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On Sunday 09/30/2001 11:47:40pm, a person named "Winger" posted the following statement on the Catholic Church in my guestbook. Interspersed between his/her statements will be my response in blue
[Winger] The reason Catholics oppose the Bible is because it opposes them. Following is a list of twenty-two passages which condemn various teaching and practices of the Catholic Church.
[Clay] This should be entertaining - it is fundamentally naive to think that one can simply list a Bible verse as proof-text in support of one's presuppositions. There is no Catholic teaching that is contradicted by Holy Scripture, we shall see below. Let the verse-slinging begin! *LOL*
[Winger] 1. Exodus 20:4-5 (Images).
[Clay] Wrong. Actually, the command was not to worship any graven images - making images was actually commanded by God. There were the 2 cherubim made of beaten gold (Ex 25:18-19). Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole (Num 21:8-9). The temple in 1 Kings 6:23-29 had engraved cherubim, trees, and flowers; the temple in 1 Kings 7:25-45 had bronze oxen, lions, and pomegranates.
[Winger] 2. Ezekiel 18:20 (Original sin).
[Clay] I'm sorry to inform you that if you are trying to claim that Original Sin does not exist, you are in the minority even among your Protestant brethren. Besides, original sin is quite biblical (Gen 2:16-17, Gen 3:11-19, Rom 5:12-19, 1 Cor 15:21-23, Eph 2:1-3).
[Winger] 3. Matthew 20:20-28 (Hierarchy).
[Clay] Wrong – even Paul wrote that there are different roles within the Body of Christ, And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators” (1 Cor 12:27-29). There are BISHOPS, Greek episkopos, (Acts 1:20, Acts 20:28, Phil 1:1, 1 Tim 3:1-2, Titus 1:7, and 1 Peter 2:25), PRIESTS, Greek presbyteros, (Acts 15:2-6, Acts 21:18, Hebrews 11:2, 1 Peter 5:1, and 1 Tim 5:17), and DEACONS, Greek diakonos, (1 Cor 3:5, Phil1:1, 1 Thess 3:2, and 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
[Winger] 4. Matthew 23:5-6 (Clerical dress).
[Clay] Wrong - the context has to do with works being done for the sake of publicity, not whether someone wears clerical dress.>
[Winger] 5. Matthew 23:9 ("Father").
[Clay] Wrong. Stephen calls leaders "father" (Acts 7:2), as does Paul (Acts 21:40, 22:1). Paul calls Abraham the "father of us all" (Rom 4:16-17), and speaks often a spiritual fatherhood (1 Cor 4:14-15, 1 Tim 1:2, Titus 1:4, 1 Thess 2:11, Phil 10). John refers to a spiritual fatherhood (1 Jn 2:13,14), as does the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb 12:7-9). We are supposed to honor our father, but love God more (Lk 14:26). It should be obvious to most that Jesus meant that no one is to be called Father, as in God the Father - this has nothing to do with having spiritual fathers, which is what a Catholic priest is.
[Winger] 6. Matthew 28:19 (Infant baptism).
[Clay] Wrong. Matthew 28:19 doesn't even say ANYTHING (for or against) baptizing infants. However, Jesus said not to keep the little children from Him (Mk 10:14), and people brought there infants to Him (Lk 18:15). Paul informed us that baptism has replaced circumcision which was performed on infants (Col 2:11-12). Entire households were baptized (Acts 16:15, 33, 1 Cor 1:16). NOWHERE does Scripture say that infants cannot be baptized.
[Winger] 7. John 17:11 (Addresses only God as "Holy Father").
[Clay] Wrong - see above discussion on spiritual fatherhood.
[Winger] 8. Mark 7:8,13 (Tradition).
[Clay] Guess what? In the Protestant Bible, Mark 7:6-8 is quoting a section of the CATHOLIC Old Testament, which is not in their own Old Testament! Who's following man-made traditions again? Besides, Paul wrote to "hold fast" to certain traditions (1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 2 Thess 3:6).
[Winger] 9. Luke 11:27-28 (Adoration of Mary).
[Clay] Wrong. Even the angel gave her the greeting of royalty, "Hail", and used a new word for her meaning "full of grace", kecharitomene in Greek (Lk 1:28). Elizabeth called her "most blessed among women" (Lk 1:42), and Mary herself said, "generations will call me blessed" (Lk 1:48). Mary is honored, NOT worshipped.
[Winger] 10. Luke 16:26 (Purgatory)
[Clay] Wrong. There is an intermediate "place" (1 Peter 3:18-20, 4:6) where forgiveness is possible (Mt 5:26), after suffering loss, but saved as through fire (1 Cor 3:15). Accordingly, there was made intercession for the dead (2 Macc 12:44-46, 2 Tim 1:16-18, 1 Cor 15:29-30).
[Winger] 11. Luke 22:24-27 (Primacy of Peter).
[Clay] Wrong. The Bible is quite clear that Peter was first among the Apostles. Jesus changed his name and gave him the keys to the kingdom of heaven (see below). Matthew even calls Peter "the first" in Mt 10:2. The Greek word is "protos" does not necessarily mean first chronologically; for example, we know that Andrew was chronologically the first Apostle (Jn 1:41), so the reference to Peter as "the first" clearly implies a position of importance among them. Scripture has many, many other references to Peter as leader; for example, Peter alone is supernaturally enabled by Christ to walk on water (Mt 15), and when his faith wavers, Jesus does not allow him to sink. Peter leads the Apostles in fishing (Jn 23:2-11), and, Jesus preaches from Peter's boat with the resultant miraculous catch of fish (Lk 5:1-11), making Peter and others "fishers of men" (Mt 4:19). Immediately after receiving the Keys to the kingdom, the tax collectors immediately go to Peter to ask the question about paying taxes, and it is Peter who miraculously pays the tax from the fish's mouth, empowered again by Jesus (Mt 17:24-27) Invariably, Peter is always listed first when the Apostles are listed (Mt 10:2, Mk 3:16, Lk 6:14, Acts 1:13), while Judas is listed last. Jesus specifically prays that Peter's faith may not fail (quote) and He instructed Peter to "feed my sheep" (Jn 21:15-17) and to "strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32) Peter performs the first miracle after Christ's death and resurrection (Acts 3:6-12) and utters the first anathema (Acts 5:2-11). He was even the first after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40). Peter is clearly regarded as leader by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13), other people (Acts 2:37-41, 5:15), as well as the Apostles and presbyters and the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15). He was the first to speak in the Upper Room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22) and after Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36). Peter is the first one sent for, and to enter, the empty tomb of Jesus (Lk 24:12). He was the one to initiate a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22), and is identified by one of God's angels as leader and representative of the Apostles (Lk 16:7), and there are many, many more references....
[Winger] 12. Romans 6:4 (Pouring).
[Clay] Romans 6:4 says nothing against pouring; however, since baptism includes the Holy Spirit, which is poured out onto us (Acts 10:45), where our hearts are SPRINKLED clean (Heb 10:22), this is certainly biblical.
[Winger] 13. 1 Corinthians 1:2 ("Saints").
[Clay] I’m not sure what the point of the verse you cite is, but the communion of saints is quite biblical. We are one body in Christ (Rom 12:5) with Christ as the head (Eph 5:21-32). Death cannot separate us (Rom 8:35-39), and those who have gone on are a “cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1), like Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration (Mk 9:4) who intercede for us (Rev 5:8) as Paul encouraged (1 Tim 2:1, Rom 15:30, 2 Thess 1:11, Eph 6:18-19).
[Winger] 14. Galatians 4:9-11 (Special days).
[Clay] This is an excellent example of not reading a passage in its context – Paul was addressing pagan converts confusing the Mosaic Law with Christianity. The Last Supper, as a continuation of the Passover, was/is a “special day”.
[Winger] 15. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (Pope has place of God).
[Clay] Simply wrong – the pope does not take the place of God.
[Winger] 16. 1 Timothy 2:5 (Many Mediators)
[Clay] You apparently didn’t bother to read the very first verse in this chapter, which reads “I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for EVERYONE” (1 Tim 2:1). We are asked by Paul to pray for each other in a sort of subordinate mediatorship to Jesus - “join me in the struggle by your prayers” (Rom 15:30), “be watchful with all perseverence and supplication for all the holy ones” (Eph 6:18), “we always pray for you” (2 Th 1:11), “finally, brothers, pray for us” (2 Th 3:1)
[Winger] 17. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (Unmarried bishops).
[Clay] Pay careful attention – it says married only ONCE, not required to be married in the first place.
[Winger] 18. 1 Timothy 4:3 (Forbid marriage).
[Clay] Wrong again. The Roman Catholic Church does not “forbid marriage” – it encourages celibacy among the clergy, much like Jesus said (Mt 19:12), AND as Paul wrote (1 Cor 7).
[Winger] 19. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (Many authorities).
[Clay] Although this says nothing about many authorities, it is the classic Protestant proof-text for sola scriptura. Unfortunately, it only says that Scripture is USEFUL, and more ironically, the Scripture Paul is talking about is the Old Testament only.
[Winger] 20. Hebrews 8:12 (Indulgences).
[Clay] Wrong. Paul wrote that he was given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-20)
[Winger] 21. James 5:16 (Confess to priest).
[Clay] Wrong. We are to confess our sins (James 5:16), and the apostles were given the authority to bind and loose (Mt 18:18), continued in Jn 20:23.
[Winger] 22. 1 Pet. 2:5,9 ("Priesthood").
[Clay] It is true that we are are a holy priesthood. Peter was demonstrating the virtues of priestly holiness, to “keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11) – the passage has nothing to do with the fact that there is a separate, ministerial priesthood. See above.
[Winger] No religious institution on earth has as much to fear about its members reading the Bible as the Catholic Church. When Catholics study the Bible they learn that in order to please God, they must discard the many false doctrines which their church has accumulated over the centuries. Following is an excerpt from an address given by the Cardinals to Pope Pius III, and is preserved in the National Library in Paris, Folio No. 1068, Vol. 2, pp. 650-651:
[Clay] We have yet another example of a 16th Century pope’s quote taken out of context. To say that the Catholic Church has forbidden the reading of the Sacred Scriptures is an insufferable lie; however, it is true that certain flawed translations were forbidden. Here is what Protestant Henry Graham has to say to those who would make such ridiculous claims:
“Many senseless charges are laid at the door of the Catholic Church; but surely the accusation that, during the centuries preceding the 16th, she was the enemy of the Bible and of Bible reading must, to any one who does not wilfully shut his eyes to facts, appear of all accusations the MOST LUDICROUS . . .
This is what Pope St. Gregory I, died 604 AD, said:
We may examine and investigate the action of the Church in various countries and in various centuries as to her legislation in regard to Bible reading among the people; and wherever we find some apparently severe or unaccountable prohibition of it, we shall on enquiry find that it was NECESSITATED by the foolish or sinful conduct on the part either of some of her own people, or of bitter and aggressive enemies who literally forced her to forbid what in ordinary circumstances she would not only have allowed but have APPROVED and ENCOURAGED (Graham, Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church, St. Louis: B. Herder, rev. 1939 pp. 98,105-106,108,120)
The Protestant account of pre-reformation Catholicism has been largely a FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY . . . She has been painted as all black and hideous, and no beauty could be seen in her. Consequently people came to believe the tradition as a matter of course, and accepted it as history. (ibid, pp. 1,4)
"The Emperor of heaven, the Lord of men and of angels, has sent you His epistles for your life’s advantage—and yet you neglect to read them eagerly. STUDY THEM, I BEG YOU, and meditate daily on the words of your Creator. Learn the heart of God in the words of God, that you may sigh more eagerly for things eternal, that your soul may be kindled with greater longings for heavenly joys." [Letters, 5, 46. (EnchBibl 31)]
So, we see the irrefutable evidence that the reading of Scripture has been encouraged by the Catholic Church.
This is what Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903 AD) had to say: "The solicitude of the apostolic office naturally urges and even compels us…to desire that this grand source of Catholic revelation (the Bible) should be made safely and ABUNDANTLY ACCESSIBLE to the flock of Jesus Christ"
And Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914 AD): "Nothing would please us more than to see our beloved children FORM THE HABIT of reading the Gospels - not merely from time to time, but every day."
Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922 AD) repeated St. Jerome's statement: “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." and he expressed his desire that, "... all the children of the Church, especially clerics, to reverence the Holy Scriptures, to read it piously and meditate on it CONSTANTLY."
Pope Pius XII in 1943 wrote, "Divino Afflante Spiritu" in which is said: "Our predecessors, when the opportunity occurred, recommended the study or preaching or in fine the pious reading and meditation of the sacred Scriptures. ...This author of salvation, Christ, will men more fully know, more ardently love and more faithfully imitate in proportion as they are more ASSIDUOUSLY URGED to know and meditate the Sacred Letters, especially the New Testament..."
In 1965, the Vatican II document “Dei Verbum” reads, “The Church has always venerated the Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's Word and of Christ's Body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the Word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by sacred Scripture. For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life. Consequently these words are perfectly applicable to sacred Scripture: "For the word of God is living and active" (Heb. 4:12) and "it has power to build you up and give you your heritage among all those who are sanctified" (Acts 20:32; see 1 Thess. 2:13). 
Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation, “Catechesi Tradendae” in 1979, wrote: “Catechesis will always draw its content from the living source of the Word of God transmitted in Tradition and the Scriptures, for "sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the Church," as was recalled by the Second Vatican Council, which desired that 'the ministry of the word-pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction . . .-(should be) healthily nourished and (should) thrive in holiness through the word of Scripture.' (57)
And one is referred to the Vatican II document "Divine Revelation," and the papal encyclicals of Leo XIII "On the Study of Holy Scripture" (Providentissimus Deus - 1893), and Pius XII "Promotion of Biblical Studies" (Divino afflante Spiritu - 1943).