responded with dozens (perhaps hundreds? there's a -lot- of them) of Scripture references, the request was for me to help give an answer to these references given by the catholic.
The list is very similar, but way more extensive, to one available online (not going to give the URL here as it appears to be a 'temporary' posting, and may become obsolete once its function has been fulfilled) called, "The Catholic Apologist's Scripture Cheat Sheet".
Does that not already tell a mouth-full! When God's Word is not "hidden in the heart" (Ps119:11) what else is left, but to have a 'cheat' sheet!
What I'd like to do here is to take a sampling of these references, as an example of how catholicism "twists...to their own destruction" (2Pt3:16) the Scriptures with which they purport to support their traditions. In view of how we have exhorted from 1Tim6:5 against "usless wranglings", and to "avoid foolish and unlearned questions" (2Tim2:23), I am not going to spend a lot of time to answer every one of them; it would take the next couple months to get through them all; and the Lord has called me to other things. But we do need to "correct those who are in opposition" (vs25)
And also: Perhaps, as you are faced with similar lists/challenges, you can see the 'process' by which a person might investigate their references, to see if the reference supports what they claim from it. To learn the process of "[searching] the Scriptures to see if those things are so" (Ac17:11)
Since they make topical headings, and list the references, that's what
we'll do here...since we are "[giving] a defense" (1Pt3:15) to them.
RCC: Mt16:18-19 -upon this rock (Peter) I will build my church
And vs19 is a classic that has been mistranslated, due to mis-placement of commas and verb tenses. (Remember how Jesus spoke of every "jot and tittle" Mt5:18) Here is how it should read: "...whatever you bind on earth will be, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be, having been loosed in Heaven." When that verse is rendered correctly, it is clearly understood that the binding and loosing -originates- in Heaven (not the "church" or Peter), given to the apostles through the Holy Spirit (Jn16:13)... thus, the apostles 'established' the "traditions" of which Paul (not Peter) speaks. (2Th2:15)
RCC: 1Tim3:15 -church is the pillar & foundation of truth
If a person were to diagram this sentence, what does "pillar and support" modify? Church? or "the living God"? If we are to stay consistent with the rest of Scripture, it is already established that JESUS CHRIST is the Chief corner stone and foundation, are those not aspects of "support"? Did not Jesus call Himself "...the Truth" (Jn14:6) Grace and Truth come, not from -the- (RCC) church, but from Jesus Christ. (Jn1:14)
RCC: 1Co11:23-24 -power to offer sacrifice (eucharist)
What RCC does in the eucharist BLASPHEMES Jesus Christ! And this passage is not about that. It does not even hint at supporting their false doctrine. The only similarity is that the passage talks about the Lord's Supper, which christendom has come to assume is the same thing as RCC's eucharist. But even if that were true (which it isn't), the passage does not say anything about "power" (or 'authority'?) to do anything. But the two are NOT the same thing: the one is a "remembrance", the other a "sacrifice".
Dear Believer: If you find yourself in a RCC service, for whatever reason, due to it being a funeral or some other family obligation; and it comes time for everybody to file up to the front to receive the host; DO NOT PARTICIPATE. It is NOT "communion" as you are used to in your Baptist, Bible, Independent, etc church... only... done a little differently. It -IS- 'different'. They are NOT observing the same thing you do when you have the Lord's Supper. And actually, this is true of even other ecumenical churches, such as Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. In the days before I knew better, when I was directing choir in that local Presbyterian church, they did it, too; and when you receive the host, the worker intones, "the body of Christ". That's RCC's 'transubstantiation'. i.e. That wafer -becomes- (in their minds) the -literal- 'body' of Christ, as He is, at that moment, being again crucified.
DO NOT PARTICIPATE!! Do not even walk up there! Stand quietly back at your pew and wait for your party to return, and slip in and sit down where you had been sitting, or just slip in and sit down at the end of the pew. Don't make a ruckus... but also: Don't participate.
BIBLE ALONE or PLUS TRADITION?
RCC: 1Co11:2 -hold fast to traditions I handed on to you
The word in the Greek carries the concept of -relaying- instructions, typically by word-of-mouth. If one remembers that the printing press did not exist until the mid 1400s, thus any 'written' word was, literally, -written-...BY HAND. Thus, copies of Scripture did not proliferate such that people could have multiple copies, as we do today, with a copy for each room of the house, if so-desired. Often, the only exposure to Scripture was at the gatherings where the epistles were read to the group, as Paul exhorts "give attention to reading". (1Tim4:13) As well, many were illiterate. So, people would -listen- to the -reading- of the Scriptures, and go home 'remembering' what they had heard; and in turn, 'repeating' it (verbally) to others.
We do not keep 'traditions' that somebody started by chance or whim. e.g. Somebody decided to wear a red bandana one day, and all the villagers liked the idea so everybody started to wear red bandanas, and it -became- a tradition, because they all thought it was a 'cool' thing to do. But NO! What we keep are God's 'commandments'. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (Jn14:15)
Where did the New Testament come from? The writings of the apostles. An apostle, by definition, is an instrument of something 'new'; in this case, the Church of Jesus Christ. Before the NT was written down, the apostles were 'teaching' and 'preaching'...VERBALLY. The various congregations did not have their own copies of the Scriptures. They adhered to those things the apostles taught and -established-. Thus, Paul's comments to Corinth.
But once the Church had been established, and everything was written down, then Paul also warns against anybody coming along and giving out something "other" than what had been established. (Ga1:8-9) Since it had 'now' "once for all [been] delivered to the saints". (Ju1:3)
RCC: 2Pet1:20 -no prophecy is a matter of private interpretation
But here, again, is a matter of correct 'translation'. The Scriptures did not "come into being from personal exposition". That verse is not talking about "interpreting" the Bible, but about its -source-. The Bible was not written when various men had some personal 'ideas' to jot down, or convened a council; but as the next verse goes on to say, they were "propelled along by the Holy Spirit".
Thus, there is NO SUCH THING as Biblical "interpretation". It says what it says. God said what God said. As proliferates throughout the OT: Thus says Jehovah. And in the Gospels it often says something on this order: And Jesus said unto them, I say unto you.... When it says "right", it means "right". When it says "left", it means "left". When it says "do this", it means "do this". When it says "don't do that", it means "don't do that". Of such things no 'interpretation' is necessary. There are no (allegedly proverbial) "gray areas". When it says "Love God with all your heart", that's what it means. When it says to "Keep away from evil and sin", ditto. When it says that the Most High is the only God and authority, that is Truth.
But this is why the RCC forbad the owning and reading of the Scriptures throughout the dark ages, because in their heart-of-hearts, they know that God speaks for Himself, and the Scriptures are plain, such that when a person reads, God is not far off, way-out-there someplace, but "the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." (De30:14)
The only way Babylon can hope to legitimize the RCC is by insisting on -their- traditions, and keeping people away from the Scriptures; or if they have the Scriptures, 'interpret' them away with encyclicals and catechisms....and 'cheat' sheets.
CHURCH is the BODY of CHRIST:
RCC: Col1:18 - he is the head of the body, the church
The RCC is the latest mutation of ancient Babylon, from Nimrod, and is of this world. What they -think- is their 'church' is NOT Christ's Church. Thus...
RCC: Rom12:4-5 -though many, we are one body in Christ
Same thing Hebrew roots people claim: that all Believers are one in Israel.
But Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn15:5) Jesus is the "Root and offspring of David" (Rev22:16)
RCC can reference these verses, but they do not believe them. RCC teaches that unity is in Rome. But scripture teaches that unity is in Jesus Christ. (Jn17)
CHURCH MUST BE ONE:
RCC: Jn10:16 -there shall be one fold and one shepherd
Paul explains this Word of Jesus. "Therefore remember that you, being Gentiles in the flesh; who are called uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision made in the flesh by hands; that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ." (Eph2:11-13)
Jesus said of His ministry, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mt15:24) And proclaims, "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must lead, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one Shepherd." (Jn10:16) Thus, His work on the cross brings Gentiles into that fold. As Jesus proclaimed: "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself." (Jn12:32)
You see...when taken as a whole, not picking verses here and there, to suit one's own fanciful purposes, the Bible explains itself...quite "simply". As Paul speaks of the "simplicity that is in Christ" (2Co11:3)
MARY'S PERPETUAL VIRGINITY:
RCC: Lk1:34 -how can this be, since I do not know a man
RCC: Lk2:41-51 -age 12, Jesus evidently only son of Mary
RCC: Jn19:25 -Mary the wife of Clopas
Example: There are many people with the name "Paul". My name is Paul. I know others whose names are "Paul". I even know of at least three whose initials are "PH": one I went to school in Japan with in 3rd and 4th grades, one is a subscriber to this mailing list, and another is a customer at my sign shop here in Spokane. Thus, if I were to speak to someone about "Paul", and perhaps notate about them their initials, "PH", am I speaking of Holritz? Hessler? or Hughes?
Maria/Miriam was a common name in those days. So were Jacob and Joses. So, why would it be inconceivable that a couple of -different- Marys might have boys, whom they named the same: Jacob and Joses? (When I was young I had a sister named Lois, who died of SIDS. My parents were friends with some other missionaries who had a boy and girl, whom they also named Paul and Lois. Such things happen all the time) But Jesus' mother bore Jacob and Joses, and also Simon and Judas; as well as some girls.
(Jacob wrote the NT epistle called "Jacob"; and Judas, "Judas". Those are not the "catholic epistles of..." James and Jude)
PRIMACY OF PETER:
RCC: Lk22:32,Jn21:17 -Peter appointed to be chief shepherd
Lk22:32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith does not fail; and when you have returned, strengthen your brethren." The context is just prior to the crucifixion, as Jesus tells Peter that he is going to deny Him. So, when Peter comes out of his pits of despair when he miserably fails the Lord and denies Him, he will "strengthen" his brethren.
How is "strengthen" construed to be the same thing as "chief shepherd"?
Jn21:17b "...Feed My sheep" Context: Jesus is confronting Peter about his "love" for the Lord. Last time they had had eye contact was just after Peter has denied the Lord the 3rd time, the rooster crows, and Jesus "looked at Peter" and Peter "remembers" what Jesus had said, and goes out and weeps. (Lk22:61-22) In this passage Jesus is 'restoring' Peter, and tells him to "Feed My sheep"
But again, how is "feeding" construed to being any sort of "chief" position? Peter, himself, speaks of when the "Chief Shepherd appears" (1Pet5:4) If Peter is doing the talking, does not the context obviously suggest that he is talking about somebody -else-, not himself? And who is it who is to "appear"? Our "great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Tit2:13)
When they say "vicar of Christ", indeed they -usurp- Jesus Christ. Vicar: in the place of... thus: anti-Christ. The one they claim to have been the first pope, himself, points to Jesus Christ. When he preached he proclaimed that salvation comes, not through the RCC "church", but through Jesus Christ. (Ac4:12,10)
RCC: Lk24:34 -risen Jesus first appeared to Peter
RCC: Mk16:7 -angel sent to announce resurrection to Peter
How could Peter have been the first pope, when Constantine didn't even 'start' the RCC until the 4th century? The RCC didn't even exist during Peter's days. Well... but... it did. Rome's paganism -did- exist. And it was in the 4th century that Rome's paganism began to adapt Christian labels; the RCC being an extension of ancient Babel and Babylon. It was merely that, for political expediency, Babylon got a face lift and name change during the 4th century.
RCC: 1994 Catechism -Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented. (pg307, #1192)
"Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy fathers and tradition of the catholic church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate lady, and holy mother of god, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of god, on sacred vessels and vestments, wall and panels, in houses and on streets" (pg300, #1161)
How many times haven't we addressed God's command against having any "likeness of anything...." (Ex20:4) And around here the militance regarding obedience to this has included the 'cross'. We have observed the example of Hezekiah who, when he was cleansing the land of its idolatry, also destroyed the bronze serpent Moses had made in the wilderness to save the people from the bites. (2Ki18:4) Something that had served a one-time redemptive function, but then over time had become an idolatrous relic. And he was praised for his holy fervor. (vs5-7)
Israel being delivered from the serpent bites was a one-time event. Earlier we have been reminded that Jesus' death on the cross was a one-time ("once for all") event. The ritual Jesus instituted for "remembering" the crucifixion was not an icon of a cross, but the Lord's Supper. (Lk22:19, 1Co11:24-25)
Notice what the catholic catechism says about the cross? That it is "life-giving". Well, no! The cross was an instrument of DEATH! "The wages of sin is death" (Rom6:23a) which Jesus was -paying- to redeem us. We share in His death; but then Eternal Life comes through being raised with Him. (Rom6:1-10) When Paul "boasts" in the cross of Christ, it is Christ "by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Ga6:14) Death! It is not the cross (an object) -which- gives life; but it is Jesus Christ (God's Son) -who- gives life. Jesus says, "I give them eternal life..." (Jn10:28) The Father has "granted the Son to have life in Himself" (Jn5:26) and the Son "gives life to whom He wills" (vs21)
Many people wear icons on necklaces thinking they derive "protection" thereby; as good-luck charms. And I fear that many who consider themselves to be "Christian" do the same thing. There is a sense of "magic" to the object of that cross trinket. There is a sense of -feeling- 'holy' when either being in the presence of a cross icon, or wearing one as jewelry.
Even though God plainly said to -NOT- make icons, indicating that He is a jealous God "visiting the iniquity" of transgressors (Ex20:5); the RCC says that it "rightly defines with certainty" (something they got from the Holy Spirit? Remember: the Holy Spirit does not go contrary to the Father or Son, but gives to us from the Son Jn16:13-15) that they ARE supposed to make all these things. In amongst them they worship angels: which Paul says is characteristic of those who do "not [hold] fast to the Head (Christ)" (Col2:18) Angels are not to be reverenced; when John bowed to the angel he says, "Look out! No!"; and when he did so a second time: "Now see here! No! For I am your fellow servant..." (Rev19:10,22:9) But angels also worship Christ, and are "ministering spirits". (Heb1:6-7)
If we consider that likely 99% of today's evangelical christendom comes out of the protestant/reformation heritage, which is in actuality merely the flip-side of Babylon's Rome... think about it a minute. WHERE did all of today's 'evangelical' crosses and other similar icons come from? From Rome. Have you seen, here, how Rome commands the making of likenesses in contradiction to God's command NOT TO do so?
So...WHY ARE YOU STILL CLINGING TO IT? (if you are one who still does)
You object to this kind of talk?
Again... Who is it that commands -to- make crosses and adore them? And again... Who is it who commands -NOT- to make images and icons?
You say: But, I'm not catholic. So what? I've shared this some years ago, it is appropriate again here. Years ago, when I didn't yet know better, I visited a certain Lutheran (protestant) church in Bismarck, ND; they were needing a music director or organist (I forget now, which); so, I was visiting to see 'what' they were, before committing myself to some sort of musical involvement with them. During the morning 'worship' service they would have the little children come up around near the platform for a special focus for the kiddies. The 'lesson' for the kids that morning was, "How to properly make the ritual 'sign' of the cross" (left-to-right, then, top-to-bottom) Somebody, please, give me the chapter:verse where such a thing is found? Again... you say: I'm not Lutheran. Again: So what? WHAT DOES GOD COMMAND? If you wish to become angry with me (the messenger) for being so strong on this, the solution is clear: SHOW ME THE SCRIPTURE that says we are to revere the 'icon' of the cross. You cannot, because it is NOT there.
Again... It is Babylon that catechizes, telling its followers to make the sign of the cross. It is God who commands NOT to make "any likeness" for worship. Whom do you obey?
Not to mention all the depictions during the winter solstice season of angels, cherubs, madonna-and-childs (the queen of heaven); as tree ornaments and greeting card artwork.
By their own words Rome clings to the commands of what it calls the "holy fathers", but not -the- Holy God, Most High, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are Babylon. The Believer is exhorted to "come out of her, My people" (Rev18:4)
Thus... perhaps some of you who are still waffling will better understand my growing urgent militance on this topic, over the past couple years. You might think you are in a 'protestant' church... or evangelical, or Bible, or independent, etc. But if you at all are clinging to these icons, originated from and commanded by Rome...you still have at least one foot in Babylon.
The exhortation is clear: COME OUT OF HER!
I realize the above items have not been exhaustive in their replies, nor necessarily deep. And they hardly scratch the surface in terms of sheer volume of numbers of references on the lists. These addressed are merely 'representations' of the -kinds- of references that appear on the "cheat" sheet.
On the other hand, as I suggested to the subscriber....is it necessary to answer everything a catholic throws at us? Remember from 1Tim6:5 that we are to "withdraw" from the "useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth". We are to "avoid foolish and unlearned questions" (2Tim2:23) The fact that they are "apologists" means that their 'hearts' are not humbled before God, but rather are arguing and making 'justification' for Babylon's errors, which are not found in Scripture. When they have been given a book that explains the Scriptures clearly, and in reply just 'throw' a list of verses, saying, "Here!" ....they are not truly seeking answers. It's been awhile, now...but for a time, there, several catholic apologists (priests and seminarians) tried to engage me in dialog... their hope is that, by continually dumping their false doctrines on you, that you will become weary and break down, become compliant, and for the sake of avoiding strife will succumb. Paul says to "withdraw" from and "avoid" such.
Just because somebody throws a list of Scripture references at you doesn't mean a thing. I've read various writings of cult leaders, from time to time, who salt-n-pepper their manuscripts with Scripture -references-, making it 'appear' to be Biblical. I suspect they assume that most readers won't bother to actually -look- up the references, but instead will be 'wowed' (impressed) because the author claims his ideas come from the Bible. (like Van Impe on his TV show sits there behind his desk, spouting off Scripture references faster than anybody could possibly write them down, let alone look them up; and his lackey, Rexella, sometimes opens her eyes wide and excitedly exclaims how well he knows the Bible, and has so much of it committed to memory; that way he doesn't have to boast for himself, his wife does it for him!) But when I would look up references given, in many/most cases the references had nothing to do with the topic at hand. They were merely 'decoration'. (This is also sometimes true with Van Impe, when I've looked up something that didn't sit right with my spirit at the moment.)
Thus, if somebody throws Scripture -references- at you, don't be intimidated. Actually -look- them up and see if they say what is claimed from them. If not, and the person is expecting a response, study the context to know what the passage is actually saying....and present back to the person, "Thus says the Lord. This is what that reference SAYS" And if, while you are looking up one reference, they bombard you with more ranting words (as though, to get you to spin in circles chasing your own tail)...WALK AWAY. They are not interested in Truth. Do not throw your "pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Mt7:6)
Be a Berean... Search the Scriptures daily to see "if those things are so" (Ac17:11)