First off, Happy New Year - 2020!
I open this new year off with an apologetics posting - which I have not done much of lately. Below is a message I posted to a forum on "Ex Catholics For Christ" (apologetics forum). Your thoughts and comments are appreciated (pro or con).
I would agree with the statement that most Catholics do not know
their Faith. I disagree with the statement that knowing the Faith leads
one OUT of the Catholic Church!
Jesus Christ selected 12 Apostles (1
defected, leaving 11) to lead His Church after He ascended into Heaven -
FACT (Matthew 28:15-20).
Jesus Christ commanded those leaders do as He had done - FACT (John 20:21).
Jesus Christ gave His Authority to the Apostles - FACT (Matthew 28:18).
Christ gave His Authority to forgive sins to those Apostles, and sins
THEY do not forgive, are NOT forgiven - FACT (John 20:23).
these few facts alone should convince Catholics to stay Catholic and
those who are not Catholic should flee the false teachings they have
been taught and come home to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
Church which Jesus Christ founded. If your "fellowship" does not have
direct apostolic succession, it has no authority to even exist. Without
true and valid apostolic succession, there can be no forgiveness of sins
- regardless of what you have been taught or come to believe.
FACT - One of the first things the Early Church did was to replace the "bishoprick" or "office" of Judas (Acts 1:20-26).
The first one in apostolic succession, to fill the seat once given to Judas, was Matthias.
The apostolic office was not limited to "The Twelve" as clearly Sts.
Paul and Barnabus are referred to as "apostles" too! (Acts 14:14).
- The Early Church leaders (apostles/bishops) were commanded to do as
Jesus did (John 20:21) and part of what Jesus did was select leaders for
His Church, thus these new leaders HAD to go out and select more
leaders, especially as the Church was growing.
there have been problems "in" the Church - by men "in" the Church - but
the actions of these men, not unlike Judas' betrayal, does not make the
Church wrong or bad, it makes those men wrong and bad. Those who cling
to those errors and leave the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
because of them are merely looking for excuses to leave. One could
speculate that they leave because they do not want to yield to the
authority Jesus Christ breathed upon His Church and do not want to face
one who has been empowered to forgive sins. One could make all sorts of
speculations as to why they leave, but there are no valid reasons to
leave THE Church which Jesus Christ Himself founded.