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Q1. Why do Catholics bow to images in the church?[/b]
A: Catholics do not bow to images in order to worship them. In fact, it is condemned by God. Ex 20: 1-5 "Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,b out of the house of slavery.
You shall not have other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself an idolc or a likeness of anything* in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them.d For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation."
But in Numbers 21: 4-9, God asked Moses to make a bronze image of a snake to save the people of Isreal. "They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[a] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” 6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived."
Now, would you say that God who instructed us not to make images in Genesis is the one instructing Moses in Numbers to make an image of a serpent? Can God contradict Himself? Absolutely not! God did not say images should not be made, but He is against worshiping such images. Therefore, it is imperative to note that God is not against the making of image but against the act of worshiping them. We all have images (pictures or sculptures) in our homes and offices hung on our walls or placed in the house but do we worship them? I doubt! We put them there for beautification, honour and remembrance. Example is the statue of Herbert Macaulay on the Island in Lagos. That statue is not made there for worship but for remembrance and honour and also, it beautifies the area.
Therefore, making of an image is not a sin in itself but worshiping them and acknowledging them the status of God is a sin for God is a jealous God.
Q2: Why does the Catholic Bible have 73 books, while the Protestant Bible has only 66 books?
The Catholic is the church that compiled the bible in about 367 AD when St. Athanasius came up with a list of 73 books for the Bible that he believed to be divinely inspired. This list was finally approved by Pope Damasus I in 382 AD, and was formally approved by the Church Council of Rome in that same year. Later Councils at Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) ratified this list of 73 books. In 405 AD, Pope Innocent I wrote a letter to the Bishop of Toulouse reaffirming this canon of 73 books. In 419 AD, the Council of Carthage reaffirmed this list, which Pope Boniface agreed to. In 16th century, Martin Luther discarded with some books in the bible which he believed does not conform with his own view of theology. Initially, he disagreed with 7 books in the Old Testament which are Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, First Maccabees, and Second Maccabees, as well as additional verses of Daniel and Esther. These books are called the “deuterocanon”, or second canon, by Catholics, and the “apocrypha”, or hidden/obscure, by Protestants (Christians who protest against the Catholic Church) and also, some books in the New Testament which include James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation. He actually said that he wanted to “throw Jimmy into the fire”, and that the book of James was “an epistle of straw.” What is strange is that Luther eventually accepted all 27 books of the New Testament that the Catholic Pope Damasus I had approved of in 382 AD, but didn’t accept his Old Testament list. Hence, the 66 books in the Protestant's bible and the foremost of them is King James version which was first compiled by Martin Luther with the help of King Henry VIII in year 1081. Martin Luther was excommunicated by the church for his rebellious act against the body of Christ and for re-inventing his own bible.
This topic is well explained in this thread http://www.heroslodge.com/241/why-is-the-catholic-church-bible-different-from-others
Q3: Why do Priests wear different colours of vestments for different occasions
A: The priest wears 5 different colours of vestment during the celebration of Holy Mass depending on the occasion or feast. These vestments are:
Red Vestment: This is worn to celebrate a saint who was killed or martyred.
White Vestment: This signifies purity. It is worn to celebrate Holy Mass during the feat of a saint who died natural death, for virgin Mary's day and also, to signify the holiness of Jesus Christ.
Purple Vestment: Purple signifies royalty and therefore, it is worn during advent (starting 4 weeks to Christmas) in preparation to coming of the King of kings- Jesus Christ.
Gold Vestment: This is worn during the celebration of the church e.g. Golden jubilee, anniversaries etc
Green Vestment: This is worn during ordinary time. Green signifies life.
Q4: Why do Catholics honour Mary?
A: Catholics honour Mary because of the position she occupies in the life of Christ, Christians and importantly, the special grace and favour bestowed upon her by God himself. Jn 19: 25-27 tells us how Jesus on the cross handed over Mary to the disciple He loved to be his mother. The disciple at that moment represented Christians whom Christ loves and handed over his mother to be our mother also. It is logical that the mother of your mentor is your mother also and so, you accord her same respect and honour your mentor will accord her as well. Gen 3:16, Rev 12: 1-7 and Is 7:10 show how God acknowledges the importance of Mary to mankind and thus bestow upon her the highest favour given to any man before or after her. Lk 1: 26-38; 40-42 tells us how angel Gabriel conveyed the mind of God to Mary revealing to her how much favour God has bestowed upon her thus saying to her "hail Mary, full of grace..." and also the greetings of her cousin Elizabeth, "Of all women, you are the most blessed." This greeting was not from Elizabeth herself but inspired by the Spirit of God which through the confirmation she got when the baby in her womb leapt for joy on sighting Mary. These greetings gladdens Mary heart (Lk 2:19). It should be noted that act of honour should not be mistaken for worship. Catholics do not worship Mary because she is NOT God and will never be. The church honours her in a similar way we honour our biological mothers (though in a special way because of the special grace she carries). In Ex 20:12, God asks us to honour our father and mother.
Q5: Does Mary have other Children?
Mary had no other children apart from Jesus. If Mary had other children, Jesus would not have asked the disciple to take Mary home and care for her if not, other children of hers would have been able to do that. Would it not be a slap on the faces of other children that an outsider would take their mother home to take care when they are still alive? Also, Lk 2:41-49 tells us how Jesus was forgotten in the temple by his parents and later found him in the temple preaching after searching for him for 3 days. "Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Jesus was 12 years old during this time, and if he had other siblings, would Joseph and Mary left them behind to go to Jerusalem only with Jesus since it is the custom to go with all members of the family? In Matt 12:46, it is written that Jesus's mother and brothers were waiting outside anxious to have a word with him. Does that mean Jesus had other siblings? The first recorded argument was between St. Jerome and another fourth-century theologian, Helvidius, who had written that after the virgin birth of Jesus, Mary had other children with her husband, Joseph. St. Jerome disagreed, indicating that by the fourth century at least some of the church community believed that Mary had stayed a virgin for the rest of her life. These children of Mary, Jerome said, were from Mary of Clopas, Jesus’ aunt and his mother’s sister, making them cousins. He claimed that the Greek word "adelphios" could refer to cousins, not just biological siblings. Same way in Yoruba language, "cousin" has no word instead "aburo" or "egbon" can be used for a biological sibling or relative. Also, if Jesus had sibling, they would have been present during his crucifixion with Mary. In John 19:25, where she is among the women present at the Crucifixion of Jesus: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, Mary and His mother's sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." Note that Jesus' mother's sister is also called Mary in this passage but can two biological sisters called the same name within a nuclear family? That proves that Mary the wife of Clopas is not the biological sister of Mary mother of Jesus but a relative because in Greek from where English bible is translated from has no word for cousin or aunt or uncle but once they are related are called brothers or sisters.
Q6: Why do Catholics don't pray for the death of their enemy or curse them but rather, pray for their conversion?
A: In Matt 5: 43-45, Jesus instructs us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Act 7:55-60, 1Pt 3:8 and 1Cor 3:17 state this fact as well for there is rejoice among the angels of God when a sinner repents (Lk: 15:10)
Q7: Is drinking a sin?
A: Drinking is not a sin, rather getting drunk is a sin (Ep 5:18). Jesus turned water to wine (Jn 2: 1-12). 1Tim 3:8 "In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, [b]not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain." This shows that drinking of wine is not sin in itself but getting drunk by drinking much of it is sin. Jesus took wine when he was offered vinegar while on the cross (Matt 27: 48). If drinking was a sin, He wouldn't have accepted it. Vinegar wine contains 5-20% acetic acid; 5-8% alcohol. Wine is taken in heaven as well (Matt 26: 26-29).
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