Answering 10 Catholic Complaints (part 1)

Disclaimer: We tweeted I was going to do this article prior to James White covering it on his show “The Dividing Line”.  You can watch his show below.  He covers the first three complaints at the end.  I have a ton of respect for Dr. White and without his work, I would be ill-equipped to write an article like this.

Some website called catholic365.com put up this article last month which was making the rounds in social media.  I had never heard of the site, and I don’t make it my habit to read Romanist blogs.  However one of my Catholic friends put it on her Facebook wall and was very happy about it.  I read it, thought it to be a completely ridiculous set of arguments premised on falsehoods and fallacies (in other words, par for the course for Rome’s apologists), and moved on with my life.  Why waste the brain cells?


However, it kept coming up.  I would see it again and again.  Most people I encountered touting the article acted like this was some sort of trump card in Romanist apologetics.  I realized that even though I believed it to be amateurish (and my formerly catholic wife found it to be laughable), this was becoming red meat thrown to the catholic populous.  The time had come to deal with it and expose it for what it really is.

It is called “10 Things Catholics Are Tired of Hearing.”  Now, I’ll say this… if these are the types of arguments they hear all the time… guys, we need to do better.  Most of what is responded to in their post are issues that eat around the edges and don’t go after the heart of why Godly men left this apostasy 500 years ago.  Maybe this is because most evangelicals don’t share their faith, or don’t know their faith.  Maybe this is because most evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel.  Maybe this is because most evangelicals like to discuss the small stuff and are scared of the “big” stuff.  I don’t know, but what I DO know is that we have to do better.  Each and every time we talk to a Catholic, the issue we should be discussing is the Gospel.  Rome is heresy because it has a wrong Gospel.  That wrong Gospel leads to 6 billion (probably) other heresies, but if you can make them see their need for the right Gospel, the rest will come easy.  Keep your eyes on the prize, guys.

Nonetheless, let’s deal with the article:

1.“Catholics worship statues.”
This stereotype is painful to hear. Not only is this completely false, but it is ludicrous. Despite the fact that there are 801 millions Protestants world-wide, according to the Pew Research Center, my rant will be geared towards our brothers and sisters in the United States. In this country, approximately 51.5% of people are Protestant Christians. Realistically, most of these families have pictures in their home, which is completely normal, right? Right. They have pictures of their loved ones, both living and deceased. Is it not hypocritical then to say that Catholics are idol worshipers, when these families have portraits of their loved ones on the walls? If these Protestant families can have pictures of Uncle Bernie and Mawmaw hanging on the wall, then most certainly the Church can present pictures of our beloved Jesus, his disciples, and the saints.

Are you kidding me?

Yeah right.  Anyone who has walked into a Catholic church before knows this is plainly ridiculous.  I’m an Italian American who grew up among a Catholic family.  The entirety of the religion seemed to me to be one form of statue worship after another.  My relatives would pray to a statue at night, pin money to a statue at a festival, put a statue in their yard which was never supposed to fall over, put statues above their bed, light candles to statues in church, and construct ENTIRE PRAYER SERVICES to a statue.

Just look at the horror in the faces of the people when this happened:

I mean, good grief!

But, let’s deal with their argument here.  Yeah, we all have pictures of Uncle Bernie and MeeMaw in our homes.  We might value those pictures a great deal.  We don’t say prayers to those pictures.  We don’t light candles to those pictures.  We don’t think those pictures are anything other than… PICTURES.  It’s not the same thing.  I may have a picture of my Mom in my house, but my family isn’t carrying a statue of my Mom into the family room on a Wooden Platform and singing songs about it.  Give me a break!

 

2.“Catholics pray to Mary instead of God.”
This is a very common misconception throughout the Protestant community, and while I can understand why it is, I am also disheartened that many jump to such a harsh conclusion of the Catholic faith. We don’t pray to Mary, we ask her to pray for us, just as a Protestant asks their deceased grandparent/parent to watch over them.

You don’t pray to Mary, huh?  Are you sure about that?

prayer to mary 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These things littered the funerals of my childhood and took me less than a minute on Google to find.  I remember collecting them and keeping them like baseball cards.  I used to get excited when there would be new ones at someone’s funeral.  They had them for all of the “saints”, but especially for Mary.  Praying to Mary is the most catholic thing about being catholic.  Claiming you don’t pray to Mary is utterly absurd and demonstrably false.  And for the record, if a Protestant friend of mine was asking a deceased family member to watch over them, I’d plead with them to repent.

 

 

 

 

3. “The saints can’t hear your prayers, because they are dead.”
I beg to differ. Since when is anyone who is in Heaven considered dead? We call it the afterLIFE for a reason. In fact, there is biblical proof that the saints can hear our prays:
-Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”
-Revelation 8:3-4 “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”

Oh the eisogesis!

Revelation 5:8 has elders holding bowls of incense which are prayers of the saints.  Revelation 8:3-4 has the prayers represented as incense again, and this time offered up by an angel (saints are nowhere to be found).  At what point in either verse do we see those offering the incense hearing the prayers?  It’s just not there.  The reason you think it’s there is because you want it to be.

 

4. “Mother Mary isn’t important; she’s just like anyone else.”
If our Blessed Mother isn’t important, then every female would have had an immaculate conception. For this reason, that is why the declarative statement above doesn’t make sense. Of course Mother Mary is important, she gave birth to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What is so amazing about the Catholic faith is the fact that we recognize the importance of Mary, and we honor her accordingly. She is a role model and saint for all Christians to look up to, because she submitted to God completely. Until the day another woman gives birth to Jesus, no one will ever be just like Mary. She is a very special, holy woman.

I have no doubt Mary plays a special role in the life of Jesus.  The Lord and Savior of the world called her Mom.  No doubt he loved her like I love my Mom, only He was a perfect son and I’m… well… not.  None of this in anyway confers anything unique about Mary as a person.  She was a lady like any other.  She was favorable in the eyes of God, but so was Ruth.  She was used of God in a special way, but so was Esther.  She was a Godly woman, but so was Lydia.  Ruth, Esther, and Lydia were just women.  Sisters in Christ, no doubt!  Honorable women?  Absolutely!  Higher than all other humans, co-redemptive, and mediatory?  No way!

Just a little FYI for our Catholic Friends, Mary sinned and thought her son was crazy:  “{21} When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” … {31} Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. {32} A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.”” {Mar 3:21, 31-32 NASB}

Wait wait wait… you mean Jesus had BROTHERS too?  So that means Mary wasn’t a perpetual virgin either?  How ’bout that!  Funny things happen when you read the Bible.

 

5. “Catholics made up all their rules.”
Every single tradition we have in the Catholic Church, namely during Mass, has biblical roots. Not to mention the fact that Jesus was the founder of our Church. I don’t know about you, but Jesus doesn’t make mistakes.

Every single tradition has Biblical roots, huh?  Great.  Show me the part of the Bible about Mary being a co-redeemer.   Show me the part of the Bible where the priest is another Christ.  Show me where we are to pray to the saints.  Show me the need for a re-sacrifice of Christ from Scripture.  Explain to me from the Bible the practice of indulgences.  Let’s start with these five things and see how well your “biblical roots” hold up.

Part 2, where we answer points 6-10, tomorrow.


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