© Lucio J. Mascarenhas
Christianity Vs. Protestantism
Catholic Proofs - Protestant Difficulties
Originally a letter, September 1998, to an apostate, a Dr. John Paul, an ethnic Norteiro
(i.e., those who call themselves "East Indians" in the Bombay region) when we were in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he was a dentist. Dr. Paul (and his wife and two daughters) had gone from being a Christian (i.e., a Catholic) to being a Protestant, of the New Life
sect. Also, though to a lesser degree, and in a more friendly manner, against "Patrick" Ramirez, my best friend, a Filipino, who also had gone from being a Christian to being a Protestant; whom despite our sharp differences over religion, I esteem greatly as a friend and a human being, and for whom I earnestly pray that he shall come back to the True Faith.
Dr. Paul had invited me to his home to witness the rites of his sect, and to my fault I agreed, not because of any interest in his sect, but because I desired, being among in Saudi Arabia, to make friends with Goans, Indians and Pakistanis, with whom we share some cultural rapport.
However, despite my stipulation that I would not participate in these rites, when I remained sitting, I was forced to arise and stand while the others prayed, which infuriated me extremely. To add to that was the poisonous preachings against the Christian religion by the preachers a man and a Filipina, in a very tight pair of jeans!
The next time I met Dr. Paul, I told him the list of my complaints and promised never to attend again; I also promised to sit down and write out a detailed apologia for my faith, against the errors of his new religion.
I had come to like Dr. Paul, but his failure to keep his part of the bargain, and his part in forcing me to commit, something which I believe to be the grave and mortal sin of Communicatio in sanctis
, which nevertheless is still, in the determining part, my own awful culpability, arose as a bitter screen between us. I knew that I could not trust Dr. Paul ever again.
I had not taken a Catholic Bible with me to Saudi Arabia, as I was warned that they meticulously inspected luggage and seized and destroyed any religious objects that did not belong to the Mu'Ahmadan heresy. I was therefore forced to borrow and rely upon the Protestant Bible of my Filipino friend Patrick, and which Bible I used to study in order to create this my apologia against the Norteiro
and his false religion; this apologia for the true faith Catholicism.
I apologize for the terseness of the text. It was originally written in such free time as I could manage, and under the peculiar circumstances obtaining while I lived in that God-forsaken land the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia blighted by the curse of the heresy of Mu'Ahmadanism a physically sterile and barren land, made spiritually sterile and barren! Since then, I have only corrected the texts but left it largely intact for reasons of preserving history.
Revised June 1999, September 2002, April 2004.
Part I: Against Literal and Conservative Protestantism.
The Church & The Bible
Origins Of The New Testament
Is Scripture Entire and Definitive?
Can All Men Assimilate The Spiritual Truths Indiscriminately?
Who Are Our Teachers?
Child Baptism vs ‘Believer’s Baptism’
Catholic Occultism? ‘Consulting the Spirits’?
The Bodily Assumption of the Mother of Jesus Christ
Catholic Invention And Addition of Doctrines
Christian Unity: Do the Sectarians walk with Christ?
Protestant Secularism &Regalism
Part II: Papalism, the Only Legitimate Basis of Christianity or "UBI
PETRUS, IBI ECCLESIA."
Part III: Christianity vs. the New Catholic and Psuedo-Papal Sect of the "Vatican-2" "Reforms"
See also these relevant documents: The Discontinuity Between Catholicism and the New Catholic Sect
& The Unclean
I - THE CHURCH & THE BIBLE
Jesus Christ trained and entrusted His Gospel to His disciples and
apostles, more completely to His apostles.
He did not write any book, nor command any to be written, but He commanded His apostles and disciples to preach His message – the Gospel – to all mankind.
The books of the New Testament were written after the Gospel was already begun to be preached, and the last book – The Apocalypse (Revelation) of Saint John the Apostle – was written about sixty to seventy years after the Gospel was first preached.
II - ORIGINS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament is not one book, no more than the entire Bible is; it is a collection of books. How did this Collection come to be?
Certainly, the New Testament did not fall down to us from Heaven complete and ready. Nor was it put together by the Apostles. It was put together by the Church. At that time, the only Church was the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ Himself, before an major schism had occurred.
This happened in the 4th Century A.D., at a Council of the bishops of the Roman
province of Africa, now Algeria & Tunisia in North Africa, and was later
ratified by the entire Church, which was unanimously united in recognizing the
Bishop of Rome as the Successor of Saint Peter in the Apostolic Primacy. This
is a historical fact, above sectarian dispute.
The New Testament tells us that 'All Scripture is inspired and profitable.' (2 Tim. 3:16) But what is the definition of Scripture?
In the absolute and literal sense, anything written.
Such a sense cannot be intelligently applied to this quotation.
A further sense is any writing that is claimed to be inspired. That would include all the so-called Scriptures of all and every self-styled religion – again an absurd sense.
The third sense is limited to the books of the Bible – of both the Old &
BUT THAT IS PRECISELY WHERE THE DIFFICULTY LIES: this Quotation, or the entire Bible, for that matter, does not anywhere define the Scriptures – which books belong and which do not.
Therefore, the authority for the Canons (or Lists of the approved books) is
not Intrinsic but Extrinsic to the Bible.
That is, the Bible is NOT its own Authority, but put together in the common & accepted form used today by some Extrinsic or External Authority.
What Authority is this?
As already stated, it is a historical fact, beyond sectarian dispute, that this Authority is the Catholic Church. Do you doubt this fact? I would advice you to research it, not in the obviously biased works of the various sects, but certainly in Secular works – you will soon find them a true if reluctant witness. Despite their furious hostility to the Catholic Church, they nevertheless witness the truth. Don't worry of their witness; after all, even the devils witnessed to Jesus being the Christ...
One such witness is Larry Taylor
It is a certain fact that none of the sects can be this authority which
put together the Bible and on whose authority the Canons stand even today.
There is a distinction between the concepts of human dignity
and (intellectual and cultural) progress on the one hand and the concept of
'Liberalism' (as propounded by Protestantism) on the other. Dignity and progress are Christian and endorsed by Christianity, when pursued in the proper manner. 'Liberalism' is not. 'Liberalism' as understood by its proponents the Protestants (and indeed everyone who pretends to be Christian but refuses to submit to Peter's successors) and by us, its opponents called variously Christians or Catholics, consists of the two collateral heresies or false doctrines: 'the freedom and right of men to choose any religion and religious obedience as they desire,' and 'the obligation to separate Church and State.'
Thus this 'liberalism' which the true Christians or Catholics condemn is not
synonymous with or the same as 'dignity and progress'. Rather it is
anti-scriptural, anti-religious and anti-Christian. No true Christian can admit 'Liberalism', no 'liberalist' can be a true Christian: they are mutually exclusive. The true name for this error should be not Liberalism, but Libertinism.
Scripture claims otherwise.
Paul tells us to hold fast to his teachings whether given orally or in writing (2 Thess. 2:15). And indeed no where does Scripture claim that all the teachings of our Saviour and of His Apostles, who were inspired of God, were all written down or if written, included among the works to be found in the Bible (If Scripture makes this claim, show it to me). As a matter of fact, the Scriptures specifically inform us that it DOES not contain all the teachings and doings of our Lord. (John 21:25).
But Scripture is not only not Entire or Complete because it does not contain the Entirety of Divine Revelation, it is also not its own Teacher and interpreter. Certainly it is beyond dispute that not every passage is clear in meaning, yielding God's treasure freely unto all that have recourse to it (2 Pet. 3:15-16) 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news,' says Scriptures, not of those who come distributing copies of Scriptures, saying, 'Inquire into it yourselves and it will lead you unto the lord.'
Reasonable men answer 'How can I understand unless someone explains it to
me?' (Acts 8:31) Therefore Christ did not set up Press, print his gospel and
distribute it around but He carefully coached his Apostles and disciples and
gave them His Guarantee ('And behold I shall be with you to the end of days') that they may personally witness to others: 'He who hears you hears me.' Thus his disciples taught as he did, with Power and Authority - the Authority of God, and not as the Pharisees did, teaching their own opinions.
So also the Protestants and other heretics do as the Pharisees, giving their own private interpretations and opinions, without Authority, for they do not have it, having departed from the obedience of God and joining themselves to the wantonness of rebellious men, the same as of the fallen angels. Indeed it is not only that Christ's immediate disciples so teach, being obedient to God, but also their successors unto our days, being in perfect and unbroken continuity by the Guarantee of God. For the Apostles did not delegate their Authority to all and every believer, as the Protestants allege, but, as Scripture witnesses, they chose worthy men and ordained them, by the laying on of hands to succeed them in their offices. Wherefore, being obedient to God, we hear them, the priest and bishops with unbroken Apostolic succession, because they sit upon the chairs of the Apostles and of St. Peter, and thus have the authority to speak for Christ.
But where do the 'teachers' and 'interpreters' of the Sectarians sit, teaching and passing, on their own private interpretations that do not have the sanction of God ? 'No scripture is of private interpretation' (2 Pet. 1:20)
The Sectarians accuse us of not allowing free access to Scripture. This is true: we encourage the reading and meditation on the Scriptures, but we do not encourage private interpretation and insist that all must confirm to the interpretation of the Teaching Church. We do not believe that Scripture yields itself freely, but that it needs interpreters - mediators and preceptors (2 Pet. 3:15-16) We do as Paul, who 'fed ..... with milk, not solid food,' for not all are able to digest solid food (1 Cor. 3:1-3)
Thus the true Christian is one who admits to the differences in ability to assimilate God's truths and who provides accordingly, distinguishing between those able to eat solid food and those not able to, but not as the Protestants do, indiscriminately feeding all with the same standard food.
How We Ought to Receive Our Pastors
Catholics are accused of calling our leaders - the Pope, bishops and priests 'father' and of accepting them in the place of the Christ, but Paul claims to be father to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 4:15) and praised the Galatians for receiving him' .... even as Jesus Christ.' (Gal. 4:14)
The Teaching Church
They not only reject the Papacy, but also the Teaching Authority of the Church - the Infallible Magisterium; holding against the witness of Scriptures, that all Christians are equally and easily capable of digesting God's truth for themselves.
Scriptures witnesses that Christ deliberately did not reveal his teachings to all men or even to all his disciples, but only to a select few - the twelve Apostles - (to whom he later added Paul and a few others) and to whom only he delegated his Authority. Certainly his disciples, as distinguished from his Apostles, did not receive the fullness, the familiarity of his teachings nor his authority.
When Luther broke from the Church, he was the first (as far as I know) to contend that Scripture yields itself to any that has recourse to it. Later he came to regret that most of his followers followed their own version of 'Bible Christianity', claiming for themselves as much inspired interpretation as Luther did for himself. Thus there had and has come to be nearly as many versions of 'Bible Christianity' as there are 'Bible Christians'. This is also something which I have personally experienced from my encounters with 'Bible Christians'.
Catholics are accused us of baptizing infants – Pædobaptism But Cornelius'
entire household as also that of the jailor were baptized. Or will you amend
Scripture to add 'all, but not the infants and little children?' (Nor any old
senile or comatose grandparent either?)
Were not children circumcised in the Old Testament, or were only adults?
And how did the Corinthians baptize for the dead, when the dead cannot consent?
And if the dead were administered Vicarious (or Surrogate) Baptism, without condemnation by Paul, perhaps on the basis of 'Consent by Trust,' does not this same principle apply also to living infants?
Let us clearly understand the issues involved. Are the dead unbaptized infants to be excluded from heaven because as you say, they cannot be baptized until they attain to reason, while on the other hand, Christ assures that unless we are born again of water and the Spirit we cannot enter His Kingdom? (John 3:3&5)
Those who were baptized as children and then get themselves baptized again commit
blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and though they now call themselves Born
Again, they are actually become Dead Again!
You accuse us of being superstitious because of the use of scapulars, medals, holy water, holy oil, relics, etc.
Do you remember that people carried out their sick into the streets that at least Peter's shadow may fall on them and they be cured, or that they brought kerchiefs from Paul's body and the sick were cured and the possessed were exorcised. (Acts 5:15 & 19:11-12)
Or the woman with the bleeding, touched the hem of Jesus' cloak and
was cured. Or the dead man raised to life when thrown on Elisha's bones.
Catholics are accused of accepting Apparitions, which we certainly do, but only after proving and testing the spirits.(1 John 4:1)
Did not the Jews bring their sick to wash in the pool after its waters were stirred by an angel? Where did they learn that an angel stirred it, from Scripture?
Catholics are accused of seeking to communicate with the dead saints, the heretics saying that either the souls of these departed are dormant and asleep, or if they are in heaven, they are not omniscient as God is and so cannot hear us.
But Jesus tells us that God is the God of the living and not of the dead, he is not the God that was of Abraham, but the God of Abraham. Also Jesus tells us that the angels rejoice when one sinner repents, so that they must know of our affairs.
And Paul tells us (Phil. 1:27) that he can hear of our affairs even if absent, or dead, (as absence is explained by the context in this passage).
Again Paul said, 'I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ.' (Phil. 1:23) Now, how could he be with Christ if the dead saints merely lie dormant or in suspended animation? There was no use him desiring an early departure if he wasn't going to be with our Lord until His second coming, was there?
There is such a thing as the Communion of the Saints, of which not only the Christians on earth are part but also those who have departed in the faith. Thus we are one body in Christ only they more perfectly.
Also, they have arrived at their Reward, as Christ promised and have been given ministries - thrones and kingdoms, which, by the will of God, they minister unto us till labouring on earth. We also know that their wills are perfectly subordinated, aligned and united to God's will. Therefore we pray, not to them, but asking them to pray for us to our God, not in the hope that they will give us what God will not, but that they may bestow upon us the gifts of the ministries entrusted to them, that we may be built up together. Do we not ask our fellow-believers here on earth to pray for us to God? The saints - both human and angels, behold God's face continually, and their perfection is proved, so that they are better able to pray for us and our needs.
Catholics are accused us of believing in the bodily Assumption of Mary, saying that only Christ is bodily in haven.
Do you now know that when Christ died on the Cross, many of the dead saints were bodily raised, and that when He ascended on high, He led them in His train? (Mt. 27:52-53 & Eph. 4:8) How then can you say that only Christ is bodily in heaven?
We are accused of continually inventing doctrines. But, do you remember how in school, you were taught that this man discovered oxygen, that man hydrogen and so on. Did these men create what they discovered or did they merely find something that already existed ? You were taught of the Immunity System. It does not come with antibodies for every existing enemy, but creates a new one for every new enemy it encounters.
It is the same with the Church. God has given us Divine Revelation which has been transmitted under His Guarantee to us 'by word and epistle,' and the Holy Sprit to animate His Church as its Soul and these constitute the Church's Immunity System: Every time we encounter a new fangled heresy or doctrinal error, the Church, guided by the indwelling Holy Ghost brings out of its treasure-house of Divine Revelation the relevant - new or old - remedy (or antibody) for that error.
Divine Revelation, both oral and written, contains many truths explicitly, but also many truths implicitly, which become explicit only when the need arises, or when the intellectual development of the Church has arrived at the stage where it can digest the truth which was till now only implicit. Investigate John 14:26 & 16:13.
Furthermore, when a teaching is declared by the Church, it does not command obedience on arbitrary grounds, but provides the proofs from Divine Revelation, both written and oral.
Or do you not believe in the oral part of Divine Revelation, believing instead in the heresy of 'Sola Scriptura' - Bible Alone? Then read and meditate on these passages: John 21:25, 1 Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 11:34, 1Cor. 4:17, 1Thess. 3:10, 2Thess.2:15, 2Thess. 3:6, 2Tim. 1:13, 2Tim. 2:2, 2John :12 and 3John : 13-14.
Let us take the specific 'inventions' that Catholics are accused of making - such as the doctrines of Purgatory, penance and of differentiating between sins.
The Bible is witness to Christ instituting the Sacrament of Penance (in John 20:22-23) Again John tells us that there are sins which give death and sins which do not - in short, some sins are mortal and some are merely venial. (1 John 5:16-17)
As for Purgatory, do you believe that those who die with even the least stain of sin - even venial sin - will be allowed into the presence of God? (The Bible tells us that no one, with even the least stain of sin, shall be admitted into the company of God.) Or do you believe, despite John, that they will be punished with the eternal death? Does not Scripture say that they will still be saved 'yet as though by fire'? Is this the fire of Hell, from which there is no escape? (Dives & Lazarus)
Catholics are accused of inventing and imposing Celibacy – purportedly unnatural. But Christ commended those who chose to be 'Eunuchs' for the sake of the Kingdom of God, (Mt. 19:12) while Paul repeatedly in his epistles, says that it is the better and preferred way (although not the exclusive way) and John tells us with approbation of the 'hundred and forty-four thousand men ..... who were not defiled with women, being virgins.' (Apoc. /Rev. 14:3-5)
Again, while the Scriptures do not impose obligatory celibacy on the clergy, the Scriptures do witness that the Church authorities have been vested with the authority to enact such legislation. Therefore to contemn this legislation of the Church is to contemn Christ.
Further reading: "Is Matrimony Unholy For The Men In Cassocks?"
; The Sin of Celibacy
& In Defence of Celibacy
While Catholics are accused of Mariolatry and Hagiolatry – charges that I have proved false, the charge of Bibliolatry can be made against the Protestants. Certainly they treat it like it were a god – the while refusing to go into the details it sets out, and which prove the truth of Catholicism. In this they make themselves guilty of the same crime of the Jews, who looked to the Bible, but refused to see its witness of the Messiah. For just as the Bible is the witness that the God of Abraham, Moses, David, etc, sent our Lord, in the like manner does it witness that He, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, established, guaranteed for all time, and sent out His Apostles and their chief, Peter, as His Messengers and with His Authority for all time, until He Returns.
They force Scripture to say what they like and do not take it as it is. The Bible clearly tells of the founding and primacy of the Papacy. (Mt. 16:13-20). They say that Jesus is the Rock. Indeed, so he is. But Jesus himself constituted Simon BarJohn a Rock, according to the unforced and unforceable text of Scriptures, going so far as to rename him who was called Reed (Simon) the Rock (Kepha).
Their forced version of Mt. 16:13-20 would go like this : 'Blessed are you, Simon .... I am a Rock ... I will give myself the keys ... and whatsoever I shall forgive .... and whatsoever I shall bind…' etc. Reasonable men and indeed even a child will call this THE ABSURD VERSION.
When they deny that Simon Peter is the Rock on which Christ built His Church, they do not deny Peter but Christ. Remember that it is for Christ to establish the manner and government of His Church, and not for men to gainsay Him. It is not for us to reason or question our Lord, but to obey.
Those who disobey the Lord in even only one part, howsoever little it may be, depart entirely from him. (Ja. 2:10) Therefore obey Him entirely. Calling him your Lord and yet actively disobeying him is unprofitable and foolishness: not everyone who calls him lord shall enter his Kingdom.
There is a new phenomenon : 'non denominational' groups (such as 'New Life' etc). What are these groups if not groupings of amorphous 'Christians'?
Scripture commands all those who seek to be Christians to be of one body and mind. There are as many bodies of 'Bible Christianity' as there are 'Bible Christians'. They pretend to be one, but are in fact independent bodies with separate minds, independent communities with separate governments. What if they inter-communicate? They are separated not by geography but by Doctrine, being geographically co-extensive.
If they were geographically separated local churches, autonomous but not independent, they would have had some excuse, but not for rejecting the Papacy, but they do not have even this excuse.
Finally, they always seek to find the Church as it was described in its simple primitive form in the New Testament. But did not our Master compare the Church to a seed that when sown grows into a tree, and will continue to grow ? To reject the tree and to persist in seeking the seed sown some two thousand years ago is rebellion against Christ and a monstrous blasphemy.
Note how Scripture is itself evidence of change. The Jerusalem Church began with Communal or shared living, but this was not replicated elsewhere when the Church spread.
Do you know, then, after whom you walk, in whose traditions you follow?
These were the men 'who walked disorderly and not according to the traditions which they received from' the Apostles. (2 Thess. 3:6) Wherefore, being found repeatedly unrepentant (Titus 3:10) were cast out of the Household of God into the darkness without. But yet unrepentant, they set up themselves new 'Churches' built on the sands of their whims and fancies which they set out as the Declaration and Interpretation of the Word of God.
And those who have joined themselves unto them, say, "I am now become a Christian." They delude themselves, for in truth they have no part in Christ, but are cut away in Schism.
I pray that you abandon all heresies to return to the true faith - the Doctrine of Christ Jesus and submit to him by entering his Church, under the visible government of his Vicar, the Pope, that you may finally and truly become a Christian.
So I pray and shall always pray that all you 'Bible Christians' shall do, that you may find approval with Christ and be saved.
Fundamentalism, as the term is used among Catholics, has a different meaning from that of the Protestants. Basically, it means an uncompromising belief in the fundamental or root doctrines of the Faith.
In today's world, Fundamentalism has become a badword. However, it is disparaged only by people who do not use their minds. In actual fact, every man has his fundamental principles and beliefs, and is therefore a Fundamentalist. There are only differences in ideologies (Liberalism, Christianity, Protestantism, Paganism, Communism, etc.) of various persons, not in the fact that practically every human being is a Fundamentalist where his own beliefs are concerned.
© Lucio J. Mascarenhas