A “Church of Christ” Christian that I’m in dialogue with asks:
How does Mary make us *more* Christian? What is the purpose of Marian Devotion?
Thank you; this is how I understand it: A greater love for her is the natural result of becoming more Christian.
Are men not better husbands when they come to love what their bride loves? Do people not love others more when they view them through the eyes of those who already love them? Is Jesus not our brother, and would Mary not be our mother? Are we not better brothers when we love our mother together? Does obedience not cause understanding, and are we not meant to honor our mother? Do God’s people of every generation not call her blessed? In other words, Marian piety *is* a part of being Christian–she is not a barrier, a burden, or an aspect to weigh against our journey.
Mary allows us to see Jesus as God chose Him to be seen. God chose Mary to give Jesus flesh, and Mary’s perfect faith and cooperation is what made her become the deliverer of the Deliverer! She was the first Christian, she loved Him before anyone, she saw the face of our Lord more perfectly than any of us, she gazed into His eyes while she nursed Him, loved Him perfectly, and we Catholics want to love Him perfectly as well. And with Jesus as our Brother, we have the same mother who nurses us as we too gaze back into her eyes. We do that as St. John had, by taking her into our home. And it is St. John, the disciple that Jesus gave His mother to (another proof that Jesus had no blood-brothers), who spent the most time with her, who probably loved her most, and was ultimately able to “see her” enthroned as Queen of Heaven (cf. Rev 12). We see her crowned in heaven, and a crown is the prize; she is the sign written in Revelation and in the stars that keeps us fixed on our journey. Again, she helps us see Jesus as God wants us to see Him.
Protestant Church of Christ Christians,
Your sect’s existence balances on a myth: that the Catholic Church is apostate. Does it not disturb you that your sect is unable to provide a coherent defense for its founding premise?
Is the Church not the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15)—the house that Christ built? Is Christ not more powerful than Satan (cf. 1 John 4:4)? No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods (Mark 3:27), but Satan plundered your strong man’s house. The Catholic Church’s Strong Man guards His household. It is true that Satan can conquer individual Christians who choose to indulge in mortal sin, and apostasize themselves from His household (cf. Romans 11:22, Galatians 5:4, 1 John 5:16,17); but Jesus promised the visible, identifiable, and authoritative Church that He would not leave her as an orphan (cf. John 16:16-18), but would be with her until the end of the world (Matthew 20:28 King James Version).
St. Francis de Sales begged the early Calvinists to answer the same questions that your sect refuses to address:
When did it [the Church] cease to be what it had been?—at what time?—under what bishop?—by what means?—by what force?—by what steps did the strange religion take possession of the City and of the whole world?—what protest, what troubles, what lamentations did it evoke? How!—was everybody asleep throughout the whole world, while Rome, Rome I say, was forging new Sacraments, new Sacrifices, and new doctrines? Is there not to be found a single historian, either Geek or Latin, friend or stranger, to publish or leave behind some traces of his commentaries and memoirs on so great a matter?1
Can you not detect the importance of such questions? Is the urgency of answering them not obvious? Does your sect’s silence not disturb you? Continue reading
Surprise! A blog that a bunch of “Church of Christ” ministers contribute to is, of course, vehemently anti-Catholic. And like most Church of Christ blogs, fellowhshiproom.org rarely posts comments that run against the preferred narrative. One contributor /minister who uses a fake name recently wrote that St. Paul’s use of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is a prophecy that was fulfilled by the Catholic Church. The Bible passage reads:
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition… (New King James Version).
The Church of Christ minister wrote, “We’d be hard pressed to find an historical circumstance [the Catholic Church] and personage [the pope] that better fit the description.”
The day of the Lord, which is the subject that St. Paul was addressing, is not yet here, and we know that His coming is the subject because the context of the passage is clear: Now Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 1). This is important because your sect has a tendency to conflate different Bible passages Continue reading
There are four false premises that Restoration Christians have either accepted or propagate themselves about the proper mode for Baptism.
• False premise #1: The secular Greek use of the word baptizo is intended to indicate a specific mode for a religious rite.
• False premise #2: The secular and Christian use of the Greek word from which the English word “baptism” is derived always refers to immersion (complete submersion) in a fluid.
• False premise #3: Every Christian Baptism in the Bible is by full-immersion.
• False premise #4: The Christian Church has always believed that immersion is the only acceptable mode for Baptism.
You can read more about them in my wildly unpopular book The Church of Christ and Baptism.
Antagonistic Protestant Church of Christ man-o-god Eugene Adkins has never acknowledged anything I’ve actually written. Instead, he simply
responds reacts with predictable Fundy attacks against the Church and with “proofs” that the Catholic Church is the apostate end-times monster–he’s adorable. His latest big-time “gotcha” proof is actually one that his sect uses quite a bit (most of the CofC spam sites use it), so I thought I’d commit to a response in case he or anyone like him might some day care for a dose of reality.
With mouth-watering tastiness, your sect frequently presents 1 Timothy 4:1-3 as proof that the Catholic Church is apostate—that St. Paul was describing the apostate Catholic Church. The passage reads:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Evidently, Catholics are supposed to think like Protestants and conclude that St. Paul was referring to eeevil Catholic priests and their eeevil discipline of celibacy… I guess. Continue reading
Politically conservative Evangelicals certainly dislike being called liberal, but I often cannot discern much of a difference in how America’s political liberals portray conservatives, from how conservative Evangelicals portray Catholics! The tactics are so often the same, and the interest of truth so often takes a back seat to agenda. Continue reading
Some Protestants might think this post is anti-New Testament; they would be wrong.
I watched a debate between a Protestant and a Muslim on an Evangelical blog called VeritasDomain—a blog that my WordPress feed recommended to me. The subject was “Can the New Testament be Trusted?”
In a nutshell, Protestant Bob Siegel attempted to prove that the New Testament can be trusted, and his opponent, Muslim Shadid Lewis argued that it cannot be trusted. Unfortunately, the term “trusted” was never defined, but it is clear that Mr. Siegel wanted to prove that the New Testament is the Word of God—not quite the same thing.
It was a disaster. Continue reading