Sat Apr 17, 2004
Scriptural Answers for Bible Christians
Sola fide (by faith alone)?
... if we willfully persist in sin -- Hebrews 10:26
... keep commandments -- John 14:21-24; 1 John 2:3-4
... must do will of God -- Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 19:16-21; John 5:29
... punish my body and enslave it -- 1 Corinthians 9:27
... we uphold the law -- Romans 2:6-10,13,3:31
... what good is faith without works? -- James 2:14-26; Matthew 25:32-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:6-10; Revelation 20:12
Sola scriptura (by scripture alone)?
... against personal interpretation -- 2 Peter 1:20-21
... hard to understand... twist to own destruction -- 2 Peter 3:16
... early Christians followed apostolic tradition -- Acts 2:42
... guidance needed to interpret scriptures -- Acts 8:31; Hebrews 5:12
... not everything is in the Bible -- John 21:25
... oral tradition -- 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; 2 John 1:12; 3 John 1:13-14 ---->> read more...
Thu Mar 11, 2004
What Do Catholics Really Believe?
The essence of what Catholics believe is summed up in the Nicene Creed which was approved at the Council of Constantinople (381). This profession of the Christian Faith is common to the Catholic Church, all the Eastern Churches, and most Protestant denominations:
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same substance as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven. By the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
"For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son). With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen." read more...
Fri Sep 05, 2003
Why Do Catholics Believe...
... that the Church (and not the bible only) is the foundation of truth?
What Christians believe had always been passed down mainly by the oral tradition through the Church. The gospels in the New Testament of the bible were not written until at least seventy years after the death of Jesus. As John 21:25 says, "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written."
St Paul said so in his writings to Timothy, the Corinthians, and the Thessalonians:
1 Timothy 3:15 -- "if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."
1 Corinthians 11:2 -- "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you."
2 Thessalonians 2:15 -- "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter."
(More details in Beginning Catholic Apologetics.) read more...
Thu Sep 04, 2003
Why did (does) this happen in the Church?
Why were there sinful popes in the Church? Aren't they supposed to be infallible?
Popes are considered infallible in their moral teaching, but not behavior or knowledge. Afterall, Christian belief is based on the fact that we are ALL sinners in need of God's saving grace. Popes are human too, and thus capable of falling into sin. They will also be judged by God.
The first pope, Peter, had denied Jesus three times and was later forgiven by Jesus. Judas, one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus, betrayed Jesus and later committed suicide. Note too that a number of the popes in the Catholic church history were false popes (or anti-popes) put in place through the politicking of influential families or rulers then.
Finally, all Catholics in the world are obliged to believe (or obey) only when the pope issues a statement (or clarification) on a matter of faith, doctrine or morals 'from the chair' (ex-cathedra).
(More details in The Most Unholy "Holy Fathers" and Infallibility.)
Why does the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments leave out the part about "graven images"?
Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me" is like a topic that stresses the uniqueness of God. Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself a graven image" is a corollary (like a subtopic) of God's uniqueness. Topic and subtopic form one commandment -- nothing was left out on purpose.
(More details in Do Catholics Worship Statues?)