My mom was born in Missouri. That's the SHOW ME State.
This article was sparked by some email communication but may also include some things not in that communication that are common areas brought up or alluded to related to Catholicism.
Don't take me out of context on NOT concerned meaning that I don't care. Because it does bother me when someone doesn't KNOW their faith, doesn't LIVE their faith and lives a HYPOCRITICAL life: But for the sake of this article, I'm NOT concerned with JOHN DOE Catholic and how he lives his life or what he thinks the Catholic Church teaches. I'm NOT concerned with some Catholic leadership who may in the eyes of others live like hypocrites or even outright say things that are not in line with the Catholic Church. But for this article, I am concerned with what an official Papal Encyclical or The Catechism actually says in full context about what I'm bringing up below:
1) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context where it says: A Catholic can continually sin: drinking ( to excess - drunk ), smoke weed, fornicate, watch porn, use filthy language and lie regularly, then all one has to do is simply believe in God and all will be fine in the end. Please show me where this kind of living as a Catholic is just fine in the eyes of the Church.
2) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context where it says: The Church condones hypocrisy of Priest and that the Church wants Priests to simply put on a show for the people in the name of the Pope.
3) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context where it says: Catholics should not read their Bible. Catholics should only pick scriptures that apply to them at a moment when it fits their need.
4) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context where it says: An individual should go about their life every week being a sinner, then confess your sin, say a few prayers and then go out the next week and do the same thing over and over again.
5) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context: Where the 10 Commandments have been changed and distorted to fit Catholic teachings? Some say the 2nd Commandment has been taken out. FYI, I'll help you on this one. Here's the link to the Catechism section.
6) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context: Where does it say anything about us "not" being sinners and needing a Savior? Where does it say that Jesus Christ is the "not" way and that the cross is "not" the path? Where does it say that we should "not" repent of our sins and turn to Christ?
7) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context: Where there is any other mediator between God and man other than Jesus Christ? I'm not talking about what you THINK. I'm talking about actual wording in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism. I'm not concerned with personal opinion. I'm concerned with actual, in writing, official Catholic Church documentation.
8) SHOW ME in a Papal Encyclical or The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Full Context where it says: Catholics are to worship Mary. Catholics are to treat Mary equal with God. Mary is a mediator between us and God. Catholics must pray the rosary because it's a doctrine or dogma of the Church. This is a great example of how something can be taken out of context. Someone could say "I was on this Catholics website and he wrote "Catholics are to worship Mary" when I'm actually saying SHOW ME where that is TRUE according to the Catholic Church.
ADDITIONAL NOTE ON #8:
I've attended an estimated 150+ mass services ( with weekday in the mix ) at this point of my Catholic journey plus spent time in Church praying plus time in the adoration Chapel. I have never seen a person that I can recall kiss a statue of Mary, but even if I did that doesn't mean they worship Mary as GOD. I can honestly say that I haven't seen an excessive amount of attention in front of any statue of Mary. I'm simply speaking from my own personal experience.
Yes, I've seen a few people over nearly 2 years kneel before Mary but honestly not that many. Whether they are simply showing respect to the Mother of our Lord and Savior or actually worshipping Mary against Church teachings is between them and God. I would kiss a picture of my wife if she were no longer alive and I would even say I love you so much to that picture. That doesn't mean I worship my wife and most people wouldn't find it odd. Have you ever seen anyone kiss a Car, kiss a gift, kiss the ground, kiss a $100 bill, kiss a paycheck, etc. etc. etc. ? Does that automatically, without exception, mean they worship those things as GOD?
If you care to TRULY get a better understanding of Marian Doctrines, then pick up a copy of Tim Staples Book. Tim is not a cradle Catholic. He is a convert.
I'll stop with those 8 for now. However, I do want to address one other area.
Here is a direct quote from the individual who sparked much of the above:
"I do not attend any Christian Church because I believe most all have an ulterior motive of money. I’d rather get together with like minded people I know to have a true love for God and the Bible to pray and study like Jesus wanted."
I'll focus in on the bolded area:
1) True Love for God - That's me and many Catholics I know and a lot of other Christians I know.
2) True Love of the Bible - That's me and many Catholics I know and a lot of other Christians I know.
3) To Pray - That's me and many Catholics I know and a lot of other Christians I know. Prayer is a key part of the Christian life.
4) To Study Like Jesus Wanted - Jesus never made a direct command to study the New Testament. There wasn't an actual written New Testament before His ascension. I'm "not" saying Jesus doesn't want us to love the Bible, read God's word and study God's word, but let's keep this in context. Jesus left a Church not a book. Jesus didn't hand out 11 Bibles ( Judas was gone ) to the Apostles after His resurrection before His ascension. Jesus didn't say, "Go print more Bibles and let people study to come to their own conclusions." Actually Jesus said "Go Preach - Go Make Disciples."
Here's the short version related to the New Testament:
1) It is the infallible, inspired word of God. All of it, both Old and New Testament.
2) The New Testament was not finished at the time of Jesus resurrection. The first books were not written for about 20 years after his death on the Cross. What did people do for 20 years. They didn't have a New Testament to study. The first Gospel was not written until around the year 70AD and the last as late as the year 100AD. What did people do for 60+ years? They didn't have a New Testament to study.
3) The Bible didn't drop out of the sky and come with a concordance. Concerning the official list of the 27 books, some will argue around the year 250 AD that Origen made note of the first list. Others will say it was more officially recognized around the year 367 AD, but the 27 books of the New Testament became officially part of the Canon of Scripture around the year 400 AD. Help me out here, even if you go with 250 AD, what did people do for over 200 years after the death of Christ? Did everyone have a Bible in their hands?
4) Did you know that Bibles were handwritten and expensive? Did you know that many people in the early centuries couldn't read? Did you know that the printing press did not come out until the 1450's? That's around the time Bibles became more accessible? What did people do for over 1400 years after Christ death if they couldn't have their OWN copy of the Bible to study and come to their own fallible conclusions?
5) If sitting at home studying your Bible coming to your own fallible conclusions didn't work for over 1400 years, it still doesn't work today. Jesus did not call us to be a people of sit at home readers. Jesus did call us to GO UNTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL.