Catholics, please explain this to me

United States
April 1, 2013 12:01pm CST
I'm not Catholic, so I don't understand why things are so different than the teachings I've learned from the bible. I know someone who is Catholic and her bible has some extra books in it. I don't understand why there is a bible with more than the usual 66 books in the Old and New Testaments. That was one question I had. There are other questions I have too: Disclaimer: this discussion is for information only. I want to learn why you do things differently than Protestants do when we are all Christians. My thought is that all of Christianity has an obligation to remain Christian - centered on Jesus Christ. So pease do not think I am slamming your faith. I really want to know the answers to what I'm asking. I'm being respectful, and I hope you will be respectful in return. Why do some Catholics pray to Saints instead of to God? I have been taught to pray to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who hung on the cross and died. It is in HIS name that I pray through. That us what my biblical studies taught me. I'm not saying its wrong, I'm just curious as to why it is done when no one, in my opinion, should be higher than God the Father and Jesus. I also count Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead. Why must Catholics confess their sins? The bible says to confess your sins one to another. It doesn't say to confess to a priest. We are taught to confess and repent. Why do people bow to the Pope? The Pope isn't God. We are taught not to bow before other Gods or idols. In not saying the Pope is another God or an idol, but to me it would be like kissing a crucifix, which is a type of idol in my opinion. I'm not knocking it. I just want to understand. Why am I not allowed to take communion in a Catholic Church? I am a Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior a long time ago. I hope to hear 'Well done my good and faithful servant' when I meet my maker. I can take communion in my church. When I visit a Catholic Church I can only receive a blessing. I cannot take communion. I have more questions but I will stop here. This is enough to start a good dialog. Please don't take offense to anything I have said. I have stated my thoughts as respectfully as I know how. You may have questions about my beliefs and you may ask. I want to learn. I hope we can all learn from each other. Your thoughts?
5 people like this
12 responses
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
1 Apr 13
I am not a catholic, here we are eastern orthodox christians but i can answer some of your questions : I know someone who is Catholic and her bible has some extra books in it. I don't understand why there is a bible with more than the usual 66 books in the Old and New Testaments. Because that was the Bible in the beginning, the protestants removed the rest of the books from the Bible. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/ This is the first version of KJV Bible. As you see it has other books too. I want to learn why you do things differently than Protestants do when we are all Christians. My thought is that all of Christianity has an obligation to remain Christian - centered on Jesus Christ. Because that`s why you are a protestant, they a catholic and i am orthodox. We are different so we do things different. That is also the reason for why you are not allowed to take communion in a Catholic Church. Because you are not in communion with the Catholic Church since you separated from them.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 13
Thank you so much! See, I thought that communion was communion in Jesus Christ in His Blood. I had no idea it is communion in the church. To be honest, it hurt my feelings when I was not allowed to take communion in the Catholic Church. I didn't realize it was communion among believers of a certain belief system. My church allows everyone to take communion who wishes to and let God sort it all out. I'm curious about different faiths in Christianity. I'm open to changing from the church I go to. I don't have transportation to church, my family rarely goes, and there is no bus or volunteers to pick me up. I feel if they aren't interested in getting me to church, then I will start looking. So we are the ones who split and made the difference. I knew that (I'm Methodist) we are universal catholics with a small c. But I didn't really know what that meant.
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
1 Apr 13
Universal and catholic means the same thing. So all churches will tell you that they are catholics. Also all christians will tell you they are orthodox (even the Pope) because ortodox means the right faith. The idea is very simple, there is a Church and those outside the Church. For example the Catholic can`t take communion in an orthodox church. (i think they allow the Orthodox Christians to take communion in the Catholic Church though). http://www.catholic.com/tracts/who-can-receive-communion I think the things look different in the protestant world, but i don`t know about the doctrine of every church. I understood that there are some who allow other people to take communion, but for me it sounds strange. Why belonging to separate churches if 2 persons believe in the same things ? I`ve found a link from the Catholic Church where it is written who is allowed to take Communion and what does Communion means for the Catholic Church. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/who-can-receive-communion
2 people like this
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
1 Apr 13
Sorry, i posted the same link twice.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
1 Apr 13
I was raised Catholic (don't practice it now). Confession has always been to a priest..trust me ..I KNOW and then we had to repent. I went to confession every single week and hated it every single week.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 13
I know that's how it is for Catholics. For us Protestants we can ask forgiveness from God and turn away from that sin. That was hard when I was convicted of smoking and I asked for forgiveness and then picked them up a few hours later. It was a process for me but I did turn away from them. I'm not saying smoking is a sin but I felt it was for me since it was harming my body. I felt my body didn't belong to me, it belonged to God. So that was a struggle for years. When I heard that someone was talking negatively about me ( a sister in Christ) I approached that sister and confessed what was bothering me. I asked if we could clear the air and pray together to solve our differences. We worked it out. We didn't need the pastor to intervene. She asked for my forgiveness and I gave it.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
1 Apr 13
well i started doing confession when I was just a little kid...4 or 5 yrs old? I was extremely shy and did not talk a lot. I was consoled that the priest on the other side had no idea who I was. That was a lie because he came out and told my dad that I did not talk. So now I HAD to talk. I made up stuff to confess when I had nothing. And then I felt guilty for lying. I was a little kid. Oh and lying was a sin so then that was another thing I had to confess on. I figured I'd lost out on heaven by the time I was 6.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
6 Apr 13
Hi sid, when I was a kid, we didn't have our first confession till we were about 7 if I remember correctly. It was felt that we should have a proper understanding then of what was right and wrong and from catechism teachings what a sin was.
@Bluedoll (17074)
• Canada
1 Apr 13
You did get some good answers. I will add only that the Catholic Religion says that those that profess to be Catholic and have received forgiveness of their sins from God can receive communion. There is an additional consideration regarding Catholic members. For many centuries the people, even some of the priests did not follow the strict guidelines of what came down from Rome. It makes sense that to be in come - union with Christ and receive forgiveness we need to forgive others as well (common lords prayer) so that the authority for many does not reside with Rome but the Father in Heaven. Many Catholic's would bow and reflect and confess some sins in dark places but it was with God they shared their real thoughts in silence.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 13
Hi Bluedoll, I'm not sure I understand everything you said but I will read it again to try and digest it. It's so confusing for me.
1 person likes this
@Bluedoll (17074)
• Canada
2 Apr 13
Sorry PQ please ask me or say what part and I will be happy to rephrase. Sorry, if my wording is confusing.
1 person likes this
@bunnybon7 (35524)
• Holiday, Florida
1 Apr 13
what a great discussion. like you iam always very curious about religious beliefs. from all churches. having a mixed belief of different churches and ive been left pretty confused as my mother raised me in several different churches of which we went. and sometimes as a chikd i even went to some churches myself because they were either in walking distance or would pick me up. i loved having some place to go on sunday any place i felt i was close to God. i cant help with some questions but im liking reading these answers.
3 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 13
I'm enjoying it too. I'll go back to the thread above when I comment on yours and some of the others. I have studied Mormonism but did not convert. I was christened Methodist as an infant. Went to a baptist church as a kid and young adult. Became fire baptized Pentecostal in 1980. Became nondenominational in 1996 and became Methodist again in 2005. I'm still searching where I might fit.
2 people like this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
1 Apr 13
I was born into a catholic home and raised that way. However when I became an adult I found out by studying the Bible that the catholic religion did not follow the teachings of Jesus and his Father the way that they should so I left the church. You are right about the fact that we are to pray to God only, through his son Jesus and we are not supposed to worship images. Now, a catholic will tell you that they are not actually worshiping the image but they are worshiping the one the image stands for. However, if you read your Bible carefully you will see that Christians were ordered, just like the Jews, to NOT make an image and bow down to it. My grandmother's priest actually told her she should not read her Bible because it would only confuse her. Personally I don't find anything confusing about it. I read and study my Bible daily and find great comfort from this practice.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
6 Apr 13
I thought that it was a FALSE image that was not to be worshipped...like, you cannot worship a golden cow as the Israelites did while Moses was up on Sinai collecting the Commandments.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Apr 13
The scripture reads, at Exodus 20:4, 5, "You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion." Furthermore, no one has seen God at any time, so any image that is said to be of God would be a false image, wouldn't it?
@winterose (39922)
• Canada
2 Apr 13
in some protestant churches as well if you were not baptised you cannot take communion in their church. Some churches are so strict that if you are not a member of their church you can't take communion as well. It is a matter of what the church thinks is right or wrong. There were more than 66 books the printers of the King James Version and the church at the time decided on only 66. The bible says we are all saints, and the Roman Catholics pray to the saints like a go between. I was told I could pray to my grandmother because she was a saint her on earth. I do pray to her to God to Jesus all in one. When you want a safe ride they will pray to st. Christoffer who is patron saint of travel. It is all a matter of faith and how each church deals with it.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 13
Yes someone else said there were 3 other books that were taken out of the King James Bible. I knew you would know something on this since you like to study different religions. I know about St Christopher. My ex husband used to wear a medal if this saint around his neck. I was taught to only pray to God in Jesus' name. I guess whatever people want to do is between them and God. It's not for anyone except God and/or Jesus to tell us it's wrong or right. We feel in our hearts what is right for us.
1 person likes this
@mythociate (14989)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2 Apr 13
The extra books (which I don't think even CATHOLICS read) were--I think--taken out because they made Jesus more of a 'real person who learned about- & was "anointed" (the meaning of "Christ") by-G*d' than the 'personality of G*d made manifest in human-form.' I AM a little offended by your accusation that 'Catholics pray to saints'; because it's not true. They're praying to G*d, & the saint is helping to lift their prayers TO G*d. It's like: if I were an intern at FOX News, I wouldn't go straight to Rupert Murdoch to ask for a promotion! The Pope is not a person; well he is to himself, but his public persona is The Vicar of Christ---the closest thing the Earth can see to a connection WITH Christ. Like America has a President, Catholicism has a Pope. And Communion---I don't know what the Catechism (Catholic policy) says on this, but Jesus didn't share the blood-&-body communion with any but the 12
@mythociate (14989)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3 Apr 13
You didn't read my 'simile' there; I said that they AREN'T praying to the saints. They seem to be (& might even think they ARE), but ... did you read the 'simile' (comparison) there? I'll explain a little deeper. Well, we'll try a different one: When you're a low-level worker at FOX News, ALL YOUR MONEY comes from Rupert Murdoch. But when you think you need a raise, do you ask Rupert Murdoch himself? I doubt it! You ask your supervisior (manager or a$sistant-manager). And it seems like they give you the raise, but it's really Rupert Murdoch who gives you the raise. The truth is---G*d (Jehovah, Jesus, Sanctus Spiritus, The Wizard of Oz, the Flying Spagetti Monster, the Buddhists' Divine Voice, whatever) DOESN'T "answer" your prayers. Like Jesus said, G*d knows- & provides your holy desires even before you ask for them. Prayer just 1) helps you remember that the answer is out there (making you more alert in finding it) & 2) tells others (those who hear you, the saints & angels etc.) where to send you if THEY see the answer you're looking for.
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
2 Apr 13
PointlessQuestions I am a non-practicing Catholic..I was raised Catholic, attened Catholic school through the most impressionable years..through the 6th grade.. We didn't study/memorize the Bible the way other Christian churches do...so I don't know the answer to the 66 books.. As I understand it, Protestant means protested from the Catholic church and from some beliefs such as following the Pope as head of the church. So while we are all Christians we are different. We too are centered on Jesus and we are considered Christians..though lol sometimes some Protestants think we aren't Christian.. We pray to saints partly for intercession ..I don't agree we need to and we can pray directly to God. The other reason is some are patron saints..for example...Saint Anthony is the patron saint for fnding lost things...lol I could tell you some interesting stories of how I found some things I believe through him, but it could also be argued as coincidence... Saint Christopher is the Patron Saint of Travel..many have St Christopher statues in their cars..or wear his metal. You stated you pray to God through Jesus...so do I/we..I say 'I ask this in the name of Jesus'..BUT at the same time I realize God and Jesus are ONE...lol it gets confusing so I just don't worry about it and expect someday to understand all these mysteries which are beyond our comprehension at this time. I share your disagreement with confession..that comes from the Bible where Jesus said to the apostles..'whatever sins you forgive, they are forgiven..and what ever you retain, they are retained'. So that was translated to mean since Peter is the first Pope and I guess the apostles are like priests, they hear confessions.. Bowing to the Pope isn't worship..it's respect for the position he holds as "God's representative on earth' Kissing the crucifix is the same...showing respect, not idol worhip. It's all in interpretation... Only Catholics can take communion because there is a preparation required..like going to confession before receiving communion..though I don't know of any priest who would refuse to give communion..how would they know if you were Catholic or not. It's just a church rule and I guess you are bound by honesty? LOL this is long...but know I never take offense from anyone. I am willing to answer any and all questions. I don't agreee with everything the church teaches, but I don't think any other church or religion is any better.. and I have studied most of them. I certainly can understand criticism about the Catholic Church especially in light of the recent scandals..that was a shock and horror to many of us. I just think there are many paths to God and so I will never join any other church. I was Baptized Catholic and shall remain so but now I pray privately and have a close relationship to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit...3 in 1...
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Apr 13
Thank you Stary! You cleared a lot if things up for me. I have been around in church, so to speak but never studied Catholicism. I am a Methodist and have been for about 5 years now. We say The Apostle's Creed and the service is as about as catholic as I have ever seen. We have acolytes that bring in the flame to light the candles. That chokes me up when I see it. We observe Ash Wednesday and Lent. Other churches I went to never observed that stuff. Thank you for clearing up about the pope and other things. Thank you for not taking offense. Someone dis kind of and it kind of irritated me when I tried so hard NOT to be offensive. She wore fed that I made an accusation of praying to saints. Well, when I read it and hear it, what am I to know except what I read?
@GardenGerty (96668)
• Marion, Kansas
1 Apr 13
I am not Catholic, but have had Catholic friends over the years. I have known people who tried to differentiate Catholic from Christian, but I think that is just the Devil's way to keep us from doing God's work. Some people claim to be holy, in whatever faith they identify with and tend to claim that other churches are not holy, or right or as our other friend says "orthodox". Isn't that a waste of time and grace? Having a relationship with Christ is what makes anyone Christian. I like how some people have explained to you that Saints are intercessors. As long a people do not hold a saint to be higher than God or Christ then it is not wrong. It is what gives them spiritual comfort. I think it would be important to find a church that does want to come get you and take you to their worship services. There are reasons that the Protestant denominations have removed the Apocrypha from their approved versions. Those books are still regarded as literature and history books. As for communion, not all protestant churches are open communion. I attend an open communion church, but there are also protestant churches that do not like the emphasis on communion and seldom offer it. Others only allow members of a particular church to participate. You will have noticed that Pentecostal, Baptist and Methodist churches are all different in their style of worship. . . I would say it is much like some people drive, some ride the bus, others go on a train or fly in an airplane. They can all reach their destination, in different ways. Some churches speak in tongues, or dance in the spirit, some sing traditional hymns and others have worship songs. Some churches use an established liturgy and others do not. The true test of any church is if it has the Spirit of Christ. I can name one prominent Baptist "Church" in my state that is filled with evil as far as I am concerned. It is a good, respectful discussion. Look how we all can be grown ups about discussion religion and faith.
1 person likes this
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
2 Apr 13
Some people claim to be holy, in whatever faith they identify with and tend to claim that other churches are not holy, or right or as our other friend says "orthodox" Gerty i am sorry if you understood that, i was just trying to explain some notions to Pointless. Let`s say you hear two protestant people saying about a certain teaching as being "orthodox". That simply means the teaching is right as opposed to "heretic". It has nothing to do with the fact that some churches are using "Orthodox" in their names. The same for people who use the Creed and they say "I believe in one Catholic Church".That means "I believe in one Universal Church", and has nothing to do with the fact that there are some churches using "Catholic" in their names.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Apr 13
What a great discussion PQ I have had almost the same questions my whole life, my Mom was a Catholic before she married my father and my Grandmother and all my mother's family, and I like you are not trying to be disrespectful just wanting to understand. I am really enjoying reading all the responses, and I agree I hope we can learn from each other too.
@Pegasus72 (1901)
7 Apr 13
Good question if you read the Bible you also know that it refers to books that no one has even seen yet, so there are more books out there it just if we will find them in our life span here or not.
@Hatley (164743)
• Garden Grove, California
2 Apr 13
hi pointlessquestions I have nothing to add as I only know that I was raised in the Methodist church and was completely happy there. My parents made sure we as a family all went to church each Sunday and I was happy there. I jpined Adventist church because my husband belonged there. but I just could not be comfortable there ,. If you wore jewelery you were evil ,if you read a book or magazine you were evil and movies oh no. I went back to the Methodist Church and have stayed there. I pray to Christ and God and I believe in G od . I do not think I need all the no nos of the Seventh Day A church,. I am trying to be a good person and practice what I was taught as a child.I am a Methodist and I likeo ging to the Methodist church.