In the sixties Coca Cola had a commercial in which people sang a song that said Coke..its the real thing. The fact is that Coca cola was and is the original. And all other colas that came along were and are always trying to knock Coke down off the top spot. In order of course to sell you their own brand of cola. And we even had the so called un-cola brand doing the same which was 7 UP. The other night I was listening to a podcast. On which another protestant brother with the same old script in hand was railing against the Catholic church. He said everything that I myself had heard before when I was in their ranks.
Shy of saying the pope was Satan himself. And that I and other Catholics are demons from hell. We are all idolaters says he. We worship saints and Mary. And all of the miracles and sightings of Mary including the miracle witnessed by tens of thousands at Fatima. Which he said was of the devil. Are all brought on by Satan. And I being one of them according to this man and others. Am walking straight down a path to hell. By the way. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to share the gospel and talk to someone about Jesus. And these buffoons think I am on the path to hell.
I will make a few brief points to him and others like him. Matthew chapter 16 verses 18 and 19…Jesus is speaking. And I say to you. That you are Peter. And upon this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And 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 set free on earth will be set free in heaven. So we can plainly see that the Lord was setting Peter aside for the role of leadership. Protestants argue that the rock was not Peter but the revelation that Jesus is the Christ. We then go to Matthew 28 verses 19 and 20. Christ gives them instructions as to what they are to do…Go therefore and teach all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and then Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you.
So we can see that there were many things which Jesus had taught and demonstrated to them that they were now to pass on. This is the beginning of what we call oral tradition. Long before there was a New Testament for people to read. Philippians 4 verse 9. The apostle Paul is speaking…Those things which you have learned. And received and heard from me and seen in me do. So we can see that Paul as well as Jesus was prompting the brethren to follow his example, his teachings, and the things which he had showed them or demonstrated.
John chapter 20 beginning in verse 21…Jesus is again speaking….As my Father has sent me…so I send you. And after he said this he breathed on them and said…Receive the Holy Ghost. Whoever’s sins you forgive are forgiven. And whoever’s sins that you retain are retained…This was the beginning of the Catholic or universal churches sacrament of confession. At the last supper when Jesus said to those present that this is my body and this is my blood. While holding the bread and the chalice of wine that was there. Became the basis for holy Communion. He told them whenever you do this. Do it in memory of me. So from the Lords own mouth. This was to be done again and again going into the future. And this is in fact the Eucharistic celebration given at every Catholic mass to this day.
In the book of Acts you can read on your own how after Christ’s ascension. The apostles settled differences on their own. Based on what they had learned and seen Christ do. In this case the disagreement started over whether or not gentiles had to become Jews first and then Christians. The formation of the church was already in place. There was leadership. There were discussions of doctrine and how they were to move forward. As the apostles went forth men or bishops were appointed over new churches. Responsibility was given as well as accountability. There were and are no loose canons. The body of Christ was organizing and moving forward on earth. In the book of Titus chapter 1 verse 5. Listen to Paul’s instructions…For this reason I left you in Crete. That you should organize those things which are needed. And appoint elders in every city. As I have appointed you to do. The apostles were the heads. And Peter was the head of them. And as they went forward and eventually went to heaven themselves. Other bishops were appointed to lead. And another was to take Peters role as the head. This was the beginning of the office of pope. Which by the way means father. None of these men then and now acted alone. They were organized and had well formed agendas. As to what direction the church was to move forward and what was to be done. And what was true to the scripture and oral traditions handed down to them from Christ and his apostles. There was and is a continuous unbroken chain of command.
This all began with Jesus calling them. They were founded on and in Jesus. Not a man as was the case with Luther and Calvin and John Smith. Who founded the Baptist church in 1680. Isn’t it rather odd. That for fifteen to sixteen hundred years before their inception. The foundation of the universal or Catholic Christian church was in place. Those who had both assembled and protected and written the Holy bible. The monks and friars who dedicated their lives to writing bibles on animal hides and parchment. All of the oral traditions and church sacraments which had been passed on from the apostles themselves to their successors for over a thousand years. Is suddenly aborted by these men. And now things were to be run their way. But it was alright of course for them to keep the bible. Which the Catholic church had painstakingly assembled and approved. Eliminating those books in the process which they considered to be spurious in nature. And did not aid them in the formation of their new agenda.
No my friend. The Catholic church is the real thing. It is and was the first. And all of the ceremony and circumstance as been looked at and approved by the body and its heads for thousands of years. As the traditions and practices have moved forward. No it wasn’t formed by a Roman dictator to appease the masses. Church members were being killed and martyred under the Roman rule for doing the very things which we do now. So if you want to drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper go right ahead. And if you want to bang a tambourine and jump around in the aisles go ahead. But Coca cola still is the real thing…..To be continued