Nowadays, people commonly state that they are "just Christian". They are unaware that there is no such thing. All Bible-only Christianity is a form of Protestantism. Bible-only Christianity did not exist until the Protestant reformation in the 1500's.
"A man cannot have salvation, except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church he can have everything except salvation. He can have honor, he can have Sacraments, he can sing alleluia, he can answer amen, he can possess the gospel, he can have and preach faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; but never except in the Catholic church will he be able to find salvation." --St. Augustine (354-430), Discourse to the People of the Church at Caesarea, ca. 418
The main Protestant bodies profess Salvation by Faith Alone. They deny Free Will, and therefore personal responsibility for sin and good deeds. If a person “Believes” then he is saved. This is standard Protestantism. This is the teaching of the original founders. And this “truth” was never known until Luther and his comrades figured it out, 1,500 years after the death of Jesus Christ.
This absolute absence of charity is the most annihilating tenet of Protestantism. And it is this one tenet binds together the major Protestant bodies. This is what makes Protestantism so popular and tenacious. It frees people from all responsibility to do good and avoid evil. They have nothing to fear, yet the very Bible they claim tells us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” A parade of heresies have come and gone throughout the history of the Church, but this one, is obviously the most popular. No wonder, you can do whatever you want, and go straight to heaven!
If you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
Charity - or the Love of God – is everything, and here it is not in existence at all. The very heart and soul of religion is gone. This is not religion mixed with error – this is no religion at all.
“If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Cor: 13: 1-3
Protestants will often get quite testy as soon as you suggest there is such a thing as personal responsability for doing right and wrong. And the few Protestant bodies that do believe in free will, were born of the original bodies, that do not.
“A bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”
Protestantism is missing the very heart and soul of religion: the Love of God, and of one's neighbor.
Protestants disregard Apostolic Tradition, and of course, the teaching authority of the Church. They say they get their religion out of the Bible. That sounds nice at first, but.... “the Church” is mentioned some fourteen times in the Bible! So their church is “The Church” that is mentioned in the Bible. The Church existed before the books of the Bible were written. The Bible itself comes from the Catholic Church. The Council of Carthage, in the year 397, after careful examination, declared certain books to be the Canon of Sacred Scripture, thus forming “the Bible”. The Bible, by the way, means “Book”.
“Without tradition,” says Collier, “we could not prove that the Old, any more than the New Testament contains the word of God.” “Tradition, not Scripture,” Lessing says, “is the rock on which the church of Jesus Christ is built.”-“Catholic Doctrine as Defined by the Council of Trent,” Rev. A. Nampon, S. J. (R. C.), p. 157. Philadelphia: Peter F. Cunningham, 1869.
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” - 2 Thess. 2:15
The meaning of the Sacred Scriptures is not all perfectly clear. Much of what is written is in metaphors etc. It is very easy to interpret various texts in many different way. So, now we have revelation, but without some manner to arrive at the proper interpretation, we are no better off, since we still have the same chaos and confusion. Again, this is obvious from the way Protestant sects proliferate. So here we see, the necessity of the teaching magisterium of the Church, and the Infallibility of the Pope. The Holy Ghost protects the Church from error on doctrinal matters. There has to be some means to know the Truth. Without this, the integrity of doctrine could not be maintained. With time, everything would take different shades of meaning, an little by little, an entirely different doctrine would take form, that had nothing to do with the original divine revelation. Chaos and confusion would reign.
The Bible itself, warns against this private interpretation:
“And account the long suffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 St. Peter 3: 15-16
"And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:30-31
Protestants all claim to be individually led by the Holy Ghost and they have splintered into 3,000 or so different churches, not to mention all of the Evangelical types, with each individually believing something different. Certainly this nonsense is not being led by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth.
This is an excellent article on the Subject of private interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures ON PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES
Let's look at the origins of Protestantism, and at it's most prominent founders:
Martin Luther: “I now let you [bishops] know that from now on I shall no longer do you the honor of allowing you — or even an angel from heaven — to judge my teaching or to examine it. For there has been enough foolish humility …and it has not helped… For since I am certain of [my teaching], I shall be your judge … so that whoever does not accept my teaching may not be saved — for it is God’s and not mine. Therefore, my judgment is also not mine but God’s.” Is that not laughable? Now we are bound, to abandon the Church, on the grounds the this man is certain! So, what is this new teaching that we are bound to believe? Very prominent with not only Luther, but the rest as well, is doctrine of salvation by faith alone which denies man's free will. This of course, is what led to Luther say: “Sin valiently, but believe more valiently.” ….. This is evil beyond compare. We see here, neither faith, since Luther is basing his beliefs on his own "certainty", and secondly there is no Charity, there is no love of God if one does not keep the Commandments. “If you love me, keep my commandments” - St. John 14:15 For anything to have value before God, it must be rooted in love.
Martin Luther threw St. James out of his Bible. Not surprising. “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? St. James 2: 14-24
Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, Univeralists, and Methodists, all profess belief in salvation by faith alone. They are SAVED!!!
".....with fear and trembling work out your salvation." - Phillip. 2:12
Then we have John Calvin, who taught a doctrine on predestination which claimed that God chose certain people for salvation, and other's for hell....Essentially that would mean that God hates most people! And that, for no fault of their own!!
"Reformed theologians teach that sin so affects human nature that they are unable even to exercise faith in Christ by their own will. While people are said to retain will, in that they willfully sin, they are unable not to sin because of the corruption of their nature due to original sin. Reformed Christians believe that God predestined some people to be saved. This choice by God to save some is held to be unconditional and not based on any characteristic or action on the part of the person chosen." Wikipedia
Variants of Calvinism are seen in three main groupings: Reformed churches, Presbyterian churches, and Congregational churches. The United Church of Christ is Congregationalist.
Congregational churches are the descendants of the Puritan or Separatist movement that came out of England in the seventeenth century. The Puritans were mostly Calvinist in their theology, and Calvinist concepts remain in such bodies today.
If Martin Luther and John Calvin are not enough, then take a look at how England came to be Protestant: Henry VIII turned to Protestantism because he wanted his marriage declared null, so he could remarry. The Catholic Church would not do this, because there was no reason for his marriage to be invalid. So, he began bloody persecution. Under his daughter Elizabeth I, many young priests were hanged, drawn, and quartered – and sometimes they were still alive when the quartering took place.!
ZWINGLI was a Catholic priest who turned on the Church - From Wikipedia: "In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass."
"Zwingli caught the attention of Martin Luther and other reformers. They met at the Marburg Colloquy and although they agreed on many points of doctrine, they could not reach an accord on the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist."
"In 1531 Zwingli's alliance applied an unsuccessful food blockade on the Catholic cantons. The cantons responded with an attack at a moment when Zurich was ill-prepared. Zwingli was killed in battle at the age of 47" So, Zwingli was going to starve the Catholics, women, children and all.
The Amish are an off-shoot of the original Protestantism, their actual origins are not clear, but they are thought to come from the Anabaptists, who arose around Zwingli. Many people admire the Amish lifestyle. What they do not know is that the Amish say (or at least imply) all non-Amish (Englischers) are going to hell, which is why they live apart. Nevertheless, they are not too keen on converting people, especially if they are not German. Have you ever heard of Amish people going out and trying to convert anyone? But they are glad to take your money while you go to hell.
"And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother." -St. John 4:21
The very similar Mennonites have the very peculiar practice of non-resistance to violence. So, a Mennonite man supposedly will stand there and watch while his wife and/or children are being attacked.
Everyone seems to admire them, but that is being so very superficial. If electricity and gasoline engines are wrong, well then, buggies and houses must be too, because they were “modern” inventions as well, at one time.
Now, we have some other sects that do not actually qualify as Protestants, but you will notice, they all came along at a later date, they came up out of this same movement, but in a bit different form.
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES – founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russel
This sect is not Christian; they do not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. They are basically Anarchists, as they believe Satan is master of the earth, and he founded churches, civil societies etc. Therefore they refuse to take part in the affairs of civil governments.
“I am very glad to have this particular opportunity of saying a word about some of the things in which we agree with our Masonic friends, because we are speaking in a building dedicated to Masonry, and we also are Masons. I am a Freemason.” - Charles Taze Russell
Mormonism is probably the most bizarre of all. Its founder, Joseph Smith, was also a Freemason. Mormons actually believe that they become God. They also believe that God has a body of flesh and bone, and that God the Father has a wife, (a human woman....). Joseph Smith Jr. taught and practiced polygamy – he had 27 wives himself.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS
The Seventh Day Adventists, are not technically Christian. They have their own idea of the Blessed Trinity, which amounts to not three Persons in one God, but rather three united Gods (!) Peculiarly, most of their religion goes around the Second Coming of Jesus. But, obviously the Second Coming has little to do with most people, so it is very strange for this to loom so large.
THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS WERE CATHOLIC:
Non-Catholics quote and try to “appropriate” the Early Church Fathers. These were all Catholic, and their teaching and writings are distinctly Catholic.
ST. IRENAEUS (died A.D. 202):
“[The Church] is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them… We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come… Resist them in defense of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons.” (Against Heresies , Book III)
"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead." circa 80-110 A.
ST. JUSTIN MARTYR, inter A.D. 148-155
"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."
ST. CYPRIAN: (died A.D. 258): “He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: `he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.’ Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ.” (Unity of the Catholic Church )
“Nay, though they should suffer death for the confession of the Name, the guilt of such men is not removed even by their blood…No martyr can he be who is not in the Church.” (Ancient Christian Writers )
ST. ATHANASIUS (c. 296–373):
“. . inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, but do not hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and receiving them as the traditions of men, err, because they do not rightly know them nor their power.” (Festal Letter 2:6)
“. . . but concerning matters of faith, they [The Fathers at Nicea] did not write: ‘It was decided,’ but ‘Thus the Catholic Church believes.’ And thereupon they confessed how they believed. This they did in order to show that their judgement was not of more recent origin, but was in fact Apostolic times; and that what they wrote was no discovery of their own, but is simply that which was taught by the apostles. “(On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia 5; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)
“For, as we have found after long deliberation, it appeared desirable to adhere to and maintain to the end, that faith which, enduring from antiquity, we have received as preached by the prophets, the Gospels, and the Apostles through our Lord Jesus Christ, . . “. (On the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia 10; NPNF 2, Vol. IV)
“[H]old fast, every one, the faith we have received from the Fathers, which they who assembled at Nicaea recorded in writing, and endure not those who endeavour to innovate thereon. And however they may write phrases out of the Scripture, endure not their writings; however they may speak the language of the orthodox, yet attend not to what they say; for they speak not with an upright mind, but putting on such language like sheeps’ clothing, in their hearts they think with Arius, after the manner of the devil, who is the author of all heresies. For he too made use of the words of Scripture, but was put to silence by our Saviour. . . . the character of apostolical men is sincere and incapable of fraud.”
Saint Ambrose (died A.D. 397): “Where Peter is therefore, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life eternal. …Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward.” (The Fathers of the Church )
"[T]hey [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven [by the sacrament of confession] even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven’[Matt. 16:19]" (Penance 1:7:33 [A.D. 388]).
ST. JEROME (died A.D. 420): “As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. …This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. …And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church’s enemies are also my enemies.” (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology )
"You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard.... But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?
ST. AUGUSTINE (died A.D. 430): “No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.” (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem )
FALSE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST CATHOLICS
Protestants regularly tell their people that Catholics 1. Worship Mary, and 2. that we worship images. 3. That we think the Mary and the saints can save us. Of course Catholic doctrine teaches that either would be a serious sin, and our doctrine is certainly no secret.
Now, Protestants almost seem to hate the Blessed Virgin Mary; they definitely fail to call her blessed:
“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.” - St. Luke 1: 46-49
These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Protestants do not fit in here. They pride themselves on never giving honor to her. Which is all the more amazing, since they have no problem giving honor to their own mothers....
Then on giving honor to images of Jesus, Mary, or the saints. An idol is an idol. People adore them....for real. How many Catholics have given their lives rather than even give the outward appearance of worshiping an idol, and we still get accused of worshiping idols? Yet Protestants have no problem having pictures of their relatives hanging on the wall, and giving honor to them. And honoring fallen soldiers, (who may or may not have saved their souls), on Memorial Day.
3. That we think Mary and the saints can save us etc. because we pray to them. We ask Mary and the saints to pray for us. Nothing more. Yet, Protestants readily ask each other for prayers - just not the saints in heaven.