500 years ago a Catholic Monk became disgruntled with the Church that his Lord Jesus Christ had founded.
As with many disgruntled, Martin Luther decided to criticize the Church and then distort their teachings with Biblical error.
The Bible had been put together by the Church and the Monks preserved it. Now this man would try to write his own bible and start his own church.
But let me give you a little about my experience with Catholics and Protestants. I was raised in an Irish Catholic family. I attended Catholic grammar and high school.
In 1981 I was introduced to Jesus Christ in the Christian 12 Steps.
I remember how shocked Andy was when I told him that I had never heard about Jesus Christ even though I attended His Church hundreds of times and was taught by His Nuns and Priests. I am not saying Jesus was never taught, but I was the person who “had ears but could not hear”.
Andy gave me my first Bible and told me within its pages I would learn about Jesus. Andy told me that once I come to believe in Jesus He will manage my life. Because my life was an absolute mess which was leading me quickly to death or prison.
Andy also told me to say; “Praise God thank You Jesus” at all times whether good or bad.
Once I began reading the Bible I was hooked. I would spend every moment reading it when I was not at work. I asked God to reveal Himself to me during my reading so I could believe in Him.
Right before I began to read the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and while on my knees praying I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit by a Mighty Rushing Wind and began to pray in what is known as “Tongues”. I also came to believe in Jesus and the Holy Trinity of God and that the Bible was Inspired by the Holy Spirit and written for Jesus and about Jesus.
I was then given a hunger and thirst to hear the Word of God. I had been listening to Christian radio and Christian music but I now wanted a Church where I could hear the Word.
I was living in Manhattan at the time and there are many denominations and Churches to try, so I tried them all.
But I could not find the Church I believed the Lord wanted me to be a member of. The first Church I went to was a Catholic Church because it was right around the corner from where I was living. I thought it was nice, but I wanted more.
One day after my search I came home very discouraged. I asked God to help me please find a Church. He told me to open the yellow pages to the Churches and He would direct my finger. The Church was not too far and was right by Madison Square Garden. I called the number and they told me a service was being held that Friday evening.
At 7 p.m. I walked up the stairs to the Church and a Woman opened the door and held out her hand and said to me; “Welcome”. I knew I was at the right Church!
The Church was Glad Tidings Tabernacle under the banner of the “Assemblies of God”
I stayed in this denomination for the next 20 years. These people are very loving and I owe so much to them, especially my prayer life that they truly emphasize with great passion.
The Christian 12 Step Recovery Program was put together here with the help of Pastor Byrd.
I have had so many good spiritual experiences and ministries at this Church but they are too numerous to mention during this blog.
Right after 9/11, a woman began to bring books to work that caught my eye. They were about many people who had found their way back to the Catholic Church. Also many books on the history of the Church along with the Church Fathers and what they believed and even a book on the “Authority” of the Church and the Crusades.
There were many ex Catholics in the Assemblies of God but they were always disgruntled about the Church or the Pope and never really mentioned what the Church taught. I never had any feelings toward the Church one way or another, I just didn’t understand it.
This woman began to introduce me to other Catholics, the Rosary, and Catholic Answers. I did not realize this but at this time the Grace of God by the Power of the Holy Spirit was drawing me back to the Church established by Jesus Christ.
It took me many years to learn and believe in ALL of the teachings of the Church, but once I did several years ago it lifted all of my lack of understanding and confusion. Not just of the Catholic Church but of the Bible and its purpose and meanings.
I also became amazed that I too was lock step in believing all the lies of the false teachers about the Catholic Church and the Holy Scriptures.
Two things had always disturbed me however in the teaching of the protestants, that I could sin as much as I desire and I should still be able to experience the Joy and Peace of Christ in my life and I will still be granted Eternal Life no matter what evil I may do in this life.
And how most protestant teachers do not give Mary any type of respect or honor after she was chosen by God to be the earth mother of Jesus and the Angel said she was; “full of Grace”.
I could not understand how these well intentioned people who seemed so right on all other points could miss the mark on these two.
And possibly most important of all, the majority of Catholics and Protestants have never read the entire Bible nor studied. But it's
the Protestants who base their “Faith” on the Bible “Alone”, and yet don’t give it any importance when it comes to reading or studying. Sound hypocritical?
I have learned that Jesus did not come to write a book but to establish a Church and He gave His “Authority” here on earth to Peter,the Apostles, and their successors to continue growing His Church until He comes again.
Martin Luther tragically split the Church that Jesus Christ established. However, as Jesus stated; “the gates of hell will never prevail against it”, and 500 years later it is growing stronger than ever.
There are about 40,000 different protestant denominations, Jesus did not come to start them, He came to start One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Amazingly, many got started because Luther would not give up his belief in the Holy Eucharist and Baptism.
Despite Luther’s moment of glory in 1517, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St Juan Diego in 1531 in Mexico and 10 million souls were converted. In 1534 St Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits and reconverted large portions of Poland, Hungary and Southern Germany. And in 1587, the first Catholic mission opened in North America in St Augustine, Florida
Luther was not a reformer. He was a confused, angry man full of hate who viewed the Catholic Church as the “whore of Babylon” and the Pope as the “antichrist”.
Luther wanted to remove the Book of James because it stated that “faith without works is dead”. He also wanted to remove the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this I can understand very well because after a 5 yr study I see the Worship in Heaven exactly as the Worship during a Catholic Mass.
Attending a Catholic Mass is truly experiencing Heaven right here on earth.
Praise God thank You Jesus.