Heaven Is For Real: Secrets Colton Burpo Didn’t Tell You in the Book or the Movie


Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book.

–John 20:30

SAY WHAT?!  I’ve always found that single sentence in the Gospel of John, which was read this morning at Mass, to be one of the most compelling.  I mean, you’re telling me there are other things that happened–other miracles, other healings, other resurrections, other multiplications of loaves and fishes–which the evangelist saw, but which he doesn’t tell us about?

Well, for gosh sakes, TELL ME MORE!!

*     *     *     *     *

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

That’s a little like how I felt a few weeks ago when I interviewed Todd, Sonja and Colton Burpo, the real-life family whose story is recounted in the movie “Heaven Is For Real.”  Colton is the child who, at the age of three, nearly died and who visited heaven while he was in surgery.  Colton’s stories about sitting on Jesus’ lap, about meeting his great-grandfather “Pop” and his sister who had died before birth, about seeing angels and appreciating heaven’s indescribably rich color pallette, gradually came to light as he talked with his parents after recovering from surgery.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

I was in Hollywood, attending a press screening of the movie before the official release date.  I talked with stars Greg Kinnear (who played Todd Burpo) and Thomas Haden Church (Jay), as well as with the director, producer and screenwriter.  (More on those interviews soon.)

Anyway, I asked Colton whether there were any other stories that he had remembered, but which hadn’t been told in either the best-selling book Heaven Is For Real or in the movie.  (See, I was hoping for a “scoop”!)

“Oh, yes!” Colton assured me.  Then Todd stepped in, explaining that he didn’t want people to misunderstand and think that the other stories were from an entirely different child–but that as Colton grew, his vocabulary increased and he remembered and recounted still other stories, many of them.  Todd and his father told me about two other books:  Heaven Changes Everything is a sequel, written when Colton was a little older, which goes into more detail; and Heaven Is for Real for Kids.  In the kids’ version of the book are illustrations; and Colton told me that he had worked with the artist to ensure that the art, as nearly as possible, represented heaven just as Colton had experienced it.

I haven’t received those follow-up books yet, but I do intend to read them soon.  If you’re a fan of the first book (and now, of course, a fan of the box-office hit movie), you may want to follow up by reading the other books or visiting the family’s website, HeavenLive.

*     *     *     *     *

We spoke of other topics, as well, during our brief interview.

How had their lives changed, following the success of their book and, now, the major motion picture about Colton’s experience?  Here, Sonja stepped in, seeming almost regretful.  “Our lifestyle hasn’t changed,” said Sonja.  “But we travel more.  We have a ‘new normal’.”

The Burpos were resigned to living their lives in accordance with the will of God, wherever He would take them.  But things are complicated now, Sonja told me.  Sure, they still live in the same house; Todd still pastors the same church, Crossroads Wesleyan.  But now they have eight employees, and four attorneys; and their schedule includes frequent travel (such as the trip to Los Angeles to meet with me and other journalists, and a trip to New York City to appear on major media outlets).

They try to maintain a close family; and this year, for example, their daughter is graduating from high school, and the family was busy with party plans and invitations.  They had fond memories of the days when they had free time on their schedule.

*     *     *     *     *

I asked Colton about his plans.  Of course, I asked, having seen heaven and met Jesus personally, you must have a strong faith…. (He concurred.)  So does this make you any more likely to pursue a career in ministry, like your father?

Colton answered my question without hesitation:  No.  He is concerned, he told me, about the number of denominations, about the fact that they teach different things.  He finds that confusing.

“So more than likely,” Colton said, “I won’t become a pastor.  More likely a public speaker.”  And he went on to say that he’d seen many churches where people truly loved God and worshipped God’s presence and spirit.  It has more to do, he said, with obedience and faithfulness.

That was my cue to say, “Well Colton, come on over to the Catholic Church!”  But this was an interview, not a witnessing session; and his father and mother were sitting beside him, happy in the Christian church they ran.  I said a prayer for the Burpos after my interview, asking God, if it be His will, to bring someone into their lives who would talk with them about the Catholic Church’s 2,000 years of continuity and consistent teaching.

*     *     *     *     *

 By the way, Colton is quite an accomplished musician, and a future in Christian music is a definite possibility for him.  Here he performs in Amarillo, Texas, with Read You and Me, the official touring band for Heaven Is For Real LIVE.

Oh–and you can read my earlier post re. the movie here, and my book review months ago, when the movie trailer was first released, here.

UPDATE:  The movie Heaven Is for Real is now available on DVD.  You can get your copy here.

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  • Elizabeth McClintic

    Did he mention seeing Mary, the Mother of God?

    • VanTed

      Elizabeth, from what I read, Colton mentions seeing Mary on the right side of her Son Jesus as well as praying at the Altar.

      • Newbiehere

        Akiane Kramarik also depicts Mary in her paintings

    • Arimathean

      Yes, in the book Colton says he saw Mary was with her son at the throne of God.

    • Cherokee

      Mary was raped by God

      • kathyschiffer

        That is absolutely untrue, Cherokee.

        1. She was spiritually (not physically) impregnated by the Holy Spirit. There was no sexual intercourse involved.

        2. Mary’s “Fiat”, spoken to the angel at the Annunciation, was her assent to become the Mother of God. She entered into this willingly, not by force.

        Your post is a really, really ugly and uninformed thought.

      • elmccl

        The Lady said , “yes”. That’s not rape.

    • colin clayton

      He did mention seeing mary at the throne of god.

    • Chris Ford

      Mary was a sinner in need of a savior. No better that me.

  • Kristen Mallett

    Started reading the book this morning and just finished it. Thank you for sharing this amazing story Colton and thank you Todd for sharing it. This is exactly what I needed. I feel closer to god. I felt reassured of everything I’ve been taught. When Colton kept describing how much he loves us I lost it. I knew it all along, but that just gave me complete peace and assurance. Thank you again. God bless you all!

  • Christian

    Catholics are lost. Just as this author.

    • A Convert

      Christian, the fact that you would make such a judgmental and non-Christian statement shouts that you do not “get it”. None of God’s children are ever lost as long as they truly turn themselves over to His will. As a convert to Catholicism, I relish in participating in the one denomination which was founded by Jesus himself via Peter – rather than another which has “man’s reason” interjected into it. In general, Catholics who leave the Church do so for personal reasons; and yet I can name countless of protestants who have joined that Catholic Church after discovering its roots in Jesus’ teaching and scripture. Is one better than another? I don’t think so, whatever brings one closer to God while following the path of Jesus is good regardless of the rites and rituals. I challenge you to research the Catholic Church on your own rather than use spoon fed rhetoric and inaccuracies to draw your conclusions. You may be surprised.

      • Random thought

        But they definitely aren’t the same, just saying., Christians pray to God, Catholics pray to Saints & statues of saints (not God), & God. True we all have the “same” route of whom we are praying to… But wow, you do not have to say to convert to Catholicism, I mean.. His parents are right there & are also Christians.

        • Rhonda

          Catholics do NOT pray to statues or saints they are reminders of what has been and what is to come……

          • Eteternal Questions

            This is simply a lie. Catholics do pray to saints and you know this.
            You can call it whatever you want but it is still praying. When you speak to a supposed spirit being and ask them for help, you are praying. You can deny it all day and call it something else, but just because you claim something is a certain thing does not make it so.
            When you do the rosary and call out to Mary you are praying to Mary, even though Catholics claim that this is not a prayer, it is. You say a hail Mary and then an “Our Father” How is it that the “Our Father” is a prayer to God and the Hail Mary is not a prayer to Mary? Talk about inconsistency!
            The hail Mary is most definitely a prayer! Just because you claim that you are only asking her to pray for you, that request is technically a prayer. Jesus told us that the way to the Father is through him, not through Mary, so she is unable to pray for us.
            Jesus also told us not to call anyone who is on earth “father” because our father is in heaven, so why do Catholics call the priests “father”? This is directly in contradiction to the teachings of Jesus.
            read the bible and learn for yourself instead of listening to the false teachings of a fallible church that has strayed so far from the direction of our King.

          • newbiehere

            So how is it that asking Mary to pray for us is any different than asking the congregation to pray for a family in need or a sick parishioner? Mary would pray to God just as the congregation would pray to God.

          • Ron Murray

            If asking mary to pray for you works, then why not ask your great, great grandmother to pray for you instead. Cotholics worship mary more than they do “Jesus”. They treat mary as being of greater devinity than “Jesus”. Cotholics ask a priest to forgive them of their sins. Only Yahweh can forgive you of your sins. ( Yahweh, thats the name of our heavenly Father, not “god” and his sons name is Jeshua, not jesus. If you call upon His name, call Him by His name.

          • Rhonda

            We do ask our great grandmas to pray for us Like I said before Its easy to dismiss what you don’t understand!!!!

          • Rhonda

            Just don’t read the bible Understand the bible You may learn something that will get you to heaven…..

          • Big M

            Really you need to address that with God himself. Maybe God seeks to strengthen our faith and love, even for one another as a congregation on earth by agreeing in prayer(by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, ye have love one toward another). Maybe God just wants us to obey his formula that is set in his word (agreeing on earth in prayer is definitely explicitly stated in the other is not). Maybe God just simply doesn’t want those in Heaven to have any cares or troubles (knowing we have a lack of anything may trouble them).
            Jesus said bring your burdens to me, all ye that are weary & heavy laden & I will give you rest, Old Testament there was a Vail that separated us from God, that has been torn down now, and it happened physically at Jesus death in his day. We can go direct to God, we have direct connection if we are righteous, God’s ears are open to the cries of the righteous the Bible says.
            I don’t know all the reasons God has given certain parameters for prayer, but the fact is, there are some definite teachings on prayer, while others are extra biblical and there is no basis in scripture. The Bible should be your safety, if man is your safety and the teachings of man that don’t agree with the Bible then perhaps you should check your foundation.

          • kathyschiffer
          • Rhonda

            You need to be educated, I attended catholic school my entire life, I will not argue this point with you. Catholic teachings are straight from the King James Bible..  Jesus appointed Peter to be the first Pope, Catholicism is truly the first organized religion. Pick up the New Testament and read it in its entirety and don’t pick it apart like most religions do… Thanks…. God Bless You….   I. don’t understand how this families miraculous experience has become an argument over who prays to whom and why……..Let Colton enjoy the miracle that surrounds him.

          • Rhonda

            Have YOU ever asked a friend to pray for you or a loved one?  Same thing.

          • Big M

            Its not the same thing, everything needs to stand the word test, the problem with religion in general and denominations is people accept what is told by their leaders instead of taking everything to the word to see if its the truth being taught. God will never contradict himself, if there is a teaching that in unscriptural, that is a red flag. There is nothing wrong in checking your churches teachings, as long as its in line 100% with the Bible you are fine, if not better be careful…

            Concerning this, the reason it isn’t the same is because there is scripture for people agreeing on earth in prayer, but not agreeing with heavenly beings.

            Matthew 18:19

            Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
            Jesus specifically taught how to pray, he never prayed for help from heavenly beings to help with his prayers, nor did he teach any of his disciples. Paul said though me or an angel from heaven teach any other gospel than that which we have preached let him be accursed. Its a dangerous thing to add or take away from doctrines of the Bible or to alter its meaning. Be careful. We are in the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit, everyone needs to listen to Him, he is our teacher, guide & comforter, don’t entrust your eternal soul just to man’s teaching alone.

          • Rhonda

            Hail Mary full of Grace the lord is with thee, blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death  AMEN

          • Big M

            I don’t find this as a Biblical way to pray, in fact Jesus taught against vain repetitions. When you talk to your heavenly Father you are talking as one person to another, that’s how Jesus did it & all records of old and New Testament saints did it that way as well, just check the Bible if you really believe in Gods word. No where do you find anyone in the Bible, reading, or reciting wrote prayers.
            The Father seeks those to worship in spirit & in truth, that means he wants our heart, and when we speak to him in prayer its supposed from our heart. I suppose if you pour your heart out in a letter and would like to read that to the Lord he will honor that, that’s one thing. But just rattling off repetitious prayers doesn’t draw you any closer to God, nor does it bless the Lord in any great way.

          • ME

            How about the Our Father? Isn’t that a wrote prayer? Jesus taught us to say that, so I’m pretty sure he’s fine with that. The vain repetitious thing you’re referring to, you don’t understand what that was in reference to. Pagans had so many gods to worship at that time, that they would be sure and say the same prayers to all of them for fear of missing one and offending them. Jesus obviously does not want us to do that, because there is only one God. Is it “vain repetition” to tell your spouse or kids every day that you love them? I can imagine that when you pray every day, I’m sure you do it pretty much the same way everyday, and oftentimes with the same thoughts or words. Is that “vain repetition”? Do you often meditate on the important events in the life of Christ? That is what we do when we pray the rosary. The repetition of the prayers, help us to concentrate on the particular life event we are thinking about, rather than letting our minds wander to every other conceivable thought that might flow through our minds in that moment of prayer. Again, as others have stated, not everything is in the bible. The Rosary is an extension and adaptation of the way that the earliest Christians would pray the psalms. There is no right or wrong way to pray, as long as your focus is on God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you need to open up your heart a little wider to let the light of Christ burn a little brighter and you might be surprised with all the ways in which your relationship with Christ could grow.

          • Arimathean

            The words of the Hail Mary come from Luke 1:28 and 1:42. How much more Biblical can you get?

            As for “reading or reciting rote prayers”, the entire book of Psalms is a collection of prayers that were sung or recited at the Jerusalem temple.

          • CatholicChristian

            Those prayers are not vain when prayed sincerely from the heart and with intent, and those are not the only prayers that we pray. I think I can speak for most Catholics when I say that along with the known prayers, we pray personal non memorized prayers from the heart and soul on a daily basis, and truly have personal relationships with our Lord.

            Just because we regularly pray some of those traditional prayers does not mean they are the only prayers we offer up to the Lord. The Catholic faith is full of some of the most prayerful and faithfully devoted people I have ever met.

          • Phil

            “Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelations 4:8 Vain Repetitions? In Heaven among the angels?
            2 Corinthians 12:8? St. Paul – vain repetition?
            Matthew 26:44? Jesus – vain repetition?
            “Nowhere do you find anyone in the bible reading or reciting wrote prayers” – The Psalms? And pious Jews to this day recite daily the Shema which is Deuteronomy 6:4-9

          • Big_D’s

            Rhonda, do you know the term “mother of God” is nowhere in scripture? Do you know Mary didn’t remain a virgin her whole life. She and Jospeh had other children, too. Did you know that nowhere in scripture does it say those who have gone to heave before us can pray for us?

          • kathyschiffer

            Dear Big: The confirmation by the Church that Mary was, indeed, the Mother of God was formally decreed in the fifth century, as the Church sought to understand the Scriptures and the Faith which had been handed on to them from the Apostles. The ruling by the Council of Ephesus was actually intended to oppose the Nestorian heresy, which claimed that Jesus was man but not God; Ephesus defined Jesus as both God and Man, and Mary, in turn, as his mother.

            All Christians accepted this without question until after the Protestant Reformation, when some sects began to break off from the faith of the Apostles. Martin Luther believed it.

            Perhaps this will explain: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2012/09/think-this-not-that-4-ephesus-explains-christ%E2%80%99s-dual-nature/

            There are other errors in your understanding of the Catholic faith–for example, the difference between “worship”, which is only for God, and “veneration” which is accorded to Mary and the saints. Any Catholic prayer to Mary or to the saints will always ask that holy person to pray to God for you.

            Read my blog, would you?

          • John Morrisey

            Big-D, your right the term “mother of God” is not to be found in scripture. It is to be found in fact. Indisputable archeological fact. Mary is known to have been the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nasareth is known from the holy scripture and the dead sea scrolls (archeological relic) to be the son of God. The Bible teches us that God is three beings as one, The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the second part of the holy trinity, therefore Jesus is God. Mary is known to be the mother of Jesus who is God, Mary therefore is the mother of God. Can it be made any simplier for your to comprehend? Catholics do not worship, nor pray to Mary, Catholics respect and revere Mary and ask for her intercedence to God – this is not praying, no more than a child praying to their best friends mother to allow their friend to play “do we call that praying, or interceding?”. Catholicism is the one true Christian religion, founded upon the decree by Jesus to Peter “You are peter and upon this rock I will build my church”. Peter’s legacy is the papacy (The Catholic Church). Have bad things been done in the name of the Catholic Church – unquestionably – but they were done by humans who masqueraded under the banner of Christinaity (as it was known before the reformation). As for other denominations, they came into existence because of the reformation and thus inherited the title “Protestant” because the were protesting against Rome. The rites of the catholic church are steeped in history, and interestingly, a significant number of main-stream protestant churches also use the same rites i.e communion which is the ritualistic last supper as demanded by Christ “Do this in memory of me!”

            More importantly, why as Christians are we entertaining this argument. I am catholic, always have been, always will be. I am happy and content in my practice of my faith. If you are not Catholic but are content that you are living the Christian ideals and practice your faith honestly and with conviction, then you should also be happy. We live in an ecumanical society where there is room for us all to live, Catholics and Protestants, Christians and Non Christians, and even athiests and agnostics to live in the harmony of Gods creation.

            Let us all pray for a more tolerant and harmonious world in whatever way we individually decide.

          • ME

            If you’re hinging this supposition that she was only a virgin “until” Jesus was born, perhaps you should take into consideration verse 2 Samuel 6:23. “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death.” Does that mean she had children after she died? The word Until does not always imply that it is only that state to that point in time and then it changes. Why would Mary have felt the need to ask Gabriel “How can this be since she has not known man?” (Luke 1:34) Many scholars believe this to be that was because she had already been consecrated as a virgin and had no intention of having relations. Here is a great article to explain this, but then again, you’ll have to open your heart and mind to the fact that not everything is contained in scripture… http://www.catholic.com/tracts/mary-ever-virgin

          • kathyschiffer

            That’s true, ME. And of course, the word “Trinity” isn’t in Scripture, either. Neither is “Sola Scriptura.”

          • CatholicChristian

            If Jesus if fully God and fully Man, then Mary is indeed the mother of God. Just because he became man does not mean he stopped being God. She gave birth to a whole person, not just a human nature. We are not saying that Mary came before God, but that she is the mother of the God-man`Jesus (God made visible). I understand that it’s a bit confusing, just like understanding the trinity is a bit confusing. There are mysteries about God which are hard for us to understand since I think we are always trying to form an understanding in relation to our physical world and things that are measurable by our standards.

          • Rhonda

            Mary is Jesus’s Mother,,, The Father The Son and the Holy Spirit are the Holy Trinity….  So. with that being said Jesus is God  so Mary is the mother of God!!!    As far as Jesus having siblings, that makes no difference  Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus  and that’s all that counts.

          • Big M

            Well that’s not exactly the way it works, the Bible says to study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed RIGHTLY DIVIDING the WORD of TRUTH. Jesus was very God as well as very man, as Son of Man she was his Earthly Human Mother. As Son of God he was 100% divine and had no mother. Mother of God is not biblical, however there are some pagan religions that refer to queen of heaven & so forth, but not the Word of God. And in heaven we are told neither are any given in marriage & etc, so our earthly concepts of relationships will be somewhat different in heaven, how much different I don’t know. You may not accept this but I go by the Bible, not people nor denominations.

            Concerning this young man I believe this is another confirmation of the prophecy in scripture:
            Acts 2:17
            And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

          • John Morrisey

            Which bastardisation of the bible are you using as reference? There are so many versions proclaiming to be Gods words, but they are not. The biblical texts as used by all the mainstream christian religions differ only marginally in the application of the english language (or others as the case may be) but the message is clear and unambiguous. Most of your references do not seem to come from the accepted biblical texts.

          • Big M

            KJV. Not New Age or altered texts like some, I believe to be considered Textus Receptus(but I am not a Bible Scholar per se, but I know the word & I know Jesus). Its Ok, the Pharisees couldn’t understand what Jesus taught either, it was truth which most people don’t want to hear unfortunately. Again you have to want truth to get it. Believe whatever you wish, you have that right.

          • John Morrisey

            The Latin Vulgate (Which is the officially recognised version of the bible used by the Catholic Church and which is the complete volume of all scriptural texts – all 73 books recognised as the scripture writings of the old and new testaments). The King James Version is the recognised Authorised scriptural text used predominently by the “Protestant” denominations while the Latin Vulgate is the translation used by the Roman Catholic denomination. Both were scribed at about the same time (1609 and 1611 respectively) and both are the recognised Christian versions of the holy scriptural texts.

            If read correctly, the bible is clear on the fact that Mary was the mother of Jesus, Jesus is the son of God and is part of the holy trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – the three individually and as one). Therefore the bible is unambiguous on the fact that Mary was the mother of God (The son). Catholics do not, nor have we ever “worshipped” Mary. Mary is not, nor ever was, revered as a “God” for that is sacrilege. Mary was and is “honoured” and remembered as the Mother of Jesus (The son of God).

            It must also be considered in view of appropriateness to a time and generation. As recently as the early part of last century, most people were essentially uneducated or at best poorly educated. This was a fact of life, a reality of an economic time. The concepts of the christian faith are deep and complex and far from the ability of most to understand at that time. Therefore, to articulate these difficult and complex theologies explanations were given in real terms that real people could understand. Therefore it followed that terms such as “Queen of Heaven” were employed to impart to a simple people, the high importance of Mary (and others i.e. the Saints, the Apostles, the Disciples etc) in a way that they could easily digest. In the British empire for example, the reference to “Queen” was an easily understood concept and is clearly placed Mary the mother of Jesus in a high and respectful place in people’s minds. Furthermore, in that age, people honestly believed that the book of Genesis was a factual text – we know today that it was nor could not be a factual account, that the world (and the universe) were not created in seven days, that each living thing two-by-two did not march line abreast onto the Ark etc etc… but at that time, the difficult theology was explained to a simple people in simple terms.

            Accept that Mary is important, read the bible with an open and uncluttered mindset much as those from a simpler time did – do not read between the lines fore there is nothing to read between the lines. The bible is as the bible says – the interpretation is time appropriate!

            God Bless.

          • Morgan

            Your opinion is a rehash of the Nestorian Heresy, that denied the Virgin Birth and divided Jesus into two natures.

            It is not Christianity as founded by Christ and taught by the Apostles.

          • Rhonda

            Its easy to dismiss what you don’t understand…..

          • Nelson Hernandez

            lmao . God will never contradict himself?
            Thou shalt not kill.
            Yet mass geonocide commanded by yahweh. Lol.

          • Big M

            You show your ignorance, Judgement is justified, the wages of Sin is Death. Murder is unjustified, you don’t understand truth maybe cause you don’t want truth, you have to want truth to find it. If you are content to sit in darkness God will allow you to stay there and you can believe a lie and be damned if that’s what you want. Those that choose darkness can enjoy it for all eternity and feel smart about their choice if they wish.

          • Phil

            The Bible directs us to pray with those in heaven and ask them to pray with us.

            In Psalm 103 we pray, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!” (Ps. 103:20–21). And in the opening verses of Psalms 148 we pray, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!”

          • maryislove

            why are you here if you don’t believe in what we do? you are just full of hate. if you don’t like it just don’t read it our don’t log in people like you is why the world is how it is as long as we believe in god and love him what is the problem you are judging people on there faith and that more of a sin thou should not

          • Nelson Hernandez

            Lies. The world is in this state because of religion. Whos is busy cutting heads off. Who are the ones trying to implement laws to deny civil rights to others based on their beliefs.

          • kathyschiffer

            Would you be willing to read another article from my blog, and at least CONSIDER the Catholic position regarding prayer to the saints? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2012/04/gods-friends-my-friends-the-precedent-for-intercessory-prayer/

            One reason that Protestants find Catholics’ devotion to Mary and the saints difficult to understand is that they don’t understand the difference between “prayer” and “worship”. Prayer to the saints is always a request for intercession: We ask the saints, who stand in heaven near the foot of God, to ask Him for His blessing.

          • Rhonda

            do you consider your father your father????  REALLY?????  get a hobby for GODS sake  other than this…..

      • Eteternal Questions

        Jesus did not found the church that is the Catholic church of today. He did not come to this earth to inspire men to start an organization that is run by men. He came here to teach of His kingdom (His organization) which is the only one that matters. If you actually read the bible and all of the prophesies including the new testament prophesies. I think you are wrong when you say that is does not matter what the rites and rituals are because if you are a christian it means that you use Jesus Christ as a model for your life and worship. So if you are a christian you must do as Jesus did and not make up your own rites and rituals. For example, look at Jesus’ baptism. When was he baptized? as an infant? no, he was 30 years old. Did John dribble water on his brow? No, he was immersed in water fully. This is but one way that the church veers from the teaching by example of Jesus. Everything that Jesus did on this earth was to provide an example for us, but the catholic church chooses to do these things a different way. So in choosing to do things different than what Jesus taught, the church is not really following the teachings of Jesus – not christian. Sorry, but its true, even if you cant see it or admit it.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          If you’re so smart, read a former Evangelical’s conversion story where she had all the same questions and pre-dispositions on the Catholic Church as you do. And she was a theologian herself:

          http://bfhu.wordpress.com/my-conversion/

          Read it and then go to her blog on that page and argue with her. She loves to take on protestants and show them where they’re wrong. If you’re so smart and know your bible and know Christianity, go and debate her. Let’s see if you stack up.

    • Rhonda

      WHOS LOST?????? Not me my friend I will ask the God to save you!!!!!

  • BIG M

    Without Mary there would have been no Jesus, I thought he said before Abraham was “I AM”, that means also, before Mary was “I AM”. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost created Man in their Image in the Garden, Jesus was the Creator of Mary. He said I AM the way, the truth and the life No One comes to the Father except by Me, he didn’t say except through Me & Mary.
    Mary was a great saint, just like many of the great old testament saints, and she was special to the Lord, just as some others were special in other ways like Lazerus(weeping when he died). But that doesn’t make her Divinity, she didn’t have divine Blood like Jesus, the blood comes through the Father, she had an earth father, his was heavenly so he brought divine Blood for us and her to use.
    She was indeed special, and holy like we are called to be saints and holy today. But to say God couldn’t have chosen another Holy Saint to raise the Only Begotten on Earth as Very Man & Very God to be Savior isn’t accurate.
    What about his brothers and sisters, are they assigned some special Divine status in heaven Since they were Jesus siblings and the Sons and Daughters of Mary, then what about their children and on and on it goes.

    • gus

      Where do you people get that Jesus had brothers and sisters??? Mary is and was a VIRGIN their were no other children from her. SHE IS VIRGIN MARY.

      • NachoVelardez

        they get so from (Mt. 13, 55-56) and (Mc. 3, 32) where it says that Jesus brothers and sisters where looking for him. But what they dont know is that Jesus spoke aramean, and the word that originaly was traslated as brother was a word that means every blood related male. Just with a little study about the language used and the time when was written you got no doubts about it. But sometimes it is easy just to hate and talk like this about The Catholic Church. You have many examples of this in the Holy Bible, another from Abhraham speaking to his nephew Lot (Gén. 13, 8 y Gén 14, 14-16) Labán says «brother» to his nephew Jacob (Gén. 29, 15).
        And please… I m not asking you people to not talk wrong things about Catholic people, not even to The Catholic Church… Just about the mother of Jesus, because… what do you think Jesus would think about his own Mother? Because she was Jesus Mother, and that makes her The Mother of God.

        • kathyschiffer

          Exactly. And the Scriptures give us the names of Jesus’ friends, the women, the tax collector, the disciples–Why is there no mention of the blood relatives? And if Jesus had brothers, why would he ask John to care for his mother after His death on the cross?

          • Nelson Hernandez

            Um james the just, brother of jesus. 1 point for the atheist. lol.

          • monica

            An atheist gets a point for having read the Bible? Too bad God does not grade on the curve. All the points go to the LORD, Nelson gets zip. Time to re-read that Bible, Nelson, repent of your sins, and love the LORD. Time is short; I doubt you want to be left behind.

          • josh77

            For all the good and kind words that we speak; For all the truth and wisdom that the holy spirit revealed to us; For all the answered and unanswered prayers; For all our our victories in our lives;

            For all our new mornings; For all the people we love;
            And for those who love us;

            For your participation in this forum;

            And for you, Nelson, typing the name Jesus in this forum, only shows that you are not really an atheist. There’s a mustard seed within you. Waiting to be nurtured.

            May the the goodness of the Lord shine upon His people including you. God bless

          • Wantingbalance

            Because he knew that John would live longer than his real brothers?

          • loving Jesus

            It amazes me how some have so much to say without having read the Bible. And yes the atheist did know more about the writing but not of the word. He needs us more that is for sure. I love all. … no matter what. He did not stutter when he said you must love one another as I loved you. And no one really tells you everything about the Bible, that’s why you yourself must read.

          • jaybird1951

            Lame.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Is that what God teaches us in the Gospel? That Jesus “knew that John would live longer than his real brothers?” Wow, what a lesson.

          • mike

            Look at my reply to jaybird1951.

      • Big M

        From something called the bible

        • jaybird1951

          It was understood by the early Christians and all current non-evangelicals that Jesus had no siblings by Mary. The “brothers” referred to in the Gospels are either his cousins or children of Joseph from a previous marriage, in other words step brothers. There was no separate word for cousins in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages so they were referred to as brothers or sisters. I think that the Protestant reformers wanted to downgrade Mary’s role and uniqueness as the Blessed Virgin and grabbed at the idea that she had more children. By the way, Mary herself says in the Magnificat she spoke to Elizabeth her cousin that all generations would call her “blessed.”Why don’t you Protestants call her blessed

          • mike

            John the Baptist’s mother was called Mary’s cousin. Why wouldn’t the writers of the Word have called his siblings cousins or whatever else since those words are obviously available in any language?

          • kathyschiffer

            I answered this elsewhere, but let me repeat: From the earliest days of the Church, Christians believed that Jesus had no siblings. I’ve explained some of that history in this post which asks, “Did Jesus really have brothers and sisters?” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/09/so-did-jesus-really-have-brothers-and-sisters/

          • mike

            Kathy, as the Scriptures testify, the earliest church knew He had siblings. It wasn’t even an issue.

          • Dagnabbit_42

            You are incorrect to say that words like “cousin” are available in any language.

            Most of the early languages on our planet didn’t even have a separate word to distinguish “father” from “forefather.”

            Tribal societies, like that of the Israelites, habitually don’t define the word “brother” to mean anything other than “family member who is neither ancestor nor offspring.” Hebrew had to use loan-words for more precise terms, or else trace the exact parentage to show the exact relationship. So did Aramaic.

            That’s why, at one point, the Old Testament calls Lot the “brother” of Abraham, even though he was (in modern terminology) Abraham’s nephew.

            And that’s leaving out the other, even broader uses of “brother.” The Israelites could not mistreat an Edomite “for he is your brother.” (Deut 23:7). And later on, the whole body of Christians were known as “the brethren.”

            At any rate, please remember the Upper Room in Acts. “About 120″ people were there, and these consisted of “the eleven” and “the mother of Jesus” and “the women” and “the brothers of Jesus.” This is Luke writing, of course, and Acts is basically “The Gospel Of Luke Part Two,” so “the women” likely refers to the same “the women” who were at the foot of the cross in the last part of Luke’s gospel; a handful at most.

            So how many “brothers of Jesus” are there, according to Luke? Let’s see: we have 120 persons, minus 11 apostles, 1 mother of Jesus, and a handful of women. Everybody left is a “brother of Jesus.”

            That’s, what? A hundred or so brothers, that you claim Jesus had?

            This, I suppose, is the difference between a scholar’s understanding of words written by first-century Jews to first-century Jews, and that of a 21st-century Gentile.

            The scholar, receiving (so far as he is able) the Bible the way its original Jewish audience did, understands the very broad tribal meaning of “brother,” and notes how Luke depicts Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, and how she is clearly consecrated to bearing God in her womb…and very Jewishly calls the mother of Jesus “Mary Ever-Virgin.”

            The 21st-century Goy reads the Bible like he’s reading the New York Times or something, gives Jesus over a hundred blood-brothers, and concludes that Mary was in Ever-In-Labor!

            (On second thought: Can you think of any better argument that the first Christians were all Catholics, than that?)

          • mike

            Matthew 13:55-56
            Acts 1:14
            Galatians 1:19
            You can not honestly look at those passages and say it is only Christian brothers or only relatives depending on the context. Let your ears hear, sir.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          This is what I found in the bible:

          Mark 6:3, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?”

          Mark 15:40, “There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.”

          Matthew 13:55, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”

          Matthew 27:56, “Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

          Now Big M, do you not find it interesting that when earlier James and Joses (Joseph) were referred to as sons of Jesus’ mother, Mary, at the Crucifixion these same men were referred to as sons of another Mary? Have you also noticed that this other Mary is also said to be the mother of Salome, probably one of Jesus’ ‘sisters’ referred to in the earlier narrative? Could that suggest to you that the use of the word ‘brother’ may not be quite as confined as you wish to apply it? That the the ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ referred to are not actually the children of Mary the mother of Jesus? That since Mary didn’t have any other children that reference was made instead to her closest family members?

          I found all that in the bible and have figured that Mary was Virgin after Jesus just like, I hope, that you understand that God is trinity without explicit mention in the same bible.

      • Nelson Hernandez

        Lmao. So after jesus she and her husband joseph never had children huh? Lmao. James the just. Brother to jesus. I’m an atheist and I know this.

        • jaybird1951

          Then why were there no brothers of his (sons of his mother Mary) present at the Crucifixion? Jesus gave her into the care of the Apostle John (son, behold thy mother, mother behold thy son) which he would not have done if he had actual biological brothers?

          • mike

            They weren’t yet believers. Why are Messianic Jews not even considered Jews by some other Jews if they believe in Yeshua (Jesus)?

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          Nelson the atheist, knowing too little often turns out to be the joke that makes one to lmao (more accurately lyao). Take a look:

          Matthew 13:55, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”

          Matthew 27:55,56, “Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

          You may notice that James and Joseph are referred to in both passages 1) as brothers of Jesus and 2) as sons of another Mary. Parallel verses are Mark 6:3 and Mark 15:40 saying quite the same thing. I hope this gives you context in which the word ‘brother(s)’ is used so you don’t have to lyao foolishly. Thanks.

        • Dagnabbit_42

          You’re an atheist, and can be forgiven for not knowing much about Judaism or Christianity. Why should you? Not your religion!

          James the Just is depicted as the “brother of Jesus,” just like about a hundred other guys are called “brothers of Jesus” in the Upper Room scene in Acts. But James and Joses’ mother is also at the crucifixion, and it isn’t Mary the mother of Jesus but another Mary. Yeah, looks like the word “brother” doesn’t mean “son of Jesus’ mother” in that context.

          Moreover, you have to think like a Jew from the first-century, pre-Temple-destruction, to really get this part: That which is consecrated to God is holy and may be used for no other lesser purpose, not even a good and holy purpose.

          Jews and Christians who take their faiths seriously are all about the goodness and holiness of sex, which is why they’re always so picky about being permanently committed in marriage before doing it, and why their families are always bigger-than-replacement-value except in cases of illness or extreme poverty.

          But if one’s womb has contained God Incarnate, that makes one’s whole body like something even more holy than the temple chalices and bowls and lampstands. And even though having a meal, even a party, is a perfectly okay thing to do, you don’t use the holy temple vessels for your personal picnic. A guy named Belshazzar found that out the hard way in the book of Daniel, in the famous “writing on the wall” incident.

          Indeed, the early Christians wrote that Mary was the Ark of the New Covenant. Whereas the Old Ark had contained the Bread From Heaven (manna) and the Rod Of Authority Of The High Priest (Aaron’s budded staff) and the fragments of the tablets of the Ten Commandments (the Word of God in Stone), the New Ark had contained the Bread From Heaven (Jesus, see John 6) and the High Priest Himself (Jesus, see the whole book of Hebrews) and the Word Of God Made Flesh (Jesus, see the opening of John’s gospel).

          If you want to know what happens to someone who touches the Ark, check out the fate of Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6.

          Joseph, according to the Bible, was a faithful Jew. He was also, we suppose, not a bloody fool.

          So…get jiggy with the Theotokos, the Gebireh of Heaven, the Ark of the New Covenant? Really?!

          No, no: Only a non-Jew, or a Jew who didn’t believe that Mary’s son was really divinely-conceived, would have ever tried to have normal marital relations thereafter. And I’m pretty confident he wouldn’t have survived the attempt.

      • Wantingbalance

        She was a virgin before the birth of Jesus. After that she was a human woman who bore children who were half brothers and perhaps half sisters with Christ.

        • jaybird1951

          That is your belief but it is not backed up by Scripture or the constant belief of Christians from the very beginning. Even Martin Luther and I believe John Calvin believed Mary to have been ever virgin.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          Even in normal human relations there is a certain respect we should have for the other, the more so if that other is our relation, like a father for instance. If one’s father were to remarry due to widowhood or something do you think it would be dignified (i.e. within human dignity) to start having sexual relations with one’s father’s wife even after he dies, even if she proposes it herself?

          Mary had a relationship with God to the extent that she bore his Son. Do you think that Mary and Joseph who were both pious individuals would have condescended to engaging in relations to bear children of their own? No sense of their circumstance with respect to God? Does this work as palatable to you as in the human example I gave above talk less of its divine equivalent? This I would like to hear.

      • mike

        Then why do numerous passages talk of Jesus’ siblings?

    • josh77

      One important truth about the Bible; God knows everything.
      And this has a direct relation to another important truth about the Bible; God has given man free will; our freedom of choice.

      He is Alpha and Omega. He absolutely knows the future.
      He even knows how we will react at any given circumstances.

      He already know the betrayal of Judas; the hardened heart of pharaoh; the denial of Peter and so on.. and even how we will react in every given circumstances in the future.

      Those reactions will be carried out by our freedom of choice.

      Regarding Mary; she was chosen to be Jesus mother. It is absolute and accurate in God’s point of view. And no other woman can replace that.

      Moreover, i do not think that an argument regarding divinity of a human is one worthy question to be argued upon.

      Let us love God above all; and let us live in His Truth and be a blessing to one another.

      In doing so, one day, we will see even ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters in our own divinity with our Divine Most High

    • mike

      Well said!

    • Phil

      God, by virtue of his purely spiritual nature, does not have material flesh and blood. The point of the incarnation is that he took to himself human nature, human flesh and blood. Fully God and Fully Man, Jesus’ blood was human blood (a created reality) which, because of its union with his Divine Nature in the person of Jesus Christ has Divine power to save. So where did Jesus get this blood? It was formed in the womb of Mary. That doesn’t make her divine, but it does give her a dignity that is above any of the other great holy people we find in Holy Scripture. Yes God could have created a human nature for the incarnation from the dust of the earth – but he chose to do this extraordinary wonder in the ordinary way of gestation and growth in a mother’s womb (though of course the virginal conception of Jesus means that it isn’t quite the ordinary way). As Mary herself says in Luke: “The Almighty has done great things for me.”

  • Becky Torres

    I left the Catholic church many years ago and I did not leave it for “personal” reasons; I left it for many other reasons, too lengthy to go into, but I do remember the emphasis on Mary and when my eyes were opened to the real truth, no, Mary is NOT divine. I was taught that my whole life and she herself claimed she needed a savior (see Luke 1:47 “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my SAVIOR.”). Yes, she is special; she accepted God’s will in her life, but she is in no way an intercessor and cannot hear prayers. Only someone divine can, God the Father, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit sent by God are the only ones that hear prayers. Neither are angels divine, yes, we can ask God to send His angels to watch over and protect us, but not pray to them for help. Nor saints, who are also NOT divine. As far as researching the Catholic church, I have done so and there are countless false teachings in this church, most of them being man-made and not based on Scripture or twisting Scipture. But that being said, I can’t judge a Catholic, only God can do that. I only know that I found the REAL truth and it was not in this church.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Either you weren’t taught very well or you didn’t listen very well. Why don’t you read about the distinctions from learned people before you “think” you understand Catholicism? Here, read a former Evangelical’s conversion story where she had all the same questions and pre-dispositions on the Catholic Church as you do. And she was a theologian herself:

      http://bfhu.wordpress.com/my-conversion/

      Read it and then go to her blog on that page and argue with her. She loves to take on protestants.

    • Robin

      God, can’t be described by the matter available in this universe. HE is immersed everywhere in this universe and not only earth. We, Human Beings, just try to see his imbibtion in some mankind. Jesus Christ, is the carrier of pure message from God himself. Doesn’t matter to whom He was born. No one protects or harms us, except for GOD’s sweet wish. This whole universe is in Tri-miasmatic state and HE is the dimension beyond our perception except that we concede in HIM.

      • jake

        Catholics dont worship Our Blessed Mother. We honor her

        • John Morrisey

          That is the crux of the matter that non-catholics do not seem to appreciate. I do not, nor have I ever, worshiped Mary. I remember her, I asked for her intercedence, I respect her legacy, but I do not worship her. I was once asked as a young adolescent/adult why catholics revere Mary so much – I had a simple answer… A child will approach his friends mother to ask if his friend can come out to play, so it is with Mary, we ask Mary to intercede with her son “Jesus” on our behalf. Simplistic – yes, but then so is the reason Catholicism places such an emphasis on the importance of the blessed Mary. As for the question relating to her being the vigin. I am in no doubt that she was up until the birth of Jesus, after that – well is it important really? We know from the bible that she took Joseph as her husband, we must presume that the marriage of Mary to Joseph was consumated. Did Jesus have siblings? Quite probably as contraception in that time period was reliant only upon abstinence and we know how reliable that is. I am comfortable with the knowledge that we will only ever know that answer when we are hopefully accepted into eternal life with God.

          • josh77

            Kindly accept my apology. i think your example is somehow not applicable to Jesus. It is because I strongly believed that in order to reach out to God, you do not need Mary’s intercession anymore. It is a false teaching, same thing with spending novenas and devotion to saints. God is everywhere. Why do you still need a divine mother’s intercession or to call on name of saints before God? If you think that you are with God and God is with you, is His presence not enough for you?

          • John Morrisey

            Josh, if we accept your proposition and do not intercede to Jesus through his holy earthly mother Mary, then yes we are still praying to God (the son) and thus by extension God (the trilogy, the three as one, Father; Son; and, Holy Spirit). But… I caution, if we cease honouring his earthly mother and interceding through her, then where do we stop. Do we start with Mary and then move on through to the appointed saints(and yes I accept that this appointments are the work of the human mind – but are done through the chair of Peter the Apostle, in other words – the Pontiff/Pope whom we trust is God’s appointed head of his holy church). Why as human beings should we stop there – lets now not bother to honour his historical disciples, and his Apostles? Let us just stop honouring anyone who has ever done God’s Holy Work and just worship the holy diety we refer to simply as God? You see, the reason why Catholics particularly worship God and honour the Apostles, Mary, Disciples and Saints is because we recognise the vital and pivotal parts that these particular individuals have played in the evolution of God’s Holy Church on earth. Yes, we only need God when all is said and done – but with the reverence to those who have passed before us surely our prayers and hopes are magnified. Believe and worship how you choose – for that is the free will that God has granted you, but do not discount the importance of another’s way of prayer… God Bless.

          • josh77

            i am thinking about the prayer that Jesus Himself taught His disciples. He said : ” Our Father who are in heaven… and so on”..

            It does not involve intercession of any names or any person or any saints.

            And i think that Jesus also does not speak of any provision that later, people should pray novenas, rosaries, litanies and the like.

            It’s some how come just to my realization that the prayer that he taught us is already complete if heartily done.

            And it also made me think on why is there still a need to spend time to anybody or anything other than God, esp. if it is already taking up several minutes to do so?

            The prayer that He taught his disciples
            was straightforward and directed to Father God.
            Why do we still need a detour?

            Furthermore, I do not think that people who already became saints; when they are still living in this world, have said to anybody that ” When I die, it will help you a lot if you will pray through me before God.”

            Nobody who is pious and holy enough will claim that he is an intercessor rather superior in faith. Because genuine God’s servants already humbled themselves before God. And that is what matters most to them. Only if i will be deserving to be one of them, nobody needs to remember my name;Because through my words and through my works, they are just pointing to one name which is “Jesus”. As i become lesser for myself and God be greater in me. Let the people forget me and to God be the glory.

            By the way, i do not discount the value of any body who serve God with all their lives; Mary (whom i also honor and respect); and to saints and martyrs (i also recognized their extreme sacrifices for the glory of God).

            Finally, If we are still not enough on how we perceive things about God; may His graces continuously shine upon us for His deeper understanding.

          • John Morrisey

            Unfortunately Josh, you are adopting a very narrow point of view on this subject. Your position is your belief, and I have no intention of trying to sway you into believing something that clearly you do not. I do not accept your position, but I do respect your right to it. I will simply draw your attention to the dialogue between Jesus and Peter when he was establishing his earthly church… “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church… whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven…” and so on. Clearly from this statement Jesus was authorising Peter (the first pope) to establish the constitution of the church. It was the succession of pontiffs that placed the high importance on the various individuals referred to in previous posts i.e. Mary, The Saints etc.

            Interceding through his earthly mother is a natural and holy way of praying and I will continue to do so as a true believer and practicing Catholic.

            Enough said.

          • CatholicChristian

            You’re right, we don’t need their intercession, and we Catholics do not believe that we NEED to have their intercession, but it definitely helps! I can have me & Jesus/God relationship only, but that is a bit self centered. I think it humbles us to always acknowledge it’s not just about us and we’re not his only child. God is building a great big heavenly family that works together, not a disfunctional non-communicative one made of of self centered “only children”. And really, every prayer is a prayer to God. He hears when we ask the saints & his mother to pray for us, and I think it pleases him. Don’t you think a father would like his children loving & trusting & supporting each other? It doesn’t take away from the love we have for God, but it increases it. And we never pray for intercession from the angels, saints, & Mary instead of praying directly to God, they are just additional prayers to all the prayers we give to the Father.

            I think Fr. Pontifex sums it up beautifully in this spoken word video called “Idol Worship” :
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5l6MSib-Ck

    • kathyschiffer

      Oh, Becky, I don’t know where to begin. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the 1950s television priest, once said, “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.”

      That’s you: All of the many charges you level against the Catholic Church are based on gross misunderstandings of Catholic teachings.

      The Church does not teach that Mary is divine. The Church does not worship Mary. The Church does not say that angels are divine.

      Should you pray to the saints? Can they hear you? Here’s an article on that subject. For further verification, click on the embedded link, “Any Friend of God’s Is a Friend of Mine”. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2011/05/god%E2%80%99s-friends-my-friends-the-precedent-for-intercessory-prayer/

    • NachoVelardez

      if you really thougth that, the first mistake is to think you were Catholic. Mary is a person, also all the Saints. Even God is person… but that s philosophy and it s not that kind of discussion.
      Dear Becky.. you are a person, could you ever pray for me? the answer of course is yes… so why other person couldn t?
      that s what Catholic Church believe in. And tell me, who would be the first person that Our Lord Jesus would ever hear?
      The answer can be found in Jn 2 1-10

    • jake

      Catholics dont believe Mary is divine. We believe she is the virgin mother of our savior jesus christ and should b honored not worshiped.

      • Robert

        It is a fact- an irrefutable fact, you pray to Mary and have statues of Mary. Neither are at all Scriptural, nowhere, no-how, never.

        • sez

          There are several different meanings for the word “pray”. If you look in a dictionary, you will see that one of the meanings is “to ask”. This is still used in England: “I pray the court…”.

          When Catholics “pray” to Mary or the other saints, we are simply asking for their intercession, just as any Christian asks their friends to pray for them.

          Catholic worship is much, much, much more than simply asking, and we worship the triune God, alone.

          If your prayer is worship and your worship is prayer (IOWs: if you see no difference in meaning between those two words), then I can understand how you’d misunderstand Catholics. But your misunderstanding doesn’t make our prayers and worship wrong!

          As to statues: look around at Christmas time, and you’ll even see non-Catholics putting up nativity scenes. Statues! You’ll even see the shepherd-statues worshiping the baby Jesus statue. And have you seen the Lincoln Memorial in DC? A statue! What about busts of famous people? Or angels atop your Christmas tree? Statues!

          But nobody is worshiping those statues. They are representations that help us visualize the people we honor. Just like a photograph of your grandmother. (Statues have been around since before photography, so people in ancient times could visualize important people.)

          Find out more about what Catholicism actually teaches (rather than the myths you expressed): at catholic.com/tracts

          People who take the time to learn what the Catholic Church actually teaches realize that nothing in Catholic teaching – properly understood – conflicts with anything in Scripture – properly understood. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the Truth!

        • ME

          So do you worship your bible? It is an irrefutable fact you have one… This is your logic you’re using and its pretty illogical. Do you have a manger scene too? Do you worship that as well? A lot of protestants have them, or if not have a sculpted one, they present a live one at Christmas time. So do the people worship the people that are dressed as the Holy Family?

    • jake

      You also missed the part where john is hinting that the bible isnt all there is to religion. Jesus built his church upon his earthly representative and the first pope simon peter and gave them the last super which was the first mass. There is sacred scripture and sacred tradition because the bible doesnt cover it all

      • Nelson Hernandez

        Historically, the church was built on James the just, not Peter.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          Are you telling us 2,000 years later or you are telling the early Christians? Go read early Christian writers and stop relying on speculation 2,000 years after the fact.

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      I personally have never seen anyone worship Mary. I have never been taught by the Church to worship Mary, either in her official documents or books written for Catholic faithful, not a bishop nor a priest in all the Masses I have every attended. I have never worshipped Mary. If someone taught you that I couldn’t be convinced they were Catholic. But if you are assuming that because prayers were said to Mary then she was being worshipped then I am afraid you have duped yourself.

      Asking of another is not worship, soliciting from another by kneeling is not worship. I wonder if you had to kneel before a terrorist so as not to harm your child you would consider that worship? Worship is when you are abandoned to something as your creator, the source and the focus of your being.

      If God’s angels are with us then they can hear us and if they can hear us they can speak to God on our behalf. If the faithful departed are with God then God can communicate to them our requests, they would be more than happy to pray to God on our behalf. If our friends and relatives know us they would at our request and at their seeing our needs be happy to pray (intercede) on our behalf. How do these come to be known as worship?

      Jesus offered himself in sacrifice in the sharing of bread and wine with his disciples that he called his body and blood, we can find salvation in these by discerning (recognizing) his body and blood in this bread and wine he offered. This is not man-made, it is God-made in Christ. As Paul said, “he who does not discern the body and blood of Christ eats damnation unto himself.” 1 Cor. 11:29. Read also 1 Cor.10:16, 1 Cor.11:27. Where you get your weird idea of the Catholic faith being man-made beats me.

      • Becky Torres

        Again, how can you pray to someone who can’t even hear you? An angel is
        NOT divine, Obviously, dead friends or relatives are not divine, and
        prayer is considered worship, I always open my prayers with worship to
        God and Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit, these 3, the ONLY ones who
        are divine. There is NO intercessor but Jesus Christ and the Holy
        Spirit. Christ’s sacrifice was on the cross, giving His life for my
        sins, ONLY Christ, no one else. I never said the bread and wine were
        man-made, don’t know how you read that in. Praying to the dead is
        anti-scripture in itself. And I only said “most of the teachings are
        man-made”.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          Where do you get the idea that prayer is worship?

          Prayers are requests and worship is the offering and submission of oneself to an object one regards as the source and focus of one’s being. Worship often includes prayer and prayer doesn’t always include worship.

          I also wonder why you think that angels, who God sends to our protection and guidance, can’t hear us! Why? Are they deaf? So, if an angel is in your presence he won’t hear you? Great.

          You also bring up the idea of one being divine before one can respond to prayer. What you mean is that if someone asks you passionately to pray for them you would consider yourself not divine and decline? As I said earlier, “prayer” simply means “request” and if an angel hears my request he will certainly not desist from relaying my request to God by his own request or prayer.

          This all brings me to intercession. Please answer me this one question. “When you pray for someone else are you interceding?”

          Thank you.

  • larry007

    The catholic church has many problems, praying to Mary for starters. Calling a mere man (the Priests) Father, is another. There are many. Many of the practices and rites are not biblical at all. Leave his faith alone, if it were not right, I think Jesus would have let him know. Not you

    • kathyschiffer

      Larry, your comment demonstrates that you don’t understand what the Catholic Church teaches. I took time to explain it in this post; I hope you’ll read it, and the link which I’ve included, which show how Catholics do NOT “worship” Mary. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/07/dulia-and-hyperdulia-do-catholics-really-worship-mary/

      • larry007

        Kathy, I do not study catholism much, but enough to know the catholic church gives Mary honor she never deserved. She is not a mediator between man and God.

        There are many things the catholic church does that are inconsistent with what the bible teaches.

        Guess we will just have to agree to disagree. You won’t change my thinking, nor will I spend the time studying your religion. I would rather study what I know to be right.

        • Newbiehere

          Larry007 is the perfect close minded example of what is wrong in the world. NOTHING is perfect black and white and you should open your mind to all that is gray in this world. I was going to say more but then decided my point would be lost to someone unwilling to be educated.

          • larry007

            The Bible is black and white. You would be wasting your time. Funny how I am to blame for the condition of the world. Maybe it’s not me but the child molesting catholic priests

          • Newbiehere

            Idiot. The Bible is a collection of books written by man as they remember it. Do you know how many hundreds of years later it was written after Jesus walked this earth? Guess I missed the part when Matthew, Luke, Mark, John, etc. all had photographic memories.
            There are bad eggs in every religion and aspect of mankind. You can only speak to what is in the news….how original. I suppose you think all German’s are Nazi’s too.

          • larry007

            Read your catholic bible, an idiot is not something you are to call people. I am german, I am not a Nazi, and It is not only from what I hear on the news. You know nothing. Your temper and failure to converse without trying to insult has proven to me, I will not waste any more time with this.

          • Newbiehere

            Well said Eternal Questions. Yes, each book of the gospel was inspired by God and guided by divine hand, but still written by man and his perception many years later. There are contradictions in the Bible which is why I still say all is not black and white. There has to be room for gray areas for precisely the reason you stated. Mankind and the writers were imperfect. I too have studied many religions and each and every one has issues. I am not endorsing any one over the other for purposes of the discussion but if it was all so clear, why are there so many versions of the Bible? Why are there books left out of the Bible? Religions pick and choose the parts they want to incorporate for their cause and none are all inclusive. The person that says you will not change my thinking and profess to know what is right is the person that will never know all in their heart what they have missed. It is this kind of thinking that supports discrimination, bigotry, and hate in the world.

          • larry007

            Good remark. I read King James, I even read Enoch which is not in the bible. The scrolks, the septuagint which is the oldest version is also good. I believe there are so many translations because men want to make money.

            Bottom line is God knows the heart.. By their works ye shall know them. Look at the fruits of man. We have to follow our heart and let God lead us. I know there are Christians and Catholics that are saved and not saved

          • Eteternal Questions

            The bible clearly states that it is a work that was inspired by God. True those writers were men who were imperfect, but hey were guided by a divine hand. The books of the gospel were written by different personalities, but they all tell the same story and back each other up, so you cant say that the story is how each remembers it alone. They all experience the same things, but each man has his own perspective, but the stories corroborate each other. Itr was not hundreds of years after Jesus death that those books were written. it ranges from a couple decades to several decades, but I get your point.
            I have studied many religions, including the Catholic religion, which I am still studying. I go to a Catholic church every Sunday. I have to tell you that ALL religions have issues! Perhaps it is because they are all run by humans, or maybe Satan has his deceptive hand in these things in such a clever way that no one realizes. If you believe in God, great! However, the way you worship and the people you follow do make a difference to God. If you read his writing you will see this. Being a christian means following the teachings of christ, not doing something that is vaguely similar. You are either doing it right, or you are not. There is no grey area between right and wrong, it is a solid line. If you cant see the line, there is a problem and maybe you should question what your church is teaching you. If you are catholic you should definitely question what they are teaching you.
            i say these things only because I love you and want you to have favor with God, who (by the way) has a name, and it is NOT “Lord”! but you would not know this if you are catholic because it was removed long ago from the version of the bible that they use. “Lord” is a TITLE, not a name. think about it and learn what you are really doing as your worship. You might be surprised, if you keep your mind open that is.

          • Newbiehere

            Goodness, I didn’t read all the way down and almost missed the sarcasim in your message. Of course that name would be Jehovah, not the title Lord. While we are going there, do you really believe December 25 is Jesus’s birthday? All the good Christians celebrating a pagan holiday? If I took everything literally I guess I shouldn’t call my Dad by Father either. Really, aren’t we missing the point here? Most religions have the same basic beliefs in the teachings of Jesus so as long as we live our lives based on those teachings, why sweat the details? Those wars have been waging way too long and to what resolution?

        • CatholicChristian

          Larry, I know it is worth studying more! I think that if you research it thoroughly and objectively (not through a Protestant lens), you will see the truth. Research & read the writings of the early church fathers. Look into the cultural & historical context in which the scriptures were written. Also when reading scripture, look at what some of the original Hebrew or Greek words were and actually meant in context with the culture and time in which they were written. Sometimes later translations being read in context of present times don’t really mean what you think.

          You can’t really know if your thinking is right if you aren’t willing to give a fair judgement after thoroughly examining both sides!

          And many, many, many people are Catholics because they have done their research and studied their way into it.
          Most of the Catholics that leave, leave because they don’t actually know the faith as well as they should or as well as they think they do.

          We have gained so many former Protestants because they have done their research, discovered the truth and had the humility and integrity to follow that truth, no matter the cost.

          Some of our best apologists and theologists are former anti-Catholic Protestants that were very strong in their Protestant faith and had no reason to leave that faith behind except for the fact that they dug deeper and discovered the truth.

          If anyone is interested, here are some resources to learn more about the Catholic faith, particularly from the perspective of former Protestants:

          I really recommend the Coming Home Network. This site contains resources on Church history, Scriptures, & a really good testimonial show hosted by former protestant Marcus Grodi, called “The Journey Home” which is worth watching. The host is very charitable and respectful to the protestant view because he came from Protestantism & is a former Protestant minister.

          Coming Home Network
          http://www.chnework.org

          Defenders of the Catholic faith hosted by Steve Ray (former Evangelical Protestant)
          http://www.catholic-convert.com

          Catholic Answers
          http://www.catholic.com

          Eternal Word Television Network
          http://www.ewtn.com

          St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
          http://www.salvationhistory.com

          Reading the writings of the Church Fathers are helpful in understanding the beliefs & traditions of the early Christians
          Here is a link to a large collection of writings of the Fathers of the Church:
          http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/

          God Bless!

          • larry007

            I know enough to know I disagree with enough in the caltholic faith.
            I am not prodestent, but non denominational. I also know, your new leader the pope I believe is an evil man. I know there are also christian leaders that are as well, but this man to me is evil. Guess time will tell.

            I do not have to be catholic to be saved, and I know my future, and I know we are in exciting days in biblical times.

          • CatholicChristian

            Even non denominational denominations are considered protestant because they are a result of Protestantism and are not in union with the one church that Jesus Christ established.

            In 1600 Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic church, broke away from it and founded the Lutheran church. Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Baptist, Church of Christ, Jehovah witness, Mormon etc., & about 35,000 other Christian denominations & non-denominations are considered Protestant (protestors of Christ’s original church) because they are a result of the Protestant reformation and are not in unity with the Apostolic Catholic church established by Christ.

            Not sure what kind of evil you see in Pope Francis, but with all the rumors and misconceptions going around about him, I can see why you might be suspicious of him. I know that secular media really tends to distort the truth in the news stories. I see Pope Francis as a very pious, humble, Christ-like man.

            I know there are many misconceptions about how he is trying to change doctrine, particularly in regards to same-sex marriage. My non denominational friend completely believed that it was a fact that the pope was changing doctrine to allow same-sex marriage. Not sure where she was getting her news, but I had to straighten her out on that. He has never tried to do anything of the sort, nor has he implied that it should change (no matter what media the might lead you to believe). On the issue of people with same sex attraction, the church is compassionate, non-judgmental and welcomes them with open arms, but cannot condone the acting on of the sexual act between two of the same sex, (or sexual relations between any non married heterosexual couple for that matter) which it considers a sin, and will never be able to allow for same sex marriage since she cannot change divinely revealed truths or anything that would contradict the laws of nature created by God. These divinely revealed tevealed truths are known as the “deposit of faith” which the church has been carefully guarding and handing down since Jesus established his church through the apostles.

            it t is impossible for the church, or the pope to change doctrine, especially dogma (doctrine that is divinely inspired) that would change the deposit of faith. No pope has ever had the ability to change doctrine. Disciplines on the other hand can be changed since they are the less important and not central to the faith.
            http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/can-the-church-change-its-doctrines

            I am aware of the many end-times rumors that the pope is the antichrist, and that he might be the last, but how many people throughout history have been speculated as being the antichrist?
            The end times sensationalism has been going on for almost two thousand years, and true as time goes on it gets closer and closer to Christ’s second coming, but according to the prophesies there still may be some major things that have to happen, such as a mass conversion of Jews to Christianity (only after the full number of gentiles have become Christian). Since many of the Chosen people(Jews), did not believe, salvation went to the gentiles.
            (Romans 11:25-26):

            “Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this
            mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the
            full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved.”

            Then Jesus prophesied that he will not come again until the Jews call him “Blessed” and acknowledge him to be the Messiah.

            (Matthew 23:37-39):

            “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…. Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.
            For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is
            he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

            Zechariah prophesied that one day there would be a conversion of the Jews. (Zachariah 12:10)

            “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of
            Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they
            look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns
            for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.”

            http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/rschoeman_seccoming_jan06.asp

            I don’t think the antichrist is supposed to make an appearance til after the mass conversion of Jews. If our current pope is still around after all that happens, then maybe he will be a contender, but I certainly hope it does not turn out to be the pope

  • kuma

    Dear son,

    Thank you sharing your story with as. God bless.
    Plz. check oil dropping mother Mary’s and Jesus statues & last lent season 2014 blood dripping in Jesus photo.

  • Rachelle

    Everyone has their thoughts but we all need to know that God is Real. Everyone has to understand that we have to respect others feelings about things. We all need to be guided into the direction of what God wants us to be in. Remember the Burpo Family have a lot to say and so does Colton. Remember everyone this what we will see soon.

  • Joel1245

    Wrong. God would have found another. Without her, there would have been no Jesus? Where do you even get that idea? Nothing is stated in scripture to convey that idea. No, if Mary wasn’t there, God would have found another.

    • josh77

      One important truth about the Bible; God knows everything.
      And this has a direct relation to another important truth about the Bible; God has given man free will; our freedom of choice.

      He is Alpha and Omega. He absolutely knows the future.
      He even knows how we will react at any given circumstances.

      He already know the betrayal of Judas; the hardened heart of pharaoh; the denial of Peter and so on.. and even how we will react in every given circumstances in the future.

      Those reactions will be carried out by our freedom of choice.

      Regarding Mary; she was chosen to be Jesus mother. It is absolute and accurate in God’s point of view. And no other woman can replace that.

      Moreover, i do not think that an argument regarding divinity of a human is one worthy question to be argued upon.

      Let us love God above all; and let us live in His Truth and be a blessing to one another.

      In doing so, one day, we will see even ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters in our own divinity with our Divine Most High

    • Wantingbalance

      Mary was as much in God’s plan from the creation as was Jesus. There didn’t not have to be a back-up plan.

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      Whoever God ‘found’ would be a carbon copy of Mary, the one who is so completely united to him that she would conceive by his Spirit and bear his Son, Jesus. It is not so much the person as object but the person as in quality. This is the single most important thing that you miss in the whole Jesus-Mary narrative. Mary is the person we are all called to be, mothers of Jesus (God-bearers) in the world. If you think she was just a rag or better just a vessel with no choice in the matter then I am afraid the concept of your own connection with God is itself dangerously lacking.

  • Rollan McCleary

    Secrets? Truth to Bible? There are things this heaven story needs to sort out.
    See ‘Colton Burpo’s Real Heaven, Akiane’s Jesus and New Christ Images”
    http://bit.ly/1fNwkLQ

  • kathyschiffer

    That’s some pretty bold generalization, Victoria. I am Catholic, and I read the Bible. What IS there is Jesus’ assurance that He would send His Spirit, the Paraclete, and that He would guide Peter and his successors. The “Catholic dogma” you are sneering over is nothing more than a deeper understanding which has been guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    And Tyndale was executed by order of the King of England, not the Church.

    If you look around on my blog, you will find answers to many of the scurrilous charges you make against the Catholic Church. Here is just one: Catholics do not worship Mary. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/07/dulia-and-hyperdulia-do-catholics-really-worship-mary/

    God bless you.

    • NachoVelardez

      Perfect! and remember Lucas 1:48, it s simple what the Bible says.. She is our mother, not some random human, because God says so.

      • kathyschiffer

        It’s true–from the Cross, Christ gave her to John as his mother (and our mother, by inference).

        • mike

          She needed a fellow believer to reside/fellowship with as her other children weren’t yet believers. Plus, why didn’t Yeshua (Jesus) tell the other people at the cross she was their mother?

          • Morgan

            Allow me to offer a thought:

            The reason He ‘gave’ our Most Blessed and Glorious Lady to John was because she had NO other children. For Christ to give His mother to another would have been against Jewish law if Mary had any other children.

            Her care would have lawfully fallen unto them, and no one would have the right to alter that. This moment in John is evidence that she had no other children besides Jesus.

            So why did He do this? Why would Jesus give His mother to John as her son and Mary as John’s mother? Again, it’s because of Jewish law.

            You see, without a son she would have been impoverished in First Century Judea as a childless widow.

            There were nearly NO employment opportunities for childless widows. They could own no property, nor even do business.

            This shows us why Jesus makes a special pleading that we care for widows and orphans, and why, in the Book of Acts, the Apostles make a special case for widows.

            Jesus had great love for the downtrodden, and it shows in His concern for those that His earthly society considered to be disposable.

            Jesus also upheld Jewish law, even when he was accused not of doing so (the wheat in the field incident, for instance). He said that not a jot or tittle of the law would pass away until all things were fulfilled, and He has held to that promise.

            This incident is evidence of both Jesus’ upholding of Jewish law, and that fact that His mother had only one son.

          • mike

            Psalm 69:8 states that his blood brothers would disown Him. THAT is why He left her to John. See, Messianic Jews – even to this day, let alone Jesus’ day – are excommunicated from synagogue AND disowned by even family. That said, you never answered why He didn’t leave her to all the other people at the cross if she is supposed to be our mother.

          • Morgan

            It is my gut feeling that at the cross only one person knew exactly who and what Jesus was, and that was Jesus Himself.

            Here is a short article on Psalm 69 that gives a good take on why one line in one Psalm seems a pretty slim ledge on which to stand:

            http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/12/does-psalm-698-proves-that-mary-had.html

            I enjoyed your response, and thank you for it. I expect that this will probably be an issue upon which we will disagree. That’s okay, it’s still a pleasure to exchange thoughts and ideas.

          • mike

            I don’t see how you can say that only Jesus knew who Jesus was at the cross. John, all the Mary’s, and the mother of Jesus’ sister all knew He was the I AM. Also, the link you gave – I am Michael Addison from the article. Before God, I am not lying. Read my comments in the article, and you’ll see how, without a doubt, Psalm 69 is a completely messianic psalm.

          • Morgan

            -wow- Is that some coincidence, or what? I will read your comments carefully and get back to you.

            As far as my idea that only Jesus knew who He was, that appears to be demonstrated by the abandonment of Him by the disciples, the denying of Him by Peter, and the shock at His resurrection. The Gospel story plays out moment by moment, and the disciples are often chided for missing something or not getting it, even with the Lord in their midst.

            I’ve come to see the faith as being one that continually unfolds and reveals itself more and more as Christ is sought – both to the church as a whole and to each believer. it is purely personal opinion.

          • Morgan

            Mike, I read the comments. You made some good points, but there were several rebuttals that you did not answer. ?

          • mike

            What do you mean?

          • Morgan

            Hi Mike. The last posts I saw concerned some unanswered questions – you may have missed those since the article, and most of the posts, were some time ago. No big deal.

          • mike

            Morgan, what IS a big deal is this: I proved that all of Psalm 69 can refer to Yeshua (Jesus). That said, Mary and Joseph were quite blessed with many children as Scripture testifies.
            Trust me, it was no coincidence that you provided that link. The Spirit is trying to pull you out of the RCC like He did to me.

          • Morgan

            We will have to disagree. Simply put, a line in a Psalm is not more authoritative than the Gospel of John, the Church Fathers, and the councils.

            I don’t think the link was for me, Mike.

          • mike

            1) What from John’s gospel “refutes” what I proved to you?
            2) By saying that you put the church fathers ahead of the WORD, you admit you follow man instead of the Spirit.
            3) By saying that you put the councils ahead of the WORD, you admit you follow man instead of the Spirit.

          • Morgan

            I’m not looking for a fight, Mike.

            You’ve probably heard plenty of times how it all works together (Christ, the Apostles, the Bible, the Fathers, and the Councils) to create coherence rather than confusion, so you don’t need to hear it again from me.

            I wish you well.

          • John

            Got him!

          • PJ

            Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:56).

          • Morgan

            PJ – your comments are correct, yet impossible to reconcile without the fullness of the faith. Either Jesus violated Jewish law by giving His mother to another as her son, or he did not have brothers that shared Mary as their mother.

            Which do you think it was?

        • c2itthen

          You can not infer things when it comes to scripture, because if you do, you are assuming, and assuming is HERETICAL IN NATURE!

      • c2itthen

        Luke 11:27 And
        it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the
        company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that
        bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea
        rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it….

      • Morgan

        She is the ‘New Eve,’ and Jesus is the New Adam. The incarnation of our Lord was a reset for humanity, all humanity, and entered us into an age of Grace instead of justice.

    • Wantingbalance

      I stand by Martin Luther.

      • Robert

        Amen! Thankful for ole Martin. Who, by the way, the Catholic organization put out a contract on- encouraged people to murder. Thankfully, he prevailed.

        • David Ciavarella

          I hope that many of you protestants realize that at the end of his life, Martin Luther came to realize he errered in his attempt to split the Church and asked for forgiveness but too late to stop what he was used to do which was to divide the Church of Christ. His own mother helped in his last conversion back as she held to her Catholic faith and prayed for her son.

          On a related story did you also know that the legalized Roe vs. Wade abortion decision was a lie in its case brought by
          Roe and her attorneys about a now false rape allegation. She was used also to bring about a victory for the devil which she wishes she could take back after being coopted by evil.

          http://www.lifenews.com/2013/01/22/woman-behind-roe-v-wade-im-dedicating-my-life-to-overturning-it/

      • agk76

        The man who names a church after himself. Says a lot about him and his followers.

      • Dagnabbit_42

        Martin Luther was a man. He was often an arrogant bombastic ass who liked to indulge his Germanic cultural origins by making feces-related comments. When he changed the contents of the Bible, he said, “If any of your papist donkeys object, you tell them, ‘Doctor Martin Luther will have it so!’”

        That was Luther’s justification. Look it up. Adding words to Scripture? Taking 4 books (James, Jude, Hebrews, Revelation) out of the New Testament? No problem, because “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so!” (Yes, I know, he started losing followers when he started cutting whole books out of the New Testament, so Melancthon and others convinced him to put them back in. Still, he kept badmouthing the book of James — since it contradicted his newfangled doctrinal innovations — by saying, “James is an epistle of straw…I sometimes wish Jimmy could be put into the stove and burned.”)

        Yep, that’s Martin Luther. Real hero of humility and champion of orthodoxy, that guy.

        • Kat

          BTW, Martin Luther thought Mary was the Mother of God.

      • Harry Flynn

        Have you read what Martin Luther wrote of the Blessed Virgin?

        • John

          She was a virgin until after Jesus was born. She was chosen of God to complete an task unique to all earthly history and that makes her special. However, she was a sinner and needed a savior like the rest of us. Yes, Jesus had several half brothers and half sisters because they shared a different dad. If they shared a different mom, that means that Joseph either had a previous wife, which is ludicrous, or he had another wife or wives never mentioned. I absolutely abhor Catholicism. There is so much to hate if you truly love the truth. Rat poison is 99% good food absolutely and less than 1% poison, but it’ll kill the one that chokes it down. I trust there is no need for an explanation of the analogy.

    • Robert

      “deeper understanding” than the non-catholics. You sound like Jim Jones right before he ordered the kool-aid drinking.

      • haggis95

        I’m not sure insults make you look or sound more intellectual or correct.

    • Amanda Young Mische

      I’m glad that you are addressing this question, Kathy, as I have always been curious as to why Catholics pray to Mary and other Saints. The Lord said, “Noone comes to the Father but by me.”, yet Catholics pray for intercession from other late human beings. This has always confused me! The “Hail Mary” is a prime example. Please don’t think I’m being rude or sarcastic, because I’m not. I would just like to have a clearer explanation. Thank you!

      • kathyschiffer

        Amanda, do you ever ask your friend to pray for you before a test or when you’re not feeling well? Shouldn’t you instead just ask God yourself, rather than asking someone to be an “intermediary”?

        Actually, we ask others for prayer all the time. Catholics believe that those who have gone before us and stand before the throne of Christ can intercede for us. That doesn’t mean we’re “worshipping” them or that we should not continue to pray directly to God ourselves.

        Check out the very clear answer provided by “sez” elsewhere in this thread.

        • mike

          You can see your friend, Kathy.

        • Becky Torres

          Asking a friend who is ALIVE is not the same as asking someone who is dead, they can’t hear you! Back to what I’ve said before, only someone DIVINE can hear our prayers. And I only know of three that fit into that catagory.

          • CatholicChristian

            The saints are not dead! They are very much alive in heaven. Heaven does not have the limitations/restrictions of time/space like our material world does. The saints are not omnipotent but we believe that they can hear our prayers and they in return, pray for us. We believe God allows them to share in varying degrees of his beatific vision.
            We on earth have spiritual relationships with God, but those that are in his presence in heaven have an even stronger relationship with him. Don’t you believe that we will have a much fuller and closer relationship with God when we pass on, and that we’ll actually be able to see him?
            Revelation 5:7 shows how worship goes on in heaven, and that the prayers of God’s people are offered up:

            “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8When
            He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four
            elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden
            bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And
            they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to
            break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your
            blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.…”

          • Phil

            Dead? Read Luke 20:38!

          • SJ

            Kathy,

            You assume people in heaven are dead. I would contend that Mary and those canonized as saints are very much alive and well. And we don’t pray to saints, we pray with them and ask them to intercede. I would ask Mary to pray for me before asking a friend to pray for me, but there are times when I would ask of both. I’m fairly confident that Mary is very close to Jesus and she probably deserves more respect than some Christians show her. Praying for intercession has been going on for nearly 2,000 years, it’s not anything new. Rev 5:8,

      • kathyschiffer

        The Hail Mary is a scriptural reflection, based on Elizabeth’s words to Mary when they met, and when the baby John leapt in her womb. It’s also a proof that Catholics do not, as some think, “worship” Mary; rather, we ask her to pray for us to her Son, as she did at the wedding feast at Cana.

        • mike

          Asking someone you can’t see to do anything for you IS worship. Only God can hear multiple prayers at once. It’s what makes Him, God. Also, read Luke 11:27-28. It absolutely refutes praying to Mary, or even the angels and saints.

          • summers-lad

            I’m not sure that asking anyone, seen or unseen, to do anything is worship. Worship means to follow a leader, to praise someone, to model your life on a person, to do what pleases them. And I’ve just read Luke 11:27-28 in two different versions and it has nothing whatsoever to do with praying to Mary, saints or angels, neither supporting nor refuting.

          • mike

            The man from Mark 5 was NOT worshipping in the way you described. Also, you might want to go ahead and read that Luke passage again.

    • Heartlander

      Re: “Jesus’ assurance that He would send His Spirit, the Paraclete, and that He would guide Peter and his successors. The “Catholic dogma” you are sneering over is nothing more than a deeper understanding which has been guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

      It strikes me that a wonderful analogy to this is found right up there in your article about Colton, who as he gets older, is able to explain things he couldn’t explain when he was younger: “as Colton grew, his vocabulary increased and he remembered and recounted still other stories”…

      Isn’t that exactly what’s happened with the Church itself? In its youth, there were many things, such as the Trinity, that the Apostles would not have had the vocabulary or conceptual structure to explain. But as time went on, their understanding increased, and they were able to explicate many things that they couldn’t at first. This is why we call it “development of doctrine” — it’s like a human being developing; a child once he becomes an adolescent (and later, an adult) is not a different person as time goes on. He is the same person, but he has developed.

    • mike

      The Father revealing to a man that Yeshua is the Son of God is the rock the Gates of Hades wouldn’t prevail against. If it was Peter, then why was he rebuked by Paul for being fearful of the Jews. Also, what about Peter’s denying Christ three times? Seems to me that the gates of hell prevailed in those two examples.

      • mike

        Concerning Tyndale, it was a Catholic country. Whom did Catholic kings answer to? If you say their confessors and Rome, then you are correct.

  • lili

    anything on dog’s spirits?

  • Bobbie Cline

    I am 67 yrs. old and at the age of 65 I experienced a hemorrhagic cerebral aneurysm. I was flown to a special hospital and taken immediately to surgery. Before being put to sleep I saw 3 angels at the side of my bed, all in white, no wings that I could see, and no hospital surgical garb. I saw them again when I awakened and then they left. I have often wondered if they were there to protect me or escort me home.

    • Rhonda

      Bobbie my dear departed father had polio at age 23 in an iron lung for a year he had an experience that makes everything real for me. He saw a light and wanted to go to it. He had his young bride (my mother) and two young girls (my sisters) the light spoke to him telling him “go back BOB go back” he didn’t want to but god made him. It wasn’t his time… I was born 17 years later and my father and I were the love of each others lives . He died 15 years ago I am now 48. Nothing other than my father will ever be so dear to me…

  • Guest

    Serious? Kid is talking about how he has seen God’s hand at work all over the country in all denominations, how he sees it’s about faithfulness and obedience to God and you want to push the Catholic Church? Lol!!!! Not about any church. About a relationship with Jesus, the Catholic Church is like any other denomination which is one mans interpretation of the Bible. Get with the program!!!

  • GUs

    Wow, yes, she was human but chosen by God. She was called blessed by Arch angel Gabriel. Mary’s blood runs thru her sons veins. She is part of him he is part of her. As all sons and mothers are. So no she was not just a vessel. A blessed vessel that should be RESPECTED by ALL. She plays a big role in salvation of souls. Jesus is God. part of the holy trinity. 3 in 1

    • Big M

      And I suppose since you are placing a higher significance on Jesus’ earth Family than is assigned by Gods word this may be tough to hear, because Jesus himself addressed family this way:

      Mark 3:35
      35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and MOTHER.
      Yes Mary was a Virgin when Jesus was born, for you to think she went through her marriage as a virgin is a teaching OUTSIDE of scripture. You can choose to believe anything you wish and anything man teaches, but the Bible is the final authority, not man. God said in his word, Let God be true but everyman a liar.
      It doesn’t hurt anyone or anything for you to believe she was a Virgin, and he never had siblings, but the idea of “Devotion” to Mary is found no where in scripture and you better be careful about Idolatry because that was the downfall of the Israelites through much of their history. Mary/Man played no role in Salvation when she was here, no role in scripture and no role now, Jesus is the only one given Power to save.

      • jake

        Wow… the first part in this article mentions how in the gospel of john that there were other things jesus did and taught to his ORIGINAL CHURCH (the catholic church) that r not mentioned in the bible. So the bible is a tool not the toolbox itself. If u just praise and worship the bible you are missing other parts of christianity that jesus had taught but had
        not recorded in sacred scripture.

        • Big M

          Yes, and the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible, holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost the bible teaches. And Obviously everything couldn’t be recorded, and if it was no human mind could possibly take it all in. But what is there is 100% truth, the word was made flesh and dwelt among men, again is taught. The truth will never contradict itself otherwise its false, so anything the Spirit reveals outside of scripture WON’T CONTRADICT THE BIBLE.

          The Holy Spirit, the author of the Bible is to be our teacher and guide, and Jesus commanded his disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, and in acts Peter went on to say this promise is to your children and all that are afar off even as many as the Lord shall call. If you try and study the scripture without guidance of the Holy Spirit the result will be misunderstandings and false doctrine and its one of the reasons there are multitudes of denominations, man has mixed his opinion and theory in with the truth.

          They that worship must worship in Spirit and in Truth. He said he is the Way the Truth & the Life, so he is the Word made flesh, and the truth. And so to worship him you must be in the Truth which is in the word. If you think you have other tools and they are contradicting the Bible better see whose tools you are using, the lowly carpenter from Galilee or the Bible speaks of the Devils devices.
          Matt 24:35
          Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. And this was so important its stated several times in the Bible, so take note…

      • CatholicChristian

        Scriptures alone do not contain the fulness of the Christian faith. The Bible was not even canonized until the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D.
        And it was the Catholic church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that compiled the scriptures and canonized the Bible. How could people refer to the Bible as the sole authority before then?

        There was no such thing as Sola Scriptura, and it still does not work. Oral & Sacred Traditions are just as important as the Scriptures. Traditions & Scripture were meant to go hand in hand, & they both make much more sense in context of each other.

        Before the printing press was invented in 1455, the scriptures had to be painstakingly duplicated by hand, which was a very tedious, long, laboursome, and extremely expensive process usually done by monks in monasteries that devoted their lives to doing this.

        Up until the printing press was invented, it was not even remotely possible for the general public to rely solely on the scriptures. Bibles were scarce and very expensive.
        Many people could not read, nor could they afford a bible, even for sometime after the printing press.

        Truth is, not everything is contained in the scriptures, and we were NEVER meant to rely entirely on the scriptures. sola scriptura is a modern belief!

        The scriptures are just one authority. To solely rely on scriptures is an incomplete source of authority and every person’s individual interpretation is fallible. The Catholic church believes in three sources of authority that must all agree with each other, and not contradict. They must all be in accordance what has been revealed by God and with the natural laws, which are created by God. Kinda like when we type a report, we need to include at least three credible sources.

        Here are the three authorities known as the “three Pillars of Truth” in which the church rests on:

        1. Sacred Scripture (the Bible);

        2. Sacred Tradition (contains many teachings taught to the Apostles but not written in scripture, because Jesus did and taught many things not contained in scripture);

        3. Magisterium (teaching authority, guided into all truths by the Holy Spirit).

        Jesus our Lord established one church, (in which he is our head). Matthew 16:18 The Church is both visible & invisible ( not just invisible) which is united in ONE faith (not various conflicting beliefs), & which confesses ONE baptism.
        Jesus wants unity! Ephesians 4:1-31
        We love our non-Catholic brothers & Sisters & at every mass we pray for unity, that they find their way home to the church established by Jesus, himself.

        Anyone that is completely honest with themselves and with God, and is willing to follow the truth wherever it leads them, will ultimately wind up becoming Catholic.

        Research OBJECTIVELY, & thoroughly. There is complete historical continuity within the Catholic Church and an unbroken line of apostolic succession.
        “To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant” – John Henry Newman

        Protestantism & secularism have bred strong Anti Catholicism, and most of our history has come through a Protestant lens.

        Jesus was not kidding when he warned about the hatred of the world and said we would be persecuted. they have John 15:20-22 Matthew 10:22 1Peter 4:14

        The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ and she has been persecuted tremendously in all ages, sometimes in these modern times it seems the most by fellow Christians. Jesus was also truthful when he said “The gates of hell would not prevail” Matthew 16:18 and that he would be with us always until the end of the world. Matthew 28:19-20

        Against all odds, the Catholic Church, established by Christ, has prevailed for 2000 years. If you truly trust in Jesus, you can trust in his words, and trust in the church that he established! Would he really establish a church that would lead us astray? No, I think not, but he knew that he would need an ecclesiastical authority to shepherd his flock after he ascended from this crazy world! If it was not for the Catholic church preserving the Christian faith, there wouldn’t be any Christian faith at all. All Protestants & non denominationals owe whatever Christian faith they have to the Catholic church. She is what has preserved the faith and the scriptures through the ages.

    • josh77

      Yes, Mary, mother of Jesus deserves RESPECT.

    • Robert

      Fact: Mary has nothing to do with anyone, ever being saved. Typical cult-teaching. Only Jesus saves- simple.

      • James

        But without Mary, there is no Jesus.

      • Joseph Essien-Obot

        O really!? Jesus was born through Mary’s unfaithfulness? We are saved through our unfaithfulness? What has faithfulness have to do with our salvation? Wow! Are you lost.

  • les stelse

    When i was 26 i sat with my dad who was pronounced dead 4 times in his life. I asked him what he saw. He told me he talked to his parents and grandparents. THey said everything will be ok and that they are all waiting to be with him.

  • Sol Benedict

    Why in this world would they want to be Roman Catholic?

    • kathyschiffer

      Not for the bake sales, Sol. Because it’s true.

  • catholickaren

    Those of you using solar scriptura as your argument against catholic respect of Mary and our veneration of her..I would challenge you to find where in the bible you find the Holy Trinity? Where does it say that we are to set aside Sunday as a day of worship? I believe these were concepts developed during the early days of the church..the original church. And you might want to read up on your own early church leaders…Luther, Wesely , and Calvin all adhered to the belief of Mary’s perpetual virginity and joblessness. This in no way takes anything away from her son! As she herself said, ” my soul magnifies the lord…he has done great things to me.” Catholics rejoice that God set aside and kept pure a lowly human through which he descended to this earth and became human while remaining fully divine.

  • catholickaren

    Correction..I did not mean joblessness but sinless…my kindle auto correct thinks it is smarter than me

  • charles

    Crazy Catholics.

  • Zion

    I must say i have been almost every religion in my Something-yrs of age and as per now… iam just a believer. No religion. No sect. No rituals. Before every prayer i say…. Dear Lord, creator of heaven and earth, creator of Adam&Eve, God of Noah, God of Abraham, Isaac&Jacob, God of Prophet Moses, God of King David, God and father to Jesus Christ. If that doesnt cover it…i dont know what does.

  • Scott

    Jesus Christ is our savior. There is no use arguing about the technicalities. The only way to Gods eternal kingdom is through the blood that Jesus Christ gave to forgive us for our sins. And all you must do is ask his forgiveness and believe in his Resurrection. He loves us all as sons and daughters and wills that none of us should perish but that all shall be granted eternal life And all that he asks of us is to BELIEVE. I pray this message finds its way to at least one person who needs to hear it. Because God loves YOU.

  • Kimberly Fraga

    My name is Kimberly Ann Fraga. I know his pain with his appendix. I was four years old when they took mine out. I pretty much had the same experience. Only thing is mine didn’t erupt. My parents didn’thave the same feelings as his. Everything was still the same. I would have loved to see my Grandpa’s and my Dad’ s Mom. It also would have been really amazing to see the child my Mom lost. We didn’t know if it was a girl or boy. It would have been the journey that changed my life to see JESUS!!!!

    P.S. I don’t understand why he got made fun of. I love that his sister punched those boys in the movie and it would have been my brothers to punch somebody.

    To Colton if you ever see this…stay strong. Be proud always and forever about what you saw.

  • Josie McMahon

    Please no fighting. What this boy went threw is a miracle. Colton thank you for sharing your experience. Your movie helped a lot of people. My husband and I have struggled for almost 5 years saying our son was in heaven but not fully knowing it ourselves. Thank you!

  • josh77

    Every man who love God above all; and who love his neighbors as he love himself has the same closeness with God.
    It is a matter of laying down one’s life to serve God and share His words upon His people.

  • josh77

    I strongly agreed with you. There is only ONE FATHER. And that is Our Father who are in heaven.
    -The prayer has been taught by Jesus himself… It is Our Father; our Father God

    • jaybird1951

      That Our Father is said or sung at every single Mass.

    • CatholicChristian

      and “give us this day, our daily bread” refers to the Eucharist, The body of Christ, the Bread of Life which Jesus instituted as the “New and Eternal Covenant”.

      Catholics take very seriously the teachings of Christ. Sadly, most protestants fail to recognize the Eucharist as the sacrament & Covenant which God has intended it to be.

      • Jack Kennedy

        A lot of Catholics have a hard time swallowing transubstantiation.

  • josh77

    Q: What makes a human human? What makes a human 100% human?

    Or is it just a lot better if we say that man was made in God’s . image? And that what made us special in each and every . way.

    We are His people. And He loves us so much; that he even . gave us His only Begotten Son.

    Q: What does it mean when we say a person is nothing more . than this or that?

    Q: Or are we just going to accept that we are just human . vessels in which God will use only for His plan, just like . . . Mary?

    Or is it rather acceptable for us just to see God in each one of . us? And that we are living testimonies of His goodness?

    Uhh.. Mary is so lucky to be Jesus’ mother.. And I am also so lucky to be a father of my kids… And also, your kids even your grand children were the luckiest people on earth having you as their respected and loving mother and grand mother.

    We are not just human vessels. Though we are 100% human, it does not matter to Him. And we are not just a nothing more than this or that.

    In His sight; in His Heart; we are all special;
    ‘Coz… We are His beloved children.

  • Joseph Bennett

    This is why Colton isn’t wanting to become a preacher but a speaker! There is difference in each belief but it doesn’t make those beliefs wrong. The important things in those beliefs is that it is a positive belief and the love of God.

  • http://www.rkoelectric.com MasterBob

    Kathy – I have some of the answers that Colton didn’t have…(or couldn’t remember)…..unlike his N.D.E at 3 yrs old…I came back from a “clinically dead” (~ 9 minutes – full cardiac arrest) followed by several days in a coma on life support with multiple organ failure – remained in critical condition for days…at 54 yrs.old – and solid recall of the bulk of my experiences (crossed over and back – multiple times) in Heaven. By all accounts – I shouldn’t have survived my ordeal…but it wasn’t my time – and I was needed back here..and that I still have lots to accomplish / contribute….so I am here…in the early stages of a book writing (stuggling to find the words to describe it all ) – with a Powerful set of messages to share…please contact me Kathy Schiffer – I may very well have what you seek.

  • Brennon

    Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah …woah..woah

    ..woah

    I am genuinely appalled at this behavior from anyone.. I only wish people could stop seeing, scrutinizing, analyzing, peering, etc etc etc… over what is so different from one religion to another, STOP for just a second and

    A. See the likenesses between religions

    B. Stop criticizing other people no matter what “religion” they choose and worship God in harmony

    If everyone would do that (yes, everyone, I mean YOU, sitting right there, reading this), the boundaries of what the world could and WOULD accomplish would be limitless. No more hunger? easy, No more war? done..

    You think I’m going out on a limb here? Well, do you believe in God? Does God make all good things possible? Are these not good things?

    I can only pray that more people learn to work together regardless of these minor “details” such as religion; our countries, our earth, our world, our universe, would be so much better it would almost be like heaven.

    Please, people, wake up!! and I beg you, stop criticizing your brethren, and START WORKING TOGETHER, for the sake of mankind!

    Oh, and the Love One Another thing, I am pretty sure he meant what he said.

  • faezeh

    I think Mary was a holly person and he was jesus’s mother but not any more and jesus was only a prophet and it is not true to say he is GOD himself
    am I right?

    • kathyschiffer

      No, Faezeh, you are wrong. Remember when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country, and Elizabeth said, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elizabeth knew, and Mary knew, that Jesus was God. Mary, most especially, would have understood the spiritual significance of his birth, since he was conceived without a man.

      So Mary cannot be a “holy person” if she is, at the same time, a liar. There are many other stories in the Scriptures which support this.

  • CONNIE

    Is God so limited that if no Mary no Jesus? get real. you are talking about God, Creator of everything. Mary was a woman use to birth Jesus. No where in Scripture after Pentecost is she mentioned, nor any of the other women who followed Jesus. She is to be respected but not set up as a god. Worship God alone!!!!!!!

  • Leann

    I had to comment about this I keep reading and everyone is fighting really it does not matter who you believe in I have faith however I believe there is a god and Jesus and I love them some people only believe there is Jesus only that is what they believe in we should never fight over religion I read the bible I do not go to church but that does not mean they are not with me they are always there when you need them to be I believe everyone has the right to believe in what they want too in their heart

  • Patrick

    Really funny how alot of you forget to realize the very first church was a catholic church. Mary was gods choice in women. Without her? He made her and had plans for her long before. The birth of Jesus was something they could rejoice in together! She plays a very important in the life of all Christians today. Everyone to be considered Christian back then were considered catholic and it wasn’t long after people went satisfied with it so they made up a new denomination. I’m not here to fight nor piss anyone off, but the truth is you will never really know until you get to that time anyways. There is no right or wrong people praise some sort of god, they just might have a different name.

  • Jeff Anderlik

    There is alot of discussion below regarding what is or isn’t taught in the Catholic church. Why that discussion is here, under this article, is beyond me. But, for all the defenses offered here to “clear up” misconceptions about the Catholic faith, I’d say not much has been done over the years by ‘the church’ as a whole to set the record straight. That said, I rest my faith in the Bible, and my God, and my belief that heaven is indeed real. Dogma does not interest me; in fact, I don’t believe I need to belong to a denomination or even a church in order to be saved. Understanding my responsibilities as a Christian and performing them to the best of my abilities does interest me. As I understand them, I am to share what I know, and if I do not know what the Bible says, find out before I teach something false. Then, I am not to waver in my acknowledgement (in word and action) that I am a Christian, even if it costs me my head. Infidel now, infidel forever.

  • I Love God

    Luke 11: 27-28
    27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
    Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, CLEARLY states where the Praise is due. To God!! It is in the Holy Bible, plain and simple and clear!! It’s not about “diminishing” Mary’s role.. But her role does not mean she deserves praise. Christ followed the Word of His Father and nowhere in the Holy Bible does it point out that Jesus taught reverence to Mary. Therefore, it is what it is… My praise and all prayers are sent to God in Jesus Name!!

    God bless

    • Arimathean

      Who more than Mary has heard God’s word and kept it? She heard the word directly from the Archangel Gabriel and responded, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

  • smiling Catholic

    God would not have chosen anyone else other than Mary. No, He did not “need” her, but she is the creature He created for that purpose. If she had said ‘no’ to being God’s Mother, we would just be out of luck. Of course, He knew she wouldn’t say no though. Thus, Catholics honour Mary not for her own sake, but for Jesus’. There is no conflict, because He wants us to (and has proven so in many apparitions, and by many historical blessings, victories in battles like Lepanto, and so on, for those who prayed to Mary). We do NOT worship Mary; we just honour her. People don’t have a problem with honouring members of the royal family, so why should there be anything wrong with honouring members of God’s family?

    • John

      You’ve got to be kidding me! Praying to saints, transubstantiation, infant baptism as something that saves. Wow! You are completely blinded by your own superstitions. The amount of idolatry in the Roman Catholic Church is appalling and disgusting.

  • jcdfms

    I’m happy that he has never forgotten hei meeting. and I wonder if Jesus ever speaks to him, like in dreams, or through the holy Ghost.

  • Robert

    Obviously, you enjoy putting much more emphasis on Mary than the Scriptures. Catholic much? Obviously so……

  • Robert

    They’re discouraged from reading the Scriptures, it gives the local priests and Rome more control over the kool-aid consumers.

    • haggis95

      Utter tosh. BTW a faithful Catholic who goes to mass every Sunday will have heard the whole of scripture proclaimed at Mass over 3 years. A person who goes to mass daily will also hear the entire OT and NT over 2 years.

      • jaybird1951

        I have to correct you. Not all of Scripture but almost all of the NT and large chunks of certain books of the OT, esp. Isaiah, Genesis, Exodus, Proverbs etc.. Protestants should attend the Catholic Easter Vigil and hear just how much Scripture is read there. I have been to Protestant (evangelical) services where the central part of the service was the sermon but no Scripture was read.

    • agk76

      And you backwoods snake-handling Prods marry your sisters because the parster says it’s OK. Or cuddle your boyfriends and do meth (remember Ted Haggard, at one time primus inter pares of all Protestant evangelicals?) because no matter what, Jesus say’s it’s OK…’cause you confessed with your mouth, and yer sayy-ved….

      Spreading hyperbole and invective (look it up) works both ways…and either way, adds nothing to the discussion but more of the same.

      • mike

        A little angry and bitter, agk76?

      • Jack Kennedy

        Jesus wept.

        Luke 11 52-54

        “52 Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”53 When he (Jesus) left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, 54 for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.”

    • http://www.kenranderson.com/ Ken R. Anderson

      Maybe in the 1950s! In my parish we the Word of God is held high and read during Mass more than in any other church.
      And insults are a poor tool to use in Christian conversation.

    • CatholicChristian

      No, actually we’re encouraged to read the scriptures, and the Mass is chock-full of scripture. True not everyone chooses to take the time to read it for themselves, but we are definitely encouraged. And most parishes have bible study groups that get together weekly. Plus, Catholics use a more complete bible. Protestants are missing 7 books which Martin Luther took out, not to mention he added the word “alone” after faith in Romans 3:28.
      I highly recommend that everyone read the complete Bible containing all 73 books. If you are reading the 66 book bible, you are missing out on some great scriptures.
      Example, a beautiful prophecy of our Lord is written in the Old Testament book of Wisdom 2:12-24:

      “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
      because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
      he reproaches us for sins against the law,
      and accuses us of sins against our training.
      13 He professes to have knowledge of God,
      and calls himself a child[a] of the Lord.
      14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
      15 the very sight of him is a burden to us,
      because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
      and his ways are strange.
      16 We are considered by him as something base,
      and he avoids our ways as unclean;
      he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
      and boasts that God is his father.
      17 Let us see if his words are true,
      and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
      18 for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him,
      and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
      19 Let us test him with insult and torture,
      so that we may find out how gentle he is,
      and make trial of his forbearance.
      20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
      for, according to what he says, he will be protected.”

  • haggis95

    God didn’t have to become incarnate either. He could have weaved a magic wand. But God isn’t about magic, rather God is about free will, and it was Mary’s free “Yes” to God that enabled the Holy Spirit to descend. No yes = no incarnation. And Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross either, He could have magically forgiven everyone’s’ sins. But again Christ is not like that he died for us, on the cross, and from the cross one of the last things he asked was that those who remained by his side look after his mother.

    Either you believe in the words that Jesus said or you don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose just because you don’t like them.

  • haggis95

    You do, of course know, that it was the Catholic Church that developed the whole Canon of the New testament. The Church existed before the New Testament, and the Scriptures came forth from the Church.

    BTW the words sola scriptura are not in the Bible.

    • mike

      “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Read all of Luke 11:27-28 for a total rebuke of prayers to Mary, the angels, and saints.

    • mike

      The apostles decided what was in the canon.

      • Dan F.

        Actually it was the successors to the apostles but glad to hear that you are starting to understand the importance of the Church’s authority. That is what you meant right?

        • mike

          There is no such thing as a successor to the apostles. The apostles ALL were Hebrew teachers of the New Covenant whom saw the risen Lord, which is what it took to qualify as an apostle. That said, the NT was written by the apostles or their closest associates, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

          • Phil

            Look at 1 Timothy 1:6 and 4:14, where Paul reminds Timothy that the office of bishop had been conferred on him through the laying on of hands. Notice in 1 Timothy 5:22 that Paul advises Timothy not to be hasty in handing on this authority to others.

            See also http://www.catholic.com/tracts/apostolic-succession

          • mike

            I was talking about apostles, not bishops.

          • Dan F.

            Sez who? (not that I disagree with your last sentence but really – sez who?)

          • mike

            Sez the apostles and their closest associates, whom were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It didn’t take some late, late fourth century council.

          • Dan F.

            You’re missing the point. Who says what it takes to “qualify as an apostle”? Also, haven’t you ever read how Paul passed on his authority to Timothy?

            The entire argument hinges on the question of authority. When there is a dispute between the faithful (for example on the divinity or humanity of Christ ) who has the authority to decide which position (between mutually exclusive interpretations of Scripture) is correct?

            Since the beginning the answer has always been the bishops (i.e. the apostles and their successors ) in unity with the Pope and protected from error (in faith and morals) by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Any other answer gives you chaos.

          • mike

            ALL apostles were Jewish rabbis of the New Covenant whom saw the risen Lord. There is not one reference otherwise in the Word. So, the successors to the apostles doesn’t exist. Yea, there were bishops the apostles ordained. Paul also warned that wolves in sheep’s clothing would come from the very ones he taught (Acts 20:28-30). That said, it’s a weak argument. Weak.

          • Dagnabbit_42

            The Bible disagrees with your statement that the Apostolic Offices had no successors.

            See Acts 1, wherein Matthias is chosen to succeed Judas Iscariot, whose office of episcopacy was left vacant by his death.

            And if the offices of Apostolic Authority were limited only to the original Twelve, why then did Paul become an “Apostle,” causing an immediate bump-up to 13?

            Twelve, of course, was the traditional number of authority-figures used in various stages of the Old Covenant to govern the 12 tribes of Israel; if the Gentiles too are to be added to the Kingdom, it makes sense that the offices-of-governorship will also increase in number.

            And if Judas Iscariot’s office was important enough to warrant replacing him with a successor, how much more the others? Or Paul’s? Or Peter’s?

            (I’ve often wondered what it was like to be Matthias, picked as the replacement for that guy. “Here’s your parking-space, here’s your nameplate, and here’s the key to the executive washroom. Good luck, and here’s hoping you do a better job than the last guy.”)

            See also the various ways in which Jesus consciously patterned the 12 and 72 Apostolic Offices after certain Old Testament offices which had successors, such as the 12 and 72 judicial-offices over the people set up by Moses at Jethro’s recommendation, and the stewardly offices under the Davidic king.

            And of course Jesus Himself, by various signs, clarifies that the offices to be held by the apostles are also priestly offices, with Peter holding the office of the sagan. You may have noticed that the priestly retinue under Moses didn’t cease to exist when the first generation had died. They, too, had successors.

            Now, you see, all this is perfectly obvious to a first-century Jew, familiar with the Davidic kingdom and the authority structures for the people under Moses and the day-to-day priestly and liturgical practices of Temple worship (you know: things like washing the priests’ feet to prepare them to serve, or saying that “the Lord is their share” because they have no share in the land…just like Jesus with the Twelve). But so few 21st-century Gentiles are able to read the New Testament the way a first-century Jew would! It’s sad that we miss so much, as a result.

            Anyhow, Jesus established offices of greater and lesser authority in His Messianic Kingdom. He invested in them a combination of the power and duties which had existed in various offices in the Old Testament — yet another way in which Jesus sums up the whole Old Testament in Himself, you see. Some of the authority of the Apostolic office was judicial, some was rabbinical, some was stewardly, some was priestly, some was prophetic. This was fitting, inasmuch as Jesus was Himself the New Moses, performing a New Exodus, AND the High Priest of the New Covenant, AND the King of the Restored Davidic Kingship.

            Reduce the 12 and the 72 to mere teachers, and you make Jesus, by extension, a mere Rabbi, a better Gamaliel or Hillel.

            But if He is King and a Son of David, then He will have stewards and a Chief Steward (“al bayith”) who can overturn decisions of the other stewards, and a Gebireh (queen-mother) whose throne is at the right hand of the King’s, just like the Davidic kings of old. As it is written: “The queen is at your right hand, arrayed in gold.”

            And if He is the promised “prophet like Moses” from the Torah, then He will have subordinate judges, like Moses, as He leads His people in the New Exodus, which He accomplished at Jerusalem.

            And if He is the High Priest, then He will have a sagan and other subordinate priests and priest-helpers like the Levites.

            That’s what we should expect, if Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. That what we will expect, if we are first-century Jews, confronting Jesus and His Twelve and His Seventy (-Two).

            Anyhow, start by studying the Mishnah, and especially the Tractates on Temple worship. Then read Matthew and John. I think you’ll see what I mean.

            (If you’re unfamiliar with the Mishnah and other sources describing 2nd-Temple Judaism, I recommend the books, audio courses, and lectures by Brant Pitre. He does a great job showing how nearly every word Jesus spoke when setting up the authority-roles of the Twelve has echoes in the Old Covenant offices.)

          • mike

            There are not Hebrew rabbis of the New Covenant whom have both seen and been sent by Jesus NOW. That is how apostolic succession doesn’t exist.

      • summers-lad

        A couple of hundred years after they died?

        • mike

          Why did Paul cite his and Luke’s writings as Scripture? And Peter citing Paul’s?

      • Dagnabbit_42

        The apostles did not “decide what was in the New Testament canon.”

        They, and their direct associates, wrote the documents which would eventually form that canon. But many individual books, such as Paul’s personal letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, were never intended to become part of some collection of Holy Writ. So one cannot plausibly hold that the apostles had in mind the inclusion of these books into some kind of authoritative Holy Writ Collection.

        The books which would form the New Testament were treasured by the Christians from AD 100 to AD 370 as a sort of “family album” and were read regularly in Christian worship — which consisted of a Liturgy of the Word and a Liturgy of the Eucharist — throughout that time. But books like 1st Clement, The Shepherd by Hermas, the Didache, and the letters of Ignatius of Antioch were also being read in this fashion, because the early Christians regarded them as orthodox. (The so-called “Gnostic Gospels” were not being read in the liturgy, however; these were known to be spurious as soon as they were composed.)

        It was not until 370 AD in the Easter Letter of bishop Athanasius to his diocese that a Christian leader ever gave formal instruction that the books being “read in the liturgy” should be limited to the 27 books we use today, and that 1st Clement, The Shepherd, The Didache, the letters of Ignatius, and similar writings should be “used for personal devotional reading, but not included in the calendar of readings for the liturgy.”

        This is the earliest evidence we have of Christians highlighting those 27 books as more important — and it comes from a Catholic bishop who heard confessions, who acknowledged the authority of the pope, who believed in the Apostolic Succession and the authority of ecumenical councils. Without his testimony, you don’t get to have the 27 book New Testament!

        His testimony is then reinforced by that of Damasus I of Rome, the then-pope, who gave the same 27-book canon as definitive for the Church’s liturgical readings in 380-ish (Synod of Rome). Because of Damasus’ pre-eminent authority, all the other bishops of the world quickly piled on, with the local councils of Carthage and Hippo adopting the same canon in the 390′s. By 400 AD this was the regularized canon of the Christian world: 46 Old Testament books, and now, 27 New Testament books.

        Without acknowledging the orthodoxy and authority of these Catholic bishops — an authority they base upon Apostolic Succession and the obligation of the Christians in their flocks to heed their authority — you don’t get to have a New Testament. It was because the Christians of that era believed in their authority, that the 27 book New Testament canon was accepted by dioceses who might otherwise have continued using other books. The Church at Corinth, for example, would have continued reading the Letter of Clement of Rome (an early pope) in their liturgies, since it was addressed to them and they’d been including it in their liturgy for nearly 300 years by then.

        That’s history.

        And that’s why one can’t plausibly hold that “the apostles decided what was in the canon,” if by that, one means to include the New Testament canon.

        Now, the apostles DID decide what was in the Old Testament canon.

        But they did this by merely using books, not by issuing a formal decree. It was not one of the decisions reached in the proto-council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, for example.

        And, they wouldn’t have regarded the matter as being terribly vital, because, since they were Jews, they knew that oral tradition was the way that orthodoxy was conveyed from generation to generation, and that Holy Writ was useless apart from it.

        This is why the Apostle Paul writes “hold fast to the traditions I delivered to you, whether by word-of-mouth, or by letter.” That was the Jewish way. Rabbis like Gamaliel would have thought it was hilariously wrong to attempt to reconstruct orthodoxy from the holy writings alone, without recourse to the authoritative tradition which interpreted it. The idea of considering Scripture Alone (“sola scriptura”) as authoritative is unknown in Apostolic-era Christianity and the Judaism which preceded it.

        And that was why they were so casual about “settling” what was and wasn’t in the canon. Orthodoxy did not hang on it.

        In Jesus day, the OT canon was still unsettled among the Jews. Some of the Jews, the Sadducees, held that only the five books of Moses were inspired. The Essenes, as we know from the writings held in the Essene cave at Qumran (the “Dead Sea Scrolls”) held a canon closely resembling the Septuagint canon (46+ books) used by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the Tewahedo and Copts, et cetera, today.

        The Pharisees held to a canon closer to the current Protestant/Jewish 39-book OT canon, except that (a.) some of these books, like Esther and Daniel, were disputed among them until nearly 200 AD; and (b.) the books were often artificially combined together so that the total number would match the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, under the theory that Hebrew was a sacred language and the sole language for divinely-inspired writings. (So, for example, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Baruch were all simply called “Jeremiah.”)

        The apostles, as we can tell from what they and their immediate disciples quote as authoritative, used an OT canon which is larger than the current Protestant/Jewish 39-book OT canon. It certainly included Wisdom, Sirach, and the books of Maccabees (which are referenced in the New Testament). It also included Esther and Daniel, despite the fact that they weren’t fully accepted among the Pharisees until after the demise of the Sadducees and the founding of Rabbinical Judaism around 100 AD in Yavne.

        But no group of Jewish leaders had made an official pronouncement on the OT canon until long after the founding of Christianity.

        By that time, the early Christians were already using a 46-book OT canon…and by that time, Christians already had their own leadership and would not regard the Jewish Rabbis’ exclusion of Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees to be binding on Christians.

        Indeed, the rabbis’ exclusion of Wisdom was partly due to the prominent Messianic Prophecy in that book which matched Jesus so closely that many Jews became Christians on that basis. Some of the other books they excluded were dropped because the rabbis believed they’d originally been composed in Greek, not Hebrew; however, the Dead Sea Scrolls evidence shows them to have been mistaken on this point.

        That, again, is history.

        How, then did any Christians start using the smaller 39-book canon?

        Simple. After 1000+ years of Christians using the larger, Septuagint-based OT canon, Martin Luther decided that Christians should chuck out Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, and 1 & 2 Maccabees from the OT. He also decided that Christians should drop James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation from the NT…but even his close friends balked at following his example on this, so he eventually changed his mind and put those four back in, but in an appendix at the back of his translation.

        But prior to that, they’d all been included. That’s why they were included when the very first Gutenberg Bible was printed.

        It was from Martin Luther’s “redacted version” of the Bible, that Protestants get their 39-book OT canon today. They preferred it because, by cutting out 1 & 2 Maccabees, they could avoid a passage which provided strong Scriptural support for praying for the dead (and thus, purgatory), which didn’t fit with their theology of extra nos, purely-imputed justification.

        That, again, is history. Look it up. If it’s too confusing to follow, make a timeline.

        The only question for the individual Christian is: “Given the facts of this history, what, then, should I regard to be authoritative, so that I, as a Christian, can know what orthodoxy is? If my answer is Scripture Alone, then which Scriptures? If my answer is in accord with Apostolic Christianity, I must include the Apostolic Tradition…but which traditions are validly to be included as Apostolic? And, if I consider the 27-book NT canon to be authoritative, I must trust the bishops of the 370-400 AD period…in which case, shouldn’t I practice the faith the way they do? With, y’know, aural confessions and Apostolic Succession and a Sacrificial Priesthood, and all of that?”

        That is the question, for the intellectually-honest Christian, today.

        • mike

          Your last question doesn’t make any sense in light of 1 Corinthians 1:19. Anyways, if the apostles had no say in deciding the canon, then why did Peter AND Paul refer to Paul’s writings as Scripture? And why did Paul refer to Luke’s writings as Scripture?

          • Dagnabbit_42

            Mike:

            I want to commend you, in your last two sentences, for replying on the merits (not everyone does that!), and I’m happy to respond to your argument.

            But before I do that, I must confess that I don’t understand what you are arguing in your first sentence. There, you say that my last question “doesn’t make any sense in light of 1 Corinthians 1:19.” Now, my last question was about how the individual Christian can authoritatively know what the content of the Christian religion actually is, so that he can obediently practice it. You are saying that the question doesn’t make sense given the following words quoted by Paul: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

            Now, in this sentence, Paul is commenting on the unexpectedness of God’s plan: How the Incarnation and the Crucifixion seem like nonsense to so many, and yet are in actuality God’s brilliant plan: God’s judo, if you will, whereby He makes use of such things as suffering and death and an unjust trial, and through them accomplishes the salvation of mankind. The devil’s own weapons are turned against him, to the glory of God.

            But how, exactly, does this sentence address the question of how a Christian may come to know, and know that he knows, the content of the Christian faith, so that he may then go on to be obedient to “the faith delivered once for all to the apostles?”

            Perhaps you are thinking of the larger context of that quote, rather than the quote in-and-of-itself? But the larger context is that Paul is scandalized by the existence of denominationalism in Corinth. He finds it intolerable that anyone would say, “I follow Apollos” or “I follow Cephas” or “I follow Paul.” (Presumably he would also be scandalized if a man said “I follow Luther” or “I follow Calvin.”) Against such divisions in the Church Paul asserts that Christians ought to be undivided in mind and polity, holding exactly the same doctrines and belonging to exactly one Church.

            But of course this goal is impossible, unless all Christians have a way to know what they are, and aren’t, supposed to believe. Without a locus of authoritative teaching, one Christian will listen to one teacher and believe one faith; another to another with different doctrines; and when a dispute arises between the two groups one will depart from unity with the other, forming some new ecclesial community around their new teacher.

            Isn’t this the repeated pattern of the last 500 years? Moreover: Isn’t this exactly what the Montanists did? The Terturllianists? The Donatists?

            But perhaps I don’t understand what you are intending to argue from 1 Corinthians 1:19. Please fill that in for me.

            Now, the rest of your comment made far more sense to me, because it is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking when I first began to confront the “canon question.”

            You ask: “…why did Peter AND Paul refer to Paul’s writings as Scripture? And why did Paul refer to Luke’s writings as Scripture?”

            Well, because they thought they were “scripture” …whatever that meant to them. But that doesn’t answer the question of how WE know that Peter and Paul are correct in thinking so, or what exactly they mean by it, or how we can leverage this information to find out What Christianity Is.

            Let’s back up a bit.

            The classical Protestant position is that, relying on the New Testament alone, you can establish that the Protestant Old Testament canon is correct, that the Catholic Old Testament is not correct, and that the 27 books of the New Testament really belong there…and no other books than those 27 belong there.

            Furthermore, a Protestant must argue that, apart from lexical information sufficient for translation, one needs nothing other than the Protestant OT and NT canon to properly understand, and derive the true doctrines of the Christian faith from, the Protestant OT and NT canon.

            It is in this context that Protestants typically say, “Hey, Peter says that Paul’s writings qualify as scripture; and Paul gives us what Luke has written, too, which admittedly doesn’t cover the whole Bible, but gets us pretty close.”

            Here is what I want you to notice about that argument:

            1. What we want to arrive at is a Knowledge of Christianity. We want to know what Jesus “delivered once for all” to the apostles, so that we can believe and follow it. To do that, we cannot start out already assuming that apostles teach inerrantly, or that books currently in the New Testament belong there. We must question how we know things. We must have an epistemology for our doctrinal positions.

            2. The Protestant argument doesn’t provide a source for knowing the significance of including a book in the canon. What does it mean, that a book is in the canon? Does that mean the book is inerrant? Inerrant in what way? Does that include scientific inerrancy? Does it require literalism? Does it allow for other senses of scripture, moral, anagogical, typological? If we don’t know how to take the presence of a book in the canon, we can go very far astray when we try to derive from that book what Christianity is supposed to be. (Consider the doctrinal distance between Ken Ham and C.S. Lewis!)

            3. The Protestant argument doesn’t get along well with Paul’s admonition to hold fast to the traditions he delivered “by word of mouth or by letter.” What are we to do about the oral traditions the apostles delivered to their disciples, as evidenced in the beliefs of Clement of Rome, of Ignatius of Antioch, of Polycarp, in the Didache, and in the Liturgy of St. James?

            4. It doesn’t get along well with Paul telling Timothy that the Scriptures Timothy has known since childhood are “god breathed” and useful for rebuke, et cetera. Timothy is a diaspora Jew, with a Gentile father and a Jewish mother and grandmother: The scriptures he knows are the Septuagint translation, containing such books as Sirach, Wisdom, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, and 1 & 2 Maccabees. Is Paul calling these “god-breathed?” In that case, either the Catholic or some other larger OT canon is correct, but the Protestant OT canon certainly isn’t.

            5. If Peter’s writing is inerrant, then we know that he’s correct to regard (some of, possibly all of) Paul’s writings as “scripture.” But is Peter’s own writing “scripture?” If so, does that mean that it is inerrant? Can Peter get such things wrong? Do we have any guarantee that Peter, or Paul, is divinely protected from error on such matters? I mean, apart from their own say-so? (Here come Mohammed and Joseph Smith: “Here are the Koran and the Book of Mormon. As the authors of each, we claim they’re divinely-inspired and inerrant. Therefore, you must believe that they’re divinely-inspired and inerrant, since in each case a divinely-inspired and inerrant text has told you so.”)

            6. What about Mark’s gospel, and John’s? What about Paul’s personal letters (e.g. to Philemon), do they belong on the same level? What about Hebrews (authorship uncertain)? What about Revelation and Jude and James?

            7. Peter calls (some of, possibly all of) Paul’s writings “scripture,” but notes that they are “hard to understand.” He warns that people who don’t already know what Paul does and doesn’t mean (the “ignorant”) are apt to misunderstand Paul, accidentally “twisting” Paul’s words “to their destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” Does this sit well with the Protestant notion of “the perspecuity of Scripture,” wherein (according to Martin Luther) “even a ploughboy” can understand the Bible, if he just sits down and reads it?

            What does that leave us with?

            We have a argument wherein, IF we’re willing to accept self-attestation as sufficient in the case of a New Testament book (but not sufficient for Mohammed or Joseph Smith), and IF we know that Peter’s words are inerrant, and IF we know what he means by calling Paul’s writings “scripture,” and IF what he means is that they’re inerrant, and IF only inerrant books are to be included under the heading “scripture,” THEN the Septuagint (including the deuterocanon) plus Luke and Acts, plus some or all of Paul’s writings can be regarded as inerrant.

            At which point, Peter warns us we’re likely to misunderstand a lot of stuff therein, “to [our] destruction!”

            This is a pretty shaky way for us to derive, from Scripture Alone, what the content of the Christian faith is supposed to be!

            And let’s not forget that the early Christians didn’t do that. It is simply NOT the case that a Christian in 75 AD or 125 AD or 250 AD went ’round to the various local churches, compared what he was hearing preached therein to what was written in his New Testament, and opted to join whichever church had the most-orthodox preaching. If you want to determine orthodoxy the way an early Christian did, you don’t have Sola Scriptura as an option.

            Not only is it not an option, but the early Christians apparently thought the exact canon of Scripture so unimportant for determining doctrinal orthodoxy that they didn’t get around to it until 350-plus years after the Ascension! Why weren’t they anguished about their lack of a foundational doctrinal authority, all that time?

            And, oddly, even when they finally for the first time started declaring the same canon that we use today, they didn’t go on to say, “And NOW, finally, everyone can know what Christianity is.” No, they said, “these are the books that we’re going to include in the cycle of liturgical readings.” Apparently the matter had more to do with establishing a unity of liturgical practices than with settling doctrinal disputes!

            And anyway, what was it that made everybody suddenly jump on the bandwagon, agreeing about the canon after 370 or 380 or thereabouts? (Until Luther turned over the applecart 1,100 years later, that is?)

            Here’s what I think:

            I think Jesus’ Messianic Kingdom recapitulates and fulfills all the aspects of the Family/Tribe/Nation/Kingdom of God from the Old Testament.

            Just as Moses (at Jethro’s urging) established the 12 and 72 judges to adjudicate difficult cases, so too Jesus had the 12 and the 72. Just as the High Priest had a “sagan” and the other priests and the Levites, so too Jesus had Peter and the Twelve and various other disciples. Just as the Davidic King had an Al-Bayith and other stewards, so too Jesus had Peter and the Twelve. These offices in the Messianic Kingdom are judicial and prophetic and priestly and rabbinical and stewardly, as their various foreshadowings in the Old Covenant were.

            Interestingly, all these structures had a court-of-final-appeal (Moses, the Chief Steward) where difficult cases could be resolved. Also, they used the terms of “binding and loosing” or “locking and unlocking” to describe their judgments. A priest who determined that a person was “clean or unclean” would “bind or loose” whether that person was out of fellowship or admitted back among the people. A steward would make laws and administrative decrees in the name of the Davidic King, “locking or unlocking” in the name of the King, as we see in Isaiah 22. And in Jesus’ day, rabbis like Hillel and Shammai would teach what was “permitted” or “forbidden” under the Laws of Moses, and this was called “binding and loosing.”

            In that context, Jesus tells people with disputes (unresolvable individually or with one or two witnesses) to “take it to the Church” (Matthew 18) and that “the Church” will decide the matter, with Heaven’s ratification. When one takes it “to the Church” one doesn’t just walk up to any random layperson to ask them to adjudicate; no, one goes to those who hold the offices of leadership — those offices with priestly and rabbinical and stewardly authority.

            And of course the judges under Moses, and the stewardly offices under the Davidic king, were offices of succession; when one died, another man took over the office. We know that the Apostolic offices were similar: In Acts 1, Matthias succeeds Judas Iscariot, taking Judas’ “office of leadership” or “episcopate.” And, we know the offices aren’t limited to 12 in number: Paul was added by Jesus Himself. (Plus, as a kingdom grows, so does the number of stewards for its various provinces; if 12 is the correct number for Israel, presumably it’s not the correct number once the Gentiles come in.)

            Now in Acts 15, when a dispute about doctrine arose, they “took it to the Church.” The Church decided the matter, and Heaven ratified it: “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” They did not rely on Sola Scriptura to settle the matter, nor could they. (The Old Testament would presumably have required that Gentiles be circumcised to join the Family of God!)

            This, then, was how the early Christians knew orthodoxy: When a dispute arose, they “took it to the Church,” and “the Church” decided the matter, and anyone who refused to listen to the Church was put out of fellowship, dealt with as a “heathen or a tax-collector” (Matthew 18).

            As time went by, the Church found that there were disputes about various writings and their level of authority: Was Hebrews apostolic, or not? or Jude? Should only apostolic writings be read in the liturgy, or is it okay to read perfectly-orthodox writings from the apostles’ direct disciples, like Ignatius of Antioch or Clement of Rome?

            So, the Church decided the matter, first in local synods (only expecting the decision to be binding on the affected dioceses), but then universally. And as soon as the Successors of the Apostles (a.k.a. the stewards and judges of the Messianic Kingdom), in union with the Successor of Peter (a.k.a. the chief steward and al-bayith of the Messianic Kingdom) had rendered decision, all the Christians regarded the matter to have been settled.

            Christians would not have gone along with this, especially in cases like Corinth where it changed a longstanding tradition, were it not for a belief in the correctness of those rendering the decision. But why should these men be regarded to be correct, when so many men err? Because as Jesus said, whatever they “bound on earth was bound in Heaven.” No Christian can hold that Heaven agrees with error; therefore, the decision was correct.

            Jesus prayed in John 17 that we Christians “should all be one” as He and His Father are one. Does Jesus ever disagree with His Father about whether infants should be baptized? About whether He is Really Present in the elements of Communion? About whether the Christian ministry includes a sacrificial priesthood? No?

            Then there must be some way, set up by Jesus, that we Christians could be one, as He and the Father are one.

            Sola Scriptura doesn’t do it. Sola Scriptura produces competing interpretations defining competing camps of Christians led by competing teachers…exactly what Paul deplored in 1 Corinthians 1. That road leads to doctrinal and organizational disunity.

            This disunity would be alleviated if only the disputants would take the matter to the Church, and regard the Church’s judgment as authoritative.

            Ah, but that requires us to know which persons in the Church are the designated judges set up in offices of authority by Jesus…and it requires us, if those judges ever disagree among themselves, to know the identity of the “highest court of appeals” beyond which one cannot appeal to any higher court.

            If we know the identity of Jesus’ appointed judges, we can take disputes to them. If they disagree, we can appeal the matter to the highest earthly court, after which it can be said that “the Church” has definitively ruled, and that anyone who “refuses to listen even to the Church” is out of fellowship.

            But if we listen, then (because Jesus promised divine ratification to the decisions made by “the Church”) we will know What Christianity Is, canon and all!

            Make sense?

  • Boo

    Yes, in the book Colton explains that Mary was in front of the throne of God, in adoration of Him. Now, for any Christian, Catholic or otherwise, this sits perfectly with what we believe.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    No, it isn’t. Denial of Mary as Theotokos is entirely a modernist post- 1800 perspective.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    Luke Chapter 1. Go and read it.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Mary was the mother of Jesus; Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man; a person who is 100% God is justly called “God”; his mother is justly called the “mother of God.”

    OF COURSE, this phrase has never meant “mother of the 1st person of the Trinity, the Father.” Nor has it ever meant “mother of the 3rd person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.” Nobody ever thought that. But it did mean “mother of the Divine Logos, the Son of God, who, as John teaches us, was with God in the Beginning because He was God.”

    The phrase “mother of God” (in Greek, theotokos, “God-bearer”) comes to you by the authority of the same Church which added the New Testament to the canon of Scripture (and earlier on in that Church’s history). You cannot have the 27 books of the New Testament IN your Bible, unless you trust the authority of the persons who taught the world that those books should be there.

    And those persons, of course, were the bishops in Apostolic Succession, in union with the successor of Peter. The Christian world only bothered to pay attention to their decision to finally include Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation, 2nd Peter, etc., because they were bishops in Apostolic Succession; had any old yahoo lacking priestly and episcopal ordination said the same, it would have been ignored.

    Furthermore, these same bishops were the ones who excluded the long-respected and entirely-orthodox Didache or “The Shepherd” by Hermas or the Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch and Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, saying that while of course these writings were written by faithful Christians and not heretics, they didn’t rise quite to the level of being included in the cycle of readings at Mass.

    Yes, folks, that’s right: The Church Fathers included or excluded things from the New Testament canon, because they were largely trying to standardize the regularly-scheduled scripture-readings to be read aloud in the “Liturgy of the Word” which preceded the “Liturgy of the Eucharist.”

    Now, you can say that these men got it right and had authority to invent this newfangled notion called “The New Testament”; and if you say that, then you get to have a New Testament in your Bible. But then you have to wrap your head around the fact that these same men were priests and bishops, heard confessions, believed in the Real Presence of Jesus (body, blood, soul, and divinity) in the Eucharist, and were fond of saying things like “Mary ever-virgin is the Ark of the New Covenant, the New Eve who never succumbed to the serpent, and most-gloriously of all, is the God-Bearer, the Mother of the Divine Logos….”

    OR, you can deny that these men were orthodox Christians. You can hold that the apostles started getting it wrong, or teaching it wrong, right away, and their early disciples like Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome and Polycarp didn’t really know what Christianity was, and that all the things that they (and their own later successors like Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo and Damasus I of Rome) believed, were full of errors.

    You can take that view. Many do.

    But that view, if followed logically, means we have no certainty which books belong in the New Testament. That view doesn’t lead to orthodoxy, but rather to theological liberalism. ‘Cause if you have no early tradition from which to understand what Christianity is, and you don’t even have a Bible with a reliable New Testament canon to derive it from, where will you get your notion of “Christianity?” Easy: You’ll get it from your culture, from your favorite popular preachers, from what feels right and sounds good to you, a mere individual separated from the apostolic teaching by 2,000 years and vast cultural shifts. You’ll invent some new spin on Christianity, which your later followers will name after you, and which will be known as a “denomination.” Or at least you’ll sell a lot of books.

    But those are your choices.

    Deny the authority of the bishops of the 2nd and 3rd and 4th centuries to teach the faithful that Jesus is God and His mother is justly called “mother of God,” and you have absolutely no principled way to maintain that you know what books belong in the New Testament. Because that teaching comes from the same bishops whose authority you’ve already rejected.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Oh, you dear soul.

    There is One Truth. One God. There is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” And there is, of course, One Church. Jesus did not name Simon bar Jona “Kepha” and then say, “on this Kepha I will build my churches!”

    You see, we DO get the point, better than you know. Many of us believed as you do before we actually learned about the history of the Christian faith and started studying the New Testament as understood by its 1st-century Jewish audience, instead of trying to understand it through the cultural lenses of a 21st-century Westerner who’s never attended the Jewish feasts and witnessed the sacrifices in the Temple.

    For example, you say, “call NO ONE else Father.” You get that from a verse in which Jesus tells His hearers to call no one Father, or Master, or Rabbi (in modern terms, “Doctor” or other terms of authority denoting long study would be the equivalent). To a 21st-century Westerner that seems perfectly clear. But a 1st-century Jew laughs at our ignorance of their culture and of how Jesus was teaching. He would say, “Did you not notice He was accusing the Pharisees of being BAD Fathers, BAD Masters, BAD Teachers? That He was describing them as unworthy of their titles? Do you not understand that Rabbis often used colloquial exaggeration to make a point humorous and memorable? If in modern English someone told you it was “raining cats and dogs,” would you rush outside in hopes of gaining a free housepet? When Jesus told you to cut off your right hand or pluck out your right eye, did you show up at church the next day typing slower and lacking depth perception?”

    And of course this 1st-century Jewish understanding of Jesus’ colloquial style is backed up by the behavior of the apostles. Did THEY refuse to call anyone “Father?” No.

    Anyone who knows their Bible will remember the times that John refers to the elderly men in the Church as “fathers.” They’ll recall that Paul says “you have many teachers (rabbis) but only one father; I became your father….” They’ll recall that Stephen and Peter and John and others referred to Abraham and to their predecessors in Judaism and even to the priests who saw fit to have them arrested and judged as “fathers!” This is in the Bible, my friend. “Have you not read?”

    The real question is not why do all the early Christians refer to their pastors and bishops as “father.”

    The real question is, given that everyone in the Bible uses “father” as a term of respect for their predecessors in the faith and those in authority over them…why don’t you? Don’t you want to be obedient the Bible? Don’t you want to practice a scriptural faith?

    Don’t you want to practice a faith that has SOME connection to the Christianity they practiced in the year 50, the year 75, the year 100, the year 150, the year 200, the year 250, the year 300, the year 350, the years 370 AD – 400 AD when the bishops of the Catholic Church finally got around to setting out which 27 books make up your New Testament, the year 450, the year 500…and so on?

    Or would you rather practice a somewhat-Jesus-influenced faith which some dude invented in the 16th century, and some other dude changed in the 17th century, and some other folks changed again in the 18th century, and some other dudes changed again in the 19th century, and again in the 20th century…all based on their personal fallible re-interpretations of a book they borrowed from the Catholics?

    Your call.

    • RealAmericanHebrew

      TL;DR

    • justintime

      Jesus said what he said – to call no one father, and he gave a reason – because God is our father. You can hardly wish it away. Mary acknowledged she too needed salvation (“my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”), and Jesus called other women believers his mother. And Jesus is the rock on which the church is built – not Peter:
      http://www.wordoftruthradio.com/questions/47.html

      Consider the (Catholic) prophecies of St. Malachy, and consider the whore of Revelation – that city which sits on seven hills and is destroyed. Tell me, are they different? Do you want to worship in that church? The one whose supposedly infallible popes had wives and burnt heretics?

      • Dagnabbit_42

        justintime:

        I want to worship in the Church which Jesus started in the 1st century, the way Jesus intended me to worship.

        As it turns out, that Church is the Catholic Church.

        Since I was raised in Southern Baptist churches and was generically Protestant until middle-age, and since I knew no Catholics, it would never have occurred to me that the Catholic Church would turn out to be right after all. It was “not on my radar,” so to speak. To suggest that it was special in some way would have seemed random to me, a preposterous out-of-nowhere kind of assertion.

        It was only when I was confronted with certain teachings of early Christianity which later Christians abandoned — teachings which are abundantly clear in Scripture IF you know how to read Scripture the way a 1st-century Jew would, but which are obscure to 21st-century Gentiles due to their lack of familiarity with Temple sacrifice, the Mishnah, and so forth — it was only then, that I began to grasp the Big Problem.

        The Big Problem is a disease of Non-Functioning Authority and of Biblical Misunderstanding. But you can’t see it clearly unless you perceive some symptoms first. So let’s look at the symptoms:

        1. Baptism: Is infant baptism correct? Or is baptism reserved for those who’ve made a profession of faith? The Bible isn’t clear either way; it just says “now baptism saves you.”

        But the early Christians did have a debate about baptism. The debate was: “Since baptism is basically the New Covenant equivalent of circumcision, do we have to wait until the baby is eight days old? Or if an infant is in danger of death, can’t we baptize them right away?”

        If THAT was the debate among men who’d learned Christianity from the apostles, then clearly they were all presupposing that infant baptism is permitted. Why, then, is anyone wrong about it, in our day?

        2. Divorce: Early Christians followed Jesus’ words from Matthew 5 and 19, and held that divorce from a legitimate Christian marriage was impossible; it simply didn’t happen in God’s eyes. Even if the civil authority said you were divorced, in God’s eyes you were still married. You could not, therefore, remarry, and no Christian clergyman would perform your second marriage ceremony.

        However, if the marriage was not a legitimate Christian marriage to start with, then this permanency was absent. And the episkopoi, the priestly men who succeeded the apostles in leading Jesus’ church, had authority to adjudicate if there was any question about the validity of a first marriage.

        Again: All perfectly clear and known about the practice of the early Christians. Yet here we are: In the 21st century, Christians divorce Christians and remarry to other Christians, with Christian clergy performing the ceremony, in outright violation of Jesus’ words.

        How did that happen?

        Consider the matter of using artificial contraception: It is a sexual perversion roughly equivalent to various homosexual acts and fetishes, in the eyes of basically all Christians up until the 20th century. And then…whew! What happened?

        This is not mere speculation. This is what they call “actionable intel”: It affects what you do, today. I felt I needed to figure it out. So I did a big 4-year research splurge on the topic.

        Along the way I learned enough about rabbinical teaching to understand why your interpretation of “call no man father” is totally wrong, from a 1st-century Jewish perspective.

        And, along the way, I found out that all the serious Protestant scholars admit that in Matthew 16, Jesus is making Simon bar Jonah the Rock, and in so doing, He is appointing Simon to the role of being the Al-Bayith of His Messianic Kingdom. They admit that, because they aren’t ignorant of Greek, of Aramaic, of Parallelism, of the Al-Bayith, of Caiphas, of Isaiah 22, of the Temple Rock, and of various other things a 1st-century Jew would know about. They deny, of course, that Peter had successors — an argument which is easily defeated on other grounds — but what you just said about Jesus being the rock is, I’m sorry to say, profoundly Scripturally ignorant. (And even a Protestant scholar will say so.)

        It’s not your fault; you’re just repeating what you’ve been told, by men you trusted. They weren’t worthy of your trust, I’m afraid.

        By the way, the St. Malachy “prophecy” is not authentic or authoritative (and doesn’t come from St. Malachy). Also, the city in the book of Revelation can only be either 1st century Jerusalem or 1st century pagan Rome. (The Vatican, by the way, is outside Rome and across the river, and for that reason and a few dozen others cannot be regarded to match the “whore” in Revelation.)

        And of course the infallibility of the Magisterium has nothing to do with whether popes sin or not. They all do; recently-sainted John Paul II went to confession weekly. And most Catholics believe that some of their popes are likely in hell, just like some Protestant pastors are.

        In short: The arguments you know against Catholicism are hilarious, because they come not only from ignorance of Scripture, but from ignorance of Catholicism.

        I recommend three books: “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott Hahn, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating, and “Upon This Rock” by Steve Ray.

        I also recommend the audio downloads from John Martignoni at the Bible Christian Society website, and the audio course downloads from Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre, and John Bergsma at the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. These will help you understand the relevant topics from a more Catholic, and more Scripture-informed, perspective.

        That way, the next time you encounter a former Protestant who left Protestantism because it wasn’t Jewish enough or Biblical enough, you will at least know how to engage with them.

      • Morgan

        Uh… Word of Truth Radio? As proof?

        Please go to an actual Christian church as soon you can. Live the faith for a month and you’ll know more about Christ than if you listen to a thousand radio and television preachers.

    • JESUSFREQ

      Actually, I studied the history of the Bible and the Roman Catholic church corrupted it more than anyone else

      • Dagnabbit_42

        Your statement is unanswerable; not because it contains any strong arguments, but because it contains the opposite: Two unsupported assertions, the second of which is so utterly silly — and admitted to be so even by anti-Catholic and disinterested parties — as to immediately make the first assertion impossible to believe.

        But may God bless you, and give you the grace to cooperate with whatever light He has provided you.

        • JESUSFREQ

          Ok, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all Catholics are evil or whatever, I was just stating that Martin Luther wasn’t the only one who may have corrupted things. Have a good day though :)

      • lorasinger

        You had better thank the Catholic Church because for a thousand years, it was the only show in town. Without the Catholic church there would be no protestant church.

    • lorasinger

      Sounds like one mythology taking on another mythology. Jesus preached whatever a Jewish rabbi would preach and was dead for 20 years before Paul created the man-god Jesus and the NT is all written by anonymous gentile Pauline Christian converts who never even met Jesus, especially John writing 80 years later.

      • Stephen Sponsler

        you’re just a liar..beside which, “Jesus” was already accounted for well before he walked on this planet all through the old testament. The Entire Old Testament is about Him. Besides which, it was also well noted that He Taught not like the others with Authority and was not like what ‘any other jewish rabbi would teach’…

        • lorasinger

          I have no reason to lie and my information comes from biblical scholars who aren’t preachers so they have no reason to lie either. The old testament has nothing to say about Jesus or a man god. That belief didn’t/doesn’t exist in Israel or Judaism. He stated that he was “sent only to the lost sheep of IsraeL” – and directed his apostles to avoid gentile towns. Paul’s man god Jesus is the one concerned with gentiles and is your Jesus of Christianity.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Tell that to Scott Hahn, John Bergsma, and Brant Pitre at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

    Your father is a bad Catholic to the degree to which he is ignorant of Scripture; but he may be a good Catholic in other ways. But the Catholic Church grants indulgences for the regular reading of Scripture, didn’t you know that? Why doesn’t your father know that? Is he, perhaps, the kind of guy that wouldn’t work terribly hard at knowing his faith, whatever denomination he was in?

    But Catholicism does come from the Word of God. What you don’t get is how totally chock-full of urban legends your grasp of history is.

    Take Tyndale. Now, the Catholic Church was in the habit of translating the Bible into local languages; Saints Cyril and Methodius invented the Cyrillic alphabet for the purpose of translating the Bible and converting the Slavic peoples. (Didn’t you know that bit of history?)

    So of course there were English translations of the Bible, made by monks. But Tyndale was a heretic who didn’t know 1st-century Judaism well enough to understand the Bible, and refused to stop spreading his ignorance around. Should he have been burned? I don’t think so. But it wasn’t because he made a Bible translation, but because (a.) he made a bad one, decorating it with notes that taught people incorrect interpretations of various passages; and (b.) he was leveraging it into a movement to lead people to a false Christianity, just like Marcion and other heretics before him. The penalty was too harsh by modern standards…but please, if you want to reference a historical court-trial, try to get the charges right!

    Catholics do not worship Mary. They give highest veneration to her, and give veneration to other saints, besides. But Catholics are forbidden to worship any saint, including Mary. I heard of a small group of nuns whose veneration of Mary got off-base and crossed the line into worship (“adoration” is the technical term — I believe they were offering the Eucharist to Mary instead of to God the Father, which is a HUGE, HUGE no-no) and they were excommunicated until they repented.

    Some Protestants don’t know the ancient Christian faith (or, 1st-century Judaism) well, and so when they see Catholics ask Mary to intercede before the throne of her Son on their behalf, these Protestants say, “Those Catholics are praying to Mary! They think she’s omnipotent! They think she’s God! Polytheism has arisen again!” …and so on.

    But this is all the result of ignorance and uncharity.

    What is actually happening is that a matriarchal saint is being asked to intercede for them before the throne of God. It is like having a bunch of other Christians in your “prayer chain”; you call them up to pray for you when you’re facing problems. Except that, in this case, the person praying for you is the “Theotokos,” the “Gebireh of the Kingdom of Heaven,” the “queen mother of the Messiah.” (People who really know the ancient Christian faith, know these terms already, but you may wish to look them up if you were raised in one of the modern spin-off religions.)

    This practice of asking a saint to intercede for you was well known in 1st-century Judaism, and Jesus never condemned it; for example, women would pray at the tomb of Rachel, asking Rachel to pray to God on their behalf that they might have children. Nobody ever thought Rachel was God! …but they thought that having a saintly woman who was already “in the bosom of Abraham” in their prayer-chain could only help!

    How much more so, if the saintly woman in question is the mother of the Divine Logos, the 2nd person of the Trinity, the God-Man, the Messiah! (Wouldn’t you want her praying for you? I mean, look what happened when some friends of hers ran out of wine at their wedding: She asked — I might even say told — her Son to do something about it, and the result was His first public miracle!)

    See, here’s the deal: You have exposure to Catholicism, but you don’t really know the whys and wherefores of it. You are, in a sense, worse off than someone who’s never met a Catholic: You think you know what Catholicism is, but you don’t. (And if your dad really doesn’t know his Bible, then he isn’t in any position to teach you about Catholicism, is he?)

    Can I recommend that you download the MP3 files of various talks given by Scott Hahn, Mike Aquilina, John Bergsma, and Brant Pitre? Again, look ‘em up: Google ‘em. Listen to Scott Hahn’s series on “John’s Sacramental Gospel.” Listen to his conversion story, or his talk on “Answering Common Objections to the Catholic Faith.”

    At least then, when you criticize Catholicism, you’ll have heard what Catholicism actually IS, from an informed source.

  • jaybird1951

    “She was not God’s mother.” That was declared a heresy at the Council of Ephesus, I believe. To call Mary only the mother of the earthly Jesus is to deny His nature as true God and true man. What you are proposing is that Christ had two separate natures, which is a heresy. After the Council, Mary was declared Theotokos (God bearer) in Greek and Mater Dei (Mother of God) in Latin.

  • James

    Mary had a son.
    Mary’s son is God.
    Therefore, Mary is the mother of God.

    Don’t overthink this.

  • James

    Jesus is our King.
    Mary is his mother.

    The mother of the King is a Queen. (Queen mother, specifically).
    Mary is in heaven with Jesus.

    Therefore, Mary is Queen of Heaven.

    Once again, don’t overthink this, people.

  • ME

    To deny that Mary is the Mother of God is essentially denying the divinity of Christ. Although Mary was not divine, if you’re saying that Mary is not the Mother of God, then you are saying that Jesus is not God.

  • Joseph Essien-Obot

    A “vessel” that was in complete communion with God the Father. So complete that communion was that through the power of the Spirit, who is communion, God’s love, she conceived and bore God the Son, not that he did not exist before her but that he was made present in the world, reconciling us to the Father. God calls us to his communion, are we so united to him that we too conceive and bear his Son to the world? Is Mary not that ultimate calling of every Christian person through all of time? If we are to be reconciled to the Father through the Son are we not called to Mary? May the humble love of Mary bring us to the Son so that we can bear him and be reconciled to the Father through his Spirit. Amen.

  • Joseph Essien-Obot

    And so what you are saying is that in our salvation we may not bear Jesus. We are all called, like Mary, to bear Jesus, that is our salvation. Mary is the ultimate fulfillment of the salvation that Jesus is. If Mary as an object was not there God would have chosen another, a carbon copy of the person of Mary in her quality and our argument would continue. Your misunderstanding of Mary certainly characterizes your understanding of your relationship with God and what your salvation is. If you do not bear Jesus in the world like Mary, you know, that ultimate birthing of Jesus, then you cannot be saved. The more we are like Mary, the more united to God in his Son we are. Does that sound like being saved? Does this understanding sound inconsistent to you? Your characterization certainly does sound inconsistent to me.

  • Joseph Essien-Obot

    You mean like the Trinity, or like Jesus is God so Mary did not give birth to him, you know, like being his mother, or like we should be like Mary so that we too can bear Jesus and so be saved, or like Jesus offered himself to his enemies as sacrifice for our salvation in the bread and wine he shared with his disciples at the Last Supper, or that partaking in this bread and wine he shared by discerning his body and blood in them we cannot find salvation? I mean, are you present to reality or what? Are these from thin air or do they sound like something you’ve read in a book referred to as the Bible?

    Someone has already adequately responded to your Tyndale nonsense below. And that “worshipping Mary” stuff, snap out of it. Asking of another is not worship, soliciting from another by kneeling is not worship. I wonder if you had to kneel before a terrorist so as not to harm your child you would consider that worship… nonsense! Worship is when you are abandoned to something as your creator, the source and the focus of your being. Be careful that you are not being drafted to dupe the people of God from their 2,000 years of faithfulness to Truth.

  • Peter K

    Hey 1truth1god -
    While I can appreciate your passion, suggesting that Catholicism is “completely inconsistent” with the teachings of Jesus smacks of haughty self-righteousness. Give credit where credit is due and remember that God through the Bible asks us to be peace-makers and not sowers of discord.

    God bless you and Rose Marie both!

  • http://www.kenranderson.com/ Ken R. Anderson

    Your statements are aimed at a straw man of your own construction, not authentic Catholic doctrine.

    Regarding “Pray and confess ONLY to God,” you clearly disagree with the Word of God which tells us to confess our faults to one another.

    Regarding “call NO ONE else “Father””, no one means NO ONE, meaning I cannot even refer to my dad as Father? Seriously?

    But glad to see you agree with at least one Catholic doctrine. “do not worship and pray to idols” is solid Catholic teaching,
    It is a good thing you ran out of room. You are embarrassing yourself.

    • mike

      Actually, calling a spiritual father, Father So-And-So like it was their name is what Jesus was referring to. So protestant pastors whom call themselves Pastor are guilty of the same sin. Does not Paul say stuff like “I, Paul” or “Paul, an apostle”?

      • Phil

        In 1 Corinthians 4:15 Paul calls himself a father to the people he had proclaimed the Gospel to. Just saying!

        • mike

          But did he call himself Father Paul?

  • IZ

    That kid is making this whole thing up or his brain created false memories while he was in surgery. I don’t think for a second that he was really in Heaven.

    • http://www.rkoelectric.com MasterBob

      Unlike Colton…I actually DID die….clinically dead for approx. 10 minutes (it is well documented in my medical files…I pulled all my files)…at 54 yrs of age – so I’m NOT a 3 yr old kid recanting memories to my Dad (his is a Pastor…on the contrary – my Dad is anything but)…after continuous CPR, epinephrine boost (pure adrenaline ) and 2 shock sessions with the paddles…I finally came back – now intubated and on full life support – but mostly unresponsive for the next 4 days in a coma. I have NO false memories of my Crossings – they are permanently etched in my mind…I relive the entire sequence often…I can NOT state for certain if Colton’s accounts are real…or not (No one can)…but I am 110% certain mine are. Did I cross over to Heaven..? I firmly believe I did..multiple times…because there is NO place quite like it here on Earth…not even close….not even by a long shot. Believe what ever you choose…but until you experience what I have…you will never know for certain….I DO.

      • http://www.rkoelectric.com MasterBob

        Having just reviewed my resuscitation records…I should note that it was an atropine boost they gave me (similar to epinephrine) along with CPR and the paddles at 200 joules – I want my account to be as factual as it possibly can be – so I needed to make that edit….just the facts…and nothing but.

  • Marianne

    The father was a pastor who read the child Bible stories. Children’s bible stories usually have colorful illustrations. The child was never *clinically dead*, as most people who experience a near death experience are.
    The family was financially strapped. Many of the child’s recollections came out as answers to questions from his father. The whole experience has been embellished and given momentum in the years since the event.
    I believe in heaven. I believe people have near death experiences and return having learned something and they can share this with others.
    I just don’t believe this child had anything other than a dream, and being an imaginative and creative child with a father who needs money, believes that he saw Jesus in heaven.

  • eddiestardust

    Just remember that ALL Christianity dates back from Jesus to Peter and the other 11 Apostles and The Roman Catholic Church….

  • newenglandsun

    >>>>>She was not God’s mother as we would refer to God the Father of the trinity<<<<<
    No. She was not the Mother of God the Trinity or the Mother of God the Father. She was the Mother of Jesus who was God the Son and hence, the Mother of God the Son. Since each member of the Trinity is wholly God, she was therefore the Mother of God.

  • pbecke

    To suggest that Mary was little more than an incubator is to insult Christ. She is the Queen Mother, for crying out loud.

    I don’t know if a ‘knees up’ at Christmas will be Jesus’ style, but I’ll bet Jesus has all his relatives and friends round for whatever merry occasion of remembrance of their shared experiences on earth they do have up there.

  • mike

    Kathy, looking back at it, I am surprised you wrote about this non-Catholic visit to heaven with all the Catholic views concerning the unbaptized, including infants, being in hell. And with the RCC rightly teaching life begins at conception (one of only a few views that I agree with her on), then according to RCC beliefs, Colton’s miscarriaged sister is in hell because she wasn’t baptized.
    But you don’t believe that, do you, Kathy?
    Jesus said, concerning children, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” and, “their angels in heaven”. Why did I point out “their angels in heaven”? Because Paul said that angels are ministering spirits to those that are going to inherit salvation. (Matthew 19:12; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14) Also, in the Old Covenant, David lost his child before he was circumcised (which was a picture of baptism), and his child was still in heaven. (2 Samuel 12:18,23; Colossians 2:11-12)
    Only one’s pride in their own beliefs or their pride in their family’s traditional beliefs could allow someone to believe in such blasphemy. In love, Kathy, I am in agreement with the Spirit when I say, “Get out of her!” (Revelation 18:4)

    • kathyschiffer

      Mike, the Catholic Church does not teach that the unbaptized (including infants) are in hell. Rather, the Church holds the “hope of salvation”–believing that a merciful God would not relegate a person to hell when that person had no knowledge of Him.

      To prove my point, here is a lengthy article on the topic from the Vatican. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

      • mike

        What about from Augustine to VaticanII, Kathy? A little too late to just recently admit a mere hope for the unbaptized infants to not be in limbo (which is blatantly false since all under the age of accountability are in heaven as I pointed out).

  • Ron Turner

    LOL at the Know Nothings

  • RDman

    Wow..

    I just watched this movie about Colton Burpo… and thought I’d google and see what he’s up to these days, and I happen upon this discussion thread full of the so called “faithful”, and you’re all ripping into each other like a bunch of rabid tomcats.

    Thanks for reaffirming my complete rejection of any earthly church, and illustrating precisely why people on this planet can NOT GET ALONG.

    You’re all pathetic.

  • LiveOaksandSpanishMoss

    No matter what your opinion on praying to her, I think we owe Mary the respect of not reducing her to a birth canal. At the very least, she was human, which means she was made in the image of God and therefore not an object to be ridiculed. Also, I would be wary of making fun of Jesus’ earthly mama. Just sayin.

  • c2itthen

    Luke 11:27-28 And
    it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the
    company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that
    bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

  • Jon

    My question then for you do you think that that Jesus is not God? If Jesus is God,and Mary is the mother of Jesus, then Of course we can say Mary, the Mother of God.

  • kathyschiffer

    The Catholic teaching which troubles you, that Mary is the Mother of God, was actually developed not to honor Mary, but to preserve our understanding of who Christ was and to combat the Nestorian heresy. Here, in this other blog post, is an explanation which you may find helpful. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2012/08/mary-the-mother-of-god-honored-in-worlds-largest-stained-glass-window/

  • Jane

    She is the New Ark of the Covenant and the ancient Israelities revered the Ark because it carried in it The Way (Moses’ rod) the truth (the tablets of the 10′commandments) and the life (manna). In the same way but more profoundly, the Virgin Mary carried the Savior of the World, God’s only begotten Son. She was the one who gave Jesus his humanity. We should give her extremely great honor and not say “She was just a vessel in which the Savior of the world came to be.” Just …. just…..? Really? We definitely should not worship her but we need to give her the honor that Jesus would. After all, she was His mother.

  • God’s Follower

    It’s nice to see a lot of comments and opinions here, both of which are trying to persuade the other and protect what’s theirs. However, as someone who’s still unsure whether I should stay as a Catholic or become a Christian, I do feel that the Christian way of teaching resonates more with me. For so long, I’ve been on the quest of trying to figure out why we worship idols, statues, and pictures. And, of course, why worship Mary. Mary herself was only a created being, just like Satan. We therefore should not worship her, as the first commandment tells us to worship only God.

    And regarding reading the Bible, I find it sad that most of us, when challenged about their beliefs, would say, “I read the Bible.” Yes, everyone can read the Bible but are we really reading the real writings and laws of God? His real words? Remember, everyone can translate a version, edit it, and repackage it. Anyone can come up with a business entity and have a dual purpose for doing so. All this religion business seem to be profitable, after all.

    i think I have to decide for myself which Bible should I really follow, rather than blindly following rules and traditions imposed by such religions, especially Catholicism. Look towards history and compare that with your bibles.

    • Dave

      Uhhhh….Catholics are Christians. We don’t worship Mary, for goodness sakes!! It doesn’t sound like you know much about the Catholic Church when you make such elementary mistakes, and the way you speak does not sound like a Catholic. I became a Catholic after reading the Bible carefully as well as the writings of the early Christians.

      How do you think the Bible came about? It came about when Catholic Bishops decided which writings of the Jews (OT) and Early Church (NT) belonged in it.

  • Harharhar

    Shouldn’t this story have a new Update? That the entire thing was fake?

    • kathyschiffer

      Here’s my update, Har. Colton Burpo stands by his story, which was not fake. The story you may be thinking of is that of Alex Malarkey. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2015/01/alex-malarkey-and-colton-burpo-both-claimed-to-visit-heaven-only-one-story-was-true/

      • http://www.rkoelectric.com MasterBob

        Having actually died (clinically documented – no heart-beat, no pulse, no response for ~10 mins until revived ) I can concur with some of Colton’s N.D.E (he never actually died) account…but I have MUCH more to add (what Colton – as a 3 yr old recalls – falls far short of what an adult can recall)….having seen the Movie, I firmly believe the bulk of it to be factual – but he left so MUCH out. Currently working on my book (in response to thousands of requests in the 2 yrs since my death / revival)…and anyone who knows me will attest I am a very detailed orientated person…and NOTHING in my book is fictional….not one word. I admire Colton for standing by his story….just as I stand firmly behind mine and I thank the Good Lord everyday for being able to still be here and share the Message…..absolutely nothing fake about it.

  • lorasinger

    McDonald, James (2009-11-01). Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church

  • prez

    How foolish do they all look now.

  • MarianDevotee15

    Um… did you forget the doctrine that Mary was assumed into Heaven that was confirmed by the Holy See a few hundred years ago but was accepted by early Christian writers such as St. Augustine and several others? Remember the feast that is a holy day of obligation (in the United States)(we have to treat that day like a Sunday – Mass, no servile work) on August 15? Mary was not “just a vessel”. Mary was a person, created in the Image of God, just as we are, yet there is more to her than the usual human being. She WAS the Mother of God, because she gave birth to Jesus, Who is God, in the form of a human being 100%, yet He is also fully God. So she is the Mother of God but not in the Trinity. She is human but she has a certain higher level because she was pure – completely without Original Sin or any other sin – and she was given the blessing of becoming the Mother of Jesus. Our Lady, Queen of the Universe, pray for us!

  • Ken H

    The movie and the boy’s testimony about seeing Jesus was a lie. There was obvious facts of it being a lie before the boy actually recanted his story.

    1. The image of Jesus the boy saw had longer hair. This is not historically or biblically accurate; 1 Corinthians 11:14 and the research of the culture between that time supports that.

    2. Unfortunately, like most depictions of Christ having light hair, blue eyes and white skin, it’s false. Scholars and evidence supports that Jesus, like most 1st century Jews, were dark skinned.

    Here’s one article on the boys recant – there are many more;

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/01/15/boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-going-back-to-publisher/

  • Greg L.

    In your statement of 1/16/2015, you said: “I want to keep telling people about my *experience* because it has given hope to so many people.”

    It’s like a broken record these days: Man’s experience trumps God’s Word.

    Not to rain on anyone’s lucrative little parade or anything, but I have a news flash for you, Colton: Your absurd childhood fantasy does nothing but fuel the carnal speculation of scripturally ignorant people—it doesn’t give anyone “hope.”

    Complete trust in God and His Word and faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ…*That’s* the only thing that gives people real hope.

    (How’s *that* for a statement coming from a “Pharisee,” Rev. Burpo?)

    Colton, *you* say you went to heaven. *Scripture* says you didn’t.

    Sorry, bud. My money is on Scripture.

  • Steve Beckle

    It’s so sad that you and so many others don’t see this as the great hoax that it is. I’ve seen this kid and his father on many TV interviews, and it’s clear that this is a complete fraud. The kid even once said that while he was in heaven, he wanted to go back home. Think about that….it says it all. Plus, his accounts of what he saw there are just so inane and childish. The Bible tells us that to be in the presence of God is to be overwhelmed by His glory to the point of almost being speechless. Colton on the other hand sits there and recounts nonsense about Jesus having a horse, people having wings (not Biblical), Jesus wearing purple (not Biblical, He only wore purple before He was crucified)…..etc. etc. etc. He sounds as if he could just as easily be recounting his day at the amusement park as little emotion as he shows. But it’s obvious he’s trying hard to remember what he’s been told to say. Also, notice in any of these interviews that his dad answers many of the questions for him…wouldn’t want to get our stories wrong now, would we. The revelation of Jesus was complete 2000 years ago. Jesus does not pull people into heaven for a look around so they can go back and tell others what they saw. This is all a giant scam.

  • Henry

    There are a couple of things that have always bothered me about Christianity. Why would God set up the story of Adam and Eve so that there had to be a scapegoat (sacrifice/Jesus) to save mankind. The second question is: If God is all forgiving and loving, why would there be any hell at all? I can’t think of a single thing my child could do that would make me send her to hell. And that is just me. God is by far and away more understanding, knowing, forgiving, etc. than me.

  • Henry

    Actually, I have another question: Why would God create all those millions of people in countries like India where there is little to no chance for them to learn about Christ and then make believing in Christ the one mandatory element to go to Heaven. It is like a parent making up a word like hooseywhatsit and saying that if the kid couldn’t come up with that word in their one lifetime, then the game was over and I would just throw them away… only worse, I’d be so mad that I would send them to a burning pit to be tortured forever. Sounds more like an evil mage than the loving God I have always believed in.

  • Korou

    It’s hardly surprising that the three-year old son of a pastor should dream that he went to heaven. It must have been nice, though, for him to find out that having that dream makes everyone pay attention to him. What a lucky little boy!

  • Newp Ort

    “Then Todd stepped in, explaining that he didn’t want people to misunderstand and think that the other stories were from an entirely different child–but that as Colton grew, his vocabulary increased and he remembered and recounted still other stories, many of them.”
    And it’d also been made clear to him that you gotta milk that cash cow for all it’s worth before your fifteen minutes are up. I’m sure we’ll get more books as his vocabulary continues to increase. If I were his folks I’d put that human piggy bank into SAT prep classes.

  • AFBooks

    Hmm. After having read the book as well as the Bible, it seems that the Colton family has given us new revelation apart from the Scriptures, especially in the way he describes the Father and Son. What happened to the Trinity? Also, according to Jesus in His story about Lazarus, no one could cross back to the temporal world.

    How many conflicting stories do we have in one book after another of people who have gone through an NDE (near death experience) and returned to tell of it? Just check out Amazon’s book list on NDE’s. Dr. Eben Alexander had a very different take, and yet he joins Eastern religions on tours. Many others give yet more conflicting stories of heaven. Alexander is making a lot of dough on ship tours and through other venues. Gone from the Burpo website is how broke they were when their son got sick. But now…with all the interviews, movies, books and trinkets, tours and so on, that money is flowing in. Follow the money and you will find their changing message.

  • Brad O’Donnell

    The Southern Baptist Convention has ordered all Baptist organizations to cease and desist involvement on the “Heaven is For Real” issue because it is anti-scriptural. It isn’t religion…it’s Christian Spirituality because it opposes judgment theology and supports blissful NDE spirituality…

    You need to understand that the bible was not published by Christians for the purpose of creating the sacred testament of the faith._It was published by a pagan Roman emperor (Constantine) when his empire was crumbling for his objective of perpetuating his beloved paganism into the religion of the future. That’s why our religion is “Roman Christianity,”_instead of original Christianity.

    Jesus only said that God is a “god of love.”There is no Hell…It’s a 100% pagan concept introduced by the pagan Romans when they commandeered Jewish Christianity 300 years after Christ. Jesus’_Christianity had no judgment, Hell, Easter or Yuletide… These were all pagan religion from Roman Mithraism. The Romans hated and executed the real Christians. You have to remember that much! Doesn’t anybody read history anymore?

    Bishop John Spong of Newark says, “People don’t understand that_the church has always dangled us between their imaginary Heaven and Hell as a control tactic.” Why not start over and learn about Jesus’ Christianity of love, and get over the Roman Christianity of fear and control that the Romans_changed it to being?

    Watch and learn…video at… http://www.wheretonowstpaul.com._Brad O’Donnell, Richmond, Va.

  • believer691

    If all those interested they should really be reading Books like Heaven Is Real But so is hell, Poem Of the Man God and True Life In God


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