Welcome to this volume of Simple Christians. I’m Dr Ty, and I hope to take difficult Christian subjects and make them just a little bit easier to understand.
All Catholics are supposedly Christian, but not all Christians are Catholics. Today, I’m going to go over four very specific things that I think are the biggest differences between what the Catholics believe and what the Christians believe.
Those four things are:
Way back before Jesus was born, over 2000 years ago, there were 39 books that a bunch of people way smarter than I am decided to be the Bible. This was the Hebrew Bible. The first five books were the the Five Fifths of the Law, or the Torah, which is what is talked about in synagogue all year long.
But there were 39 total books of the Hebrew Bible, and there were many, many Hebrews that got together that decided what those 39 books were.
After Jesus died, a bunch of people (again, way smarter than I am) got together and decided that there were 27 books to the Christian Bible, the New Testament. Of course, the entire Bible is called the Holy Bible, and it’s called the Christian Bible because the Old Testament and the New Testament do both talk about Jesus.
But the Catholics, depending upon which sect you decide that you want to look at, decided to add in between four and 17 more books than what were in the actual Bible.
They also added on to existing books like Daniel and Esther as well. The Catholics changed the Bible. And I say that because I was talking with a Catholic once some years ago, and that person mentioned that the Protestants had taken the Apocrypha out of the Bible.
It’s easy to see that because the Old Testament, like I said, is the Hebrew or Jewish Bible, that’s been around for 1000s of years. We know exactly how many books and how many verses per book.
It’s easy to see what the Catholics added in.
But why they added it in, I think it’s because it adds in a lot of religious stuff. And I’m going to go over that a little bit more.
So, to me, one of the differences between Catholics and Christians is the Apocrypha, all the books that the Catholics added into the Bible. They added them in, to me, for religious purposes. If you go to a non-denominational Christian church, you’ll go in, sit down and maybe you’ll stand while they sing. You can if you want, but you don’t have to. Then you listen to the message and you leave. That’s pretty much a Christian service.
But go to a Catholic mass and when the priest tells you, you kneel, and then you sit and then you stand and then you kneel again. It’s almost an exercise regimen during mass. But there are very specific things that you do at specific times. And to me, those are rote religious repetitions.
The Catholics have other religious repetition also. I was raised in a Roman Catholic Church, and it wasn’t a great experience for me. So, I’m trying hard not to have my biases show today, although they may. One of the things that I was taught was to pray the rosary.
In praying the rosary, one of the main prayers you do is the Hail Mary: Hail Mary, Mother, God, the Lord is with thee… I don’t know remember exactly what it was. But that’s one of the things that gets me.The rosary is a string of beads with a cross on it, like a necklace. And for every bead on the rosary you do a prayer. If I remember right, there are something like four or five different pryers that you do, and then you repeat them over and over and over again. To me rote to religious repetitions are not of Christianity.
The only thing that Jesus ever told us to do is that when we pray to God, he showed us an example of how to pray, and that was the Lord’s Prayer. But he didn’t say we had to do the Lord’s Prayer all the time. He said, when you eat, thank God for the food that you have. He didn’t tell us exactly what to say. He said: Thank God.
Christianity is a relationship with God because he doesn’t tell us to do certain things at certain times. We don’t have to go to Mass at 10am every Sunday, and kneel at a time and stand at a time and sit at a time No, we come to God.
Christianity is a relationship with Jesus and a relationship with God, it’s not a religion. And you don’t have rote religious repetitions
And actually, going back to the Apocrypha, I should have talked about this before. One of the big things that I learned as a child was that suicides don’t go to Heaven; suicides go to Hell. I was taught that.
When I became a Christian later on in life, and I was in school to learn more about God, the teacher mentioned that somebody’s child had committed suicide. And I said, “Oh, that’s really too bad, because suicides go to Hell.” And she looked me straight in the eye And said: “Show me in the Bible where it says that.”
It’s in the Apocrypha, it’s in the Catholics version of the Bible, but it’s not in the Holy Bible. There’s nothing in the Bible that says suicides go to Hell. The Catholics added in things that they decided were against God. Whether they were or not, we don’t know. But that’s what they decided, that something was against God. And they added that in, but the Holy Bible says nothing about that.
Going to a priest for the forgiveness of sins. This to me is a really big one. And let me go back to the Old Testament. When the Jews, or the Hebrews first came out of Egypt, and were in the desert for 40 years, God had them create a tabernacle, a mobile church, where everybody got together to pray. And he had very specific designs on how to build that tabernacle and how to build it up each time that they settled somewhere. That’s in Exodus 25 to 30.
Basically, there were three main areas of the tabernacle: the main area where all the Jewish people got together The Jewish people would come with their offering to God once a year, because you’d have to bring an offering to God and the blood of that offering would cover your sins for the year. And that’s from when they left Egypt and the blood on the doorsteps or the blood on the posts, I won’t go into that, though.
Anyway, they’d have to have an offering to God, to bring to God to cover their sins for the year. And they would not offer that to God, they would give that to a priest. The priest would take that to the inner part of the tabernacle were only priests could go, and they would give the offering to God for the people.
And then there was a third area even farther in called the Holy of Holies. That was where the Spirit of God resided in the tabernacle. And only the head priest could go into that spot, the Holy of Holies. I believe that’s where the Ark of the Covenant was also put.
Normal people would have to go to a priest for the forgiveness of sins. And there was a very heavy curtain called a veil that separated that second inner sanctum and the Holy of Holies that nobody was allowed to cross.
In Matthew 27:51 when Jesus was on the cross and died for our sins.
This is what Matthew 27:51 says: “and behold, the curtain of the temple…” the curtain in between the inner sanctum and the Holy of Holies “…was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”
That really happened, but it also signified that we no longer had to go to a priest for our sins to be forgiven, we could go straight to God through the blood of Jesus. The Catholics have their confessional, the area where you confess your sins to a priest. They’re completely downplaying what Jesus did for us on the cross. And to me, that’s very anti-Christian, because Jesus died for our sins so that we could go straight to God. And the Catholics say: “No, you can’t. You have to go through us.” To me, that’s a power play. And that might be my bias, and my apologies if it is, but to me, Jesus tore the veil in two so we no longer have anything that separates us from God; we can go to him with our sins and he would directly forgive them.
Jesus accepted the worship of his disciples because he was the son of God. In Matthew 28:9 it says, “Behold, Jesus met them and said, greetings, and they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him.”
But the Bible is very specific in saying you shall have no other gods before me. That’s in Exodus 20:3. And also “you do not worship false idols.” To me, anything other than God, the Trinity of God: Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, anything other than that is worshipping a false idol.
And yet when you pray the rosary, you’re not praying to Jesus, you’re not praying to God, you’re praying to Mary. And the Catholic religion is full of saints; Saint Marc St. Francis of Assisi, half the world seems to be saints.
And they pray to these and there are statues of these people in Catholic churches. To me, that’s a false idol. The statues aren’t Jesus, they’re not of God. We have no idea what God looks like so there shouldn’t be a statue of him.
You don’t need anything, but to be fervent and to be truthful in your prayers and in your asking forgiveness. To me, those are the four things that the Catholics do that separates them. I think it separates them from God and separates them from Christians. To me, the idol worship is one of the biggest ones. And it surprises me how they would so downplay one of the biggest things that Jesus did for us, covering our sins with his blood, so that we no longer had to do sacrifices, we no longer had to go to priests with our sins, we can go straight to God. And yet with the Catholics, they require you to go to our priests. They encourage people to pray to false idols. In my opinion, they’re encouraging that.
But I could be wrong, this could be a bias on my side. And if it is, I’m sorry about that. Hey, if you’ve got an opinion on that, click here to contact me, let me know about it.
Dr. Ty Belknap