explain the catholic faith
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Dear D;
All you need is love!

May the peace of Christ be with you always.

It's been months now that we have been emailing back and forth about what Jesus teaches
through His Church, that is, The Catholic Church. You, of course, disagree, but you have not
yet presented one sound biblical argument why you are correct.

First; you say that we are "saved by our Faith in Jesus Christ, alone".  [Rom. 10:9] The word
that you use, "alone", is never mentioned by St. Paul. Yet the phrase, "faith alone", does exist
in the Bible in The Letter Of James.
The Bible actually says the total opposite of what you claim that it says; "we are not saved by
faith alone".
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

You say that we are followers of Christ if we are clothed outside with Holiness but there is no
real change within.  [Romans 4:7] You are giving your own mis-interpetation to this verse and
similar ones.
St. Paul says that if you really belong to God you will be changed from within, not just the
outside.
Romans 2:29  He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart,
spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.

St. Paul was only echoing what Jesus teaches;
Mat 23:25  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the
cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. 26  You blind Pharisee!
first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27  
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which
outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
28  So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and
iniquity.

St. Paul says that the virtue of Love is greater than the virtue of Faith.
1 Corinthians 13:13  So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Showing that love is more important than faith. Why would St. Paul make such a statement, if,
as you say, he teaches that all we need is Faith in Christ to get into heaven? Because he
doesn't teach that 'faith alone' gets us into heaven. That is a teaching of men, not of God.

Jesus goes on to say that if we would enter eternal life, love is not an option.
Luke 10:25  And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I
do to inherit eternal life?" 26  He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?"
27  And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28  And
he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
St. Paul repeats; Galatians 5:14  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your
neighbor as yourself."

We can agree that Faith is needed for Salvation. What you need to do is to accept the Biblical
teaching that Love is also needed for Salvation.  Gal 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither
circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.

Secondly; you say that "the Bible is your only authority"... that you can interpret The Bible on
your own.
However, The Bible says the opposite.
2 Peter 1:20  First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of
one's own interpretation,

St. Paul goes on to tell St. Timothy that the "Church" is the "pillar and foundation of truth".
1 Timothy 3:15  if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of
God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Jesus says that whoever listens to His Church listens to Him and The Father Who sent Him.
Luke 10:16  "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who
rejects me rejects him who sent me."

St. Peter makes it clear that only he and the Apostles, appointed by Jesus, have the authority
to teach for Christ.
Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate
and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42  He commissioned us to preach to the
people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.

And finally St. Peter was appointed the guardian of the New Covenant, when Jesus changed
His name from Simon to the "rock". Just as when God made the Old Covenant with Father
Abraham changing his name from Abram. Jesus founded His Church on the "rock" of St. Peter,
so when the rains (of dissent) come, the true followers of Jesus, would have a sure footing and
a perfect knowledge of what is needed for the Salvation of mankind... when He said; "Simon
you are ROCK and on this very ROCK I will found MY CHURCH and the gates of hell will never
prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

Then Christ goes on to give FULL AUTHORITY in the form of THE KEYS to the Kingdom... no
one else received "the keys".
Matthew 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on
earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Your brother in Christ;
Philip
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