Saturday, May 31, 2008

In the Ring: Candy vs. Angie

Those of you who read through comments on Candy's site may have noticed that she has been conversing with a Catholic named Angie on the reading list post.

Angie didn't leave (or Candy didn't publish) any contact info, so I can't invite her here to join us. But Angie, if you manage to find your way here, be sure to say hi in the comments. We appreciate your effort, as futile as it may be!

I'm going to publish the comments here, and intersperse comments on my own. For clarity, Angie's words are in blue, Candy's in red, and mine in black. Let's begin!

I heard a quote recently that I whole-heartedly agreed with - it went something like this, but I can't remember the exact words. "Less than a hundred hate the Catholic Church, but millions hate the misconceptions they have about the Catholic Church's beliefs."
Here is a link to some information regarding Dave Hunt's book (and I pass this along in love and mean no disrespect to you). http://www.... Glad you are feeling better- tummy bugs are NO fun. Angie

Angie is very polite, and I'm curious as to which link she passed along.

Angie, thank you for being so kind. I edited out the link you gave me, because it was a cult, but I thank you kindly for showing it to me.

The link Angie provided was a cult? So, not only is the Catholic Church a cult, Catholic websites are cults, too?

I don't have "mis-conceptions" about the RC Church. I've gotten my information from priests, nuns, monks, and devout Catholics (some still practicing, others not).

Candy is a disingenuous here. When she says she got her information from priest, nuns, and monks, she means those who have left the Catholic Church, and written books with their "testimony," such as Richard Bennett. For a long time, she had a link to one such book at the top of her website.

I have also read through a lot of the writings of the Holy See and Catholic Catechism.

I suspect she has read through a lot of these writings because people such as myself keep trying to post them as comments. Certainly, she rarely quotes from the Catechism when she is "exposing errors."

St. Germanus said:
"There is no one, O most holy Mary ... who can be saved or redeemed but through thee..."

Although she claims to have no misconceptions, Candy begins by assuming that St. Germanus can speak for entire Catholic Church. This is most likely a quote from one of many books refuting Catholicism, and may or may not be an true quote from a true saint.

Regardless, the title of saint means that a person has lived a life a virtue, that we are sure they are in heaven, and that their lives can serve as a model of Christianity. However, individual saints can err on doctrines. Even someone such as St. Augustine does not match up with Catholic doctrine 100%. Anytime you see a quote from a saint in isolation, it does not compare to quoting a source of Catholic doctrine such as the Catholic Catechism, or a Papal document (which also have varying degrees of authority).

A large portion of this quote is missing, so we really have no idea what St. Germanus said. However, usually comments that are similar to his are pointing to the miracle and wonder of the Incarnation. That our Saviour should have been contained in her womb, thus entering the world through Mary, who had free will and could have said 'no' to God, is truly an idea worthy of meditation.

That is not what the Bible says. The Bible is clear that we are saved by none other than Jesus Himself. Mary herself proclaimed herself a sinner, when she aknowledges Jesus as HER Saviour, as well as the Saviour of the world.

I wrote more on the topic of Mary's role in relation to Jesus here.

Romans 3:23 says that Mary is a sinner.

As Catholics, we believe that Mary was also redeemed by Jesus. For a good article explaining the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (which is really what Candy is referring to), visit Catholic Answers.

Fundamentalists’ chief reason for objecting to the Immaculate Conception and Mary’s consequent sinlessness is that we are told that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23). Besides, they say, Mary said her "spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:47), and only a sinner needs a Savior.

Let’s take the second citation first. Mary, too, required a Savior. Like all other descendants of Adam, she was subject to the necessity of contracting original sin. But by a special intervention of God, undertaken at the instant she was conceived, she was preserved from the stain of original sin and its consequences. She was therefore redeemed by the grace of Christ, but in a special way—by anticipation.

Consider an analogy: Suppose a man falls into a deep pit, and someone reaches down to pull him out. The man has been "saved" from the pit. Now imagine a woman walking along, and she too is about to topple into the pit, but at the very moment that she is to fall in, someone holds her back and prevents her. She too has been saved from the pit, but in an even better way: She was not simply taken out of the pit, she was prevented from getting stained by the mud in the first place. This is the illustration Christians have used for a thousand years to explain how Mary was saved by Christ. By receiving Christ’s grace at her conception, she had his grace applied to her before she was able to become mired in original sin and its stain.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that she was "redeemed in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son" (CCC 492). She has more reason to call God her Savior than we do, because he saved her in an even more glorious manner!
Or what about the RC Church's Council of Trent, 7, General, which says: "If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law [of the Roman Catholic Church] are not necessary for salvation but... that without then.... men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification... let him be anathema."

Again, another incomplete citation. While the Council of Trent is still, to my knowledge, binding, she is still not quoting the Catechism, or the most recent Church councils.

The words "faith alone" never appear together in the New Testament, except in James, where it says NOT by faith alone. The Catholic Church believes in salvation by God's grace, and sacraments are ways that God gives us grace.

Yet John 3:15-16, Romans 10:9-11, Galatians 2:8-9 and numerous other scriptures in both Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible make it clear that there is salvation in NONE other, but Jesus Christ,

Candy is changing the subject now, because the quote from Trent did not say anything about salvation coming from someone other than Jesus.

Here are some quotations from the Catholic Catechism which Candy might find informative:

CCC #161: Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"

#169: Salvation comes from God alone

#183: "Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:16)."

#1544: Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; "holy, blameless, unstained," "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

#1741: Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."

#620: Our salvation flows from God's initiative of love for us, because "he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins" (1 Jn 4:10). "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19).

and that Mary was just a chosen vessel to carry the flesh of Jesus, until he was born.

I am truly surprised to see Candy say this, because I think it heresy on several levels.

First, if Mary "was just a chosen vessel" then she would not have free will.

Second, if she only carried the flesh of Jesus, then she did not carry his Divinity. The early church found the issue of whether Mary was "Christotokos" the Christ Bearer or "Theotokos" the God Bearer very important. Nestorius said, like Candy, that Mary only bore Jesus' humanity, but that God was not contained in her womb. This Rock has a good concise history of the controversy.

If Mary only bore the flesh of Jesus, then where was the Divinity? When did Jesus become both fully human and fully Divine?

Jesus holds believers more important that his mother - thankfully she is a believer also: "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 [blessed in Mary]. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." -Luke 11:27-28 Candy

I find this a very interesting quote. Notice that Jesus did not say "blessed are they that hear the word of God, and have faith alone." He said "and keep it," which sounds like works. While Catholics do not believe we are saved by works, the importance of works is reiterated time and time again in Scripture.

A verse which Candy did not quote:

Luke 1:28:
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Highly favoured? Blessed among women? I thought Candy said that believers were more important than Mary?

Luke 1:30: And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Found favour with God? I thought she was just a chosen vessel, randomly plucked from the mass of humanity.

Luke 1:42: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

There's that blessed among women thing again.

Luke 1:48: For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

All generations will call Mary blessed. But Candy says she is not blessed, not at all. And in that, she is contradicting the Word of God.

Well, we've hardly even gotten started and I've written a huge amount. Part II to come!

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Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

thank you, thank you, thank you KElly for discussing this here.. so Candy thinks we are a cult? that is sooo funny.. my thoughts have always been that Candy's church is a cult.. how ironic:)

Lynn said...

What happened to the exchange between Rich and Candy, which she tells him to read quickly before he gets banned? I can't find it in any of the comments.

Kelly said...

Lynn, as far as I can tell the Anne/Rich thing is a family squabble, so we won't get involved with that here. We're focused on theological disagreements with Candy, rather than personal ones.

If the comments are gone, I would guess that she deleted them. She can make things disappear pretty quickly.

motherofmany said...

First, if Mary "was just a chosen vessel" then she would not have free will.

Just wanted to throw in here that many people in the Bible were chosen but also had free will. They were picked for specific tasks (David, Daniel, Paul, even Jesus) but were given the opportunity to either accept or decline, thought saying 'no' to God was a very bad idea (Jonah, Saul, etc.).

Kelly said...

Fair enough, Amy. It seemed to have a very predestination tone to it, but I was probably reading more into it than was there. I think it's the passive voice she used.

Lynn said...

Oh, good. Something I can just ignore :) This whole exchange is beginning to make my head spin. Issue piled on issue, so much that it could never all be handled in a combox.

That's one thing very handy about all the little protestant denominations--in debates, a Catholic is held accountable for 2000 years of history, good and bad. An IFB only has to carry a couple of decades, if that.

Sal said...

Well that was a short truce.

Elena said...

What do you mean Sal?