Thanks. But a REAL disturbing question I really want to ask is. How would a growing Catholic respond to this verse. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (
I Timothy 4:1-3) If a Protestant asks this and says the Catholic Church stopped its faith a long time ago. How would you respond. And how would you respond to the abstain from food and marriage thing? Thanks.
“How to explain a common Protestant charge”
What is a GREAT question, and one we do encounter from time to time,
When ever you encounter something like this the first three steps are to
1. PRAY: Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. 2. Put the verse back into context. In this case it would be well to READ all of chapter THREE and Four to get a fuller picture of what the author is trying to convey. 3. Never forget that Jesus Himself has warranted the TRUTH [ABSOLUTELY has to be w/o any exceptions] of ALL that the Church teaches on ALL matters of faith belief and Morals. And if this doesn’t resolve your concerns DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID AND CONTACT ME or someone qualified to explain it for you.
So allow me to start from this point:
Jesus only gave the “keys to heaven” to one Person on behalf of One Church. That means in an ABSOLUTE SENSE all salvation MUST [and does] flow through the RCC.
Mt. 16: 18-19 [Jesus speaking directly to Simon Peter in the presence of ALL of the Apostles] “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” [These powers are extended to ALL of the Apostles and to Peters successors on Mt. 18:18]
Nowhere in the entire Bible does God [Yahweh or Jesus] permit, tolerate or allow more than One God, One set of Faith beliefs and Only One Church [ark or temple]. ONLY ONE! So
that leads to an interest ring question. On what basis; on what foundation do all of the other; all man-made, religions justify there existence?
Keep in mind that that “binding and loosing” in this application means 1. UNLIMITED Power of Governance to make, void laws and establish what is to be obeyed 2. It has a secondary meaning for the powers to forgives sin in the name of Jesus.
John 20:19-22 “
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week
, [The FIRST PENTECOST … this is when Christ Officially establishes His CC and Peter as its Leader] the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” It is doubtful that there are many more powerful statements in the Bible than this one> “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” … This is a literal transfer of God’s OWN Power and Authority to Peter and His Church!
God’s Own warranty of ALL TRUTHS taught by His RCC on ALL matters of Faith-beliefs and Morals.
John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.”
John 17:15-19 “I do not pray that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil one. Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth”
Keep in mind that when these words were spoken written, and included in the Bible that the RCC was the ONLY Church in existence in the entire WORLD! Only The Church Founded by God [not a man-made religion] has God Himself as the Warranty of her Teachings.
Now lets get to your concerns:
1st. Tim.3 is Paul speaking about Bishops, to a very young [for the position of Bishop], Timothy. Paul is 1. Explaining the requirements of the office 2. Encouraging Timothy that despite his young age; GOD has chosen him for this position. So do not be intimidated.
In 1st. Tim. 4: Paul is warning Timothy about heretics and heresies that Timothy [the newly appointed Bishop], will encounter.
Notice in verse One: It specifies in “the LAST TIMES.” It’s NOT for Timothy’s time, and unless you know something I don’t; we don’t know when the End times will be [Mt. Chapter25], so it’s not even for the present times; not even about us and the RCC.
But for the sake of debate, let’s pretend that it is. THEN what do we have to say? Verse three seems to be the “finger pointed at our practices. [AS a FYI: Church practices are changeable. They are neither Doctrine or Dogma]. … Verse 3 “
3 Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.”
The first thing we notice is the word “Forbid”
, and that in it’s context it’s implied that this is an always and every time rule. NO! Neither is true, neither is factual.
Let’s address the marriage issue first
…. It is Historically provable that when this was spoken and written; the RCC had No LAW against Marriage! Paul even says that a Bishop should have been married to ONLY One wife. 1st. Tim.3:
1Tim.3: 1-2 “ The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher,”
It would not be for HUNDREDS of years before celibacy became a requirement of the Priesthood. When it did it was because now as a more MATURE and experienced Church, She was able to determine that those clerics who freely choose celibacy in order to better serve God, were by Far, more consistently holy, pious, and effective in there Ministry. It was Because of this finding that the Church made it a requirement of the Priesthood and even in Religious Life.
Here is what our Protestant brethren overlook.
1. No One is ever forced to become a priest or religious. John 15: 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
2. Everyone who aspires to this Godly call is well aware of what is required. Because it is God calling someone to Orders or Religious life; God provides [OFFERS] all of the grace necessary to fulfill this requirement.
3 . Wile mandated, it nevertheless is a purely voluntary act KNOWN WELL before anyone is asked to take Final Vows.
Now we move on to “abstain from meats.”
1. In the context the inference is that Catholics are NEVER permitted to eat meat. That simply is UNTRUE.
2. When God first Adam and Eve He ONLY permitted then to eat as vegetarians. Genesis 1: 29 “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”
3. Overlooked is the FACT that Jesus gave [by absolute necessity] the Unlimited Powers of Governance to Peter and the RCC. [Mt. 16:18-19 above and John 17:15-19 above.]
John 21: 15,17 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
This is a COMMAND. Peter is to protect, teach, guide and guard the “flock” that Christ has placed him in charge of. The Church is empowered to do what ever is seen as BEST for the sanctification of souls….. Suffering WITH Christ is part of that necessary teaching. … Luke 14:7 “
And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. “
1Pet.4: 13 ” But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
1Pet.5: 1, 9 “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.”
2Tim.4: 5“As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
Phil.1: 29“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, “
2Thes.1: 5“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering “
4.Today the Friday ONLY FAST has been lifted and any sacrifice can be substituted for it. Except for Holy Thursday and Good Friday; there are NO longer any absolutely required day’s of “Fast and Abstinence.” BUT even when there was, it was Fridays ONLY. And it was for the Spiritual benefit of US; a source of GRACE for US.
Now as for “stopped our Faith”.
On what evidence is this ridiculous claim made. We have an unbroken line of Popes, Teaching and practices that date back to the Apostles themselves, the same Bible and the same Seven Sacraments. So on what grounds, what facts do they make such foolish claims?
And despite the Many that have left the RCC, thus endangering there salvation [Heb. 6:4-10], we are still the largest church in America and the second largest in the entire world. We have over ONE BILLION Catholic brothers and sisters.
Hope you find this answers your concerns, if not let me know,
God Bless you,
As further evidence that I’m sharing the Full Teachings of our catholic Church….
I’ve copied the comments form
Haydock’s Catholic Commentary done in the late 1800’s.
It’s still valid today.1 Timothy iv.
Notes & Commentary:
He warns him against heretics; and exhorts him to the exercise of piety.
“1 Now the Spirit manifestly said, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, 3 Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving”
In the last times. Literally, last days; i.e. hereafter, or in days to come. — To spirits of error and doctrines of devils; or, to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, as in the Protestant translation. The sense must be, that men shall teach false doctrine by the suggestion of the devil.
Their conscience seared; hardened: a metaphor from the custom of burning malefactors with a hot iron.
Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, &c. Here says St. Chrysostom are foretold and denoted the heretics called Encratites, the Marcionites, Manicheans, &c. who condemned all marriages as evil, as may be seen in St. Irenæus, Epiphanius, St. Augustine, Theodoret, &c. These heretics held a god who was the author of good things, and another god who was the author or cause of all evils; among the latter they reckoned, marriages, fleshmeats, wine, &c. The doctrine of Catholics is quite different, when they condemn the marriages of priests and of such as have made a vow to God to lead always a single life; or when the Church forbids persons to eat flesh in Lent, or on fasting-days, unless their health require it. We hold that marriage in itself is not only honourable, but a sacrament of divine institution. We believe and profess that the same only true God is the author of all creatures which are good of themselves; that all eatables are to be eaten with thanksgiving, and none of them to be rejected, as coming from the author of evil. When we condemn priests for marrying, it is for breaking their vows and promises made to God of living unmarried, and of leading a more perfect life; we condemn them with the Scripture, which teaches us that vows made are to be kept; with St. Paul, who in the next chap. (ver. 12) teaches us, that they who break such vows incur their damnation. When the Church, which we are commanded to obey, enjoins abstinence from flesh, or puts a restraint as to the times of eating on days of humiliation and fasting, it is by way of self-denial and mortification: so that it is not the meats, but the transgression of the precept, that on such occasions defiles the consciences of the transgressors. “You will object, (says St. Chrysostom) that we hinder persons from marrying; God forbid,” &c. St. Augustine, (lib. 30. contra Faustum. chap. vi.) “You see (says he) the great difference in abstaining from meats for mortification sake, and as if God was not the author of them.” We may observe that God, in the law of Moses, prohibited swine’s flesh and many other eatables; and that even the apostles, in the Council of Jerusalem, forbad the Christians, (at least about Antioch) to eat at that time blood and things strangled; not that they were bad of themselves, as the Manicheans pretended. (Witham) — St. Paul here speaks of the Gnostics and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage and the use of all kind of meat, because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle: whereas the Church of God so far from condemning marriage, holds it to be a holy sacrament, and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever, in proper times and seasons, though she does not judge all kinds of diet proper for days of fasting and penance. (Challoner) — We may see in the earliest ages[centuries] of Christianity, that some of the most infamous and impure heretics that ever went out of the Church, condemned all marriage as unlawful, at the same time allowing the most unheard of abominations: men without religion, without faith, without modesty, without honour. See St. Clement of Alexandria, lib. 3. Strom.