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Eddie

The incontestable miracle at Fatima

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Just curious what people's thoughts are on the miracle at Fatima in 1917? A quick summary of the facts:

  • 3 young children claimed a "lady from heaven" appeared out of nowhere in a remote field in Portugal where they were watching their animals, and the lady gave them a Catholic related message to relay to the people where they lived. This lady also told the children to meet her in this same location on the 13th of the month for the next 5 months at the same time where she would tell them more. Of course no one believed the children when they returned home with this news, and it caused a massive stir in their town.
  • The 3 children returned the following month, and many curious people came along with them. The children again claimed to see and speak with this "lady from heaven", but other bystanders could not see her. Since no one would believe the children, the lady told the children in July that she would perform a miracle on her last visit (Oct 13, 1917) so as "to make the people believe".
  • The children returned home, and publicly predicted a miracle would occur on Oct 13, 1917 at 12 noon at the exact location in the field. This was 3 months beforehand.
  • Massive crowds began to gather in the field as the days and weeks passed and this angered the government. The children were put in prison and threatened with death if they did not say this was all a lie. Despite the children being only ages 7 through 10, and being taken from their parents and threatened with death, they still insisted their story was true. They were later released.
  • On Oct 13, 1917, people from all over Western Europe traveled to the field in Fatima, Portugal to see if they could catch a glimpse of this predicted miracle. The rain was so heavy that day that the ground became flooded and muddy, forcing people to abandon their carriages and travel the rest of the way on foot. Despite the bad weather, 70,000 people still showed up.
  • As high noon arrived, the pouring rain suddenly stopped and the sun appeared. Suddenly the sun began to move and spin in the sky, casting all colors of the rainbow on the people. At first people were amazed, but then suddenly the sun appeared to hurl toward them such that most people thought they were going to die and began pleading for their lives. Testimonials state that the heat was intense and most people thought it was the end of the world. The sun then returned to its normal place.
  • According to testimonials, the incident lasted a full 10 minutes so there was no confusion that it happened, and there were many testimonials from people miles away who saw it as well (it was visible within a 20 mile radius according to testimonials). Most significant of all is the fact that testimonials unanimously agreed that though they were all soaked to the bone from the pouring rain, their clothes and the ground were instantly dried after the incident!
  • The incident was in multiple newspapers the following day (available online), and multiple movies have been made over the years regarding the miracle, the most recent being "The 13th Day". A book of testimonials was also published called, "Meet the Witnesses" which is also available online in PDF format I can post many of those testimonials separately.
  • As I see it, some of the most significant facts that make this incident undeniable is 1) The 3 children's prediction of the miracle months beforehand to the exact place and time - that place and time given to them by this "lady from heaven". And 2) the instantaneous drying of the ground and clothing of all the bystanders within minutes - impossible when you consider how long it would take to dry drenched clothing in a standard clothes dryer.

Anyone have arguments against this miracle occurring?

 

 

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I read a book (that had belonged to my Catholic Grandmother) about Fatima, several years ago now. Although I am not Catholic, I remember that I didn't really have any serious concerns about what the book contained one way or the other. In the further research about this subject that I have done since then, however, I can no longer say I am unconcerned.

 

While I tend to think that it's very possible that people saw and experienced something "miraculous", I personally do not believe it was of God. My main objections to Fatima come first and foremost from what "Mary" said to the three shepherd children.

 

The most concerning claim she made (in light of Scripture) is that she promised salvation to all those who devoted themselves to her "Immaculate Heart." The Bible plainly tells us, repeatedly, that salvation is in Christ alone and that only He can save. "Mary", at Fatima, contradicted this truth and claimed that she can save.

 

This is "another Gospel", and for that reason, no matter how powerful or "miraculous" the events at Fatima were, I will not trust them. We know also that Scripture warns us plainly of "lying signs and wonders" and of great end-times deception. Therefore, we need to "test" the spirits.

 

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

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100 years ago, in 1917, "Our Lady" appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She continued to appear on the 13th day of each month for six consecutive months. Here are some of the things "Mary" said during her appearances:

 

Our Lady: "Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne."

 

Our Lady: "No, My daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

 

Our Lady: "I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue reciting the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you."

 

Our Lady: "Continue to come here every month. In October, I will say who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle so that all might see in order to believe."

 

"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

 

Our Lady: "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart."

 

Our Lady: "To whomever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation."

 

Source: http://www.fatima.org/essentials/whatucando/sac&immhrts/fatima.asp

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I read a book (that had belonged to my Catholic Grandmother) about Fatima, several years ago now. Although I am not Catholic, I remember that I didn't really have any serious concerns about what the book contained one way or the other. In the further research about this subject that I have done since then, however, I can no longer say I am unconcerned.

 

While I tend to think that it's very possible that people saw and experienced something "miraculous", I personally do not believe it was of God. My main objections to Fatima come first and foremost from what "Mary" said to the three shepherd children.

 

The most concerning claim she made (in light of Scripture) is that she promised salvation to all those who devoted themselves to her "Immaculate Heart." The Bible plainly tells us, repeatedly, that salvation is in Christ alone and that only He can save. "Mary", at Fatima, contradicted this truth and claimed that she can save.

 

This is "another Gospel", and for that reason, no matter how powerful or "miraculous" the events at Fatima were, I will not trust them. We know also that Scripture warns us plainly of "lying signs and wonders" and of great end-times deception. Therefore, we need to "test" the spirits.

 

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

 

Hi Acadia,

 

Just wanted to say that your points were brilliant. I deeply respect anyone that uses Scripture to discern truth from falsehood. I also appreciate your discernment about "innocent" but wrong testimony/witness and the impact it can have on salvation.

 

Good stuff!

 

God bless,

William

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Hi Acadia,

 

Just wanted to say that your points were brilliant. I deeply respect anyone that uses Scripture to discern truth from falsehood. I also appreciate your discernment about "innocent" but wrong testimony/witness and the impact it can have on salvation.

 

Good stuff!

 

God bless,

William

 

Thank you William.

 

I've done a significant amount of research into Fatima. It grieves me that perhaps so many were led astray. I truly hope that Christians everywhere will "search the Scriptures" and seek discernment in these "last days", because we are in a very real spiritual battle.

 

God bless you too.

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If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ESV)

 

God sometimes allows Satan to produce false signs and miracles so he can test his followers to see if they will obey him.

 

 

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If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ESV)

 

God sometimes allows Satan to produce false signs and miracles so he can test his followers to see if they will obey him.

 

 

Exactly. I was thinking of that verse as well. Also the warning that Satan masquerades as an "angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)

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I read a book (that had belonged to my Catholic Grandmother) about Fatima, several years ago now. Although I am not Catholic, I remember that I didn't really have any serious concerns about what the book contained one way or the other. In the further research about this subject that I have done since then, however, I can no longer say I am unconcerned.

 

While I tend to think that it's very possible that people saw and experienced something "miraculous", I personally do not believe it was of God. My main objections to Fatima come first and foremost from what "Mary" said to the three shepherd children.

 

The most concerning claim she made (in light of Scripture) is that she promised salvation to all those who devoted themselves to her "Immaculate Heart." The Bible plainly tells us, repeatedly, that salvation is in Christ alone and that only He can save. "Mary", at Fatima, contradicted this truth and claimed that she can save.

 

This is "another Gospel", and for that reason, no matter how powerful or "miraculous" the events at Fatima were, I will not trust them. We know also that Scripture warns us plainly of "lying signs and wonders" and of great end-times deception. Therefore, we need to "test" the spirits.

 

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

 

 

So you are acknowledging something happened that day, but say it is "not from God". I assume you mean it's from Satan then? That's what people seem to be implying in this thread. You might ask yourselves, if this was indeed Satan involved with giving the 3 Fatima children messages over a period of 6 months, then why do those messages contain recommendations on going to Catholic Mass, receiving the Sacraments, saying the Rosary, abandoning sin, making sacrifices, making reparation to God for the sins of humanity, and warning us about Communism? I think everyone reading this knows the answer - Satan would certainly recommend no such thing! So Satan is certainly not the author.

 

Also for the record, according to the book, "Meet the Witnesses", thousands of testimonials were submitted to the Catholic Church after the miracle in 1917. The Church investigated the incident for the next 13 years, finally making an announcement in 1930 stating that the miracle was "worthy of belief".

 

As for Scripture, I will quote it as well, regarding the Virgin Mary:

 

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name." Luke 1:48

"And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28

 

Here we have Scripture confirming that all generations would call the Virgin Mary blessed, and that she would be regarded as the highest among women. If we also look at the writings of the Church Fathers (the first Christians after the apostles), they too speak of the Virgin Mary in the highest regard. The Scripture you quote you misunderstand because you are trying to interpret it on your own.

 

 

 

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If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ESV)

 

God sometimes allows Satan to produce false signs and miracles so he can test his followers to see if they will obey him.

 

 

This has been since the fall of man. It is a fact that the church being His people has always fallen to apostasy. This is why Jesus went to the cross for us. Apostasy is our nature since the fall.

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So you are acknowledging something happened that day, but say it is "not from God". I assume you mean it's from Satan then? That's what people seem to be implying in this thread. You might ask yourselves, if this was indeed Satan involved with giving the 3 Fatima children messages over a period of 6 months, then why do those messages contain recommendations on going to Catholic Mass, receiving the Sacraments, saying the Rosary, abandoning sin, making sacrifices, making reparation to God for the sins of humanity, and warning us about Communism? I think everyone reading this knows the answer - Satan would certainly recommend no such thing! So Satan is certainly not the author.

 

Also for the record, according to the book, "Meet the Witnesses", thousands of testimonials were submitted to the Catholic Church after the miracle in 1917. The Church investigated the incident for the next 13 years, finally making an announcement in 1930 stating that the miracle was "worthy of belief".

 

As for Scripture, I will quote it as well, regarding the Virgin Mary:

 

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name." Luke 1:48

"And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28

 

Here we have Scripture confirming that all generations would call the Virgin Mary blessed, and that she would be regarded as the highest among women. If we also look at the writings of the Church Fathers (the first Christians after the apostles), they too speak of the Virgin Mary in the highest regard. The Scripture you quote you misunderstand because you are trying to interpret it on your own.

 

 

Couple of questions, Eddie.

  • Luke 1:28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

1) How had Mary obtained the favor of God?

2) And, what does blessed mean? How is Mary blessed among women?

  • Luke 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

1) Exactly what will be kept in remembrance throughout all generations?

 

God bless,

William

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Couple of questions, Eddie.

  • Luke 1:28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

 

1) How had Mary obtained the favor of God?

2) And, what does blessed mean? How is Mary blessed among women?

  • Luke 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

 

1) Exactly what will be kept in remembrance throughout all generations?

 

God bless,

William

 

Hi William,

 

As a Catholic, I cannot tell you the exact meaning of these verses off the top of my head. I will have to look them up in an approved commentary (such as Haydock), since it is reserved to the Church to give the precise meaning of Scripture. Though reading Luke chapter 1 it is obvious God chose the Virgin Mary personally to be the mother of the son of God - I don't know if there is an answer as to why. As for the term "blessed", it is obviously used heavily throughout Scripture, and in multiple ways. Hopefully you can read more about it. I will be stepping away from the computer now and can reply further later on if need be. Thanks

 

 

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So you are acknowledging something happened that day, but say it is "not from God". I assume you mean it's from Satan then?

 

If indeed something did occur at Fatima,(which I cannot say with 100% certainty, as I was not there) then yes, I believe it was a deception and not from God.

 

That's what people seem to be implying in this thread. You might ask yourselves, if this was indeed Satan involved with giving the 3 Fatima children messages over a period of 6 months, then why do those messages contain recommendations on going to Catholic Mass, receiving the Sacraments, saying the Rosary, abandoning sin, making sacrifices,

 

Indeed, the "Mary" of Fatima absolutely did confirm many of the practices of the Catholic Church, practices which are themselves unbiblical. (The many different steps that must be gone through, and the many ordinances and rituals that must be participated in so that one can obtain forgiveness and be made right with God.) In contrast, the Bible tells us that we cannot earn forgiveness or work our way to Heaven/eternal life, but that salvation is a gift, received by grace, through faith, and not of ourselves, so that none of us can boast.

 

making reparation to God for the sins of humanity, and warning us about Communism? I think everyone reading this knows the answer - Satan would certainly recommend no such thing! So Satan is certainly not the author.

 

"Making reparation to God for the sins of humanity"? Do you see the problem with this? Human beings cannot "make reparation" for the "sins of humanity", only Christ has done so, and only He is able to. Our inability to save even ourselves (let alone all "humanity") is the very reason we need our Saviour. If we could make such reparation for the sins of humanity, why did Christ come then? And what did He actually accomplish that we could not do ourselves? Those words from "Mary" are indeed "another Gospel", one that tells us we can save ourselves, and others, by our own efforts.

 

Also for the record, according to the book, "Meet the Witnesses", thousands of testimonials were submitted to the Catholic Church after the miracle in 1917. The Church investigated the incident for the next 13 years, finally making an announcement in 1930 stating that the miracle was "worthy of belief".

 

I'm very aware of the lengthy "verification" process involved with supposed "Marian apparitions" like Fatima. However, regardless of the Vatican's stamp of approval, we must still "test the spirits". Jut because something is proclaimed "worthy of belief" by fallible human beings, doesn't mean we should accept it. This is why we need the word of God, our absolute standard of truth, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in granting us discernment. God does not contradict Himself, and He is not the Author of confusion. Unfortunately, much of what was said at Fatima by "Mary" absolutely contradicts Scripture.

 

As for Scripture, I will quote it as well, regarding the Virgin Mary:

 

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name." Luke 1:48

"And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28

 

So, where in the above verses does it say that Mary can offer salvation to anyone? (As the "Mary" of Fatima claimed)

 

Here we have Scripture confirming that all generations would call the Virgin Mary blessed, and that she would be regarded as the highest among women. If we also look at the writings of the Church Fathers (the first Christians after the apostles), they too speak of the Virgin Mary in the highest regard. The Scripture you quote you misunderstand because you are trying to interpret it on your own.

 

Alright, if I'm "misunderstanding", please explain where in Scripture it tells us that Mary can offer salvation to those who devote themselves to her "Immaculate Heart"? This was one of the main messages of Fatima.

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Hi William,

 

As a Catholic, I cannot tell you the exact meaning of these verses off the top of my head. I will have to look them up in an approved commentary (such as Haydock), since it is reserved to the Church to give the precise meaning of Scripture.

 

Who and what exactly is "the Church" according to Scripture?

 

Though reading Luke chapter 1 it is obvious God chose the Virgin Mary personally to be the mother of the son of God - I don't know if there is an answer as to why. As for the term "blessed", it is obviously used heavily throughout Scripture, and in multiple ways. Hopefully you can read more about it. I will be stepping away from the computer now and can reply further later on if need be. Thanks

 

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. -Luke 1:26-30

 

"And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. - Luke 1:39-45

 

Mary found favour with the Lord and was declared "blessed" because of her faith, just as so many others are as well. (Hebrews 11). It is by faith that we are saved and counted righteous before God.

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Mary found favour with the Lord and was declared "blessed" because of her faith, just as so many others are as well. (Hebrews 11). It is by faith that we are saved and counted righteous before God.

 

Right, and this is a point of contention between Catholics and Protestants. The Catholic Church teaches that we are justified by faith and the works that we produce, which the righteousness that God infuses in us through faith brings about. Reformers respond, “No, we are justified by faith alone, which lays hold of the alien righteousness of Christ that God freely credits to the account of those who believe”.

 

The fact that Mary exclaims God is my Savior 1:47 and 1:48 "for he who is mighty has done great things for me is a clear example of giving all glory to God alone. This seemingly contrasts the message in question at Fatima which reminds me of wrong worship Acts 10:24-25; Revelation 19:10.

 

In Luke 1:48 God has "looked" upon the humble estate of His servant. By calling herself humble or low she disclaims all merit. She goes on to say that generations shall call her blessed. I think, Acadia, that you're rightfully stating the soterological thread woven throughout Scripture where at no one verse ever contradicts with respect to context - by grace through faith and not by works. Mary mentions nothing of her works and seeks no praise of her own power or exertion.

 

If Mary merited favor, and if you'll excuse my analogy... the servant received her wages. No one says to their employer that I am blessed because I received what I earned from you. We are blessed because we receive unmerited favor from the Lord, that is, we did not work for it. Mary is a fine example of this by literally declaring herself low and praising God alone "for what He has done for me".

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

William

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I will have to look them up in an approved commentary (such as Haydock), since it is reserved to the Church to give the precise meaning of Scripture.
It really is a circular argument.

 

The meaning of Scripture is determined by the Catholic church.

By what authority is the Catholic church given that right?

According to the Catholic church the Scriptures do.

But who has the authority to determined the meaning of Scripture? The Catholic church, right back were we started from.

 

A circle argument is a logical fallacy. And of course there is the fact that no where in Scripture is such a doctrine taught.

Edited by Origen
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Right, and this is a point of contention between Catholics and Protestants. The Catholic Church teaches that we are justified by faith and the works that we produce, which the righteousness that God infuses in us through faith brings about. Reformers respond, “No, we are justified by faith alone, which lays hold of the alien righteousness of Christ that God freely credits to the account of those who believe”.

 

Agreed, hence the need for regular and ongoing participation in the "Sacraments", as well as the doctrines of penance and Purgatory.

 

The fact that Mary exclaims God is my Savior 1:47 and 1:48 "for he who is mighty has done great things for me is a clear example of giving all glory to God alone. This seemingly contrasts the message in question at Fatima which reminds me of wrong worship Acts 10:24-25; Revelation 19:10.

 

Yes, in all that we're allowed to know about Mary from Scripture, I cannot conceive of her desiring the honour and praise the "Mary" of Fatima requested be given to her. Nor is there any reason to believe, from Scripture, that Mary (or anyone else but God alone) can offer salvation to anyone.

 

In Luke 1:48 God has "looked" upon the humble estate of His servant. By calling herself humble or low she disclaims all merit. She goes on to say that generations shall call her blessed. I think, Acadia, that you're rightfully stating the soterological thread woven throughout Scripture where at no one verse ever contradicts with respect to context - by grace through faith and not by works. Mary mentions nothing of her works and seeks no praise of her own power or exertion.

 

Agreed. In Scripture, the Mary we come to know (from the little we do know) was a humble and obedient Jewish woman, one who never sought praise, honour or glory for herself. (Unlike the "Mary" of Fatima)

 

If Mary merited favor, and if you'll excuse my analogy... the servant received her wages. No one says to their employer that I am blessed because I received what I earned from you. We are blessed because we receive unmerited favor from the Lord, that is, we did not work for it. Mary is a fine example of this by literally declaring herself low and praising God alone "for what He has done for me".

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

William

 

Exactly, Mary acknowledged her need for a Saviour (which also refutes the Catholic Church's claim that she was sinless from her conception). The grace of God is indeed unmerited favour, which Mary clearly understood. She gave all the praise to God. The "Mary" of Fatima, in contrast, pointed to herself as the source of salvation and requested that people devote and consecrate themselves to her, and that a shrine be built in her honour, which was done and is one of many such Marian shrines in various places around the world.

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Agreed, hence the need for regular and ongoing participation in the "Sacraments", as well as the doctrines of penance and Purgatory.

 

Yes, in all that we're allowed to know about Mary from Scripture, I cannot conceive of her desiring the honour and praise the "Mary" of Fatima requested be given to her. Nor is there any reason to believe, from Scripture, that Mary (or anyone else but God alone) can offer salvation to anyone.

 

Agreed. In Scripture, the Mary we come to know (from the little we do know) was a humble and obedient Jewish woman, one who never sought praise, honour or glory for herself. (Unlike the "Mary" of Fatima)

 

Exactly, Mary acknowledged her need for a Saviour (which also refutes the Catholic Church's claim that she was sinless from her conception). The grace of God is indeed unmerited favour, which Mary clearly understood. She gave all the praise to God. The "Mary" of Fatima, in contrast, pointed to herself as the source of salvation and requested that people devote and consecrate themselves to her, and that a shrine be built in her honour, which was done and is one of many such Marian shrines in various places around the world.

Wow! That really was an excellent post.

 

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Wow! That really was an excellent post.

 

We do have some really good contributors here in this forum.

 

Loving the thoughtful and helpful responses made to people asking for help or positing questions.

 

God bless,

William

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Wow! That really was an excellent post.

 

Thank you, Origen. I can't take credit for anything that God has granted me discernment in, however. I'm just beyond grateful that He has been leading me, and that I am blessed to be able to read and study His word.

 

Having somewhere to discuss these things is also a blessing. Not all Christian Forums allow a potentially controversial subject like this one to be looked at or questioned. (I recently had a thread I started on this very topic deleted from another Christian forum, and I was told that I had flamed and goaded all Catholics for wishing to take a Biblical look at Fatima.)

 

In any case, I am grateful for any opportunity to fellowship and discuss things with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

God bless.

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We do have some really good contributors here in this forum.
That leaves me out.

 

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It really is a circle argument.

 

The meaning of Scripture is determined by the Catholic church.

By what authority is the Catholic church given that right?

According to the Catholic church the Scriptures do.

But who has the authority to determined the meaning of Scripture? The Catholic church, right back were we started from.

 

A circle argument is a logical fallacy. And of course there is the fact that no where in Scripture is such a doctrine taught.

 

 

 

If you were a Christian in the first 1000 years after Christ was on earth, what would you be? According to all books on religion and history you would be CATHOLIC, since there was no other notable denomination up to that time. The Christians of those centuries relied solely on the Catholic Church for the interpretation of Scripture. Christ founded ONE Church with ONE doctrine, and therefore needed ONE interpretion to keep everyone unified. This is why Scripture states:

 

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16)

 

This confirms that interpreting Scripture on our own leads to our own distraction. Luther and Calvin were immediately in disagreement on interpretation of Scripture, which led to them founding their own denominations right from the start of the Reformation. The problem just snowballed from there due to self interpretation - what has that resulted in but thousands of denominations! Multiple interpretations of Scripture do not add up to one true church of Christ. The fact remains, the Catholic Church was the original Church, and given she was the true Church of Christ in those early centuries, then she had the direct authority to interpret Scripture.

 

 

 

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Please allow me to post a few testimonials from the book, "Meet the Witnesses", so you can get an idea of what the thousands of testimonials all say. See below:

 

Mr. Dominic Reis, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, television interview 1960:

 

“Did you hear that a miracle was predicted to take place at Fatima?”

“My father heard about it first. It was in the papers all over the country.”

“How far from Fatima did you live, Dominic?”

“I lived at that time near Porto, over one hundred miles away.”

“Were there very many people interested?”

“Yes. Suppose I explain from the beginning. I was 17 in May when it all began. Then in October, on the 11th, 1917, my father said to my mother, ‘We’re going up to Fatima. We’re going to see what happens.’”

“Had it been announced, Dominic, that there would be a miracle on October 13th so that everyone would believe?”

“That’s right. Lots of people thought it a lie. Lots of people was like... might as well say it... just like the government. The government didn’t believe it either.”

“But lots of people, like my mother and father, were all sensible in religion. And my father said, ‘We’re going up.’ And he decided for my mother and myself just one day before, on the 11th. On the 12th we left at nine o’clock.”

“Were there many people from your area who went to Fatima?”

“Yes. The train was full.”

“How did you feel about all this as a young man of 17? Did you think your parents were right?”

“I felt... I felt something was going to happen.”

“Was the prediction of this miracle announced in Church?”

“The Church said nothing at all... They were against it. If any Priest say anything about Fatima, even maybe something happen to him. Some churches in the area of Fatima were marred, stones thrown, anything to break down the coming of the people.” (Note: The government in Portugal at this time was similar to the Communist government which took over in Russia that same year.)

“Pardon repetition of this, Dominic, but it appears that one of the great facts of this day is that thousands of people, against almost insuperable obstacles, traveled on foot up this great mountain... over stones, opposed by soldiers, and in a cold rain. You had traveled with your family all the previous night and now, about what time did you come to where the miracle was predicted to happen?”

“We left Leiria at six o’clock in the morning. Was then only light rain.”

“Were there many people?”

“Oh, yes! The little fields, the rocks, and everywhere you look... you see people! Some with little things on their heads (food baskets etc.) We were all climbing that mountain just like nothing at all. Even I see people who did not expect to see anything, saying nothing will happen. And other people going all the way from Leiria without saying a word. I meet several people walking in silence, and some people...”

“When did you finally get to the Cova?”

“We get there around noon time. Between half past eleven to around noon time. When we finally get there, there were soldiers...“Everywhere we saw animals, trees, bushes. Very rough. And this National Guard, what we would call “weekend soldiers”...tried to stop us from going down into the Cova.”

“The crowd was too great for the soldiers to hold?”

“The crowd was breaking in one corner. When the soldiers move to protect that corner, another corner is breaking out. First thing you know, everybody got through.”

“Did the soldiers finally give up?”

“What happened, happened because they couldn’t control crowds... I was slightly wounded by one of the bayonets.”

“So finally you got down into the Cova with the crowd, and where did you go?”

“We got close to the tree where the children were. The three children we had heard about were there already...”

“The vision was reported to have appeared to these three children at that spot?”

“That’s right. On the side was a big tree, and little small trees around, and the children were there. And now it was raining harder. There was a good three inches of water where I stood, and mud on the ground.”

“Three inches of water on the ground?”

“Yes, three inches of water on the ground. I was soaking wet. I was... and then round noon time, the sun started breaking... we can see the sun...”

“Now it was raining just like you open a faucet at your house. Rain! And then suddenly the rain stopped. The sun started to roll from one place to another place, and changed blue, yellow, all colors! Then we see the sun come toward the children, toward the tree. Everybody was hollering out. Some start to confess their sins, ‘cause there were no Priests around there.”

“And the people started to confess their sins aloud, before everyone?”

“That’s right. Even my mother grabbed me to her and started to cry, saying, ‘It is the end of the world!’ And we see the sun come right into the trees. And then the little children get up and turn around to the people and told the people, ‘Pray and pray hard because everything is going to be all right.’ And then the children walk to the tree, and talk in the direction of the tree, and we see the children bend down just like bow to somebody, I don’t see what, but something was there because we see the children bend down, then we see the children move the lips to talk to someone.”

“Did you look at the sun without difficulty?”

“Yes, I could look at the sun without pain in the eyes. Everyone around me was making a tremendous noise. Because of all the noise, I was looking at the crowd as the sun was actually falling. Afterwards, I was told that it had turned upon itself and fallen down. But at that moment I saw it on my shoulder.”

“What did you think of all this?”

“The people around me were saying they thought this was the end of the world. They were very much afraid. Many

seemed to think, and were saying, that the revolutionaries were going to throw bombs on the people, as did happen later when there was bombings by the people running the government at that time. Many were standing, but many others were on their knees and were crying and calling on the Blessed Virgin.”

“How far away were you, Dominic, from where the children were?”

“I was, I’d say, between seventy-five and one hundred feet from the children and the tree.”

“Did you get a chance to get close to the children?”

“Yes, when everything was finished. And the sun rolled back again the way it came in ...”

“What did the people do when they saw it roll back into the sky? Did they stop crying out?”

“The people knelt down and prayed real hard. And then Lucia (the eldest of the children) said to pray hard.”

“Lucia said that God was too much offended?”

“That God was too much offended.”

“Here are some photographs, Mr. Reis. Is this the way you remember it?”

“That’s in my time. That’s the way it was there.”

“This next photograph, Dominic, was taken just a few minutes after the other. Everyone had begun to shout... they put their umbrellas down.”

“We put the umbrellas down... Lucia start to talk to the people, one here, one bunch there, and some started to kiss the little kid, and then the wind started to blow real hard...”

“Dominic, we have talked to many witnesses who were there. All speak of ‘the sun,’ but could it have been the sun...or just so much like the sun that they thought it was the sun?”

“Well, for my part, it was the sun. But whether just a light or not, there was something there. I know for sure. The way the trees were coming down, the way the... I don’t believe that the children would go to a tree and start moving lips to a tree. Must have been something there to talk to.”

“You described this great fire, or light, or ‘sun’ as rolling out of the sky. You said that people thought it was the end of the world.”

“It was a real sun like you see in the sky...”

“What about the colors...?”

“There were colors all around the sun. The sun rolled... and it was like the real sun... but the clouds didn’t go with the sun.

There were blue and different colors...”

“Did you think the world was going to be destroyed by fire?”

“Yes. Because... I can tell you one thing. My mother when she squeeze me, and say it’s the end of the world, I see like the sun almost on top of my shoulder.”

“Did all the people think they were going to be crushed by the sun?”

“That’s right.”

“But then, this matter of the rain and water to which so many testify. What happened with the water?”

“As soon as the sun went back in the right place the wind started to blow real hard, but the trees didn’t move at all. The wind was blow, blow and in few minutes the ground was as dry as this floor here.4 Even our clothes had dried. We were walking here and there, and our clothes... we don’t feel at all. The clothes were dry and looked as though they had just come from the laundry. I believed. I thought: Either I’m out of my mind or this was a miracle, a real miracle.

“Of course, Dominic, you were only one of thousands of witnesses. Newsmen were there who experienced it. And two days later the newspaper, O Século, told how the sun danced. Atheists were converted, and soon the Soviets (this is the term used for them in Portugal at this time) went out of power. But in the 1960’s do you think the world is listening to this message?”

“I believe some, yes. I believe little by little some listen. But still quite a few all over the world don’t listen to it.”

 

 

 

Maria Teresa of Chainca, a 59 year-old house wife, gave her deposition on February 6, 1960. She was standing about a hundred feet from the place of the apparitions in 1917:

 

“The sky was covered with clouds and it rained much. We could not see the sun. Then suddenly, at noon, the clouds drew away and the sun appeared as if it were trembling. It seemed to come down. It began spinning like a fire-wheel in the pagan feasts. It stopped for a few minutes and again started rolling, perhaps in a diameter of more than a meter while we could look at it as though it were the moon. Things all around turned into different colors.”

“Were you afraid?”

“I was afraid. I thought the sun would fall upon us.”

“Were your clothes wet before, then suddenly dry?”

“Yes.”

“When it was over, how did you feel?”

“I was relieved of a great fright I had felt. I resolved to lead a better life and to amend for my sins.”

 

 

Carlos de Azevedo Mendes, from Torres Novas, was a successful lawyer in the prime of life when the miracle occurred.

He was 28 years of age. In his 1960 deposition he explains:

 

“There were many persons there, but I felt alone. I was suddenly dominated by the expectation of the great event which the children had foretold so that ‘Everyone might believe.’ I saw the children arrive, saw them kneel down, and was gripped by the impressive silence which fell upon us. It is as real to me now as it was at that moment.”

“Did you have any idea of what was going to happen?”

“No, I did not have the slightest idea of what might happen. But now, waiting, I did believe that the sign which the children predicted was going to take place. I heard, while the children were talking to the vision, persons around me remark about different things they saw. But I saw nothing unusual.”

“What time was it that the children started to talk to the vision?”

“It might have been at solar noon, or a few moments later.”

“When the people began to shout, did you see anything unusual?”

“I saw the sun, as if it were a ball of fire, begin to move in the clouds. It had been raining all morning and the sky was full of clouds, but the rain had stopped. It lasted for several seconds, crushingly pressing down upon us all. Wan faces, standing here, from every side great ejaculations, acts of contrition, of the love of God. An indescribable moment! We feel it. We remain dominated by it. But it is not possible to describe it.”

“Did the message of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun affect others who saw it?”

“What I saw at Fatima could not help but affect my interior life and I am sure that all who saw the Miracle, or even heard about it, cannot fail to be impressed by its greatness... I still remember it today as vividly as at the moment it happened, and I feel myself dominated by that extraordinary event seen on the 13th of October, 1917, at Fatima. I am not alone. All of Portugal has been deeply affected.”

 

 

The deposition of the Baron of Alvaiazere’s sister, Maria Celeste da Camara e Vasconcelos, who, at the time of the miracle was on the old road with relatives and friends overlooking the Cova:

 

“Did you think anything might happen, Madame?” we asked.

“I expected that all was a fancy of the poor children and that we would see nothing.”

“What happened?”

“The sun began to spin with circles of every color. It was like a wheel of fireworks, and coming down to the ground.”

“What was your reaction?”

“Stupefied.”

“Did you think it a miracle?”

“Yes, there was something supernatural.”

“Did you know of anyone there who did not see the miracle?”

“No.”

 

 

 

Deposition from José Joaquim da Assunção who was 71 years old in 1960 and living in Montelo. At the moment of the miracle he was standing fairly close to the place of the apparitions where the fountain is now located. He was with several acquaintances:

 

“The sun began spinning as though in a sort of a box. All the people cried: ‘It comes down! It comes down!’ The colors of things seemed different.”

“How were you dressed, José?”

“I was not dressed in a special way. Just as usual. It was raining.”

“And were you dry afterward?”

“The sun began to come down and all were quickly dried.”

 

 

Deposition from Mr. Higino Faria, who lived in Oakland, California in 1960. In 1917 Mr. Faria lived in Olaia,

seven miles from Fatima:

 

“Caravans of people were passing in front of the house, clothed in every possible fashion, many without shoes, many from distant places, like Alentejo and Algarve. I was sick with a severe cold and hoarseness, and I asked, ‘Where are these people going?’ When I learned that they were going because of a predicted miracle, even though I was sick, I wished to go. Having no other means, I went on foot. My wife was very disturbed and said, ‘What are you going to do? Don’t you know you are going to aggravate the state of your health?’”

Mr. Faria left his house at nine o’clock in the morning. By the time he reached the top of the mountain at Fatima: “We became victims of a heavy rain which wet our clothing and made us very cold.”

“When I arrived at eleven o’clock, I was surprised at the great number of people on the slope of the hill. Completely wet, dirty and frozen, we waited. At one o’clock the clouds gathered into a very thick and dark form, giving the appearance of an eclipse. At that moment I looked at the multitude and had the impression that it was the day of final judgment. The faces of the people looked thin, long and yellow. Then the dark cloud broke into parts, and through the break we saw the sun shining, spinning in the shape of a wheel of fire. It seemed to approach the earth...Everyone was dried, cleaned. I who was sick, returned completely cured. In thanksgiving for such a great grace and my cure, I promised to recite the Rosary every day of my life.”

 

 

The testimony of Mario Godinho, a member of an important and distinguished Portuguese family. He decided after many, many years to give his testimony after reading an appeal which we was made through the newspapers in Portugal in preparation for the book, "Meet the Witnesses". This comes from a man who was completely skeptical, and only went to Fatima that day because he had an automobile and his mother and other members of the family wanted him to take them:

 

“I saw in a clear area of sky (where one should not be able to stare at the sun) the very sun. It was like a disc of smoked glass illuminated behind and turning over itself, giving us the impression that it was coming down over our heads. I could then see the sun more easily than I can see the moon on a full moon night. From those hundreds of mouths I heard words of belief and of love to the Blessed Virgin. And then I believed. I was sure I had not been the victim of suggestion. I saw that sun as I never saw it again.”

 

 

Dona Maria Teresa Charters, another prominent living witness, is from one of the most distinguished families of Leiria. She was 26 years of age and was in the Cova with several relatives.

 

“We distinctly saw the sun, without harm to the eyes. The sun came down, turning on itself, and throwing beams of several colors.”

“Were you afraid?”

“I thought we were all to die, but I was not afraid.”

 

 

Testimony from Augusto Pereira dos Reis of Amoreira, who also was 26 years old, and was standing on the outskirts of the crowd where the Basilica now rises:

 

“I saw the sun coming down, spinning,”

“Did you experience anything else?”

“Yes, my clothes were first wet, and then dry.”

“How did you feel when it was over?”

“I felt more calm.”

“Did you know of anyone who did not see it?”

“No.”

“And why do you think it happened?”

“In order that we believe more that Our Lady had appeared there.”

 

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If indeed something did occur at Fatima,(which I cannot say with 100% certainty, as I was not there) then yes, I believe it was a deception and not from God.

 

 

 

Indeed, the "Mary" of Fatima absolutely did confirm many of the practices of the Catholic Church, practices which are themselves unbiblical. (The many different steps that must be gone through, and the many ordinances and rituals that must be participated in so that one can obtain forgiveness and be made right with God.) In contrast, the Bible tells us that we cannot earn forgiveness or work our way to Heaven/eternal life, but that salvation is a gift, received by grace, through faith, and not of ourselves, so that none of us can boast.

 

 

 

"Making reparation to God for the sins of humanity"? Do you see the problem with this? Human beings cannot "make reparation" for the "sins of humanity", only Christ has done so, and only He is able to. Our inability to save even ourselves (let alone all "humanity") is the very reason we need our Saviour. If we could make such reparation for the sins of humanity, why did Christ come then? And what did He actually accomplish that we could not do ourselves? Those words from "Mary" are indeed "another Gospel", one that tells us we can save ourselves, and others, by our own efforts.

 

 

 

I'm very aware of the lengthy "verification" process involved with supposed "Marian apparitions" like Fatima. However, regardless of the Vatican's stamp of approval, we must still "test the spirits". Jut because something is proclaimed "worthy of belief" by fallible human beings, doesn't mean we should accept it. This is why we need the word of God, our absolute standard of truth, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in granting us discernment. God does not contradict Himself, and He is not the Author of confusion. Unfortunately, much of what was said at Fatima by "Mary" absolutely contradicts Scripture.

 

 

 

So, where in the above verses does it say that Mary can offer salvation to anyone? (As the "Mary" of Fatima claimed)

 

 

 

Alright, if I'm "misunderstanding", please explain where in Scripture it tells us that Mary can offer salvation to those who devote themselves to her "Immaculate Heart"? This was one of the main messages of Fatima.

 

 

I think you are focusing too much on your disbelief in the Virgin Mary's role in people's lives Instead of focusing on the primary question which is, did the miracle occur or not? Look at the testimonials I just posted - there are a ton more where this came from. You don't seem opposed to believing something significant happened. Evidence shows it was something supernatural given that it was predicted 3 months ahead of time to the exact location and time, and no human being could have possibly faked what the sun was seen to do that day, nor could anyone fake the drying of everyone's clothes instantly, as well as the ground. So it was obviously supernatural, but you say God was not the author. My response was that Satan was not the author either, given the thorough and extensive Catholic message given to the children over the 6 month period leading up to the day of the miracle. If it was not Satan, that leaves God as the author. Unless you have a third possibility?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you were a Christian in the first 1000 years after Christ was on earth, what would you be? According to all books on religion and history you would be CATHOLIC, since there was no other notable denomination up to that time.

 

This is a very common argument. Unfortunately it is not supported by Scripture. The NT Christians did not hold to the major doctrines or traditions of the Catholic Church. (The 7 Sacraments, penance, indulgences, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mary's Assumption, praying to Mary and the saints, etc.) There is no mention whatsoever of any of these things, as taught by the Catholic Church, in Scripture, and most telling of all, many of these doctrines of the Catholic Church are comparatively recent, and certainly are well known to have been formulated and declared as official Catholic doctrine/tradition long after the NT was completed. They do not in any way originate with Christ or His disciples.

 

Unfortunately an argument from history proves nothing. We know from the various epistles that there was already significant error in the Church during its early years, and Paul wrote to both correct this error and to warn about future deception arising from within the Church itself. Take this warning from Paul, as recorded in Acts, for example:

 

"Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." - Acts 20:26-31

 

The Christians of those centuries relied solely on the Catholic Church for the interpretation of Scripture.

 

The early Christians did not depend on any institutionalized Church. What we have in the Catholic Church today, did not exist in NT times. I encourage you to read Acts and the NT epistles, and you will see that the early Church was very much a community of believers who met together for mutual fellowship and encouragement. They had spiritual gifts, given from the Holy Spirit, so that they could edify one another. Yes, there was order and structure, but there was no "magisterium" telling all the "common" Christians what to believe and why. The early Christians very much understood that they were all "brethren."

 

Christ founded ONE Church with ONE doctrine, and therefore needed ONE interpretion to keep everyone unified.

 

Indeed, Christ did found "ONE Church", which was then, as now, made up of all true believers, born again, new creations in Christ.

 

This is why Scripture states:

 

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16)

 

This confirms that interpreting Scripture on our own leads to our own distraction.

 

Actually, those verses do not confirm that "interpreting Scripture on our own leads to our own destruction." Those verses simply confirm what is said elsewhere in Scripture, which is that we must "rightly divide the word of truth." Yes, we need discernment, and we can know that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us.

 

Luther and Calvin were immediately in disagreement on interpretation of Scripture, which led to them founding their own denominations right from the start of the Reformation.

 

Most of the "reformers" actually had no intention of founding their own denominations. Rather, they wanted to "reform" the Church.

 

The problem just snowballed from there due to self interpretation - what has that resulted in but thousands of denominations!

 

This is an overused and irrelevant argument. There is every bit as much disagreement and division within the Catholic Church, it is simply less visible due to its formal structure and hierarchy. (If you don't think so, I would encourage you to do a survey asking Catholics whether they agree with all of the official teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church)

 

Multiple interpretations of Scripture do not add up to one true church of Christ. The fact remains, the Catholic Church was the original Church, and given she was the true Church of Christ in those early centuries, then she had the direct authority to interpret Scripture.

 

Again, Scripture tells a far different story.

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If you were a Christian in the first 1000 years after Christ was on earth, what would you be? According to all books on religion and history you would be CATHOLIC, since there was no other notable denomination up to that time. The Christians of those centuries relied solely on the Catholic Church for the interpretation of Scripture. Christ founded ONE Church with ONE doctrine, and therefore needed ONE interpretion to keep everyone unified. This is why Scripture states:

 

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16)

 

This confirms that interpreting Scripture on our own leads to our own distraction. Luther and Calvin were immediately in disagreement on interpretation of Scripture, which led to them founding their own denominations right from the start of the Reformation. The problem just snowballed from there due to self interpretation - what has that resulted in but thousands of denominations! Multiple interpretations of Scripture do not add up to one true church of Christ. The fact remains, the Catholic Church was the original Church, and given she was the true Church of Christ in those early centuries, then she had the direct authority to interpret Scripture.

Acadia has done such an outstanding job in answering your post I have only one thing to add, the one thing you missed.

 

You completely ignored my point about your comment being a circular argument and therefore a logical fallacy. Your reply did nothing to address that problem and pointing out there are many denominations cannot change the fact it is a logical fallacy.

Edited by Origen
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