*****************Part IV Begins here:
On to the next statements.
Next the anonymous author of the tract said:
 Catholics think the sacraments are a means of them receiving grace needed for salvation.I would just like to preface my statements under this so-called "deception", that I do not believe any of his statements are indeed deceptions. However, Catholics do think the Sacraments are a means of receiving grace. Why? Because every single one of the Sacraments was instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace.
This Sacrament was instituted by Christ and is necessary to be "born again" in "water and the spirit."
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15, 16)
Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit." (John 3:5, 6)
Matt. 28:20) Jesus commanded the apostles to Baptize with His power. He gave them the power and the command to baptize. All Christians should take that seriously.
St. Peter took this commandment very seriously:
Peter [said] to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2: 38,39)Baptism was an important command of Our Lord Jesus to all Christians. It was instituted in the Church at the very beginning.
"She and her household had been baptized" (Acts 16:15)
"Then he and all his family were baptized at once." (Acts 16:33)
"Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized." (Acts 18:8)
Whole households/families were baptized. This was to make them Christians; the entire family, men, women, children, were baptized as Jesus had commanded.
"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit." (I Cor. 12:13)We were meant to be one in this baptism; it was both saving and unifying.
"Who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him." (I Peter 3:20-22)Baptism saves. Those who actually study scripture, let alone Christian history will understand that. What else can be said about it? Why do some who call themselves Christians deny its value in the plan of salvation? If you are not baptized according to Jesus Christ's word, are you "saved?" In my opinion, you would be hard pressed to say "yes" if you believe in Scripture.
This Sacrament completes Baptism with a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and strengthens the Christian for their mission. This happened at Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles and, by the way, they went out and eventually baptized about 3,000 people that day.
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you." (John 14:16, 17)Jesus promised the Holy Spirit. It was a gift of the Spirit from the Father and the Son (or through the Son as the Orthodox would put it). And, the apostles received the Holy Spirit 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:3)
"Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit." (Acts 8:17)
"And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied." (Acts 19: 6)This laying on of hands is how the Holy Spirit was given to each successive generations of Christians. Today, the bishop lays his hands on the Confirmation candidates and they receive the renewing and strengthening of the Holy Spirit as promised us by Jesus Christ Himself.
What more is there to say about the Eucharist; Christ said it all. We, Catholics, believe what He said. It has been explained over and over and over by Catholic apologists since the beginning of the Church.
It is obvious to us that this Sacrament was instituted by Christ. The earliest account of the Sacrament in the Church is from the first letter of Paul to the Church at Corinth (I Corinthians) which scholars believe was written before the Gospel account.
"For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was handed over, took bread, and, after He had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is My body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself."Here we see how much St. Paul believes in the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. If one does not discern the body and blood of the Lord, one brings judgment on oneself. How could a symbol bring judgment on anyone? There is no equivocation on this in Paul's account of the Eucharist and how it was passed down to him, and how he was passed it down to the church in Corinth.
(I Cor. 11:23-29)
But beyond St. Paul's account of the Tradition of passing down the Eucharist and its form, we see how Christ instituted this Himself, in His own words, witnessed by St. Matthew, one of His chosen.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to His disciples said, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” (Matthew 26:26-29)This is a straight forward command by Jesus (which "should be the standard of Christian conduct") "This is My Body" He did not say "This is a symbol of My body." He said, "This IS My Body." For Catholics, it is just that simple--He said it; we believe it. He also said the wine was "My blood of the covenant..." He did not say it was a symbol of His blood; He said it WAS His blood. For Catholics, it is just that simple--He said it; we believe it. (Yes, I repeated that on purpose.)
We also believe that John chapter six tells us how He explained the what the Eucharist would mean to His apostles before the Last Supper; what it means to us now.
So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me and this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”
The Jews murmured about Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know His father and mother? Then how can He say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all by taught by God.' Everyone who listens to My Father and learns from Him comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from Heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world."
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [His] flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will have life because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:32-58)Here the true Bible-believers, Catholics, believe Jesus and take Him at His word. See how many times He says EAT and DRINK, which one must do to have life. We take His explanation of Himself, the Bread from Heaven, at His word.
If the disciples (not the 12 apostles) thought that He was speaking symbolically, why would they have a problem with it? It is obvious to those who have an open mind and heart that they were having a hard time accepting what He said because they took His words literally. In ancient times, telling the people to eat His flesh symbolically, would be the equivalent of someone saying "Bite me" today. It would have been an insult and the disciples could not imagine He was insulting them; He must therefore, have meant it literally.Then many of His disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it? (John 6:60)
The passage goes on:
He asked them, as many Catholics asked Protestants, "Does this shock you?" What would be shocking if He was speaking symbolically? It would be insulting, as I stated previously, but it would not be shocking. Some Protestants like to explain it away by stating that Jesus said that the flesh is of no avail. Do Protestants really believe JESUS'S FLESH is of no avail? Then why in the world would one believe that Jesus was the savior of the world? If HIS FLESH is of no avail then what was the point of His dying on the cross? There would be no point. When He says flesh is of no avail, He is talking about the world versus the spirit. The words that he spoke which are "spirit and life" are His words that HE is the Bread from Heaven, that if we do not EAT His Flesh (bread) and DRINK His blood (wine) we cannot have LIFE. We believe Him.Since Jesus knew that His disciples were murmuring about this, He said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” (John 6:61-65)
We believe Jesus Christ at His word and believe, upon penalty of judgment, that He gave us His Flesh and His blood to consume; It is that which gives us eternal life. And, yes, the old accusation of cannibalism is a very old one. The early church had been accused of killing babies and eating them at their ceremonies. Not only was it not true then, it is not true today. And, no, the Body and Blood of Christ do not go through our digestive system to be excreted--one of the nastiest accusations a Protestant said on CDF once. Just as some nutrients are absorbed in the mouth before going to the stomach, so the Presence and Spirit of Jesus Christ becomes part of our souls before we even swallow the bread and wine. We don't excrete Christ; we become one with Him in Spirit and Truth.
The last statement under this "deception" says,
Such false teaching has also placed the Catholic in the mind set of thinking he must remain in the Catholic system to go to Penance and get communion (Holy Eucharist), which they also think should be worshiped as God.
ii) The Catholic Church is not a "system"; it is the Body of Christ.
iii) I will touch on Penance next.
iv) Think about this: IF one believes that the Real Presence of Jesus is in the Bread, and IF one believes that means that it has transubstantiated (changed substance) into Jesus' real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, why wouldn't one worship Jesus in the flesh? It only makes common sense. We worship Christ in the Flesh--not a piece of bread; as it is no longer bread but Jesus.
"I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19)Jesus gave the power to forgive sins to His apostles. In the above verse, He is speaking to St. Peter. He gave St. Peter the authority to forgive or not forgive. What is forgiven on Earth is forgiven in Heaven.
In a different incidence after the Resurrection, Jesus Christ gave this power to all the apostles:
[Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20: 21-23)Here He gave an even more clear command. The apostles were sent out by Him as the Father had sent Him. He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and gave them a clear statement that they were to have the power to forgive sins. It is as clear as a blue sky.
And for the information of the Protestant, the priest is a physical representative of Jesus Christ in the confessional. There is nothing more comforting the actually hearing the words, "You are forgiven." It is relieving to hear it out loud. The Lord gave us five senses, hearing being one of them, and they enhance our spiritual experience in the church.
5) ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Christ and late His apostles healed the sick. Christ even brought people back from the dead.
People brought to Him all those who were sick and begged Him that they might touch only the tassel on His cloak, and as many as touched it were healed. (Matthew 14:35b-36)
"They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:13)
The tradition of anointing the sick is clear in this passage:
"Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven." (James 5:14-15)
The Catechism explains this Tradition very well:
1511 The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick:
- This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord.125 125 Council Of Trent (1551): DS 1695; cf. Mk 6:13; Jas 5:14-15.125 Council Of Trent (1551): DS 1695; cf. Mk 6:13; Jas 5:14-15.
1512 From ancient times in the liturgical traditions of both East and West, we have testimonies to the practice of anointings of the sick with blessed oil. Over the centuries the Anointing of the Sick was conferred more and more exclusively on those at the point of death. Because of this it received the name "Extreme Unction." Notwithstanding this evolution the liturgy has never failed to beg the Lord that the sick person may recover his health if it would be conducive to his salvation.126 126 Cf. Council Of Trent (1551): DS 1696.
1513 The Apostolic Constitution Sacram unctionem infirmorum,127 following upon the Second Vatican Council,128 established that henceforth, in the Roman Rite, the following be observed: 127 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Sacram unctionem infirmorum, November 30, 1972.
128 Cf. SC 73.
- The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil - pressed from olives or from other plants - saying, only once: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up."129 129 Cf. CIC, Can. 847 § 1.123 Jas 5:14-15.
It may help healing or it may prepare the sick for death, note that sins are forgiven in this Sacrament. St. James outlines the healing Sacrament clearly. Again, Catholics take this Scriptural Tradition literally. Asking the Lord for healing certainly is not a "deception".
6) HOLY ORDERS
The threefold division of sacred ministers (bishops, priests and deacons) prefigured in the Old Law (high priest, priests, Levites) is clearly revealed in Scripture. Yet, most so-called "bible-believing" Protestant churches do not have them. (Rev. Donovan, EWTN contributor)
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. (Acts 6:3-6)Here we see the twelve in a dilemma; they were too busy and needed men to help them. So they chose seven men to help with "serv[ing] at table", in other words the Eucharist, and laid hands on them and prayed over them. Those chosen became priests anointed by the bishops (apostles).
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3)Here is another incident of the laying on of hands and sending. Here Barnabas and Saul are made priests to help in the work at Antioch.
And, the tradition of celibate priests came from the fact that they gave their whole lives to Christ and His Kingdom. It is also implicit in Scripture:
[His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” (Matt. 19:10-12)
Here are other Scriptures describing the qualifications of the bishops (and priests) and deacons, and the use of this gift of the laying on of hands: 1 Tim. 3:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-9; 1 Tim. 4:14; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Tim. 5:17-19; 1 Tim. 5:22.
Marriage is, as St. Paul states, a mystery (mysterion). The Latin word used to translate mysterion is "sacramentum". The sacraments are mysteries (as Eastern Christians still call them), for one thing is visible and something else is known by faith. By faith, matrimony is a sign of Christ and the Church, as well as a special calling. Mt. 19:10-11; Eph. 5:31-32.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew/19http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew/19“For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. (Eph. 5:31-33; Paul is quoting Jesus as testified to in Matt. 19:5 and Mark 10:7,8)
These definitions and Scripture lists are from an EWTN article written by Rev. Colin Donovan called Sacraments in Scripture.
The anonymous author also said,
Because Catholics have been taught this way, they are trusting in the sacraments for salvation instead of the Lord Jesus as the Bible declares.On the contrary, we don't "trust in the sacraments for salvation instead of the Lord Jesus Christ." Each and every one of the Sacraments was instituted by Christ and attested to in the Scriptures. In obedience to our Lord, we depend on Him for our salvation. One of the things I don't understand about supposed "Bible-believing Christians" is that they don't actually obey Christ's commands in the Bible, ie, "Go into all nations...baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." In "trusting" in the Sacraments we are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ironically, the author does not cite a lick of Scripture in his condemnation of Catholicism here.) The dependence on the Sacraments is not a "deception"; his is a false premise.
 Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of to God.Indeed Catholics do not confess their sins to a priest instead of to God. Confession in the Sacrament is confessing to God. This, again, is a false premise. He (the anonymous author) said,
"We can go directly to God, without a priest or Mary and get forgiven, if we go in repentance, sincerity and humility" (Luke 18:13,14)This statement, to me, would seem to be the opposite of humility. Yes, we can "go directly to God" but we can also use the means of Confession He instituted. (See discussion above on the Sacraments).
And, I am not sure what he is trying to emphasize by citing the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. All who come to the Sacrament of Confession come in humility. One who is not humble and sincerely sorry is not, I suspect, going to go any where near the confessional, anyway.
I would counter his statement with these:
If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. (James 5:15b,16)Paul believes he was given the "ministry of reconciliation".
And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18,19)
Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ. 2 Cor 2:10
Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation."42 The apostle is sent out "on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God."43 42 2 Cor 5:18. 43 2 Cor 5:20. CCC 1442
Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."54 54 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. Ex 20:17; Mt 5:28.
Yes, we can go directly to God, but we can also go to the priest. He stands in the place of Jesus in the Sacraments, especially confession. Jesus is saying, "Your sins are forgiven you." It is powerful to hear those words.
- When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know."55 55 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. St. Jerome, In Eccl. 10,11:PL 23:1096. CCC 1456
 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.
 Many Catholics are just hoping to enter Purgatory and there get purged of their sins to afterwards go to Heaven.
 Catholics have been lethally misinformed about how to show their love for the Lord Jesus.