Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ten Areas of Deceptions of Catholics Part III

I've already dealt with three of the "Ten Areas of Deception" in my previous two posts:

Part I,

[1] Roman Catholics are dangerously taught that they were born again at infant baptism.
[2] Roman Catholics dangerously think they receive Christ when they partake of the communion wafer.
I debunked both of these as "deceptions" in Part I. We, Catholics, do believe that we are born again at baptism, because that is what it implies, if not outright says so, in Scripture. And, yes, we believe that we receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist, because that is what Jesus Christ did say directly.

and Part II.

[3]  Roman Catholics wrongly think their church system was founded by Jesus on Peter the first pope.
Yes, we do believe that the Church was founded by Jesus on Peter, the Rock. We believe it because Jesus Christ said it. The post got long so I left it with debunking this, too, as a "deception." Both Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church prove this belief to be true and not a deception.

The next two "deadly deceptions" have to do with Mary so I thought I'd do them in one post. First:
[4] Catholics think Mary is their life, sweetness, and hope and promote her as such when they recite the rosary, which they say is the epitome of the whole gospel.
Let me talk about this so-called "deception" before I go onto his side arguments under this one.
I'm not sure how many times a Catholic can reiterate that Mary has no super power of her own and that Catholic Church does not teach that she does, and have a Protestant believe it.
Mary is our life because the Father chose her to carry the Life of the World--His Son Jesus Christ.
Mary is our sweetness because the Father chose her to carry the Sweetness of the World--His Son, Jesus Christ.
Mary is our hope because the Father chose her to carry the hope of the world--His Son, Jesus Christ.
We love Mary and honor her because she is GOD's Mother. If you believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, why do you not honor Mary His mother? Honoring Mary does not diminish our worship of her Son, Jesus Christ; it actually enhances out love of Him by loving and honoring His mother.  After all, her "soul magnified the Lord." (Luke 1:46)

As for the Rosary, it is the epitome of the Gospel. It is the definition ("a perfect example: an example represents or expresses something very well"--Merriam-Webster.com) of an epitome of the Gospel. I would venture to guess that the anonymous author has no idea what the Rosary is or what it is made up of. The Rosary is a series of prayers, yes, but it also contains meditations, things that you are to meditate on during your prayers. The 20 meditations (meditated on during each decade-ten beads-of the Rosary) are as follows:
The Joyful Mysteries:
1) The Annunciation: Luke 1:35-38
2) The Visitation; Luke 1:41-42
3) The Nativity (The birth of Jesus Christ); Luke 2:6-7
4) The Presentation; Luke 2:25-40
5) The Finding of Jesus in the Temple; Luke 2:46-47
Thus you will have complete a complete round of the Rosary beads and prayed the story of Jesus and Mary in the Gospel of Luke. Last time I heard Luke's book was considered a Gospel.
Next are the Luminous Mysteries (added to the traditional Rosary by Saint John Paul II)
1) The Baptism of Jesus; Mark 1:9-11
2) The Miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana; John 2:5-8
3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; Mark 1:15
4) The Transfiguration; Matthew 17:2-5
5) The Institution of the Eucharist; Matthew 26:26-28
Here is another complete round of the Rosary beads. Matthew, Mark, and John also being authors of books called Gospel.
Which brings us to the Sorrowful Mysteries:
1) The Agony in the Garden; Mark 14:33-36
2) The Scourging at the pillar; John 19:1
3) The Crowning with Thorns; Mark 15:17
4) Carrying of the Cross; Luke 23: 27-28
5) The Crucifixion; John 19:33-35
And, next the Glorious Mysteries:
1) The Resurrection; John 20:1
2) The Ascension; Acts 1:7-9
3) The Descent of the Holy Spirit; Acts 2:2-4
4) The Assumption of Mary; Luke 1:30
5) The Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven; Revelation 12:1
You can find, online, several places where you can pray a "scriptural Rosary", where there is a Scripture passage for each of the ten beads of each meditation. There is one here, or here, or even this one. The Meditations of the Rosary are very Scriptural and definitely are the "epitome", an excellent example, of the Gospel.

As for Protestant objections to praying to Mary in this way, I would like to reiterate that we actually ask Mary to pray for us. All our prayers are directed straight to Jesus. This is the very same thing we do when we ask a friend, a minister, or a family member to pray for us to God. The difference is that we know that Mary is beside her Son, and has His ear. What mother doesn't have some influence over her son?
"...she is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God...it is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God."  --Martin Luther; Sermon on John 14:16
"Men have crowded all her glory into a single phrase: The Mother of God. No one can say anything greater of her, though he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees." --Martin Luther; Commentary on the Magnificat. Source.
Even the father of the Protestant movement, Martin Luther, disagrees with the author of this post. Under this "deception" he made this comment (yes, I skipped a little of his comments that were redundant).

Catholicism has erected a false Mary, which has a primary role in people's salvation. Such has misled many sincere people.
Again, all I can say is that the author has no idea what place Mary has in the Church. She is the Mother of God. If she had not said yes to God, Jesus would not have been born. Don't get me wrong, I do believe God could have done it any other way--BUT HE DIDN'T. He prepared the perfect "vessel", mother, and then gave her a choice to obey or not. She said, "yes" and became the mother of God Incarnate. How could that not be special? How could one say she has no place in salvation history? It actually makes no logical sense to say that Mary had nothing to do with it. However the author of this diatribe says:
Mary plays absolutely no role in our salvation.
She had the biggest role of any human being in our salvation. She carried our salvation in her human body. She nursed our salvation at her breast. She bounced our salvation on her knee.
Then he says:
This means you cannot trust in being a Catholic, the sacraments and/or Mary along with the Lord Jesus. You must trust in Jesus alone (100%). That implies a turning away from sin.
Another statement that makes this or any informed Catholic see that this author has no idea what the Catholic Church is or teaches. But let's just look at the surface of this statement. Why must there be an either/or. To me, he is also condemning himself with this statement because he says that you must trust in Jesus Christ 100%. Does he also say that his one rule or authority of faith is the Bible? Then he is putting his trust in something other than Jesus Christ, is he not? Yes, the Scriptures testify to Jesus and His ministry, but it also attests to Mary's place in that ministry, in the Apostles commission from Jesus continuing that ministry, and to the foundation of His Church which continues His ministry.

The Church does not imply the turning away from sin but outright preaches it. We worship and obey Jesus' commands. All of the Sacraments were founded by Jesus and He commanded the Apostles to teach them. And, the Church does not teach that Mary is Jesus' equal, never has, but does teach that He loves and honors His mother and that she prays for and loves all of His followers. She sees us all as her children. We, Catholics, do trust in Jesus alone, 100%; we just don't see that we must dishonor someone in order to honor Jesus Christ our Savior.

His next question has to do with Mary also, so I thought I'd include it here.
[5] Catholics think if they die wearing the brown scapular they will not suffer the fires of hell.
For one thing, it is obvious that the anonymous author knows nothing about sacramentals. Sacramentals are "sacred signs instituted by the Church to prepare us to receive the fruit of the sacraments and to sanctify different circumstances of our lives" (CCC 1677). They are the little things that bring us out of our ordinary lives and help us think of spiritual things and tell other people we are Catholic. The Rosary is a sacramental, so is the brown scapular. You can read more on sacramentals here.
 "The promise that wearing [the brown scapular] will ensure that a person who wears is guaranteed heaven. This guarantee is based on a misunderstanding of Our Lady of Mount Carmel's promise to St. Simon Stock that "whosoever dies clothed in this scapular shall not suffer eternal life."" --Michelle Arnold, staff Apologist, Catholic Answers
 People who say that a certain prayer or a certain thing will guarantee anything, including salvation, heaven, or to get out of Heaven is engaging in superstition which is strictly against Catholic teaching.

The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is best understood in the context of our Catholic Faith. It offers us a rich spiritual tradition that honors Mary as the first and foremost of her Son's disciples. This scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother, and queen. It offers an effective symbol of Mary's protection to the Order of Carmel--its members, associates, and affiliates--as they strive to fulfill their vocation as defined by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert: "To live in allegiance to Jesus Christ." --Michelle Arnold, staff Apologist, Catholic Answers.
[I thought Ms. Arnold's explanations of the scapular were excellent.]
In other words, the brown scapular is not a lucky charm; you can't just put it on and be saved from hell. The Church does not teach that and the Carmelites do not teach that. The promise is for those who wear the brown scapular as a sign of their devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ. Your devotion to Jesus Christ and His teachings are what will save you from hell. If you are wearing it as a talisman, or a good luck charm, the promise is not valid. It is as simple as that.
Read Ms. Arnold's article for an excellent explanation of the brown scapular and the promise attached to it.
So, to answer about this as a "deception", it is actually a misunderstanding of what a sacramental is and what the brown scapular as a sacramental is and what it can do. The scapular is a sign, like wearing a cross or crucifix around one's neck to proclaim to the world that one is a Christian. The scapular tells the world that one is a Carmelite or follow that Carmelite way of prayer and devotion to Jesus. 

That is long enough for this post.

[6] Catholics think the sacraments are a means of them receiving grace needed for salvation.
[7] Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of to God.
[8]  Catholics who read and believe the Fatima Visions are dangerously thinking that Mary is our refuge and the way that will lead them to God.
[9] Many Catholics are just hoping to enter Purgatory and there get purged of their sins to afterwards go to Heaven.
[10] Catholics have been lethally misinformed about how to show their love for the Lord Jesus.

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