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Non-Catholics Section: Misc. Topics (1)

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white bird (with branch)

Non-Catholics Section:

Misc. Topics (1)

Sources: Various

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Do You Trust Martin Luther?

Shouldn't People be Accepted 'Just as They Are'?

Do You Criticize the Catholic Church For Her Use of Ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Do You Reject a Sunday 'Sabbath'?

Do You Reject Crucifixes?

Do You Reject the Church's Claim of Infallibility Because Certain Priests or Bishops Have Behaved so Badly?

Are the Early Church Fathers Infallible?

Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

Why Does the Catholic Church Reject the Idea of Women 'Priests'?

Do You Believe There Will be a 'Rapture'?

Where Do You Claim Protestant 'Pastors' Received Authority From?

Click Here For More...

Question

Comments

Do You Trust Martin Luther?

Consider:

* Did you know that Luther...?

* Approved of adultery / concubineage

* Approved of bigamy (Philip of Hesse)

* Broke his vows to God

* Engaged in fornication

* Believed unchastity was inescapable

* Is considered to have had "depraved manners"

* Used "disgusting" language and is accused of "flagrant violations of decency"

* Admitted he was "consumed by the fires of [his] unbridled flesh" and "consumed by the flesh and by lasciviousness" (De Wette, 2, 22)

* Was admittedly impure: "I burn with a thousand flames in my unsubdued flesh: I feel myself carried on with a rage towards women that approaches madness. I, who ought to be fervent in spirit, am only fervent in impurity." (Table Talk)

* Wanted the Ten Commandments to be removed "out of sight and heart". He called them "stupid" and said that, "If we allow them - the Commandments - any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies and blasphemies." (Comm. ad Galat., P. 310)

* Admittedly received confirmation of his doctrines from Satan

* Etc.

This, you believe is an "instrument of God" or "messenger of God"?


Closing Quotations...

"Read Luther's work against 'the Mass and the Ordination of Priests' where he tells of his famous disputation with the 'Father of Lies' who accosted him at 'midnight' and spoke to him with a 'deep, powerful voice', causing 'the sweat to break forth' from his brow and his 'heart to tremble and beat.' In that celebrated conference of which he was an unexceptionable witness and about which he never entertained the slightest doubt, he says plainly and unmistakingly that 'the devil spoke against the Mass, and Mary and the Saints' and that, moreover, Satan gave him the most unqualified approval of his doctrine on 'justification by faith alone.' Who now, we ask in all sincerity, can be found, except those appallingly blind to truth, to accept such a man, approved by the enemy of souls, as a spiritual teacher and entrust to his guidance their eternal welfare?" (O'Hare)

"Luther's advocates might, if their eyes are not filmed, read with profit the following words which their master penned when he had genuine misgivings at the outset of his apostasy. 'How many times,' he writes, 'have I not asked myself with bitterness the same question which the Papists put me: Art thou alone wise? Darest thou imagine that all mankind have been in error for so long a series of years? I am not so bold as to assert that I have been guided in this affair by God. How will it be, if, after all, it is thou thyself who art wrong, and art thou involving in error so many souls who will then be eternally damned?' (Latin Works, Weim. ed., 8, p. 411 seq.)." (O'Hare)

Shouldn't People be Accepted 'Just as They Are'?

Consider:

* While we must love all people regardless of who or what they are, we are not called to accept sinful behavior. In fact, the Bible instructs us to "hate what is evil" (Rom.12:9), and sin is certainly the greatest evil.

* While Christ forgave sinners, he never allowed them to continue in their sins. In fact, Christ instructed "Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more." (Jn. 8:11)

* Holy Scripture tells us to admonish one another, not to 'accept sinners as they are'. [Note: Click here for more information on this topic ('Should One Correct / Rebuke a Fallen Away Catholic?']

* Holy Scripture tells us not to associate with sinners, not to 'accept sinners as they are'. [e.g. "We instruct you, brothers, in the name of (our) Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us" (St. Paul, 2 Thes. 3:6) & "Purge the evil person from your midst." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 5:13)]

* False tolerance is not charitable to the sinner or to others. In fact, Scripture warns us that "Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33) and that "A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough" (Gal. 5:9).

* It is Christ, not us, who has given specific instructions that must be followed for those wishing to be saved. 

* While one may think it is not loving to fail to accept someone 'as they are', the truth is that it would not be very loving to allow someone to perish without trying to help them. How loving would it be to let someone fall over a cliff because you didn't want to point out that their feet were hanging three inches over the edge?

* How can it be unloving to encourage loved ones to be the best they can be? To encourage them to act in the only way they can ever be truly happy?

* By tolerating a person's sinful behavior, you are actually affirming them in their sins. You may also be making it less likely that they will fight their sinful behavior.

* It may, in fact, be sinful to 'accept' someone's sinful behavior. Doing so may be one way of being an accessory to another's sin. [For more information on ways of being an accessory to another's sin, click here.]

Do You Criticize the Catholic Church For Her Use of Ashes on Ash Wednesday? 

Consider:

* If you criticize the Catholic Church's use of ashes on Ash Wednesday, do you also criticize those in Scripture who used ashes (e.g. Jdth. 9:1, Job 42:6, Jonah 3:6, etc.)? Why do you criticize the use of ashes when we see them used both in the Old Testament and in Apostolic times?

* Why is it that Job, Judith, Esther, Daniel, etc. thought using ashes was an acceptable (or even necessary) practice, but you don't?

* If it is always wrong to use ashes, why do we not see God flatly condemning this practice? If it is wrong, why does Our Lord Himself refer to the use of ashes? (Note: See Mt. 11:21, Lk. 10:13)

* Do you condemn the Church for using ashes without knowing why she does this? Do you not realize this helps bring home the truth that persons are "but dust and ashes" and that they will return to dust (thereby encouraging repentance)?

* Are you aware that the use of ashes is *not* a universal requirement of the Catholic Church? Did you know that Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation? In the past, ashes were imposed "only on public penitents. In those austere days of ecclesiastical discipline, public expiation was always exacted as a reparation for public scandal. Those who sought reconciliation with God after grievous sin were required to appear at the door of the church in penitential garb on Ash Wednesday morning." As time went on, other devout souls who were not public sinners wished to join the penitents in the 'humiliation of Ash Wednesday' so that "gradually, it became the custom for all Catholics, including the clergy, to receive the ashes on that day." [Source: Fr. J. Sullivan]

* Are you aware that the presence of ashes on Ash Wednesday may help Catholics by reminding them of their grave obligation to fast on this day? Are you aware that the wearing of ashes on the forehead also serves as a public proclamation of one's faith that sometimes subjects Catholics to ridicule by others? Or are you under the mistaken impression that Catholics tend to derive some 'worldly benefit' from wearing ashes on their foreheads?

* Do you think pride is involved in the wearing of ashes on the forehead? Pride for what? Ashes are symbolic of repentance, sin, and even death. How exactly does admitting you are a sinner who will return to dust make you prideful? It's not like it's difficult to get ashes or requires great effort. Certainly, they are not 'pretty' to look at (in an earthly sense). Even those in mortal sin can get them and it only takes a few moments. And, of course, they are free. So what's to be 'proud' about? Ashes are not given to serve pride or to "make a show", but rather "to soberly remind man that he is but dust and ashes" and to signify repentance. They should bring forth humility, which you can surely see is praised in Holy Scripture.

* Are you aware that Catholics don't think ashes have any inherent power (or 'magic')? They are also not a sacrament. Ashes may be used to signify repentance, but they should not be confused with repentance itself. Further, the Church does not teach that mere external acts can be a substitute for true repentance. In fact, receiving ashes may be accounted as a "farce" if it is not accompanied by proper dispositions.

* Have you ever pondered the fact that Scripture speaks of sparing persons who had sorrow for sin and were marked on the forehead? (Note: See Ezekiel, Chapter 9)


Closing Quotations...

"The present rite of the Church of signing the foreheads of her children with blessed ashes, in the beginning of the Lenten fast, is a remnant of the ancient penitential discipline. In the good old times, when the faithful were more fervent, when they understood better the malice of sin, and had a deeper horror of it, public penance for certain crimes was ordained by the Church, and, for the most part, willingly accepted and faithfully performed. The sorrowing sinner looked upon admission to the penitential course as a precious boon, as a hope held out of his reinstatement in the enjoyment of those spiritual goods which he had forfeited by his transgression." (Fr. W. Barry)

"The sign of the holy ashes on our heads should remind us of the destiny of our earthly bodies--dust and worms. If we realize well this solemn truth, we shall undertake readily and joyously our Lenten work of fasting and praying, hoping for a recompense beyond the grave, when corruption will be changed into incorruption, when this mortal body will be clothed with immortality." (Fr. W. Barry)

"It was the ordinary time for sinners entering a course of public canonical penance, into which they were initiated by the prayers of the Bishop with his clergy, and the imposition of his hands, when he laid ashes on the heads of the penitents. This is the origin of the ceremony of putting ashes on our foreheads on this day, as an emblem and exterior mark of the interior consecration of our hearts to the exercises of penance. It is not a superstitious practice, but an holy ceremony used by the church from its most early times, and recommended by the example of the patriarchs and prophets recorded in the holy scriptures" (Butler)

"It is not therefore an idle ceremony, but a token or mark that we are consecrated to the practice of severe penance for our sins. To receive this ceremony without the spirit and sentiments of penitence is no better than gross hypocrisy, disobedience and mockery." (Butler)

"On Ash Wednesday the Church begins the penitential season of Lent, the forty days of mortification during which her children are called upon to remember that they must chastise their bodies and bring them into subjection; that he who neglects to do penance is in danger of perishing; and that at all times the Christian must remember his last end and his return to the dust from which he was taken. As we are all conscious that by nature we are 'children of wrath,' we are urged to appease the offended majesty of God by the practice of penance and mortification; and the Church teaches us this solemn duty by the impressive ceremony of the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday." (Fr. J. Sullivan)

"The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead - or in case of clerics upon the place of the tonsure - of each the sign of the cross, saying the words: 'Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.' The ashes used in this ceremony are made by burning the remains of the palms blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year." (Catholic Encyclopedia)

"But Simon began, though secretly, to go amongst his friends and acquaintances, and to malign [the Apostle St.] Peter more than before. Then all spat in his face, and drove him from the city, saying: 'You will be chargeable with your own death, if you think of coming hither again, speaking against Peter.' These things being known at Laodicea, Peter ordered the people to meet on the following day; and having ordained one of those who followed him as bishop over them, and others as presbyters, and having baptized multitudes, and restored to health all who were troubled with sicknesses or demons, he stayed there three days longer; and all things being properly arranged, he bade them farewell, and set out from Laodicea, being much longed for by the people of Antioch. And the whole city began to hear, through Niceta and Aquila, that Peter was coming. Then all the people of the city of Antioch, hearing of Peter's arrival, went to meet him, and almost all the old men and the nobles came with ashes sprinkled on their heads, in this way testifying their repentance, because they had listened to the magician Simon, in opposition to his preaching." (Attr. St. Clement of Rome)

"What shall I call thee to quit thee of thy recklessness? Shall I call thee ashes, and dust, and smoke, and pother?" (St. John Chrysostom)

Do You Reject a Sunday 'Sabbath'?

Consider:

* Do you reject a Sunday "sabbath" (called the Lord's Day) because you think it's a new invention? If so, you should know that it traces back to apostolic times and can even be seen in Scripture. For example, consider that ...

Acts 20:7 speaks of breaking bread on the first day of the week

1 Cor. 16:2 speaks of taking up a collection on the first day of the week 

Rv. 1:10 speaks of being "caught up in spirit on the Lord's day"

* Do you know that the term "sabbath" actually refers to rest - it does not mean, by definition, Saturday?

* Why do you think that Christians must observe the same day as Jews who reject Christ? Can you not see that this is a new covenant. "Just as baptism replaces circumcision, Sunday replaces Saturday."

* There is much meaning on having the Christian observance on Sunday. Remember that Christ was in the tomb on Saturday, but rose on Sunday. Also, Pentecost - the coming of the Holy Spirit - occurred on Sunday. 

* The earliest Christians observed a Sunday "sabbath" (called the "Lord's Day"). Why do you reject it?


Closing Quotations...

"And on the Lord's Day, after you have come together, break bread and offer the Eucharist, having first confessed your offences, so that your sacrifice [of the Mass] may be pure." ('Teaching of the Twelve Apostles', 2nd century A.D.)

"The Lord's Day is so called, because on that day the joy of our Lord's resurrection is celebrated. This day the Jews did not observe, but it was declared by the Christians in honor of the Lord's resurrection, and the celebration began from that time." (St. Isidore, 7th century A.D.)

"But our Sabbath has been transferred from the seventh to the eighth day, and the eighth is the first. And rightly was the seventh changed into the eighth, because we Christians put our joy in a better work than the creation of the world... Let the lovers of the world keep a Sabbath for its creation: but our joy is in the salvation of the world, for our life, yea and our rest, is hidden with Christ in God." (Abbot Rupert, as quoted in Liturgical Year)

"The Day of the Sun is the day on which we all gather in common meeting, because it is the first day, the day on which God, changing darkness and matter, created the world; and it is the day on which Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Kronos; and on the day after that of Kronos, which is the Day of the Sun, He appeared to His Apostles and disciples, and taught them these things which we have also submitted to you for your consideration." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 148-161 A.D.)

"The first day was thus ennobled by the creation of light. It received a second consecration by the Resurrection of Jesus; and from that time forward Sunday, and not Saturday, was to be the Lord's Day. Yes, our Resurrection in Jesus which took place on the Sunday, gave this first day a preeminence above the others of the week: the divine precept of the Sabbath was abrogated together with the other ordinances of the Mosaic Law, and the Apostles instructed the faithful to keep holy the first day of the week, which God had dignified with that twofold glory, the creation and the regeneration of the world." (Dom Gueranger)

"Do not be led astray by other doctrines nor by old fables which are worthless. For if we have been living until now according to Judaism, we must confess that we have not received grace. The prophets, who were men of God, lived according to Jesus Christ... If, then, those who walked in ancient customs came to a new hope, no longer sabbathing but living by the Lord's Day, on which we came to life through Him and through His death... It is absurd to have Jesus Christ on the lips and at the same time to practice Judaism. Christianity did not base its faith on Judaism, but Judaism on Christianity in which every tongue believing in God is brought together." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.)

Do You Reject Crucifixes?

Consider:

* How can you reject the image of the crucifix when St. Paul says, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 2:2)?

* Do you imagine that the Catholic Church does not know that Christ rose from the dead? Of course she knows this! However, a crucifix portrays an historical reality - the most important reality in the history of the human race. An empty cross is not what saved us!

* Are you unaware of the many benefits of crucifixes as opposed to plain crosses? For example, consider that...

The crucifix helps one to reflect on the actual sufferings of Jesus. It makes one more aware of the consequences of sin, and more grateful.

The crucifix clearly reminds us of the truth of Christ's words in the Gospel of John: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (Jn. 15:13)

The crucifix helps produce contrition for sins.

The crucifix reminds us of the seriousness of - and consequences of - sin.

The crucifix inspires the faithful to bear suffering patiently.

The crucifix shows the faithful the price Jesus paid.

The crucifix shows the faithful how much God loves His children.

The crucifix helps increase gratitude towards Christ.

The crucifix is the model of true love. It doesn't hide the reality that love is sometimes painful.

A crucifix is a "gospel in miniature" even for the illiterate and uneducated.

We are all expected to take up our cross - a crucifix is a reminder of what this entails.

The crucifix serves as a reminder: "We humans are forgetful and need to be reminded. We need to remember what our sins cost God and what we owe Him. We need to be reminded about how grateful we should be. As in court when one hears the arguings of the defendant, it is also necessary to balance this by seeing his victim."

"The crucifix is a reminder that it alone is the way of life that brings us ultimate happiness. It reminds us that we must practice self denial and sacrifice in our own lives."


Closing Quotations...

"For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Cor. 1:22-25)

"Take the holy crucifix in your hands, kiss its wounds with great love, and ask Him to preach you a sermon. Listen to what the thorns, the nails, and that Divine Blood say to you. Oh! What a sermon." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Before the crucifix we feel true sorrow for sin and fixing our gaze on it we also feel the greatest comfort." (St. Mary Joseph Rossello)

"Let us go often to the foot of the Cross...We shall learn there what God has done for us, and what we ought to do for him." (St. John Vianney)

"Look at His adorable Face. Look at His glazed and sunken eyes. Look at His wounds. Look Jesus in the Face. There, you will see how He loves us." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

"O what inspiration there is in the Crucifix! Who could find it hard to persevere at the sight of a God who never commands us to do anything which he has not first practiced himself?" (St. John Vianney)

"In that one and the same event, there is the sign of sin's utter depravity and the seal of divine forgiveness. From that point on, no man can look upon a crucifix and say that sin is not serious, nor can he ever say that it cannot be forgiven. By the way He suffered, He revealed the reality of sin; by the way He bore it, He shows His mercy toward the sinner." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"If every devout Israelite in contemplating Jerusalem saw only the Temple, then we must believe that Jesus, zealous as He was for His Father's honor and ever prostrate in adoration before Him, gazed from His Cross at the house of His Father in a spirit of ardent worship, mingled with unspeakable sorrow. His Cross was situated to the west and His face was turned almost in exactly the same direction as the Temple, of which He thus saw only the back. Given the season of the year and the time of day, the shadow of the Cross would, if extended, have covered the sacred edifice and the altar beyond. These striking calculations may easily be verified on the spot; they are no fruit of the imagination. Fantasy on this subject would be out of place." (Sertillanges) [Note: In other words, the very shadow that was projected onto the temple during the Passion was the Crucifix - not an empty cross.]

Do You Reject the Church's Claim of Infallibility Because Certain Priests or Bishops Have Behaved so Badly?

Consider:

* Offended by scandal in the Catholic Church? Click here

* Sinful behavior of priests or bishops, no matter how shameful, has nothing to do with infallibility. Infallibility refers to the protection of the Holy Spirit in doctrinal matters concerning faith or morals. It does not prevent persons from sinning. Further, it is limited in scope. For more information, click here.

Are the Early Church Fathers Infallible?

Consider:

* The early Church Fathers are not infallible. Some are known to be unorthodox in various teachings. 

Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

Consider:

* If reincarnation were true (which is isn't!), why aren't people getting better?

* Why is it that so few people claim to "remember a past life"? "How do you imagine that man can benefit from that which he cannot remember?"

* Why do you argue that people cannot "advance to perfection" until after death? "If this was a possibility, why do you not believe it can happen during life?"

* "What is the first cause? Humans didn't create themselves!"

* God has revealed Himself to humankind and His revelation shows that "reincarnation" is a false belief. 

* There is NO biblical support for reincarnation. The idea that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah is obviously mistaken because Elijah was taken up without experiencing death - and therefore couldn't have been "reincarnated". Further, we know Elijah appeared at the transfiguration (see Mt. 17:3). Obviously, scriptural references regarding St. John the Baptist & Elijah are figurative since Elijah still existed as Elijah - and NOT as John the Baptist.

* Do you not see that the idea of reincarnation denies an inherent unity between a person's body and their soul?

* Supposed "proof" from the relatively few people that supposedly "remember past lives" can easily be explained by machinations of demonic forces, hallucinations, etc.

* Each being's life is a gift from God, not a punishment.

* How could it be a "punishment" to be a lower life form? Do lower life forms seem unhappy to be such? Does a bug actually know that he "suffers" by being a bug?

* How could a human being's soul possibly be adapted to body of a lower life form - e.g. an insect? Wouldn't such a change require the person to lose all their human intelligence? Or, do you seriously maintain that a person 'reincarnated' as an insect would retain their human intelligence while living the life of a bug?

* How can it be said that a supposedly 'reincarnated' individual was the same person as before? Each would have different characteristics, dispositions, thoughts, tastes, etc. How could they be the same person?

* If an insect was a 'reincarnated human', what can this 'human' possibly get out of being an insect, especially for insects with a very short life span? Or what "virtue" could have been achieved in such a short time?

* If you believe you were "reincarnated", what did you learn? What are you doing differently? Nothing because you have no consciousness of your supposed "past life", correct? Remember that the entire idea of reincarnation makes no sense since there would be no point if one cannot remember or learn from a "past life". Even if you claim to remember a "past life", how could you be sure this was not a deception of the devil, your mortal enemy?

* How can you explain the vast number of insects, reptiles, and other animals in comparison with humans if such creatures are really 'reincarnated' humans?

* As a human being, can you seriously pick up a gnat or another insect and see it as a possible ancestor? Do you actually respect it as such? Doesn't such a theory tend to diminish your own self-respect & your respect for other humans? For that matter, doesn't it even diminish your respect for lower life forms if you see their existence as a punishment?

* If your ancestors could be 'reincarnated' as trees, how is it you could ever build a house, use paper, eat fruit, etc?

* What merit can there possibly be for a human being to be 'reincarnated' as, say, a bush? How could being a bush help a man to advance? A bush cannot even think for itself!

* If you accept Holy Scripture, how do you explain the numerous warnings it contains? If a person gets chance after chance to get things right, why such concern? And how do you explain an eternal hell if people get to try over and over again? And if reincarnation were true, why didn't Adam & Eve simply come back as something else? Why the need for a Savior to come?

* For those who consider themselves 'Christian', can you not see that the idea of reincarnation is incompatible with the resurrection which Christ told us will take place at the end of the world? Which body do you suppose a "reincarnated" person would be reunited with?

* For those who consider themselves 'Christian', how can being reincarnated as a bug or tree or bird be compatible with man's being made in the image and likeness of God (see Gen. 1:26)?

* Why would the supposed "guiding force" behind "reincarnation" not choose simply to reward or punish a person in the same body for which they earned their reward or punishment? Why make them enter different bodies for reward or punishment? And especially why make them enter different bodies for punishment if they never remember the prior body or the reason they are being punished?

* Is it not true that the theory of "reincarnation" is simply a way to avoid the fact that persons may be condemned eternally (to hell) upon their death with no second chance?


Closing Quotations...

"...it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27)

"Christian revelation excludes reincarnation, and speaks of a fulfillment which man is called to achieve in the course of a single earthly existence." (Pope John Paul II)

"Our bodies will share in the reward or punishment of our souls, because through the resurrection they will again be united to them." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The general resurrection or rising of all the dead will take place at the general judgment, when the same bodies in which we lived on earth will come forth from the grave and be united to our souls and remain united with them forever either in heaven or in hell." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[F]or we do not suppose it possible that the soul is adapted to a strange building, just as it is not possible that the seal impressed on wax should be fitted to an engraving that does not agree with it." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"We profess that there is a true bodily resurrection for all the dead. And we do not believe that we shall rise in a body of air or in any different kind of body (as some have foolishly thought); but we shall rise in this very body in which we now live and are and move." (Eleventh Council of Toledo, 675 A.D.)

"Death is the end of man's earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When 'the single course of our earthly life' is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: 'It is appointed for men to die once.' There is no 'reincarnation' after death." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

"I must here also remark, that if souls undergo a transformation, they will actually not be able to accomplish and experience the destinies which they shall deserve; and the aim and purpose of judicial recompense will be brought to nought, as there will be wanting the sense and consciousness of merit and retribution. And there must be this want of consciousness, if souls lose their condition; and there must ensue this loss, if they do not continue in one stay." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 3rd century A.D.]

"O ye philosophers do you teach us, and how usefully do you advise us, that after death rewards and punishments fall with lighter weight! whereas, if any judgment awaits souls at all, it ought rather to be supposed that it will be heavier at the conclusion of life than in the conduct thereof, since nothing is more complete than that which comes at the very last - nothing, moreover, is more complete than that which is especially divine. Accordingly, God's judgment will be more full and complete, because it will be pronounced at the very last, in an eternal irrevocable sentence, both of punishment and of consolation, (on men whose) souls are not to transmigrate into beasts, but are to return into their own proper bodies. And all this once for all, and on 'that day, too, of which the Father only knoweth;' in order that by her trembling expectation faith may make full trial of her anxious sincerity, keeping her gaze ever fixed on that day, in her perpetual ignorance of it, daily fearing that for which she yet daily hopes." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 3rd century A.D.]

"We must not follow, either, as though they had bit the truth those who suppose that souls pass from women's bodies to live in men, or, reversely, that souls that have parted with men's bodies exist in women: or even if they only say that they pass from men into men, or from women into women. As for the former theory, not only has it been rejected for being shifting and illusory, and for landing us in opinions diametrically opposed to each other; but it must be rejected also because it is a godless theory, maintaining as it does that nothing amongst the things in nature is brought into existence without deriving its peculiar constitution from evil as its source. If, that is, neither men nor plants nor cattle can be born unless some soul from above has fallen into them, and if this fall is owing to some tendency to evil, then they evidently think that evil controls the creation of all beings... If the beginning is like that, a sequel will most certainly be set in motion in accordance with that beginning. None would dare to maintain that what is fair can come out of what is foul, any more than from good can come its opposite. We expect fruit in accordance with the nature of the seed." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"...the dogma of transmigration...is foreign to the church of God, and [was] not handed down by the Apostles, nor [is it] anywhere set forth in the Scriptures; for it is also in opposition to the saying that 'things seed are temporal,' and that 'this age shall have a consummation,' and also to the fulfilment of the saying, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away,' and 'the fashion of this world passeth away,' and 'the heavens shall perish,' and what follows. For if, by hypothesis, in the constitution of things which has existed from the beginning unto the end of the world, the same soul can be twice in the body, for what cause should it be in it? For if because of sin it should be twice in the body, why should it not be thrice, and repeatedly in it, since punishments, in respect of this life, and of the sins committed in it, shall be rendered to it only by the method of transmigration? But if this be granted as a consequence, perhaps there will never be a time when a soul shall not undergo transmigration: for always because of its former sins will it dwell in the body; and so there will be no place for the corruption of the world, at which 'the heaven and the earth shall pass away.' And if it be granted, on this hypothesis, that one who is absolutely sinless shall not come into the body by birth, after what length of time do you suppose that a soul shall be found absolutely pure and needing no transmigration? But nevertheless, also, if any one soul is always thus being removed from the definite number of souls and returns no longer to the body, sometime after infinite ages, as it were, birth shall cease; the world being reduced to some one or two or a few more, after the perfecting of whom the world shall perish, the supply of souls coming into the body having failed. But this is not agreeable to the Scripture; for it knows of a multitude of sinners at the time of the destruction of the world. This is manifest from consideration of the saying, 'Howbeit when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?' So we find it thus said in Matthew, 'As were the days of Noah so shall also be the coming of the Son of man; for as they were in the days of the flood,' etc." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would ultimately be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), c. 3rd century A.D.]

Why Does the Catholic Church Reject the Idea of Women 'Priests'?

Consider:

* How could women ever be priests considering that Scripture says...?

"Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets' control, since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God go forth from you? Or has it come to you alone? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or a spiritual person, he should recognize that what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 14:32-37, emphasis added)

"It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (St. Paul, 1 Tm. 2:8-15, emphasis added)

 * Do you point to expressions such as "minister" as used in Rom 16:1 in connection with a woman? Are you unaware that this term may be translated as "servant" or "attendant"? It is clear from history that women were never permitted to perform priestly roles by any orthodox Christians!

Do You Believe There Will be a 'Rapture'?

Consider:

* Do you think the following Scripture passages prove the 'rapture' theory? 

Mt. 24:36-44: "But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Lk. 17:22-35: Then he said to his disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, 'Look, there he is,' (or) 'Look, here he is.' Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be (in his day). But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left."

1 Thes. 4:13-18: We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

If so, can you not see that...

* Those who are "left" are the ones who are damned. They will not get another chance as Christ never promised a third coming. This may be made even more clear by the fact that the time is compared to that of Noah's. Remember that those who were left in Noah's time all perished - they did not get a second chance.

* The coming of Christ will not be silent and invisible, but will be announced by a trumpet blast (Mt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thes. 4:16) and "lightning flashes" will light up the sky "from one side to the other" (cf. Mt. 24:27, Lk. 17:24). Scripture is quite clear that people will "see" the coming of Christ (cf. Mk. 13:26, Lk. 21:27, Rv. 1:7).

* How can you refute the charge that the 'rapture' is escapism? If certain persons think they will be "raptured" to heaven, they will not feel they need to work or try or fight (referring here to a spiritual 'combat')... They think they will simply be immune from the time of tribulation and escape judgment... And those to be 'left behind' will find in this (false) theory hope for a second chance - when there will be, in reality, NO further chances at that time.

Where Do You Claim Protestant 'Pastors' Received Authority From?

* Do you reject the concept of authority in the Church? Click here

* Do you deny that Jesus established a visible, hierarchical Church? Click here

* How is it you reject the authority of the Catholic Church, but accept authority of a 'pastor' who felt 'inspired to start a church'? 

* How is it you accept any 'authority' of (or even listen to) a self-appointed 'pastor' when scripture says...?

God chooses priests (Num. 18:1-7)

Lay persons who usurp priestly roles are punished (cf. Num. 18:7)

Those who acted in an unauthorized manner suffered death (e.g. Aaron's sons, Uzzah)

"To approach God unsummoned brings death" (cf. Lev 16:1-2, Jer. 30:21)

Persons are not to take religious offices upon themselves (cf. Heb. 5:4)

Persons who went without mandate disturbed the peace (see Acts 15:24)

Some "false apostles" want to be regarded as having an apostolic mission (see 2 Cor. 11:12-15)

Those who are appointed are chosen by Christ, not by themselves (Jn. 15:16)

Those who preach must be sent (Rom. 10:15)

Only certain persons were sent by Christ (cf. Jn. 20:21) 

Those who recommend themselves are not approved, but rather those whom the Lord recommends (see 2 Cor. 10:18)

When the blind lead the blind, both fall into a pit (Mt. 15:1, Lk. 6:39)

Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory (Jn. 7:18)

The Apostles and their representatives - not congregations and not the individuals themselves - appointed successors (cf. Acts 13:1-3, Ti. 1:5). 

Jesus invested only certain persons (his Apostles) with power (see Jn. 20:21-23, Mt. 18:18)

* Why is it you accept self-appointed or elected 'pastors', but reject the Catholic Church's clergy - clergy which can be linked directly back to the apostles? Remember that "...the Church [is governed]... by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* Even St. Paul - who was called directly by Christ - went to St. Peter (see Gal. 1:18)

* Even those whom the Holy Spirit wanted set apart had to be sent by the Apostles (see Acts 13:1-3)

* Since Scripture instructs the leaders not to lay hands too readily (cf. 1 Tm. 5:22), it is clear that persons cannot simply assume clerical positions on their own or by election of the laity.

* By what right does a Protestant 'pastor' speak?

* Why do you acknowledge a preacher who is without authority? Why do you listen to a 'pastor' who has no power? Why do you regard one as 'pastor' who has usurped a role not given to him through apostolic succession? Why do you reject the Catholic Church's clergy who have both authority and power? Clergy who may be traced back directly to the apostles? Clergy "who can do what the angels cannot - forgive sins, and turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ"?!


Closing Quotations...

"You wrote also, that I should forward to Cornelius, our colleague, a copy of your letter, so that he might put aside any anxiety and know immediately that you are in communion with him, that is with the Catholic Church... For he cannot have ecclesiastical rank who does not hold to the unity of the Church." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)

"But it has not infrequently happened that false shepherds have got into the fold; our Savior calls them thieves and robbers. He tells us that He Himself is the door, through which they must pass who can claim the right to feed His sheep. Every shepherd, if he would avoid the imputation of being a robber, must have received his mission from Jesus; and this mission cannot be given save by him whom Jesus has appointed to be His vicar and representative until He Himself return [that is, the Pope]." (Dom Gueranger)

"'Let us consider our call, brethren' (cf.1 Cor 1:26). The priesthood is a call, a particular vocation: 'one does not take this honor upon himself, but he is called by God' (Heb 5:4). The Letter to the Hebrews harks back to the priesthood of the Old Testament in order to lead us to an understanding of the mystery of Christ the Priest: 'Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him:... You are a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek' (5:5-6)." (Pope John Paul II)

"Because some indeed 'under the pretext of piety, denying his power' (according to what the Apostle says) [2 Tim. 3:5], assume to themselves the authority of preaching, when the same Apostle says: 'How...shall they preach, unless they are sent?' [Rom. 10:15], let all who, being prohibited or not sent, without having received authority from the Apostolic See, or from the Catholic bishop of the place, shall presume publicly or privately to usurp the duty of preaching be marked by the bond of excommunication; and unless they recover their senses, the sooner the better, let them be punished with another fitting penalty." (Lateran Council IV, 1215 A.D.) 

"This distinction of the priesthood can be seen even in the Old Law. That David spoke of the internal priesthood, we have just shown. On the other hand, everyone knows that many and various precepts given by the Lord to Moses and Aaron regarding the external priesthood. Along with this He appointed the whole tribe of Levi to the ministry of the Temple, and He forbade by law that anyone belong to another tribe should dare to intrude himself into that function. Hence it was that King Ozias was afflicted with leprosy by the Lord for having usurped the sacerdotal ministry, and had to suffer grave chastisements for his arrogance and sacrilege." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

"Furthermore, the sacred and holy Synod teaches, that, in the ordination of bishops, priests, and of the other orders, neither the consent, nor vocation, nor authority, whether of the people, or of any civil power or magistrate whatsoever, is required in such wise as that, without this, the ordination is invalid: yea rather doth It decree, that all those who, being only called and instituted by the people, or by the civil power and magistrate, ascend to the exercise of these ministrations, and those who of their own rashness assume them to themselves, are not ministers of the church, but are to be looked upon as thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door (cf. Jn. 10:1)." (Council of Trent)

Continued On Next Page

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