Don't spread untruths on Catholicism

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The Rev. Paul Cook has, in less than two weeks, attacked Catholicism on two separate occasions. The first attack was in his guest column of July 23 ("Only way to heaven is spelled out in Bible"), and the second in his letter of July 30 ("The truth, whole truth, and nothing but"). The Rev. Cook either is purposely trying to spread falsehoods about the Catholic Church, or he is not as educated as he may think.

The Rev. Cook quotes Scripture, telling us to be aware of false prophets. He then warns us about false religions. The Baptist faith came into being during the 17th century, at a time when the Catholic Church was already on its 236th pope. I would ask the Rev. Cook to produce any written proof of official church teaching that states faith in the pope or the Virgin Mary are the way to life everlasting.

He also misspeaks on the subject of faith and works. I refer him to James 2:14-26, and Matthew 25:31-46. Christian works are an important part of faith, as shown in Scripture. He states that as a Christian he does not have the option to "pick and choose" which parts of the Bible he will believe.

On baptism, John 3:5 states "no one can enter the kingdom of GOD without being born of water and spirit." Titus 3:5 says "we are saved by the bath of rebirth." Both refer to baptism and are only two of several instances in Scripture that refer to the importance of baptism in relation to salvation. Both disagree with the Rev. Cook's position.

Lastly the Rev. Cook quotes Matthew, warning us about false prophets telling us lies and trying to deceive us. That is the only statement in his writings that we both agree on.

Mel La Pan

Augusta

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iakovos
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iakovos 08/03/10 - 10:03 pm
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Great letter so true if they

Great letter so true if they would just do some research and find the whole truth it's right there and it didn't start in the west. Oh i'm sorry that means they must now conform themselves to the truth. Everything has a begining just start at the source.

Pay What U Owe
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Pay What U Owe 08/03/10 - 10:28 pm
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A good augury of our nation's

A good augury of our nation's future: After the evangelicals get rid of the atheists, feminists, gays, illegal aliens, Mormons and non-Xian religions, who do you think get the Jihad next? If you own a rosary, look in the mirror.

GGpap
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GGpap 08/03/10 - 11:02 pm
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A good letter in defense of

A good letter in defense of ones chosen religion (Catholicism) and, as could be expected, it will be immediately attacked by the American Taliban. Sheeeesh!

GGpap

impossible
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impossible 08/03/10 - 11:10 pm
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Thank you for your excellent
Unpublished

Thank you for your excellent and necessary letter. Rev. Cook's letters over the years have consistently been off base on both politics and religion. It appears that he, like many others, picks and chooses which verses of scripture to believe in. True bible-believing Christians should accept and live by each and every thing that Jesus revealed to the Apostles which has been passed down to us via the Canon of Scripture given to the world by the Catholic Church in the 4th Century along with the oral tradition passed on by the Apostles and their successors - in other words, the entire deposit of faith that comes to us from the Apostles. One who picks and chooses only those revelations that one mistakenly thinks support his/her denomination is not a bible-believing Christian. It would behoove each Christian to go deep into history and study the writigs of the Early Fathers of the Church.

chasboy
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chasboy 08/04/10 - 12:30 am
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Baptists don't seem to know a

Baptists don't seem to know a thing about Catholicism. I've heard many of them put it down. I'm a recovering Catholic but I got a good Catholic education and never once did we pray to the Pope or the virgin mother as most Baptists think.

Inquiring Lynn
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Inquiring Lynn 08/04/10 - 03:15 am
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Grouse and Chasbooy, friends,

Grouse and Chasbooy, friends, yes, Sky Pappy [ Ground of Being for the ethereal].
I understand that nowadays the official Catholic doctrine and that of liberal Christians of any form, is that the way to salvation only through Christ means even if only acting as though one were a Christian. I find that amusing as at Skeptics Society, a good site, in my Skeptic Griggsy thread J.Christ, jerk, that spells out my views on him!
And Miklos Jako, deist in "Confronting Believers" calls the cult leader's views the scam of the ages!
I call the twin superstitions the paranormal and the supernatural as Mr. Secularist himself, Dr. Paul Kurtz, does ,," The Transcendental Temptation," a must read book!

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 08/04/10 - 03:34 am
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I agree about the importance

I agree about the importance of baptism and good works (works arising from faith). I just see no biblical evidence for baptizing infants, who don't know enough to have faith.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jesus' statement about being "born of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:5) was in answer to Nicodemus' question "How can a man be born when he is old?" (John 3:4).

Likewise, Paul's statement in Titus 3:5 concerned the washing, regeneration, and renewing of adults, as can be seen from the context: "For we ourselves [Paul, Titus, others] also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be heirs according to eternal life" (Titus 3:3-7).

lsmith
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lsmith 08/04/10 - 04:13 am
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The Cooks have all been "off
Unpublished

The Cooks have all been "off the hook" for years. For some misguided reason the Chronicle has always proven to be a ready and willing partner in allowing the Cooks a platform from which to extend their twisted ministry. A "GUEST COLUMN" indeed, that's just the ticket. I didn't read it, didn't read the letter and tuned Cook out a long time ago. I see the name and close the paper.

Inquiring Lynn
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Inquiring Lynn 08/04/10 - 05:31 am
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Of course , I'm with Dawkins

Of course , I'm with Dawkins about Pope Ratz! Are you two also G. and C?

iakovos
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iakovos 08/04/10 - 05:53 am
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fundamental_arimian This is a

fundamental_arimian This is a very simple answer you must be apart of something in whole to understand, now you know what the Bible says about your thoughts. To some it's foolish,but here again 2000 years and no change in nothing the Bible remains true to the ages of ages.. How many times have you change your ways and mind, i'll go with Christ and tradition before this world that can seem to get it to gather.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 08/04/10 - 05:53 am
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Haven't differing sects of

Haven't differing sects of the Christian religion argued for centuries about minute details of the Bible? Isn't this why we have numerous sects of Christianity? Living all over this country growing up, I've had an opportunity to visit Christian services in dozens of different sects. Some are very flashy and some are very loud and some are very stoic and some are very quiet and conservative, but (except for the minute details) they all seem to preach the same goals.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 08/04/10 - 06:15 am
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Grouse...I love when the so

Grouse...I love when the so called enlightened atheist are completely rude and intolerant about people who don't believe the same as they do.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 08/04/10 - 06:22 am
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"Catholic Church was already

"Catholic Church was already on its 236th pope"..lol have you read what some of those popes did?????

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 06:38 am
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I am not a Catholic, but I

I am not a Catholic, but I believe the New Testament clearly teaches that baptism is an essential step in the process of salvation -- no less important than faith, repentance, confession, etc. That being said, I see no evidence supporting sprinkling of infants. There is not a shred of faith there, so it really can't be anything more than getting the kids wet.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 08/04/10 - 06:41 am
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howcanweknow......Pretty sure

howcanweknow......Pretty sure the New Testament doesn't spell out how much water must be used in a baptism.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 08/04/10 - 06:41 am
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Thank God for Martin Luther

Thank God for Martin Luther and Henry VIII.............................

Poodie
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Poodie 08/04/10 - 07:09 am
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If baptism is necessary for

If baptism is necessary for salvation, how do explain the conversion of the thief next to jesus--"this day you will be with me in paradise"? Also, Baptism as a requirement rules out the concept of death-bed confessions. Baptism is only a carry-over of the ancient Jewish ritual of purification (cleansing)-not necessary for salvation. Remember the "blood of Jesus" cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

shivas
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shivas 08/04/10 - 07:47 am
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Where's the gospel about

Where's the gospel about covering-up child molestation?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:49 am
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Poodie, I was waiting for

Poodie, I was waiting for someone to bring up the Thief. They always do. Here's the easy explanation that people always forget:

I'm sure you'll agree that we're talking church-age, NT salvation here. There is a difference, as you know -- no OT children of Israel (like Moses, Isaiah, Joshua) were baptized, yet they were saved. So, clearly baptism was not required under the Old Covenant. However, we're New Covenant, church folks now. Things have changed.

When did the New Covenant begin? Well, obviously, not until the death/resurrection of Christ. Specifically, the birth of the New Covenant church was on the Day of Pentecost. That's when the Apostles instituted the church and the new way of things. (which included repentance and baptism as the cornerstones of it all -- did you notice that faith is not mentioned in Acts 2:38 at all?)

Well, what about the Thief? Yes, he was saved. But, not by the New Covenant -- he could not have been, because the church had not yet been born. Jesus had not even died yet to forgive the Thief's sin. So, the Thief was saved like all Old Covenant folks -- before NT baptism was instituted.

So, using the Thief as an example of NT conversion is invalid. Apples and oranges here.

Here's an example of a relevant, post-Pentecost, NT conversion: Saul of Tarsus. As you can read in Acts 9 and 22, Saul met Christ, believed in Christ, confessed Christ, and had 3 days to repent in the dark. But, here's what the text says: His sins were not "washed away" until 3 days later at his baptism. That's right out of the Bible. Baptism was necessary to remove Saul's sin. That's a NT / New Covenant conversion model for us, not the Old Covenant Thief.

Also, remember there's no example at all where anyone in the NT says "The Sinner's Prayer" or "asks Jesus into their heart". Those things sound nice, but are not strictly biblical. What you do find in the Bible is clear teaching that faith, repentance, confession, AND baptism were all tied together to effect salvation. Actually, Acts 2:38 backs up the conversion of Saul by telling us that it is baptism that effects the forgiveness of sin.

So, God's word is very consistent: baptism is necessary for forgiveness. That's what it teaches. It's right there.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/04/10 - 08:08 am
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Baptism is an important part

Baptism is an important part of salvation but the act of getting baptized is not what saves you. It is a symbol of your obedience to Christ, that your old ways have died and been buried and the renewing of life and becoming a new Christian in Christ. There are many situations where an individual can not be immersed in the baptismal waters due to health reasons but this does not mean they are not a born again believer, as with the man hanging next to Christ. His acceptance of Jesus' free gift, his repentance for his wrong doing, and acknowledging that Jesus is the Son of God is what allowed Jesus to assure this criminal that he would be with Christ when he died.

As for sprinkling of infants, I do not know of anywhere in the Bible that it speaks of this but my thoughts are, it is more for the parents peace of mind and doesn't hurt the infant, so no harm done. When the child reaches the age where he/she know right from wrong and accountability, then it is up to that individual person to either accept or reject the gift God has to offer. Until that child reaches that point in his/her life, if the child should pass from this earth, God would welcome them with open arms.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:11 am
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In terms of deathbed

In terms of deathbed confessions, hey, I don't know. Are these valid? It's sure not my call. God in His infinite wisdom will do the right thing. Only He knows the heart.

My responsibility is not to try and bring up what might happen 0.1% of the time, but focus on doing what the Bible teaches 99.9% of the time -- and that's to make sure I'm baptized for the forgiveness of my sin and so I can received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I'll let God worry about any potential gray areas. All I know is that if I want the 100% assurance of salvation, I'll follow God's plan to the letter. If someone chooses another path, well, that's between them and God. Good luck to them. For me, I'll take the path of assurance.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:14 am
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See, I believe the NT teaches

See, I believe the NT teaches very clearly that baptism IS part of the salvation process. I mean, 1 Peter 3:21 says "Baptism now saves you." It doesn't get much more clear than that. And, it goes perfectly along with Acts 2:38 and the conversion of Saul in Acts 9 and Acts 22. Again, God's word is remarkably consistent on this issue.

I just do not see baptism as a "symbol" of anything. Where does it say that in the Bible? I don't see it. What I do read very clearly is that baptism effects forgiveness. That's there in black and white.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:22 am
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Jews were not baptized. Only

Jews were not baptized. Only proselytes were. That's why John the Baptist's message was so radical -- he was saying that even Jews needed to be baptized for repentance (not salvation -- this was not Christian baptism yet). Blew the religious leaders away -- how dare John tell them that THEY needed to repent like some heathen Gentile !!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/04/10 - 08:24 am
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howcanweknow, after reading

howcanweknow, after reading your post, you've brought up some interesting ideas. I've never considered the old covenant/new covenant view of this. It makes sense and I'll have to do some research and study on this view of the scriptures.

I only have one issue with your post and it's your last statement "....baptism is necessary for forgiveness. " I believe baptism is a very important part of the process of becoming a Christian but I don't necessarily think forgiveness hangs in the balance whether you are baptist or not. If that were the case, any indivdual who is near death (whether it's from sickness or an accident) accept Christ's gift of salavation and ask for forgiveness....do you think God won't forgive them and save their soul. What about an individual who accepts Christ during a Sunday morning service and leaves church and is killed in an accident. These individuals have not had the opportunity to be baptized before they leave this earth, are they not considered children of God?

I look forward to studying more on this subject.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:36 am
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ICL, I agree with you. These

ICL, I agree with you. These are difficult issues, and I honestly don't know. Thankfully, it's not my call. I'll leave that up to God. I can't say for certain either way regarding deathbed confessions.

Again, what I think really doesn't matter. It's what God's word says. I don't see anything in the NT specifically addressing deathbed confessions, so there's not a clear guideline here. In contrast, what we do see time and again are conversions where faith is confessed and baptism occurs immediately thereafter. The 2 are coupled, and occur together practically every time someone converts to Christianity in the NT.

I know we can "what if" these things all day. You can do that with practically any issue. But, again, my concern is to take what I plainly read as the truth and apply it. If there are some gray areas, God will handle that. I don't think that's a cop-out, but is just knowing that God does all things well and justly. My task is not to "what if" God, but to obey God. What I see in His word is that baptism is part of the salvation process (along with faith, repentance, and confession). My responsibility is to follow that directive and encourage others to do also.

If someone wants to wait until their deathbed before they accept Christ, well, that's their business and I don't question their salvation. It's not my call. But, I do know that if I follow God's plan to the letter before I'm on my deathbed,then I have 100% assurance of salvation. That's what I want -- not to count on the possibility that God might overlook what His word says about baptism and let me into heaven anyway. Salvation is too important a thing to risk on a technicality, don't you think?

Fascinating stuff, isn't it?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 08/04/10 - 08:55 am
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I had a friend that told me

I had a friend that told me he'd wait until later before becoming a Christian because, in his words, "God always give you a second chance." I told my friend that God had already given him 60 years of chances. How many more chances would he ask for? He believed in God's existence (that was too obvious for him to deny), but he continued to put off becoming a Christian. Sadly, he died before ever accepting Christ.

Point is, we all have opportunities and chances to obey God's word. Most of us have years and years to do so. But, if we wait until we're dying, that's taking a terrible risk. Those are some dice that I refuse to roll!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/04/10 - 09:16 am
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Yes, sad indeed...(about your

Yes, sad indeed...(about your friend). Our tomorrows are not promised and I agree, those are some dice you should refuse to roll.

I also agree that there are many things in the Bible that require a lot of studying and some things we won't know until we see our Savior. I'm not implying that baptism isn't important, because it is and should follow your profession of faith. I just don't feel like it's absolutely necessary for salvation. We are saved by faith not by works or deeds but to me this is a small matter compared to the big picture.

When I hear of someone making the decision to follow Christ and they are in later years, sick or dying, my first thoughts are "oh how much more they could have done with their life if they had only been obedient and accepted His free gift"

Have a blessed day and yeah, it's some fascinating stuff.....every time I read His Word, someone new always just jumps off the page.

dominionfs
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dominionfs 08/04/10 - 09:39 am
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This is where I become really

This is where I become really confused. Some claim baptism is neccesary for salvation where others don't. Some claim once saved always saved, others claim re-dedication is neccesary after one stumbles. Yet all claim they are the only holders of the truth and others are wrong in their misguided beliefs.

To be sure, faith,repentance and confession are the essentials of accepting a Christian outlook on life, but IMO, if it is true that baptism is 'an outward symbol of an inner commitment' then baptism is more for others than myself, much like an initiation ceremony to become a member of a specific body, such as a church and not a requirement for entrance into the Kingdom of God.

dominionfs
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dominionfs 08/04/10 - 09:51 am
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ICL says :- "We are saved by

ICL says :- "We are saved by faith not by works or deeds...."

I must disagree on that one ICL.
James 1:22
James 2:17
James 2:18
Matthew 7:24

john
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john 08/04/10 - 09:53 am
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The scandals were horrible,

The scandals were horrible, but lets not pretend its only Catholics that do that stuff. I know of a few protestant ministers that have been caught at the rest stops not resting if you know what I mean and not being so nice to kids.

Im paraphrasing, but baptism washes away orignial sin from the infant. The child will have an opportunity later in life to make an informed decision to confirm themselves in the Catholic church.

Back to the scandals, and Im not taking up for the wrongdoers both the commiters and the cover upers. If you belive in good and evil. if you were evil, who would you want to convert? who would you want to have publicly stumble? If you can take down a few religious, wouldnt that just be a coup? At the end of the day, responsibility has to be taken, but im just sayin....

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