Catholicism is Not Real Christianity
Debate Rounds (5)
I do not believe that Catholicism is a true form of Biblical Christianity. I will briefly give 5 reasons as to why I have this view without going into detail to allow my opponent to have the first real statement.
1. Catholicism prays to dead saints and worship idols.
2. Having priests, bishops, and a Pope is not Biblical or necessary.
3. The Catholic Church contradicts the Bible on many things.
4. Catholics worship Mary.
5. The Catholic Church has pagan roots and views.
I regard the above statements to be accusations and/or fallacies which I will seek to qualify as such. But as the instigator of this debate and in argument for the pro position, the burden of proof lies with my opponent.  That being said, I ask for my opponent to define the following terms: "prays" (or prayer,) "Christianity," "worship," "Biblical" (or the Bible) "The Catholic Church," and "pagan."
I cannot argue statements 3 and 5 because I need specific examples to refute.
For more elaborate arguments on statements 1 and 2, I will need the above terms defined. However, I will provide brief refutations.
1. It is not in the teachings of the Catholic Church for Catholics to pray ‘to' saints, to say such a linguistic error. In Catholic teaching, we simply ask the saints to pray for and with us, much like we ask our brethren on Earth to pray for and with us. We believe that we are all interconnected, acting as a single body within Christ (Romans 12:5) and that not even death can separate us from Christ and, by extension, the body of individuals within him (Rom 8:35-39). The Catholic Church breaks down the body of Christ into three broad categories. The Church Victorious, those that have achieved salvation and are in heaven, the Church Suffering, those souls in purgatory, and the Church Militant, that is, the whole contingency of people that are on Earth striving for salvation. We "Militant" Catholics ask those individuals in heaven to pray for us, since they are closer to God, to avoid the temptation of sin. This idea is a network, a way we have the whole of the human race helping each other gain salvation.
Catholics do not worship idols. In Exodus 20:4-5 God forbids the making of images only for the purpose of worshiping them. He does not completely forbid the creating of images completely. The Old Testament is replete with statues and icons made by Jews that are loyal to God. The only use icons have in the Catholic Church is to remind us of the people and places they represent. They are just like pictures. We look at the icons to call to mind the holy deeds accomplished by God as well as the people that they affected just like we look at family pictures to remind us of past events in our familial history.
2. The largest argumentative point for this topic is the issue of Peter being the first pope.  We Catholics believe that Jesus made Peter the "rock" of his Church in Matthew 16:13-19, that is, he makes him the base-stone of a new organization. This very controversial issue takes its roots linguistically and is something that can not be solved through Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament), but the very language that Jesus spoke, Aramaic.
We will however, look at the Greek first. In Matthew 16:13-19, Jesus says, "And I tell you that you are Peter [πετρος], and on this rock [πετρα] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." It's curious that translators would use two different words, and this leads many to believe that Jesus is not calling Peter the rock of the church because of two different words being used. The truth of the matter is that Greek is very different from the Semitic languages, of which Aramaic is a member. 
The reason that two different words were used was based on gender. One can not give a man a feminine name, and πετρα, while still meaning rock, is a feminine noun and can not be used for Simon, a man. Therefore, early Greek translators manipulated the word πετρα to make a masculine name, πετρος. The only problem is that there is a preexisting meaning for the masculine form, which is small stone. The feminine form takes the meaning of a large boulder, and from this gender distinction stems the debate in Peter being the rock of the church.
However, Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek. Therefore, he would have used the word ‘כיפא' or Cephas, a word still preserved in the New Testament in places such as 1 Corinthians 1:12. Cephas has no gender issues and can therefore comfortably fulfill the meaning that Jesus intended. A new rendering of the passage shows the following: "And I tell you that you are Peter [כיפא/Cephas], and on this rock [כיפא/Cephas] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." There is also a nice amount of wordplay on the name Cephas. Directly after his renaming, Peter receives the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, a symbolic representation of his new mission as the steward of the earthly Church constructed by God himself.
As an interesting side note, the French Bible makes no such differentiation between Peter [Pierre] and the stone [Pierre] the sentence would thus be rendered: And I tell you that you are Peter [Pierre], and on this rock [pierre] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." 
From the above information, Catholics assert that having a pope, as well as priests and bishops is biblical. Our need for the hierarchy is also based off of our need for the Sacraments.
In conclusion, I believe this debate boils down to simply more miscommunication and misconceptions between Christians. To quote Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." (1 Corinthians 1:10)
All biblical sources from http://www.biblegateway.com... in the New International Version unless otherwise cited.
Prayer (Christian): The attempt by a believer to contact and speak with God
Christianity: The belief that all of man kind is sinful (Isaiah 53:6, John 3:3, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23), the penalty for sin is eternity in hell (Romans 6:23, Romans 5:12, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8, Revelation 20:15, Revelation 21:8), Jesus came to earth and died in our place (Romans 5:8, John 3:16, 1st Timothy 1:15, 1st Peter 1:18-19), and that faith in Jesus Christ is the ONLY path to Heaven (John 11:25, John 14:6, John 6:40, Mark 1:15, Acts 26:18, Romans 10:13, 1st Corinthians 3:11, Galatians 3:26).
Worship: Reverent honor and homage paid to god or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
Bible: Sacred text written and inspired by God teaching mankind morality, truth, and the path to Heaven.
The Catholic Church: The Christian church characterized by an episcopal hierarchy with the pope as its head and belief in seven sacraments and the authority of tradition. (Read Matthew 15:3, 6, 7)
Pagan: Pertaining to the worship or worshipers of any religion that is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Muslim.
1. My opponent states that the Catholics do not pray to the saints, but merely ask them to pray for them, as they would ask a friend to pray for them. But, truthfully there is a difference. When asking someone such as a friend to pray for you, it is intended that their prayer go to God. But... There is no Biblical statement allowing or making it neccesary to use saints as mediators. Actually, the Bible condemns such acts. Asking a saint to "pray for us", is using the saint as a mediator between the prayer-giver and God. But Jesus says He is the ONLY mediator: "For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man CHRIST JESUS." - 1st Timothy 2:5 (Emphasis mine). Also see John 14:6. As you can see, Jesus makes no mention of asking dead saints to pray for us. In fact, the Bible never even mentions canonization of saints! Every single believer, living AND dead, is a saint! (http://www.gotquestions.org...).
"Thou shalt not make unto thee ANY graven image, or ANY likeness of ANY THING that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt NOT BOW DOWN thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;..." - Exodus 20:4-5 (Emphasis mine).
While it is true that the Jews in Old Testament times created idols, it is also true the O.T. Jews were punished for idolatry many times by God. Exodus 20:4 specifically states that idols are prohibited. "Thou shalt not many unto thee any graven image...". My opponent claims that it is okay to have images as long as they are not worshipped. He claims they are used to remind us of parts of the faith. A statue of Jesus will invitably remind someone of Jesus, right? Jesus is to be worshipped. What this does is cause the statue to be venerated, which is idolatry. Examples are when Catholics kneel to the alter and bow to statues or pictures. The reason that not many Catholics realize this is because it is not taught:
The Ten Commandments in the Bible:
ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'
SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'
(http://www.allabouttruth.org...; Exodus 20)
Taught in Catholic Catechism:
ONE: I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
TWO: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
THREE: Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
FOUR: Honor your father and your mother.
FIVE: You shall not kill.
SIX: You shall not commit adultery.
SEVEN: You shall not steal.
EIGHT: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
NINE: You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
TEN: You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
Notice that the Ten Commandment taught in the Catholic Catechism is MISSING the 2nd Commandment taught in the Bible, the one speaking about idolatry! It has been deleted! As an ex-Catholic, I remember being taught the second list, in fact, that is the list in the back of my old Catechism book! All they did to keep it ten Commandments was split number ten in half and make it two separate ones. Revelation 22:18-19: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." It is a damnable sin to add to the Bible or to take from it, yet the Catholic Church has done both.
2. Opposite of popular belief, Peter is NOT the rock that the Church was built on; Jesus was. The CHRISTian Church was founded by CHRIST, not Peter. The word "Peter" actually means "little pebble". Jesus is the Rock (Foundation) of the Church, not a pope. Jesus was described many times as the "conerstone", which is the most important part to a structure. (http://bible.cc...). The papcy is sinful. The Pope is called "The Vicar of Christ", meaning Jesus' "stand-in" guy on earth. The only ones who "stand-in" are the saints themselves. The Church is ordered to do Christ's work on earth. This is one of the New Testament's central themes.
A common way to address the pope is "Holy Father". The name Holy Father is mentioned once in the Bible... it is speaking of God! John 17:11: "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. HOLY FATHER, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." (Emphasis mine). The pope (as well as priests) claim they can forgive sins. Catholics once again claim that the priest is only a mediator, BUT... "For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man CHRIST JESUS." - 1st Timothy 2:5 (Emphasis mine). Priests are also called "father". Matthew 23:9: And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." My opponent says that "Our need for the hierarchy is also based off of our need for the Sacraments." Sacraments are NOT Biblical. John 3:3 states someone must be born again to gert salvation, not that they need to complete seven sacraments. These are traditions of man. "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God BY YOUR OWN TRADITION? Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites." - Matthew 15:3, 6, 7 (emphasis mine). Unfortunatly I ran out of character space to give examples of statements 3 and 5, so please read these articles and I will try to go indepth on those two next time. http://tinyurl.com...
heroes867 forfeited this round.
1. Catholics pray to dead saints and worship idols. - Covered; true (Exodus 20:4; 1st Timothy 2:5)
2. Having priests, bishops, and a pope is not Biblical or necessary. - Covered; true (Matthew 16:13-19; John 17:11, Matthew 15:3, 6, 7)
3. The Catholic Church contradicts the Bible on many things. - Yet to be covered.
4. Catholics worship Mary. - Yet to be covered.
5. The Catholic Church has pagan roots and views. - Yet to be covered.
I will now cover the remaining points.
3. The Bible prohibits any idols (Ex. 20:4-5)
No Meat on Fridays; Lent, etc.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats..." (1st Timothy 4:1-3) -- (Also notice it says "forbidding to marry"?; popes, priests...)
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking" (Matthew 6:7)
These are a few examples of how Catholics ignore the Bible.
4. "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." - 1st and 2nd Commandments.
Catholics venerate the Virgin Mary to a level of "goddess".
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of the Immaculate Conception of Mary:
"490. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace." In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
491. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1844:
"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.)
492. The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son." The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love."
493. The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia) and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
For more on the role of Mary in Salvation History, read the entire section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, �� 456-511."
To see the Bible's take on the Immaculate DECEPTION, read: Romans 3:10-12, 2nd Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, and Isaiah 64:6. There is NO Biblical reference supporting a sinless Mary. Also, Mary did not remain a virgin. "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not (this means he did not have relations with her) TILL SHE HAD BROUGHT FORTH HER FIRSTBORN SON: and he called his name JESUS." -Matthew 1:24-25 (Emphasis mine). "Is not this [referring to Jesus] the carpenter, the son of Mary, the BROTHER of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not HIS SISTERS here with us? And they were offended at him." -Mark 6:3 (Emphasis mine). Also see: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com...
In Genesis 10 and 11, we see parts of the story of Nimrod, who founded Babylonia. Though the Bible doesn't give much info on his story, actual Babylonian tradition does. http://www.scribd.com...
Nimrod in a nutshell: He is outcasted, marries his mother, founds a great empire, dies, mother/wife claims that their child (consumed before his death), was given to her by the sun. This is the birth of false religion, or paganism. Nimrod's mother/wife was from then on called "Queen of Heaven", and the sun was worshipped. Priests would also wear "fish hats" to honor their river god. Now notice that the Catholic Mary is called "Queen of Heaven". Notice the halo (light; sun) in these Catholic renditions: http://www.hol.com... (Read: http://www.hol.com...), http://www.sabbathtosundaychange.com....
Fish hat: http://tinypic.com...
All pagan religions are polytheistic (have multiple gods). Technically, the Catholic Church is polytheistic.
Catholic "gods": God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the pope, Mary, and the canonized saints.
Christian God: God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
Catholicism is deeply rooted in paganism. The Catholic Church might as well be directly condemned in the Bible; just look at all the Biblical laws they break. I know I posted this before, but I feel this is an important article to read. All Catholics should read it.
Also read some of the linked articles near the bottom of the article.
Catholicism promotes and requires idolatry, commands fasting from meat, forbids marriage for "officials" (pope, priests, etc.), commands vain and repetitive prayers (Rosary), prays to others besides God, worships Mary, claims pope is "God on earth" (http://amazingdiscoveries.org...), commands Salvation by works (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com...), believes in "purgatory" (purgatory basically says Jesus' work was incomplete; and what about when Jesus said to the thief on the cross by Him-"I will see you TODAY in paradise" - http://www.jesus-is-savior.com...), changes God's Word around, is polytheistic, and comes from pagan religions and still holds pagan traditions.
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