††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Which Church?
Does it matter if you belong to any one church?
The word "church" has a number of different meanings, which, although related, are distinct in use. To avoid confusion, in this tract the word shall mean a denomination: a group of people who hold a common religious belief system and identify themselves as separate from other "churches."
With this in mind, let us frame the key question: does it matter whether the true Christian is a member of the right church?
This leads to two other questions:
1. Is there a right (true) church?
2. Does it matter if he belongs to any one church?
Let us examine the Protestant view. We understand that many people object to the word "Protestant" as it is purely negative - meaning "non-Catholic" - but no other term will serve. Protestants disagree in many things, except that they are not Catholic. Although there are some variations among the many Protestant cults, in general, a common view is held. As with all Protestant views, it is essentially negative rather than affirmative. The Protestant holds that a/the Church is not necessary:
∑ as a means of receiving the grace of salvation;
∑ as a means of understanding the Bible;
∑ as an institution which teaches truth to men;
∑ as a means of having sins forgiven;
∑ as a means of determining who is a Christian;
∑ as the way of coming close to Jesus;
∑ as the means by which Jesusí teachings are preserved;
∑ as the means by which the Bible was produced, validated, etc. Nor, says the Protestant, is membership in any particular church necessary for salvation.
If all of this - if any of this - is true, then the key question now is: why did Jesus found a Church at all? If Jesus died for us so we could be saved, and if this can be done without any particular church, then Jesus founded a church for no reason.
Can any Christian really say that Jesus did something for no reason? No! Jesusí life and all His acts were done for a reason and with an end in mind. And that end, as far as we men are concerned, is that we may enter heaven to share eternal life and joy with Him. Therefore, He must have founded a church as one of the means necessary for salvation. And the true Christian Church must be the Roman Catholic Church.
In a short work such as this, the clear and irrefutable proofs of Roman Catholicism cannot be detailed, but many products from ARM easily and absolutely establish the validity of this claim. We suggest the tapes "Roman Catholic Proofs I & II."
The Catholic (i.e. Christian) position is that membership in the Church is NECESSARY for salvation, for outside the Church there is No salvation.
Jesus founded His Church to teach truth and bring grace to all men. No one can reject her teachings and honestly claim that he accepts JesusÖcan he? Ask yourself that question - but you already know the answer.
But, someone might ask, could not any Church fail, become corrupt, teach
error, etc.? If this could happen, then Jesus failed. He promised that His
Church, founded on St. Peter (the Rock) would not fail. Did Jesus lie when He
told us this? No! Even without that fact, simply imagine what would have
happened if His Church failed. This would mean that a man could place his faith
And by what other means can a man seek Godís truth? The Bible? But that collection of books only came into existence as the Bible because the Roman Catholic Church canonized (made official) the contents. This is to say that the Bibleís very contents were selected by this Church. How can one claim to accept the Bible and reject the God-inspired Authority which determined it to be Godís Word? For those of you who foolishly hold that the Catholic Church only came into existence c.325 A.D., note that the canonization of the Bible only occurred several decades later.
And what is a "church" which cannot tell man what he must believe to be a true Christian? Such a "church" would either have no knowledge of what is true and what is false, or it would hold that truth in dogma is not important. Either way it could not be following the Jesus who called Himself "the Truth" and who stated that everyone committed to the truth hears his voice. This kind of "church" could only have no important place for truth.
Now ask yourself again if it really matters which Church you are in.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††Why Don't Catholics Evangelize?
† You have probably had a number of people approach you to talk about religion, and some may have tried to convert you, but almost certainly none of these was a Roman Catholic. So, probably until now, no Catholic has ever invited you to become a Catholic.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY THIS IS SO?
The Catholic Church teaches that it alone is THE true Church, and thatóno matter how much its enemies or disobedient children try to weaken the dogma or authority - there is NO salvation separated from it. Yet if YOU are a Catholic - even if you are a "good" one - the chances are quite high that you have NEVER (or only VERY infrequently) attempted the conversion of another. If you are a Protestant, etc. you may wonder why your Catholic friends do not seem to care if you go to hell or not. Donít we?
Add to these facts the fact that the Catholic Church DOES hold that evangelism is a primary task of all Christians. So still, the question arises: why donít Catholics make the effort? We all see some of the "fundy" Protestants at least go through the motions of conversion attempts. Could it be that Catholics do not really have the same commitment to their faith that the Protestants do?
This tract examines this issue and, I hope, will act as an inducement for those Catholics who read it to take more seriously this obligation in the future.
There are a number of reasons why Catholics do not evangelize.
FIRST: In Catholicism there is a radical distinction between the clergy and the laity. As a result, far too many (most?) lay Catholics feel that the role of missionary belongs properly to the priest, and not the lay person. This is a common misconception.
SECOND: The Catholic Church, being the true Church of Jesus Christ, is divided into bureaucratic subdivisions. Some of these do ONLY evangelism work. The average Catholic supports these groups financially. This gives him the sense that he has done "something" to meet his obligation. It is not enough, of course, but it does lessen to some degree the sense of obligation.
THIRD: Catholicism, unlike the other religions (especially Protestantism) consists of a set system of truths, morality, and worship. Conversion to Catholicism ACTUALLY means a change from sin to virtue, reform, and truth. In Protestantism when one changes "faiths" it means no more than where one parks his car on Sunday. One can believe or not believe ANYTHING AT ALL (including that God does not exist) in Protestantism and still be in "good standing."
Catholicism, on the contrary, is different. Unlike brothels and Protestantism, where the "customer" is always right, Catholicism is committed to preserving Godís truth, and not merely satisfying peopleís whims. In our Church, truth MUST be totally accepted, whether YOU like it or not. Our beliefs are not meaningless phrases which require no commitment, no reform, no truth.
(under the penalty of eternal damnation)
When faced with this uncompromising situation many Catholics become intimidated by the task. This is all wrong, of course, because with God ALL things are possible. They need to but rely on Him for help.
Related to this is the more difficult task which Catholics face, especially when compared to Protestants. Unlike the non-Catholic who NEVER has to give an answer which makes sense, the Catholic MUST give an answer which is sensible, true, and defensible. The Protestant, for example, when confronted with some "unpleasant fact about his belief system, can simply tell the prospective convert that he can "disregard" this particular facet. Everything is optional, and the convert can customize his own belief system as he wishes and call it "Christianity." And according to the Protestant dogma of "freedom of conscience," there is no penalty for this. In fact, he is encouraged to do so! Such "Christianity" is a man-made invention, and can be modified whenever it is to anyoneís inclination.
Catholics have no such "advantage." We cannot simply reinforce sinful prejudices and call/pronounce it "faith." We MUST tell man that he "must deny his very self," and die to his old ways.
"Eternal truth" of Protestantism (and Rabbinic
"Judaism," and Mohammedanism, etc.) are like
So it is much easier to "sell" those other "religions" than to call men to submission to the will of God and conformity to His plan. Unfortunately Ė after and because of Original Sin Ė humans will ALWAYS prefer what is easier rather than what is right.
Catholicism has something to explain, defend, and offer. To be a Catholic evangelist requires an effort, and study, and knowledge. The Protestant can simply make things up as he goes along.
My last point is so self-evident that you probably havenít noticed it. The
very tract which YOU hold in your hand shows you that Catholics do in fact
evangelize. This tract is produced by ARM, the best and toughest Catholic
evangelistic organization in
So, if YOU are a Catholic, get in touch with us and we will supply the ARMs for your task. And if YOU are not (yet) a Catholic, become one and meet the first necessary condition for salvation.
Simply look at the claims of our Church, and you will find: "that upon first examination of the proofs of Catholicism, they are so self-evident that the will compels assent to them."
Hell is a rotten way to spend eternity.
Why are there Different Bibles?
† Most people are quite aware that there are different "versions" (i.e. translations) of the Bible. This is NOT my concern. The problem of VALID translation is a serious one, but there is a far more basic issue. And this is: WHAT should be or should not be in the Bible. In other words, why are there different Bibles with different contents. The Protestant "Bible" has had removed from it several books which are (and always have been) in the Catholic Bible.
Logic tells us that BOTH versions CANNOT be the "real Bible." Either 1st Maccabees, etc. ARE part of the Bible, or they are NOT. The issue is really this simple, and, if one wishes to take the Bible seriously, the issue is quite important.
Here is why it is important: If the Catholic Church truly and faithfully preserves the Word of God as contained in the Holy Scriptures, then IT IS, what its members claim that it is: the ONE TRUE Church of Christ. If, however, the Protestant version is the correct one, then the claim cannot be true. If this second alternative is correct, it would NOT establish which Protestant cult is "the" correct one, but it would establish that the Catholic Church is NOT the true Church.
In order to examine the issue, letís first examine the necessary nature of ANY book - for although the Bible has many aspects, it is always a book. The key question is WHO, or WHAT determined the contents of a book. Every book must have an author (or authors), and a publisher. It must be written, and then produced. If it is not produced (i.e. Published) then it remains only a manuscript, NOT a book. The actual form of the final edition is determined by the publisher and NOT by the author. For example, the final version of Tom Sawyer may not have been exactly as Mark Twain wrote. It was what the publisher agreed to publish as the book.
Of course, the author may not agree with this decision and seek another publisher, or he may even publish it himself. But even then it is the publisher (or the author as publisher) who ultimately decides what goes into the book.
This same principle holds true with the Bible. The Bibleís publisher is the Church of Rome. No Protestant sect ever "produced" the Bible. They simply accepted it from the Roman Church which passed it on to them. Then these various sects removed whatever parts offended their opinions.
The fact that the Protestants could NOT have been the publishers of the Bible (and therefore had no authority to abridge it), is easily proven. The Protestant Revolt did not take place until c. 1517 A.D. Therefore, the Bible MUST have been produced, preserved, etc. before any Protestant system came into existence. Now if the Bible is a "good fruit," then according to Jesus, it must have been produced by a "good tree" (Mt ). This good tree must have been the Church of Rome!
This leads to an important related point. Pentecost (the "birth" of the Church) took place c. 33 A.D. Martin Luther rebelled c. 1520. The difference is about 1500 years. This leads to a dilemma for the Protestant. EITHER Christianity existed in this intervening period OR it did not. If it did NOT exist, then Jesus did not establish a Church which was to teach true Christianity, but rather Luther or Calvin, etc. Then the Protestant follows mere men in religious matters. But IF the true Church did exist, then it cannot be any Protestant sect. It could have only been a different Church which pre-existed the Protestant cults. And this is, of course, the Church of Rome.
Now if we hold that the Bible is a book written by inspired Christians, then true Christians existed before the Protestant Revolt. But, more than this: it means that Christianity existed BEFORE the Bible was written. The Bible was written by members of the true Church (for this is one of the meanings of the word "Christian"). Therefore, as it did not precede the existence of the Church, and as the Church came into existence c. 33 A.D. , then the Bible MUST have come into existence between this time and 1517. And as this is definitely in the time of recorded history, then there should be historical records dealing with this.
YES. The Bible, remember, is not really one "book," but rather a collection of "books." If you wish, you could think of it as a library. Any collection (or library) can come into existence ONLY when all its parts are "collected" in one place AND some formal declaration is made that the collection is not more than merely a group of things in one place. All of the books of the Bible existed BEFORE they were collected into one volume. Each was written by a man inspired by God.
But until the books were put together as ONE unit, the Bible (as the BIBLE) did not properly exist. So the "birth" of the Bible occurred when it was formalized as THE book of Christianity. This process is called "canonization." And as all parts of the Bible existed before this process took place, canonization simply meant what was in the Bible and what was not in the Bible.
This happened at two ROMAN CATHOLIC Church councils
which took place around 400 A.D. in
In other words, Godís Church decided the contents of Godís book. And (unless God didnít care enough to get involved!) this decision MUST have been infallibly correct.
So the ONLY true Bible MUST be the Catholic one which was fixed forever by Godís Church over a thousand years before the Protestants decided to abridge it.
Now you know not only which version of the Bible is correct, you also know that if you reject the correct version you reject the authority of his church to speak for HIMÖand this means rejecting Jesus Himself (Jn 12:48; Lk 10:16).
And this is why this is an important issue. For if you are not accepting the Catholic Bible, you are rejecting Jesus.
Is Faith Enough?
(Note: in this tract, the subject matter will concern ONLY adults with normal mental capacities)
If you are a Protestant then you have probably heard often that salvation comes through grace which comes via faith alone - and NOT by works. And this "faith" is presented NOT as a series, or systems, of beliefs in specific doctrines, but rather as a "trusting confidence" in Jesus. It is (so we are told) "expressed" as a personal relationship, and NOT as a list of true statements concerning religious matters. It is called "believing in Jesus...not a system."
This is, of course, total non-sense, and a position which NO real Christian can adhere to...and this tract will (briefly) explain why.
FIRST, it is dishonest. Religious faith EXACTLY and PRECISELY means holding some doctrines as true and rejecting others as false. Faith means (among other things) drawing a clear distinction between what one holds to be eternally true and forever false. "Trusting" Jesus MUST mean - IF it is to mean anything at all - agreement with His truth...and agreement with His Church, which - IF it be His Church - MUST teach His truth. However, the Protestant does not hold this. According to him a "believer" in sect A (who holds to "eternal assurance of salvation") is EXACTLY as much a believer as the fellow in sect B (who rejects this belief). At least, this "equality" exists in the Protestant system. And according to the Protestant system, "trusting" Jesus leads NOT to "one faith" (Eph 4:5), but rather to a house "divided against itself."
Yet this is unavoidable in Protestantism.
SECOND, this "relationship faith," by rejecting distinction between true and false doctrines, DESTROYS the value of truth. If truth is NOT necessary for salvation, then it has no ultimate value. And this would, of necessity, mean that Jesus loses His value, for He identified Himself as Truth (Jn 14:6).
THIRD, this "trusting confidence" DESTROYS the value of Scripture. According to the Protestant system, one can "believe in Jesus," and yet DENY His Virgin Birth. Oh yes, the Bible clearly states this as a FACT...but Jesus nowhere says it Himself. Therefore, one can "believe in" Jesus without this. As the Protestant loves to say: "Systems of beliefs only get in the way between God and man." If one were actually silly enough to accept this Protestant "principle" then one may "trust" Jesus while rejecting the trustworthiness of the very same books which contain some of His teachings.
As this is a key point, I shall develop it a bit more.
IF Jesus does not require that His followers affirm some positions as true, and reject others as false, THEN He could have never told His followers to teach what He taught and commanded (Mt 28:20).
But He did precisely this! And if He meant it to be taken seriously (and He did!) then a true Christian MUST be able (and willing) to determine which doctrine, which action, which form of worship, is correct, and which is against God's will.
And for this to be done, there MUST be more than trust; there must also be facts, truth, understanding, and knowledge. After all, Jesus told His followers that they would KNOW the truth (Jn ). And if one has knowledge of the truth, then one has the ability to determine which doctrines are true. If one still (like the Protestant) refuses to "take a stand" on the issues, then one can only be indifferent to truth itself.
If this seems like a strong statement, consider the only alternative. As noted above, Jesus told His followers to teach EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. To do this, one must have a way of coming to a knowledge of what this "everything" is. Otherwise one would be "trusting" someone who asks the impossible and/or does not know what he is talking about.
But of course, neither of these situations apply to Jesus. He asks us to do what is possible, and He provided the means by which we may come to a knowledge of truth (1 Tim 2:4). This means (as He is no longer here teaching us the way He taught His disciples) that His Church would continue that role as it is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim ). It is through His Church that we true Christians can learn what is true. And what this means is, of course His Church will endure through time (Mt ).
Jesus required that we know and teach truth. If He is trustworthy, then He would have provided us this Church to help us meet this requirement. Only then could He truly be called "trustworthy."
What this means is that IF one were to accept the Protestant position of "trusting Jesus" as the KEY element of Christianity, then the absolute necessity of the one true Church becomes self-evident.
But as shown before, this one true Church CANNOT be any of the Protestant sects. This is because they do not hold truth to be of value (remember one can believe or reject whatever one wants to - and still be a "good" Protestant). And because the Protestant rejects the value and necessity of the true Church (remember one can be a member of any "church" and still be saved - according to them) he is not being consistent in "trusting Jesus."
No one can "trust" Jesus and not "trust" the very means He established by which man would come to know truth and learn His teachings. Yet, incredible as it seems this is EXACTLY what the Protestant does.
If you are a Protestant, I ask YOU this,"YOU never really have been honest about believing (or examining) this bit of nonsense, have you"? I sincerely ask YOU to think about it now. There is still hope, and (as you are not dead yet) still time.
And if YOU are a Catholic, do consider increasing YOUR efforts to Protestants, so that they will be "set free" from the lie, and come to "know the truth," as Jesus said. We Catholics CANNOT say that we are His followers, if we do not love our brothers enough to try to bring them to the FAITH that truly saves.
And they won't learn it outside of the Church of Rome.
Why Be Catholic?
WHY BE CATHOLIC? This tract asks a question which could easily require a large book to answer...or could be answered in one brief sentence. I shall attempt to answer the question by writing something in between, and do justice to the question.
There are some characteristics which ALL (normal) humans share:
∑ One of these is the desire to know - and the willingness to seek to find out - IF there is a "meaning" to life.
∑ Second characteristic is to know WHY there is "undeserved" suffering in our lives.
This leads us to the first reason to be a Catholic: namely, to receive answers to these questions.
Everyone of us knows that "beyond us humans" there is "something else" - something which will ultimately explain what life is really all about. This "something else" is what most of us mean when we use the word "God." The mere fact that we want to know about God is a "proof" for His existence, and a "proof" that He has a plan and a design for us. But this tract is NOT concerned with proving the existence of God. This desire for knowledge is why men seek to join religious systems. It is the desire for answers. But only one of the systems (the ONE established by God Himself) can fulfill this desire in all of us. In every OTHER (than the Catholic) system there are fatal flaws and self-contradictions. Every OTHER system is "divided against itself" and cannot stand examination.
To illustrate this point with the Protestant system, I shall give an example.
Many Protestants (say that they) believe that once they are "born again," they are then guaranteed entry into heaven when they die - no matter what they do or do not do. Therefore, logically, IF heaven is a good place, and IF they really want to go there, THEN they should commit suicide to get to heaven NOW. Why should they wait for the next bit of human unhappiness to come along? They could "be at home" with Jesus and not worry about the heating bill or their health.
The reason usually given in answer to this questions the ethics of the system that says that suicide is a sin, and sin should be avoided. But notice the necessary conclusion: the sin of suicide leads to an immediate reward (heaven), while the righteous act of living leads to yet more and more suffering. So heaven is the reward for sin, and suffering is the reward of virtue! NO SANE person believes this. It is utterly opposed to the very concepts of sin, virtue, and God. A system which has this as its basic premise CANNOT satisfy the person when it comes to the real questions. To answer these questions someone needs truth. And Catholicism has a consistent, logical, TRUTHFUL theology which answers these troubling questions. But this is only natural, as our theology was given by Jesus to the Apostles, and from them to us.
Let me deal with issues of suffering. Suffering troubles all of us, as we all suffer and see loved ones suffer. The Protestant NEVER explains the random suffering, the type not caused directly by the person. He cannot. When this issue arises he dodges and evades. This is the nature of Protestantism: it has no answers to the questions of life.
In Catholicism, Purgatory and Indulgences (which ARE taught in the Bible) explain how love can be expressed in such suffering, and how our pain can be used for the benefit of others or for ourselves. We Catholics have the answer why such suffering is advocated by the Bible, and how such suffering can reconcile with God's love, justice, and mercy.
No OTHER system even tries.
To put it slightly differently, when it comes to THE important issues of life, no other system has an answer. This would mean that some cruel "god" of the Protestants. In Catholicism, not only are these desires satisfied, but also the answer satisfies the brain and gives peace and comfort to the heart. This is simply because the God who made YOU made YOU restless until you rest in His knowledge of Him, until YOU approach Him in truth. In other words, YOU must approach Him in the Church which He established to teach these truths to you.
And this is the reason to become a Catholic.
But this is not all. Perhaps, equally important, you should be a Catholic in order to have your sins forgiven. Sin caused guilt, and this needs remission, if you are to regain peace. ONLY Catholicism's sacramental system offers the way for you to know that your sins are removed. Such a system is the only one taught by the Bible (Jn ).
Even without this Biblical support your own soul cries out for assurance of forgiveness. All the other systems simply "wish away" the guilt of sin, but no one is fooled by such silliness. YOU aren't, are you?
I'll briefly touch on another reason to be Catholic. This is to minimize the effects of death. One of the worst effects of death is the separation of loved ones. IF death separates people from doing good from each other, then there is no solace for this sorrow and "god" is cruel. However, the Communion of Saints (a truth taught by Jesus) assures us that death does NOT stop the power of love. The love of Jesus destroyed death's power. And Christian love ignores death also. The dead may yet help the living, and the living may yet help the suffering dead.
How could it be any other way? Christianity utterly did away with the real sorrow of death.
The BEST reason for YOU to be a Catholic, however, is to be SAVED. Because when YOU are judged by God Himself, after your death, you will be able to give a proper account for yourself IF AND ONLY IF you have learned what to say in the Church which He established to teach you the correct answer. This is the Catholic Church, of course!
So to find truth, to fully express love -- to get your sins forgiven, you need to be a Catholic.
So, let me end by asking you -- if the question is appropriate -- WHY ARE YOU NOT A CATHOLIC?
Feel free to call me with YOUR answer.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is the Real VALUE OF TRUTH?
† Truth is a very interesting thing, yet very few people actually consider what it is or what is its value. This tract shall explain to you why truth is so important to a Christian.
Pilate asked Jesus: "What is truth?" Let me answer this question.
Truth is a quality or characteristic which is common to every valid statement. To put it in different words: truth is that which makes something (anything) real. And making something real means causing it to exist and keeping it in existence. As this is a direct activity of God, (it is HE who keeps things in existence), truth is important IF one desires to learn about God. And what we can know about God must be true, otherwise we believe lies and/or deception. And if we do this, then our relationship with God is not real, but false.
The conclusion is this: unless we can understand, recognize, and identify truth, we can NOT be certain about what God is communicating to us.
IF man's salvation depends upon his meeting (or accepting) certain God ordained conditions, then if these conditions are not known, then they can not be accepted. If they are not accepted, then salvation can not be achieved. Therefore, salvation is directly connected with truth.
It is an undeniable fact that men disagree about what is true and what is not. Some truths may never be known this side of the grave. But such truths are not of interest to us in this tract. Let me simply say the obvious fact that some truths of God can be known by us. This is as a direct result of revelation.
Jesus is quite clear on this. He tells us that we will know truth, and that it will free us from sin (Jn ), that we will worship in truth (Jn ), that all those committed to the truth will hear HIS voice (Jn18:37), that He identified Himself with truth (Jn 14:6). The Epistles tell us that God has a plan by which all men may come to know the truth (1Tim 2:4). 1Pet informs us that obedience to the truth purifies us. Rev 21:8 tells us that liars will not be saved. Once again we see the clear relation between truth and salvation.
There is another characteristic of truth which should be examined. Truth MUST be unchanging. Truth can NOT change its value anymore than God can go against His own word or promise. As God is THE source of truth, once God declares something to be true, it is settled forever. Therefore, truth must be consistent, both with regard to itself and with other truths.
So far, this tract has been (I hope!) largely self-evident, and I doubt if even a Protestant would disagree with it. But truth is more than a theoretical value. The key issue is HOW does one determine the truth and HOW does one adhere to it. There are many people who claim to be "Christians," but who (formally) disagree on most issues. The very nature of truth compels us to realize that they can NOT all be correct and "true." There is, for example, no "acceptable" alternative position on abortion.
Yet Protestant groups state that these "differences" somehow
really do not matter. They hold that if "church" A holds dogma A as true, while "church" B holds it to be untrue,
both "churches" somehow still remain in the same "church."
Yet, Jesus said "a house divided against itself" can NOT stand. The
Protestant simply does not hold that truth is of any importance. To the
Protestant truth is not worth the risk of offending another person. So
everything becomes "true" depending upon the feelings and whims of
the individual, or what is most profitable at collection time. To the Protestant
it is not necessary to worship God in the unity of truth...despite Jesus'
But they do not...because, to them, truth has no value.
But should all "Christians" agree? Sometimes men are misled, aren't they? St. James tells us that wisdom (which means knowing truth) will be given to ANYONE who asks for it with sincerity (James 1:5-7). And, as I mentioned before, Jesus tells us that EVERYONE committed to truth will hear HIS voice. So if anyone and everyone may learn truth, then there is no excuse for failing to learn it. But still the Protestant states that it does not matter if various people disagree on basic points of religious belief.
But the Bible itself teaches more on this subject. It is not mere human opinion, nor the Bible, that will defend, preserve, and sustain the truth of God for man. No, it is the Church (1Tim ). But which Church?
The answer is simple: as truth is consistent, the true Church is the one
which does NOT change its doctrines and teachings. ONLY the Catholic Church has
this characteristic. As truth is essential for salvation, the true Church must
hold that the correct faith is necessary for salvation. The Catholic Church
alone holds this. As
There isn't any other choice - not for a Christian.
Is No Man Really Infallible?
† Whenever religious discussions take place between Catholic and Protestants, the Protestant (when unable to defend his system--which will always happen!) will invariably say: "Well, no man is infallible." This phrase, which CAN NOT be true (as I shall show) is merely a defensive reaction designed to prevent the Protestant from honestly examining his own belief system. This tract will totally destroy this falsehood. The truth will always destroy a lie...if a man will listen with honest intentions.
So that there will be no confusion over this matter, allow me to define the word. INFALLIBILITY means the ability to be free from error in certain statements under certain conditions. The word is properly applied to humans, although sometimes we hear of "infallible" statements or pronounce-ments. In this case even though the word describes the act, it is understood that the character of infallibility is actually meant to apply to the person (or persons) making the statement. So if this expression is used at all it means that those words (in the statement) were made by an infallible person.
Next, in order to avoid confusion, please understand that infallibility has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with sinlessness, perfection, or personal virtue. An infallible person may sin exactly as the rest of us do.
Let's now examine this most common expression. If one says: "No man is infallible," one is making what is (at least in form) an infallible statement. Anyone who says that no man is infallible MUST KNOW this to be a fact, without possibility of error. This is to say...with complete certainty. But if it is offered in this fashion, then the person making the statement is presenting himself as being infallible. And this, of course, destroys the basic statement.
Allow me to illustrate this point. I have had many conversations with Protestants in which this silly statement has been offered. I simply ask: "How would YOU know, unless YOU are infallible in YOUR judgments?" No Protestant has been able to answer this question. If YOU are a Protestant, ask yourself why YOU can't answer it (especially when the entire Protestant system is based upon this idiotic premise). If you are a Catholic use this question to expose the basic dishonesty of the Protestant system.
Now, sometimes the Protestant will offer that HIS view (that no man is...) is only an opinion i.e., something which he FEELS. But then he cannot offer it as a religious truth, for it is only a tradition and opinion of purely human origin. Such things can NOT be offered as part of Christianity (Matt 15:6). Ironically, Protestants often (dishonestly) attack Catholicism as being based upon "human traditions." But, it necessarily follows that if no man is infallible in a system (so that NO ONE can make error free judgments) then all that is left is error prone human opinion.
And, of course, if Protestants offer this view ONLY as an opinion, then it CAN NOT be part of Christian belief, for Jesus condemned this (Matt 15:8-9; Mk 7:7). So, if it is opinion, then it can't be part of Christian teaching. And if it is offered as a fact, then it can't be true. And what is not true, can NOT be part of true Christianity (but it is part of Protestantism).
Moreover, infallibility is ABSOLUTELY necessary in order for man to know truth. ALL of us know (and know INFALLIBLY) that 2 + 2 = 4. ALL of us know (INFALLIBLY) that Tuesday follows Monday. Truth is of such a nature that it can be known ONLY when it can be stated WITHOUT possibility of error. Otherwise, it is NOT "truth" at all, but only opinion or speculation. Truth is that which is ALWAYS in conformity with reality and this means that it cannot be other than what is. If you know a truth, then you KNOW it, and then you are infallible.
When it comes to cashing our paychecks everyone (including Protestants!) knows precisely, exactly, and infallibly how much currency one will get in return. And if we all can know such things about money, which is actually an impediment to salvation, how could God not give us the same ability when it comes to religious truths? He cannot; He does give man this ability. And this means that infallibility is possible for man.
It was Jesus Himself Who told us that His followers would speak with precisely His authority and that rejection of the words of His followers is precisely the same as the rejection of HIM (Lk 10:16). Now, if these words (spoken by true Christians) are not infallibly and utterly correct, then the words and authority of Jesus does not reside in them and Jesus is not telling the truth. These words (which HIS followers speak) MUST be as free from error as HIS own. So, HIS true followers must not only be infallible, but clearly claim the status.
And in case you haven't noticed, we Catholics do precisely this...while Protestants deny not only the ability, but also deny the very teachings of Jesus Himself.
Recall that Jesus promised that HIS followers would KNOW the truth (Jn ). Knowing truth makes one infallible. But -- much more -- as NONE of us now living have heard these words directly from His mouth, we must have learned this teaching (and all others) from INFALLIBLE sources. Even if one wishes to say that "only the Bible is infallible," this could ONLY be true IF (and ONLY if) the translators were infallible in their translations. If they were not, then we do NOT have the true Bible. If they were, then men are infallible.
As I have shown, the phrase that gives this tract its title, the phrase that Protestants love to repeat, is totally false. Any intelligent person can see this. It is a self-contradiction and anything based upon it is utterly false.
And if one of the foundation stones of the "house divided against itself" which is Protestantism. If you are a Protestant, think about it. If you are not, thank God, and try to bring these people to a knowledge of truth so that they may be saved...in the ONLY place where salvation is available for man - in the Church of Rome, and in submission to Christ's vicar on earth, the Pope.
Did God Fail?
The question asked in the title of this tract is not a silly one. The main reason that I ask it is that if you answer "no," then a very important decision becomes mandatory for you. Of course, if you feel that God failed, then you are an atheist (of one kind or another), and you will wind up in hell unless you repent and change.
For those Christians (even for those who only SAY that they are "Christians"), a key part of the message of Jesus deals with HIS Church. Everyone agrees that Jesus DID found a Church (as verified by Mt ) which the Apostles did organize in a certain way (Acts 4 & 6), and that this Church held "meetings" (councils) during which God inspired the leaders to make the correct decisions. On this there is no disagreement. But let us see what follows from these facts.
IF that Church was necessary for these functions (such as making decisions correctly regarding Christian teachings), THEN this SAME Church MUST exist in the SAME form with the SAME authority forever, because the same needs and problems exist now as then.
Protestants, by definition, are those who hold that the Catholic Church (which they freely admit existed before the time of their revolt) "went wrong...some where," and needed "reform." It was the true Christian Church once, but it became corrupted, and lost its power. Luther (so the official "party-line" goes) reformed the Church and Protestantism came about.
There is one thing wrong with this view... it is utter and complete nonsense.
If the Catholic Church "lost" its status as the one "true" Church, then God would have instantly replaced it with a "new improved" model. If God did not immediately do so, then there would have been a time when there was no true Church of Jesus, and no place for sincere Christians to refer sinners to, as we are commanded by to do by Jesus Himself. Luther's "church development" took years (as his nerve and courage frequently failed him, and he kept changing his "truth"). Either there was no justifiable reason for his rebellion or the replacement of Catholicism had to be instantaneous. God could allow no other possibility to occur. Therefore, Luther's action ( and all who follow him) was not justified...unless, of course, God somehow failed.
Others hold that the Catholic Church NEVER was the one true
Rather He could only find cowards who failed to come out of their hiding long enough to be recorded in the history books. In other words, while Catholics have always behaved as real Christians should, the "real Christians" behaved in a way that no Christian could recognize as Christian.
This is so stupid that no intelligent or rational person could hold to it after examining it for even a moment. Again, the ONLY way to adhere to this is to hold that God failed in His efforts to keep His Church as a "city on the hill" that all men could recognize.
What could have motivated these "secret Christians" to hide? If it were danger, then they failed to be willing (as Catholics have been) to die for their beliefs. If there were no danger, then there is no reason why there is no record of them. But there are unbroken records of the history of the Catholic Church form 33 A.D. to the present.
And if God failed, how could this Church (which He failed to keep true!) be the one which gave the world the Bible?
Let me tell a story which will illustrate this problem and also show why only the Catholic Church can be the true one.
All men who know of St. Francis of
And remember this: the Church that St. Francis sought to rebuild is exactly the same one against which Luther rebelled, and exactly the same one that Protestants today reject as false. It teaches the same truths on Purgatory, Indulgences, Papal Infallibility, the use of statues, the priesthood, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, devotion to the Blessed Mother, Confession, etc.
If this Church failed, then not only did God fail, but all the good and holy men and women who for centuries lived and died as Catholics, who sought God with their hearts, souls, and minds -- these also failed because they trusted the very words of Jesus. But this is the problem that the non-Catholic cannot avoid: IF the Catholic Church failed THEN God failed. And a "god" who failed is no God at all.
But this is the "god" which Protestants (and others) SAY that they believe in.
It's a frightening thought, isn't it? But not so frightening...if one is a Catholic. If you are a Catholic it is simply amazing to you what people will hold to in order to avoid submitting to God's truth.
What's the Bible for.....Really?
It is one of the most amazing facts of all time that when dealing with the Bible, one of the most important aspects is almost always ignored. This is: what is the reason why the Bible exists? What is it for...really?
This is not a trivial question. Although the Bible is one of the most revered, studied, and talked about books in the history of man, this question is universally ignored by almost all. Yet it should be the FIRST question asked and answered.
As a starting point, let me point out that ALL books have purposes. The Bible was produced by men, although its ultimate author is God, for a reason. The numerous Catholics who died in the 4th century rather than hand over the "Scriptures," did so in the clear understanding that the Bible was a thing of great value. That which has no purpose and goal can NOT have a value. If anything (including any book) is designed for no end, then it is quite literally USE-less.
I trust that IF we agree that the Bible is of value (as the Church of Rome has always taught since the time of the Apostles) then it MUST, as with all other books, have a purpose and a goal:
FIRST, let me point out what the Bible can NOT be intended for. It can NOT be meant as a means of salvation. Jesus earns our salvation and not some book. Nor can the words of the Bible be necessary for salvation. This can NOT be...if we hold that the Bible records truth.
But as many (incredibly) foolish Protestants hold precisely this, namely that the Bible is necessary for salvation, allow me to show why this CANNOT be so.
The martyrdom of St. Stephen (ACTS -60)
clearly records his salvation. Yet present at this murder was "Saul of
Tarsus," who later became
So, the Bible itself shows us that it is NOT the means of salvation for mankind. But Catholics have died to preserve it. WHY? It can not be that the Bible is a "blue-print" for living. The Bible tells us that many of Christ's words were NOT recorded in it, and yet Christians are to live by every word which comes from God. The Bible certainly does contain lots of great insights, and profound truths, and inspirational words, and deep wisdom...but all of these things can be obtained from other sources and it still does not tell us what the Bible is for.
The Bible is intended for ONE primary purpose -- although it is useful for
many others. It is designed to point the way to the
Jesus tells His followers that they are ONE flock hearing only ONE Shepherd (Jn 10:1ff). He solemnly states that His very flesh must be eaten (Jn 6:52ff). He pronounced that His followers would receive forgiveness of sins from the successors of the Apostles (Jn 20:20ff). He said that His followers would speak infallibly in His name and that to reject them would be to reject Himself (Lk ). He said His Church would be founded on a man called Cephas (St. Peter -- the first Pope), who would have the authority to make decisions binding on ALL of His followers.
In other words, the Bible itself gives us the sure and certain signs that distinguish the true Church which is united in only "one Faith, one baptism, one Lord" (Eph 4:5).
If one can be saved following another "faith, or baptized into "another church," or have another authority structure, then this verse is meaningless and a fraud. But, as it is in the Bible, it must be of inspired value to us (2Tim ).
And so must the other verses and passages which tell us what the true Christian must do and must believe. The true Christian must not be allowed to "pick and choose" what he wants to accept or reject. But this is exactly what the Protestant does by insisting that ANY man can accept or reject ANY thing based upon his own personal view of what he feels.
No, if the Bible has value, and it does, then it must teach what is true and false, and why the Christian MUST accept what is true and reject what is false. And as the Bible does not provide the means to salvation the value of this truth must be that it points the way for man to discover where and how he can be saved. And man can not be saved in any "church" which rejects the truths of the Bible (as all non-Catholic "churches" do). Nor can he be in truth if he attributes to the Bible a role that it itself gives to the Church, namely being the bulwark and pillar of truth (1Tim 3:15) meaning that it ( and not mere human opinion of what a book means) is what supports and determines what is true or false, right or wrong. And without this true sense of values, no one can live a good life, nor know the true faith, nor follow Jesus... and without this no one can be saved.
So the Bible's true value is in this: that it shows the right way to find truth, faith, and virtue.
Let me conclude with a simple analogy. If we need emergency medical care, we are grateful for a sign that tells us where the hospital is, but unless we enter the hospital itself and consult the doctor, our knowledge is useless.
Simply having knowledge of what is to be done is valueless if nothing is done. The Bible is a sign indicating the way to find salvation.
The Bible is important, but only if used correctly. It shows any intelligent
person who seeks the truth which is the true Church. It shows you the road to
So what if it's not in the Bible?
† When discussions about religion take place, a frequent question is: Where is THIS in the Bible? The certain implication of this question is: one would not believe some things if one cannot find them in the Bible...or at least, they are not as important as those which are in the Bible.
And this is our subject here: "What about those things which are NOT in the Bible?"
FIRST, let me make it clear that the Bible certainly DOES contain a lot of truths, and EVERYTHING in it is in it for a reason. However, this is not our topic.
SECOND, there are a great many things (and events) which are perfectly true (and good) which are NOT in the Bible. Geometrical formulas, the use of anti-biotics, and the battles of the American Revolution are nowhere in the pages of the Bible. Nor does the Bible tell a man to remember his wife's birthday, but he should. It does not tell baseball players to autograph baseballs for young boys, but they should.
THIRD, the Bible itself tells us that some of it is difficult to understand, (2 Peter ) and therefore, EXACTLY what is (or is not) in the Bible is a matter of personal opinion (this is true for Protestants, who accept no authority above their own purely personal inclinations).
THEREFORE, the first conclusion we MUST draw is that although the Bible (rightly understood) is the word of God, there are good things which man should do which are NOT in the Bible, and good acts (by definition) are in accord with God's will for man.
There are, however some (so called) "Fundamentalists" who will argue that ALL good things are implied by some passage in Scripture. Although this is a completely non-defensible position, let us (simply to expose it) evaluate it impartially. Such a position is based upon the assumption that one can make "implications" based upon one's personal opinion of what the Bible may "actually mean." But nowhere in the Bible does it say: "thou shalt make implications to support one's own opinions." Therefore, in order to find "implications", and then base beliefs upon them, one must go beyond the Bible to do so. If one does this, then one CANNOT then turn around and say that ONLY what is in the Bible should be followed. To put it in other words: to base one's beliefs "entirely" upon the Bible, one must immediately violate the "principle" by going outside it to find justification for this very position. These people go beyond the Bible to defend the position that no one should go "beyond the Bible." Such silly hypocrisy cannot be considered as serious by any rational person. And no intelligent person does.
BUT, on this there is another, and perhaps more important point. This is one thing which the Bible itself tells us is NOT in the Bible. And this one thing is VERY important to real Christians. And this thing is ALL of the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus Himself told us that:
1. His followers must live by every word which God gives us (Mt 4:4).
2. His words would not pass away (Mk ).
Therefore, every real Christian MUST go "beyond the Bible" IF all the words of Jesus are NOT in the Bible.
What does the Bible say on this subject?
When Jesus spent two days in the Samaritan village TEACHING, so that many came to believe in Him, (Jn 4:40), NOT a single word is recorded of what He said...but these words did NOT pass away. When Jesus taught for HOURS on end - for so long that the crowd became hungry -- NOT a word of what He said was recorded (Mk 6:34)...but we must live by them nonetheless.
Either Jesus meant it when He promised His followers that they would know truth (Jn ), and truth must include His teachings, or of what use is it?
After all, if those words (the ones which the Bible makes reference to but does NOT record) must have been of importance because people came to believe in Him because of them. And therefore, if one takes Jesus seriously, then one must hold that going "beyond the Bible," is not only proper and necessary, but a vital sign of true Christianity. And anyone who says otherwise cannot be taking the words of Jesus as having any value at all.
Therefore, when something is NOT in the Bible, it may be something good, or true, or nice. But some things not directly contained in the Bible are guaranteed to be one thing: they are the ACTUAL TEACHINGS of Jesus Himself by which His true followers MUST live.
If Jesus wanted His followers to live "by the Bible alone" (as some Protestants say), He must have said this and it must have been recorded somewhere in the Bible...BUT He never did. And if He said it and it's not recorded, then (once again!) we have to go beyond the very Bible to defend not going "beyond the Bible".
No matter what, no real Christian can ever hold that something extra-Biblical is anti-Biblical. So, because something cannot be found (to your satisfaction) somewhere in the Bible means nothing at all as to whether it is truly from God or not.
Therefore, so that we will be able to know full truth (as promised in Jn ), there
MUST be another authority to advise us, and to which we may go to learn what
the Bible really means and what Jesus fully and really taught. This is
necessary because the Bible itself teaches us that it is inadequate to do this.
But it also teaches us that it is inadequate to do this. But it also teaches us
that "the bulwark and pillar of truth" (1Tim ) is the
So the next time this topic comes up, point out that although something in the Bible is certainly true, if it is NOT in there, it is not necessarily false...not unless the Church of Rome says so.
So if you take seriously the Bible, understand that the Bible was NEVER
intended to be understood outside of union with
All Roads Ministry
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