Please email me with your questions, objections or comments.
Many have asked me why I do this or how I became active in Apologetics. I have provided the following "Testimony" if you will, in an effort to articulate this process. It is in 3 Acts, the first being longer than the following two. My story starts over 17 years ago when I transfered to Utah. (And learning for the first time about Mormon theology and who authored their doctrines.)
I am a cradle Catholic. It's not that I took my faith for granted for 30+ years, I didn't, I felt I was a good Catholic, I knew "what" Catholics believed but not always WHY we believed it. (A problem with many Christians and their theology). This was challenged by my wife who 14 years ago was given a book by some anti-Catholic friends called "Roman Catholicism" by Loraine Boettner. (1)
It presented many charges against the Catholic Church. I didn't know how to answer the book or these charges. I knew it was wrong,, or was it??? I was ignorant of WHY I believed what I believed and I was ignorant of who the author of my theology was. (Perhaps this is why some Catholics fall out of the Church, because they are extremely ignorant of WHY they believe what they believe, and like most Protestants, they don't know the origins of their theology).
I asked myself: "was my whole faith a hoax, was it not true?" I had to find out for I have always desired to believe as the Apostles taught the early Church, no matter where it leads me and no matter what it cost me. I'm sure that can be said of all sincere Christians although they have probably never considered their theology in that light nor the cost it might impart.
Since our Lord never wrote anything down, the writings of his Apostles and what they taught the early Church was the closest I could come to the teachings of Jesus Christ. In essence, I had to find out if the "Doctrines" of the Catholic Faith were really "Apostolic." Were they what the Apostles taught the early Church and wrote into the Holy Bible or were they truly "Traditions of man" as so many Protestants claim? To be true to our Lord and for the salvation of my soul I had to find out and accept what ever I discovered, even if I didn't like it or if it changed my entire life, social circle and belief system. But I felt I sincerely felt I had the courage to do this.
Was this book true? Is that what Catholicism really was? Did they really believe the things this book stated? This started an investigation, a quest and many prayers. It fostered many discussions with my wife about what we believe and WHY we believe it. We attended many Protestant Churches during that time to include a few "mega-churches"and I observed what I knew of Protestantism from before, that each Protestant church has a different "spin" if you will, on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Which one was right? Were any of them right? I have since studied Protestantism and it's origins at great length. I feel I have a good outlook on Protestantism and what it teaches. I would hesitate to say that I know more of most denominations than the parishioners themselves. This was a slow process but it evolved into essentially the following logic.
1. Any document/book can be viewed/interpreted in many ways. I.e. the US Constitution, the Islamic Koran or even the Holy Bible.
2. Any passage can be interpreted in many ways and read in or out of context. I.e. Osama Bin Ladin's version of the Koran or David Koresh's version of the Bible, the Mormons version of the Bible, the Catholic interpretation of the Bible or the 20,000+ Protestant denominational interpretations of the Bible.
3. What is the proper context that a book/document should be read in? Should it be a Lutheran context? A Calvinistic Context? A Baptist context? Etc,. or a Catholic Context? Why do we believe one context is better than the other? On what *Authority* do we proclaim that our personal interpretation (or that of who ever we choose) is the proper context? Does anyone in historical Christianity agree with this interpretation? In essence, did the Apostles teach said context to Christ's early Church and do we find the early Christians embracing this context?
4. This is what I found to be of most significance in my search for truth. Is there any historical precedent for the context we take as true, i.e. is this interpretation a NEW interpretation? Or is it what the Apostles taught and what Christians have ALWAYS believed about the subject? Is our interpretation "Apostolic?" Is it what the Apostles taught Christ's early Church or, does it have no support prior to a certain year/century?
5. This follows that if the interpretation is NEW, it must be rejected as being Apostolic. For a new and modern interpretation of an ancient book or scroll cannot logically be what the Apostles taught the early Church 2000 years ago. That is sound logic. I would hope most sober Christians would agree with this logic. It is light the light bulb. It is a modern invention, it would be crazy to say the Apostles wrote Scripture by electric lights just as it would be crazy to say the Bible teaches a "modern idea" that the Apostles nor anyone in the first 1500+ years of Christianity had ever heard of.
I was forced to "test" Protestant and Catholic Doctrines against this logic.
“Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Again it was a long process, I remember going to a Promise Keepers convention with my two best friends who are Protestant. When they asked for the "Alter Call" I went. I did not go to be "Saved" or to "accept Christ,," I felt that I have always accepted Christ. Just as one has always loved their mother, I have always loved God. It didn't happen one day as it might with other people. As far as the "Sinner's Prayer", I didn't believe one could simply say the Sinner's Prayer and be saved forever, for that contradicts scripture and the tradition of Christ's Apostles. Not to mention the fact that the Sinner's Prayer is not even in the Holy Bible. It is a good prayer, it just isn't in the Bible.
Click here: Our Christian Fathers and the Holy Scriptures on Mortal Sin
As I got on my Knees my friend put his hand on my head. I cried and prayed that I would have the courage to profess my faith without fear. For at the time I did not really do so. I had it, but I kept it to myself. My friend later told my wife that he felt like a Channel of the Holy Sprit and that God's grace was flowing from his hand.
So I did start professing my faith. And what I had learned from my quest. I found that All Catholic Doctrines are indeed Apostolic. Not because of my personal opinion on the Bible, but because it is what Christians have "always" believed. It is the Faith of the Apostles because Christian, Secular and Jewish History tell us so. Not because "I" say it's so, or my pastor, or my Mom or Dad. It documented history from numerous and various sources to include the Holy Bible.
Just as before Thomas Edison there were no light bulbs, I found the same thing with Protestant doctrines. Before the Renaissance era, there was no concept/idea or notion of Protestant doctrines. The light bulb was invented in the 19th century, and likewise we can point to the man and the century for every Protestant doctrine. It's just history. Protestant theology is not Apostolic. How can these ideas be Apostolic when they were invented a few hundred years ago?
In fact much of modern Protestant theology was not even embraced (or heard of) by Protestantism's own reformers! So how could the Apostles have taught these ideas if Protestantism's own reformers didn't?
Click here: Why do Protestant Pastors Reject the Faith of their Original Protestant Reformers? 3 Questions for your Pastor
How can these modern Protestant ideas be "Biblical" if the Apostles did not teach them and write them into the NT Bible? I couldn't understand that.
So in line with the logic above, "New" ideas, or new Gospels must be rejected for the salvation of souls and to be true to our Lord Jesus Christ who's Apostles taught but ONE Gospel. Gal 1:8-9 tells us:
"As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed."
My wife was given another book by yet another Anti-Catholic. He actually went to my house to drop it off to my wife while I was gone. This man is a professional Anti-Catholic for his sole monetary livelihood is made from his "ministry," that has for years tried to destroy the Church Christ started in Matt 16:16-19. He does this through his web site, books, articles and speeches. He is actually an Elder at a Baptist Church. His name is James White.
Because of his books and the lack of historical data in them, I started corresponding with him in 1998. I found him very good at attacking the Catholic Church, but when asked for any historical evidence to substantiate his Protestant beliefs, he either changed the subject, obfuscated, or refused to answer. To this day he will no longer answer my questions.
It was James that got me involved in Apologetics. For all the damage he has tried to inflict, he lit a fire under me against those who attack and misrepresent (either intentionally or unintentionally) the Apostolic Catholic Faith. If one wants to disagree with what the Catholic faith teaches, that is one thing. As long as what they disagree with is what Catholic Theology *actually* teaches. James is better than most in this area of being accurate, but he is silent on finding any Apostolic link for (distinctive) Protestant theology(ices). And without an Apostolic link, one can call this idea Biblical or that idea Biblical at will. Yet if the Apostles didn't teach a particular idea to Christ's early Church and write it into the Holy Bible,,, it is by definition, not Biblical nor Apostolic.
So this is where I am today. I defend the Catholic Faith against those who misrepresent and distort it or present it to those who are ignorant of it, or have never considered it before. And in keeping with Christ's commandment in Matt 28:20, I try to explain to my non-Catholic friends Christ's ONE Gospel. Not "my version" of it or Calvin's or Luther's version, but the Faith of the Apostles as evidenced by what Christians have always believed. I preach the "One, Holy, Catholic And Apostolic Faith". (Nicene Creed 325 A.D.). That is why I have created the following web site challenging my Protestant brothers and sisters to examine their faith for the ONE truth of Jesus Christ:
A Case for Catholicism, the Origins of Protestant theology.
I seek to light a fire under them. To provide the reason for what they believe and who invented their beliefs. To demonstrate to my non Catholic brothers and sisters who the author is of both theologies, Catholic and Protestant. Was the author Jesus Christ as taught by his Apostles?
Or were their doctrines or ideas on Christ's Gospel invented by Renaissance era Philosophers 1500+ years after St. John the Apostle died on the island of Patmos?
Just as before Thomas Edison there was no such thing as the light bulb, before the middle ages there was no such thing as a Protestant doctrine. Did Protestantism exist before Luther and Calvin? No. How on earth then could these doctrines then be Apostolic, i.e. the teachings of Christ's Apostles to his early Church?
That I believe is my Testimony. I now try to communicate these truths and facts of history. Yet not everyone wants to hear the Truth or know who invented their theology, and that is the most disheartening part. Many after first believing their doctrines are Apostolic, engage me in dialogue, only to find an excuse to stop when they research and determine the author of their doctrines died but a few hundred years ago at best, or is possibly alive today.
My friend, if you care at all about who authored your theology and sincerely desire to believe as Christ and the Apostles taught his early Church, no matter where it leads you and no matter what it costs you, please consider the following 12 questions.
This is the Case for Catholicism: it's Apostolicity. It's unbroken link to the Apostles. We know the Church of the 1st century was true because Christ commissioned it and we believe the teachings of Jesus Christ. Plus the Holy Bible tells us so. And we know the Church of the 21st century is true for the exact same reasons. Just as the Holy Spirit protects the Bible from error, so too it protects Christ's Church from error in matters of Faith or Morals. For that is the promise it gives us:
God Bless you, Daniel
Intro to the Catholic Faith for Evangelicals http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/index2.htm
Catholic Answers: "Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth" A compendium of basic Catholic beliefs and the Biblicism behind these beliefs. http://www.catholic.com/library/pillar.asp
FAQ about the Catholic Faith from Columbia University
1. "BIBLE ONLY" CHRISTIAN or "BIBLE BELIEVING" CHRISTIAN?
50 Practices and Doctrines not found in the Holy Bible. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/unbiblical.html
2. JUST THE TRUTH: 2 Dozen Logic and Historical Facts Refuting the Apostolicity and Biblicism of the Modern Christian Belief Systems "Test Everything." 1 Thess 5:21 http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/justfacts.html
3. An Exercise in Logic, Two Logic Proofs from History 101 demonstrating how the modern Christian theologies did not even exist in the first millennium, making it impossible for Christ and His Apostles to have taught to His early Church.
4. The Promises of Jesus Christ to His Holy Church (as recorded in Holy Writ) http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/promises.html
5. Three uneasy questions for your pastor concerning his personal theology. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/formypastor.html
6. Seven Reasons Christians Go To Church, Which One Is Yours? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/7stages.html
7. "The 7 Stages of Christian Spiritual Development" What stage are you? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/7stages.html
8. The Historical Origins & Authors of the Modern Christian Theologies. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/dates.html
9. Is Sola Scriptura or the "Bible Only" idea even Biblical? Where does the Bible teach the "SOLA" or the "ONLY" in Sola Scriptura? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/ss.html
10. Modern Christians often ask: "WHAT ELSE IS THERE? What else has Christ's infallible authority besides the Holy Bible?" Featuring the verses not underlined in most Bibles nor taught in modern Christian seminaries or churches. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/whatelse.html
11. FAITH ALONE (SOLA FIDE): It is a Catholic Position. Have you been taught that Catholics "work their way to Heaven?" http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/faithalone.html
12. "Who is the Bride of Christ?" What does the Holy Bible say? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/bride.html
13. Did the BEREANS "Search the Scriptures" and therefore follow the BIBLE ONLY idea?
Or did the THESSALONIANS, who also "Searched the Scriptures? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/bereans.html
14. The 3rd Unanswered Challenge for the Non-Catholic Theologies:
Is the Catholic Faith Apostolic? Name just one Catholic doctrine that isn't. Name one doctrine the early Church believed,,,, that the Catholic Faith today *no longer does*. Why can't the modern Christian theologies make the same bold claim? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/3challenge.html
15. Biblically, did the "Official Teachings or Doctrines of the Catholic Faith" become corrupt or Apostate as your Pastor might teach? Are there verses in the Holy Scriptures that forbid the "Gates of Hell" from overcoming His Church? What does the Holy Bible really say about: "The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth" 1 Tim :15? http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/gatesofhell.html
16. Is Praying to Saints Biblical? Is the "HAIL MARY" Prayer Biblical? Read the verses not underlined in your pastors Bible nor taught in his church. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/saints.html
17. How Modern Christian are compelled to use and embrace an unbiblical and anti-biblical definition and concept of a Christian Church. http://www.angelfire.com/home/protestantchallenges/onchurch.html
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