I really love your website and articles. I have a few questions.
I was raised Roman Catholic, and my faith is a very important part of my life. Today there are thousands of Christian denominations, each of which claims to be the one true church. Unfortunately, in my opinion, too many denominations causes too much confusion among christians. So here’s my questions:
1. What is the one true Church that Jesus Christ founded ?
2. What is the origin of praying to the saints, Mary, and angels ?
3. What, according to Scripture—specifically, John 3:1-21—does it mean to be born again?
4. Is salvation by grace or by works ?
Thank you. God bless.
Oh, no! Pop quiz!
Whenever as a kid in school our teacher announced a pop quiz, all the students would sink into complaining despair. But I was always, like, “C’mon, guys. How bad can something be if its name has pop in it? Think about it. Popcorn. Pop Tarts. Sugar Pops. Pop music. Popeye. Soda pop.”
And they’d say, “Soda pop? What are you, forty? Thanks for the advice, granpa.”
“You mean granpop,” I’d say, chuckling heartily.
God, I was an annoying child. It’s really a wonder no one ever just killed me during recess.
Anyway, once I actually had the quiz on my desk, I’d think, “If I didn’t learn this crap before, how I am supposed to know it now? I loathe school. I cannot wait until I never have to take another poop quiz again.”
Angry, yet clever. That’s always been my way.
Then I finally got out of school, grew up, started a blog, and yesterday got in this pop quiz.
But now that I’m a man, I’m ready to take on this bad boy. So let’s do this thing.
Questions repeated, and followed by my answers:
1. What is the one true Church that Jesus Christ founded? Jesus Christ founded no church at all. The nearest he came was in Matthew 16:18, where he says: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” And then, right after saying that, he “ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.” Not exactly drawing up an organizational chart and making plans for a capital campaign, is it?
2. What is the origin of praying to the saints, Mary, and angels? The fact that it can be difficult to get that immediate, deeply connected feeling praying to an abstract entity.
3. What, according to Scripture—specifically, John 3:1-21—does it mean to be born again? John 3:1-21 is the story of Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. The money quote of that story is at John 3:3, where Jesus says:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The phrase “born again” refers to the feeling of newness that Christians experience when they ask God to remove from them the weight and guilt of their sins. The idea is that they believe that Christ took into his actual, physical body the whole of the sins of mankind—that he pulled into himself every bit of rotten karma that ever was or would be produced by any human being—and then, by allowing that body to be obliterated, obliterated all that negative karma forever. The Christian who believes that that actually happened sinks into the very depths of that phenomenon, and comes back out of it feeling fresh, light, relieved, rejuvenated. They feel born anew.
4. Is salvation by grace or by works? The answer is yes. [Tweet this.]
Now go outside, friend, and play.
(But if you stay in, you might read, The Catholic Church and the “sin so grievous it cries out for vengeance”, and/or Father “No communion for you!” not the whole story.)