Introduction: Hi, I’m Joseph

Hi everyone. I recently came to the faith about 2.5 years ago, after doing about 7 years of pre-self-bible study and i just had so many more questions and I discovered the topic of apologetics and how much area it covered and I find it an excellent way to become better equipped to answer the common questions people may have. I grew up a catholic and in those bible study years (without any foreknowledge about apologetics etc) I really questioned everything that I was taught as I found many contradictions between Catholicism and the Bible and came to the conclusion that we must endeavour to search out for ourselves the truth and ask, why do we believe what we believe? Where is the evidence? Is it blind faith or reasonable faith and Christian lives by? Ravi and his team are blessed and equipped by God to help us learn and to gently teach. I am very excited to learn and learn and learn!

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@JosephG23 welcome to connect. I too grew up Catholic and came to faith 10 years ago. There are great answers to so many of the difficult questions here on Connect and there are also live chats from time to time too. If I can be of any help let me know :facepunch:

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Hi Brian, thats fantastic. Will definitely ask if I have something! Which I will :slight_smile:

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Hey Joseph,

So glad you’re here! Hope we can connect and grow closer to the Lord!

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Hello Joseph, now that you have found favor with God and cloaked in His coat of righteousness what would you say is the biggest difference for you?

For me it was Church back then, not a real relationship like it is now.

I too was like you but I ran from it to a life of sin to drown it out.

Would say there have been several come to connect with our back ground. Welcome my friend, looking forward to further Q&A as we grow in Christ and dig deeper.
Mike

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@JosephG23 Nice to meet you!

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@JosephG23 Man, you are asking all of the right questions! I am very impressed. I like to say that God loves the skeptic because the skeptic examines the evidence so thoroughly that once persuaded, he is hard to dissuade. Welcome aboard–and keep asking questions!

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Welcome to Connect!

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Welcome Joseph,

Wow, what an introduction, it would seem you are an avid student of the Word of God!! How exciting to come to the faith through reading, searching and discovery, to dive into the scriptures and have God meet you there in His every Word. :open_book: He is faithful!

If you were looking to further your knowledge of apologetics, you may want to look into the RZIM academy, I have provided the link below.
https://www.rzim.org/training/rzim-academy/about-academy

I do hope you enjoy perusing and investigating connect and the academy, delight in the journey. :tulip:

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Hi Jarod, thanks for the message. Looking forward to it.

Hi Joseph and welcome!

I like how you said you “discovered the topic of apologetics”,…that’s my story too. I didn’t know such a thing existed when I was young and curious then God had a coworker introduce me to C. S. Lewis and Mere Christianity …just what I needed and changed my life!!! That was many years ago now and I am still learning so much!!!..God’s amazing and not very predictable, huge joy and fun…some struggles too : )

Blessings,
Tim

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Hey Joseph!!!
Welcome, I have always wondered about the ways in which Catholicism and Christianity diverge. Look forward to learning from you!

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for the message! I have something ive been searching for for a very long time and that is peace. Peace knowing that this life is not all that there is, that we are here for a very special purpose. Also, to know that, the God who created the universe, who formed himself into a living cell that grew inside a woman womb, in order to live, breath, work, be tempted, experience suffering and pain and death all so that His love can be demonstrated to me is too amazing.

Another big difference is my church (Protestant) family. I really understood during forming new relationships at a local church, what Christ said that if you follow Him, you will receive more brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children in this age and in the age to come (Mark 10:30). So a big difference is my second big family, who are their to counsel and support me but also reciprocating that back to them.

Thanks for sharing Mike, the thing is, growing up in a Italian Roman Catholic family, and Catholic schools, it never really dawned on me how important Jesus was, but at the same time I wasn’t interested.

I have met people in my church that have similar backgrounds. But my family are all catholic, and secular friends brought up catholic but still have the mentality of identifying catholic, though not really looking into why they believe what they believe.

Yes mike, looking forward to it.
Joseph

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Hi Timothy,
Thanks for the message and the welcome.
Awesome, thanks for sharing. I also read few months ago Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. There are few books that really have captured my attention, and that book was the best!!! I agree with you. How long have you been researching apologetic topics for and how has that helped you as a Christian?
Kind Regards,
Joseph.

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Hi Brendan,
I know right! I wish all people was a skeptic to search out answers to questions and also discover questions that you never considered before. Thank you. :slight_smile:

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Hi Roseann,
Thanks for the welcome and the message. I have signed up, though I am waiting for a response because for their course.
Thank you again! :slight_smile:

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Hi Bettina,

Thanks for the message!

Well, there are a number of topics that show Catholicism to be contradicting the teaches of the bible immensely. Ill just name a few hear, though, however, I would really recommend a book called “Catholicism: East of Eden” by Richard Bennett. He was an ex-priest, and after having been trained and served for a number of years, recognised the many discrepancies. He backs up his claims and experience with Catholic Church doctrines and documents and biblical scriptures to help the reader see this.

Topics such as:

  1. Christ did away with the priest hood and the sacrificial system because He was the One the Old Testament scriptures always pointed to. Hebrews 10:10, Christs sacrifice was once for all. Though, the Mass in the Eucharist claims the Son is transformed into the actually physical body and blood to be a sacrifice again and again. The giving of the bread and wine is and has always been a thing to celebrate as a memorial and thanksgiving offer. Christ said, “do this in remembrance of me” - Luke 22:19.

  2. The praying to and worship of Mary, when the bible does not uphold her to the level the catholic church does. They claim that Mary bodily assumed into heaven at her death and is enthroned as queen of heaven. If we are to take what is said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, that all scripture is inspired by God. Why would God leave this ‘all important’ topic out of His Word. The claim that she was immaculately conceived in her mother is also unscriptural. Mary was a sinner just as the rest of us, she was chosen by God like many others in the bible for a specific purpose. To prove that she was a sinner we have to look at her praise to God in Luke 1:47, she called God her Saviour, recognising she is in need of Gods grace as she is a sinner.

  3. The forming of idols and images of Christ to bow down/ pray to. Breaking already the second commandment (Exodus 20). Romans 1: 22-25 really spell it all out and doesnt need a further explanation. To place the timeless, space less, immaterial, all knowing and all powerful God all subjected to a 500mmx500mm canvas reduces our perspective on God but also creates a form of god that is subjective. Last year I visited with my family my family’s town of origin in Italy, we then took a drive to a town where they had a famous catholic “saint” to see his body and i witnessed many people holding hands of marble statues and praying whilst looking at the imitated faces. Also I saw people purchasing items such as religious rosary beads etc and then they would go to the priest and ‘bless’ them with ‘holy’ water. These are pagan practices and not biblical.

  4. The specification and nomination of ‘saints’ under the authority of catholic doctrine. All who have repented and put their trust in Jesus as Saviour are saints. The angels in heaven roar over even one sinner who repents - Luke 15:7.

There are many more topics such as church authority claiming to have the Apostle Peters keys to heaven, the confession box, the claim the the catholic sacraments are necessary for salvation.

The view of justification (just-as-if-I-never-sinned), completely rejects pure scriptural truths. They claim in the council of Trent; “If anyone says that the faith which justifies is nothing else but truth in the divine mercy, which pardons sin because of Christ; or that it is trust alone by church we are justified; let him be anathema (or cursed). Romans 5:6-9, shows this to be completely against the harsh claims of Catholic authority.

I can go one and write much, but I’m going to leave it there.

What do you think so far Bettina?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kind Regards,

Joseph.

You are highly Welcome :blush:
Bro. Joseph,. Good 7yrs of Bible study,. Excellent :ok_hand: You are right to observe the reality with out, " Any blind Faith". 2Timothy 3:16&17,

Thanks for responding! So I kinda knew about the second and third points that you made. I always thought it strange to worship Mary, but I did not know that she was considered “Queen of Heaven.” Is there any explanation as to where the idea that she was also immaculately conceived came from? I find this fascinating, might have to get that book you recommended.

Wow we have all that in common, my friends, from my Catholic days are no longer near me.
Moving away for work to West Virginia stopped that. My family had big issues with my conversion, except for my oldest brother who told everyone Mike is happier than he ever was.
You may understand this more than most but family tradition is not always good for everyone. Falling into the trap of do what I want visit the confessional and do it again thinking I’m good, surely didnt help me either.
Be safe and take care my friend.
Mike

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