Arguments Against the Catholic Church (Answering Anti-Catholic myths on Salvation!)

There are so many arguments against the Catholic Church that are false or skewed. Some are so far off that it is hard to take them seriously. This picture is of those that is hard to take seriously. It is but one of a million that present a completely false and ignorant view of the Catholic Church. This picture not only makes multiple errors regarding Catholicism, but the Catholic Church herself does not even teach half of the things listed on it. In other words, they are claiming Catholics have beliefs that they do not in fact believe. Let us look at a few of them.

Really BAD arguments against the Catholic Church

As stated above, most of these assertions are just made up – invented. For example, the Catholic Church does not teach that we are saved by Peter or that Peter gets us to heaven. I mean, where did someone even concoct this from?

Likewise, the Catholic Church does not teach that we are saved by Catechisms, candles, holy water, and most of the other things listed on there. Rather, this picture is the creation of ignorance, an anti-Catholic who did not even understand the Catholic faith before creating something about it. Pro-tip: it helps to do real research first about a religion before attacking it.

I would like to ask the person who made this if they can find where the Catholic Church says that catechisms, candles, tithing, or holy water, for example, saves us in any official Catholic teaching. Hint: It doesn’t.

Analogously, the Church has never taught that Mary saves us or died for us, or anything of the sort. In fact, the Catholic Church teaches the opposite and states that only Jesus saves us and that He alone justifies us by His body and blood on the cross. The Church has taught this for over 2000 years now.

For any doubters out there, here is some official Catholic teaching on it:

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men.” … “Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”.19 in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.”(430, 1992)

And many more could be cited!

Catholics and Salvation!

Catholics believe that Jesus died once and for all on the cross to save us from our sins. Only His body and blood forgives us our sins, and without it, we cannot be saved. Period.  That is what Catholics believe! However, salvation is not a one time event. It is a life long journey of Christ saving us. For example:

Many Protestants say (like in the picture above) that Baptism doesn’t save you. However, this is incorrect. The Bible itself says “Baptism saves you” (1 Peter 3:21) speaking of a water baptism. Scripture cannot be any more clear! When Protestants read a verse like that, they immediately get uncomfortable and retract saying, “No, only Christ saves you.”

Well, of course only Christ saves you. But the Bible clearly states that “Baptism saves you.” Do not ignore the verse because it makes you feel uncomfortable or you do not understand it. Catholics are not uncomfortable at all because they understand that Christ saves us, but He chooses to use different means to do so, like Baptism. It’s not the water that saves, but Jesus Christ who saves us through Baptism, which is why Scripture (in Romans 6 and other verses) talks about being born again in Christ through Baptism. It is Christ who saves us this way and anti-Catholics try to tie His hands claiming He cannot. (Note: Lutherans and other Protestant groups agree with Catholics on this; they believe that Christ saves through Baptism which regenerates us).

Bible Cherry Picking

Cherry picking means you take one line from the entire Bible and make that your argument. The picture above quotes one verse that says we are saved by “believing in Jesus,” which is true. However, it is not just an intellectual belief only that saves you but a living, breathing, working faith. In other words, there are many other things that Jesus commanded us to do, that if we do not do them, we will not be saved. Like Baptism, for example (Mk. 16:16 – “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”)

Also, Scripture is clear that we must have more than an intellectual faith. We need to do things do be saved. Unlike what the picture above says, we need to repent (Acts 3:18); we must confess our sins (Rom. 10:9); we must live out our faith in good works (Mt. 25:31-46 and many others), and we must follow the commandments (Mt.19:17-21) and do God’s will (Mt. 7:21).

Likewise confession is part of God’s plan and Jesus Himself gave men the power to forgive sins (Jn. 20:21-23) and last rites is Biblical too (James 5:16).

Likewise confession is part of God’s plan. Jesus Himself gave men the power to forgive sins (Jn. 20:21-23) and last rites also Biblical (James 5:16).

In other words, the initial picture says we must believe in Jesus, which is true, but it is taken out of context and forced to mean something that it does not. This is common among anti-Catholics who quickly sling Bible verses at Catholics but almost always take them out of context.

This is why we need to step it up in the Catholic Church and learn our faith again. It’s time! Generations of uncatechized Catholics have been killing the Church and giving it a bad name. Christ called us to be the “light of the world!” Therefore, we need to know know our Bible and our faith! After all, the Bible is a Catholic book. We are the ones who made it and gave it to the world!

So, check out the awesome resources below which will absolutely help you to learn, love, and share your faith. I guarantee that if you read a few of those books, your faith fill not only grow, but Catholicism will become more exciting and fulfilling! I have a library of books (Catholic and anti-Catholic) that I have read, and I’m passing it on to you…

As always, thanks for reading! Share this post with others, Protestant or Catholics, that need to know more about the truth of the Catholic faith. And, as always, if you have any questions about anything listed in the picture above, just ask. ++

Helpful Resources!

**My recommendations based on this article

  1. **“Bible Basics for Catholics” by John Bergsma, Scott Hahn. https://amzn.to/2ws5HNB
  2. “The Catholic Verses: 95 Biblical Verses that Confound Protestants “ by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2oCeZ5Q
  3. **“A Biblical Defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2Q6XI1x
  4. “Search and Rescue: How to bring your family and friends back – or back into – the Catholic church” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2NLUi2z
  5. “By what authority? An evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” by Mark Shea. https://amzn.to/2wF1Spe
  6. **Catholicism and Fundamentalism: Attacks on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians.” (One of the BEST books on defending the Catholic faith against Protestants and anti-Catholic arguments). https://goo.gl/fNxXuB
  7. **Rome Sweet Home (Militant anti-Catholic becomes Catholic https://goo.gl/h1Fqs1
  8. **Where We Got The Bible, by Henry Graham – https://goo.gl/wphT47
  9. **Surprised by Truth! (Many Protestants become Catholics and give their reasons for doing so along with their misunderstandings of Catholicism. https://goo.gl/1gvgAM
  10. Surprised by Truth 2! – https://goo.gl/vBwyNN
  11. **The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). – https://goo.gl/RwtpWy
  12. “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” by David Currie (Protestant becomes Catholic). https://amzn.to/2LzmSly
  13. Crossing the Tiber – https://goo.gl/xcDtL7 (Anti-Catholic becomes Catholic)
  14. “Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” by Peter Krett, Ronald K. Tacelli. https://amzn.to/2NVzkkR
  15. “Did Jesus have a last name? And 199 other questions from Catholic teenagers” by Matthew Pinto. https://amzn.to/2wpsIBn
  16. “If Protestantism is true: the reformation meets Rose” by Devin Rose . https://amzn.to/2Q46vkz
  17. “Reasons to Believe: how to understand, explain, and defend the Catholic faith” by Scott Hahn. https://amzn.to/2wCM863
  18. “On a mission: Lessons from St. Francis de Sales” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2wEitZn
  19. “Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2BWbPn1

Posted in Apologetics, Catholic, Catholic Mthys Refuted | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catholic Truth! (Arguments against the Catholic Church… answered!) | POST #1

Catholic Truth! Here is the first blog answering a small list of arguments against the Catholic Church.

Whether through ignorance , negligence, or plain anti-Catholicism, the picture to the left is wrong in every aspect. I myself have shelves of anti-Catholic books. I have read and studied their arguments at length. I know them inside and out. Contrast this with the majority of anti-Catholics who  have never even read one, single, solitary book written by a Catholic. It is no wonder they know absolutely nothing of Catholicism that I have studied and read; the sad but plain truth is that most anti-Catholics do not even read a single, solitary book written by a Catholic, and so they know absolutely nothing of the Catholic faith. This is the reason they present countless strawman arguments that are false and uninformed.

Thus, this article will debunk all of the above statements and add a proper understanding to them. These are some of the many arguments against the Catholic Church, and we will give the Catholic truth in return.

Answer to #1:  “Call No Man Father” (Mt. 23:9)

Anti-Catholics state that Catholics call priests “father” but the Bible says not to. However, this is a very primitive and elementary understanding of Scripture. A person cannot take one passage out of context to prove a point the Bible itself is not trying to make. When we look at the rest of Scripture in context, it actually disproves the arguments that anti-Catholics make when using this verse. For example, just look at Mt. 15:4; Romans 4:1, 11-12, 16-18; Mt. 19:5; 1 Tim 5:1-2; 1 Jn. 2:13-14; 1 Cor. 4:13-15; Heb. 12:9; and many more. Romans 4 uses the word father 6 TIMES to describe Abraham as our father in faith,

All of the above passages, and more that could be cited, use the word father‘ to convey both a physical and a spiritual fatherhood. So clearly, if Matthew, Luke, Stephen, Paul, John, and even Jesus use the word father, and the word father is used all throughout the New Testament, then the way anti-Catholics use Mt. 23:9 is wrong.

It is being cherry-picked out of context. After all, Mt. 23:10 also says to call nobody a teacher, and yet we call people teachers all the time. This is because we know that Jesus was using Rabbinic Hyperbole to make a point to the Pharisees He was speaking to. He did not mean it literally in all cases as evidenced by all the scriptures quoted above.  If you would like to watch my whole video on this topic, you can find it here:

 

Answer to #2: (Confessing sins to a Priest)

Confessing sins to one another (James 5:16) and to a priest is also a biblical teaching, one that many anti-Catholics overlook. Let us take just one example. Jn. 20:21-23 shows clearly that Jesus gave the power to ‘men’ to forgive sins in His name (among with other verses). It is still God (Jesus) who forgives the sins, but the priests are the vessels by which that forgiveness comes about. I made a whole blog post and a whole YouTube video on this found below.

Confession to a Priest – Longer Version found here

Confession to a Priest  – Shorter version found here

Answer to #3 (Prayers to “dead” Saints)

The picture above uses an Old Testament passage which happened before Jesus came and broke the power of death. He freed us from death, which is why Scripture states that, “God is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Lk. 20:37-38). Before Jesus came, nobody could go to heaven. They went to a “waiting place” known as Sheol or Hades (See 1 Peter 3:20, for example). However, now that Jesus has freed us, people go to heaven and are alive there, made perfect by Christ’s grace.

The Bible clearly shows that these people are alive in heaven, not dead. Just look, for example, at  Revelation 6:9-11. It shows not only that people are alive, but that they are cognizant and remember what happened to them on earth.

Rev. 6:9-11: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

And there are other verses too. Many times, anti-Catholics have a very Old Testament and Jewish understanding of heaven instead of a Christian one. If you would like excellent resources to learn your faith or learn more about the real Catholic faith, see resources at the end.

Answer to #4 (Mary helped in the salvation process)

God had absolutely no need of Mary for anything. However, God, Eternal Wisdom, chose Mary to help in the salvation process. She did not die for us or shed her blood or anything like that, but she participated by giving birth to the Messiah. She gave Jesus His body, the very same body which would be sacrificed for the life of the world. *Only Jesus saves!* However, ‘all’ of us help in the salvation process in some way, whether it’s preaching to a sinner, calling out their sins, helping to bring them back to Christ, etc. We all have a part, though the work is all Christ and His grace. Even St. Paul said he was a “co-worker” with Christ. Does that mean  He is equal to Christ? Of course not. And neither is Mary. She is only a mere human being, yet she was blessed to be chosen by God to have a special role in bringing forth the Savior of the world in a way that no one else did.

Answer to #5 (“Praying” to Mary)

Revelation 5:8 says the saints pray for us. In regard to Mary, we don’t “pray” to her as an end. No, in reality, we ask her to pray for us as we would a pastor, friend, or family member. They pray for us and we pray for them – and all without breaking the role of Christ as one mediator. He allows us to participate with Him and He is not threatened by it. Rather, He loves His children praying for each other and helping each other to heaven. Likewise, we can ask Mary and the saints to pray for us. And just as you, your pastor, or your family will all go to Jesus on your behalf, so Mary, the angels, and saints all go to Jesus on our behalf.  And their prayers are much more powerful than ours because they are perfected in Christ’s righteousness.

For a quick 2 minute understanding of Mary and what Catholics believe, check out my video here.

Answer to #6 (“Idol” worship)

This is an argument against the Catholic Church that is just silly and misinformed. It comes no doubt from misunderstandings in Catholic practice. Idols are created things that are worshiped instead of God. Like the pagans had idols of gold and wood and other materials that they actually considered God. Catholics worship God only. If you do not know this, then you know nothing about Catholicism even at an elementary level.

I have read countless anti-Catholic books and all of their arguments hundreds of times over. In contrast, anti-Catholics have almost never even read one, single Catholic book written by a Catholic, and so know nothing about the real Catholicism. They are completely and totally ignorant relying on other ignorant anti-Catholics who have never heard the real truth of Catholicism.

Find me just one official quote written by the pope or in a Council document that says to worship idols. You will not find it. Both Scripture (Revelation 22:9) and the Catholic Church teach that we must worship and adore God only. Anyone who thinks that Catholics worship some plaster and marble, needs to study Catholicism. This is why I made a whole YouTube video on this specific topic.

Conclusion:

Make sure to check out the resources at the end of this article if you want to learn more about your Catholic faith OR more about what Catholics actually believe.

The bottom line is that anti-Catholics are only anti-Catholic because they left the Catholic Church and are bitter, they have never studied the religion they attack so fiercely, or because they have been duped. They have received false information that they did not fact-check, and they believed the lies and half-truths told to them. We must pray for them to come home!

The Catholic Church was started by Jesus over 2000 years old, and it is found in every nation, tribe and tongue on the face of the earth. The Catholic Church is the very same Church that put the Bible together, copied it for a thousand years, and that gave it to the world. Come to know the Catholic faith, the real Catholic faith started! ++

GOOD CATHOLIC RESOURCES:

  1. “Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2BWbPn1
  2. “Catholicism for Dummies” by  Rev. John Trigilio, Jr.; Rev. Kenneth Brighenti. https://amzn.to/2PMtvnV
  3. Rome Sweet Home (A militant anti-Catholic who thought Catholics were going to hell, and now he’s one of the biggest Catholic speakers in the world! A Catholic classic!) – https://goo.gl/h1Fqs1
  4. Catholicism and Fundamentalism: Attacks on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians.” (One of the BEST books on defending the Catholic faith against Protestants and anti-Catholics. A classic and must read). – https://goo.gl/fNxXuB
  5. The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). – https://goo.gl/RwtpWy
  6. Surprised by Truth! (11 Converts to the Catholic Church, their stories and their biblical, historical, and personal reasons why. A GREAT read!) – https://goo.gl/1gvgAM
  7. Surprised by Truth 2! – https://goo.gl/vBwyNN
  8. The Real Story of Catholic History: Answering Twenty Centuries of Anti-Catholic Myths – https://goo.gl/TqqZ4y
  9. “Did Jesus have a last name? And 199 other questions from Catholic teenagers” by Matthew Pinto. https://amzn.to/2wpsIBn
  10. “Seven Lies about Catholic History: infamous myths about the church’s past and how to answer them” by Diane Moczar. https://amzn.to/2wIlcRt
  11. “Envoy for Christ” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2NNeIYZ
  12. “The Catholic Verses: 95 biblical verses that confound protestants “ by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2oCeZ5Q
  13. “A biblical defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2Q6XI1x
  14. “If Protestantism is true: the reformation meets Rose” by Devin Rose . https://amzn.to/2Q46vkz
  15. “Nuts & Bolts: a practical guide for explaining and defending the Catholic faith” by Tim Staples. https://amzn.to/2LSR5wk
  16. “Catholic for a Reason: scripture and the mystery of the family of God” by Scott Hahn, Leon J. Suprenant.  https://amzn.to/2Ci61ob
  17. “By what authority? An evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” by Mark Shea. https://amzn.to/2wF1Spe
  18. “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” by David Currie. https://amzn.to/2LzmSly
Posted in Apologetics, Catholic, Catholic Mthys Refuted | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is Mortal sin? (And will it send you to Hell?)

What is Mortal sin? (And will it send you to hell?)

This is a question that I get asked from time to time, and it is a good one. Heaven is our goal, but it can be difficult with the devil lurking around every corner. There are many temptations and stumbling blocks along the way, some small, some large, and some life-threatening (mortal sins). On the road to sainthood and to heaven, these are the sins we want to seek to avoid in a special way.

So, what  is mortal sin? How is it different than venial sin? And will a person go to hell if they commit a mortal sin? These are great questions. Keep reading below, or if you would prefer to watch the video on this same topic, just click the video.

What is a mortal sin? A mortal sin is a very serious sin. This is in contrast to smaller sins known as venial sins. A quick story to illustrate the difference. Pretend your best friend has $2 hanging out of their wallet one day. Not really thinking about it, you just swipe the money because you need it. When your friend discovers this finds out, the trust is broken a bit. Friend do not this sort of thing to another. However, after deeply apologizing, he forgives you. The trust is broken a bit, but you still have a friendship. Your actions were bad but not serious enough to break the friendship completely.

In contrast, imagine hanging out at a very close friend’s house. They confide in you the location their parents keep money stashed away, about $1000. The temptation for more money has increased since your girlfriend has been pressuring you to buy her more things and take her out more often. You feel the pressure but also know that it’s seriously wrong. You think about it for a while and decide to steal the money for your own benefit regardless of the damage it will do to the friendship.

Your friend discovers that you took his parents money. Shocked and appalled, he cannot believe one of his closest buddies betrayed him and his family. This was no small act, or mistake. It was premeditated and intentional. You friend angrily lectures you that true friends don’t do that, and how you have no respect for his family, etc. “If you don’t return that money, I’m going to sue you and take you to court.” Friendship ended.

This is a very different situation. The friendship is completely severed and broken. However, it was you who chose to break the friendship when you made that decision. That is the difference between mortal sin and venial sin (The distinction is found in the Bible in 1 Jn. 5:16-17).

Venial sins still hurt our relationship with God, but they do not break the friendship and be repaired more easily. Mortal sin, on the other hand, breaks our relationship with God completely, and it cuts us off from the life of God entirely. It severs the relationship meaning we lose His friendship and His grace in us. In a sense, you are no longer in relationship with God which is why you cannot receive Holy Communion until you go to confession. This is also why a person cannot enter heaven with an unconfessed mortal sin on their soul.

Obviously, a person wants to avoid sinning mortally. In order to do this, we need to understand what a mortal sin is.  For a sin to be considered a mortal sin, there must be three conditions.

  1. First, the sin must be really serious – usually one of the Ten Commandments: especially big sins like murder, stealing, idolatry, lust, adultery, sexual sins, and the like. It could also be intentionally choosing to not pray, go to church on Sundays. These are only a few examples. In short, it has to be a big sin.
  2. The second condition is that a person has to know it’s wrong and have full knowledge that it is wrong.
  3. Finally, after having a full knowledge, a person has to choose to go ahead and do it anyway.

Those are the three conditions. Big sin. Know it’s wrong. Don’t care. Choose to do it anyway. In a mortal sin, a person basically says; “God, I do not care what you want, I am going to do my own thing instead.”

With that being said, just because a person breaks one of the Ten Commandments doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a mortal sin, though often times it is. Remember, a person has to have a full knowledge that it is wrong and choose to do it anyway. For example, if someone grew up on the street stealing, and nobody taught them that stealing is against God, then that is not full knowledge. It is still wrong, of course, but not mortally. You are not directly choosing to go against God because you do not know better.

Let’s say that a bunch of people are gossiping about someone and you are present. perhaps you even chime in unconsciously. This is very different than not liking another person and by making the choice to get your friends to hate her too. You quickly start to talk about this person behind their back and try to destroy her and her reputation. That is far more serious and intentional.

It is also the difference between a man who sees a half-dressed woman walking down the street and is mesmerized by her beauty, even if perhaps in an unhealthy way. However, once he recognizes that he is gawking over her in an unhealthy way, he has a decision to make. If he looks away and just praises God for her beauty, then there is no sin. However, if he chooses to entertain the lust and imagine what she looks like under the clothes and so on, then that is a choice being made intentionally to lust. Likewise, he may even go look at porn in his room which is an active decision to lust and to sin, despite what we know is right and how we are supposed to treat a lady.

Christians today who are catechized and grow up with religion usually know exactly what is right and wrong, good and bad. It is just a matter of whether we choose to follow God or follow ourselves, in which case we make ourselves “God.” The devil chose himself once, which is why he got booted from heaven and is forever cursed. The bottom line is that God is God. We are not. We must choose to follow Him if we love Him.

Everybody fails. Everyone sins. We all mess up, and if you are like me, you mess up a lot. However, it is not usually intentional, but rather moments of weakness and poor decisions made. Some however, are much bigger and more premeditated. Those are mortal sins.

Hell for a Mortal Sin??

Some people ask, “What if I go my whole life without any mortal sins but at the very end of my life commit just one; will I go to hell for that? That is correct, and here is why. Imagine a husband who is faithful throughout his whole marriage, Yet, much later one in life, he cheats on his wife. How would that affect their relationship?

It might be one thing if it was a moment of weakness and stupidity, however; if the cheater chooses to keep a relationship going, and he works hard to keep text messages on private settings, and he deletes certain search histories, and so on, then that is not a one time moment of weakness. That is done with knowledge of the wrong and fully chosen.

He fully chooses to cheat and betray his wife, kids, and marriage. He may even justify his evil actions, but there is no justification. Now if he continues in that course of action and gets caught, it will destroy the relationship. (It already has anyway). His actions cause him to be cut off from his wife physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Kind of like in our relationship with God after a mortal sin.

Now, imagine the worst happens. Imagine that the husband realized the error of his ways and decided to try to make it right. However, on the way home, he gets into a bad car accident and dies. The consequences of his actions are no eternally set in stone with no possibility of being fixed. Because of the accident, he was never able to apologize or make it right. He may have desired to, but he did not. When he died, he died in a state of permanent separation. Meaning that he could never say sorry, could never fix the problem, and the broken relationship remains broken for eternity. It is the same way if we die in the state of mortal sin. Which is why all the Saints tell us to fight against mortal sins with all of our might.

Being Free From Mortal Sin

To grow in holiness and relationship with God, the great Saints tell us to reflect on our life and our biggest sins. From there, take the most serious one and work on it with all of your might and energy. Offer all of your prayers, confessions, Masses, Rosaries and sacrifices toward overcoming these sins. You will come closer to God and grow in holiness. You will be letting go the shackles of darkness and putting on the armor of Light.

Resources to Help You!

I will put some good resources down below at the end. These will help you, guide you, enlighten you, and be your best help in conquering mortal sin, and even venial sins. This is the path all people must take if they are serious about going to heaven. See below.

In this fight, we not only need good resources, but we need God!! He is our power. He is the continual mercy given which helps us to get back up when we fall. So let us reflect on our possible mortal sins and why we do them. What are the root causes which lead to them? Once we discover these, we must work hard, with a 100% desire to conquer and removing that big sin. This may take a while, but God will be proud if you are trying your hardest rather than not trying or caring at all.

So, this is not a condemnation but an invitation. God actually wants to help you. God hates sin, but He does not hate you. He hates sin because sin is keeping you apart from Him and His infinite love for you. So bring your sins to God. Bring your addictions to Him

A Note on Addictions:

Perhaps you have an addiction which is not easily broken. Sometimes we like the sin and the addiction and choose to keep it. We baby it and even help it to grow. That is our choice. However, many times, we want to rid ourselves of this sin but find it difficult. In these cases, mortal sins can be lessened so that they are not even considered mortal sins. What I mean by that is if we have a serious addiction or if we have a depression, or certain psychological conditions and issues like scrupulosity, these can lessen the gravity of of certain sins.

After all, if we are not in our right minds or fully in control of ourselves, we are not held to the same standards and do not have full consent. Let us say we have a drug addiction, or a porn addiction. These are extremely difficult to break and take time. While the first time you chose to do these things may have been the mortal sin, it is probably not a mortal sin each and every time you do it later down the road because of all the chemical interfering with your decision making process, etc. In which case counseling and regular confession are in order.

Yes, these are sins and grave evils, but if you are working to overcome them and to follow God more then do not fall into scrupulosity, which is thinking God is always mad at you, always looking down at you, and always displeased with you, even if you are trying. If we are seriously trying, God is pleased. So, Approach Him! Don’t run from Him! God is kind. God is love. God is merciful.

If you feel like you have mortal sin on your soul, then approach the sacrament of confession immediately. If you confess your sins from the bottom of your heart and seek to do better, and make decisions to do better, you will be forgiven and can start over fresh today. That’s the power of confession and the power of God’s love. If you don’t remember how to go and it has been a while, just tell the priest. He will walk you through it.

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know down below in the comments section. Also check out my spirituality folder for more helpful advice, both here and non my YouTube channel. (#CatholicBryan)

Make sure to pick up a couple of the awesome resources below which will help you in your battle!! They will be your guides to the Promised Land!

God bless!

Resources!

1. Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis De Sales – https://goo.gl/bwkXR3

2. Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, by Fr. Thomas Dubay – https://goo.gl/87txVA

3. The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis – https://goo.gl/cMH2UY

4. “The Imitation of Christ,” by Thomas Kempis – https://goo.gl/AXPRNC (A hard hitting book. Just tells you how it is and how to grow in holiness).

5. “Spiritual Combat,” by Lorenzo Scapoli – https://goo.gl/Nc9J73 (Another hard hitting book

6. I Believe in Love, Fr. Jean Delbeee – https://goo.gl/1Sa5pc (A book about how to love God more and trust Him. Gentle and not hard-hitting)

7. Catholic Guide to Depression, by John Cihak – https://goo.gl/jny3Ct

8. Understanding Scrupulosity: 3rd Edition, by Thomas Santa – https://goo.gl/RBdFva

9. The Three Conversions of the Spiritual Life, by Fr. Reginad Garrigou-Lagrange – https://goo.gl/Wxf3sQ

10. Pure of Heart – by Jason Evert – https://shop.catholic.com/pure-of-heart-digital/ FIVE CDs on how to break free from pornography.

11. Fight or Die! Weapons for Combating Porn Addiction, by the Catholic Gentleman – https://goo.gl/Xd5LSG

12. Cleansed – A Catholic Guide To Freedom From Pornhttps://goo.gl/13jhNq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Physical and Spiritual Health (Counting our blessings)

Happy Thanksgiving 2018 everyone!! May you all be blessed.

I am thankful for all of the people like you who take the time to read my blog. : )

Imagine this:

Imagine furiously scarfing down food, not just today, but on any given day of the week. Imagine scarfing down food and stuffing your mouth until you can’t fit anymore. But, you keep going. You continue to jam food into your mouth and eat until you are overly full and it begins to come back up again. But, you continue to keep stuffing it in until you get seriously sick.

Now, if you did this regularly and continued to ignore your body and what it was saying to you, if you refused to take care of it, you would be putting yourself at a high risk for real and permanent harm.

But, who would really do that?

We have to remember that we are not just bodies, but we are spiritual beings with a soul. In the spiritual life, we often ignore our souls even when it’s crying out to us that it’s not healthy and in danger. This above scenario is how many people often live their lives spiritually. Let me offer an example to ponder…

Our soul needs time for prayer, silence, and needs room to breath. Too many times it seems we forget that and just gorge ourselves. We gorge ourselves and fill our lives to the brim with entertainment, sports, Netflix, movies, social media, work, activities, and so much more. Like food, these things are not bad, but when our lives are overly full with them, there is little to no room for God, for silence, and for the soul to have room to breath and be healthy. This is why many of our lives feel unfulfilling, we don’t feel at peace, and many wonder if this is all life has to offer.

This Thanksgiving, think of how much time we spend socializing with friends, family, watching sports, scrolling social media, and more. Now consider this. Did you pray today? How long? How much time do you put aside for God, for yourself (the spiritual side of you), and for your spiritual health?

Today is Thanksgiving! Did you thank God today for all the things you are thankful for? Family, friends, significant other, etc.? After all, God is the supreme Being who deserves our greatest thanks, and He is the reason we even have everything we love and cherish in life. Have you taken time to thank Him? If so, you need to make some room in your day today, and every day, for this thanksgiving and prayer.

These temporary pleasures do not make us truly happy, but only temporarily happy, like a drug, which is why we need to consume more and more of it all to prevent us from being “bored” and unfulfilled in life. But there is a peace, and a joy, and a happiness, and a deep abiding fulfillment that never fades when we take time for our souls, when we spend more time with God, and take time for silence.

Even start by taking 1-2 minutes a day in complete silence away from everything else. Take a deep breath, exhale, and just sit there without thinking anything. Give yourself permission to just be. Then, after a minute or so, start to think about God. Let your mind take you there. At the end, speak to Him, and tell Him what’s on your mind and thank Him for those things you appreciate and are grateful for in life. This will begin to make your soul more healthy. Every giver of gifts loves to be appreciated for them, let’s thank god more for the blessings in our lives.

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Feel free to put a comment down below if you would like naming just one thing you are thankful for! I listed mine above. ; )

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The Catholic Church and Gay Marriage (What is the Catholic position?)

The Catholic Church and Gay Marriage

What is the Catholic Church’s position on gay marriage? Is there a such thing as gay marriage? After all, if two people truly love each other, then why shouldn’t they be allow allow to marry?

This is probably the most popular question that people ask me by far (along with questions of transgender). And, it is a good question.

Why doesn’t the Catholic Church allow gay marriage? What is their reasoning?

If you would like to watch the full video of this instead, check out my YouTube video on this topic here….

No Gay Marriage?

The truth is that the Catholic Church is not against gay people at all. Jesus taught us to love everyone, and the Catholic Church has come out with authoritative letters saying that we must love and respect people who have same-sex attraction. The Church was firm that we cannot not bully them or harm them, or treat them unjustly, etc. (You can read that letter here).

However, while the Catholic Church loves and respects everyone, one thing is true, the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman. Remember, marriage is not man’s design but God’s, and that is the way it has been from the beginning.

On that note, we have to realize that marriage is not whatever we want it to be. It is actually an institution designed by God with meaning and purpose. However, some people today want to redefine marriage, to strip it of its purpose, and to portray it simply as something between two people who “love each other.”

The problem in trying to redefine marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and Christianity as a whole, is that it is impossible to redefine something that God has already permanently defined. In addition, if we change the meaning of marriage to include “two people who love each other,” then what is to prevent us from redefining it for three people, six people, or even ten people? If we can arbitrarily just redefine marriage, then the possibilities could be endless and marriage is no longer marriage.

Take three people who “truly love each other” and who wish to get married, or six people, or even 10. This is known as polygamy, or a polyamorous relationship. In other words, a man can marry as many wives as he chooses. You may not be aware, but there are hundreds of thousands of people in the United States working hard to get polygamy legalized, to have marriage redefined again to include them.

In addition, there are actually people who want to legalize incest marriage (meaning two people of the same family or extended family can get married).  Now, someone may remark how “messed up” that is, but they respond by saying, “Why can’t people of the same family who truly love each other get married? My love life has nothing to do with you.”

Still worse, there are there are actual people in this world (sadly) who want animal marriage legalized. Animal marriage? That’s right, animal marriage.  A person can marry their animal. And since homosexuality is making strides with their cause, polygamists, incestual relationships, and animal lovers are all working hard to try to redefine marriage again.

At this point, people might cringe and say, “Animal marriage, that’s going too far though! That’s disgusting!” However, just like the polygamist, incest, and homosexual groups, they respond the same way; “Hey, love is love! Who are you to tell me that I can’t marry my animal that I love? Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do in my own life and under my own roof?”

So, we have many different groups trying to redefine what marriage is and to expand the definition of marriage to include just about anything. However, The Catholic Church states that this is not possible. None of their sincere desires change the truth that marriage has always been between one man and one woman forever. That’s what marriage is.  It’s not whatever we want it to be.

Therefore, it is nothing personal against homosexual people or polygamists or anyone else, but the Catholic Church is not for changing marriage in any case at all, whether it’s homosexuality, polygamy, incest, bestiality (animal marriage), or anything else. And in fact, we cannot. I reemphasize that we cannot redefine what God has already defined indelibly.

After all, if we make an exception for one group and Pandora’s Box opens, then anything is permissible. When marriage ceases to be marriage, it will destroy what marriage actually is (and there are people in our country who actually want that).

So to be clear, the Catholic Church is not against homosexual people and is not discriminating in any way. It’s that the Church is against gay marriage, polygamist marriage, incest, marriage, animal marriage, and any other type of a “marriage” that is not, in fact, actually marriage or that would change what marriage truly is. Even if the Church wanted to change it, She cannot. Because the law comes from God and we cannot, and do not, have the authority to change God’s commands.

With that being said, the Catholic Church has said that everyone on earth was made by God for love, in other words, to love and to be loved in return. And that includes people with same-sex attraction. Everyone was made to be loved. Everyone. This is good. However, marriage is a special institution for a man and a woman who have the ability to pro-create and keep life going on the planet, which is the ultimate purpose of sex and marriage.

Gay marriage and catholic church

Think about it. If the first two people on earth were both men, human beings would immediately go extinct. Because they cannot procreate. Likewise if it was two women, we would be extinct. Procreation is impossible. However, a man and a woman have the necessary and complimentary body parts, per God’s design, to create life and keep this life going on the planet. God could have made  a lot of people, but He chose humans to have a part in it, which is what marriage is primarily about and something homosexuals are not capable, no offense to them.

Of course, this does not mean that homosexual people cannot or should not love or be loved. It is just in a different way. (If you would like more information on this, check out my video here.

The bottom line is that we were all made for love. First and foremost, this means a loving relationship with God Himself, our true Father. If you as someone who struggles with your relationship with God or your homosexual identity, there are resources for you that I’d love to share below. (You can also check out this video which will give you more information for help and support). Also, feel free to check out Daniel Mattson who is a Catholic man of same-sex attraction who has found complete happiness and freedom in God and in His faith. Check that out below.

The ultimate love in all the universe is Jesus Christ Himself. If you want to be truly happy, then that begins with a relationship with Jesus. God is our Creator, and no human relationship can compare to His. After all, God is love, and He wants you to be completely and infinitely fulfilled in Hi!

CHECK IT OUT! Thanks for reading! I highly encourage you to check out the videos and resources below for more information and for help in this. If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to leave them below. If you find this information helpful and informative, then please share it with others. Thanks, and God bless you!

 

**RESOURCES**

1. Resources, help and support for those struggling with same-sex attraction……

 

2. Live chastity with Same Sex attraction? Video and resources here…

 

3. Book by Daniel Mattson mentioned above. Mattson has found peace and happiness, and you can too. That can be found here…

4. “The Third Way:” A video following the lives of Catholics who struggle with same-sex attraction but have found peace with God and in their faith. Find that here.

Posted in Apologetics, Catholic, Love and Relationships, What's Trending | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does God Love Gays?

Does God love gays? Does He love people with same-sex attraction? This is a heavy but important question. Anyone God-loving person who struggles with a homosexual attraction wants to know the answer to this question. It is foundational to our relationship with God and with ourselves.

The answer is obviously yes! We cannot even address this topic or converse about it unless we understand this principle first. God loves everyone! For God doesn’t have love, He is Love, as it says in the Bible.

(If you would rather watch the YouTube Video of this, click here)

I recall one time where one of my inner city students asked me to pray for her. The conversation went a something like this.

“Yo, mista, can ya pray for me?”

“Sure! But, why don’t you pray for yourself too?

“‘Cuz God hates me.”

“What? Why would God hate you?”

“‘Cuz I’m gay.”

I immediately became angry, (of course, not at her) but because this poor girl had been lied to her whole life. She had been living with the false notion that God hated her. The conversation continued, and I responded, “Somebody has clearly lied to you. God loves you.He loves you as much as he loves Mother Teresa, the pope, or anyone else. You are His daughter and He loves you.

She thanked me and told me that she was going to go home and pray to God that night. Awesome! It does not matter if we are gay or straight in the sense that God desires a personal and intimate relationship with all of us, every one of us.

See persons with same sex attraction often see themselves wrongly or in the wrong light. They most often label themselves as “gay,” and define themselves by their sexuality. However, they are not gay. Gay is not who they are. Straight is not who I am. Our sexuality is only a small part of is. The truth is that we are persons. That is who we are. Even more, we are sons and daughters of God. That is our identity! We may have a homosexual or heterosexual orientation but that is not who we are and it does not define us. I’m also French, German, tall and skinny. Those are traits, aspects of me. They are not who I am thought and they do not define me. Likewise, our sexuality does not define us either. It is a small part of us among other things. Some people reduce their entire person down to their sexuality, and that is a disservice. God doesn’t look at us and gay or straight–He looks at as His son or daughter. See, we’re the ones who make divisions on sexual orientation. But the reality is we’re all simply human.

Many people that I’ve met who are homosexual often have a love-hate relationship with God. They wrestle and struggle with how God sees them, and they often feel like God is gazing down on them with disappointment or anger. They wrestle with how to live a life as a homosexual and how that fits into being a Christian. This is a completely understandable struggle, which is why whole organizations have been formed, like Courage International, to help Christians, or anyone, struggling with this question. They are kind, compassionate, real, and have helped many.

The beginning of our relationship with God starts with the truth that we are loved by Him and He wants a deep relationship with us.

I once had another conversation. One of my students came up to me and asked me a similar question. She was curious about whether I hated gays, or if the Catholic Church did. Of course, I let her know that Jesus taught us to love everybody, and so I too loved everyone. Likewise, the Catholic Church loved everyone too, including homosexuals. In fact, the last couple of popes have put out documents on how to deal with this question, and were firm in respecting homosexuals, affirming their dignity, and speaking out against them being bullied or maligned. (For example, see document here).

Of course, there are some individual Christians who may dislike gays, but they are wrong to do so. Jesus taught us to love all, and there were no exceptions in His teachings on love. It is not right to persecute anyone, for any reason, at any time.

As a substitute teacher, I hear everything. One day, two boys came up to me and said, “Hey Mister, look at that kid over there; he is so gay!” I responded, “So what?” They were like, “Wait, what?” Then, they asked me if I was gay. I told them “No,” and went on to say, “But I don’t think it’s right to  belittle, look down, or judge other people just because they’re different than us.”

Their only response was to shrug their shoulders and walk away.

You may not know this, but the Catholic Church faced a lot of persecution in her early years. Catholics were persecuted to the point of being tortured and killed by the thousands. So, believe it or not, the Catholic Church understands the need to be compassionate and loving, even if we do not always see eye to eye on all subjects.

So, with that being said, just because we are infinitely loved by God does not mean we can do whatever we want or that everything is acceptable or permitted. I am loved by Jesus, yes, but that does not mean I can cheat on my wife, look at porn, use contraception, or many other things that are against His plan for love and sexuality. However, it does mean that at a basic foundational level, the truth is that God is Love, and that He has a purpose for our life and for our happiness IF we follow Him and His will. Whether gay, straight, male, female, black, white, slave or free, God desires a relationship with each one of us. He created us, and He wishes to be close to us in an intimate way.

Be encouraged, and know that you are loved and you are lovable.

God loves you and invites you to start loving Him and finding Him deeper. Moreover, God made us to love and be loved.

At this point, some wonder why people of same-sex attraction cannot be married if God wants us to love and be loved. They wonder why there is no gay marriage. This is a great question and the subject of the next blog.

What are your thoughts on being loved by God? Do you feel it? Do you struggle with it or find it difficult? Do you struggle loving and accepting yourself? Leave a comment below and God bless you.

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Why Can’t Protestants Receive Communion in a Catholic Church

Why can’t Protestants receive the Holy Communion in a Catholic Church? Why can Catholics receive the Lord’s Supper at Protestant services but not the other way around? That is a great question!

Protestants and Catholics! They have been at odds for over 500 years, yet they growing ever closer together and more tolerant toward each other. A good thing! In fact, many Protestant non-denominational churches welcome Catholics and even allow them to take part fully in their services, including communion. Catholics also allow other religions to participate in their worship service; however, only Catholics can receive Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. And, there are some good reasons for this.

First, we need to understand that there are differences between the religions. Most Protestants accept that the body and blood of Jesus in Communion is only a symbol while Catholics believe that the wafer (“the Eucharist”) is really and truly the body and blood of Christ (John 6:51-67; Mt. 26:26).

Lutherans are closer to Catholics and accept Consubstantiation, which means they believe God’s presence is there but in a spiritual sort of way. Whereas Catholics and Orthodox believe in Transubstantiation – meaning Jesus is actually (literally and physically) present. We receive Him into us in a real way. God is everywhere, but He was present in a special way in the person of Jesus Christ on earth, so God is everywhere but present in a very special way in Catholic Holy Communion.

Here’s the rub. Upon reception of Catholic Communion, everyone must say “Amen.”  If a Protestant were to attend a Catholic Mass, the priest would hold up the Communion host in front of their face and say, “The body of Christ,” to which the Protestant would respond, “Amen.” The word Amen means: “So be it, I believe.”

However, Protestants do not believe it’s the true body of Christ, but only a symbol. Thus, they could not receive Catholic communion in good conscience without being dishonest before God. It is just that we have different beliefs. In addition, every time Catholics say Amen, we are saying amen to everything we believe and adhering to the Catholic faith. So again, Protestants could not honestly say amen for they do not accept all the Catholic teachings. Otherwise, they would be Catholic.

For most Protestants, attending a service anywhere is fine. There usually are no huge differences in the Communion Rite. However, there is a real difference between Protestant belief and Catholic belief on this matter, and it’s a big difference. The Eucharist is the Pinnacle of the Catholic faith. It truly is Jesus communing with us and helping us to become one body with Him and each other.

A second reason: while Catholics see Protestants as brothers and Sisters in Christ, they are separated brothers and sisters. We have to remember that they left the Church Jesus started over 500 years ago in rebellion. Martin Luther separated himself and his followers from the fullness of the truth and the fullness of the New Covenant. Thus, just as in the Old Testament, a person had to be part of the Covenant in order to partake in the blessings, so in the New Testament times, one must still be a full part of the Christ’s Church and covenant to receive all the blessings. This always serves as an invitation for our Protestant brothers to come home to the fullness of the faith, to the one banquet table.

Many people do not understand these reasons and accuse the Catholic Church of being elitist or mean. However, this is Biblical. Unless you were circumcised and became part of the Covenant in the Old Testament, no person could receive the covenant blessings. Nor were they saved. God is serious about people following Him, and it’s on His terms, not ours. So, likewise, unless you are part of Christ’s true Church and are a full part of the covenant, you cannot receive the blessings. In the Bible, the only time that the words ‘New Covenant’ are mentioned are in relation to the Eucharist (For example, Mt. 26:26). Jesus says, “This is my body, this is my blood, the blood of the new and eternal Covenant” established in and through the Catholic Church He started. So the New Covenant comes together at its Pinnacle in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist symbolizes our unity!

That is what we believe as Catholics. And remember, that as wonderful as Protestants are, they have broken the Christian unity and do not share in the fullness of the covenant. Of course, more than anything, we would love to invite them home to this oneness that Christianity enjoyed for over 1000 years.

If Protestants do not accept Catholic teaching and authority, they should not even desire to receive the Eucharist and everything Catholic that it represents. However, if they do believe it is truly the body and blood of Christ (Jn. 6:51-67; Mt. 26:26; 1 Cor. 5:7) who is our new Passover lamb given for the life of the world, then I would to invite them to come home and join the Catholic Church and take part in the greatest gift they will ever receive on earth.

Soccer Standards!

This is not to be demeaning in any way, but growing up, I played soccer. Anyone at any time could join our team because we were awful. However, in order to be on a travel team or an elite team, a person must try out and be picked. These elite teams have standards and don’t just let anyone join. In the same way, Christ has standards and the Catholic Church has standards. It has the full truth. And people must accept that truth to join the banquet table. As Catholics, we pray that all Christians will come back to full unity of the Lord’s table as it once was and as Christ desired.

Come check out a Catholic Mass, even a Latin Mass, where you can experience the mystery and awe of God. As for receiving the Eucharist, you must first believe in everything the Catholic Church teaches and become part of the one Church of Jesus Christ. Then, you can receive the greatest gift of all. You are welcome anytime!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, please put them below. If you would like to understand more about the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Eucharist, you can watch the 2 minute version here, or the 6 minute version here.

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