The One Question That Stumps Atheists

Throughout my life, I have had many conversations with atheists both in person and online. Most conversations involve civil discussions regarding our opposing viewpoints. These discussions usually contain similar themes and talking points. However, there is one question I have never gotten a clear answer to…

Throughout all of these conversations, I have come across a question which completely stumps atheists. Whenever I ask this question, I never receive a clear and concise answer. Most of the time I usually get some run-around response.

Question for atheists: What evidence (if any) would persuade you to believe in God or a “higher power”? Can you provide one example?

The purpose of asking this question isn’t to “stump” the other party. I genuinely ask this question with curiosity and interest. I ask this question to attempt to get into the mind of the atheist and understand how they think. If answered, imagine how much this would aid in apologetics! However unfortunately, I have never received a clear and concise answer to the above question.

“If there was a God, he would know what evidence I needed to believe.”

The above statement is usually the answer I receive from atheists. However, this answer seems to be a way for the atheist to dodge the question. Sure God knows what evidence you would need in order to believe, but that wasn’t the question. The question is asking what evidence the individual would require in order to believe. What good is any investigation into the ultimate truth of the universe if you search blindly without any guidelines of belief?

“If there was a God, he would reveal himself to me.”

Above is another example of an answer I usually receive.

But how would the Bible respond to this statement? Romans 1:20 perfectly illustrates my personal reason(s) for believing:

 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

 

The scriptures explain that evidence of God is found in his creation. This evidence is precisely what converted me from atheism to agnosticism before I became a Christian. After looking into topics like the fine tuning of the universe, complexity of DNA, symbiotic relationships in nature, etc., I decided that our universe was too complex and coordinated not to be designed. And logically if there is a design, there is a designer. To learn more about our designed universe check out my previous article “Does God exist? Why Atheism doesn’t make sense”.

We find a similar rebuttal to this statement in Psalm 19:1-4:

 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

 

To read more about this topic, check out my previous article “Why the Atheist World View is Illogical: Empirical Evidence Over Logic & Reason”.

Quotes About Jesus From Prominent Figures Throughout History

Whether you believe in the Biblical claims of Jesus or not it is hard to deny the massive impact and influence he has had on the world. It may come as a surprise to some, but many prominent historical figures have quotes referencing Jesus of the Bible. Figures throughout history, from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, have been recorded discussing the man from Nazareth. But what did these people have to say about him? Read more from the original article at smartandrelentless.com.

 

 

What prominent historical figures had to say about Jesus:

Mahatma Gandhi:

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”

 

Adolf Hitler:

“In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world.”

 

Martin Luther King Jr:

“Jesus Christ was an extremist for love, truth and goodness.”

 

Napoleon Bonaparte:

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”

 

Albert Einstein:

“I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful!¨. He further added: “No man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.”

 

Louis Farrakhan, Sr.:

“No prophet before Jesus casted out demons, that I can remember, do you remember any of the old prophets casting out demons? Jesus was deep, There was something about the power of his word that demon came out. “

 

Charles Dickens:

“I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I now most solemnly impress upon you the truth and beauty of the Christian religion as it came from Christ Himself, and the impossibility of going far wrong if you humbly but heartily respect it.”

 

Dale Carnegie:

“The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use?”

 

Vincent van Gogh:

“It is a very good thing that you read the Bible… The Bible is Christ, for the Old Testament leads up to this culminating point… Christ alone… has affirmed as a principal certainty, eternal life, the infinity of time, the nothingness of death, the necessity and the raison d’être of serenity and devotion. He lived serenely, as a greater artist than all other artists, despising marble and clay as well as color, working in living flesh. That is to say, this matchless artist… made neither statues nor pictures nor books; he loudly proclaimed that he made… living men, immortals.”

 

Calvin Coolidge:

“The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

 

Mikhail Gorbachev:

“Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.”

 

Sholem Asch:

“Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him.”

 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

“Socrates died like a philosopher; Jesus Christ died like a God.”

 

John Knox:

“No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.”

 

With quotes from such prominent historical figures, both Christian and non-Christian alike, it truly illustrates the far reaching influence that the Jesus of Nazareth had. Whether you believe him to be the Son of God or not, you cannot deny the impact he has had on the world and the people in it. It begs the question, how can a mere man have such influence on the world at large?

Learn more about why Christianity is different from all other world religions.

Do Near Death Experiences Prove Afterlife? 12 Common NDE Testimonies

“Near Death Experiences”, also known as NDE testimonies, are a reoccurring phenomenon throughout the entire world. A NDE occurs when someone is either on the brink of death or actually clinically dies. What transpires next is an experience out of this world. An experience which transcends space and time, and challenges the subject’s deepest fundamental beliefs on reality. These events are recorded nearly every day in ambulances and hospitals across the world.

A “Near Death Experience” is defined by Wikipedia as:

personal experience associated with death or impending death. Such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light.

According to a 1992 Gallup poll cited by the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, 5% (13 million) of Americans had experienced a NDE. In the same poll, there is a recorded 774 NDE per day.

These are significant figures which show a proliferation of NDE testimonies. But are these testimonies valid? Are these truly supernatural experiences or just vivid hallucinations?

The compelling aspect of this is not merely the phenomenon itself. What’s really intriguing is the fact that most of these NDE testimonies seem to correlate and correspond with one another. The similar nature of the details given almost seem to corroborate or validate the testimonies themselves.

Here are the 12 most common details given from a myriad of subjects in their NDE testimonies.

1) An “out-of-body” experience

Perhaps one of the most common details given is an “out-of-body” experience. This occurs when the subject retains consciousness while outside (usually above) their body. Subjects on hospital beds have recollected certain details about the room, conversations and even tools used by the doctors. Details which the subject would have no way of knowing considering their condition and conscious state.

These testimonies are powerful when deducing whether the NDE was a hallucination or in fact supernatural.

2) NDE testimonies are either very positive or very negative

In all NDE testimonies, subjects will record either an extremely positive or negative experience. These positive experiences usually have attributes which mirror the archetype of what we call “Heaven”. The negative experiences usually parallel the concept we have of “Hell”. In the positive experiences, the user usually experiences light, love, warmth, connection, peace, etc. However in the negative experiences he or she experiences darkness, cold, disconnection, and torment.

It seems as though the duality of these two types of NDE testimonies almost support the Biblical view of the afterlife.

3) Feeling of returning home

Those who have a positive Near Death Experience usually express the feeling of “going home”. Subjects recollect thoughts and feelings that they have been to this place before, that they are returning back to their original estate. This typically invokes feelings of deep love and inner peace with the person. Subjects described the feeling as returning home after a very long trip.

Maybe earth isn’t our first home. Have we just forgotten our place of origin?

4) The NDE feels “more real” than reality

Nearly all NDE testimonies express a feeling that that which they are experiencing is in fact more real than reality on earth. Of course this is a nebulous concept to grasp, but almost every subject records this thought. After the NDE, subjects describe real-life as feeling “dreamlike” in comparison. When they return back to “reality” they usually communicate feeling a type of mundanity or dullness.

Perhaps the best way to envision it is going from a world of color to black and white. Or possibly returning back to a 2D world from a 3D one?

5) Losing perspective of time

Another common aspect of NDE testimonies is losing perspective of time. Most NDE subjects remember a lack of awareness or comprehension of time. This usually induces a feeling of eternal “being” with which there is no end. Depending on whether the Near Death Experience is positive or negative, this can either elicit feelings of blissful peace or panick and anxiety.

6) Interaction with spiritual entities

A little less common experience of NDE testimonies is interaction with spiritual beings or entities. These experiences are more rare than the previous ones covered, but when they do occur they often have similarities.

Experience with the type of spiritual entities also is contingent on the dual nature of the experiences. Subjects who record a positive experience usually describe a peaceful encounter with what we would call “angels”. Conversely, subjects recollecting a negative experience usually recount a horrifying encounter with what we would consider “demons”.

7) Communicating telepathically

Another common occurrence in NDE testimonies is communication via telepathy, or without speaking. Subjects that encounter other entities or beings recount communication through thoughts, not words. They describe knowing what the other being is communicating without hearing their voice, and visa versa.

Perhaps sound waves are only a manifestation of the physical world. Maybe since the spiritual realm has no tongues or vocal chords, communication is done instantaneously through thoughts.

8) A sense of all-knowing knowledge

Many people also discuss an instant sense of all-knowing in their Near Death Experience. Subjects go on to explain a feeling of complete knowingness – that is, having no questions or doubt. Everything they want to know they instantaneously comprehend.

The Bible verse Luke 8:17 comes to mind when thinking about this phenomena of complete understanding after death:

17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

9) Meeting God / Jesus figure

One other semi-frequent occurrence in NDE testimonies is meeting with God or a “Jesus” like figure. Subjects often communicate meeting with a supreme and divine being whom is all-powerful. They recollect a sense of knowing or understanding that who they are in the presence of is the creator of everything. Almost always they express feeling compelled to bow and worship the being.

Interestingly enough, there are almost no recordings of seeing a likeness of Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, or any other prominent religious figures. However, there are numerous accounts of people seeing a “Jesus-like” figure during their NDE. Subjects report seeing a divine being with the likeness of what we understand to be Jesus. They also express the same sense of knowing that he is the Jesus from the Bible.

Read a previous article on the effect of organized religion titled, “Is Religion About Controlling People? Yes – Ask A Christian”.

10) A “life review” with judgement

Additionally, many NDE testimonies include a sort of “life review”. According to testimonies, this usually includes vivid flashbacks of the person’s entire life from child to adulthood.  Many people describe being taken through negative moments in their life, where they have hurt or been hurt by someone else. They also describe a heightened sense of compassion and empathy people they have hurt, feeling exactly what they had put the other party through.

11) Seeing deceased family and relatives

Along with seeing angelic or demonic entities, many subjects claim to have interacted with long lost loved ones during their NDE. Many people claim to have talked to family and friends who have died in the past.

12) Wanting to stay and not go back

In nearly every single positive NDE, the subject has a strong desire to stay where they are and not go back. The immense sense of peace and joy are so overwhelming that going back to earth seems like a punishment.

Conclusion:

Whether you believe in NDE testimonies or not, you can’t deny the abundance of data concerning the subject. While some may consider Near Death Experiences to be merely hallucinations from the brain, the parallels and correlations between the testimonies are intriguing. It is the author’s belief that the parallels and symmetries between these testimonies provide logical evidence that something real is going on here. The similarities suggest that NDE testimonies are not hallucinations but rather real spiritual experiences

Next Article: Is Hell Real? Most World Cultures & Religions Think So

How Can Judaism Ignore the Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus?

I find myself asking this question whenever I read through certain scriptures in the Old Testament – How can Judaism ignore the prophecies which Jesus fulfilled? As I read through certain passages, I am in awe of the specificity and accuracy of the prophecies. Then I ask myself, how can the religion of Judaism and it’s people who prescribe to these scriptures overlook some of these verses?

Prophecies implicating Jesus Christ as the “Messiah”

There are numerous verses and scriptures which implicate Jesus as being the Messiah of the Old Testament. One only has to compare the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament fulfillment to realize Jesus was the one being foreshadowed.

One example is in Jeremiah 31:31, which discusses a new covenant being made between the Lord and his people:

 

31Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

 

This prophecy was clearly fulfilled by Jesus. After his death and resurrection, the old covenant ended between the God and his people. The practice of sacrificing of animals for sanctification ended after the ultimate sacrifice – the cross.

Prophecy about the birth of Jesus

Perhaps one of the most concise and powerful prophecies comes from Isaiah 7:14. This verse predicts the virgin birth of Jesus from Mary and the name he would don, “Immanuel”:

 

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 

Further in Micah 5:2, we find the prophecy predicting that the Messiah (Jesus) would be born in Bethlehem:

 

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

 

Prophecies about Jesus’ ministry

Throughout the Old Testament, we can find numerous verses and scriptures about Jesus Christ’s life while he walked the earth.

If we look to Isaiah 35:5-6, we find examples of the types of miracles that Jesus would perform.

 

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

 

Additionally in Zechariah 9:9, we find the prophecy of Jesus Christ riding through Jerusalem on a donkey for which we now celebrate Palm Sunday:

 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

 

 

Prophecies about the rejection of Christ

In Psalm 22, which we will explore more later, it describes the persecution of Jesus, and how he was despised by the people:

 

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

 

Later in the book of Psalms in Psalm 118:22-24, we find more foreshadowing of the rejection Jesus would face by the people:

 

22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23 This is the Lord‘s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Additionally in Isaiah 53:3, we find another foreshadowing of the rejection of Christ by men:

 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

 

Prophecies about the crucifixion

The Old Testament provides numerous prophecies in relation to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Zechariah 11:12-13 provides a hyper-specific prophecy of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas. The verse is so particular that it predicts the amount of money Jesus would be betrayed for!

 

12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

 

 

If we turn to Isaiah 52:13-15, we find a prophecy related to the trial of Jesus. Here we find the foreshadowing of Pontius Pilate remaining silent during the “trial” of Jesus by the Jewish pharisees:

 

13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

 

Another Old Testament passage with many fulfilled prophecies is Psalm 22. Psalm 22, also known as the “Song of David” was estimated to have been written around 1000 B.C. The very first verse of the chapter contains a direct quote from Jesus on the cross! The first line of the chapter includes a statement made by Jesus in Matthew 27:46, as he was dying on the cross. Psalm 22:1 states:

 

1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

 

Further, the chapter goes on to describe the piercing of Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross, and how the Roman guards took his clothing in John 19:23:

 

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

 

We can also find another prophecy of Jesus being pierced on the cross in Zechariah 12:10:

 

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

 

Old Testament prophecy outlining meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice

Further, in Isaiah 53:10-12, we see a prophecy explaining the very basis of the Christian faith! These verses explain the purpose of Jesus’ death and what the sacrifice meant for the salvation of humanity. It is essentially the doctrine of Christianity:

 

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Conclusion

These are only a few of the many prophecies in the Old Testament pertaining to the coming Messiah. It is hard to ignore the fact that all of these depict some aspect of Jesus Christ and Christianity. My heart breaks for Judaism and the Jewish people who love God but overlook the blatant implications of these prophecies.

If you are of the Jewish faith and reading this article, I urge to to dive deeper and explore this topic with an open mind. The truth shall set you free.

To learn more about my stance on religion in general read my article, “Is Religion About Controlling People? Yes – Ask a Christian“.

Is Religion About Controlling People? Yes – Ask A Christian

A common theme you will hear among secularists is that religion is all about control. They explain that they could never join any organized religion, because religions are just institutions created to control the masses. And they are exactly right. Let me explain.

 

Religion is in fact about control

This may be surprising to hear coming from a professing Christian but it is true – religion is all about control and it always has been.

But how do we define “religion”? One of Google’s definitions is:

 

“a particular system of faith and worship.”

 

The keyword here being “system”. Religion is a system created by man in attempt to reconcile oneself with the divine creator. It consists of certain rules, regulations, traditions, ceremonies, rituals, etc.

These attributes of religion are often used to do exactly that – control it’s constituents. They require members to uphold certain holidays, diets, prayer schedules, fasting and sometimes even dress requirements.

Examples of control in religion

For example, in Islam, Muslims are required to pray five times throughout each day. In these prayers, there are specific instructions for the Muslim on how to do it correctly. The Qibla, which translates to “direction” in Arabic, is orientation the Muslim must face while they pray. This is a fixed direction towards the the Kaaba in Mecca.

Additionally, Muslims are required to practice fasting during the month of Ramadan. During this month, the Muslim will fast for around 11-16 hours each day during the daylight hours. When the sun goes down then they are allowed to break the fast.

Similarly in Judaism, many Jews fast during the observance of minor fast days. For Yom Kippur, some Jews fast for a full 25 hours. There are also other less well-known restrictions during the holiday like washing and bathing, anointing their body, wearing leather shoes, and sexual relations.

In addition, every Jewish child is required to have a Bar Mitzvah for boys and a Bat Mitzvah for girls. The Mitzvah is like a rite of passage ritual for children, signifying their entering into adulthood. It signifies the child now being held accountable for his or her own actions under the Jewish law.

All of these practices are done by certain religions in order to “gain favor” with God and work toward your relationship with him. The idea is if you uphold these rules and regulations to a high degree, you will be granted grace from the Lord.

Why is Christianity different?

At this point you may be wondering, so why is the author of this article a professing Christian? The answer to this is because Christianity was never intended to be a “religion”.

There are many verses in the Bible specifically against this idea of “religion”. During those times, the Scribes and the Pharisees were the religious authority in all the land. They were looked at as the most pious and righteous people alive. However, when we look at the interactions between Jesus and the Pharisees, we can see that the two were constantly at odds with one another. So much so that the “religious” people plotted Jesus’ murder!

In Matthew 15:1-9, we see Jesus condemning the Pharisees for putting their traditions (religion) before God’s commandments:

 

1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

 

Jesus has another altercation with the Pharisees in Matthew 23, calling them hypocrites, fools, & blind:

 

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

 

 
Along the way, Christianity has been tainted and polluted by man into becoming a religious system. The evidence of this adulteration can be found in the estimated 30,000 – 40,000 different denominations of Christianity. Each denomination claiming some religious superiority or correctness over the other.

Religion doesn’t bring us closer to God, but rather separates us further from him through meaningless rituals and practices. In order to get closer to God, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This doesn’t require any fasting, prayer schedules, or rituals to do so. All we have to do is accept him as our savior and understand the lengths he went through to put us back in good standing with God.

To learn more about how Christianity is different from every other religion in the world, view one of my previous articles.

Catholicism: 8 Reasons Why Isn’t Biblical: Catholics Contradict the Bible

I have always had a deep interest in Catholicism and its practices. Coming from a family who used to be devout Catholics, I was always interested in their doctrine & beliefs. I never understood why Christianity had hundreds of different denominations, but Catholicism seemed to be a religion of its own. Don’t Christianity and Catholicism both believe the Bible is the word of God?

Catholicism contradicts the Bible

I would like to begin by saying that I have the deepest respect for Catholics & Catholicism. Having been to Catholic mass multiple times, I genuinely appreciate the sincerity and reverence these people have for God. Having also spent time abroad in Central America (which is predominantly Catholic), some of the nicest people I have ever met identified as Catholic. This article is by no means meant to bash or ridicule these people. I am merely trying to point out the contradictions between Catholicism and the Bible.

1) Salvation through works

One of the main doctrines of Catholicism is works – that is, doing good deeds to work towards salvation. The first work a Catholic must do is to be baptized. After this, he or she must maintain their salvation by continuous works throughout their life to remain in a state of grace.

However the Bible clearly states in Ephesians 2:8-9 :

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

And also in Titus 3:5 :

 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

 

And in Galatians 3:10-11 :

 

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 

And yet again in Romans 3:19–20 :

 

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

2) Salvation through baptism

Catholicism infant baptism

Baptism is a crucial element to salvation and is practiced with infants.

However in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, we see that baptism is not required for salvation:

 

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

 

3) Calling the priest “Father”

Catholics refer to their priests as “Father” as a sign of respect. The priest is looked at as a religious authority, hence he is referred to as such.

However this is clearly forbidden in Matthew 23:9 : 

 

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

 

4) Praying in repetition

Catholicism church prayer beads

In Catholicism, members are taught to say “Hail Marys” repeatedly in a row. However the Bible teaches us that we should not do this.

In Matthew 6:7 : 

 

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

 

5) Praying to the virgin Mary & Saints

The Catholics believe that Mary is a deity who should be worshiped and prayed to.

But in Luke 11:27-28 when someone wanted to praise Mary for giving birth to Jesus :

 

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

 

The Pope even teaches that Mary is the mediator between God and man!

However this concept clearly contradicted in 1 Timothy 2:5 as well praying to anyone but Jesus / God :

 

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

 

Additionally, praying to anyone who is dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible and considered witchcraft or necromancy. Multiple times the Bible condemns mediums and sorcerers who contact the dead and other spirits. We see this illustrated in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 :

 

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

 

6) Everyone who is Christian is already a saint

A common practice of Catholics is also prayer to saints. Certain saints from the Bible like Peter, John, Paul, Thomas, etc. are given special religious authority. But what makes these Christians different from the rest of us?

The Bible explains that all who have put their faith in Jesus are already saints, so there is no difference between us and the Catholic saints!

Ephesians 1:1 :

 

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

Romans 1:7 :

 

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 1:2 :

 

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:

 

7) Priests are not Biblical

Catholicism priest contradicts the Bible

In Catholicism the priest acts as an intermediary between the person and God. Catholics use priests to confess their sins to, when there is only one person we ask for forgiveness from – Jesus.

The Bible clearly states that our high priest is Jesus himself, not another man. In Hebrews 4:14-16 :

 

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

Also Mark 2:7 states:

 

Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

 

In fact, the Bible goes even further to say that we Christians are priests!

1 Peter 2:9 :

 

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

 

Revelation 1:6 :

 

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Revelation 5:10 :

 

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

8) Worshiping idols and graven images

Catholic church idolatry and graven images contradict the Bible

It is very common to enter a Catholic cathedral and see numerous images and statues depicting Mary, Jesus, and various “saints”. Not only that, but many Catholics also bow to these statues and even kiss them!

In Exodus 20:4-5 we see that these images and statues are considered idols:

 

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

 

These are a few of the contradictions between Catholicism and the Bible. Check out a similar article I wrote about Pope Francis wanting to change the Lord’s Prayer.