Pillar of Truth

Thank you for visiting my blog today. This is a place where I will examine my thoughts on Christ, His Church, my Faith, and how to live for Him. God Bless.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I am not Protestant

Why I am not protestant (just a few reasons):

1) They have no authority on Earth [Matthew 16:18-19-which refers back to Isaiah 22:22; 1 Timothy 3:15; "Peter, who is called 'the rock on which the church should be built,' who also obtained 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven...'" Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200); "And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail..." Origen, Commentary on John, 5:3 (A.D. 232); "'...thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church' ... It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness...If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?" Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae (Primacy text), 4 (A.D. 251).]

2) They do not have the Eucharist [John 6:53-58 and 66-67; 1 Corinthians 11:27; "They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110); "For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).]

3) They changed their stance on Birth Control [Genesis 38:8-10; Romans 1:25; "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3 (A.D. 191); "[Christian women with male concubines], on account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful want no children from slaves or lowborn commoners, [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered." Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:12 (A.D. 225).]

4) They try to interpret the Bible for themselves [2 Peter 1:20-21 and 3:16-17; "True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4,33:8 (inter A.D. 180-199); "For those are slothful who, having it in their power to provide themselves with proper proofs for the divine Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, select only what contributes to their own pleasures. And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teachings, in order to establish the heresy." Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 7:16 (post A.D. 202).]

5) They "shop" for a church until they find one that "fits them" [Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6 and 21:5;"An heretical congregation is an adulteress woman: for the Catholic hath never from the beginning left the couch and the chamber of her spouse, nor gone after other and strange lovers. Ye have painted a divorced form in new colours; ye have withdrawn your couch from the old wedlock' ye have left the body of a mother, the wife of one husband, decking yourselves out with new arts of pleasing, new allurements of corruption." Pacian, Epistle 3(ante A.D. 392); "You think that you make a very acute remark when you affirm the name Catholic to mean universal, not in respect to the communion as embracing the whole world, but in respect to the observance of all Divine precepts and of all the sacraments, as if we (even accepting the position that the Church is called Catholic because it honestly holds the whole truth, of which fragments here and there are found in some heresies) rested upon the testimony of this word's signification, and not upon the promises of God, and so many indisputable testimonies of the truth itself, our demonstration of the existence of the Church of God in all nations." Augustine, To Vincent the Rogatist, 93:7,23 (A.D. 403).]

6) Jesus gave power to the apostles - protestants do not descend from apostles [Matthew 10:1; John 20:22-23; "And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98); "Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. His words are as follows: 'And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained a there until Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.'" Hegesippus, Memoirs, fragment in Eusebius Ecclesiatical History, 4:22 (A.D. 180); "It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing... When Nero was in the eighth year of his reign, Annianus succeeded Mark the evangelist in the administration of the parish of Alexandria...Linus ...was Peter's successor in the episcopate of the church there...Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,1:1,2:24, (A.D. 325).]

When I was in my early high school years we had a discussion in our Sunday school class about the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention. I don't remember the exact topic, but I do clearly remember the teacher saying that if the SBC decided on something that our church didn't like, that our church would just break off and be independent of the SBC. It was that easy. I guess that really got my attention. Just break away whenever you encounter something you don't like. Form your own group according to your own standards of what a church should look like. Yeah. Right. Let's all just interpret for ourselves.

There is no protestant church that has a valid Eucharist, validly appointed bishops, the sacraments, and honors Mary appropriately.

My stool stands firmly on three legs: the Holy Bible, Holy Tradition, and the Magesterium. I got tired of trying to keep my balance on just one leg, so I stopped protesting.

A little of my faith journey...

I grew up Southern Baptist. My mother and her parents were Methodist. I don't think that I understood as a child that there were differences in "denominations" and I think I was quite a bit older when I heard someone describe themselves as a Protestant. I do remember spending the night with a friend and going to a church with her were there were people speaking in tongues, I thought that was odd. And I had heard my parents talk about some churches in the next county that did a lot of snake handling. I knew this boy in my class who had to go stand in the hallway during the pledge, but I don't think I ever realized he wasn't there for all the holiday parties either. But it wasn't really until I was in high school that I really started observing the differences in different churches.

One realization came my ninth grade year when the boy behind me (the same boy who had to leave the room in my grade school class) started telling me that Hell did not exist, I think this was the first time I realized that he wasn't a Christian.
Then sometime later that year or the next year I was in Sunday school at my Southern Baptist church. Our teacher was talking about sin. She had even made a posterboard listing and illustrating various sins. The typical Southern Baptist things were on there, drinking, rock music, dancing, and ouija boards. However, I was just shocked when I looked down the list and toward the bottom was listed "being Catholic." "How can that be?" I thought. "Catholics are Christians, just like we are!" After this I think I slowly began to lose faith in what my church was teaching. During my tenth grade year, we read My Antonia in English Lit. We came to a part in the book where Antonia's family was praying for (I think it was) her father who had just died. My teacher took this opportunity to explain that Antonia's family were Catholic and she gave a little explanation of purgatory and praying for departed souls.
When I was sixteen my parents divorced. My dad lived with my grandparents for a while. It was during this time that I really began to see my grandfather's true nature. He was the Southern Free Will Baptist patriarch of the family and had a very bad opinion of anyone who didn't follow those same beliefs. He boasted of telling "door-knockers" that they were going to Hell and slamming the door in their faces. In our "football is life, everything else is just details" area, he refused to watch Notre Dame (even if they were playing us) because, "Those Catholics pray to Mary!" and of course were going to hell.
Between my junior and senior year in high school I decided to go to summer school and get some classes out of the way. My best friend that summer was Catholic. I spent the night with her, help her babysit during a big Catholic wedding of friends of her parents, and listened to her tell stories of Catholic school.

All of these things fascinated me. I began to wonder what Catholicism was all about. My church's and grandfather's views of Catholics failed to plant a seed of anti-Catholicism in me, instead they planted the seed of curiosity. I began to develop a profound respect for Catholics, even though I had no idea what most of their beliefs were. When I graduated high school I vowed to find out about those beliefs.

I started spending a lot of my time at the local library, where I found the book Why Do Catholics Do That? by Kevin Orlin Johnson which I devoured. When I got to college, oddly enough, the girl who had the dorm before I did must have been a Catholic because I kept getting these Catholic catalogues, I think they were Leaflet Missal catalogues. How I poured over those! I wanted all the books they had listed! I decided to search the University library especially for one of the books, Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid. Unfortunately, they didn't have it, but they did have interlibrary loan, of which I decided to take full advantage.

After this my roommate, who was a preacher's kid, gave me the book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner to try to dissuade me of the truth of my findings. My boyfriend told me he would never set foot inside a Catholic church. I started going to RCIA classes on campus, my boyfriend even met me after a class one night, but, true to his word, he stayed out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I decided to drop out of the RCIA classes. I went to an Episcopal church for a while, my mom even went with me a couple of times. I thought I was happy, but something just wasn't right. I left the Episcopal church.

A while later I decided to try the Catholic church again. I started RCIA classes at the Cathedral and loved them. They used a course called "Come and See" which used Scripture readings following the liturgical year along with related Catholic Updates. I loved it! I was Baptized, Confirmed, and received my first Holy Communion on Easter Vigil 1999. I became a CCD teacher. Two years later I was honored to sponsor my dear husband in his journey home to the Catholic Church.

I would absolutely love it if my family would come home. I pray that they will begin to earnestly study the Faith as I did. I cherish my relationship with Christ and the Church that He founded on Peter, the Rock. I'm proud to proclaim the Faith of the Apostles.

Thanks for listening.
Amelia
~Tiber Swim Team '99~

Jesus Christ, You are my God!

This is a wonderfully uplifting video I wanted to share with my Catholic readers! http://evangelical-catholicism.blogspot.com/2006/08/why-am-i-catholic-video-now-available.html

Amelia

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Bible vs. The Bible?

Thus far I have not given many clues as to what my faith is. I was hoping for some response to my previous post before I did so, and I was going to try to remain "religiously anonymous" for a bit longer. However, I have been reading another blogger's posts today that have been calling out to me to take a stand. These posts have been very critical and misleading about my faith and the latest one has in it what I can only see as an outright lie about my faith. I feel so sorry for this person. She is misleading so many people. She has said that she averages about 1100 hits a day on her site, so many people are reading her posts and I'm sure a lot of people trust her to be giving them the full truth.

This is her latest post: http://myblessedhome.blogspot.com/2006/08/my-answers-to-catholic-reader.html. In it she states:

"Yes, let's do take a look at the Douay Rheims Catholic Bible... I looked up Exodus 20, and sure enough, the first commandment does not say that a Catholic cannot have any other gods, however the Christian commandment from a Christian Bible says not to have any other gods besides the one true God. This commandment needed to be removed from the Catholic Bible, because even though Catholics may not specifically call Mary a "god," they give Godly attributes to her, and treat her as a god. "(emphasis mine)

What really irritated me here is that this is completely untrue. (Note: to this lady the only "Christian" Bible is the King James version)

Look for yourself at what the Douay Rheims Bible says: http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=2&c=20. You can see that the Douay Rheims Bible is translated more closely to the Latin Vulgate than even the KJV bible is. Here are all three versions:
Exodus 20
3Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. (D-R)
non habebis deos alienos coram me (LV)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

The Douay Rheims is more in line with what the Latin Vulgate says. What's even more, my Catholic New American Bible (a newer Bible written in modern English) says in Exodus 20:3 "You shall not have other gods besides me." This lady's problem seems to be in that the Douay Rheims says "strange gods" whereas her version says "other gods." Well, the NAB (which most American Catholics use) uses the exact same word as hers, so I guess that her point is null.
Next she says this:

"Now, take a look at the Catholic second commandment. It mentions nothing of it being wrong to bow down to graven images, yet the Christian Bible's second commandment says straight out that you are not to bow to graven images."

Let's see those three versions on this verse:
Exodus 20
5Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: (D-R)
non adorabis ea neque coles ego sum Dominus Deus tuus fortis zelotes visitans iniquitatem patrum in filiis in tertiam et quartam generationem eorum qui oderunt me (LV)
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

Again she seems to take issue with the specific word that is used for worshiping grave images. However, as you can see, the Douay Rheims is more in line with the Latin Vulgate on this point also. No matter, let’s look at the Catholic Bible most American Catholics use (the NAB) and see what it says in Exodus 20:5, "you shall not bow down before them or worship them." Hmm, again we see that her point is moot.

Next she tries to prove that Catholics put Mary on a pedestal by "changing" Genesis 3:15:

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. (D-R)
inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem et semen tuum et semen illius ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius (LV)
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

Although the Latin is a little harder in this verse you can see that the word her/she is "tuum" by the phrase "et semen tuum et semen" ~ "thy seed and her seed," There again it seems that the Douay Rheims is in agreement with the ancient Latin Vulgate.

This lady claims that the Douay Rheims was changed in this instance "to show Mary as the Savior, instead of Jesus Christ." This is completely untrue! Catholics have never believed that Mary is the Savior! In fact the NAB doesn't agree with either of these versions. It says, "He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

These are just a few of the misrepresentations of the Catholic faith that this woman has shown on her blog. I have invited her to e-mail me with any questions, but apparently she has decided she knows enough by reading her own very anti-Catholic sources.

I truly feel sorry for this woman, and am praying for her now. She is leading so many good-hearted people into a bog. I pray that one day she will see that she was mistaken, and I pray that all who read her blog won't be fooled the way she has been. Candy, you are in my prayers.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where is the Church Christ created?

1 Tm 3:15 "But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth."
How does an invisible group of disagreeing "believers" qualify as this "church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth"?

Col. 1:18 "He is the head of the body, the church." Eph. 1:22-23 "And he has put all things beneath his feet and gave him as the head over all things to the church, which is the body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way."

Mat. 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden."
___________________________

"The word ‘church’ (Greek: ekklesia) appears over one hundred times in the New Testament, not once with the meaning of a ‘spiritual’ church. The thought of a merely spiritual and invisible church composed of some sort of amorphous collection of ‘true believers; from every denomination… is completely unbiblical. Jesus established only one Church, not a group of squabbling rival denominations." (Surprised By Truth, 120-121).

So where is this Church??

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why am I here?

Hi, welcome to my blog. I created this blog because I want to have a place to record my thoughts about my faith. I am questioned a lot about why I believe what I believe. Many times the questions are honest and sincere. Many times they are posed to try to entrap me, belittle me, or make me question my faith. This is going to be a way for me to organize my answers and be able to better defend myself. It is also going to be a place I can open my heart to God and ask Him to help me, as well as a place I can pray for others. I love Jesus: body, blood, soul, and divinity and I hope my readers will, too!!