Don’t Follow Christ Because of Judas?

Regardless of size or history, you will find imperfect people in all religious groups as well among non-religious groups. The Catholic Church is one of the largest unified religious institutions in the world and is comprised of more than half of the people who identify as Christian. Catholicism has documented an unbroken chain of succession from the current Pope back to the Apostle Peter. It seems inevitable that over the course of 2000 years, scandalous people will emerge. How could they not in such a long-standing institution?

But consider this… one of the original twelve Apostles betrayed Christ, one denied him and nine others fled after his arrest. Only John remained with Christ at the foot of the cross. None-the-less, these imperfect men became the early church fathers appointed by Christ to spread Christianity far and wide. If God didn’t choose to work through imperfect people, He wouldn’t have anyone to do his work.

Do Horrific Acts Make a Religion Untrue? As Jimmy Akin posits in the below video, no church is without sinners and it’s not the moral failings of some, but overall the teachings as a whole that should be evaluated. Will there be sinners in the church? Yes. Does that negate Christ’s promise in Matthew 16:17-19 that He would build his Church and that the “gates of hell will not prevail against it.” He didn’t promise the Church wouldn’t have sinners in it. He didn’t promise that the enemy wouldn’t attack the Church. He just promised the enemy wouldn’t win in the end.

Fr. Mike Schmitz delivers ad difficult and emotional talk about sex scandals in the Church. Is it bad? Yes. Do we need to root out the evil that is attacking our church and causing followers to fall away? Yes. Are all priests, bishops and clergy involved? No.

Historical Truth. Historical Propaganda. There is some really good scholarship on the history of our imperfect church, but there is also a lot of flawed propaganda. My hope is that academically rigorous sources are consulted when people are investigating popular claims and making decisions that impact their eternal fate.

Seven Lies About Catholic History: The following is an interview of Dr. Diane Moczar who is a historian, author, and college professor. Dr. Moczar debunks revisionist history using research from non-Catholic historians. She exposes the propaganda we have heard over and over by the enemies of the Church. Misrepresentations that have been told so loud and so often that people just accept them as truth without ever doing any true research. This is a must listen to for those interested in history. You can also read her book (link below).

Keeping the Faith: Scandals in the Church: With all the scandals in the church it’s easy to become discouraged. This is a reminder that one of the original twelve was a traitor. Remember that Catholic priests don’t offend at a higher rate than the general population and actually offend at a lower rate than clergy of other denominations. Remember that most offenders were once victims themselves. Remember to pray for all religious (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) as the devil knows that tempting one leader to stray will steal away a large number of souls from God.

Scandals Cause Some to Leave the Church: Catholic Answers live addresses a caller’s concern about scandals in the Catholic Church. What percent of Church leaders do you think are corrupt? Remember that even 16% of the Apostles betrayed Jesus. Will there be Judases? Yes. Will there be Peters who fail and then repent? Yes, there always will be, but that does negate Christ’s promises to protect the church as a whole. The devil will continue to attack any Church that brings its members closer to the truth. It’s not the moral failings of some, but overall the teachings as a whole that should be evaluated.

What About the Bad Popes: Catholic Answers live addresses the bad popes of history showing that in the history of the church we’ve had over 265 popes and 99% of them have been solid, scholarly, saintly men of God. Enemy 1. God 99.

Belief, Faith, and the Church Sex Scandal:  Bishop Robert Barron Interview on the secular show, The Rubin Report. A fair and insightful interview.

Other Religions from a Satanists Perspective: Zachary King discusses how Satan attacks his enemies (and who he considers his enemies to be).

Attention all Bible Preachers Coming at the Catholic Church: The thinking of men would say that the higher in the church you move the holier you must be. The thinking of God is opposite that. God warned us that there would be religious leaders that failed morally. There are many gospel accounts of Jesus telling his followers to do the things that the scribes tell them to do, but not to follow their example, for they preach but do not practice. God said “do not do what they do,” but He didn’t say, “leave.” Remember John 6:67 when many disciples turned away from Jesus. Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” Simon Peter replied, Lord to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Why do you think that the Catholic Church gets so much press on the bad stories? Why do you think we get singled out? Bishop Peter Christianson of Idaho believes that it’s more than just the fact that we are the world’s largest religious institution. It is in part because if you can weaken the Church in the minds of people then it eases the consciences those who do not want to bend a knee to God or live conscientiously with a set of inconvenient morals.

And what if – just what if – the Church been infiltrated by her enemies? When I first read the title of this next video, I assumed it would be far fetched. After listening it gives me pause and makes me wonder if perhaps these allegations are true. Has Christ’s Church been infiltrated with the purpose of destroying her from within? If so it wouldn’t be the first conspiracy theory proven true.

 

Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners (Mark 2:13-17)

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

More Resources:

Bearing False Witness by Rodney Stark: Highly regarded scholar and religious sociologist, Rodney Stark shows:

Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice.

Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, “Hitler’s Pope,” Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war.

Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.”

Seven Lies About Catholic History: Infamous Myths about the Church’s Past and How to Answer them by Dr. Diane Moczar (as referred to in the video interview above).

Goodbye Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church. How did the American Catholic priesthood go from an image of wise, strong men like Spencer Tracy in Boys Town and Bing Crosby in Going My Way to an image of “pedophile priests”? In the New York Times bestseller Goodbye, Good Men, investigative reporter Michael S. Rose provides the shocking answer that the mainstream news media have missed. He uncovers how radical liberalism, like that found on many college campuses, has infiltrated the Catholic Church and tried to overthrow traditional beliefs, standards, and disciplines—especially Church teachings on sexuality.

School of Darkness: Bella Dodd’s story of being lured into Communism with the appeal to love humanity. Her testimony before investigating committees revealed the extent to which communist infiltration had taken place in America, particularly among teachers in seminaries, schools, and colleges. This record of her life describes how she came to be a member of the Communist Party, the reasons for her gradual disillusionment and final break with the party,

Religionless Spirituality: Dr. Tim Gray explains why “spiritual but not religious” falls short when viewed in light of what Jesus said in scripture. As part of this audio, he has a great section on why it makes no sense leave the Church just because there are sinners in it. Using historical examples and scripture passages, he makes a strong case for drawing near to the Church regardless of its imperfect members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And maybe this?

 

A Scientific Defense of Spiritual and Religious Faith: While this Ted Talk doesn’t show reasons why someone would have faith, it does debunk the myth that religious people are more violent than non-religious people.

Atheists Dodge Their History of Atrocities and Violence: Detractors of Christianity (and religion in general) perpetrate a myth that religion is the source of all atrocities. John Lennox, Ph.D. touches on the New Atheist’s shallow view of history when it comes to secular regimes in the past that murdered people in the name of atheism. These secular regimes that fought for a secular and Godless state include Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. Many of the atheists who airbrush and dodge this known fact include people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Bill Maher. By the way, these atrocities done by atheists far outnumber the atrocities done in the name of religion (such as the Salem Witch Trials or the Spanish Inquisition). Read Greg Koukl’s article ‘The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?’: http://www.str.org/articles/the-real-…

https://youtu.be/2NcHbE5XfxI

Atrocities of Atheism: Another video debunking the atheist argument that all major atrocities are committed in the name of religion.

What About The Wealth of The Catholic Church? Most objections about the Church’s alleged wealth is in regard to the art in the Vatican. Most of the art represents the work of Christians who wanted to place their talents at the service of God through the Church. The artwork is an example of their religiosity and is not for sale. Had the Church not preserved the art, much of it would have been destroyed through the ages. Such art is part of our heritage as Christians and indeed as human beings, and few people of any persuasion who appreciate such world culture would truly prefer that these treasures have been put into the control of secular commerce.

In Matthew 26:6ff we read, “A woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For the ointment might have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”

Likewise, many of the great cathedrals of Europe were built with donations and labor from the poor, who wanted to build such monuments to God’s goodness and sovereignty. The Vatican does not control enormous liquid wealth, and its annual operating budget has been compared to that of a large archdiocese such as that of Chicago.

In spite of this, the Catholic Church is still one of the most giving institutions on earth, running and supporting countless charities, relief organizations, hospitals, and similar enterprises at great cost to the Church. Click here for the complete article on Catholic.com

Newsweek: Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males or Other Clergy: The Catholic sex-abuse stories emerging every day suggest that Catholics have a much bigger problem with child molestation than other denominations and the general population. Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. More here: http://www.newsweek.com/priests-commit-no-more-abuse-other-males-70625

Other Sources:

newadvent.org/bible
www.economist.com
Wiki List of Largest Companies by Revenue
Ehow.com Average Salary of a Catholic Priest
Rich Pastors & People’s Stupidity
Catholic Wealth & Spending
New Report Examines Salaries of MegaChurch Pastors
Catholic Charities USA Makes Top 10 in Philanthropy 100
Average Pay for Fulltime Southern Baptist/Staff Member
Is there a concise way to respond to criticisms of the Church’s Wealth
Extravagant Lifestyles of Mega Pastors to be Exposed by Richard Dawkins Foundation