My story of discovering the truths and misconceptions about the "Church of Rome"

All Roads Lead to Rome – part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Many Catholics that I met did not know their faith very well, but they did go to Mass every Sunday. I derided them for not knowing why they believed the things that they believed. I said that it was apparent that the Catholic Church was based on blind faith and that reason was nowhere to be found. I told several people that if they did not renounce the Catholic Church and accept Christ as their “personal Lord and Savior,” that they would most certainly go to Hell. I’m sure that these people did not appreciate what I was saying, and I am quite thankful that they were more charitable to me than I was to them. One particular Catholic with whom I made friends was a teacher at the school. In fact, she was one of the sponsors of an extra-curricular organization of which I was a member for three years. She knew her faith VERY well, and for that I am glad. I admit, however, it was quite frustrating at times. After all, I couldn’t win a debate with her. While she did not convert me to Catholicism, she did put me on the right track. I quit harassing the Catholics so much and tried to see them as fellow Christians rather than “the enemy.”

I graduated from high school, still a Baptist, though not a particularly devout one anymore. I didn’t go to church very often, and I had begun to lose faith; not so much in God as in being Baptist. I felt that there were contradictions between what the Bible says and what the Baptists teach. For instance, Baptists teach that once you are “saved,” you are always “saved.” That is practically a dogma of the Baptist Church, as well as some other Protestant churches: “once saved, always saved.” The problem here, is that there is no support in the Bible for this position. Scripture does refute this position:
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1Corinthians 10:12, KJV)” (If you notice, I quote from the King James Version of the Bible because it is the universally accepted version of the Bible in Protestant churches.) Considering that a favorite saying of the Baptists was “No creed but the Bible,” you can see why I was beginning to be skeptical. Here are some more (though certainly not all) doctrinal paradoxes:

The Baptist Myth

What the (King James) Bible Says

 

 

 

“Alcoholic beverages are inherently bad.”             

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:23, KJV)”

“So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. (John 4:46, KJV)”  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

“Dancing is bad.”             

“And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14, KJV)”             

“Salvation (being ‘saved’ occurs in an instant.”             

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phillipians 2:12, KJV)”             

“We only need Scripture, not traditions.”  (This is an attack on the Catholic belief in Sacred Tradition. It is a pillar of the Protestant Reformation known as Sola Scriptura)            

 

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6,
KJV)”             

“Everyone can interpret Scripture for him/herself.”  (In other words, we don’t need an authoritative body like the
Magisterium, or teaching office, of the Catholic Church to interpret for us.)            

 

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20, KJV)”             

“Faith alone, not works, will get you saved.”(This is one of the other main principles of the Protestant
Reformation: it is called Sola Fide)            

 

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, KJV)”             

The list is seemingly endless, so I’ll stop here. As you can see, many of the beliefs of both the Protestant Reformation in general as well as the Southern Baptist Convention were at odds with the Bible. And not just any Bible, but even the one that the Protestants so cherished! (Rest assured, these verses are not much different in a Catholic Bible.)  At any rate, I was nineteen years old, and attending a major public university. I was exposed to many things that I had never been around before, mostly because my parents were  somewhat over-protective of me. I felt quite far from God during my first year in college. Toward the end of my freshman year, my girlfriend from high school, whom I had been dating for over three years, and I broke up. I started dating a younger Catholic girl who lived in the Dallas area.  Her uncle was actually a bishop in the northeastern United States. She was not particularly devout, but at the time, it didn’t matter to me. Actually, I figured that if we ended up together it would be easy to convert her to Protestantism and away from the Catholic Church. After we had been dating for about a month, her sister was graduating from high school, so I went to see her sister’s baccalaureate Mass. I had never been to a Mass before; I had been inside a Catholic church maybe once or twice before in my whole life. When I got home that night, I cried because I thought that since she was Catholic, she would be doomed to Hell if I couldn’t help her “see the light”.  However, the more I thought about what I had seen, the more intrigued I became.

First of all, the Mass was not what I had been told that it was: a pagan ceremony.  To those of you reading this who are Catholic, this may seem humorous, but many Protestants, especially those leaning toward “fundamentalism,” seem to think that Catholics are pagans or Satan worshippers or something along those lines. I don’t know where this myth got started, but I would sure love to put it to rest. For those of you not familiar with the Mass, here is the basic structure:


Mass of Pope Paul VI, 1970 (also called the Novus Ordo Missae)
 

Introductory Rites (The priest says, “+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”)

Greeting

Penitential Rite (sometimes omitted; the priest and congregation recite a prayer that confesses our sinful nature and our sin [not individual sins] to one another; is NOT the same as receiving the
Sacrament of Penance [“going to confession”])

Kyrie (“Lord, have mercy”)
 
Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace to men of goodwill”)
 
Opening Prayer

 Liturgy of the Word (from the First Reading until after the General Intercessions)

First Reading (a passage from the Old Testament)

Reponsorial Psalm (an excerpt from one of the Psalms, sometimes sung)

Second Reading (a passage from the New Testament, not from the Gospels)

Alleluia or Gospel Acclamation (verse sung before the Gospel reading)

Gospel (Gospel reading always read by either a deacon or a priest)

Homily (The homily is a sermon that relates to the Gospel reading.)

Profession of Faith (recitation of the Nicene Creed, a basic statement of beliefs)

General Intercessions (prayers of the clergy and the congregation)

Liturgy of the Eucharist (lasts from the Preparation until the end of Mass; Eucharist = Lord’s Supper)

Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts
(the priest receives the bread and wine from members of the congregation if an offering is collected)

Prayer over the Gifts (the priest calls God’s blessing upon the bread and wine)

Eucharistic Prayer

Preface

Acclamation

Memorial Acclamation

Concluding Doxology

Communion Rite (The priest “confects” or consecrates the bread and wine, turning them into the Body and Blood of Christ.)

Lord’s Prayer (the “Our Father”)

Doxology

Sign of Peace (The priest greets those near the altar such as altar servers and deacons, and the members of the congregation greet one another, saying, “Peace be with you.”)

Breaking of the Bread (The priest prepares to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ.)

Communion (The congregation receives the Body and Blood of Christ.)

Prayer after Communion (The priest and congregation pray silently after Communion.)

Concluding Rite

Blessing (“May almighty God bless you, + Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”)

Dismissal (“The Mass is ended, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”)


At the time I didn’t know, but after I talked to my girlfriend about it, I found out that virtually every Mass follows this order. By the way, while most parts of the Mass were exclusively in Latin in the Roman Rite until the mid-1960s, about ninety-five percent of all Masses now are in the vernacular language, and now take the above form.
Information on Latin Masses

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Comments on: "All Roads Lead to Rome – part 2" (2)

  1. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    The Bridegroom comes, Come out to meet him. Matt. 25:6.
    From where shall we go out? We shall go out of the great
    Babylon, the great whore. Rev. Chapter 17 and 18. This
    command of the Lord in Rev. 18:4 is now highly topical.

    Never before we have been so nearly Jesus’ coming as we
    are now, but how are God’s people prepared? How is the
    unity in the faith? Sorry, very bad! God’s people are more
    divided now than ever before. Instead of following what
    the Bible teaches about the Assembly of God, they have
    followed Satan’s false assembly doctrine. They believe
    that the Assembly of God is constituted of church systems
    and many religious organizations.

    Most Christians have not yet begun to prepare for Jesus’
    coming. They can speak and write that Jesus shall come,
    and about the signs of the time, yet they do not make any
    preparation to meet Jesus. How can we make a preparation?
    To make preparation and be ready for Jesus’ coming, God’s
    people must get the knowledge of the Assembly of God.

    All God’s people must in the first hand begin to study what
    the Bible teaches about the Assembly of God. What we
    need now before the restoration of the Assembly of God,
    it is humility before God’s word and a forgivable disposition
    to each other.

    The Assembly of God is no Pentecostal church. Please,
    consider what this expression “the Assembly of God” in the
    reality implies. The Assembly of God must be the same as
    the Greek word “ekklesia”, and the Body of Christ. 1 Cor.
    12:12-31. Then it is easy to understand that this has nothing
    to do with the Pentecostal Movement. Pentecostal churches
    have existed about 100 years, but the Assembly of God has
    ever existed since Jesus baptized his first disciples by the
    Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave them the new life in Christ
    so that they became born anew. Then the Assembly of God
    was born.

    The Bridegroom comes, Come out to meet him
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRY.HTM

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    The great falling away
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

    KJV, “the best English Bible” but not perfect
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/KING.HTM

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

    The truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit and the new birth
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM#baptism

    Jesus cannot come today because God’s people are not ready
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/TODAY.HTM

    • I appreciate your intentions, however, you cherry-pick the Bible to support your own assertions. Without the Sacred Tradition of the Church, the Bible would not have any authority of its own, so if you do not acknowledge the Church, you cannot logically see the Bible as Sacred Scripture. See catholic.com for more information.

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