- the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, or its beliefs and practices.
If we look at the life of the figure called “Jesus Christ” as he is documented almost exclusively in the canon of the Bible, we can clearly see that Catholicism is a far cry from the life and teachings the man. The evidence for my claims is largely “non-evidence”, meaning the Catholic church preaches things that are quite simply not in the Bible. They may mention Jesus, the Holy Spirit or “God” (presumably Yahweh) in their incantations and ceremonies, but that’s about the extent of it. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Sainthood is not a thing.
In Catholicism there are strict guidelines to what makes a person a “Saint”. According to orthodox canonization, you must go through several steps and meet several qualifications in order to attain sainthood. What does the Bible say about being a saint? Nothing. Here is a list of all the verses in the King James Version of the Bible that even mention the word: Bible Verses About Saints. We clearly see that the word “saint” was used exclusively by Paul and John to address Christians. We are very clearly all saints if we are children of God or Christians or whatever you want to call a follower of the teachings and life of Jesus Christ.
Mary isn’t special.
This is a no-brainer. You can read the story in Luke 11. Basically someone was like, “blessed is the Mother of the Son of God!” to which the actual Son of God replied, “no way, man! Blessed be the one who listens to what I say and practises what I preach!”. As if that isn’t enough evidence, in Matthew 12 Jesus was teaching somewhere and someone came up to him and was like, “yo Jesus, your mother and brothers are here to see you. Don’t you want to see them?” to which He replied, “no man, these people, my disciples, are my mother and my brothers and my sisters. Anyone who follows me is my family.”
So when the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts Mary on such a high pedestal (and many people in a half-shell on their front lawn), it just raises red flags for me. It very clearly goes against what Jesus Christ taught!
You shouldn’t pray to St. Anthony when you lost your keys.
Yes, you understood me correctly. Catholics pray to a
demi-god saint for help with lost items. There’s even an official prayer that goes along with it. If this doesn’t scream “remnants of ancient polytheistic religion re-packaged for a modern era”, then I don’t know what does. Oh, and Jesus actually had a lot so say about prayer:
Matthew 6:5-8 – you shouldn’t pray long, illustrious prayers in public just so people can hear you, but, rather, you should pray to your father in private. Some of his disciples were confused on what prayer actually should be, so he gave them kind of a template in the well-known Lord’s Prayer. “Our father…”. It mentions nothing about praying to saints or squirrels or Mary or Joseph. Actually, it only says to pray to the father (some forms of Christianity practise praying to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but that’s not entirely Biblical, although one could argue that the Trinity is three parts and one at the same time, but that’s another story for another day).
The church is the collective term of Christ-followers, NOT an international political organisation.
The first time Jesus used the word “church” is when he declares that Peter has been divinely inspired to acknowledge that Jesus is the messiah and the Son of God, and therefore has an all-access pass to the Kingdom of Heaven and on “this” will he build his church. It’s a bit unclear if He meant that his church would be built on this exact spot, or in the person of Peter, or maybe it was just a metaphor. I mean, Christ used the word “synagogue” very often, and chose here to use the word “church” (actually, you’d have to look to the Aramaic he spoke to find truly what he said, but we won’t go there in this blog post).
The second (and last) time Jesus mentioned “the church”, he was giving some instructions on how to deal with sinners. It was pretty clear: if someone sins, go to them and tell them so that they may confess and be forgiven. If they don’t repent after a while, bring it up with “the church” so that he might be embarrassed into repenting (PS why do very few churches practise this these days?)
There’s nothing wrong in organisation and having some structure to facilitate the assembly of many like-minded individuals, but to claim your interpretation of sacred texts are the ONLY correct ones and you’re not allowed into heaven unless you follow them is plain crazy. It almost sounds like a government in many ways: “if you don’t pay taxes and adhere to our laws, you get deported or you go to jail or we even kill you”.
Of course Paul took some time in the wake of Jesus’s alleged resurrection to write to a few groups of Christ-followers and encourage them to keep the faith, and to discuss how best to practise being a Christian. Many modern Christians put Paul’s words right up there with Jesus’s, which might not be the absolute best thing in the world to do, as they are not Christ’s words, but, rather inspired by Christ. In any event, there is nothing that Paul said ever about reciting prayers in unison or waving smoke around or silly hand-motions. Honestly, the firt time I attended a Catholic “mass”, I thought I had been transported to some ancient cult ritual. Everyone is standing, sitting, kneeling in unison, then chanting some shit with question/response phrasing then doing gang-signs and eating cookies and drinking wine then they just leave. It is really very weird. It is so much different than the Christian church services I attended where we heard someone speak about what Christ said and how we can apply it to our modern lives. Sure the singing thing exists in Christianity as well, but I won’t address that in this post. But if anyone can show me where in the Bible any Christian performed an actual ritual, I’ll give them five denarii.
So, I hope you now agree with me that Catholicism is just paganism with a face-lift after some emperor decided Zeus was outdated and Jesus was the hip, new thing. If not, leave a comment or write your own blog post. For the record, though, even Christianity isn’t all that special if you really think about it.
You hadn’t researched enough. Some Catholics aren’t saved and some Christians aren’t. true believers learn to worship God in the trinity as life long practice. Not just at church. The church was built by the apostles who were men, not sinless. Therefore no church is perfect. But all teachers, including you, will be judged by the Father like the rest of us. If Jesus knows you then you will be forgiven. Simple. Getting caught up in theology is the evil ones plan. Divided we are weak.
exactly. You are a Christian if you have a relationship with Christ and not if you observe rituals. That is why Catholicism is not Christianity: it teaches that you need to observe rituals in order to be saved (confession, Hail Marys, infant baptism). So although I’m no longer a follower of Christ, I never could nor can I still imagine someone who has a real relationship with Christ can observe silly rituals and think it’s OK. Ignorance is bliss and we all worship our own way, and maybe chanting man-made religious phrases helps you get into a meditative state so that you can commune with God more easily, it really seems like less of a relationship to me.
But as nice as Christianity is and as much good as it can do for people who need direction in their lives, I’m not convinced it’s really worth it: http://www.miketheburns.com/confessions-of-a-former-christian/
9 Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.…and grated a church is not a building but his people whatever…is the Vatican over top Peter’s grave? I know people say that it is the Revelation of His Identity but that cannot be separated by The Faith of The Son that is in The Father. The whole issue ‘for me’ in regard to Calthaholism is that it is a different ‘faith…it as a faith in a belief system that attempts to mimic the reality with outward things that are all already True in Christ. Not sure how a ‘Vicar of Christ” (such a no no) (If any one says, There’s the Christ, don’t go after them’)..who is also The Holy Father…seriously?…who drink a cup of wine for the entire group of peope can somehow by osmosis cause a person to receive Christ whey he is to already be your Life (Colossians 1:27) as we in Him? Doesn’t their ‘faith’ prove that don’t know Him? You keep out people from the Kingdom of God when you yourself do not enter.
Mike, I can appreciate your views on “religious” beliefs and traditions, etc. of Catholicism or any other denominations which depart from the simple truth of Jesus’s gospel. Some have gone on to cult like behavior making themselves out to be the exclusive holders of truth. So wrong is that thinking. Pick up the Holy Bible in your hands and read it and there is the exclusive holder of the truth, The Word! It’s all about Jesus. That’s it. Jesus said, “ I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me. “
Jesus said the following about a believer who wasn’t in the apostles known group that John wasn’t too sure about being a true follower;
“But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”” Luke 9:50 NKJV
As for the simplicity of true Christianity, Paul said; “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
I Corinthians 2:2 NKJV
The Christian faith is all about Jesus Christ and what great love He showed us and How really very simple it is; “Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””
Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
The whole bible, Old Testament and New Testament, is all pointing to Jesus. Sacrificial love and living life as God would have us live. He made us to love like He loves us.
I don’t know why you left christianity but I fear for you that it is the denominationalism that’s out there that has discouraged you and/or the trappings of the flesh that you are afraid to let go of. Many of us like you and me have been through some of this stuff too.
I urge you to reconsider and turn to Christ and be born again. That’s what Jesus said and says now as His words are eternal; “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. “ If you want to have that true personal relationship with Jesus then Admit you are a sinner and repent of your sins to God, Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ And that God raised Him from the dead for your salvation from sin, and Call on the name of Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart and give you a new heart for Him.
God Bless Mike!
You have made many good points my friend. God is spirit and should be worshipped in the spirit, not in the things of men. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.””
John 4:24 NKJV
God Bless you Mike and I pray for you to come to know Jesus as your personal savior. It’s truly out of this world!
Interesting. If we take this a step further… Christ did not come to start a new religion. He did not suffer to form Christianity. He died on the cross for us, so that we can be reunited with the Father. Religion (including Christianity) is man’s attempt to follow (please) God. The organizers (organizations) prosper from and feed off the adherents. The Tower of Babel is the Biblical example of religion. Man trying to make a name for himself while trying to reach heaven.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam walked (personal relationship) with God. Jesus came so that we could, once again, walk with God. The Bible is not religion – it is, The Word of God. The Church is not organized religion – it is, The Family of God.
Love it, and the fact that they’re occultist practices are representing paganism rather than actual Christianity or showing itself as part of the Family of God. They even changed the Hebrew Bible into something that is something pleasing someone else rather than God himself.