November 29, 2020

Real Differences Between Evangelicals and Catholics

(100% true)

I pass the Inspirational Channel and Morris Cerulo saying that he has 1100 Prophecy Bibles only for his partners who will sow $240 into his ministry.

Next channel is EWTN. Fr. Mitch Pascwa is speaking and says that all of us must saturate ourselves in St. Paul’s epistles this year. Every Catholic should read them all.

UPDATE: Now that we’ve all had a chance to vent….:-)…a few thoughts.

The fact that an evangelical is giving away Bibles is distinctive of evangelicalism. Do Catholics ever just give the Bible to people and say “Read it and see what God says to you in it?”

The fact that Cerulo’s Bible has his prophecy notes on each page shows that evangelicals have their little popes and little magisteriums. They just don’t like to admit it.

The fact is that Fr. Mitch can say let’s all read Paul’s letters, but come back and tell him that Paul never says “Peter is the infallible successor to Jesus” anywhere and you’ll find out how far Paul’s epistles actually go.

If you chase this subject, you’ll discover that some RC scholars do a far better job with Paul’s letters than many Protestants.


  1. If I go by the epistles, James isn’t playing any role as the successor to Jesus and the seat of all authority. Which would be exactly what I believe. (But it takes some serious presuppositional reading to make Peter the bottom line in the Jerusalem conference.)

    The epistles- Peter’s and Paul’s- read like they are apostles. Which is exactly what I expect. That Paul would never mention the papacy in I Cor or Romans is more than an understandable omission. It’s incomprehensible.

  2. Mr. iMonk I think you might be hijacking your own thread. I would be most happy to participate given the word. However I would like to know if it is ok to do so.

    I don’t want to go down a road you never intended if this is not the case.

  3. As far as the Catholic view on the Bible distribution, yes of course it is part of it however we are against two things.

    1. Distributing and incomplete Bibles (New Testament only) or not including the Deuterocanonical books, and of course inacurate translations.

    2. The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can.

  4. 1. No one is trying to convert anyone here.

    2. The expectations are for short posts without argumentative rhetoric.

    3. Just for my own clarification, are you a Roman Catholic or something else? I’m very confused? (And, if so, do you accept Vatican II/Benedict 16 as legit?)

  5. >The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can.

    Thanks for reminding me why I’ll stay right where I am in the body of Christ.

    That’s one amazing statement. “Harmful.” Wow.

  6. Protestants differ with Catholics on Matthew 16:16-18….but the difference should not divide us. My interpretation (paraphrased) is that Jesus is making the crowd aware that Peter is the only one who ‘knows'(knowledge conceived) by divine revelation from the Father that Jesus is the awaited Messiah. For me, Christ is saying, ‘You know love and my grace..personally… and I know you very personally. And on this rock (foundation) I will build my church.’ I have personal visits with Christ in the person of the Holy Comforter. And He calls my by my name, Carolyn, on each encounter. I am blown away that amidst all the people who exist eternally…He knows that I am Carolyn.

  7. >The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can.

    Reminds me of an email link I got this morning:

    I don’t expect to see this comment posted, but you would find this video hard to believe if not seen with your own eyes. And this is a 3 year old!

  8. Haven’t seen anyone mention it here, but the Catholic Church doesn’t actually teach that Peter is the “successor” to Jesus.

  9. “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”

    I think it’s pretty hard to contest based on history that people armed with the Scriptures can be very harmful, to themselves and others. The Millerites spring to mind as a good example, among countless others throughout the Church’s lifetime. As Clement of Alexandria says concerning heretical uses of Scripture:

    “… But if it is not enough merely to state the opinion, but if what is stated must be confirmed, we do not wait for the testimony of men, but we establish the matter that is in question by the voice of the Lord, which is the surest of all demonstrations, or rather is the only demonstration; in which knowledge those who have merely tasted the Scriptures are believers; while those who, having advanced further, and become correct expounders of the truth, are [the true] Gnostics.* Since also, in what pertains to life, craftsmen are superior to ordinary people, and model what is beyond common notions; so, consequently, we also, giving a complete exhibition of the Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, from faith persuade by demonstration.

    And if those also who follow heresies venture to avail themselves of the prophetic Scriptures; in the first place they will not make use of all the Scriptures, and then they will not quote them entire, nor as the body and texture of prophecy prescribe. But, selecting ambiguous expressions, they wrest them to their own opinions, gathering a few expressions here and there; not looking to the sense, but making use of the mere words. For in almost all the quotations they make, you will find that they attend to the names alone, while they alter the meanings; neither knowing, as they affirm, nor using the quotations they adduce, according to their true nature.

    But the truth is not found by changing the meanings (for so people subvert all true teaching), but in the consideration of what perfectly belongs to and becomes the Sovereign God, and in establishing each one of the points demonstrated in the Scriptures again from similar Scriptures. Neither, then, do they want to turn to the truth, being ashamed to abandon the claims of self-love; nor are they able to manage their opinions, by doing violence to the Scriptures. But having first promulgated false dogmas to men; plainly fighting against almost the whole Scriptures, and constantly confuted by us who contradict them; for the rest, even now partly they hold out against admitting the prophetic Scriptures, and partly disparage us as of a different nature, and incapable of understanding what is peculiar to them. And sometimes even they deny their own dogmas, when these are confuted, being ashamed openly to own what in private they glory in teaching. For this may be seen in all the heresies, when you examine the iniquities of their dogmas. For when they are overturned by our clearly showing that they are opposed to the Scriptures, one of two things may be seen to have been done by those who defend the dogma. For they either despise the consistency of their own dogmas, or despise the prophecy itself, or rather their own hope. And they invariably prefer what seems to them to be more evident to what has been spoken by the Lord through the prophets and by the Gospel, and, besides, attested and confirmed by the apostles.” (Stromata, Book 7, chapter 16)

    Scripture alone is not enough, and never has been. That being said, it is God-breathed and “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. As such, spreading it is a good thing, but it is not the whole of the Gospel.

  10. Sam,

    Please don’t post lengthy quotes. Link them. I won’t post another one.

    And do you think there’s any historical evidence of violence done by those whose understanding of the Bible was guided by the proper teaching authority? From both RC history and Protestant history?

    Sola Scriptura is not “scripture alone.”


  11. >>The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can.

    >Thanks for reminding me why I’ll stay right where I am in the body of Christ.

    Without knowing what branch of what church Giovanni professes, and without defending that statement of his straight up: Having come into contact with a set of books from Jimmy and Frances Swaggart recently, I do have to go so far as to say that anyone attempting to interpret the Bible desperately needs some guide from orthodox tradition. Humility helps too. It’s a beautiful, powerful, true, and extremely complicated book. Few of the cardinal statements of Christianity are written bluntly or didactically on its pages.

    I was raised a staunch and Biblically informed Baptist and recently, to the heartbreak of my parents, became a Catholic. For me, reading the Bible and looking at Bible, faith and church in the context of history left me thinking “I didn’t know, I just didn’t know…” and no real choice but to join. I fell in love with the Church as well.

    The evangelicals I’ve known and grown up with are almost all devout, loving, Bible-believing, Bible-living people. There have been a few that have attempted to use Christianity to make their life “work”, which, I hardly need add, doesn’t work. How stoppable the general trend toward liberalism may be … well, the ship won’t go down with my parents still alive.

    I see the same ‘devout, loving, Bible-believing, Bible-living’ spirit in the Catholics I know. Granted, I seem to always know the ‘best of the best’ in both worlds–or maybe it’s just my innate optimism. But while I certainly wouldn’t say denomination is irrelevant, I would say that the grace of God is evident wherever the truth of Christ is wholeheartedly believed. Even–since we’re all human, and clearly either the Catholics or the Protestants have got some important things wrong–when that truth is imperfectly understood.

    Mr. Spencer, from my experience I know some part of what you and your wife must be going through. You both have my prayers.

    From one who has read often and respected the iMonk, though never commented,


  12. Thanks Jenna. It is flat out horrible. My relationship with God goes on, but at a distance that I hate to even think about.

  13. Paul, by his own word, was the least of the Apostles. Why should I look to him over the Gospels? The Epistles are great supporting documents for the Gospels, but they are inherantly secondary and dependent documents.

    This is a confusing statement. I don’t remember any part of the Bible being “secondary”. Paul says that all Scripture is God-breathed. When you read Galatians, you find Paul rebuking Peter and generally not acting like he is the “least of the apostles”. He says that Peter was only sent to Jews and he is responsible for the gospel message to the Gentiles. That makes for some interesting questions to say the least.

  14. Sorry about the large quote. I’ll be careful of that in the future.

    Of course there is. Human beings are human beings, no matter what. There’s no question of that. In fact, I don’t even understand your question. My point wasn’t that Magisterial authority makes people perfect, if that’s what you were going for.

    Pax et bonum,

  15. I respect the Catholic Church, but Catholics who say things like, “The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can” simply betray either unfamiliarity with or forgetfulness of the plain fact of the power of Scripture. Either is a severe problem.

    For an excellent rejoinder found in Karl Keating’s mag, check out this terrific reminder:

  16. Today, I saw a man carrying a Bible into my Catholic Church for Mass, and I said to my wife – “that must be a protestant visitor!”

    Hee hee! Paul, I did that the first time I went to a Mass. I was so used to taking a Bible to church that I toted my trusty King Jimmy along with me. Long about the psalm I realized that everyone else was just following along in the missalette.

    (And I also tried to strike up a conversation during the sign of peace. Lot to learn…)

  17. Jeff M, I don’t think there’s any indication that Paul expected that HE was writing Scripture when he wrote that passage, do you? I think it’s more likely he was talking about what we call the Old Testament; interestingly enough, the book of Timothy (as well as the other Pauline epistles) was not considered Scripture by some groups within the early church, who maintained this view even after the councils established them as such.

    I think that Paul was interested in characterizing the preaching and teaching of Jesus as intimately intertwined with (but not circumscribed by) the established, written Word, to the proselytized Gentiles. When he calls Scripture “God-breathed” in his letter, he’s essentially affirming it’s importance for Gentile converts, too – who wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with it as such. If anything, the story he recounts in Galatians reveals just how like us the Apostles were (men, weak and prone to compromise, even with God’s help and Jesus’ firsthand instruction); it took Paul’s admonition to remind everybody of the difference between discipleship by grace and fuzzy obedience to mere custom. He’d already been a Christian evangelist for at least 14 years by that point, and he was never a coward about speaking his mind; even the least of the Apostles wouldn’t by shy about dealing with a problem like that though.

  18. I respect the Catholic Church, but Catholics who say things like, “The Holy Bible without proper guidance can be as harmful as giving a 4 year old scissors and tell him to run around in circles as fast as he can” simply betray either unfamiliarity with or forgetfulness of the plain fact of the power of Scripture. Either is a severe problem.

    Joe, on the surface that sounds good, until you consider that lack of guidance produced Charles Taze Russell. Protestants usually do have some sort of guidance; it’s just less overt.

  19. I am Roman Catholic and I stand by my statement. Wars and atrocities have been commited in the name of the words that are writen in the Holy book.

    You don’t simply hand somebody a Bible and go on your marry way that is irresponsible. And here are a few reasons why.


  20. There is little doubt that among both us Eastern Orthodox, and among Roman Catholics, the Western Middle Ages, and the Eastern Church under the Turkocracia were not as concerned with Scripture as they ought to have been (except among the monks who kept to the daily reading of Scriptures through the centuries). And, it is also true that at various times the Church seemed to discourage the private reading of Scripture. As we look back, we are not proud of that.

    However, one of the facts that many do not want to acknowledge is that the Reformation was a great success in calling the Church back to the regular study of the Scriptures in the entire Church. It may have taken until the 20th century for it to fully happen among us, but it did happen. (I will mention that the public reading of Scriptures in the worship NEVER left.) Congratulations, you won that fight!

    Nevertheless, the expected result was not that everyone became Protestant. Rather, the resurgence in Scripture reading and study brought a resurgence also in the study of the Early Church Fathers. And, behold, our studies only reinforced many of our views. And, where they did not reinforce, there have been many changes. Yes, the Reformation did have its effect, we have become more Biblical and more in accord with the Church of those first couple of centuries.

    But, as Protestants have found out to their chagrin, reading Scripture outside of the context of the other people who wrote around that time, outside of the context of the worship practices of the Church around that time, outside of the context of the organizational practices of the Church around that time, outside of the context of the community at that time is a sure way to guarantee the unending multiplication of communities that has plagued the Church since the Reformation. That context is called Holy Tradition.

    Holy Tradition is not uniform. The Church has misused it at times. (In fact, that is one of the things the Eastern Orthodox claim the Roman Catholic Church has done too often.) But that multiple rooted Tradition provides the context within which Scripture is read. Finally, the Ecumenical Councils provide the solid skeleton, the Deposit of Faith, upon which our Scriptural interpretation is hung. (Note: in actuality, with few exceptions, Protestants agree with all but the Seventh Council.)

    We are a long way from perfect. We rely–as we Eastern Orthodox phrase it–on God’s Great Mercy. But, there is much we have learned. There is much that has changed. There were various points where the Reformation was correct to call for Reform. But, and most important, the resulting fragmented movement also shows that there were some great fallacies which need correcting, among which is the fallacy that Scripture is a matter of individual interpretation outside of an Early Church context, the fallacy that individual conscience trumps Church authority at every turn, and the fallacy that the individual, in and by themself, is fully capable of expressing the Church and suffering no ill-effects thereby.

  21. Oh come on people. Naming heresies? Are you seriously wanting someone to just start pasting Foxes Book of Martyrs or stories of the Conquistadors or the inquisition on here?

    Good grief. The same “authorities” that insured unity burned heretics.

    And we have our witch trials and our anti-Catholic violence.

    Let’s just avoid that entire approach please.

  22. Giovanni:

    Forgive me if I have misread some past posts but I want to make sure I understand you.

    Do you accept the validity of Vatican II and do you accept Benedict 16 as a legitimate Pope? IOWs, are you currently in communion with a church that is in communion with the current bishop of Rome, B16?

  23. Joe, history (especially early-church history) shows how amazingly difficult a time people had understanding and following Jesus, and how many different and heretical interpretations people discovered from the texts and then preached, all the while claiming their authority from the Spirit or superior exegesis. Fact is, I think a certain type of person is always going to assume that their interpretive innovation is always The Real Orthodoxy and puff themselves up to teach others, whose temperments run more fictile or sheeply. If it weren’t for church authority to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m sure I’d take money for preaching educated foolishness on a Scriptural tip; I wouldn’t know better. And lots of people who read and teach the Bible out there don’t really seem to “know better”, either.

  24. Hmm, a quick note on your reply to Giovanni. Yes, sadly, we have also had to repent for some of the atrocities we committed in the Lord’s name. Our Patriarchs, like the Pope, have acknowledged some of the past sin. We just simply get less coverage. GRIN.

    But–to support Roman Catholics–the two previous Popes made various journeys whose purpose was to go, like penitent pilgrims, and make their repentance. One of the most famous trips was the trip that Pope John Paul II took to Israel and to the Wailing Wall. Substantial healing was brought there. For us Eastern Orthodox, the return of the bones of two of our famous saintly forebears to us (the Crusaders did some grave-robbing) was a great event. They were re-buried with great honor, back home finally.

    No, we are not perfect. But, we are the Church (this is not meant in an exclusionary way). We clearly forgot that we were the Church Militant and thought we were the Church Glorious, but God has been gracious and kind to us, even when He disciplined us.

  25. Yes, of course. I am not a sedevacantist or a semi-schismatic like the SSPX. I am a traditional Roman Catholic, I prefer the TLM but fully acknoledge the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo of Vatican II.

    I tend to disagree with Father Ernesto on this point. I don’t think that the Protestant idea of scripture for all worked quite the way they thought it should.

    Unlike the Foxes book of Martyrs and the other things mentioned the early heretics were very real and to this day we have the reminence of their legacy. The Unitarians who are Arians and part of the C of E that seems bent on becoming the new Gnostics.

    Besides you wanted examples of how Scripture without a proper teaching can be dangerous I can see no better example of that than all those who claim to know a “greater truth” than that to which the Church upholds.

  26. The scissors comment, as I read it, was not specifically referring to violence, Michael, but to the start and spread of errors like those mentioned above. All heretics use the Bible as the source of their arguements, from Marcion and Arius to Jim Jones and David Koresh. It isn’t to say that absolute Orthodoxy guarantees right behavior (Alexander VI was confessionally immaculate, but a truly awful example of a Christian), but heterodoxy is directly damaging to the soul, dangerous in the same way stabbing oneself with scissors is (hence the analogy). Actual violence doesn’t enter into the equation.

  27. Here is a perspective from North East Pa. Hard coal country has been largely catholic since the immigration of Europeans other than English and Dutch /Germans.
    The problem with catholicism is that by and large, it doesn’t work, I mean it doesn’t “take”, it is a social cultural establishment more than a moral spiritual one.
    This does not mean it does not work for some. I know nuns who truely are the bride of Christ. There are some catholics who pray with fervor and intensity. It works for them,works like nothing else could,but they seem to be a small minority. With a pastor /parishioner ratio of OVER 2,700 to one and with churches closing monthly it is like they are closing up shop around here.
    Our church Dayspring Bible, is comprised of former catholics over 90 %. Nobody pulled them away, it just did not work for them. They were not saved. They had no relationship with Jesus. That doesn’t mean that their mothers or brothers in the RC are not saved. It means they themselves were not.
    As Pastor I need to watch during studies for anti -catholic feelings. Some get resentful that their former priest did not parse the Gospel in a way they could understand. I often ask ” were you ready to hear it?”
    Thank God that He looks to the heart not to membership cards. Imonk in our area you situation is perhaps more common. Thank God you are yoked to a believer. Membership in a church neither assures or precludes salvation.

  28. IMONK: >>My relationship with God goes on but at a distance I hate to even think about.

    IMONK, why the distance? Can you speak to that for me…for understanding only….not debate (smile).

  29. Jenny Bluett says


    “It’s hard not to make this observation: Is the distribution of the scripture OUTSIDE of the context of the church’s teaching authority something the RCC can fully endorse?”

    Apart from the teaching authority of the Church? I believe the answer would be no. Yet, from the Catholic’s prerogative, that’s a positive, obeying the injunction of Christ, kinda thing.

    Why would one delibrately desire it to be outiside the context of the church except to rid oneself of its authority because they preceive it as wrong (I guess?).

    “Historically, the RCC opposed the translation and distribution of the Bible.”

    This is a broad (I belive, incorrect) generalization; it opposed translations unauthorized by bishops. There were numerous translations of Scripture in many countries prior to the invention of the printing press and the time of the Reformation. Regarding its distribution, well the times were interesting, were they not?

    Historically (500 years ago), from the RCC perspective, the bishops acted to protect the word of God from profanation as well as serving the preservation of the Gospel of Christ. Those on the other side, obviously, would disagree.

    “Now that the church is more committed to the average Catholic layperson having the Bible and reading it devotionally, how about the next level: scripture evangelism.”

    How about that continuous reading by the bishops and cardinals for starters? That was my point; it is an incredibly exciting form of evangelization!

    From my own experience, reliance upon Scripture reading alone, STRATCH THAT, reliance upon:

    My NIV Study Bible, my Scofield Study Bible, my Reformation Study Bible, my NASB Study Bible, My Johnny Mac Study Bible, my “fill in the blank” Study Bible, (I had even more, seriously) the myriad of teachers in my place of worship, teachers in those places I visited, multitudes of Christian publishing houses and their books, on many Christian radio staitions, on numerous differing Christian ministries websites, discussion groups and blogs … I was led to some funky places (ie. supralapsarianism). I succeeding in getting really dizzy.

    Aside from all this, what witnessed to me MOST in the Catholic evangel was the mass itself; the mass which is infused and saturated in the Word of God. And at the center of it all, I was touched to the core by the sacrament of the WORD, Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

    He, in the center of the mass, I believe is the heart of our evangelism. I guess I could hand out an approved bible (I gave out many bibles in my pre-Catholic days, my husband was a Gideon) as well as a copy of the CCC with it.

    My preference though, would be rather to invite a friend to mass, sit in the cry room and excitedly talk them through it.

    Sorry this is long.

    Peace & Joy in the Trials,

    ps The suckiness gets better, I promise. It still really stinks though.

  30. I don’t have my copy of the book on hand, and I can’t find it in the online edition of the book. But, I believe that Robert Barclay asserts in his Apology that scripture in the hands of one who has not the Spirit is a dangerous thing.

  31. “That’s one amazing statement. “Harmful.” Wow.”

    Um – haven’t we been discussing, oh, the guys who take Revelations and run with it to tell us the exact day, hour and minute the end of the world is going to happen?

    The discussion about ‘is being a stay-at-home dad a sin’?

    Divorce and remarriage – yes? no? maybe?

    Abortion – “Jesus says nothing about it!” which yes, I’ve seen used as an argument.

    And of course, the great Anglican kerfuffle currently going on about ordaining non-celibate gays to the priesthood – “hey, Scripture says nothing about it!” “Er – this verse here?” “Oh come on, that’s the same as the prohibition against eating shellfish!”

    Someone taking a Bible in his or her hand, pulling out a verse, and saying “This proves God wants us to – ” can indeed be harmful.

  32. Michael, I do think the point of what Giovanni was saying was “without guidance”, not “giving someone a Bible in itself is bad”.

    It’s the meeting on the road to Emmaus – “27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

    The two disciples very probably knew the Scriptures for themselves, but they needed guidance as to how to interpret them properly.

    That’s all we’re sayin’ 🙂

    (Yes, of course, then the argument starts over “But what exactly is the proper interpretation, and who has it?”)

  33. There are a lot of things i just do not understand. I agree with Aliasmoi that the Holy Spirit is our guide to scripture, but I can’t for the life of me grasp why there are so many conflicting beliefs based on the same instruction book. I started out my life as a new Christian in a fundamental background. They had all the answers. Who was saved when, why, how old, how long ,all the answers to everything were in Holy Scripture.
    35 years later I find myself a steward of the Mysteries of God.
    All our denominations are divisions of the body. That said, I feel my group does it better than yours. Some ego , huh? I swim in the same pool as IMONK because it is a big tent, but I see some trying to tie the flaps shut.
    Could it be that God is just too big for us? Let us all try to honor God as best we can. Are those of us here a church? I hope so.

  34. Willow: >>All our denominations are divisions of the body.

    Are denominations divisions of the body? Where does the traditional church (like that of the Scribes and Pharisees)end and where does the true Body of Christ begin? I think…..only God knows. As the Body of Christ (lively stones fitly joined together/ Christ as the chief Corner Stone) is ‘in the world but not of the world…I believe individual ‘lively stones’ are in the traditional church…but not of the traditional church!

    ..Enjoying your comments.

  35. I know lots of church friends who stand firm on their individual doctrinal beliefs….but ‘searching scripture to see if those things be true’ is often left off. So often..we simply take the path of least resistance rather than ‘diligently seeking’ the right path. As I serve others, I no longer say, “You need to be in church.” I say, “You need to be in the Word…..because God (truth)lives there.”

  36. I have been asked ,”Can a true believer fellowship with those of imperfect doctrine?” I hope so or I will get lonely. Only god is perfect. We need to read the word follow the Spirit and obey to the best of our ability. There is some Salt in every house of the Lord.
    Amen Carolyn.

  37. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    I pass the Inspirational Channel and Morris Cerulo saying that he has 1100 Prophecy Bibles only for his partners who will sow $240 into his ministry.

    When coin in Cerulo’s coffer rings,
    Then your soul to Heaven springs…