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Are Catholics Considered Christians?

Updated on July 24, 2013

There are many misconceptions of what it means to be Catholic. Are Catholics saved? Do they pray to statues? Are Catholics even Christians?

Are Catholics Saved?

Source

Do You Know Jesus Christ?

I walked outside to get the mail today. Two men were riding by on their bicycles. One slows down and says, ‘hi’ to me. I live in a very friendly neighborhood, so this did not seem odd. I returned the ‘hi’ with a smile and a nod. He then asked me if he could ask me a question. I then took a closer look at this man. He was well groomed, wearing a shirt and tie and dressed pants. He asked, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” I smiled and said, “Well, yes I do.”

Now I am hoping he would bike away, but he proceeded, “What domination are you?” I became flustered now and did not want to give a testimony in the middle of the street when I just left my kids alone to run to the mailbox. I told him I knew Jesus, and that is all I want to say about it and turned away.

How many Jesus’s are there? The question, ‘what domination are you?’ implies to me the Jesus in the religion I know, may not be the Jesus in the religion the young man on the bicycle is professing. Is Jesus not universal? If I say I am non-denominational does that mean the Jesus I pray to is not the same as the Jesus Baptist’s pray too? What about Catholics?

Rosary Beads

Source

Are Catholics Saved?

When I was a little girl I loved Jesus with all my heart and soul. I held Jesus in the highest regard an 8 year can. I prayed often, even drew many pictures that depicted stories from the bible I loved to hear. I was a believer through and through, attended church every Sunday. My parents would pray with me before bed, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” We would pray before every meal together. I was brought up in a family that weaved Jesus into the fiber of everything we did. I grew up in a Catholic home.

Oh wait… does that now mean the Jesus I loved is not the same Jesus in a nondenominational religion? Are Catholics not saved because they believe in the Jesus from the Cahtolic church? How many Jesus' are there?

Vatican City, Rome, Italy

A markerVatican City -
Vatican City
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The Pope, head of the Catholic Church lives in Vatican City in Rome.

Do Catholics ask to be saved?

To 'ask Jesus into your heart' means to become a Christian, and to make a personal commitment to follow Him. There seems to be an assumption, by non-denominational Christians, that being raised in the Catholic faith, Catholics have not already started a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Much of the Catholic church's teaching, sacraments, prayers and rituals is to fortified a deep personal relationship with Jesus. It is so interwoven in the Catholic church to have a deep, meaningful and personal relationship with Jesus- to recognize Jesus and proclaim Him into your heart is not necessarily a one time event in Catholisim. It happens at every mass and in the Catholic sacraments, starting at Baptism. Catholics receive Jesus into their hearts and body through Holy Communion at every mass.

None of us have the right to judge the heart or intentions of another. Some non-denominational Christians make judgmental assumptions about Catholics of never having asked Jesus into their heart and proclaiming they are a sinner. Catholics do proclaim they are a sinner and do accept Jesus.

Do Catholics Ask Jesus into Their Hearts?

When I was in high school I was a youth group junkie. I wanted to be around other’s who loved Jesus as much as did. A friend invited me to her youth group. It was on another night than the Catholic youth group so I said enthusiastically, yes! The pastor of the youth group struck up a conversation with me. I was excited to tell him how much I love being around other Christians, and somewhere in the conversation I mentioned I was Catholic.

He began to take more of an interest in me. I was invited to share my faith’s journey. He asked me if I knew Jesus? My adolescent brain had a snarky remark inside, uh-yeah, I just told you I was Catholic. Instead I said, sure I do. He pressed me further and asked when did I invite Jesus as my personal savior? Ummm, I don’t know I have always had Jesus in my heart and soul I never felt separate from that. He asked if we could pray together, I said sure. I bowed my head and repeated some words after him. After he was done he gave me a big hug. All the other teenagers followed. I was celebrated as a new ‘baby’ Christian. If I just invited Jesus into my life as my personal savior, then whom was the Jesus my 8 year old self tenderly adored and loved with all her heart?

I walked away extremely confused by what took place. I was not confused in the matter I was professing my faith and asking God to save me. I was confused into why; this preacher believed I wasn’t saved because I was Catholic. I was confused to why I was called a ‘baby’ Christian when I knew the Bible and had a strong intense personal relationship with Jesus before I ever walked into that youth group. There are some huge misconceptions on what is Catholicism. Can a Catholic be a Christian? Can a Jehovah Witness love Christ like someone who is nondenominational?

There are many religions that are Christians, does that mean there are many Jesus’s? I believe Jesus has the omnipresence to reach and be available to many. Even in places, religions and ways humans cannot understand. My 8 year old self, my teenage self, and now my adult self have always believed in Jesus. Although my relationship with Jesus has changed as I have changed and matured as a Christian. This does not mean that Jesus Himself changed, or I found a new Jesus under another religious title.

There is one Jesus and I happened to have found in in the Catholic Church. To me he has always been the One. What about you?

We Are One Body, John Michael Talbot

Nativity

Many Christians have nativity scenes at Christmas and do not pray to the statues themselves.
Many Christians have nativity scenes at Christmas and do not pray to the statues themselves. | Source

Why do Catholics Pray to Statues?

Catholics do not pray to the statues. The arts in the Catholic church are symbols of God's love and grace. Catholics use paintings, stained glass windows, candles, incense and statues to prayerfully connect to God or the person depicted.

Many Christians have nativity scenes at Christmas and do not pray to the statue of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Wisemen. The nativity is a reminder of God's love becoming flesh in the birth of Jesus. Sometimes when people pass a nativity they say a prayer of thankfulness for this awesome gift or reflect in prayerful reverence for Christmas. The same principal is applied to the statues, and arts in the Catholic church. Catholics do not pray to the statue, or talk to the statue, like a child would to an action figure. Much like the nativity scene Catholics use these religious artifacts as reminders to connect and reflect in prayer to God, the saints and Jesus.

Catholic Baptism

Source

The Seven Sacraments

Catholic Sacraments

Sacraments are sacred ceremonies in the church. They are symbolic rituals of Christ's gifts. Most often before one receives a sacrament through the Catholic church they prepare through classes and prayer, sometimes for months before the sacrament is received. There are seven sacraments in the Catholic church that stem directly from the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus.

The Seven Catholic Sacraments

Sacrament
Discription
Rituals
Age
Baptism
Baptism, the first and fundamental sacrament. Recipients are incorporated into the church in a sacramental bond of unity.
Water and Consecrated Oil
Baby
Reconciliation
Confession or disclosure of sin. Those who partake are reconciled with God and the church community.
Disclosure of sin, Prayer, Forgiveness
Around age 7
Eucharist
Catholics partake for the first time Christ's Body and Blood, through the eating and drinking of bread and wine.
Bread and Wine
Around age 7
Confirmation
The gift of the Holy spirit. Catholics strengthen their witness to Christ.
Consecrated Oil, Sponser, Choose a confirmation name
Young teen
Marriage
Matrimonial covenant.
Rings, Candle, Eucharist
Adult
Holy Orders
A man is ordained as a priest and vows to lead Catholics.
Consecrated Oil
Adult
Anointing of the Sick
A ritual for healing.
Consecrated Oil
Any time a person is severely ill, trauma

Mysteries: The 7 Sacraments

© Copyright Carly Sullens 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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    • Joseph Ebedmelech profile image

      Joseph Ebedmelech 15 months ago from Nigeria

      Jesus lives in our hearts such that everyone of us is a unit of Jesus. Jesus is about the wisdom of God, and if you have the wisdom of God in your heart, you have Jesus living in you.

      The images in the Catholic Church are for us to understand the mystery of God. They were meant to identify where heaven is manifested on earth.

      There had been only one Church from the beginning. What ever the other churches knew, were the little they could get from the bulk of mysteries hidden in the catholic Church.

    • Melissa Orourke profile image

      Melissa Orourke 2 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

      Well written! Well explained . I am a Catholic Convert and I love our faith. Years ago, my daughter attended a youth group. I won't mention what denomination. The Pastor asked what church she attended. She was a young teen at the time. He told her I, her mother, was worse then an "unsaved" person, because I was Catholic and took my kids to a Catholic Church! People who say they hate the Catholic Church , don't even know what the Catholic Church really believes! My take anyway! Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Just want to pick up on the idea of Catholics "praying" to statues. Actually I know quite a few Catholics who would be really surprised to hear that they prayed to statues.

      Years ago I used to be involved in an outreach back in England where we had people from all the churches including the local catholic church.

      I remember asking the catholic nun (a real firebrand more evangelical than the most fervent Pentecostal) why they prayed to statues.

      She told me that I needed to remember that the Catholic church was there all through history and for most of history the average working man couldn't read or write. In the dark ages and the Middle Ages they used statues to remind people of the Bible stories and what happened.

      Later on there came some ideas in that have led some catholics into honoring the saints a little more than we protestants are comfortable with but some catholics aren't too comfortable with it either.

      If you go to London and get to Westminster Abbey I recommend a trip to Westminster Cathedral (that's the catholic cathedral there). At the back there's a statue of Peter with his big toe prominent. Tradition is to go and kiss the Big toe. When I was there I thought it was worshiping Peter but it wasn't It was honoring peter for his courage to take the gospel but the worship is for God.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      There are many reasons for your concern in which you want to keep your relationship with Jesus real. You can ! And he knows as well your sincerity from the heart.

      What I do find very valuable about your hub is that you are examining all things of the catholic faith. You are not taking it for granted that your worship is accepted on your end.

      We can cover a few view points for thought.

      You have listed some important factors.

      starting with Images, do we use them in regards to connecting to Jesus.

      What is noteworthy is that did Jesus use it when he went to the temple of worship to his Father ?

      Was there a statue of his own father present ?

      These statues where created of him and his mother way after there existence by human hands.

      What was the law by Jehovah about images.

      Ex 34:14 You must not bow down to another god, for Jehovah is known for requiring exclusive devotion. Yes, he is a God who requires exclusive devotion.

      Reference Bible Isa 42:8 “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory, neither my praise to graven images.

      King James Version Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

      When you pray as Jesus example ,was he in front of an image.No!

      Notice ! what he said ,Reference Bible Mt 6:5 “Also, when YOU pray, YOU must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the broad ways to be visible to men. Truly I say to YOU, They are having their reward in full.

      Reference Bible Mt 6:6 You, however, when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you.

      Notice prayer is a secret between you and the Heavenly Father! It was not a thing done open as a billboard to say look at me !

      Jesus was not in a synagogue when teaching notice! When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him

      Now you can compare what Jesus is saying through scripture or is this a doctrine of men

      Through customs.

      Also what is a prayer not accepted .

      Notice !

      Reference Bible Mt 6:7 But when praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words.

      Do people repeat the same words over and over? Yes!

      Let us compare, do catholic use images ? Yes

      Do Catholics pray openly as in ceremonies ? Yes

      There are some other comparisons to do research on.

      The Popes hat is a related to the images of nimrod, or Dagon a false god.

      His ring has the fish symbol another false god in connection

      Also Nimrod was the father of Babylon the empire of false religion, or counterfeit religion.

      He built the tower.

      Many customs and images have babel in common with many religions .

      The cross is also a symbol of nimrod.

      With all this said we really do have an outline of what is accepted in true worship.

      Jesus stated the very most important part of our worship.

      Reference Bible Mr 12:29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah,

      Reference Bible Mr 12:30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’

      Reference Bible Mr 12:31 The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

      Notice Jesus did not include himself as one of the greatest to love! But he made this very clear that we are to love his Father as well as our own from with our whole heart!

    • CarlySullens profile image
      Author

      CarlySullens 2 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Thank you Lawrence, it is people who have a wide range experience and a true understanding of what Catholism is that can understand that Catholics are indeed Christians. A lot of people have heard from others, including preachers that Catholics are not Christians based on false information. Sometimes it takes a direct experience with Catholics to understand the faith. Glad you commented your experience. Thank you.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I really loved this hub. My family are all strong believers who love Jesus. Three years ago we moved my daughter from the state school where she was being bullied to the local catholic school, it was the best thing we could have done for her! She's now at a Catholic high school (we did have to argue with one priest at the time. He didn't think protestants were saved!) and it's the best school she could have gone to. She's getting a Christ centered education (granted a few things are different but that makes for interesting talks between us)

      really enjoyed this hub. Voted up and shared as well

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 3 years ago

      moonlake:

      My wife was completely and entirely cut off by her "Christian" father (not a Catholic) for reasons that need not to be explained here, but in that moment---when he rejected her, called her a sinner, told her that she was damned to hell---she needed him most. Thankfully, we were there for her and able to help get her through---not only the crisis, but her father's rejection in what he called "the name of God and Scripture."

      I dare say (as a Catholic) that perhaps it is he who was the sinner and damned to hell for his treatment of a human being who needed unconditional love and support and care.

      I pray that your husband gets well very soon. And know that you did the right thing separating yourselves from these people. They were surely not your friends and surely not Christians.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear moonlake,

      May I?

      You are right. God IS the only judge of our eternal destiny, not church-goers. Not even devot Christians. This is one thing that angers The Father is us judging. That is His place.

      And sometimes in life we have to cut our losses and move on for the sake of our peace and relationship with God.

      My wife and I were told off, well I was, when my sister died and she left me a little over $100.00 in a checking account, but her younger daughter took me to the bank and made me give the money to them.

      Said I should have been morally-aware.

      And never let my wife and I go to their oldest daughter's wedding last Saturday.

      So for us, that was it. We are moving on, leaving this money-loving family be.

      I have apologized for five times for no tknowing what to do with MY money.

      I never knew this side of my younger niece and her husband.

      But we pray for God's best to be given them.

      Kenneth

    • CarlySullens profile image
      Author

      CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Moonlake,

      I am sorry to hear you are dealing with so much and then had to deal with someone's judgement on top of it all. I hope your husband continues to heal and that good people gravitate towards both of you during this time.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Great hub. My husband is very sick and got an awful letter from what we thought was a friend. He was accusing him of not being a Christian and when he dies he will go to hell for all his sins and not believing in Jesus Christ. I was shocked anyone would do this. He does believe in Jesus Christ and has been a Catholic all his life. I guess all humans have sins but he doesn't really have any sins I can think of. I can't believe they thought it was ok to judge him I thought only God could do that. I truly believe people that do judge will find out they are the sinners.

      Sad but they are no longer our friends. I cut them off from us completely. He doesn't need to deal with people like that right now when he doesn't have the strength for it. Voted up on your hub.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Lovely hub. Personally, I get flack from both sides. Christians think I'm wrong to defend Catholicism and believe they will go to heaven. And yet, I'm a Catholic who turned Christian. Other Christian groups think the Catholic church is the prostitute in Revelations.

      On the other hand, Catholics are often trying to bring me back to the fold. The bottom line is that faith is full of passion, and that passion transforms sometimes to well intentioned conversion attempts. I respect both sides and have gotten used to their trying to further save my soul.

    • Blessed Success profile image

      Sandy J Duncan 3 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      Carly, Thanks so much for this very informative hub and clearing up some misconceptions about our beautiful Catholic faith. It is so challenging to open up the riches of what she has to offer with so much confusion. I'm brand new here and have written a hub that I want to make sure doesn't confuse good Catholic parents. If you had a moment to read my post on Harry Potter and Christian Parents I'd love your honest feedback. Blessings, Sandy

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Carly.

      Wow. This is a very good hub. In-depth hardly describes the full measure of your self-expressions. Voted up and away.

      Yes, I have several Catholic friends, but with Catholics and other sects of Christianity, I think when I have a relationship with Jesus, then why do I still commit those things that on my part are intentional sins, not error being from human flaws.

      We all sin. But why do people fear that when Jesus enters their heart, their life is over?

      The old life is, but the new one is just unfolding even after 45 years.

      I like your writing and I invite you to check out a few of my hubs and become my follower.

      That would make my day.

      Yours in Christ.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Carly, You did a great job with the topic sister. May God Bless you for it. There has been a multitude who have come over to read. There are so many misconceptions about religion vs Christianity.

      I was raised Catholic and I knew very little of Jesus Christ. We followed rules and regulations and traditions. I thought we made heaven by works and thought if I died I would be spared hell and go to purgatory. I tried to be a good girl. I did the norm baptism, confirmation class, communion, repenting weekly with the priest. Prayed the rosary and Lord Prayer thousand of times. I am grateful my parents made us go to church. I knew there was a God.

      I left the church for a couple decades when I hit rock bottom I was led to a Bible Based Christian church. It was there I was born again and started walking with Jesus. I learned it was not works that took us to heaven. Not one would pass the test. Salvation is a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has paid the price on the cross, Praise the Lord. Jesus came to fulfill the law.

      I have several friends that are Catholic and I believe much has changed in reference to Jesus in the church. I adore these friends. You will know them by their fruits and I know they are saved and have a relationship with Jesus. My only consideration is one of them nearly 90 years old has never opened the Bible. He goes weekly to church. With no judgment attached I know for me the Bible is my lifeline and road map. Many Christians rarely open the word and it stays dusty on the shelf. The written word is for our benefit and tells us of all things to come. It is a beautiful letter to us. How could one miss it? It is for the grace of God , go I Amen.

      Keep walking with Jesus Carly. God Bless you and yours in His grace and mercy. Love in Christ, Skye

    • Nicholas Fiorito profile image

      Nicholas Fiorito 4 years ago from Northern NJ

      Thank you for this educational piece for those non-demoninational Christians who find Catholicism confusing. I love it when authors like you choose education over polemic. Education is the key to peace and understanding. Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      loseraspie 4 years ago

      Yes.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Eric has written a lot of good things about God, the Father of all of us. As for getting into heaven baptism is an expression of our trust in God. It says, ‘I believe Jesus when he says that he can save me and bring me back home.’ Baptism symbolizes the death of our old life - that it was worthless as far as getting right with God is concerned - and the start of a new life. But crucially, this new life is not our own, we have been made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

      Here’s Ephesians again (2:8-9): “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” That’s the gospel message, that’s what it means to be a Christian.

      Catholics can baptize their children, and people who are baptized while they are babies can still go to heaven.

    • cherihut profile image

      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Wow, Eric. You apparently didn't read what I wrote. I was agreeing with you - but apparently, only to a point. Either that or you didn't get what I was saying at all. I agree with you, as it says in James 2:15-17:

      "15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

      But, we must also care for souls, which Brie was trying to say in her rather, um, strong language (and I’ll leave it at that). As it says in Matthew 10:28:

      “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

      The point that I, myself, was trying to make is that we need to be concerned for both body and soul. It’s not an “either/or” thing, but a “both/and” thing. Let’s face it: we humans are made up of both the material and the spiritual. While we live here on this earth, we do have to take care of our material bodies and needs. But by God’s design, we who are made in His “own image and likeness” are spiritual beings, as well. So we must care for both body and soul. That was really what I was trying to say.

    • profile image

      Anna-Rose 4 years ago

      I love this article and am going to have my husband read it. I have often wondered my some churches do not believe you are a true Christian unless you attend that church or are a part of certain denomination. Jesus is still Jesus no matter where you worship or how you choose to worship. Thanks for writing this! I voted up!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      LOL Celafoe..I've had lots of practice..my whole family is Catholic with a few priests and nuns to boot!

      Thanks Eric but I already have peace through the Prince of Peace.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      Brie-- you are tough lady- keep up the good work

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are done. I am condemned by you and you are loved by me. So be it. Two different walks.

      I wish you well and that you find peace. When we say "peace be with you" I mean it. You mean it conditionally. So be it.

      You are sure I am going to hell. I am sure you are going to heaven. I like my view better than yours.

      But you still speak from an Ivory tower. Never knowing hell on earth or touching or feeling those who do not share your views. What was that Christ said to the whore? I condemn you? I think not.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      You can do no harm to me, my fate is in God's hands because I trust in his Son. Either you trust in His Son completely or your trust in yourself. If you trust in yourself you will go to hell to pay for your own sins. Since this message, the gospel message, YOU consider harm, that tells me overwhelmingly that you are NOT one of his. I hope that you will repent before your life is over and that you will end up in heaven but I can tell you without reservation that you are not going to heaven as you are.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That would condemn you. For you have failed to prophesy to me. You have turned me angry against you. For he will look and see those that suffer, and who gave them comfort. And he will see who rejected those in need for they were gentiles. He will know those who harm and those who love and will make a distinction. You have done me harm this day. Have I in my love done you harm?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

      Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You two make a great pair. Go ahead and tell young dying infants they must repent and know Jesus. What balderdash! You two live in ivory towers where everyone has decisions to make. I spend more time with homeless and broken folk. Good for you. Go debate. Go save souls. I have lives to save.

      You condemn my people who cannot even take their meds properly. Who die of exposure and who want for a touch of another. Bring your bibles and thump them. I will bring food and feed them. I will hold hands, and my Catholic brothers and sisters will do likewise. Hurry up now and see how many you can condemn. I will see how many I can love. Hurry up and save their souls. While they die of dehydration.

      Our world does not need your bull. It needs helping hands and dirty hands. It needs love, not judgment. How many people can you feed with the pages of your bible. I can feed all with a few dollars and love.

      You do not even understand. That hell is on earth and you make it worse. Not our Catholic relief groups who love with food and shelter.

      Are you two getting it?

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Yes, that is exactly what I have been trying to convey Cherihut.

    • cherihut profile image

      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Sorry for butting in here, but...

      First of all, Brie, just wanted to make something clear. Um, I wouldn't call it "coming around." More like, what you said about consoling someone over trying to keep them from being condemned to Hell is wrong, and is something I happen to agree with.

      But, as for the rest, Eric and Brie, I think you are not on the same page in what you're talking about.

      Eric, I think you are right in the sense that we should love all people. That is what I meant earlier when I said we should set good examples. We should be giving, caring, and yes, "consoling." God wishes us to love. That is the greatest commandment.

      But, in this instance, though I don't generally agree with Brie's take on things, I think (I hope I'm understanding correctly), she thinks you mean that it is better to console people than to help them to escape Hell. In this I would agree with her. There is a wonderful Catholic speaker who I once heard say something to the effect that we're often afraid to speak the Truth of the Gospel because we're afraid of scaring people off, but we're "not scaring them" right into Hell. In other words, when necessary, we do need to use words to speak the Truth - for their sakes.

      If, as I truly believe, there is a Heaven and a Hell, what kind of a person would I be if I claim to love a person and yet, in the name of consolation - or tolerance, or sympathy or whatever other emotion you want to use - I allowed them to continue on a path that will lead them straight to Hell? If I know the truth about something that, depending on how a person responds to it, could either produce great happiness or great sadness to a person I love, isn't it the loving thing to do to tell that person about it? What they do with that information is their business, but if my telling the Truth can help prevent them from experiencing grave sorrow when they could be experiencing great joy instead, as a friend who loves, am I not honor-bound to inform them in some way (either by words or example, or both)?

      I think that might be what Brie is getting at. But you, Eric, are on a different page. You are saying that all are loved in God's sight, and that we should love all people. No one has a right to "condemn" or "damn" another, no matter their creed or belief. That is up to God to decide. And you are right.

      So in this case you are both right... you're just talking about different things.

      God bless +

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sorry, Jesus Christ told us the greatest commandment was to love. You think it is to convert. You would be wrong and I would be right.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      I do the work that God has put in front of me. If I was in China I would do the work there.

      It is not loving towards God or others to console them by letting them be comfortable on their way to hell. God told us to preach the Gospel, the Gospel is that we are all condemned, that the only way to escape condemnation is through the saving power of Jesus Christ..and through Him alone.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You only console saved Christians? Wow! How about the unbaptized 6 year old? How about the man in a Chinese prison? Wow! What about the refugee that had her family killed in front of her?

      You are Christian but have no room for consolation of these people?

      I guess I forgot --- What is the greatest commandment again?

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Like I said before Eric, I do not condemn you..the Word of God condemns you.

      To comfort people on their way to hell..and give them a false sense of security when they are on their way to spending an eternity in hell is one of the worst things you can do..you can still repent and change..you can still turn to God, that is your choice. So if you wish to not be condemned I would encourage you to repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Glad to see you're coming around ;)

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brie. You are very very very proud. You just condemned me. Interesting. Should I condemn you back? Is that how it works for you. I do not agree with you so I am going to hell? Totally bizarre.

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Brie, if I'm reading you right, we might actually agree on something for once. :D

      God bless +

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Eric, um, I wrote "catholic" means "universal." Little "c." I used the big "C" when referring to the Catholic Church, yes, because the Catholic Church is catholic - or is meant to be (that's where we got our name). :) As for your remark that Catholics might be thinking theirs is the only "accepted" church, and that "leads down a road that is not good," I have to take a little bit of issue with the wording... Do I think the Catholic Church is the only "accepted" church? No, obviously it is not. "Acceptable" - now, that's another matter, but I'm afraid that what I say might sound arrogant, though I don't mean it to. I will only say this: why would anyone in their right mind belong to a church they didn't believe in with their whole heart and soul? If one thinks it is not necessarily the true or "acceptable" one, why would one stay in it? I'm not looking for an argument, but only to try to explain my position a little bit.

      I don't understand people who say that all churches – or none – are acceptable to God. If it doesn’t matter what one believes, then why did Jesus come? He came to teach us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If it doesn’t matter what we believe, then what was the point of His coming? Was His teaching, his suffering, death and resurrection all in vain? Can all belief systems claim to be the “true” one? My understanding of "truth" is that it is constant and unchanging. Truth cannot contradict itself. Jesus claimed to BE the Truth. So if every church proclaims a different truth, how can this be? And if, as many say, all these different "truths" are acceptable, how can this be if truth cannot contradict itself? And why would I profess to believe in a church if I didn't think it taught Truth? For what is the opposite of Truth? So if I am Catholic, of course I believe it is the true Church, or I wouldn’t be there. It’s not for fun! Nobody in their right mind would be Catholic for any other reason than that they think it is true and right.

      As for what you say about evangelization, it isn't limited to "preaching and teaching" - at least, not always by word of mouth. It is, in fact, mostly teaching by example. It is a lifestyle. It is to live out our beliefs. Our faith is a lived experience. Everyone is called to evangelize. That's what I understand as a Catholic. Oh, and we DO all have different roles. If I thought everyone was called to evangelize through preaching and teaching I'd be doomed. I'm not a great oral speaker at all! :D

      You misread me if you think that I think it is the role of a Christian to “condemn and convert.” It is not for me to condemn. As for converting, I can only share the message, as I said. I cannot “convert” anyone. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. But I can exert influence. I can help to turn a person’s gaze towards something better than their worldly understanding. I can show them the way to Him who does convert. That is my job as a Christian. Otherwise, why am I here?

      God bless +

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      To console people who are going to hell and not to try to keep them from going there is worthless...no, it is more than worthless, it is evil. Something worthy of demons.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cherrihut, I almost stopped reading when you used a capital "c" when talking about universal. The big C is for the church, an name. The small see is for the word meaning universal. That point is critical to discussion and understanding. Otherwise we have Catholics thinking theirs is the only accepted church and that leads down a road that is not good.

      I do not evangalise it is not my calling. Do you preach and teach every Sunday? No you do not. It is not your calling. I do, but I am not an evangelist. That is for others. I am a writer and I call a plumber to fix my plumbing.

      You must accept the different roles God has given us. Mine is to console not to condemn and convert.

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Eric, I appreciate some of your comments, but when you mentioned being "divided from [Catholics] and Celafoe alike," and in thinking of what others' attitudes are also regarding "rules and regulations and evangelization" it brought to mind a thought...

      What a lot of people don't seem to understand about Catholics is that the word "catholic" means "universal." Catholics are all about being united as the universal family of God because (as we believe), God is our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters of the human race. But it is a house "divided," (as you suggest, Eric). And a house divided cannot stand.

      People on here are always so insulted when Catholics or other Christians or "religionists" try to evangelize. But maybe they could try looking at it as a compliment instead. I can't speak for all people who are religious, but as a Catholic, I can say that the reason we evangelize is to "spread the Good News" that Jesus came and won the war against evil, so to speak, and is now preparing this wonderful home for us all, devoid of strife and hate and worry, a place full of peace and joy and love (in short, Paradise). He told His closest friends to go out and spread the news. We are a part of those who have been spreading the News down through the ages. We evangelize in order to try to unite our human family, so that those who don't know the News can be informed about it, and know that they're welcome to go to this wonderful Paradise. We want all to live in love and peace as a family should.

      People go on and on about how they wish the Christians would leave them alone, and how religion is a "personal" thing. Really? I don't understand how people think that we can ever be united by being divided in our beliefs. That makes no sense whatsoever.

      Let's suppose a family is divided by strife, brokenness, rivalry, poverty - whatever. Can you blame the mother for trying to talk to the family, invite them all for a family gathering, trying to unite them so they can learn to live in harmony and in accord with one another? She loves her family and it breaks her heart to see them so at odds with each other. Is she wrong to try to unite them? To try to bring peace? How is leaving each of them in their own reclusivity (is that a word?) going to unite them? So she tries to reach out to them and bring them back together - because she LOVES them. She wants to tell them that their father is away preparing this great, huge estate for the entire family to live in... plenty of room and acreage for all of them. No bills, no worries, no problems, no predators, plenty of food and water, beauty everywhere... Paradise. She wants them all to come there and live with them, but her husband insists - and she agrees - that he wants no bickering and fighting upon their arrival. No way do she and her husband want their beautiful paradise spoiled by in-fighting. So she, in conjunction with her husband (who is away preparing this Paradise) and representing him, lays down a few rules - for their own good and for the good of each other. Not rules meant to "restrict" or "control" their lives, but rather guidelines that will allow them the freedom to live the best lives they can and to enjoy their utmost capacity for happiness.

      That is why we evangelize. The Church doesn't try to "push" people into her way of thinking, or to try to "control" people, or whatever. If we evangelize, it is for the sake of unity, for the sake of the Family. For the sake of Love.

      Unfortunately, since we are none of us perfect, we don't always come across as loving. But should people judge our God and refuse Paradise because of the personal flaws of some of the messengers of the Good News? Isn't that sort of like a person cutting off his nose to spite his face? Look to the message, not the messenger. Seek the Truth, for "the Truth shall set you free."

      P.S. Sorry... I just remembered that I said I would step out, but I felt inclined to write this, for whatever purpose or reason. Sorry if I'm annoying anyone, but on the other hand, I guess I have as much right to speak as anyone.

      God bless +

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Namaste Seafarer Mama. I have learned a lot through this thread too. Made new friends, strengthen friends and my relationship with God.

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      Love your description of your church, Eric. It made me smile. ~:0) Thank you, Carly for opening such a lively discussion. Through this thread, I have made a few new friends on HubPages. :0)

      ...and on that note, I am saying "goodbye" to this thread.....so much else to accomplish today...and I have a hub to finish writing and publish. :0)

      God bless...and Namaste!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just came over and saw some one tell someone else what I believe. That is quite a compliment and I thank you Celafoe.

      I do believe that the wholeness of the Trinity loves everyone, even tyrants and aborted babies. I know that my path is correct by scripture. I know many very healthy happy loving Christians that are Catholic.

      I am divided from them and Celafoe alike. Because both the Catholic and Celafoe are ruled by laws that they read. I also am, but I do not believe all are.

      When I was commissioned 2,000 years ago, I think the wind was blowing and I just did not hear Jesus command me to condemn others. Oh I heard Him give me the right to. But I missed the part where He told me I must.

      My wife and I talked just a few days ago about attending our favorite church. It is by all rights the first Christian church in California. Alcala. We like the structure of the services and feel it is worthy for our 3 year old. The services have 3 songs. 3 readings and a ten minute sermon. The folks are a little funny though. They put water on their foreheads and light little candles near the main doors. Oh and there are always screaming babies. I think maybe it is a Basilica and most these folks are Catholic. I am not sure some may be aliens. And others devils. But my wife and I always feel the love when we attend. That is how I judge a church of religion.

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      First, I am referring to pointing fingers of condemnation at others over superficial things, such as their socioeconomic status, color of their skin, or their religion. If someone is truly deeply spiritual, they would have the wisdom to recognize the spirit of God in others...and encourage them in their path toward Wisdom...and to not condemn them.

      Jesus condemned actions, how people treat each other, not the people themselves! He loved/s people. If we believe that He was/is the Son of God, then he came to spread a message. and lived His message by example. He lived with both patience and passion...closely in touch with the Holy Spirit. He called/calls on everyone, Jews and Gentiles, to take responsibility for our actions....to look at ourselves and consider if we are on the path of righteous action...so when people point fingers of condemnation at others, three fingers are pointing back at them. He had to use radical language that would wake people up....to get people to pay attention to His message....and children he had a special affection for...and I am sure he favors protecting their innocence.

      He kept company with people who society considered contemptible because they needed a kind friend on their side...and to teach them a better way. I think He saw their potential for good. Perhaps that should say a LOT to us...that He sided with those marginalized by society...defended them...gave them a voice.

      Jesus commanded us to love others as we'd love ourselves...so we must love ourselves as He would love us, first, and then love others as He'd love both us and them. I consider a prophet false if they would treat children without love, and hurt them, or make them feel shame.

      False prophets try to manipulate others into hurting themselves for their sake, and believing only a certain set of ideas instead of using their God-given brains to think with...make our own decisions with. God gave us free will, and respects that free will determines how we will worship Him!

      If God made all of creation (or does anyone here believe that God did not make all humans, or something?), then He made the Human race diverse...a rainbow world. There are as many possibilities of being in the world as there are people who live here. I believe we glorify God by singing, dancing, and making music, painting beauty, protecting the Earth from desecration via chemicals and war, and showing kindness and patience to children. :0) Many humans believe in the same spirit of love, but call the Creator who gave us that spirit by different names...and glorify that spirit in different ways.

      I believe that God gave us intelligence to use. Jesus used his intelligence to think of ways to talk to people so that His message touched them deeply. It was a gift. He chose His apostles for the gifts they could bring to spreading His message. He was well aware of human imperfection, and is very understanding. He gives us ample time and resources for us to become their/our best selves...and he's there to help strengthen us along the way. ~:0)

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      If that's the case "Seafarer Mama" then by your definition Jesus hates!

      I hope you're right Celafoe.

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      I have only returned to correct myself a little before I exit this thread. While helping a neighbor in our chicken coop, the thought occurred to me that I should have written that ~

      Fear/Intolerance/Ignorance says "You are condemned."

      Namaste all!

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      RMCreech 4 years ago

      Love this article...I have faced some of the same questions as a Catholic, particularly because I grew up in the South--not a heavily Catholic-populated area. I too, have had people ask why we "pray to statues" and had a non-denominational youth group pastor try to "save me." I was confused just like you--wasn't Jesus always in my heart?

      That Catholics are not Christians is such a misconception. There is a reason that when you fill out demographic information, there are two Christian choices--Christian (Roman Catholic) and Christian (Protestant). Yet, no one ever questions whether Protestants are Christians. I wish more people were better informed. Thanks for presenting this information so well!

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      Hate says: "You are condemned"

      Love says: "Lay down your burden and follow me. I will give you rest...and food...and shelter...and clothing...and a smile, and perhaps even hold your hand a while." :0)

      I could quote more scripture (I don't understand why some think that Catholics don't know scripture when we hear it, sing it, and take it home with us in our hearts each week), but I am not going to do that. It is not worth my time. There is more love in cooking brunch for my neighbors, caring for my family's vegetable gardens, filling the water vessels of our community's chickens, listening to music on the radio, and playing music with my neighbors on my porch. Today is beautiful in central MA and I am going to go enjoy it, with much gratitude in my heart.

      I love you all. I think that the point of a religion is to have a community where spirits are fed as well as bodies, and that we support each other in living God's word mindfully, with all of our beings. We are not meant to point fingers, we are here to extend our arms in friendship and love to others...so that they know the love of God.

      Farewell. See you all of you who are willing to let go and let your spirits soar with love at the Pearly Gates. ~:0)

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      Brie-- eric believes everyone is going to the same place and all religions go the same place, but professes to be CHristian. He does not understand scripture so don't let him get under your skin. you have done nothing wrong, we are commissioned to bring the truth to ALL. And Jesus is still the ONLY way no matter what false prophets and teachers say.

      I will clarify --there are some Christians attending catholic churches but catholicism is no a CHristion religion

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      I wish you were as precise with the rest of your doctrine "Cherihut"..too bad you only focus on the things you want to focus and not the rest of scripture.

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Oh, oops. Just going to correct one little thing from my last post, THEN I'll step out... I wrote, "Blessed are you when they persecute you in my name...". Instead of "in my name" it should be "for my name's sake" (although, some people persecute "in [His] name," thinking it is "for [His] name's sake." - but it isn't. They're just persecuting for the sake of winning a pointless argument.).

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      Karla D 4 years ago

      I beg to differ with what many Catholics here claim. I've known plenty of Catholics that pray to statues.

      If you look at the Greek roots of what Jesus referred Peter to, then you would know what he meant to say. Peter being deemed as the first pope is not scriptural at all.

      I completely agree with Bree on many points and as far as I can see...is a true follower of Christ, using scripture where appropriate and not misconstruing it.

      Many are just enthralled into the doctrines of men and don't know the Word.

      The road really is that narrow where God doesn't condone idolatry, ie praying to Mary or any saints. If you notice in the news...Pope John Paul II will be made a saint...I'm sorry but if you've ever done research on this man or the entire corrupt system that is the Roman Catholic Church, I suggest you do. There is so much evil in it all..it's baffling.

      If you have kept up with the news, you'll see that pope Francis asked of his twitter followers....well I'm sure you all know.

      It's Completely Amazing. And quite ludicrous.

      If anyone wants to take this discussion to a chat... www. tinychat. com/propheticseer is where my fellowship usually meets.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Jstfishinman: The church is made up of ONLY born again believers and no one else...all else are fake Christians. And on the last day Jesus will say to them:

      Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

      Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

      Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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      Bill Akers 4 years ago from Bakersfield,Ca.

      http://jstfishinman.hubpages.com/hub/Who-is-The-Ch... I just finished this hub today about denominations and"TheChurch" Christianity is a one on one relationship with God, no matter what denomination you belong to. "The Church" is one in God's eyes, division is a manmade thing, as far as "The Church" is concerned.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      I haven't condemned anyone ...Jesus does though:

      Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      You're words Eric are not scripture and your knowledge does not invalidate God's word. God's word tells us what He requires not the Catholic church or the pope. His word is infallible and anyone who goes against it will suffer in hell. I pray that doesn't happen but it would not be loving of me to let anyone think they are going to heaven when they are not.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Good take offense. You espouse hating Catholics. And saying they are condemned. Stand your position. Are you condemning them or not?

      You speak hate speech yet you bow wow oh poor me when I call you on it.

      I have no sword. I have no oxbow. I simply call you on condemning others when they do not agree you and you spew scripture instead of love.

      I demand and command all to Love. You want to think you know scripture and Cannons better than me. Get a degree in law and one in theology or philosophy. Put letters behind your name when you speak of law. I have them but speak of Love with no letters and no degree.

      I know more law than you shall ever know and I tell you the only law is Love. Have you defended a man in man's court against a death penalty, I have. Have you sat with Priests in 3 countries. I have. Have you walked miles with Tibetan monks. I have. Have you sat in a steam bath with native Americans. Have you held a child as it died believing in Christ but living in a 100 sq mile dump?

      Brie you speak of Theology as though you own it. My God tells you: you have not suffered with my children who are not Christian, who do not know God. You have not faced death. And you have not shot a man in war.

      Some humans ain't human. I have lived these things and know that Catholics are God's children and so are you.

      I love you. But you have yet to touch the suffereing of others or suffered mightly yourself.

      My feet were bleeding and the rain was washing it away. I had given my shoes away to a boy. I just sat on the rock. It was raining so hard in Saigon. I just moved closer to home. I cut another toe. Then this Nunn came up and we talked and she had some shoes. We laughed too hard. I carried her back to her Church and danced home barefoot. Catholic She Was. And a Child of God She was. I am not Catholic but my feet healed and never got infected.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      No one has been discourteous and I find it offensive that you would call us "haters". To me that is being a hater..or at the very least slanderous.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hold on brothers and sisters. I get up in the morning b'for the crack o dawn. It sometimes requires leaning on the wall to get my trousers on. I has done bad. Often I am sad. Sometimes I make it to a service early at 7. Maybe that old man preaching don't even say it right. I do not care. When I am good enough to make it there, I thank God my crops ain't rotten.

      That old Church is home to me. I love what it means. I am not good but I work hard. I ain't got much but what it is is the Lords. I hear I am sinner to pick that church over another church. But I just go to church and praise God. I thank Eric he told me about that church. It is not his. But it loves me. And Eric says God is in there, find Him for He has found you. I hear about rules. But Eric assures me that my 8 children will be ok if I love. That is the only rule.

      Well I do not know what kind of church that is: Tell me.

      That is a clear translation of an "illegal immigrant, illiterate man" Sorry but there was no other church near by so I took him there. I reckon I should go back and find out just what kind of church it was. Do not reckon I know. But I saw my friend there the other day with all his family all scrubbed up and pretty and happy. Maybe that is a bad church.

      I wondered why the kids all had empty bags going in. Then my boy and dang neared cried as they was full coming out. Danged Church.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      People you are people fighting against God. You say this and I say this and the bible says this and our dogma says this and our condemnation of this is dogma of our anti catholic stance and our catholic stance is opposed to you new order stance and our Methodist stance and our protestance stance is opposed to the Lutheran stance and my Anglican stance is opposed to your "non-denominational stance and my Morman stance beats all of you and my

      You breed contempt and not love. You replace my dogma for your dogma and the dog fight continues. Bravo for you who cause descent.

      I proclaim that all who act in love act in the commandment. All who act in judgement fail to do so.

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      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Carly, I have been observing the progression of this topic from the sidelines over the past several days and now I have one thing to say. For those of you who are offended by the author of this article's beliefs or the opposing opinions expressed on this page, then step off and be done with it. There are enough haters in this world so don't use this as a platform for your unmitigated hatred. I can assure you that the vast majority in this wonderful HubPages community have nothing but disdain for individuals like you whose conduct and behavior is reprehensible and questionable! If we don't agree on being "Christians", at the very least let's be courteous adults! May God Bless All Of You! Carly, I commend you and respect you for graciously writing about a topic that is important to you and to many. Take care! -Rose

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      Billy Taylor 4 years ago from NY

      I would just want to ask the real Catholics out there if they could at least admit they do not follow the Biblical Word; instead follow the Catholic teachings that originate from Rome instead of the Biblical teachings.

      So many Roman Catholic teachings contradict the Bible.

      I am definitely not trying to argue about religion. I would just like to hear from some Catholics to at least admit that fact. I respect the Catholic belief system and I think we should not argue back and forth on these things.

      Catholics who say they follow the Biblical Word as written in scripture is preposterous. The facts of the Roman Catholic Beliefs point to the contrary. When a catholic states they follow the scripture I think it causes a disconnect because they obviously don't.

      Either way I think people should not argue about it and the beauty of all these religions is people are free to believe in whatever captures there heart. It would be nice to hear from some catholic who can honestly admit they do not follow many of the biblical principles though. :)

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Eric,

      Love to you my brother!

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      cherihut, Suzette, Seafarer Mama, PT Mike and all Bless you.

      They will not understand, nor listen. Their views of the Catholic Church are clearly overtly wrong, and they do not want to lean in and even listen to our attempts in clearing up their misunderstandings.

      I know what I believe in, I know what other Catholics believe, I know what my relationship is with God is and I am at peace with that.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just another pat on the back to my fine and good Christian friend. Carly did an awesome job bringing this up and getting us stirred up.

      I do believe that Christ is smiling on her right now and urging on to get it right in love.

      My love and recognition as a contributor is right.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Cherihut, you are not being persecuted for you're beliefs you are being corrected by the Word of God. I'm trying to keep you from going to hell.

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      So many misconstrue what the Catholic Church is all about. And I love the ones who brag about how knowledgeable they are, as if others have never studied (maybe more than they did). But I've had enough experience with the hard-core "protesters" that you'd think I'd learn to leave them alone. These are the types who are just out to win arguments, not souls. I've said it before and I'll say it again: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, for those who don't, no explanation is possible." You either accept God's word or you don't. Not my job to try to convince - but only to tell the Good News. What people do with it is their business. I confess it's hard to remember that sometimes, especially when I'm persecuted for my beliefs. It's hard not to get defensive, but I need to remember that one of the Beatitudes is "Blessed are you when they persecute you in my name..." I'm stepping out. God bless you all +

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      suzette-- good for you but don't be too unhappy when you get to the pearly gates and find out that following catholic dogma instead of God's plan , is not sufficient for entry into the Kingdom of God. There is NO scripture for baby baptism, biblical baptism is for believers only. Not babies..

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

      END OF STORY!

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but in Catholicism we ARE BAPTISED as babies and it is for life. In adolescence we can become Confirmed and that is when we can make the decision ourselves. We are CONFIRMING our baptism, but the baptism has counted from birth. I was born once, baptized and I won't be born again. End of story.

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      srobinson6375 4 years ago from Crystal Lake, Illinois

      I haven't read all the comments on this page or claim to know everything about catholicism. One thing I do know however, is to all those who say they were baptized as babies and therefore are christians and don't need to be born again, that is unbiblical and will deceive you straight into hell. As a baby you are not making a choice, therefore, as baptism is part of the process of salvation which is a choice, if you choose not to be baptised, then you have not chosen to follow the truth of salvation.

      Repent, be baptized, and then you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which is evidenced by the speaking of tongues. None of that happens until you're old enough to make the choice for yourself. So therefore, simply put, babies are not baptized, just dedicated. But that in itself is not salvation.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Amen "moviesreviews"

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      Billy Taylor 4 years ago from NY

      You bring up an interesting question. I have had many debates in regards to this question. Obviously many of the Catholic teachings go against biblical principle. If the foundation for Christianity is rooted in the Bible, than is the Catholic followers really Christians?

      This is a question that many Catholics should answer. Pointing out the scriptures in regards to baptism:

      Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” (Is the new baptism in regards to being baptized with the Holy Spirit? Why are children still allowed to be baptized as a baby? There is no such scripture in regards to baptising babies so where do they get this from? It must be a teaching specifically taught within the Catholic circles.)

      Matthew 3:13-17 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (If Jesus was baptized as an adult, shouldn't Christians nowadays be baptized as an adult? As a child there is not a choice but as an adult there is a choice. Is not true Christianity a choice to accept Jesus as the lord and Savior over your life and not a religion where you are born into it?)

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      God loves us enough to tell us the truth, which is more than what you have done Seafarer Mama! The scripture is clear if you do not turn from your sinful ways you will perish:

      Luk 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

      Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

      Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

      Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      Luk 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

      Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

      Mat 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

      Mat 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

      Mat 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

      Mat 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

      Mat 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

      Mat 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

      Mat 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

      Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

      Mat 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

      Mat 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

      Mat 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

      Mat 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      The "big picture" message of scripture is that God loves us and happiness in God means loving each other. A God who frees His people from slavery is a God who loves Justice. Justice is treating each other with kindness and helping those who need help defending themselves and others against oppression. Even God, who loved David, would not let him build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant because he had spilled the blood of fellow humans, so it was for his son Solomon to do, instead...And God kept forgiving all of those who kept turning away from Him.

      See, 1 Corinthians 13 for a great definition of Love. :0) ...and the basis of that love is humility...and that means our not feeling like we are more saved or possess more truth than another fellow human being. That is for God alone to judge each one of us...and the measure by which we judge is the measure we will have used when our lives are "judged" with relationship to our keeping God's commandments.

      We can all use the letters of St. Paul to his fellow Christians as encouragement to do the right thing, or use his semantics to nit-pick against each other. I think he meant for us to encourage each other...and to care for each other with kindness, like family

      Catholics find much comfort and strength in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion. They are Sacraments of love and unity...meant to bond humans together through forgiveness, and even Joy. :0)

      [Or is there another, more important message you think we're missing, Brie?]

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Um, I probably know more scripture than anyone on this board. As far as truth, I have been a follower of the truth since I was 17, I am now 52. The only confusion is on your part..or I should say deception. The scripture is clear and that is why you and the people who agree with you refuse to address it and choose to use red herrings to muck up the discussion. I, on the other hand, have stuck to one claim..and I have proven that the scripture backs up that claim..that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves lest any man should boast. We are not saved through works of any kind. Your religion, on the other hand, teaches that anyone who believes this doctrine is accursed..which is in direct contradiction to the plain message of scripture. Yet, you all choose to hold to your religion rather than the Word of God.

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      Brie-- yes but when you, as these folks do, have no personal knowledge of scripture and no desire for truth at any cost, this is what you get. Mass confusion and error and acceptance of both as truth.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Wow, everyone all but ignores the plain message of scripture here.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      TREVOR......You appear to be "young," and I don't know how you got so incredibly brilliant on this subject....but, dear Truth Speaker, you have offered the most genuine, honest, forthright comment, thus far, on this entire thread. Readers with any amount of intelligence, common sense, Theological education, or History of Catholicism, cannot deny the hard-core facts you present. Bravo! You are bright and courageous. Thank you!

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      Huseein 4 years ago

      I think this is so good !!

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      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      Carly, I hope you don't mind my addressing some of the discussion that has been carried on since your last response. I feel strongly about some of these things ~

      Descension of Christian religions~ If one reads enough history, one will notice that most other "Christian" sects are broken off Catholicism, not the other way around (i.e. the Reformation).

      Saints ~ Historically, saints are canonized because they have led exemplary lives as Christians, were courageous in the face of persecution, took God (via the Holy Spirit) as their authority instead of other humans, and have performed miracles, either during their lifetime or after they have passed from this life. We humbly ask their intercession in time of need. We don't worship them. They are intercessors who specialize in certain issues, such as St. Anthony with finding things (and St. Anthony helps me find 99% of things I ask him for help with). I prayed 3 Novenas to St. Therese the Little Flower of the child Jesus (of Lisieux) for blessings to conceive, bear, and raise a healthy child and that was granted as well ~ for which I am grateful every day!

      Corporal Works of Mercy ~ Somewhere in the Gospels, Jesus runs through a list of Corporal Works of Mercy: Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, Comfort those who mourn, Visit those in Jail, Heal the Sick. He also stated that "if you do these to the least of my brothers, you have done it to me."...and He also goes further in stating that if we have denied our fellow humans needs, we have denied Him....And in the Beatitudes, He says that the Peacemakers and those who show mercy to others are Blessed! He sure does advocate that we must show our faith by good works, by giving love to others.

      The God of the Old Testament, who brought the Hebrews out of Egypt, where they were slaves, is the same God who has given us Jesus (a descendent of David, who was a descendent of Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Isreal). We are connected. The same commandments that God gave Moses apply to us, and then some. Even God who was strict with the Isrealites had compassion on those who showed compassion on others.

      How would one believe that anyone who professes to be Christian that they are telling the truth if they are cruel and heartless...or at the very least not very courteous to others. I wouldn't. I'd think the person was trying to manipulate another if they professed to be Christian, but were unkind to their fellow humans.

      My favorite example of the good and bad in Christianity is Victor Hugo's novel "Les Miserables." The Bishop (a Catholic Christian) answers the promptings of the Holy Spirit by giving Jean Valjean his Silver. This is an ACT of faith, for he "buys" Jean Valjean's soul for God with the silver. This is an act of Grace that Jean Valjean did not necessarily deserve...and the Bishop allowed himself to be used by God to bestow His grace on a lost soul. He asks that the blood of all the saints and martyrs be a grace that saves Jean Valjean. But he also requires Jean Valjean to use the silver to become an honest man...and he does...humbly. Throughout his live, JeanValjean knows that God has worked miracles in his life to keep him out of jail. He also considers himself responsible for all of those who work in his factory, and when Fantine is fired (because she is discriminated against...because of assumptions made by her coworkers and the foreman), he brings her to the infirmary and saves Cosette from the miserable life she is living with the Thernardiers ~who apply the term "Christian" to themselves in conversation with Javert just to gain credibility, to get their what they want, even though they are very dishonest people! But who gets the last word in that? Valjean's saving the life of M. Frauchelavant is repaid by his being kept at the convent as a gardener and Cosette being educated by the nuns.

      Then there is Javert, who thinks that nobody can be saved...he has no faith, so his belief in the tenets of religion as a basis for fulfilling his duties is a bit cultish~ even the chief of police tries to get him to cool it and attend to other aspects of his job. He is obsessed (vs. dedicated to protecting others through the investigation of real crimes). He can't let go. He has to hound Valjean....sort of like the people who like to hound others door-to-door about being "saved" by their definition, instead of leaving it up to God to decide. I think God and Jesus are much more merciful that the door-to-door "Christians" who think only their form of Christianity is valid.

      What we need in this world is acceptance, love, and unity. That is what will transform our cultures and heal our planet. God does not want us to fight against each other, He wants us to stand together, hand-in-hand, and help make the world a better place...to lift each other up...not try to "fix" each other.

      Jesus said that each person who accepts the Kingdom of God like a little child will be saved...but children learn their best values and codes of behavior from the adults around them....and those who would lead children astray will particular trouble when they reach the "pearly gates."

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      Pousinngam Thaimei 4 years ago

      CarlySullens, let the Holy Spirit keeps on inspiring you to write an eye opening hubs. God bless you.

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      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      This is a very contoversial topic I don't want to discuss. I was raised Catholic but with the marriage to my Georgian (Europe) husband I converted to the Georgian-Orthodox church. The Orthodox church claims to be older than the Catholic church. Once they were a unity but then the eastern and western churches have been separated. This happened about 1000 years ago.

      Someone wrote in the comments that Jews were the first Christians but Jews are not Christians unless they are Jewish Christians. The traditional faith of the Jewish people is Judaism. But you can say that Christianty derived from a Jewish sect. So yes, the Jews are older than the Christians but they are not Christians.

      Carly, thank you for sharing this great and interesting hub.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      The Bible is extremely clear that works done because you have faith are not works done to "buy" salvation.

      AND, you again are wrong because you don't know the Bible but it does say explicitly that we are saved by faith alone..here are the scriptures.

      Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

      Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

      Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

      Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

      Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

      AND:

      Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

      Eph 2:9 NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Brie, what area are you talking about? Faith vs. works? OK, how about James 2:14-25? Not going to quote the whole passage - you can look it up, but basically it's the "faith without works is dead" passage. They go hand-in-hand. Nowhere does it say we are saved by "faith alone." Btw, just to be clear, Catholics do not teach that you can "earn your salvation." That is a free gift. But, we have to cooperate with that gift in order to make it ours. If your father gives you a car as a gift, it may have been free, but you still have to turn the key, shift into drive, put the pedal to the metal and drive it. You have to work it. "With freedom comes responsibility." Salvation isn't just some freebie kind of gift with no conditions. Sorry. It's just not. It comes with a price. But it's worth it.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      What's funny is the only area I mentioned..NO ONE has addressed or refuted..that's what's funny!

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      Cheri Hutson 4 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      I love how people who know nothing about Catholicism pretend to be experts on it. Worse yet are those who only know enough to feel like they can rationalize calling themselves experts on it when what they think they know is actually not a true understanding of it at all. Sorry, but 8 years of Catholic schooling (when you're still wet behind the ears and your understanding isn't fully matured) is not enough to make you an expert in Catholic theology. Sure, my first 8 years gave me a base of understanding, but it's like anything else... you can't become an "expert" at it unless you continually educate yourself, constantly reviewing and renewing your understanding of it. If not, you either forget it or you develop a misplaced or vague idea of it and/or latch onto someone else's understanding mixed in with what little you remember from your own foggy memory of it, and then it gets discombobulated and completely misconstrued. For you self-proclaimed experts on Catholicism out there, might I suggest a bit more study on the matter (and I'd suggest getting your info from the original source instead of relying on biased people's ideas of it)?

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      Trevor Merrill 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Catholicism is essentially an offshoot of Christianity, which would technically make it a cult. They misinterpret the Bible and make beliefs on passages that simply do not exist which makes them heretics. They miss the foundational principle of the Bible that focuses on faith and not on works, which makes them barely Christians at all. They don't actually usually read the Bible for themselves and don't know what's in it, which makes them blind followers. Catholicism is a religion about rules, guilt, and traditions instead of the relationship with God that Christianity is. Catholicism puts the opinion of one man they call the Pope as the ultimate moral authority in the universe instead of God, which makes them idolaters. Calling Catholicism the same as Christianity is about the same as calling Muslims or Mormons the same as Christians. Complete nonsense.

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Ericdieker..Jesus said that everyone who does not trust in him is condemned already..I'll stand with Him.

      Celafoe: I contend for the true faith in hopes of saving some..Also, I have a lot of relatives who are Catholic and I wont give up on them until they pass. Until then, they will have to go to hell with me barring the way.

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      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent hub! Was raised as a Catholic too, and was always a student of the history of theology. What worries me is that the Bible has been translated, edited, and updated so many times that I'm not sure what most people see today is even close to it's original message. That's part of what made me meander away from Christianity. That and a lack of faith in many of it's followers.

      I agree though, that I never witnessed anyone actually worship a statue. In any faith. Voting up and sharing!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Condemning large religious organizations by pulling out dogma and using sophistry rather than love to interpret it is not loving your neighbor. I know sophistry I practiced law. I know dogma I teach it. And I know love, because I feel it.

      I suffer no denomination. No "Church" guides or directs my beliefs. Preachers who are paid do not guide my thoughts much for I am a Preacher. I have spent thousands of hours in Ministry and never received compensation.

      I have studied and done comparative studies of the Catholic and Episcopal/Anglican Cannons and with my degrees in law and philosophy I can read them with decent comprehensions.

      And I can tell you, there is not one single rule that you can interpret in love that leads you to condemn others. Nowhere in what I have mentioned gives license for one group to condemn another.

      I do not care if it is about gays, or Mother Mary or good works or baptism. There is nothing that gives one man the right to condemn another.

      The closest we have is a clear temptation from Christ suggesting that sins we do not forgive will not be forgiven, as we are disciples. Personally I will not go down that road. But perhaps Brie and Celafoe find that their calling. I forgive them.

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      celafoe, you exceedingly misunderstand Catholiscism! We do not pay the priests to read the bible for us! You do not know enough of Catholisicim to even comment, and your replies demonstrate your ignorance about the Catholic faith.

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      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      Brie-- you are wasting your time. they do not know what their church doctrines are and do not care enough to look them up. They pay the priests to read the bible for them. and of course they believe what they wish. Scripture truth is not on their list of things to achieve, just catholicism and they do not even understand that. they say they do not worship "saints" but they have the icons and ask them to protect them, they say mary is not co redeemer but the doctrines of the catholic church say she is, so why waste your time. to be delivered from it they must have a desire for truth. and since they do not then God has sent them the strong delusion and they believe the lie and cannot escape from it.

      Those like you that want God's truths will be given them and will escape the others will be stuck there .

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just love people who place a law on God. God can save whoever God wants to save, God is God:

      "What you are teaching is UNBIBLICAL and will not result in salvation..all who believe what you believe are not saved ""

      Let me get right this and make sure God knows so God does not violate the law of Brie

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      Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan

      Carly..once again you are in opposition to what the Word of God says..it says and I quote:

      1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

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      kevin clarke 4 years ago from jamaica

      @CarlySullens ok it's off now but enlighten me on the history please (DID JOSEPH AND MARY HAD CHILDREN AFTER THE BIRTH OF JESUS)

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      PT Mike,

      After a long day at work and reading all these comments I appreciate your input and support. I like this quote your wrote, it kind of sums up all these replies,

      "Despite many facts and truth about Catholics, our protestant brethren keep on accusing us as if we are following some alien's doctrine."

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Kevin,

      Is something wrong with your cap button? Why are you shouting?

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Hi Suzette,

      Thanks for your return and your continued support to help other's understand.

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      Vivian-tmt-hnp 4 years ago from USA.

      3:15pm Thursday 25 July 2013

      Dear Carly Sullens,

      In my own opinion, belief is a graceful gift to whom may concern about God. As like as you, Carly Sullens, I believe there's only one God who always protects human-beings and our universe.

      Thank for sharing your deeply faith with us.

      Vivian

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      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Brie,

      It is insulting for you to come onto here and say, It's not non-Catholics that are ignorant but Catholics.

      Just because the Catholics who replied to this thread, or me, are not going back and forth with you, does not mean they do not know their religion or concede to your religious views.

      Just like PT Mike said, "Catholics don't usually organize or start an argument to justify on what we practice or believe for. To practice a faith, we don't need worldly recognition or a public opinion. We don't have to proclaim ourself that we are doing the right thing for our Lord knows everything."

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      kevin clarke 4 years ago from jamaica

      @CarlySullens HELLO THERE HERE A QUESTION TO YOU DID JOSEPH AND MARY HAD CHILDREN AFTER THE BIRTH OF JESUS