Mortal and Venial Sin?

March 14, 2014 | 83 comments

The most common Bible verse used against the very Catholic and very biblical doctrines concerning mortal and venial sin is James 2:10-11:

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” said also, “Do not kill.”

The argument is made from this text that all sins are the same before God. Is this true?

Two Points in Response:

First, the context of James 2 reveals St. James to have been talking about showing partiality for the first nine verses leading up to verses ten and eleven. In verse one St. James says, “My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.” St. James then goes on to say that if we show partiality, for example, toward the rich at the expense of the poor, we fail to keep what he calls “the royal law, according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (verse 8). He then says, in verse nine, “But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” This is his lead-in to talking about keeping the commandments.

The point here is we cannot pick and choose who we are going to love as the Lord commands and who we are not going to love. On Judgment Day, we cannot say, “But I loved over six billion people as I love myself, Lord! I only hated that one guy!” It is an all or nothing proposition. In the same way, we cannot say to God on Judgment Day, “But I kept the other nine commandments, Lord!”

The second point I would make here is if you read the rest of verse 11, St. James explains a little more precisely what he means.

For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” said also, “Do not kill.” If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.

He never says anything remotely related to “all sins are equal.” He does not say, “If you commit adultery, you are guilty of murder, lying, stealing, etc.” as if there is no difference between these sins. The gravity of each sin is not his point. He simply points out that if you break any of these laws, you have become a transgressor of the law. Again, I believe he is saying you cannot pick and choose which of God’s laws you will obey and those you will not. You must obey all of them.

What is Mortal and Venial Sin?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides:

[1855] Mortal Sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God… by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, though it offends and wounds it.
[1861] Mortal sin… results in… the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell…
[1862] One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or complete consent.
[1863] Venial sin weakens charity… and… merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However, venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace, it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently, eternal happiness.”

What Does the Bible Have to Say?

Matt. 5:19:

Whoever then relaxes (breaks) one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Our Lord here teaches that there are “least commandments” a person can break and even teach others to do so yet still remain “in the kingdom of heaven.” That is both a good definition of venial sin and perfectly in line with paragraph 1863 of the Catechism. Then, Jesus goes on to warn us in no uncertain terms that there are other sins that will take us to hell—if we do not repent, of course. For example, in Matt. 5: 22, Jesus says, “… whoever says ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” In verses 28-29, he says:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.

Clearly Jesus teaches there are some sins that will separate us from God for all eternity and some that will not–mortal and venial sin.

Matt. 12:32:

And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:32, emphasis added).

This statement of our Lord implies there are at least some sins that can be forgiven in the next life and some that cannot to a people who already believed it to be so. That sounds awful Catholic, doesn’t it?

II Maccabees 12:39-46, which was written ca. 125 BC, gives us an excellent historical backdrop that can shed light on the importance of our Lord’s words in Matt. 12:32. As the story goes, Judas Maccabeus and his army collected the bodies of some fallen comrades killed in battle. When they discovered these men were carrying “sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear” (vs. 40), Judas and his companions discerned they had died as a punishment for sin.

Therefore, Judas and his men turned to prayer beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out… He also took up a collection… and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably… Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

Whether one accepts the canonicity of I and II Maccabees really doesn’t matter. Whether a person accepts the inspiration of these books or not does not change the fact that they give us crucial information about the faith and practice of the Jews shortly before the time of Christ from a purely historical perspective. The Jews believed there were some sins that could be forgiven in the next life (analogous to what Catholics call venial sins), and that there were some sins that could not be so forgiven (analogous to what Catholics call mortal sins). That’s the historical record.

Some may argue at this point that this text only mentions some sins can be forgiven in the next life, it never says anything about any sins being unforgiveable. And that is true. However, we also know that at least some Jews of the more orthodox bent believed in a state of separation from God, or hell, where sins cannot be forgiven as well. Jesus himself speaks of this in multiple texts of the New Testament, for example, in Mark 9:47-48:

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

In the latter portion of that text Jesus actually quotes Isaiah 66:24 from the Old Testament as alluding to the existence of hell. And he was not saying anything novel or revolutionary here. According to the Talmud, and many Jewish writings before the time of Christ, as well as Orthodox Jewish teaching today, the Jewish faith has included a belief in a place of eternal punishment for the damned for well over 2,000 years. Moreover, among the Old Testament passages used historically by Jewish scholars to this end, Isaiah 66:24 is one of the most common.

Most importantly, we have to acknowledge that this is the faith in which Jesus and the apostles were raised. They would have been raised to believe there were some sins that can be forgiven in the next life and some sins that cannot be. And it is in this context Jesus declares this to be so in the New Testament, as we saw from Matt. 12:32 above.

I John 5:16-18:

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that is not a deadly sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not deadly. There is sin which is deadly; I do not say one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly. We know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

Three points:

1. These verses cannot be any plainer that there is such a thing as “deadly sin” and “sin which is not deadly.” That is precisely what the Church means by mortal (sin unto death) and venial (sin not unto death) sin.

2. St. John distinguishes the effects of mortal and venial sin as well. Members of the Body of Christ can pray for someone who commits venial sin (sin “which is not deadly”) and “life” (Gr. – zo-ay, or the divine life of God) and healing can be communicated to him through that prayer. But when it comes to “deadly sin,” St. John tells us not to “pray for that.” This is not meant to say we should not pray for a person in this state of sin at all. Scripture is very clear that we should pray for “all men” in I Tim. 2:1-2. The context seems to indicate that he is referring to praying that God “give [the wounded member of Christ] life” directly through that prayer. Divine life and healing can only come through members of the Body of Christ to other members in a direct way if the person being prayed for is in union with the Body of Christ. For mortal sin, one can only pray that God would grant the grace of repentance to the sinner so that they may be restored to communion with the Body of Christ through the sacrament of confession.

To understand this better, consider the analogy St. Paul uses for the people of God in I Corinthians 12:12-27—the analogy of the physical body of a human being. St. Paul tells us we are all members of “the Body of Christ.” A wounded finger that is still attached to its host body can be healed organically by the rest of the body. That kind of wound is analogous to the effect of venial sin. A severed finger, however, cannot be healed by the rest of the body because it is no longer attached to the body. That kind of wound is analogous to the effect of mortal sin. So it is in the Body of Christ.

3. Just after distinguishing between mortal (deadly) and venial (non-deadly) sins, St. John says “anyone born of God does not sin.” We know St. John could not be referring to all sin here because he already told us in I John 1:8: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Christians sin. It is clear from the context that St. John is referring to mortal sin here. If we sin mortally, we are cut off from the Body of Christ and are no longer in union with God. In that sense, the one who is in union with God cannot sin mortally. This is yet another clear distinction between mortal and venial sins in this text.

Mortal Sin Lists

We’ve already seen examples of “venial sins” in I John 5:16 and Matt. 5:19, but when it comes to mortal sin in Scripture, there are actually multiple lists of deadly or “mortal” sins in various places in Sacred Scripture. Our Lord himself provides us with several of them in Matthew 15:18-20, Revelation 21:8 and 22:15.  St. Paul gives us the rest in Ephesians 5:3-7, Colossians 3:5-6, Galatians 5:19-21, and I Corinthians 6:9-11.

Any one of these biblical texts makes very clear that the biblical data is clearly in favor of mortal sins, but for brevity’s sake I will cite just one of them (Eph. 5:3-6):

But immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (than is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them…

According to St. Paul, no matter how “born again,” “saved,” or whatever you think you are, if you commit these sins and you do not repent, you will not go to heaven. That is the essence of what “mortal sin” means.

Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

Comments by Members

#1  James Davis - Ottsville, Pennsylvania

If I actively believe in Jesus and therefore obey, can I 'know' I have eternal life based on 1 john 5:16? I once had a protestant pastor suggest the word 'believe' here in itself (in Greek) suggests our eternal life is an unconditional status.

What does it mean to be born of God? If I believe and am baptized and I commit a mortal sin, am I not still born of God?

March 14, 2014 at 8:14 am PST
#2  Micah Newman - Stephenville, Texas

Hi James,

are you referring to 1 John 5:13? Here's a good other page on this site concerning that:

I'm no Greek scholar, but if being saved is all-at-once and unconditional on anything we do afterwards, that leaves a LOT of explaining to be done about the NT's repeated and consistent invocation of the "if" qualifier and accompanying exhortations to persevere and not fall away. (Of course, nothing about this militates in the slightest against grace itself being undeserved and "prevenient," as theologicans say.)

Being "born of God" refers to baptism (cf. John 3:1-15), which wipes away all past sins and puts on in a state of grace with God. The Church has always taught that to commit a mortal sin is to fall from that grace by your own actions - with reference to the above, if that were not possible, it would impose a huge explanatory burden insofar as dealing with all the "if" qualifiers the NT writers constantly impose as prefacing what is required to be saved.

March 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm PST
#3  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

In the book of John chapter 3 of being born again this is not talking about that baptism wipes your past sins away at all. This is talking about asking God to forgive us of our sins from the past and asking Jesus to come in as Lord and Savior. Then we get baptized to show those in the Church body and the public at large of the new relationship with God. I got baptized as a baby by my parents I had no idea what happened until years later it meant nothing to me at all. In John 3:16 Jesus is talking to Nicodemus and says For God so Loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes shall not (Perish) BUT have ( listen to what Jesus SAYS next he says it very clearly) But HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. In the next verse Jesus SAYS in 17- For God did not ( Send) His Son into what ( The World to condemn the World,) But TO do WHAT Save the World through Jesus. When you THINK baptism is wiping out past sins then there is NO reason FOR repentance and you are not being held accountable it's to EASY. The question I have is what was God the Fathers Goal TO have his Son come down from Heaven and Die on a Cross ????? It was not for Baptism there is nothing in the Bible that talks of Mortal or Venial Sins you fine verses that talk of different types of sins but not Mortal or Venial Sins. To a HOLY God all sins are the same OnLy the sin against the Holy Spirit in the Bible which is spelled out. In the book of James chapter 2:10 It says for whoever Keeps The Whole Law And Yet (STUMBLES AT JUST ONE POINT IS) The next words are very IMPORTANT It says ( Guilty Of Breaking All Of It) The thing is as Romans says For all sin and FALL Short of A HOLY GOD.

March 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm PST
#4  Billy the Kid - Staunton, Virginia

Greg, you clearly did not read the article or you wouldn't be making claims that (as the article points out) are literally directly against scripture teaching. We'll start with this one:

"... there is nothing in the Bible that talks of Mortal or Venial Sins you fine verses that talk of different types of sins but not Mortal or Venial Sins. To a HOLY God all sins are the same"

1 John 5:17 "All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly."

Your statement is completely contradictory to that verse, and it's easy to see why. John says that some sins are deadly, and others are not. There's really not much else to say. John has refuted you and there's no need for me to expand, unless you are willing to say the bible is simply wrong here. Because if some sins are deadly (mortal), but others aren't, then all sin is not equal. It's that simple, really.

Now let's move onto another unbiblical claim of yours. "In the book of John chapter 3 of being born again this is not talking about that baptism wipes your past sins away at all. This is talking about asking God to forgive us of our sins from the past and asking Jesus to come in as Lord and Savior."

If John 3 isn't talking about baptism, why does John 3:5 say "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water* and the Spirit*, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

If Jesus is not referring to baptism, why does He say "water"? Compare that verse with Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:20-21. The second especially, read it:

"God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." 1 Peter 3:20-21

Why do you ignore the "water" part in John 3:5 in making your assertion? Does it matter to you at all that virtually no Christians until the 1500's shared your beliefs on baptism and John 3 not* referring to it? Your belief is not only a minority among Christianity, it was non-existant until the 1500's.

No let's move onto this one.

"When you THINK baptism is wiping out past sins then there is NO reason FOR repentance and you are not being held accountable it's to EASY"

Once again, I don't have to refute your claims here, because Peter and Paul already have. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 22:16 "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name."

The second one is pretty explicit in saying that baptism washes away (aka, "wipes out" as you put it) our sins. Unless you wish to continue making claims that are directly against scripture, I suggest you change your position.

Lastly, we have John 3:16. It's true that Christ says "whoever believes in (me) has eternal life" but it's also true that Christ said a lot of other things as well. For starters, 20 verses later in John 3:36, Christ says "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him." Clearly, in order for you to truly believe in Christ (a la John 3:16), you have to obey Him. You cannot say "I believe" while disobeying Him; Jesus just told us in John 3:36 that this will not save you.

March 15, 2014 at 8:07 am PST
#5  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Man, I like this! You guys did such a good job in answering James's question, I need not say anything more! Great job! Well, nothing, except to repeat Michah's exhortation to James to read my article on "once saved always saved" at

March 15, 2014 at 10:48 am PST
#6  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

Keep up the great work Mr Staples! We'll see you in September in San Diego!

March 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm PST
#7  James Davis - Ottsville, Pennsylvania

Thanks for the article Micah and Tim. Verse 13 makes sense now but I'm still confused with verse 18. I agree it would create problems to conclude 'once saved always saved' from this passage, but I'm not sure we can equate being "born of God" with "In union with God" since the former is a permanent status. Perhaps it's simply not meant to be an absolute "know" in this verse either, but is there any other explanation?

March 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm PST
#8  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

All throughout Biblical-Salvation history, every time something new is "done," it is done either by spirit, or by water - or both. If we are in God, I believe it is safe to say we are born of God.

March 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm PST
#9  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger


There are many metaphors in Scripture that describe our union with God. Being "born of God" is one of them. None of them represent a necessarily permanent status. Even the permanent "seal" that we receive in baptism, though permanent, does not represent a permanent union with God (see Eph. 4:30). Even the baptized can make "shipwreck" of their faith like St. Paul says in I Tim. 1:19 (see also I Cor. 9:27). Why? Because we can choose to walk away from God.
Thus, when I John 5:18 says, "We know that any one born of God does not sin," it means he does not sin mortally. We know this because St. John had already made clear that all of us sin in I John 1:8. St. John makes a distinction between mortal and venial sin in I John 5:16 that is presupposed in these statements.
Well, what happens if one sins mortally? He is no longer "born of God," and must be justified again through the sacrament of Penance. I John 4:7 tells us "he who loves is born of God. He who does not love does not know God." I John 2:24 says, "If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father." St. John is, no doubt, picking up here on the words of the Master, from John 15:3-10.

March 16, 2014 at 6:18 am PST
#10  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

AJ Thank you for your insight so let's start with Baptism in Matthew chapter 3 This is about John the Baptist lets start at verse 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. CONFESSING Their Sins, THEY were Baptized by Him in the Jordan River. AJ what's great is it says They Confess Their Sins 1st and then it Says They were Baptized in the Jordan. My Point still Stands it's Confessing Sins (BEFORE) Baptism that's were the Churches teaching on Baby Baptism is not Biblical. The thing that I notice is it's done in public The Jordan river for all to see. When I made my commitment on my wedding day I did in front of family and friends it was in public to let God and others know I was not taking this relationship lightly. When I got baptized as a Adult in public families, friends, co-workers were there it was a commitment before God and others at large and a celebration I will never forget. When I was a Baby my Parents Baptized me did I confess sins yet I wasn't even Old Enough to commit and sins yet. I was not ask to make a Commitment I wasn't even Old enough to understand what was happening to me ??? This all means Baptism does not save you and it won't wipe out your Sins That's WHAT Christ Death on the Cross and The Blood that was Shed by Him, your Sins and Mine were Nailed To the Cross. 1John 5:17 you need to read all the verses to see Who John is Talking to ??? ALSO what's he trying to say??? John 3:5 is about Baptism Which Starts With Confession of Sins Past and Present Then Spirit is Talking about acknowledging Christ as LORD and Savior Born again The Spirit. Acts 2:38 Peter Replied (Repent) And Be ( Baptized) again Repent First of all sins past and present and be Baptized !!!!!Then Acts 22:16 Confession 1st Then Baptism and it says wash your Sins away Why ???? You have confessed all Sins from Past,Present and from that day on confessing your Sins every Day Baptism is not for all Sins otherwise Christ Death would have been in Vain Or a Waste of his time and Effort !!!!!!

March 16, 2014 at 11:10 am PST
#11  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

The fact that people confessed their sins before John's baptism and believed before baptism does not speak to the issue of the Baptism of infants. The Bible does not say infants cannot be baptized.
Abraham believed before he was circumcised, but that did not preclude the Jews from circumcising infants at 8 days.
Of course adults must believe before they are baptized, but that does not mean that baptism is not "for your children" as St. Peter plainly says in Acts 2:39. St. Paul says baptism is "the circumcision of Christ" in Col. 2:11-12.
Again, we Catholics take all of Scripture, not just the verses we want to take while leaving the rest behind.
Your analogy of marriage supports the Catholic position. The wedding ceremony is not just a public affirmation of something that has already occurred. The wedding is where the exchange of vows occurs and the sacrament is confected (ratified), and is what separates fornication (sex before marriage) and the perfecting of those graces on the wedding night (the consummation). Without the wedding you have fornication. After the wedding you have a beautiful and sacramental act.
Similarly, baptism is not just a public affirmation of something that already occurred, but it is the sacrament where by we are ordinarily "buried together with him" as St. Paul says in Romans 6:3-4, and it is the sacrament that "now saves us" as St. Peter says in I Peter 3:21. I am amazed at how often you say one thing (you said, "Baptism does not save you") and the Bible says the opposite ("baptism now saves us..." I Peter 3:21).
Your wedding day just showed that you did "not take this relationship lightly?" Is that all it was to you? Really? Wow!
You said, when you were a baby you weren't "old enough to commit any sins yet." That is true, but you had original sin on your soul that had to be taken care of (see Romans 5:12).
And remember: the initial grace of salvation is entirely a gift from God. A baby is the perfect example of that great gift of salvation.
And finally, you said baptism does not "wipe out your sins" because "that's what Christ's death on the cross" did. You are missing an obvious point here. Of course Christ's death takes away our sins, but Christ chose to communicate the graces he purchased for us primarily through faith and the sacraments. For example, I Cor. 10:15 says the communion we receive is "partaking (or our participation in) of the blood of Christ" and "partaking (or participation in) of the body of Christ." The blood of Christ is communicated to us through us "walking in the light as he is in the light" and by "confessing our sins," according to I John 1:7-9. And, according to Acts 22:16, baptism "washes away our sins" along with faith (see also Mark 16:16).
You also seem to think that if we have to do something in order for Christ's sacrifice to be applied, then Christ died in vain. That is not true. It is only because of Christ's life, death, burial, and resurrection that our faith, the sacraments, our obedience, our "walking in the light," our "confessing our sins," etc. have any efficacy. It is the death of Christ that makes the difference. How does that translate into "then Christ died in vain?" Without Christ's death, baptism would just represent "the removal of dirt from the flesh," because of Christ's death, baptism becomes the instrument of God that incorporates us into Jesus Christ.

March 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm PST
#12  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim I love sharing Gods word with others I always like to encourage people to read other verses above or below the ones they share. The reason is the writer will spell out exactly what he trying to say !!! The Bible does not talk about infants being baptized it does say children a big difference, the reason they are able to speak to confess sins which means they know the right from wrong. The verses I gave you spelled out to confess 1st and Baptism 2nd circumcising has nothing to do with baptism I don't see its a part of it at all. In Acts 2:38-39 Peter does say children not infants again a big difference !!! In your verses for Colossians 2:11-12 Read all of the verses Start with verse 6 who is the writer talking to it not for infants I think the verses will spell out what you need to know ??? I like to see those who pick verses see what the writer is talking about to who and what is the point of there message. Tim with verses in the Bible again whats Paul writing about start at verse 6:1 read the whole chapter I think it will spell it all out. I will add some on later keep up the good work !!!!!!!!

March 17, 2014 at 9:37 am PST
#13  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

According to Jesus, you don't have to be able to "confess sins" and "know right from wrong" in order to be welcomed into the Kingdom. In Luke 18:15, the Bible says, "Now they were bringing even infants (Gr. "brephe," which means "infants," not "technon," which means "child," or "paidion," which can be used of either infants or very young children, but "brephe" which is only used to denote infants) to [Jesus] that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked him. But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children (paidion, used in the context of these "infants" who were being brought to Jesus) come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." Infants do not put up obstacles to God; hence, we must be like them in order to receive the grace of God.
Thus, the Bible does talk about children receiving the kingdom of God, to use the language of Luke 18:17. Also, you say "circumcising has nothing to do with baptism," but St. Paul disagrees with you (see Colossians 2:11-12; Gal. 3:27-28, where St. Paul both calls baptism "the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11) and describes it as the fulfillment of circumcision (Gal. 3:27, he says baptism is not only for free, male, Jews, but for all). The Jews circumcised babies. When St. Peter said this promise (of baptism) is "for your children" to thousands of Jews who understood what a family covenant is all about, they knew exactly what he was talking about.
Colossians 2 describes the effects of baptism, which includes both adults and infants. You seem to be saying that if baptism is ever related to adults then it can only be for adults, but that is what you say, not what the Bible says. Because Scripture speaks of people believing before they are baptized, that does not mean only people who first believe can be baptized. The Bible does not say that. You say that.
Keep reading that Bible. If you separate the traditions of men you have been taught from the text; if you do not allow the traditions you have been taught to blind you, you will come back to the Church Jesus established, rather than follow all of these man-made Protestant traditions. Just read the text and follow the truth.

March 17, 2014 at 11:39 am PST
#14  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim you talked about 1 Peter 3:21 it shows that Baptism saves you in the verse It says AND THIS (WATER) SYMBOLIZES baptism that now saves you also-not the REMOVAL OF DIRT FROM THE BODY BUT THE PLEDGE of (WHAT) A GOOD (CONSCIENCE) Toward (WHO) TOWARD GOD. Tim then it says, IT SAVES (YOU) by the RESURRECTION of (WHOM) of Jesus Christ who has gone into Heaven and who is at God's right hand, What it said about The pledge of a GOOD CONSCIENCE toward God. I think it's spelling out that Baptism is not something that someone else makes like parents, But to do in Good CONSCIENCE. I think it shows that the person has to be able to make there own decision, not by parents who make your mind for you. Jesus made it very clear that he and he only is the only way to Heaven no other way!!!! What am I saying Baptism Does not save you or me or anyone else it's not a Key to Heaven If again Baptism was There was no need for Jesus Death. Jesus when he was on this earth made it very clear He is the way, John 14:6 Theres no other way to the God the Father except Threw Jesus. John 3:16-21 for Baptism as it says in Matthew 3:6 we need to repent (1St) and (2nd) be Baptized in Church for the body and public at large knowing what you have done. I will add more later !!!!!!!!!!!!

March 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm PST
#15  Peter N - Columbia, South Carolina

A priest I know very well insists that everyone commits a mortal sin at least once in life (excluding children who die young). He was even surprised to know that I thought differently and asked me where I got the idea that there were any exceptions, even well known saints.

It didn't occur to me until later to mention Job. Even if he was a fictitious person (like the Good Samaritan) the message in the book is clear: Job was right to insist that he was righteous and not guilty of any serious sin, because there are people like that. But I wonder--are there any other indications in the Bible that there are people who have never committed mortal sins?

March 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm PST
#16  Harry Ehmann - Bedford, Texas

Greg I feel your argument is a prime example of what still separates us. The "either/or" premise of Protestant evangelism e.g. Either Baptism saves or Jesus saves, either you're old enough to confess your sins or your baptism is not valid, either we're once saved always saved or not saved at all. But if I was a nonbeliever I'd ask you how long have Christians believed what you believe? I'd want to know why the sinners prayer isn't in the Bible? I'd want to know how the people of God came to salvation the 1500 years before the Reformation? I speak from love as my wife is non-Catholic and I respect her beliefs as I respect yours too.

March 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm PST
#17  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

Matthew 3:6 shows us the Baptism of John. This is an important point. You seem to be under the impression the John's baptism is the same that is commanded by Christ. If this is in fact what you hold, I'd say you're in conflict with the words of Paul in Acts 19.

"Jesus made it very clear that he and he only is the only way to Heaven no other way!!!!"

I've yet to read any comments here that would lead you to conclude Catholics don't believe that. An important aspect of following Christ (which I'm sure we both believe is a "big" part our salvation) is obeying our Lord's commandments. Which is why Matthew 28 is a biggie for me. Because he did in fact command us to go forth baptizing all nations.

19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

What I really find strange is that you seem to think baptism is really just trivial. If you seriously think you have (or can) justified that assertion utilizing scripture, then I really don't know what to say. I mean, based off your comments so far, why baptize at all? Going up in front of the congregation and giving a "hey, I believe in Christ and want y'all to know I've repented" ought to do the trick. Why bother getting wet? It's just a symbol after all.

March 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm PST
#18  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim thanks again you always have to see who the writer is talking to in Colossians you need to start at verse 6 It says So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to Live in Him and go on these Verses are talking to believers of the Lord Jesus. The heading in my Bible under the verses is Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ !!!! Then in Galatians 3:27-28 The heading on top of my Bible says Sons of God Verse 26 You are all sons of God Through (WHAT) Faith in Christ Jesus. This can't be talking about a baby at all they can't except Jesus as Lord Through Baptism??? I Follow The Bible which is the truth I not going to believe a Pastor or a Priest or anyone unless they can so me in the Bible the truth. When you read verses from the Bible you have to look at who the writer is writing to and verses around ones you find to see to get the message or the point the writers making !!!!

March 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm PST
#19  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

" I Follow The Bible which is the truth I not going to believe a Pastor or a Priest or anyone unless they can so me in the Bible the truth."

If you don't mind me asking, what Bible translation do you have? Does it have any commentary?

"The heading on top of my Bible says Sons of God Verse 26 You are all sons of God Through (WHAT) Faith in Christ Jesus. "

Does it say Faith alone?

"The heading in my Bible under the verses is Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ "

Would you mind expounding on what you think this means? More specifically, what do you think human regulations is referring to?

I appreciate your love and passion for Holy Scripture, but you need to recognize that many Christians read it with just as much fervor as yourself and reach completely different conclusions. I recognize you feel that you're being led by the Holy Spirit, but I can guarantee that many who've reached different conclusions believe exactly the same thing. If that doesn't leave you a bit nervous regarding your infallible interpretation, it should. This is where, as a Catholic, I have the luxury of turning to Mother Church and (with a spirit of humility) seek guidance.

March 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm PST
#20  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #14, The text of I Peter 3:20-21 actually says: "who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Christ."
According to the text, the water that saved the eight was a symbol of the waters of baptism that save us. According to you, the waters of the flood were a symbol of a symbol. But that is not what symbols are in the Old Testament. They are "shadows" that represent the substance that comes in the New Testament.
I really think you need to stop trying to prove your tradition, and just let the text speak for itself. You end up doing violence to the text.
Also, of course baptism is not merely "the removal of dirt from the flesh;" rather, it is the appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Christ. Of course it is the resurrection of Christ that empowers the sacrament. Without the resurrection of Christ, baptism is nothing but the "removal of dirt from the flesh." But because of the resurrection it "now saves us," as the text says.
Also, we acknowledge that "repentance" and "faith" are essential along with baptism for salvation. The Bible teaches that (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, etc.). But we also acknowledge that people who cannot believe for themselves can receive help from those who have authority over them, like their parents. We know this because baptism is the fulfillment of circumcision according to Col. 2:11-12; Gal. 3:27-29. We know it is for children and for whole households of a parent who comes to faith (I Cor. 1:16; Acts 2:39; 16:15; 33), that includes the children. Jesus said we can bring our infants to him and that they can come into the Kingdom when we do, in Luke 18:15-17. They can "receive the kingdom" even though they are infants. Why? Because of the faith of the parents who bring them to Jesus.
This is not to say the children do not have to decide to follow Jesus when they reach the age of accountability. They do. We all have to take up our crosses "daily" according to Luke 9:23.
And BTW, we all keep repeating that we know there is no other way to heaven except through Christ. We get that. But we must use the instruments that Christ gave us in order for what he did on the cross to be applied to our lives. We can't decide that for ourselves. Jesus instituted baptism as the sacrament for our entrance into the Kingdom (John 3:3-5; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27-29; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, etc.), as well as six other sacraments.

March 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm PST
#21  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Greg, in response to your #18:
I agree with you that Jesus has set us free from "human regulations," just like the ones you are trying to foist upon us. Baptism is not a "human regulation," it was instituted by Jesus Christ.
Also, as adults, a person becomes a son of God through faith and baptism. As a baby, they become a son of God through the faith and baptism as well, but it is through the faith of the parents. But in both cases, it is entirely a gift of God, "not of works lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
Thus, anyone who is a son of God is a son of God the same way-through faith and baptism. We have examples in Scripture of people being raised from the dead and healed through the faith or holiness of others (see II Kings 13:21, Matt. 9:2). Sickness and death are symbolic of the sickness and death that is in the souls of sinners (see Matt. 9:2-5). The faith of others can heal a person who has no faith, even if they are dead (in sins and trespasses), and they can come to life in Christ as a result. That is what the Bible teaches.

March 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm PST
#22  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Eric thanks for what you had to say. I again want to make a point to anyone who reads God's word Please the verses around the ones you give, what's the writer saying to us or who where they talking to. We need to read the whole story that Will tell us what God is communicating to us through the writer ??? In Acts 19 it's a great example verse 2 and asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed ( stop for a minute what's Paul asking them Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you WHAT!!! Believed ??? ) Why would he ask them when they Believed ??? I thought your saying Baptism SAVES you, He Paul is asking when you Believed in WHAT In Jesus Christ as What Lord as Savior ( He and He Only Saves) They answered No, we have not even heard that there is a HOLY Spirit. So Paul asked (This is great) Then what baptism did you receive??? John's baptism they replied. ERIC I Love what Paul says NEXT verse 4 Paul said John's baptism(WAS) a baptism OF REPENTANCE!!!! My question Today is What does repentance mean go back to what John's baptism is FOR 1st Confession (Confess-To Repentance) Paul doesn't say baptism Saves them ??? My question also is Why Did Jesus Have To Die on the Cross Why ??? If Baptism SAVES you then Why Christ's Death ??? Then where does Faith come In ??? Why did Jesus have to Rises from the Dead ??? In the book of Luke 23:42 One of the criminals who hung on Jesus side it says, Then he said, Jesus remember me when you come Into your Kingdom. JESUS answered him, I tell you the truth Today you will be with Me in (Where) Paradise. If Jesus is the one who said you must be baptized to be SAVED then what about the Criminal ??? I think that Jesus would be contradicting what he said about baptism and himself as the one who Truly Saves. Please forgive me if I am making baptism as something not very important on the contrary it is very important. WHEN I WAS A baby my parents in the Catholic Church made my decision for me. The questions asked were not answered by me but someone in my place. If Baptism is so important and it must be because we have spent a lot of time and effort with verses Please THINK about this you where not there except in body ONLY !!!!!!! When I got Baptized as adult it was a Day of Celebration because our Church could only hold 1000 People and others were also being baptized I had to keep my numbers down of who could come to Church. But we had a party after words to celebrate when the Pastor asked me the questions I was able to answer in my own words. When he asked if I believed I answered from my Heart THAT I Believed not someone who I don't even remember who my God parents were ??? Is Baptism important yes but not as important as asking Jesus to be my Savior and Lord of my LIFE it's not about a Church IT can't save you !!!! Jesus said I am the (WAY) To (What) Heaven The (TRUTH) It means no one Else His WAY is Real He Is Telling The TRUTH And The (Life) There's ONLY Life Through Him not a Church or baptism or WORKS or being a Good Person ONLY Through Him !!! Jesus said these Things With His Own Words. HE FINISHES UP WITH WORDS YOU CAN'T DENY Jesus SAYS No One Comes to God The Father Except Through ME. You Have to GO To Him to Get To The Father !!!!!

March 18, 2014 at 9:24 am PST
#23  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"I again want to make a point to anyone who reads God's word Please the verses around the ones you give, what's the writer saying to us or who where they talking to."

Thanks again for making that point, now let me make one. From here on out, just assume that it's possible that I've read the full context and reached a different conclusion than yourself.

Also, if we're going to continue, I'd ask that we address one (maybe two) issue at a time. You're comments seem to be all over the place and hard to follow.

Lets start here. First, do you think the baptism of John is no different than baptism commanded by Christ? If so, why? If not, why? Short and sweet please.

March 18, 2014 at 11:14 am PST
#24  Nichole Shafer - Hastings, Nebraska

The cross makes the sacraments possible and the sacraments make the cross apply-able. In other words, the sacraments are the instrumental causes that apply the saving graces of Jesus and His cross. We should not pit sacraments against the work of Christ. The sacraments are the result of Christ's work. This is why Peter (our first pope) can infallibly write in his epistle
1 Peter 3:21 "Baptism saves you" Just as the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus when he is baptized Luke 3:21, the Holy Spirit can now come upon us when we are baptized Acts 2:38. Notice, it is also for our children.

March 18, 2014 at 11:44 am PST
#25  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Nicole if you go to verse 41 it says Those who Accepted his message were Baptized ??? What does it mean they didn't have to repent and then got Baptized ??? I also didn't understand you were saying about the Cross and Sacraments if you could explain better. Thank you

March 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm PST
#26  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Eric to save some time could you Please give me any verses that would Help with your question ??? Thank you

March 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm PST
#27  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

First things first Greg. Is the baptism of John no different than the baptism commanded by our Lord?

March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm PST
#28  Nichole Shafer - Hastings, Nebraska

Yes, "Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day." Acts 2:41. Notice they were added after being baptized.

The sacraments are instrumental causes of Christ's grace. The Sacraments are the ordinary means Christ uses to administer His grace. For instance, the sacrament of baptism is one of these instrumental causes that brings about Christ's grace which comes from Calvary. We can see this of all the 7 sacraments throughout the Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. (Reconciliation-2 cor 5:18, Eucharist- John 6, ect..)

March 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm PST
#29  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

Greg, I'm going to have to bow out of our discussion. My wife and I have just learned that she's pregnant so my mind is going to be elsewhere. Thank you for your time and God bless you. Don't ever lose that passion you have for our Lord Jesus Christ.

March 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm PST
#30  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Eric Praise God for your Great news Congratulations I will be praying for your wonderful News !!!!!!!!!!!

March 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm PST
#31  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Nichole could you give verses in the Bible that relate to each of the 7 sacraments in the Church . Thank You !!!!!! I would like to encourage you to read verses above and below the ones you find, sometimes you have to read the WHOLE chapter to see what the writer's point is ???? THANKS AGAIN.

March 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm PST
#32  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In answer to your #22:
You asked why St. Paul would ask the believers in Acts 19 whether they had received the Holy Spirit SINCE THEY BELIEVED? The answer is found in the context. You have to read the surrounding verses in order to know that the author is talking about here. St. Paul did not know whether or not they had been baptized. He only knew that they had become "disciples" or followers of the Lord (see 19:1). He knew they believed in the Lord. It turned out they were adult converts and the whole question was whether they were actually baptized validly and whether or not they have been confirmed (received the Holy Spirit). They had not been. That is why they had to then be baptized properly.
In short, he would not have asked "since you were baptized," because he did not know if they had been. There is only "one baptism" according to St. Paul in Eph. 4:5, and they had not received it yet. Thus, the question.
But setting aside the context of Acts 19, even if St. Paul did say "since you believed" for people who he might have known were baptized, that question would make perfect sense because both faith and baptism are necessary for salvation according to Mark 16:16, Romans 6:4-5, etc., so it would be expected for him to say "since you believed," or "since you were baptized." Either one would be correct, obviously. But because he said "believed" that would not somehow do away with I Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16, Romans 6:4-5, etc. With all due respect, you make no sense to me.
Also, you said, "I thought you're saying Baptism saves you..." Actually, St. Peter said that in I Peter 3:21.
When you say "Jesus only is the Savior, ( He and He Only Saves)," we agree. But Jesus can save us anyway he so chooses. And he chooses to do so through faith and baptism (Mark 16:16), our enduring until the end in him (Matt. 10:22; Rev. 2:10), our obedience (I Peter 1:22; Acts 5:32; Romans 6:16), repentance (II Cor. 7:10; Acts 2:38; Mark 1:15, etc.), the Eucharist (John 6:53; I Cor. 10:15-17), suffering with him (II Cor. 1:6; Romans 8:17; Luke 9:23), loving our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45), loving in general (Luke 7:47), and more.
You also say John's baptism was a "baptism of repentance." Yes, it was. It was a baptism that was temporary and pointed to Jesus Christ, who instituted his baptism as the fulfillment of circumcision according to Col. 2:11-12 and Gal. 3:27-28.
And then you ask, "Why Did Jesus Have To Die on the Cross Why... If Baptism SAVES you then Why Christ's Death?"
The answer is that Jesus' death on the cross is what makes baptism efficacious. Without Jesus' death, baptism would just be a "removal of filth from the flesh" as St. Peter said in I Peter 3:21, but because of Christ's saving work, baptism "now saves us." And mind you, Peter never said "baptism ALONE saves." There is much more that is necessary for salvation according to the Bible. But baptism is an essential part of our salvation, as the Bible says.
You ask, "where does faith come in?" The answer is we have to believe in Jesus in order to be saved (John 3:16).
You ask, "Why did Jesus have to rise from the dead?" The answer is, in order to justify us (Romans 4:25).
You say the thief on the cross was not baptized. But we never said "baptism alone saves us." If one cannot be baptized, he is only responsible for what he can accomplish (see John 15:22). God can save people apart from baptism, but that does not mean we are not bound to be baptized. Jesus commanded it. God is not bound by baptism, we are. So if that thief would have been miraculously saved from the cross, and then he would have refused baptism, he would have been lost. Why? Because we have to repent, be baptized for the remission of sins and receive the Holy Spirit as St. said in Acts 2:38, but if we are physically impeded from any of these, we are only responsible to do what we can do in order to saved.
You also say the Church "can't save you." To claim Jesus without the Church is like accepting a bodiless head. It simply cannot be done. Eph. 1:22-23 says the Church is Christ extended into the world. So to reject the Church is to reject Christ.
Yes, Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life," but Jesus has chosen to save us through his Church. You are making up your own religion that says otherwise, but the Bible is not going away. It still say the Church is Jesus Christ extended into this world in Eph. 1:22-23 whether you like it or not.
We also agree that we have to go through Jesus to get to the Father, but Jesus said you have to go through his body, the Church, to get to him. The Church is the body of Christ.

March 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm PST
#33  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In answer to your #31:
1. Baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27-28; Acts 22:16; I Peter 3:21; John 3:3-5)
2. Confirmation (Acts 1:5-8-2:4; 8:14-17-Heb. 6:2; Acts 19:6)
3. Confession (John 20:21-23; II Cor. 2:10; 5:18)
4. Eucharist (John 6:53; I Cor. 10:15-17; 11:27-29)
5. Holy Orders (I Tim. 3:1-7; II Tim. 1:6; 2:2)
6. Holy Matrimony (Matt. 19:6; Eph. 5:19-32).
7. The Anointing of the Sick (James 5:14; Mark 16:18)

March 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm PST
#34  Nichole Shafer - Hastings, Nebraska

Thanks Tim. I like how your answer landed on #33!!

Greg, here are a few more verses that I like in addition to Tim's list

Anointing of the Sick: Mk 6:12-13
Holy Matrimony: Heb 13:4
Holy Orders: Jn 20:22
Eucharist: 1 Cor 5:7
Confession: James 5:16
Confirmation: 2 Cor 1:21-22
Baptism: Lk 18:15

Greg, I hope this helps. Do you see how Our Lord has chosen to use the sacraments as the instrumental causes of the saving graces that come from Calvary??

March 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm PST
#35  James Davis - Ottsville, Pennsylvania

Thanks for the response Tim. Lots of good stuff in this thread.

Followup from #9. If sinning mortally after baptism makes us "no longer born of God", wouldn't the implication be we are "re-born" when we repent? Or are we "resurrected" in Christ like in Luke 15:24?

March 20, 2014 at 6:05 am PST
#36  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Nichole in Act's 2:41 It says Those Who accepted His message were Baptized, and about Three Thousand were added to their number that day. First go back to 2:21 It says And Everyone Who Calls on The Name Of The Lord (Stop Who Is The Lord) It's Jesus!!!!! And The Next Words are Important to Verse 1:41 The Words Are Will Be SAVED!!!!! Will be SAVED From WHAT ???? The very beginning of verse 41 It Says Those Who Accepted His Message STOP WHAT message ????? What's interesting is they (HAD) To Accept The Message To Be Baptized !!!!!!!! When YOU read God's word YOU CAN'T JUST pick out a Verse and say that's IT. THE WRITER IS IN THIS CASE Peter telling the WHOLE Story What's His Message ???

March 21, 2014 at 10:25 am PST
#37  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Nichole I am Sorry it's to be all in Chapter 2 I put one as 1:41 it's to Be 2:41 Sorry !!!!

March 21, 2014 at 10:31 am PST
#38  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You said "You can't just pick out a verse and say that's IT." But then you turn around and do exactly what you said not to do. The text says the ones who were "added that day" BOTH "received his word" and "were baptized." That's what it says in Acts 2:41. But then you say you don't have to be baptized to be "added." You didn't get that from the text. You got that from your presuppositions.
You remind me of the Jehovah's Witness who goes to I Tim. 2:5 and says, "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, THE MAN (stop - who is this MAN??? Jesus Christ. He's a MAN!) Jesus Christ." And then concludes that Jesus is not God.
The truth is, you can't just pick out a verse, or even 10 verses, and isolate them. You have to take all Scripture. Yes, Jesus is fully man, but he is also fully God because other biblical texts say so! (see John 1:1-3; 5:18; 8:58; 10:20; 20:28; Titus 2:13, etc.).
Yes, those who "call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." But that is not ALL they have to do. They have to believe properly in who the Lord is (John 17:3). Mark 16:16 says, "He that believes AND IS BAPTIZED shall be saved." Matt. 10:22 says, "... he that endures until the end shall be saved." We take all of these biblical texts and understand that salvation involves all of these verses, not just one or two of them. You pick out one of them and say, "That's it," just as you said you are not supposed to do.
Yes, adults have to accept the message in order to be saved. That's what Acts 2:21 is talking about. But infants can't so they don't have to. They can, however, be baptized, so they ought to be brought to Jesus by their parents just as Luke 18:15-17 indicates (and Col. 2:11-12, and Acts 2:38-39).
If you are saying that Acts 2:21 is talking about babies, then all babies who die will go to Hell. They can't call upon the Lord. That is absurd. Peter is speaking to adults; he is not speaking of children there.

March 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm PST
#39  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim as I said you need to read the whole story not just pick out verses. In verse 2:21 Peter says and everyone who calls on the Name of (What) the Lord will be SAVED. In verse 2:41 What does it say Those who Accepted His Message were Baptized ??? Let's go to the last verse in chapter 2:47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being (WHAT) Saved. End of chapter Tim what's Peter mean by (Saved) In verse 2:40 It says with many other words he warned them and He PLEADED with them, (Save) yourselves from this corrupt generation. I like the end of Acts 2:47 Those Who were being (SAVED) WHAT are they being SAVED From ???? In 2:41 They had to accept His Message Before They were Baptized What's his message ????? I THINK it's real sad to THINK that we have a Loving God and a Just God Who would demand a baby be baptized to make it in Heaven ??? I saw a Woman in one of the Blogs if I remember right she was upset because someone's baby didn't get baptized I can't believe the Catholic Church would put someone through that. Let's look at WHAT the Church teaches I was in the Catholic Church for 31 years in fact I went to a Catholic grade school and High School I remember 1) baptism Saves 2) WORKS Saves 3) being a good person Saves 4) the Host Saves. 5) Purgatory Saves I not sure if I left anything Out ???? Tim I spent Two months during the summer debating about all this. The one thing that He and you and others in the Catholic Church don't talk about is (Why) Did Jesus Die on a Cross, What is the purpose for his Death ??? Why did he have to SHED One Drop of HiS Blood Why,Why,Why ??? Faith is not EASY it takes (Time) ( commitment) ( It goes against the grain of the world) (It means you have to strive FOR Holiness every day) ( It means to give to others even when you don't want to) ( It means giving a Tenth of your money each pay check Think about THAT'S 10% of His Money not yours) ( It means when your co-workers or a friend takes you to a R-rated movie you walk out when you see nudity or hear bad language) ( It means being at work and there gossiping about another person and you walk away) (It means TRUSTING God for All your needs and not Money Or Others) I CAN keep going Faith is not a Church it's Relationship with a HOLY God WHO is the only one WHO Can Only Save You............ !!!!!!!!!!! You're Church won't Save You !!!!!!!!

March 22, 2014 at 11:53 am PST
#40  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

I would suggest you read what I wrote. I've answered everything you've written, and that Dick's written. I see no need to go over it again. Jesus is "the propitiation for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 1:1-2). He offered the only sacrifice that takes away our sins (Heb. 10:11). He established a Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Matt. 18:15-18), and his sacraments (I listed all of these verses above) as his instruments to communicate that grace to our lives and save us. That is what the Bible teaches.

March 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm PST
#41  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg, I'm sorry that you feel the why you do about the Church.
Christ did everything for you, He even left you a Church so you could be close to Him. I'm a convert and I noticed, well I see it clearly now how Protestantism confines what is Christ by limiting Him to either or insted of both and where He is. Christ left His Church so that we would have structure and not chaos. He wants unity.

March 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm PST
#42  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon thanks for your response you know some if not most of Christ disciples were Jewish. In Acts 11:25 They were (First) Called Christians at Antioch NOT Catholics, and I Don't see anything in the Bible THAT says YOU have to be a Catholic to know God. In fact the Bible is VERY clear THAT a relationship with Him is based not on a Church, But to ACCEPT HIM as What Lord and Savior and to Live a Life Of Faith in HIM !!!!!! We all Sin and fall short of a HOLY God NO matter what Church you go to. And by the way WHEN I was raised in the Catholic Church I always thought Priest or a Bishop or the Pope were HOLY They are Sinners to, it Says ALL fall Short of God's glory. In Romans it says the wages of Sin is Death, But the GIFT that were given is SALVATION Through Jesus Christ., It doesn't say a Church yours or mine But Through Whom ( Jesus Christ) Read John 3:16 I am not saying Church isn't Important Fellowship is Very Important But God's word Is even MORE Important !!!!!!! More On Monday!!!!!

March 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm PST
#43  david pruit - dallas, Texas

If it doesn't matter what church i go to, then obviously I would choose the Catholic church. All the others just contradict each other and and allow all sorts of unbiblical and Un Christian practices and split constantly. Sounds insane.

March 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm PST
#44  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

I think you are making some mistakes that are common among Christians, but relatively easy to clear up. First, when you say, Acts 11:25 says the followers of Christ were first called "Christians and not Catholics" you assume to two terms are mutually exclusive. They are not. We are Christians. We are Catholic Christians. "Catholic" comes from the Greek words, "kata" and "holokos," which means "according to the whole." Eph. 1:22-23 refers to the Church as "the body of Christ, the fullness of him who fills all in all." "Catholic," then means "the fullness" of Christ in this world. That is what the true Church is and that is why we are "Catholic."
The second sense of the term "Catholic" means "universal." It is because the Church is "according to the whole," or "the fullness of Christ," she cannot help but to spread over the globe and become "universal." The Catholic Church has evangelized the entire world that has been evangelized. Protestants have historically mostly just been sheep stealers.
You say you don't see anything that says you must be Catholic? Sure there is. Matt. 18:15-18; Heb. 10:25-26; 13:17. Jesus himself tells us that we have to obey his Church that he established. As a matter of historical fact, that is the Catholic Church. Hebrews tells us we must "obey" those who are over us in the Lord. No where does the Bible say anyone can "start their own church," which is what each Protestant sect has done. There is an easy way to know Protestantism was not started by Christ. Protestantism did not exist for the first 1,500 years of the Christian era. Each Protestant sect was started by some man or woman. The Catholic Church was started by Jesus Christ.
We did not say "you have to be Catholic to know God." You don't. There are many who know God and are not Catholic. If someone is where they are through no fault of their own and have never rejected the truth of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they have the possibility of salvation. It is only those who knowingly reject the truth that will be lost.
You say a relationship with him "is based not on a Church." No, it is not. It is based on Christ. However, you can't have a relationship with Christ apart from the Church because the Church is "the body of Christ" (Eph. 1:22-23, I Cor. 12:12-27). There is no such thing as a relationship with a bodiless head.
Now, God in his mercy reaches out to everyone. Even those who do not understand this basic truth. But folks who don't understand the truth concerning the Church, sacraments, etc. need to be "brought to the way more accurately" like Apollos in Acts 18:24-28."
When you say "when [you] were raised in the Catholic Church [you] always thought priests and bishops" were sinless. You didn't know they were "sinners too." It is obvious you never knew your Catholic Faith. That is unfortunate. I have met many Catholics who left the Church, but I have never met one who knew his or her faith before they left. They were baby Christians at best if they had any understanding at all.
The Church is more than important, it is essential for salvation because the Church is Christ extended in this world (Eph. 1:22-23). To reject the Church is to reject Jesus Christ (Luke 10:16; Matt. 10:40).

March 24, 2014 at 3:11 am PST
#45  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim once again you don't read the whole story you just pick verses and think it's the answer. In Ephesians 1:22-23 You are using this as your answer to the Church. What's the theme ( or Major Lesson) of the Story ??? In verse 20 Which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the Dead and Seated Him at His right hand in (Where) The Heavenly Realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God (The Father) Placed all things under His feet and appointed Him (Christ) to be Head over everything for the Church, which is His body, the Fullness of Him who fills everything in every WAY. I see in verse 20 When he raised him from the DEAD (are you saying one of his disciples did THIS ?) And they Sat him at the the right hand in the Heavenly Realms?? Tim Let's go to 1Corinthians 12:12-27 Let's start with verse 13 I Love WHAT it says For we were ALL baptized by (ONE) Spirit into one body ( Whether JEWS Or GREEKS, SLave Or Free) and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Let's look at that Jews or Greeks Slave or FREE It doesn't seem TO be talking to just one type of PERSON does it ???? Let's go after Verse 27 Again you got to read the WHOLE story in your Church in verse 30 Do all have gifts of of healing?? Do all speak in tongues?? Do all interpret? BUT eagerly desire the greater gifts. What is all the verses talking about again your just picking out what YOU think is the answer ???

March 24, 2014 at 7:59 am PST
#46  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Once again, you don't read the whole story. You are correct that Jesus is the major story of Ephesians. In fact, Jesus is the "major story" of the whole Bible. But that does not mean we can just ignore everything else Jesus and the whole Bible teaches us.
You asked if I thought "one of his disciples" raised Jesus from the dead? Really?
Okay, I'll try and take you seriously and answer this: No, I do not believe "one of the disciples raised Christ from the dead." I believe precisely what the Bible says. "God raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavens, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God has placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all."
Thus, the Church is "the body of Christ, the fullness of him who fills all in all," just like I said above. Thus, to reject the Church is to reject Jesus Christ.
Yes, I Cor. 12:12 says we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. I agree. It is not talking about "one type of person," I agree. Paul is talking about Jews, Gentiles, bond or free. We all enter the body of Christ, and then become members of the ONE body of Christ, which is the Church where God has placed "apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers... so that we henceforth be not children tossed around with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:11-14). In the Church there is "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism" (Eph. 4:5), one shepherd (John 10:16) and one Church (Matt. 18:15-18) to which all must submit (Heb. 13:17; Matt. 18:15-18; Acts 15:24-28).
You are following the traditions of men where everyone is his own authority following his own private interpretation of Scripture, which II Peter 1:20-2:1 condemns.
And yes, I Cor. 12 goes on to say there are many different gifts in the body of Christ, that is true. But all of these must be in submission to the Church when there is a matter of disagreement in the Church. I Cor. 14:37-38 says, "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized."
This is apostolic authority. The prophet must be in submission to the apostle. In I John 4:6, St. John says, "Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
There is hierarchy in the church. All are not apostles, but God has placed apostolic authority in the Church so that we can have what the Catholic Church has had for 2,000 years: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." In Matt. 18:15-18, Jesus sets up quite plainly this hierarchy.
What you have is everyone preaching their own Gospel without ever having been "sent" by proper authority (Romans 10:14-15). The result is thousands of sects; indeed, I would say millions because ultimately millions just create their own version of what they think the Bible says. This kind of Christianity is no where to be found in the Bible. True Christians submit to the Church Jesus established, the Catholic Church.

March 24, 2014 at 10:06 am PST
#47  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg, Your missing the point.(1Tim. 3:14-15) 14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that,
15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. There is no need to label the Church as Catholic they knew what they where saying. The universality of the Church is throughout Scripture, it is implied. You can't explain everything in detail every time instruction is given. That would cause an unneeded redundancy. Saint Timothy was following Saint Paul's instructions. They had no Bible the Church was their guide.
When the Catholic Church put together the Bible, with the help of the Holy Sprit it had more formal written Scripture. The Bible was put together in the mid 300. You can of course find a great amount of info on this site.

March 24, 2014 at 11:44 am PST
#48  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim here's the deal you keep giving me verses and you don't read what the theme is or what's the MAJOR Lesson of the Story ??? Lets take Ephesians 4:11-14 Verse 11 It was he who gave some apostles, some to be prophets some to be evangelists and some Pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. I didn't know you had evangelists in the Catholic Church or Pastors I have been told by Catholics you don't have Pastors we do in our Church. Tim here's the Big difference between you and I YOU say the Catholic Church is the ONLY Church, and your trying to make your point with verses that your not even reading what the MAJOR Lesson is or the theme. Here's my point I believe the Church are those who Teach THE Truth about God's Word (AND) THiS is VERY Important Tim don't change the WORDS AT ALL OR TO MISREPRESENT What God is Teaching. THAT'S The Catholic Church or mine or any Church that doesn't follow God's TEACHING to the LETTER Of His Word !!!! That means when when YOU or I or anyone is Sharing God's word We will be Held Accountable to God For The TRUTH !!!! When YOU say the Catholic Church as other Catholics have said to me that your Church is THE ONLY CHURCH you and anyone else Put Limits On GOD. What you say to Him Only the Catholic Church is Possible to Draw Anyone To a HOLY God WOW I Bet That Breaks his HEART. I THINK ESPECIALLY WHEN PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW HIM, AND YOU LIMIT IT. The Church I GO To there is about 5000 people every Sunday and we support different Churches around the world TO DO What TO Help Draw People TO Jesus Christ. I been there OVER 20 years The same Pastor been there longer most of that 5000 People at least half are former Catholics. I ASK them all the same questions why at our Church why did you leave the Catholic Church THEY say the same thing's. They had no relationship with God it was just the same thing, no Bible teaching,no fellowship people ran out of Church didn't want to take the time. They were Hungry For God's word not just readings. I asked how it has changed relationships THEY would say they're Marriages are Stronger the Kids Love to go to Church and would talk about Jesus to them or there friends at SCHOOL THEY were in Bible studies. The one I Love to hear is they can't believe people Love To Sing Especially The Husband's. These people are hungry we are doing a series on 1 John for 11 weeks the thing I see is a bunch of Bible's Open or tablets on going OVER verse BY Verse. The Pastor using other verses TO back up what he is saying my Wife and I are both from the Catholic Church. We both have the same goals God is first in our Life's and We come next people know we Love God. My wife and I have been married for 17 years with a lot of health problems I have a brain tumor in 2007 they took 80% of the tumor and now it's bigger than it was in 2007. I am 7 weeks in recovering from hip surgery I had to sell my business after 32 years because of other health Issues don't feel sorry for us We Tell people we are Blessed with everything we gone through. We get the chance to tell people about Jesus and how he is the one who gets us through ALL THAT WE have had to endure WITH BIG SMiLES. The thing is God is bringing people to us who can't believe we are not bitter to God We Love Him more than Ever and they see it. I NOT TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO LEAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GOD IS TRYING TO WAKE YOU UP TO SEE THE TRUTH IT WILL SET YOU FREE AND IT'S IN HIS WORD THE BIBLE!!

March 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm PST
#49  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

The Church puts no limits on Christ she's part of Him. A Church that is universal has no limits. (1 Tim. 3:15) The Church is the truth.

March 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm PST
#50  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Oh I want to add that I'm only saying Church because that is what I'm talking about right at this min. not that all there is, is the Church. It seems that this has to be added as to have clarification that not all there is, is the Church for salvation. Both and you know Greg not either or.

March 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm PST
#51  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon If I understand stand what your saying Then we're both on the same page, JESUS came first then the Church ????

March 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm PST
#52  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

When it comes to People leaving the Church, It is all to easy to blame the Church for why that individual left. A Catholic that is close to the Church and is devout would rather be martyred then leave. Some times people lose site of the fact or the reason they are Catholic. A devout Catholic follows Christ and His path to salvation not their own. I won't list them but there are many warnings about following your own path in the Bible, but unfortunately people tend to over look them.
I have noticed and I can only speak for myself not others, I also want to throw in I don't want to take anything away from the great cradle Catholic. But someone that has converted has done so because they felt the awesome power of the Holy Spirt pulling them to the Church. My heart truly goes out to the people who have missed or lost what is the Catholic Church no matter the reason. My prayers are with them to come back home.
The fact is people run away from a lot of things but I wouldn't base any clout in that as an argument, to prove the Catholic Church is not the true Church founded by Christ.
I would say though if you have any documentation that is factual disproving the Catholic Churches founding by Christ I'm open.

March 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm PST
#53  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg: I'm saying when you pick and choose you are only getting part of the whole. Like faith and baptism. It is both not just Faith. It's like the 10 virgins you have to have the lamp and the oil. Individuals my feel they are doing great but they only have their lamps. Following Christ is about following Him and not your own interpretation, or who you want Christ to be. People say I wouldn't follow a God that teaches this or that. It's not our call. It is His a person that wants to follow Him follows what He teaches. If He founds a Church then to follow Him you have to be part of that Church. To learn how to follow Him completely is why I'm Catholic.

March 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm PST
#54  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #48:
It is good that we can clear up your misconceptions about the Catholic Church. You say, "I didn't know you had evangelists in the Catholic Church or Pastors." Yes, we do. And we have the successors to the apostles as well. You don't in the Protestant communities.
I never said the Catholic Church is the only Church. There are "churches" that have split off from the Catholic Church, like the Orthodox. Because they have valid bishops, we consider them legitimate "churches," but that they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Protestant communities are not "churches" because they do not have valid bishops (successors of the apostles), and no valid Eucharist.
The Catholic Church, therefore, is the true Church, but not the only church.
I also do not agree with you that we should only consider the "major themes" of the Bible and ignore the rest. We Catholics believe all of the Bible is inspired of God and "profitable for doctrine" as St. Paul says in II Tim. 3:16-17. Where does the Bible say we are only supposed to believe the major themes of the Bible and that we can ignore the rest of God's word?
You say you believe "the Church are those who Teach THE Truth about God's Word."
That is true. And that is the Catholic Church. But what you are missing is that the Church is an objective institution can is the arbiter of truth, according to Jesus in Matt. 18:15-18, Acts 15:24-28, I Tim. 3:15, etc. We have to submit to the Church, the Church does not have to submit to us (Heb. 13:17).
This is not limiting God. God established the Church so that we will not be "children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:11-15). He is the one who commanded us to submit to the Church. That does not mean God can't reach people who are not in the Church. We believe you are only responsible for what you know, as Jesus taught in John 15:22. It is only those who know the truth about the Catholic Church and reject it who will be lost. Those who are genuinely ignorant and seek God the best they can given the grace they are given where they are, have the possibility of salvation.
We are not in the business of judging individual people's eternal destination. That is God's business. Our business is to share the truth so that all can come to the fullness of the truth that the Catholic Church alone possesses. It is sad when people leave the true Church (the Catholic Church), but like I have said many times, I have never met one among the thousands I have met, who ever knew their faith to begin with.
Because they never knew their faith, they are easy targets for half-truths and distortions.
The good news is I have found many of these folks do get fired up for the Lord in these various sects they join so that when they later come back to God's Church they are the better for it. "All things work together for good" as Romans 8:28 says, as long as folks are honestly seeking the Lord.
I have been right where you are. I had many wonderful experiences when I was Baptist and when I was in the Assemblies of God. But now that I am Catholic, I am experiencing the presence of God and a communion with God beyond anything I ever imagined before. I have seen miracles from healings to prophecies, and more, and I have seen thousands of people come to Christ in his Church. I tell these stories in my CD set called, "Jimmy Swaggart Made Me Catholic," available here at Catholic Answers. I tell not only my story, but the story of my entire family who have also come to experience the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church.

March 25, 2014 at 8:16 am PST
#55  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #51.
Yes, Jesus came first before the Church. He established the Church (Matt. 16:18-19). And he commands us to submit to the Church (Matt. 18:15-18; Matt. 10:40).

March 25, 2014 at 8:21 am PST
#56  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon thanks for your feedback. In 1983 my older brother came to me to talk with me about his relationship with God. I am number 3 of seven kids my Mom and Dad had. When our Dad died my older brother took harder then the rest of us. He moved out of state then one day I got a letter from him that he had this personal relationship with God and left the Catholic Church. I know that my family was upset that he left the Church as well as I, he moved across from a Catholic Church all he had to do every Sunday was walk across the street. He told us and me that there had to be more to God than the recitals and the same words in the mass. I defended the Catholic Church he said Greg the only thing that's different is the readings each Sunday and the Priest uses the same message each year. He told me you need to know Jesus Christ I told him I already do I went to mass every Sunday even some times during the week. He said no it's having a personal relationship with Jesus I told him again I know who he is and he died on a Cross. My brother got me my first Bible and he encourage me to read the Book of John over 3 times. I did just that and I felt God tugging at my Heart each time I read it. I also had a lot of questions things I was learning that 12 years in the Catholic school system or the Church never taught me at all !!!! I felt like I was robbed of knowing God we never took a Bible to a Catholic Church or ever open one I remember as a kid it sat on a table collecting dust. I know that it took Two years before I realized that with the help of the Holy Spirit that my brother was right what was in my head went to my Heart. And on December 13th 1985 two years after my brother started to talk about Jesus Christ and accepting Him as my Lord and Savior my Life would never be the same. My family saw the change my coworkers notice the difference my customers even noticed the way I ran my business. The thing was people were asking WHAT is different about you WOW, I got to tell them about Jesus. I got to pray each day for family and coworkers and customers and part that was struggling the most WAS my marriage is WAS falling apart. I was on my knees crying out to God why everything was fine before Christ before my new relationship with God ???? I had two daughters who were seeing the marriage of there Mom and Dad falling apart. I started marriage counseling with the help of my Pastor my wife said when I asked about seeing a Priest she said he's never been married how's he going to help us. I was going to a Bible Church on Sunday at 9am each Sunday and driving back just in time to take my family to 11am mass, I went with them Bible in hand I got a lot people giving me strange looks like they never saw a Bible !!!! I did that every Sunday for 8 years THAT was service at my Church and Mass with my family Bible in hand. I started a Bible study with my daughter's they were so excited each week to get together with me and study God's word. They were going to the Catholic school at that time I Don't remember how many weeks or months later my wife ask me to STOP teaching them the Bible, ALL I know is it broke there Hearts they were so excited each week to talk about Jesus. I went to Catholic social services FOR 2 years doing counseling my wife never went she divorce me after that. I spent years in the Catholic Church even at the same time I was going to a Bible Church, But God showing me a different path I go to a Church who Teach from the Bible we have them open in front of us Verse by Verse. We learn about God we get to see what it was like when Jesus was around as He taught FROM God's word not just did the readings. Anyone can read the readings but to learn and study WHAT God has to say to understand how it effects your Life. God's word is TO BE USED To CHANGE LiFE's To IMPACT THE WAY WE LIVE AND TO DRAW THEM CLOSER GOD. AND THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN IT'S Not A CHURCH THAT WILL SAVE YOU NOT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OR MINE. IT'S VERY CLEAR IN THE BIBLE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT THE ONLY CHURCH THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO GOD. I AM SAVED BECAUSE I KNOW GOD AS LORD AND SAVIOR AMEN AMEN AMEN.

March 25, 2014 at 10:04 am PST
#57  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg, Christ gave us an inflatable Church, He never said those in that Church are infallible. That is why people that have left the Church come back. They see the limitations in their growth with Christ that come with leaving the Church. When I converted it was because there was no way to have a true profound relationship with Christ on my own. In a perfect world everyone would be part of the Church. But we will have to wait for that.
If a Bible is collecting dust it isn't the Churches fault.
For salvation out side of the Church yes I do agree but in a very limited capacity. You can go to the CCC for the Catholic understanding of salvation. But know one knows who goes to hell.
I pray for the best for you & your family.

You claim you don't need the Church. Does that mean that Saint Paul is wrong in 1 Tim. 3:14,15?

March 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm PST
#58  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon you have read the chapter all of 3, what's the theme (or Major Lesson) of the Story ??? In my Catholic Bible at the start of chapter 3 You who can depend on this: whoever wants to be a bishop aspires to a Nobel task.A bishop must be irreproachable, Married ONLY once, of even temper, self-controlled, modest and hospitable. He should be a good teacher. He must not be addicted to drink. He ought not to be contentious but, rather, gentle, and a man of peace. Nor can he be someone who Loves money. He must be a good manager of his own household, keeping his children under control without sacrificing his dignity. I can go on read for yourself let me know what you THINK ?????

March 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm PST
#59  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #56:
I appreciate your testimony. And I do thank God for the good things he has done in your life. I too only have good memories of my life as a Baptist when I was a kid, and later when I was in the Assemblies of God. I met truly wonderful people and experienced a wonderful relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Having said that, I hear testimonies from Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Muslims, New Agers, Buddhists and more who all claim to have tremendous experiences with God or (some of them) to have intimate relationships with God through Jesus Christ.
The experiences are great, but Jesus said, "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
Many people claim to know the Lord, but the Lord does not know them. The key is that we have to "do the will of the Father" in order to be saved. Lots of people have lots of experiences, but following the truth is what matters in the end. That is why you need to come back to the fullness of truth that can only be found in the Church that Jesus established, the Catholic Church.

March 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm PST
#60  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #58:
You did not respond to I Tim. 3:15. The text says the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Protestants teach the Bible is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Protestants like you teach the Bible is the final court of appeal. The Bible teaches the Church is the final court of appeal (Matt. 18:15-18). To follow the Bible is to end up Catholic.
As far as the criteria for the bishop goes, the Catholic Church follows I Tim. 3:1ff. If a man has been married more than once, he cannot be a bishop in the Catholic Church. But we have had many bishops over the centuries who had been married to one woman before they became bishops. We've even had some few Popes who had been married.
The error that many Protestants make here is to claim a bishop is required to be married. I Tim. 3 does not mean that bishops have to be married because Jesus is "the shepherd and bishop of our souls" according to I Peter 2:25 and he was not married. St. Paul was an apostle and apostles are said to hold the office of bishop in Acts 1:20, and yet, Paul was not married (see I Cor. 7).
Thus, the text is eliminating men who have been married more than once, it is not mandating marriage. The Church holds to this.
Also, if this text is mandating bishops to be married, do you know of any churches that remove a bishop from his office if his wife dies? Or, how about if they don't have children? Does that disqualify them? Protestants are very selective in their reading.
Also, if we are going to take this literally then bishops should be older and their children should be grown so that the Church could make sure their children are well-behaved, etc. Protestants don't hold to that either.
The truth is, both Jesus and Paul lived celibacy and recommended it for those in leadership (see Matt. 19:12; I Cor. 7:34-38; II Tim. 2:4). The Church simply applies the wisdom of Jesus and Paul. Those two were pretty smart!
I find it amazing that Protestants would not allow Jesus to be a bishop in their churches when the Bible says he is "the bishop of our souls" (I Peter 2:25). They would not allow St. Paul to be the leader of their communities? Wow! That is how crazy it gets when everyone just interprets the Bible however they want to!
Finally, these verses in the first part of I Tim. do not take away I Tim. 3:15. It says the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. That is precisely what Catholics believe.

March 25, 2014 at 10:19 pm PST
#61  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim thanks for your input you gave me a Verses from Matthew 7:21-23 Let's go over those. Not everyone who says to me Lord,Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord,Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers. These are the words of Jesus which you and I both should know to be careful to misinterpret what he says because He will hold us accountable !!!! I THINK the best way to answer with your Verses is to use Jesus own words in Matthew 7:13-14 Listen Very carefully to What he says = Enter through the narrow gate. For WIDE is the gate and Broad is the Road that Leads TO Destruction (HELL) And ( Many) Enter Through It !!!!!!!! But Small is the Gate and Narrow The Road That Leads to Life (Heaven) And ONLY A FEW FIND It. That means in the Catholic Church,Assemblies of God,Baptist,Protestants,Mormons,Jehovah witnesses,Seventh day Adventists,Muslims,New Agers,Buddhist,And Many more, even Catholics. NOTICE that there is a wide road THAT leads to Destruction which is (HELL) And Only a Narrow Road That Leads TO Life (HEAVEN) The reason I listed Your Church and Others is because in all Churches even mine many will not make it. You can keep putting your hope in the Catholic Church which you are saying !!! The words you said is that's why I have to come back to the FULLNESS OF THE TRUTH THAT CAN BE FOUND (ONLY) IN THE CHURCH. THAT JESUS ESTABLISHED, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. This is your own words WOW Thank You YOU just answered The QUESTION I have been asking Catholics FOR Years. That question is am I going To HeLL because I NOT CATHOLIC ???? You Answered YES by saying THE TRUTH can ONLY BE FOUND IN THE CHURCH THAT JESUS CHRIST FOUND, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Well let's go to the WORDS again of Jesus Christ in my Bible they are in RED. John 14:6 Jesus said I am the (WAY) The (TRUTH) and the (Life). No ONE COMES TO THE FATHER Except THROUGH (ME). This tells me that Jesus HIMSELF is THE (WAY) To What, you Notice He Does Not Say a Church !!!!! In His Own words He Says I AM THE (WAY) To The Father (HEAVEN) Tim then He Says THE (TRUTH) You said The Catholic Church is the Truth (REALLY) That's not What Jesus is Saying ??? And Then He Says Something Profound I AM The (LIFE) In John 3:16 Jesus Own Words I LOVE Him !!! He Says= For God so Loved the world that he gave His One And ONLY Son,That Whoever Believes In HIM Shall Not (Perish) BUT HAVE (ETERNAL Life). I Love WHAT verse 18 in John says Whoever Believes in (HIM) Is Not (Condemned), BUT,BUT LiSTEN IT SAYS BUT Who Ever Does Not Believe (STANDS) CONDEMNED Already (WHY TiM) Because he has not (What) BELIEVED In The Name OF GOD'S One And Only (SON) Then I Love Jesus OWN Words again, John 3:21 But Whoever Lives by The ????? (TRUTH) there's THAT Word TRUTH again By Jesus Christ HIMSELF, Comes Into The (LIGHT), So That It May Be Seen Plainly That What He Has Done Has Been DONE THROUGH GOD !!! No One Comes To FATHER Except THROUGH ME (Jesus) Not You Not ME ONLY JESUS (ONLY) He Said It With HIS Own Word's !!!! I am not Going Against His Words !!!!!!!!!!!

March 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm PST
#62  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg your rebuttals are coming out in circles. Your missing the structure. Jesus left us the Church to establish unity with His followers. He created One Church that has the fullness of the truth. Fast forward 1500 years you have the start of the Protestant churches, yes they do have some truths, but they are not the Church founded by Christ. To follow Christ fully you have to be part of His Church. He makes the rules not me or any one else. All to often human emotion gets in the way and distorts things. The key is to follow Him on His terms no matter where that my lead you.

March 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm PST
#63  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon I am amazed well NOT surprised of what you had to say. I spent the whole summer debating a Catholic WHO said the same things. The thing I said to him and I will to you or any Catholic is, God's word the Bible came way before the Catholic Church came !! That means God's Word OVER rides your comment. I gave you Verses FROM JESUS his own words about what TRUTH really is. What's really sad is if GOD HAD used only the Catholic Church FOR spreading his his good news. THAT means people ONLY would be getting Part OF THE TRUTH NOT ALL Of IT. I HAVE showed YOU FROM God's word it's IN THE CATHOLIC Bible, BUT you don't want Believe what it Says.

March 27, 2014 at 5:19 am PST
#64  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg, I'm sorry but the Church was established before the Bible was put together. This is well established and is a matter of factual history. Who do you think put together the Bible and when? Jesus gave oral instruction but didn't pass out Bibles.
You keep dodging 1Tim. 3:15. This verse is a very clear statement from Saint Paul, about the role of the Church in Christianity.

March 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm PST
#65  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #61:
Once again, you are great when you quote Scripture. Matt. 7:13-14 does say narrow is the way to life and wide is the way to destruction. Right on! But then you ruin it when you add your opinion of what it means. You say the Catholic Church is on that wide and spacious path to destruction. That is where you lost me because that is your tradition of men. Jesus did not say that, nor did any other inspired author of Sacred Scripture. And I keep coming back to this: I am going with Scripture over Greg.
You do say "in all Churches even mine many will not make it." And that is most likely true. I don't know that because God is the judge, not me. But that is really not the point of our discussion. We are discussing the truth. Most of those who heard Jesus rejected him, but that has nothing to do with whether or not Jesus spoke the truth. So I really think we need to get back to the truth, not how many people will accept the truth.
When you finally get to actual teachings that we have discussed you err once again. I must admit my patience is wearing thin with having the re-state the same things over and over again. But here we go again:
Yes, the Catholic Church is the true Church established by Jesus Christ, and if you knowingly reject the truth as taught by the Catholic Church, you will go to Hell. That is true. But then you say I said "you (Greg) are going to Hell." I did not say that. That might be true. It might not be. I am not the judge.
But most importantly, the Catholic Church teaches that God is the judge of that, not me. The Church teaches that if a person is "invincibly ignorant" of the truth, that is, they are where they are outside of the Church through no fault of their own, they MIGHT be saved (see John 14:6 taken together with John 15:22). I say "might" because they still have to cooperate with the grace they have been given until the end. God will be their judge. But they "might" be saved. But again, God is their judge, not me. So I did not say "you are going to Hell." If you reject the truth of the Catholic Church knowingly, yes, you will be lost. God alone will be the judge of whether you have, in fact, done that, and if you remain in a state of grave sin until your death, or if you truly repent. That's God's business, not mine.
Now, when you got back to quoting Scripture, you were right on again. John 14:6 says Jesus "is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father except through [him]." That is true. But then you try to say that excludes the possibility that Jesus could have established a Church to be the instrument that he uses to save. That is false. Jesus did establish his Church and gave to it his authority to speak for him (see Math. 16:18-19; 18:15-18; Acts 15:24-28; I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 3:10; Matt. 10:40, Eph. 1:22-23, etc.). If you reject the Church, you reject Jesus Christ.
I never said "The Church is the truth." You are misrepresenting what I said. I said the Church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" because St. Paul did in I Tim. 3:15. I said the Church is "the fullness of him who fills all in all" because St. Paul did in Eph. 1:22-23. I said to reject the Church is to reject Christ because Jesus Christ gave his authority to the Church and speaks through his Church as Matt. 18:15-18; 10:40 says. But I never said "The Church is the truth."
We also agree with you when you speak of how no one comes to the Father except through Christ. That is true. I love to hear it. But unfortunately, you then reject Jesus' words when he tells you that he has committed his authority to speak in his name, forgive sins in his name (John 20:21-23), and more, to his Church. In so doing (rejecting the Church) you end up rejecting Jesus who established and empowered his Church to speak in his name and by his authority.
So keep quoting those verses that say we have to believe in Jesus and we will keep agreeing with you. But then you need to read the rest of Scripture, believe it, and obey it. Then, we'll see you at Mass!

March 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm PST
#66  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon The Jewish nature of Matthews Gospel may suggest that it was written in Palestine, Though many think it may have originated in Syrian Antioch. Some argued on the basis of its Jewish characteristics that it was written in the early Church period, possibly the early part of 50 A.D. When the Church Was largely (Jewish) and the gospel was Preached To ( Jews) ONLY Not The Gentiles ???? By the Way we are the Gentiles. It wasn't until After JESUS left See Acts 10:27 Talking with Him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: You are well aware that it is against Our Law For A Jew To Associate with A Gentile Or VIST Him!! THINK ABOUT WHAT WAS SAID THERE God's Word Was ONLY Being Preached To The Jews ONLY !!!!! IT WAS AGAINST THERE LAW TO EVEN ASSOCIATE WITH A GENTLE ( I am saying the Jews reached only THERE people and then Peter realizes the Gentiles needed Jesus JUST as much as THEM) My question TO you is HOW DID they spread the Good News OF Jesus with out something in writing ??? In Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show (FAVORITISM) but accepts Men from every nation WHO fear Him and Do What is RIGHT ??? The question is what does the last part of verse 35 MEAN ???? Those WHO Fear Him And DO What Is RIGHT, It does NOT mean YOU have to be A Catholic TO Be Saved Or be In The Catholic Church. THIS HAS BEEN MY BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK WITH CATHOLICS OK YOUR CHURCH WAS STARTED FIRST BUT, IT IS NOT NOR WILL IT EVER BE THE PATH TO HEAVEN JESUS MADE IT VERY CLEAR IT'S ONLY THROUGH HIM AND HIM ONLY PERIOD. TO answer again on 1 Timothy 3:15 You need to read ALL of chapter 3 In MY Catholic Bible the Heading for Chapter 3 Is (Qualifications of Various (WHAT) Ministers ) That is WHAT the WHOLE Chapter is about ONLY !!!! I GET real frustrated with Catholics because YOU don't look at What's the THEME (Or The Major Lesson) Of The STORY.

March 28, 2014 at 9:42 am PST
#67  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim WOW FIRST I never said if YOU were Catholic your going To Hell. I did say THAT and I listed a bunch of Churches even mine, of people WHO Wil GO down a Narrow AND WIDE path. I SAID and will say it again MANY Will GO down the Wide path and FEW down the Narrow Path it's IN MY Catholic Bible and it WAS Jesus WHO quoted THAT. And YOU must HAVE something against anyone that is NOT Catholic and YET believes ??? For the RECORD I do NOT ReJect The Catholic Church BUT I Do ReJect (SOME Of IT'S FALSE Teaching) That's NOT BIBLICAL !!!!! FOR CENTURIES THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD MADE IT'S TRADITIONS SUPERIOR IN AUTHORITY TO THE BIBLE. THIS RESULTED IN MANY PRACTICES THAT WERE IN FACT CONTRADICTORY TO THE BIBLE !!!!!!!! Here's some examples Purgatory,Praying to Mary or Saints,indulgences,WORKS,transubstantiation to name a few. You SAID I AM going to Hell Because I reject the Catholic Church and it's teaching REALLY WOW Jesus SAYS YOU ReJect ME then YOU ReJect my Father In Heaven. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHES WORKS,PURGATORY,BEING A GOOD PERSON,BAPTISM,THE HOST SAVES YOU,INDULGENCES, I KNOW I MISS SOME THAT SAVES YOU REALLY THAT'S NOT WHAT JESUS CHRIST SAID !!!!!!Your verses HERE are some of them Matthew 18:15-18 Has TO do when a brother SINS against YOU 1st Go to him or her show them there fault if he listens YOU won brother OR sister over. But if NOT YOU take others with YOU if that brother OR sister doesn't listen then YOU take them TO the Church. Read the whole story I don't know how many times I have said THAT !!!!! 1Timothy 3:15 Has TO DO with Qualifications of Various Ministries it's the Heading IN MY Catholic Bible. Why DO YOU refuse TO read The WHOLE Story I don't understand YOU JUST pick a Verse out and think that's THE answer!!Ephesians 3:10 Paul Preaches To The Gentiles. Acts 15:24-28 READ The STORY Please Please Read you DO a disservice to THE WRITER When YOU JUST pick a Verse Out Of There And NOT SEE THE Whole Point !!!!!!!! I give YOU Verses AND I read above AND below The Verses Of The One I Give you and Even Read the WHOLE Chapter TO Make Sure I KNOW What I AM Talking About, You ON The Other Hand ReFuse TO DO That. I Don't Understand WHY ????

March 28, 2014 at 11:42 am PST
#68  Heydon Ueckert - stanton, Nebraska

Greg you can read 1Tim, from the first sentence to the last it doesn't change Saint Paul's statement. He tells Timothy to look to the Church for instruction. You still seem to be dodging the ?. You can't answer a ? with a ?. That is seeming to be a pattern here. I asked when and who put together the Bible not who wrote the books of the Bible. My ? still stands.
When and who do you think put together the Bible?
Reading more then just the verse is very important for context you are right. The thing is at the point in the paragraph where Saint Paul is giving Timothy his instructions, if the situation would have been that Saint Paul only told Saint Timothy, what he did in verse 14,15 he still would have known that the "Church is the pillar of truth" and to look to the Church for instruction.
Christ gave us a Church the Catholic Church, it is up to individuals to make the choice to either follow Him completely or not. But Christ nor His Church is going to change to make someone happy. That is why when someone says I would be Catholic but.....
they need to come to the understanding that either they work through their misunderstanding and be Catholic or they can do it their own way and do what is comfortable for them. It is up to us to help them get through their problems and pray for the Holy Spirit to bring them Home.

March 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm PST
#69  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You are attacking the faith of over a billion souls and you say things like "FOR CENTURIES THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD MADE IT'S TRADITIONS SUPERIOR IN AUTHORITY TO THE BIBLE." That is irresponsible to say the least. The Catholic Church has never taught "its traditions to be superior in authority to the Bible." This is simply not true.
If you are going to impugn the Catholic Faith like this, why not present the Pope or Council that taught this? Why? Because you can't do so.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how someone claiming to be a Christian can just utter falsehoods like this. If I am going to say something about a particular faith group, I am always careful to try and represent them accurately. Isn't that the Christian thing to do?
You then list a number of entirely biblical beliefs and practices: "Purgatory, Praying to Mary or Saints, indulgences, WORKS, [and] transubstantiation." Each of these is entirely biblical.
You then say that I said you are going to Hell. That is simply a lie.
I said "if you knowingly reject the truth of the Catholic Faith" you will go to Hell, but God alone is the judge of that. St. Paul said, in I Cor. 4:3-6, that he could not even judge himself. God is the judge. It would be a sin for me to judge your inner motives and your culpability before God. I simply warn you that if you are seeing the truth of the Catholic Faith and you reject it, then you will be lost. If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, do not reject his promptings. If you do, there will be eternal consequences. But again, that is between you and God.
Then you quote Jesus saying if you reject him you reject the Father. You left out the part that says if we reject the Church, we reject Jesus right before that in Matt. 10:40 (see also Matt. 18:15-18-Rev. 2:6; 14-17; Acts 15:24-28).
You then impugn the Catholic Church because the Church teaches, to quote you, "WORKS, PURGATORY, BEING A GOOD PERSON, BAPTISM, THE HOST SAVES YOU (by that, you meant the Eucharist), [and] INDULGENCES." These are all biblical doctrines. We cannot reject the Bible because you say we must do so.
You then say, "Matthew 18:15-18 Has TO do when a brother SINS against YOU 1st Go to him or her show them there fault if he listens YOU won brother OR sister over. But if NOT YOU take others with YOU if that brother OR sister doesn't listen then YOU take them TO the Church." You then say I should "Read the whole story." I did. The text teaches that the Church has the final say, not the individuals involved. The text says "If your brother shall offend against thee." One of the greatest offences one can commit is to falsely accuse someone of heresy. Jesus said the Church has the final say as to who is right and who is wrong. That is what Matt. 18:15-18 teaches.
You then say, "I Timothy 3:15 Has TO DO with Qualifications of Various Ministries." No it doesn't. I Tim. 3:1-13 has to do with that. In verse 14, St. Paul begins to speak about something else. He says, "I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."
That has nothing to do with qualifications for ministry. He is describing "the Church" as "the pillar and foundation of the truth."
You say, In "Ephesians 3:10 Paul Preaches To The Gentiles." And that is true. But what does he preach to the Gentiles? He preaches that from before the foundation of the world, God willed that "the manifold wisdom of God would be manifest to the principalities and powers through the Church." That is what it says.
And you do not even attempt to refute Acts 15:24-28. I can only conclude that the word of God is beginning to get through to you. Don't be afraid to follow God's word, Greg. If you continue to be honest with yourself and with God, you will be back home in the Catholic Church before you know it. And most importantly, you will be "doing the will of the Father." That is what is most important. Don't reject the truth because of your traditions. Believe and obey the Bible, Greg.

March 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm PST
#70  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim I will COME back TO your Church when THEY teach the WHOLE Truth !!!! You Agree that thing's Like PURGATORY and INDULGENCES,Being a Good PERSON, BAPTISM,,The HOST AND The list goes ON. And The Church Is also WHAT SAVES you and Have ALL these Things THAT SAVES YOU BUT Please Forgive ME I don't See where Jesus Comes In ???? Here's The BIGGEST Problem THAT I Have YOU Are Saying And HAVE BEEN Saying Unless I Misunderstand You, I OR Anyone In This World HAVE To BE A CATHOLIC In YOUR CHURCH TO Be SAVED ???? OR WE WILL Go TO HELL ??? IN Matthew if a brother SINS against YOU GO to him show HIM his fault just between THE two of you if he listens TO YOU your DONE. IT says YOU Won Him OVER What Part of winning HIM over don't YOU Get ?????? YOU ONLY HAVE TO MOVE On IF He Doesn't Listen The Verses are Pretty Clear !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm PST
#71  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Heydon YOU know I am Sorry I Did SEE WHAT your talking about IN Timothy. AND I thought about it AND talk TO GOD about it. THAT WAS WHEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS TEACHING THE TRUTH FROM GOD'S WORD NOT MISINTERPRETED AS THEY DO SOME OF IT NOW !!!!! That's WHEN THEY were the Pillar and Foundation Of The TRUTH ,!!!!!

March 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm PST
#72  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You say you don't know where Jesus comes in? We've been over this again and again. But let's try again.
The Bible teaches us that the Church is the body of Christ. Jesus uses his body just like I we do. If I pick up this cup of coffee on my desk with my hand, do we say my hand did that or do we say I did that?
Of course, I did that. The hand was my instrument in picking up that cup. Analogously, Jesus saves through this body, which Eph. 1:22-23 says, is "the body of Christ, the fullness of him who fills all in all."
What part don't you understand?
Yes, if you go to your brother and win him over, you're done. Praise God! But here's what you miss. According to Jesus, the Church has the final say on the matter. If you win your brother over, that means you've got him to agree with the Church. If you can't, then you take it to the Church. And the Church has the final say. Why? Because "God has placed in the Church first apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers... so that we henceforth be not children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:11-14). Jesus gave the Church the authority to speak for him, that is why St. Paul could say the Church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth."
Unfortunately, you are following men who left the Church and established their own traditions. You need to come back to the Church Jesus established, the Catholic Church.

March 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm PST
#73  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

In response to your #71.
It is impossible for the Church to fall away because Jesus guaranteed that "the gates of hell would never prevail" against her in Matt. 16:18-19.
It is a huge step forward for you to acknowledge the fact that Jesus Christ did, in fact, establish the Catholic Church. Now you need to understand that Jesus would be a false prophet if the Church he established were to fall away from the truth. That's impossible. Dan. 2:44 prophesied that that would never happen. And Jesus promised it could never happen as I said above (Matt. 16:18-19).

March 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm PST
#74  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim the Church may never fail but THAT never guarantees those who take care of the Church are Perfect and most importantly FREE of SIN !!!!! I have a WAY to show YOU ways THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH has NOT been Teaching THE Whole Truth YOU and Others HAVE said your THE CHURCH OF Truth !!!!!! The QUESTION is ON Purgatory (Where) is it IN the Bible ??? The next one is if Purgatory is a TRUTH (Why) Did Jesus Have to Die ON The Cross ??? The next one is if Purgatory IS A Truth (What's it's Purpose) ??? I THINK this Will be a BIG eye opener for both OF us !!!!! Let's finish UP ON Matthew 18 The Verse says If your brother ( believer) SINS against YOU Go And Show Him (Her) there fault, (JUST Between) (Who Tim) the Two Of You !!!! This is where YOUR NOT getting It Please tell me WHY ?????? IF HE LISTENS To YOU, YOU (WHAT) Won HIM (HER) OVER !!!!!!! You are DONE. The Church doesn't GET involved THERE Is NO reason if so WHY ????? When I SIN against MY Wife I GO To HER with my Fault and ASK FOR HER Forgiveness !!!!

March 29, 2014 at 9:26 am PST
#75  obayi ifeanyi - Enugu, Enugu

Hi Tim&Greg,i hav followed with keen interest the debate between the two of u.This post appears to hav attracted the largest comments since i started visiting hav this to say to the two of u:First, to u Greg.Ur lov for Jesus&the bible is highly commendable.However,Kindly do not be offended by what i am about to say,if u find it disagreeable.(1)It appears u ar determined to rebuff what ever reponse u get from this post rather than looking at the truthfulness&validity of the response.This is why Tim has repeated his answers several times without ur getting de message.(2)I realy wish to understand de points u ar making but sincerely,ur argurments seems haphazard&unsystematic it difficult to follow ur response to issues&counter issues.Please donot be offended by this.I will suggest that u take a day or two off from this post,come back and r-ead the comments from 1- about 74(as at time of posting this)without biased mind then u at likely to see the point raised in 2above.(3)The Traditions frequently refered to by the catholic church

March 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm PST
#76  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

I have never said, and the Church has never taught, that the Popes are "free of sin." You are confusing impeccability and infallibility. As an analogy that may help you, all of the human authors of Sacred Scripture were sinners, but they wrote the inspired and inerrant word of God. God can use sinners in that way if he so chooses. And he did. The Popes are not inspired as the authors of Scripture were, but they are protected from error within limited circumstance, i.e., when they "bind something on earth" to use the biblical language.
As far as Purgatory in the Bible goes, I suggest you read my blog post "Is Purgatory in the Bible?" where I show you how I Cor. 3:11-15 and other texts reveal the truth of Purgatory.
Why did Jesus have to die, you ask? Because there could be no Purgatory without Jesus' death. It is the blood of Christ that cleanses the souls in Purgatory.
Purgatory's purpose is to purify those who die in friendship with God (without mortal sin on their souls), but who are in need of final cleansing of minor imperfections as I Cor. 3:11-15 indicates.
Yes, I agree with you that if a matter can be settled on the local level, between brothers, Matt. 18:15-18 says there is no need to go to the Church for a final decision. That is true. But that does not change the fact that when the Church "binds something on earth" it is "bound in heaven." Thus, you need to return to the Church that was settling disagreements between brothers in the Church for 1,500 years before Luther and Calvin presented their various traditions of men.
Again, the problem comes when the "sin" between brothers is the accusation of heresy. This has happened thousands of times over the centuries. Jesus gave us a way of addressing the situation. The Church normally does not get involved in squabbles between married couples. Those are things that can be handled in the family. It is when there are disagreements about God, salvation, etc. That is where the Church gets involved. Thank God Jesus gave us this great gift!

March 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm PST
#77  obayi ifeanyi - Enugu, Enugu

(Continue from 74)Are the unwritten preaching/belief of the apostles as reaveled to them by our Lord and passed on from them to their successors (bishops of the catholic church)till date.It is through the sacred Traditions that the church was able to seperate false gospel(like the gospel of Thomas,Judas the real gospels plus the rest of the new&old testament(which u hav freely quoted)&canonize them as sacred scriptures by the teaching authority of the church(Magisterium).Thus,u cannot fully understand doctrines of the church from the sacred scripture without the sacred tradition because the church does not derive certainty of revealed truths from scripture alone(see CCC75-83)
(4)I strongly recommend that u read "Faith Of Our Fathers"(by James Cardinal Gibbons)It anwsers most of ur questions&Its free.U cannot appreciate the church without reading the Catechesim of the catholic church CCC &Xraying the rich sources of the church doctrine.
For u Tim:Ur knowledgeOf the scriptures&luv for Our blessed Lord is very amazing&palpable,I fully understand,admire&imitate ur reasons for using scripture alone in ur apologetics.However,i think we should constantly draw the attention of our "Bible alone"folks to early christian documents/writings(like the Didache,letters of Ignatuis of Antioch&other church fathers)weather they accept them or not atleast let them know about events outside the bible that vindicates the bible&the church.Such document goes a long way in helping those who hav reasonable worries about church doctrine.May God bless ur wonderful efforts toward the defends of the faith.

March 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm PST
#78  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim I have not forgotten I AM working IN God's word. I Am excited TO share WHAT I AM finding, I also READ what was said IN the Blog ON what the Church teaches ON Purgatory. I Am praying FOR GOD TO speak TO your Heart's AND minds IT WILL BE IN a couple OF days. GOD BLESS YOU !!!!!!!!!!! : )

March 31, 2014 at 7:49 am PST
#79  Greg Herwaldt - South Elgin, Illinois

Tim I am thinking after a couple of days in God's Word on purgatory and I would like to contact you and show you what I found. I hope some time next week I have some family stuff going on right now. How can I contact you outside of this Blog, please let me know Thank you and God bless you. : )

April 4, 2014 at 9:33 am PST
#80  Innertruth chi - ba, Glasgow

Death to Christianity; this is all bullsit; no sin, only your own inner truth; only your own inner truth; free yourselves from the utter mind control that is religion, religious structures, authority and dogmas. All pure bullsit; wake up world. i love you all

April 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm PST
#81  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You can contact me at the office at Catholic Answers. I am off today (Monday, April 21), but I will be in the office Tuesday through Thursday (I will be on an airplane flying to a conference this Friday).

April 21, 2014 at 8:53 am PST
#82  Erik Dumont - Saginaw, Michigan

Tim and Greg,

All I have to say is wow. I stummbled across this thread and could not stop reading your comments till the end. I see the last post was is April, I hope everything went well between your conversation. Both of you, very passionate men of faith.

Tim, extra props for you for answering everyone of Greg's posts. I consider myself a very green apologist and I probably would have given up after a while. Thank you for having such strength and spirit for your vocation!

Greg, I do have some internet words of wisdom for you, if you do continue to post and/or actually see my comment. The way you type and present your information is REALLY hard to read. Everyone in this thread knew your passion and I know I'm not the best example for grammer or spelling but the flagrant use of CAPS and (parenthesees) and overuse of ??????? and !!!!!!! is distracting. Its very reflective of Evangelical Prodestant preaching by speech, and can be very effective and powerful, but it doesn't translate very well in written word. It comes off as insulting. All I could think of by reading your posts was that you were screaming off the top of your lungs. The last few posts you made were very good though when you asked to speak with Mr. Staples. Definetly brought the tone down to a more respectable conversation level.

I apologize that all I did was critiqe blog etiquette in my post haha! God Bless! :)

May 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm PST
#83  Adam Charles Hovey - Trenton, South Carolina

Could someone write an article on different venial sins? I know mortal sins (goodness, do I know mortal sins) but I am really confused on what sins would be considered venial

January 5, 2015 at 10:41 am PST

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