Apologetics

Why Are We Catholic?

by Steve Ray on March 30, 2020

This excellent little summary was prepared by the Faith Formation ministry in Escanaba Michigan and sent to me by Mike Cousineau. Enjoy and be challenged and edified. Sent it to a friend who needs to read it.

1.  St. Cyprian of Carthage, martyr & Bishop, wrote in 249 AD, “He who would have God as his Father must have the Church as his Mother.”

2.  Without the Catholic Church, there is no salvation.  All Protestant Christians, whether they believe it or not, are Christians because the Catholic Church exists.  Jesus prayed what is called the High Priestly Prayer in John, Chapter 17, when He said, “I pray that they are one Father, just as you and I are one.”  In the simplest terms, all Protestant Christians are wayward Catholics.  This statement would infuriate most Protestants.  That does not make this objective fact any less true.  We all have believed something, thinking it is true, only to find we have been misinformed.  Such is the case for every Protestant believer who thinks their denomination speaks nothing but truth.

3.  What happened?  Christian unity, as Jesus would have it, has fallen a long way from when the 12 Apostles were given the charge of going out to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  To be clear about how difficult unity is to achieve, the Catholic Church has had many of its members disagree with certain doctrines of the Church.  The unity problem has always been real, which is always the reason for calling Church Councils, thus making many declarations of faith, known as Church Dogmas.  Dogma is a fancy word for a set of principles laid down by an authority that is incontrovertibly true.  There are 255 infallibly declared dogmas of the Catholic Church.

4.  How long did it take for a difference of opinion to filter into the newly formed Christian way of life?  We know from scripture it happened and it happened too often, resulting in the need for written instruction given to the Church by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said to His disciples, “teach them all that I have taught you.”  Yet, as we know, people don’t like submitting to someone else.  Most people prefer to “be in charge” and that form of pride has resulted in differences of opinion, many times resulting in severe spiritual disagreements.

5.  Knowing spiritual disagreements would enter the Church, Jesus put a plan in place.  The plan included a hierarchy, with Peter in charge, as he was the Apostle given the keys to the kingdom.  Whatever the Church bound on earth was bound in heaven, whatever the Church loosed on earth was loosed in heaven.  Peter was the rock on which the Church was built.  Further, Jesus said He would be with he Church always & the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church.  It should be noted, given the nature of man, it seems God could have come up with a better plan.

6.  Did Jesus really want and expect the Church to remain as one, with disagreements settled through church authority? …

For all 20 reasons we are Catholic, click HERE for the full document.

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I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom.

Someone wrote to object saying,

It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother did indeed come into the throne room, Solomon did indeed, rise and bow and have her sit at his right hand. But the Queen Mother’s request was in fact denied, and the first person to go to the Queen Mother with his request was put to death that very day! So much for taking requests to the Queen Mother, doesn’t always work!

I responded,

There are two ways to see the intercession of Bathsheba: 1) a naive request to the king for Adonijah and 2) a subtle and wise exposing of Adonijah’s continued deceit to claim the throne. Let me explain a bit. If we assume the first possible scenario, Solomon is a type of Christ yet Solomon was a sinner. Solomon’s sin does not detract from Jesus’ perfection as the quintessential king of Israel and the Universe.

Every king in Israel/Judah had a queen but it was never his wife; it was his mother. She was called giborah, great lady and Queen Mother.

Being a sinner and flawed did not detract from the fact that Solomon was a type of Christ. Neither does Bathsheba’s sins and flaws detract from her being a prefigurement of Mary. Solomon and his mother were sinners; Jesus and his mother were not. What Solomon and his mother failed to do; Jesus and his mother do perfectly.

You could also note that Jesus said explicitly that the only sign he would give was the sign of Jonah, but Jonah was rebellious; does that mean Jesus’s crucifixion and burial was a result of his own rebellion?  Of course not–that would be an improper use of typology.

Also, if you use Bathsheba’s indiscretion to diminish Mary, then you must be consistent and use Solomon’s sins to diminish Jesus. Queen mothers were flawed intercessors; the Mother of God is an intercessor without flaw.

But if we consider the second possibility, the second way to interpret the historical and political situation behind this event we see Bathsheba as being very wise and discerning.

It is possible and even likely that Bathsheba was wiser than she is normally given credit for and made this request to expose the deceitful intents of Adonijah? Did she inform Solomon of the plot in a diplomatic way?

The taking of a king’s concubine was a political move to grasp the throne. In this scenario, Bethsheba wisely and publically exposed Adonijah’s continued plot for the throne. It ultimately brought about the assassination of the competitor for her son’s throne. As an “image” of Mary, the request can be seen as a parallel to the revealing of the Evil One and his continued attempt to displace her Son.

Sorry, I didn’t miss anything.

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Steve Wood was a Protestant pastor before converting to Catholicism and starting Dads.org. He has published an excellent book “Grace & Justification: An Evangelicals Guide to Catholics Beliefs.”

Steve’s latest newsletter summarizes some of his book and gives good insights — especially in this 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. This would be a good thing to share with your Evangelical friends or those who may have left the Church.

Here is his newsletter article: “Two Words that Unlock the Catholic Understanding of Justification”

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 6.33.38 PMThe Protestant understanding of justification is a legal one. God is viewed as a merciful judge before whom the sinner stands guilty. The judge declares the sinner, “Not guilty.” Although there’s no inward change in the person, the great gift of no more condemnation is received by faith.

While Catholics don’t deny that there’s a forensic nature to justification, they believe that there’s a more profound change that occurs in justification than just going from guilty to not guilty.

In the Catholic understanding of justification, God is primarily viewed as a father. The sinful person is forgiven and restored to the family fellowship as a child of the Heavenly Father, just like the prodigal son in Luke 15.

This restoration as a son of God is called adoption, which is the central truth in Catholic beliefs on justification. Divine adoption is the inconceivably merciful and gracious acceptance of those justified into the divine family and a sharing of kinship with God the Father.

The Council of Trent gave a summary of justification as follows:
“The justification of the sinner [is] a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

Similarly, section 1996 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on justification, highlights becoming a child of God as a key aspect of justification:
“Our justification is by the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God.”

Protestants believe in adoption, but as separate and subsequent to justification. Catholics believe adoption is the core of justification and a central concept of faith….”

 For the whole article like HERE. To see or buy his book, click HERE.

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Response to a Southern Baptist

March 19, 2020

I received an e-mail from a Southern Baptist and decided to take a few minutes to respond. Thought others might be edifited by it so I have posted it here without using his name. His email is contained in regular text and MY RESPONSE IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. **************************************************** HELLO FRIEND: I WILL ANSWER BRIEFLY […]

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Faith is Like a Hotdog – youth group’s fun skit :-)

March 2, 2020

Hi Steve, some of the members of a youth group that I lead watched one of your videos and loved your description of faith being like a hot dog. We wrote up and performed a sketch of it. Here’s a link. Hope you like it, the kids sure do. https://www.facebook.com/NewFireYouth/videos/522482411805777/  

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Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 21, 2020

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will […]

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The Jews are a Sign

February 18, 2020

By Casey Chalk in The Catholic Thing, Jan 18, 2020.  I highly recommend this daily update on the Church, morality, politics and culture. “How odd of God to choose the Jews; but odder still are those who choose the Jewish God and hate the Jews.” (British journalist William Norman Ewer, 1885-1976). ****************************************** “The American Catholic […]

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My Response: Defending the Assumption & Queenship of Mary

February 16, 2020

Reposting a blog on Assumption I wrote ten years ago. Link to my long defense is here. The Assumption of Mary always ruffles the feathers of anti-Catholics. I understand why. I used to be in their camp — I joined them in lockstep chanting the same slogans and mantras against “Catholic Tradition” and “man-made dogmas.” But […]

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This is the Faith! Thank you Cardinal Müller!

January 21, 2020

Speaking into the confusion of our modern world, and unfortunately the Vatican. Bravo Cardinal Müller!

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“Becoming Catholic” – A Friend’s Protestant World Collapsed and his Profound Discovery of the Church BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED!

January 16, 2020

An enthusiastic Evangelical Protestant got in touch with me over a year ago with a thousand questions. I usually don’t have time for this kind of discussion, but there was something different about this guy. He was a music leader, actor, speaker and involved in a Protestant church that collapsed due to in-fighting and bitterness. […]

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Conversion Stories Galore!

January 13, 2020

Many people don’t realize that we have a Conversion Story page on our website with hundreds of stories. There are wonderful, emotional, educational and exciting stories of Catholic converts from all walks of life and all types of religions. Some are long and some are short, but they are all interesting with their own story […]

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Did St. Ignatius of Antioch REALLY Believe in Transubstantiation in the 1st Century?

January 6, 2020

A friend and fellow pilgrim got in a row with a friend on Facebook and asked for my help. You might enjoy the question and the answer. My friend wrote: “I have a quick apologetic question.  A Protestant Facebook page was denying the Eucharist and I pasted St Ignatius’ quote about the Eucharist, “Let us […]

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Aztecs, Human Sacrifice, Abortion and Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12, 2019

Today we visited the Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The cathedral of Mexico City was built right next to the 500-year temple. I did a lot of study on the Aztecs and their massive human sacrifices and cannibalism. I realized there was a great tie-in with the Catholic faith, the sacrifice of Christ and abortion […]

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In 60 Seconds or Less; Why Do We Need A Church?

December 7, 2019

For a larger image and more readable, click here.

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Eastern Orthodox Challenges the Immaculate Conception

December 6, 2019

An Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote to complain about, or to see how we Catholics explain the Immaculate Conception. He said he had asked many Catholics and none could answer. I find that hard to believe. After I answered his long and slightly edgy e-mail, I received his response – “Thanks.” Picture One: Statue of Mary […]

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Seven Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends During the Holidays

November 25, 2019

This is always an interesting topic that floods the phone lines. I am posting this again for the Drew Mariani Show today by popular demand discussing how we as Catholics can relate to and influence our family and friends – especially during the upcoming holidays. Ready to go! Family life can cause tension and strife among those we love most. […]

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