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Do you hate Catholics?

Today’s Question: Your cassette tape, "The Truth about the Virgin of Guadalupe", should have been labeled, "My Hate for the Catholic Church!" It is not the work of God!

The Church that Jesus established was and is the Holy Catholic Church. The Holy Catholic Church was first created in God’s mind and in His plan, the Virgin Mary was chosen to be the Temple of God. She was from the beginning the "favorite daughter of the Father," and at the moment of her "yes", she became the spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Mother of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity! 

From this tiny cell grew the "mustard tree" that can only describe the Holy Catholic Church!

Before 1519 there was only one "Christian" church. No Baptist church, no fundamentalist church, no non-denominational church, definitely no Mormon Church or Jehovah Witnesses. There was only one church, it was the Catholic Church!

The Catholic Church has been around since the year 33, and other so-called "Christian Churches" are withering branches that, by the grace of God, hold on to the Trunk by a thin thread.

The Protestant Reformation movement was, in fact, Judas Iscariot personified—the greatest betrayal in the history of the Holy Catholic Church.

May God touch your heart, so that like Saint Paul and others you may see "the light" and return to your true Home. If not, that at least He enlightens you so that you may treat your brothers and sisters everywhere with kindness and respect!

Rodolfo Pineda

(This letter was edited for brevity.)

Bible Answer: What amazes me the most is that because I don’t accept the claims of the Catholic Church that somehow I’m labeled a "Catholic Hater." I no more hate Catholics than I hate Jews or Muslims. I love everyone. However, I don’t think that love should force me to keep quiet when I disagree with others.

Rodolfo, just because I disagree with your church does not mean I hate you. I love you, but I strongly disagree with your church and your belief that it is the one and only true church.

Because of God’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, God has sent reformers to bring the Church back to where God has called it. Martin Luther, though certainly not perfect, was not a "Judas Iscariot" as you claim, but was a man who spoke the truth. The Protestant Reformation has produced great leaders like William Tyndale (gave us the English Bible), John Smyth (paved the way for democracy), Billy Graham (won many to Christ), etc.

It seems like these men have done a wonderful job without returning to their "true Home." They don’t look like "withering branches" as you alleged.

I know that you take comfort in believing that the Catholic Church is the true church and that no other church existed prior to 1519, but the Eastern Orthodox Church will certainly disagree. They, too, believe that they are as old as your church, and the Catholic Church agrees with their claim. The Catholic Church simply rejects their full rights into their church because the Orthodox Church rejects the claims of the Papacy.

The Bible agrees with the Protestant ideal of each person searching the Scriptures to prove or disprove any person’s teaching, for the Bible says, "The Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11). I have, like the Bereans, examined Catholic teachings in light of the Scriptures, and found that the Catholic Church is teaching grave error regarding prayers to the saints, the Papacy, and salvation by works.

You see, the difference between you and myself is this: I have exercised my moral responsibility to examine the teachings of the Catholic Church, and you have neglected your moral responsibility by blindly accepting the authority of the Catholic Church and its teachings. You, as a Catholic, believe that you don’t have a right to disagree with the Catholic Church. You’re wrong. You not only have the right, but the responsibility to disagree with not only the Catholic Church but any church that does not teach in agreement with the Word of God.

For example, you must blindly accept the Catholic Church view of Matthew 16:13-20 where Jesus gave Peter the keys of the kingdom. They believe that Jesus delegated one man to lead the entire church, and that there would be successors to continue to lead the church.

But if you read Matthew 18:18, you’ll see that Jesus gave all the apostles the keys of the kingdom, so Jesus taught a plurality of leadership, and not just one person leading all Christians.

And if you’ll look at Galatians 2:9 you’ll see that there were three main leaders of the Church, not just one. You’ll also notice in that chapter that Paul rebuked Peter for acting in hypocrisy. In that letter Paul said Peter and him had reached a mutual agreement that Paul was to preach to the Gentiles and Peter to the Jews. This seems strange if the Catholic Church’s teaching is correct about Peter being the sole head of the Church.

As far as the early church’s position of Matthew 16:18, most of the church fathers taught that the phrase "rock" referred to Peter’s confession, not to Peter himself. Were most of the church fathers wrong in their interpretation?

It wasn’t until the bishop of Rome usurped his authority by claiming that he was the head of the entire body of Christ, that Catholics began using Matthew 16:18 to make all Christians submit to the Pope’s authority. This caused a split between the Eastern branch of Christianity (four bishops were against the one bishop of Rome) with the Western branch. The bishop of Rome definitely was not acting in line with the humility in which Christ taught about the greater leaders serving the lesser leaders.

The Papacy throughout history is filled with atrocities that even make you blush. The Papacy has been responsible for the martyrdom of millions of believers. This doesn’t sound like love to me.

Now concerning my tape on the truth about the Virgin of Guadalupe, I researched the apparitions of Guadalupe, Fatima, and the Miraculous Medal, and was appalled at the messages. The apparitions constantly urged prayers to Mary. This, I believe, promotes idolatry. As a Christian, I believe that prayers should be directed to God only, through our one mediator, Christ Jesus. (see John 16:23)

I don’t believe that we need the intercession of Mary or any other saint that has gone to heaven. I believe Christ intercession is sufficient (Heb 7:25).

I also believe it is grave error for many in the Catholic faith to promote the Co-Mediatrix role of Mary. I see that as blasphemous. According to the clear teaching of the Bible, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5).

It is my hope that my tape will cause Catholics to turn back to Christ and cease to pray to the saints.

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