In 3rd century A.D the Church was in turmoil because of one heretical teaching being promoted by Arius. Arius taught that Jesus Christ was only a human being and not God, he cited passages from the Bible that shows that Jesus Christ was a human being just like us. What Arius did not understand was that Jesus Christ was true God and true Man. Possesing both natures, Divine and Human, Christ is able to perform two modes of operation one belonging to the Divine nature and the other one from his human nature.
By grace of God, you have been saved, through faith. This has come to your: it is God’s gift. This was not a result of your works, so you are not to feel proud. Ephesians 2:8-9
This passage is frequently quoted by Protestants to prove that good works has no role in our salvation. They believe in the Reformation doctrine that salvation is strictly by faith alone, nothing more nothing less. Using this passage to prove salvation by faith alone is very problematic for the following reasons:
- Nothing in passage excludes the role of good works in our salvation
- Nothing in the passage ever says that salvation is by faith alone, it says through faith but not faith alone.
- The have to re-define the meaning of the word “work” in this passage.
- They have to intentionally drop verse 10 of this passage to fit their interpretation.
Here is a letter from the head of Center For International Christian Ministry located in U.S.A, addressed to Born Again Churches and ministries in the Philippines sent by anonymous. Pastors in the Philippines were directed to increase the rates for the following services.
Wedding, Adult Baptism, Dedication as well as in the collection of tithes.
Clearly, some Born again Churches are pretending to be gospel bearers but behind the mask they are more concern in how much profit they can earn by the end of the day.
False Accusation: Catholics were prohibited from reading the Bible.
No part in the history of Catholicism where the Church prohibit Catholics from reading the bible.
In the early days, Pope Damasus ordered St. Jerome to translate the Hewbrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament in Latin in order for the people to read and understand the Scriptures.
In 9th century Venerable Bede translated the Bible into Old English, he was the first one to produce an English translation of the Bible.
In our day the Church in her document Dei Verbum encourages the faithful to read the Bible and give due reverence to it as the word of God.
2 reasons why I prefer reading the New American Bible (NAB) over the New International Version (NIV)
1. NIV’s faulty translation:
In 2 Thess. 2:15 the Greek word “paradosis” was maliciously translated to “teaching”, rather than “tradition”.
Paul’s epistles were written in Greek. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Paul didn’t use the Greek word “didasko” which means “to teach, instruct”, he used the Greek word “paradosis” which means “tradition, handling down”.
2. The NIV lacks 7 books of the Bible, if you are using the NIV you are missing a lot of God’s word.
The reformers removed seven (7) books from the Bibls because it did mot agree with their teachings, such as prayers for the dead. (Fundamentals of Pentecostal Theology, p. 13)
October is the Month of the Holy Rosary, it is an opportune time to correct one of the most common misconceptions about the Catholic faith, and that is praying the Rosary is an example of vain repetition stated in Matthew 6:7 which says;
When you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathens do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Mt. 6: 7 King James Version)
Catholics are being criticized by Fundamentalist Christians for praying the Holy Rosary because of their faulty understanding of the passage quoted above. For them this passage strictly prohibits any person from repeating words or statements in prayer. To follow their logic they would have to admit that they too are guilty of violating Matthew 6:7 because they might have unknowlingly violated this passage when they repeated a praise and worship song or have repeatedly give thanks to the food before consuming it.
The Greek word for “vain repetition” is battalageste which means to stammer, babble, prate or to repeat the same things over and over mindlessly. This is the manner how the pagans during the time of Jesus Christ prayed to their gods, using empty words to appease them. What Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:7 is not actually a prohibition in repeating a prayer, but in praying the way how the pagans prayed to their gods.
There are instances in the Bible where a repetitive prayer is pleasing to God. Take the angels, for example;
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, day and night they never cease to sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelations 4:8
If the Fundamentalist understanding of Matthew 6:7 is right then, they should inform the angels in heaven that what they are doing is “vain repetition”! Consider the fact that in Psalm 136 Jews and Christians prayed the Psalms for thousands of years. Psalm 136 repeats the phrase “for his steadfast love endurse forever” 26 times!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever, Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever, Give thanks to the Lord of lords, His love endures forever, To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever, Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. .
This prayer in the book of Psalm is almost identical to the structure and manner on how the Holy Rosary is being prayed by Catholics. King David the primary author of the book of Psalms didn’t find Psalm 136 as vain repitition as well as God to whom this passage was addressed to.
Finally, Jesus Christ himself prayed repeatedly amd evem used the same exact words in his prayer.
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into tempatation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. and again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again, he came and found them sleeping. . .and he came a third time, and said to them, are you still sleeping? Mark 14:32-39
The Book of Psalms contained repititive prayer (Psalm 136), the angels in heaven for eternity repeatedly praise God using the exact same song over and over again (Revelations 4:8), and Jesus Christ himself repeated a prayer saying the exact same words (Mark 14:32-39). If it is good for them to repeat a prayer using exact same words, then there is nothing wrong in praying the Rosary to meditate in the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ.