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Lutheran vs. Catholic

Communion:

  • Lutheran – Communion is a symbol or Jesus is only there if the person believes.  Bread and wine are blessed.
  • Catholic – Communion is the Real Presence of Jesus’ Body and Blood, is not a symbol.  Bread and wine are transubstantiated by the Holy Spirit, changed into Jesus and remains so forever.

Sacraments:

  • Lutheran – (2) Baptism and Communion
  • Catholic – (7) Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick

Authority:

  • Lutheran – The Synod, or if labeled “Free”, they do not belong to the Synod.  Some have Bishops but there is no unifying authority.
  • Catholic – The Magistrate consisting of the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and Priests.  They are all connected by the Apostolic Succession down from St. Peter and Jesus.  They have the authority from Jesus to forgive sins, consecrate the Eucharist, serve Mass, administer Sacraments and interpret scripture.

Origin:

  • Lutheran – Martin Luther started the Lutheran Church about 1517 when Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Catholic Church, revolted against the authority of the Church, and started his own church but changing doctrine and the Bible.
  • Catholic – Jesus started the Catholic Church in 33 AD by giving authority (the keys to the kingdom) to St. Peter.  The Catholic Church has remained consistent in teaching since.

Authority to Interpret Scripture:

  • Lutheran – Relies on personal interpretation resulting in thousands of different interpretations.  This gives no unity.
  • Catholic – Relies on the authority of the magistrate, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, to interpret scripture producing a uniform interpretation.

Prayer to Heaven and Saints:

  • Lutheran – Believes in Jesus alone for prayer.  Does not believe in praying to saints.
  • Catholic – Believes in the Communion of Saints to pray for us as a family, like we ask for our loved ones to pray for us.  This does not leave Jesus out.  The Saints ask Jesus for us like our family would do.

In time of Death:

  • Lutheran – The Pastor offers prayers for the dying person.
  • Catholic – The Priest offers the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  This Sacrament offers sanctifying grace, forgiveness of sins, and prayers for the dying or sick person.

Baptism:

  • Lutheran – Forgiveness of sins (Original and personal sins) and the person becomes a child of God.  A Sacrament.
  • Catholic – Forgiveness of sins (Original and personal sins) and the person becomes a child of God.  A Sacrament.  This is one of the similarities between the two faiths.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

  • Lutheran – Martin Luther had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary but currently the Lutheran Faith does not recognize the Virgin Mary as more than the Mother of Jesus. Does not pray to the Virgin Mary.
  • Catholic – The Virgin Mary is honored as the Mother of God and is prayed to asking for Her intercession for us.  This is not bypassing Jesus, it is asking Her to ask Jesus for us because He would listen to His Mother.  She is our Mother because Jesus is our Brother so therefore; the Virgin Mother is also our Mother.  Jesus gave us the Virgin Mary as our Mother when He was on the Cross, when He gave Her to John.  When Catholics say the rosary, it is said in request of intercession and in meditation of Jesus’ life.  Catholics do not worship Mary.

Bible:

  • Lutheran – King James Version, (7) books removed, contains 66 books, some scripture has been changed by Martin Luther.  Much of the Bible is similar to the Catholic Bible.
  • Catholic – New American Bible, Catholics put together the Bible, contains 73 books.

What’s done with leftover Communion?

  • Lutheran – leftovers are put back in the cellophane pack, cooked with, disposed of in the garbage.  A plate of bread can be placed anywhere, including on a seat or whatever is available.
  • Catholic – leftovers are reserved reverently in the Tabernacle to give to the sick, those in need of the Blessed Sacrament, or reserved for Adoration.  The Tabernacle is either in the center of the Church or in a prayer chapel for veneration.  The Eucharist is only placed on the altar, in a pyx (gold holder for the Eucharist), or in the Tabernacle.  The Eucharist is treated reverently because it is Jesus.

Purgatory:

  • Lutheran – do not believe in Purgatory.  Martin Luther removed the book of Maccabees from the Bible because he didn’t believe in Purgatory.
  • Catholic – Believe in Purgatory as a place of purification before Heaven, based on scripture, once a person is in Purgatory they go to heaven for sure after purification.  Catholics pray for the dead so that they will get to heaven sooner from Purgatory.  Purgatory is Biblical.

Statues:

  • Lutheran – don’t believe in statues.  Many Lutheran churches have a picture of Jesus or a cross but no statues.
  • Catholic – Statues are holy reminders of the saints and Jesus.  It is like having pictures of family in your wallet.  Catholics do not worship statues. Statues teach about the lives of the saints.

Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament:

  • Lutheran – Churches do not contain the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Contains the symbol of Jesus in Communion or blessed bread.
  • Catholic – All Catholic Churches contain the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in every Tabernacle all over the world.

These are some of the similarities and differences between the Lutheran and Catholic faiths.  Much of the good in the Lutheran faith comes from the Catholic faith; however, there is much that is not the same.  The Catholic Church has the fullness of the faith and all are called to communion with the Catholic Church.

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Who Started Your Church?

Below I would like to be able to show little snippets of when many denominations of Christian churches were started.  This might give you a good idea of how to find the one, true, church.

Church                          Date started   Who started it                Where started  

Lutheran                       1517                 Martin Luther                    Germany    (Martin Luther was an ex-monk of the Catholic Church and rejected the authority of the Church)

Anglican                        1534                 King Henry VIII                  England      (King Henry started this church because he wanted a divorce and the Catholic Church would not grant him one)

Calvinist                         1555                John Calvin                          Switzerland

Presbyterian                 1560                 John Knox                            Scotland

Protestant Episcopalian 1789            Samuel Seabury               American Colonies  (branch of the Church of England)

Congregationalist       1582                  Robert Brown                      Holland

Methodist                     1739                  John and Charles Wesley  England

Unitarian                      1774                  Theophilus Lindley            London

Mormon Latter Day Saints  1830        Joseph Smith                       New York

Baptist                           1609                  John Smyth                          Amsterdam

Dutch Reformed          1628                  Michaelis Jones                   New York

Salvation Army            1865                  William Booth                     London

Christian Scientist       1879                 Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy        Boston

Seventh Day Adventists 1863              James White                        Michigan

Jehovah’s Witnesses    1874               Joseph “Judge” Rutherford & Charles Taze Russell     United States

Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostal Gospel, Holiness Church, Pilgrim Holiness Church were all started in last century.

Catholic                           33 AD               Jesus Christ                   Jerusalem                                 (It’s the still the same church)

I ask you the question…Do you want to belong to a church that a human person started because they splintered off from another church or wanted to change doctrine, or do you want to belong to the only church that Jesus founded?  When someone says that it doesn’t matter which church you go to, I would say that history makes all the difference.  I would want to be in the church that started with Jesus.

For more information, do your own research into the Early Church Fathers.  They were all Catholic.  You can find more here.

Also, check here for more information on discerning the true Church.

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What happened on Holy Thursday?

Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and is very significant, because it is when Jesus instituted the priesthood of the Catholic Church along with it’s authority.  Jesus celebrated the Passover with the twelve apostles in the upper room.

During the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.”  When supper was ended, Jesus said, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.”  Jesus was telling the apostles to “Do this in memory of me.” giving them the authority of the priesthood to celebrate the Mass and consecrate the Eucharist, calling on the Holy Spirit to come and transubstantiate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.  This authority is passed down through the laying on of hands in an unbroken line from the apostles to the priests, bishops and the pope today in the Catholic Church.

Anyone who has broken from this line loses the authority from Jesus to change the bread and wine into the Holy Eucharist, leaving them with an unconsecrated but blessed bread and wine.  This is not the same as the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.  This blessed bread is not the same bread that Jesus was talking about in John 6 and does not have the same life in it as the Eucharist has.  The Eucharist has Jesus’ life and heart in it.  It is really Jesus.  This is why the Eucharist is not the same as communion bread in other churches…It is all because of the authority that Jesus gave to the priests, and the priests alone.

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Who’s Your Authority?

This is a deep question to ask yourself and others.  No matter what your religion, ask yourself “Who’s the authority in my/your church?”  You might say, the pastor, the Synod, the Bible, or a leader who started your church.  If someone comes to your door and wants to offer you literature or talk to you about your religion, ask them the question of authority.

If the answer is the Bible, then lets look at the history of the Bible.  The Bible was put together in the year 382 at the Council of Rome, in the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is still the authority of interpreting Scripture.  There is nothing in the Bible that states that the Bible is the only authority and source of truth.  The Catholic Bible is the New American Bible.  Other translations of the Bible such as the New World Translation or the King James Version have had books and parts of Scripture removed or changed to fit their doctrines.  The King James Version has had seven books removed.  Most people think that the Catholics have added books but this is not true.

If the answer is a pastor, Synod, or leader of your church, then this can create a pitfall of individual interpretation of the Scriptures.  If we all interpret the Scriptures on our own, then we can end up with several different meanings. These people are well-meaning but how can you be certain that you have the right interpretation? I found an exercise in the book, Where Is That in the Bible? by Patrick Madrid. See below:

If someone wrote the words:  “I never said you stole money.”  Sounds like it would be simple to understand, right?  I’ll write all possible interpretations with different emphasis and see what you think.

  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning someone else said that you stole money.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought it but didn’t say it.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he said that someone else did.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought you lost it.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought you stole something else but not his money.

See how just a little emphasis on a different word can cause a different interpretation of the small simple sentence.  Patrick Madrid asks, “Which would you say is more likely to be open to misinterpretations, this six-word sentence or the Bible?”  You can go to 4 different churches on the same street, on the same Sunday and get four different interpretations and sermons on the same Scripture reading.

If your authority is the Catholic Church, then you are following the Bible which says, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”  Luke 10:16   “I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”                  1 Timothy 3:14-15   The Catholic Church was given the authority through Jesus when he said, ” I will give you (Peter) the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:19

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St. Peter with Keys to the Kingdom

 

 

The Protestant churches reject the authority of the Catholic Church but yet declare that the Bible, that the Catholic Church put together 1500-2000 years before their existence, is their sole source of Scripture and authority.  The true authority is the Catholic Church, including the magisterium (Apostolic line of Popes, Bishops, Priests) and the Catholic Bible.  In rejecting this authority, a person can easily be led to error in their faith because of individual interpretation.  When you read the Bible with the understanding of the Church, you see faith in a different light and it makes much more sense.  There is a universal understanding of Scripture and Tradition instead of scattered meanings.

So when you ask the question, “Who’s your authority?”, be sure you get the answer of the only church Jesus gave authority to…the Catholic Church.  If not, then it falls flat.

 

Photo credit: The Vatican

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Why Can’t a Non-Catholic take Communion in the Catholic Church?

Our priest was approached by a woman who challenged him with this question.  “Why can’t a non-Catholic take communion in the Catholic Church?  And why can’t a Catholic take communion in a Lutheran or protestant church?”  The priest said, “Let me ask you this; what do you do with the leftovers of communion?”  She said, “Well, we put it (the wafers) back into the little zip baggie and put it back into the cupboard, or we take the homemade bread home and eat it with lunch.”  The priest said, “We as Catholics would gasp at that. We put what hosts are left from Communion in a Tabernacle because we believe it IS the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.”  She said to him, “But we believe that Jesus is with the bread too. Aren’t they the same?”  He said, “We don’t believe it’s a symbol or that Jesus is under the bread, we believe that the bread has turned into Jesus and is no longer bread anymore.”  He also said that if a non-Catholic is not in union with the beliefs of the Catholic Church, then they should not partake of the comm-union of the Catholic Church.  The same is true with a Catholic taking communion in a protestant church.  A Catholic doesn’t believe the same as a protestant and is not in union with that church so they should not partake in their communion.  In leaving, the woman said to him, I guess I never thought of it that way.

I spoke with another priest who told me that some protestants had visited his Cathedral and had a church service in their rooms while they stayed.  After they had left, the priests had found their “blessed bread” in the garbage.  You would never find that in the Catholic Church because we don’t throw away Jesus, we adore and honor Him. (see below photos)

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Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.  A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.   1 Corinthians 11:27-29

This would not be true if it was just a symbol or if Jesus was with the bread.  This is only true if the Eucharist/Holy Communion actually IS the Body of Jesus and not bread anymore.  A miracle occurs each time we are at Mass; the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  This is why we call the Eucharist, The Blessed Sacrament.

So to tell someone who is non-Catholic that they can’t receive communion in the Catholic Church is not being snobbish, it’s to help them understand that Jesus truly is present in the Eucharist and you need to understand that and be in union with the Catholic Church to receive.  We certainly don’t want someone to drink and eat Judgment upon themselves.5409ba69d44ed13c9ebf8c5b565a41f7

 

Photo credits: Pinterest, Catholic Answers Forums

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Story of a Presbyterian turned Catholic

This is a video of Journey Home with Dr. David Anders, former Presbyterian, radio host for Called to Communion on the EWTN radio stations.  He makes many very important points.  He researched the Church history in the early church fathers and found himself on the path to the Catholic Church.  To subscribe to the Called To Communion feed, click here.

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Five Reasons the True Church is Catholic

The picture below describes very well the five reasons that the Catholic Church is the true Church that Jesus founded.  No other church, except the Catholic Church, can claim these truths.  There is a comparison with other churches below the picture.

five-reasons-catholic-is-true

All other churches:

  1. All other churches are founded by men.  Some as early as the 1500’s, and some as recent as the last 10 years.  If someone doesn’t like one church, they church hop or they start another church.  Many have splintered off from each other and changed doctrine.
  2. Other churches may have attempted to translate the Bible but they also took out seven (7) books of the Bible and removed and changed other wording to suit their teachings.  The Catholic Church put the Bible together back in the 300-400’s AD.  So the other churches holding belief that the Bible is the only word of God and that the Catholic Church is not Biblical, the Catholic Church put the Bible together and there wouldn’t be a Bible if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church.
  3. The other churches typically have two (2) sacraments, while the Catholic Church has all seven (7) that Jesus instituted. (Baptism, Holy Communion/Eucharist, Reconciliation/Confession, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.)
  4. Other churches can only trace their authority back to their founder, men, who started their churches only as far back as the 1500’s.  Authority in the other churches is based on individual interpretation not on the authority that Jesus put into place, the Pope and Magistrate.
  5. Other churches change their doctrine to fit, not what Jesus taught, but what the parishioners want or what their church wants to fit with “the times”.  The Catholic Church doesn’t have this moving target in their doctrine, they stay solid with Jesus’ teachings.  The teachings of the Catholic Church is the same “universal” around the world and the doctrine will not change because it is what Jesus taught regardless of how much pressure society puts on it just because they want their way. We need to follow Jesus’ teachings, not expect Jesus to follow us.

These are the truths that only the Catholic Church can claim.  This is all historic and you can research the history in the Early Fathers of the Church.  They all point to the Catholic Church.  The Church is 2000 years old and comes directly from Jesus and the only church that can say that truthfully.

Defending the Catholic Faith Video Website   Check out their videos at this website.