Wednesday, 19 December 2012

How to Become a Catholic

Becoming Catholic is one of life’s most profound and joyous experiences. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are infants, and, over time, they recognize the enormous grace that has been bestowed on them. Others enter the Catholic fold when they are older children or adults. This tract examines the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.
A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation—baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist—but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms. 
A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic at that moment. One’s initiation is deepened by confirmation and the Eucharist, but one becomes a Catholic at baptism. This is true for children who are baptized Catholic (and receive the other two sacraments later) and for adults who are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the same time.
Those who have been validly baptized outside the Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.
Before a person is ready to be received into the Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and form of this preparation depends on the individual’s circumstance. The most basic division in the kind of preparation needed is between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in another church.
For adults and children who have reached the age of reason (age seven), entrance into the Church is governed by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), sometimes called the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA).

Preparation for the Unbaptized

Preparation for reception into the Church begins with the inquiry stage, in which the unbaptized person begins to learn about the Catholic faith and begins to decide whether to embrace it.
The first formal step to Catholicism begins with the rite of reception into the order of catechumens, in which the unbaptized express their desire and intention to become Christians. "Catechumen" is a term the early Christians used to refer to those preparing to be baptized and become Christians.
The period of the catechumenate varies depending on how much the catechumen has learned and how ready he feels to take the step of becoming a Christian. However, the catechumenate often lasts less than a year.
The catechumenate’s purpose is to provide the catechumens with a thorough background in Christian teaching. "A thoroughly comprehensive catechesis on the truths of Catholic doctrine and moral life, aided by approved catechetical texts, is to be provided during the period of the catechumenate" (U.S. Conference of Bishops, National Statutes for the Catechumenate, Nov. 11, 1986). The catechumenate also is intended to give the catechumens the opportunity to reflect upon and become firm in their desire to become Catholic, and to show that they are ready to take this serious and joyful step (cf. Luke 14:27–33; 2 Pet. 2:20–22).
The second formal step is taken with the rite of election, in which the catechumens’ names are written in a book of those who will receive the sacraments of initiation. At the rite of election, the catechumen again expresses the desire and intention to become a Christian, and the Church judges that the catechumen is ready to take this step. Normally, the rite of election occurs on the first Sunday of Lent, the forty-day period of preparation for Easter.
After the rite of election, the candidates undergo a period of more intense reflection, purification, and enlightenment, in which they deepen their commitment to repentance and conversion. During this period the catechumens, now known as the elect, participate in several further rituals.
The three chief rituals, known as scrutinies, are normally celebrated at Mass on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent. The scrutinies are rites for self-searching and repentance. They are meant to bring out the qualities of the catechumen’s soul, to heal those qualities which are weak or sinful, and to strengthen those that are positive and good.
During this period, the catechumens are formally presented with the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, which they will recite on the night they are initiated.
The initiation itself usually occurs on the Easter Vigil, the evening before Easter Day. That evening a special Mass is celebrated at which the catechumens are baptized, then given confirmation, and finally receive the holy Eucharist. At this point the catechumens become Catholics and are received into full communion with the Church.
Ideally the bishop oversees the Easter Vigil service and confers confirmation upon the catechumens, but often—due to large distances or numbers of catechumens—a local parish priest will perform the rites.
The final state of Christian initiation is known as mystagogy, in which the new Christians are strengthened in the faith by further instruction and become more deeply rooted in the local Catholic community. The period of mystagogy normally lasts throughout the Easter season (the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost Sunday).
For the first year of their life as Christians, those who have been received are known as neophytes or "new Christians."

Preparation for Christians

The means by which those who have already been validly baptized become part of the Church differs considerably from that of the unbaptized.
Because they have already been baptized, they are already Christians; they are, therefore, not catechumens. Because of their status as Christians, the Church is concerned that they not be confused with those who are in the process of becoming Christians.
"Those who have already been baptized in another church or ecclesial community should not be treated as catechumens or so designated. Their doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full Catholic communion should be determined according to the individual case, that is, it should depend on the extent to which the baptized person has led a Christian life within a community of faith and been appropriately catechized to deepen his or her inner adherence to the Church" (NSC 30).
For those who were baptized but who have never been instructed in the Christian faith or lived as Christians, it is appropriate for them to receive much of the same instruction in the faith as catechumens, but they are still not catechumens and are not to be referred to as such (NSC 3). As a result, they are not to participate in the rites intended for catechumens, such as the scrutinies. Even "[t]he rites of presentation of the creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the book of the Gospels are not proper except for those who have received no Christian instruction and formation" (NSC 31).
For those who have been instructed in the Christian faith and have lived as Christians, the situation is different. The U.S. Conference of Bishops states, "Those baptized persons who have lived as Christians and need only instruction in the Catholic tradition and a degree of probation within the Catholic community should not be asked to undergo a full program parallel to the catechumenate" (NSC 31). For this reason, they should not share in the same, full RCIA programs that catechumens do.
The timing of their reception into the Church also is different. The U.S. Conference of Bishops states, "It is preferable that reception into full communion not take place at the Easter Vigil lest there be any confusion of such baptized Christians with the candidates for baptism, possible misunderstanding of or even reflection upon the sacrament of baptism celebrated in another church or ecclesial community . . . " (NSC 33).
Rather than being received on Easter Vigil, "[t]he reception of candidates into the communion of the Catholic Church should ordinarily take place at the Sunday Eucharist of the parish community, in such a way that it is understood that they are indeed Christian believers who have already shared in the sacramental life of the Church and are now welcomed into the Catholic Eucharistic community . . ." (NSC 32).
Christians coming into the Catholic Church must discuss with their pastor and/or bishop the amount of instruction needed and the time of their reception.

Peace with God

The sacrament of baptism removes all sins committed prior to it, but since Christians have already been baptized, it is necessary for them to confess mortal sins committed since baptism before receiving confirmation and the Eucharist.
In some cases, this can be difficult due to a large number of years between the Christian’s baptism and reception into the Catholic Church. In such cases, the candidate should confess the mortal sins he can remember by kind and, to the extent possible, indicate how often such sins were committed. As always with the sacrament of reconciliation, the absolution covers any mortal sins that could not be remembered, so long as the recipient intended to repent of all mortal sins.
Christians coming into the Church should receive the sacrament of reconciliation before their reception into the Church (there is no established point for when they should do this) to ensure that they are in a state of grace when they are received and confirmed. Their formation in the faith should stress that frequent confession is part of Catholic life: "The celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with candidates for reception into full communion is to be carried out at a time prior to and distinct from the celebration of the rite of reception. As part of the formation of such candidates, they should be encouraged in the frequent celebration of this sacrament" (NSC 36).
The Christian fully enters the Church by profession of faith and formal reception. For the profession of faith, the candidate says, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."
The bishop or priest then formally receives the Christian into the Church by saying, "[Name], the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church. His loving kindness has led you here, so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit you may have full communion with us in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family."
The bishop or priest then normally administers the sacrament of confirmation and celebrates the holy Eucharist, giving the new Catholic the Eucharist for the first time.

Reception in Special Cases

In some situations, there may be doubts whether a person’s baptism was valid. All baptisms are assumed valid, regardless of denomination, unless after serious investigation there is reason to doubt that the candidate was baptized with water and the Trinitarian formula (". . . in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"), or that the minister or recipient of baptism did not intend it to be an actual baptism.
If there are doubts about the validity of a person’s baptism (or whether the person was baptized at all), then the candidate will be given a conditional baptism (one with the form ". . . if you are not already baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit").
"If conditional baptism . . . seems necessary, this must be celebrated privately rather than at a public liturgical assembly of the community and with only those limited rites which the diocesan bishop determines. The reception into full communion should take place later at the Sunday Eucharist of the community" (NSC 37).
Another special case concerns those who have been baptized as Catholics but who were not brought up in the faith or who have not received the sacraments of confirmation and the Eucharist. "Although baptized adult Catholics who have never received catechetical instruction or been admitted to the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist are not catechumens, some elements of the usual catechumenal formation are appropriate to their preparation for the sacraments, in accord with the norms of the ritual, Preparation of Uncatechized Adults for Confirmation and Eucharist" (NSC 25).

Waiting for the Day!

It can be a time of anxious longing while one waits to experience the warm embrace of membership in the Church and to be immersed into Catholic society. This time of waiting and reflection is necessary, since becoming a Catholic is a momentous event. But waiting can be painful as one longs for the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the joys of Catholic life—the security that being a faithful Catholic bestows. Yet even before being received, those waiting to be fully incorporated already have a real relationship with the Church.
For those who are already Christians, their baptism itself forms a certain sacramental relationship with the Church (cf. Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 3; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1271). They are also joined to the Church by their intention to enter it, as are the unbaptized who intend to do so: "Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, desire with an explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church are by that very intention joined to her. With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14:3; CCC 1249).
Thus, even before one is fully incorporated into the Church, one can enjoy the status of being recognized by the Church as one of her own, precious children.

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

Friday, 14 December 2012

Baptism Saves You

By. Fr. Dwight Longeneker

Even though I was brought up in a devoutly Evangelical home, I wasn’t baptized until I was 21 years old. We attended an independent Bible church with an essentially Baptist theology, and the irony about this Baptist theology is that it actually de-emphasized baptism. What mattered was being "born again" or "saved," if we had responded to an altar call and "accepted Jesus into our hearts." This personal experience was all that was necessary to assure us of eternal salvation. Baptism and communion (while they were not dispensed with altogether) remained unnecessary symbols of our inner faith.
As a college student, I became an Anglican, and before I could be confirmed, I submitted to baptism. Later I went to teach in a Christian school attached to a Baptist church, and even then the pastor seemed more concerned about the mode of baptism than baptism itself. He insisted that I be re-baptized by total immersion since he didn’t think my Anglican baptism (with water poured over my head) counted.
Travel the Romans Road
I lived in England for 25 years and had little contact with Baptists. Now our family has moved to South Carolina, and recently two Fundamentalist Baptists came around to discuss theology with me. They proceeded to take me along the famous "Romans Road." This is a simple Evangelical process that leads a person to salvation through the most basic Christian truths taken from St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans.
The first verse is Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." After establishing that you are a sinner, in Romans 6:23 St. Paul reminds you that "the wages of sin is death." The second part of that verse gives the promise that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:8 tells us that "while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Romans 10:13 says that "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," and Romans 10:9 says that "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved."
My visitors took me through the Romans Road and were a little nonplussed when I agreed with them on every point. I then asked them why they didn’t go any further along the road. They asked what I meant. "St. Paul goes on to say just how this salvation happens," I replied. "He gives us an objective and solid way to know that we really have been made one with Christ. But first, we agree, don’t we, that salvation means we die with Christ so that we may have new life?"
They agreed.
"How does this happen?" I asked.
"You have to accept Jesus. Believe in him in your heart and confess with your lips."
"Yes, we Catholics believe that is necessary, but there is more to it than that. In addition to believing and confessing with our lips, we need to be baptized. At the beginning of Romans 6, St. Paul actually explains how we share in the death and new life of Christ: It is through baptism."
The beginning of Romans 6 says, "Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." This idea that we are made one with Christ through baptism is reiterated by Paul in Colossians 2:12, and in Galatians 3:27 he likens baptism to "being clothed with Christ."
Furthermore, the fuller idea of salvation being a union with Christ fits with much more of the New Testament, which speaks time and again of being in a profound union with the living Lord—rather than simply being saved or justified by a personal belief in Christ.
The sacrament of baptism takes the believer from the simple repentance, belief, and profession of faith into a more mysterious identification with Christ, in which he is the vine, and we are the branches, in which we die with him so that we might rise to new life. Baptism is not simply the addition of a meaningful symbol to the act of faith: It is an action which takes the believer’s whole body, soul, and spirit into a new relationship with God.
Born of Water and the Spirit
The passage in Romans 6 (backed up by Colossians 2) is not the only evidence from the New Testament that baptism is effective and therefore necessary for salvation. The apostles Peter and John confirm St. Paul’s teaching. In Acts 2, when St. Peter is preaching at Pentecost, his hearers ask what they must do to be saved, and he replies, "Repent and be baptized." In 1 Peter 3, Noah’s ark is referred to as a type of baptism, and Peter writes, "In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
The most famous New Testament evidence for the efficacy and necessity of baptism is in John’s Gospel. When Nicodemus comes to visit Jesus by night, Jesus says that a person cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born again. Nicodemus asks how a man might enter again into his mother’s womb and Jesus corrects him, saying, "No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and the Spirit" (John 3:3-5). From the earliest days of the Church this passage has been understood to refer to baptism, and this interpretation is virtually unanimous down through history.
However, many Evangelicals have a peculiar interpretation for this verse. They say that the "water" in the verse does not refer to baptism, but to the amniotic fluid of the mother’s womb. This is the "water" that breaks at the point of physical birth. Therefore they believe when Jesus refers to "water and the Spirit," he is referring to physical birth and spiritual re-birth. This might be a possible interpretation as the previous verse was a discussion of a man entering again into his mother’s womb.
However, one must look at the whole passage in its context. It is universally agreed that John’s Gospel is the most "sacramental" in its approach. The passages of Jesus’ life and teachings are put together in such a way as to connect with, and support, the sacramental life of the early Church. In the verses that immediately follow Jesus’ words that one must be "born again of water and the Spirit," Jesus talks about "men loving darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil" (verse 19) and that whoever "lives by the truth comes to the light" (verse 21). The references to light point to the other main symbol of the baptismal ceremony—the lighted candle. If there is any doubt, the very next story in John chapter 3 shows Jesus immediately going out with his disciples baptizing.
Is It Enough to Believe and Confess?
As soon as you begin to speak about the necessity of baptism, an Evangelical will pull out some favorite verses and favorite arguments. They will go back to Romans 10:9-10, "If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." They will point out that this verse does not say that one must be baptized. The reply is that belief and profession of faith are necessary, but the whole witness of the New Testament shows us that baptism is necessary as well.
Evangelicals may also refer to the story of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16. The jailer cries out, "What must I do to be saved?" and Paul and Silas reply, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved—you and your household" (Acts 16:31). It seems there is no demand for baptism. However, actions speak louder than words because verse 33 says that "immediately they were baptized." Baptism therefore seems to be the way one makes the faith commitment. This is just one example from the Acts of the Apostles where faith is accompanied by baptism, and it is assumed that both are necessary. Two other clear accounts are Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, and Peter’s immediate baptism of Cornelius and his household in Acts 10. The pattern in Acts is consistent: preaching, repentance of the hearers, belief in Christ, and immediate baptism. Why would this be the case if the apostles did not believe that baptism was both effective and necessary for salvation?
The Evangelical who does not want to accept the efficacy and necessity of baptism has a few more objections. What about people who do not have the opportunity to be baptized? He will bring up the good thief on the cross. The thief couldn’t be baptized, but Jesus says, "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). This is the perfect opportunity to explain two other.aspects of Catholic belief.
Baptism of Blood, Baptism of Desire
First, you can explain that the Catholic Church does not believe that baptism is magic: Simply having water poured over one’s head with the Trinitarian formula does not mean a person is instantly saved forever. Baptism incorporates the individual into the Body of Christ, and within the whole life of the Church an individual’s baptism must be accompanied by faith. The developing faith of the individual is empowered by the grace of baptism, and nurtured by the whole Church, but if the Christian faith is rejected or never positively affirmed, the baptism is not magically effective.
For difficult cases such as the good thief, it should be explained that the Catholic Church has always taught that there is a "baptism of blood" and a "baptism of desire." The baptism of blood refers to those who were not baptized but were martyred for Christ. They are incorporated, through their own death, into the mystical body of Christ through a mystical sharing in his sacrificial death.
The baptism of desire refers to those individuals with faith in Christ who would be baptized if they had the opportunity and if they truly understood what baptism means. It applies to those who, due to extraordinary circumstances, do not have access to water for baptism. But the New Testament indicates that what we call "baptism of desire" is the case for the Old Testament saints. Noah and his family were "saved through water" in the flood, (2 Pet. 2:5) and the Hebrew children were baptized "into Moses in the cloud and the Red Sea" (1 Cor. 10:2). This suggests that baptism of desire may also extend to those who have pre-Christian faith or to non-Christians who have faith according to the level of their knowledge, but have never heard the Christian gospel.
It may also apply to those who have faith in Christ, but have not been baptized because they truly and sincerely (because of false teaching received in goodwill) do not believe that baptism is necessary. Even in these cases, however, it should be understood that the Church teaches that such individuals "may" be saved, not that they are saved.
Incorporate It
The most difficult thing for an Evangelical to accept in a conversation about the sacraments is that God actually uses physical means and liturgical ceremonies to dispense his grace and administer salvation. The typical Evangelical is heavily conditioned to dismiss all physical components of religion as useless and distracting "man-made traditions."
However, the theory doesn’t stand up in practice. It cannot because we have bodies that are in time and space which need a way to respond physically to spiritual realities. It is not very difficult to demonstrate that they believe physical actions and religious ceremonies can be useful for salvation—otherwise why have evangelistic rallies with emotional music and altar calls? Why encourage people to "put up their hand, get up out of their seat, and come forward?" It’s because they realize that we need physical actions, religious ceremonies, and rituals to help us accept the gift of salvation that is being offered, and they must accept that it is through these physical responses that salvation is accepted, and therefore that the physical responses are effective and necessary.
If they can see that God uses their preaching and their traditions and religious rituals to bring people to salvation, then it is not too much of a leap for them to see that the Catholic rituals are another physical and active way for individuals to accept the gift of salvation. Of course, the sacraments are more than a practical, man-made religious tool. The sacraments are not done by us for God, but by God for us. However, moving a non-Catholic to the point where he accepts that a sacrament is useful is the first step towards accepting that it is necessary, and that is just one step away from the acceptance that they are not just man-made, practical religious devices, but divinely instituted initiatives that incorporate the soul into the mystical Body of Christ.

source: Catholic Answers

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Inconsistency of the Book of Morms to the Bible regarding the Birthplace of Jesus Christ

The Book of Mormons has been regarded by the members of the Church of Latter Day Saints as part of the Scripture aside from the Bible. They said that it was written in Golden Plates which Joseph Smith had translated. Yet, if we try to read the Book of Mormons, it has so many inconsistencies and contradictions that is considered as not biblical. Once of those inconsistencies was regarding the Birthplace of Christ which is according to the Bible was the the City of David which is Jerusalem. According to the Book of Mormon, it says:

"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10)

 If we try to look at the verse from the book of Mormons, it says "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers...".  It mentions Jerusalem which is contradictory to what the Holy Bible says about the Birthplace of Christ, for it is written:

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king." (Matthew 2:1, King James Version)

It clearly states that Jesus the Messiah was born not in Jerusalem but rather he was born Bethlehem which is 8 kilometers south of Jerusalem. How could Jesus be born in Jerusalem, if the Scriptures also says that being surprised at the words of the wise men, King Herod and the whole of Jerusalem became deeply troubled:

"When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." (Matthew 2:3, King James Version)

Besides, King Herod made an inquiry to the chief priests and scribes of the people together regarding the place where the Christ would be born, and they responded by quoting a passage from the book of the prophet Micah, (Micah 5:2):

"And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet. And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matthew 2:4-6, King James Version)

If Jesus was born in Bethlehem, why is it being recorded by Matthew that the star reappeared after the wise men departed Herod and Jerusalem, why is it that the star disappeared when the three wise men reached Jerusalem and reappeared when they departed from Jerusalem:

"When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." (Matthew 2:9-10, King James Version)

Matthew even further emphasizes that the three Magi departed into their own country another way avoiding to return to King Herod in Jerusalem, if according to the book of Mormon that Jerusalem was the place of Christ's birth and that Bethlehem is just within the vicinity why is it that the Magi will have to decide not reutrn to King Herod by going to another route? for it is written:

"And being warnedof God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way." (Matthew 2:12, King James Version)

Besides even the Evangelist Luke even recorded that Jesus was indeed been born in Bethlehem not no Jerusalem:

"And it came to pass in those days, that htere went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house and lineage of David,) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7, King James Version)

The Shepherds at Bethlehem also testifies in Luke that the Messiah was really not born in Jerusalem but rather in Bethlehem:

"The shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us." (Luke 2:15, King James Version)

Besides even the prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah would not be born in Jerusalem but rather it would be born in Bethlehem the least among the towns of Judah:

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel." (Micah 5:2, King James Version)

If Jesus Christ would be born in Jerusalem not in Bethlehem then the prophet Micah would become a liar here, and that the chief priest and scribes would not tell and emphasize to Herod that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem by citing the prophecy of the prophet Micah. Because of that the Book of Mormon is really not a true Bible but rather it contradicts what was written by the 4 Evangelists regarding the place where Jesus was born. Because of that the Mormons added something which the Bible had forbidden them to do for as the book of Revelation warns us:

"If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book the book of life, and out of the holy city, snd from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18, King James Version)

Besides, the Book of Mormon should not be put equally with the Bible, for the Scripture forbids that :

"Do not go beyond what is written." (1 Corinthians 4:6, New International Version)

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed." (Galatians  1:8, King James Version)

The Mormons admit that the Book of Mormon is considered also a word of God a thing which the Holy Bible had forbidden:

"We believe the Bible to be the  word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." (Article 8,Articles of Faith, Pearl of Great Price)

That is why the Bible forbids such action of preachng another Gospel other than what was been written in the Bible, for as the Bible testifies that the Bible itself is already an inspired book and fully equipped:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16, King James Version)

 The Scripture condemns such additions to God's words:

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it." (Deuteronomy 4:2, King James Version)

"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32, King James Version)

"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:6, King James Version)

That is why the Book of Mormons is not a good thing to read neither can it be considered as a Scripture nor a word of God for it contradicts the Bible itself.


Since there are Mormon Pastors who go in a house to house to preach their erroneous doctrines, the Bible warns us to avoid such people:

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God-speed: for he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 10-11)

                               AVOID FALSE TEACHERS WHO COMES TO YOUR HOUSE!


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Roman Catholic Church is not the Whore of Babylon

Some anti-Catholics claim the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18. Dave Hunt, in his 1994 book, A Woman Rides the Beast, presents nine arguments to try to prove this. His claims are a useful summary of those commonly used by Fundamentalists, and an examination of them shows why they don’t work.


#1: Seven Hills

Hunt argues that the Whore "is a city built on seven hills," which he identifies as the seven hills of ancient Rome. This argument is based on Revelation 17:9, which states that the woman sits on seven mountains.
The Greek word in this passage is horos. Of the sixty-five occurrences of this word in the New Testament, only three are rendered "hill" by the King James Version. The remaining sixty-two are translated as "mountain" or "mount." Modern Bibles have similar ratios. If the passage states that the Whore sits on "seven mountains," it could refer to anything. Mountains are common biblical symbols, often symbolizing whole kingdoms (cf. Ps. 68:15; Dan. 2:35; Amos 4:1, 6:1; Obad. 8–21). The Whore’s seven mountains might be seven kingdoms she reigns over, or seven kingdoms with which she has something in common.
The number seven may be symbolic also, for it often represents completeness in the Bible. If so, the seven mountains might signify that the Whore reigns over all earth’s kingdoms.
Even if we accept that the word horos should be translated literally as "hill" in this passage, it still does not narrow us down to Rome. Other cities are known for having been built on seven hills as well.
Even if we grant that the reference is to Rome, which Rome are we talking about—pagan Rome or Christian Rome? As we will see, ancient, pagan Rome fits all of Hunt’s criteria as well, or better, than Rome during the Christian centuries.
Now bring in the distinction between Rome and Vatican City—the city where the Catholic Church is headquartered—and Hunt’s claim becomes less plausible. Vatican City is not built on seven hills, but only one: Vatican Hill, which is not one of the seven upon which ancient Rome was built. Those hills are on the east side of the Tiber river; Vatican Hill is on the west.

#2: "Babylon"—What’s in a Name?

Hunt notes that the Whore will be a city "known as Babylon." This is based on Revelation 17:5, which says that her name is "Babylon the Great."
The phrase "Babylon the great" (Greek: Babulon a megala) occurs five times in Revelation (14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, and 18:21). Light is shed on its meaning when one notices that Babylon is referred to as "the great city" seven times in the book (16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 16, 18, 19, 21). Other than these, there is only one reference to "the great city." That passage is 11:8, which states that the bodies of God’s two witnesses "will lie in the street of the great city, which is allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified."
"The great city" is symbolically called Sodom, a reference to Jerusalem, symbolically called "Sodom" in the Old Testament (cf. Is. 1:10; Ezek. 16:1–3, 46–56). We also know Jerusalem is the "the great city" of Revelation 11:8 because the verse says it was "where [the] Lord was crucified."
Revelation consistently speaks as if there were only one "great city" ("the great city"), suggesting that the great city of 11:8 is the same as the great city mentioned in the other seven texts—Babylon. Additional evidence for the identity of the two is the fact that both are symbolically named after great Old Testament enemies of the faith: Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon.
This suggests that Babylon the great may be Jerusalem, not Rome. Many Protestant and Catholic commentators have adopted this interpretation. On the other hand, early Church Fathers often referred to Rome as "Babylon," but every references was to pagan Rome, which martyred Christians.

#3: Commits Fornication

Hunt tells us, "The woman is called a ‘whore’ (verse 1), with whom earthly kings ‘have committed fornication’ (verse 2). Against only two cities could such a charge be made: Jerusalem and Rome."
Here Hunt admits that the prophets often referred to Jerusalem as a spiritual whore, suggesting that the Whore might be apostate Jerusalem. Ancient, pagan Rome also fits the description, since through the cult of emperor worship it also committed spiritual fornication with "the kings of the earth" (those nations it conquered).
To identify the Whore as Vatican City, Hunt interprets the fornication as alleged "unholy alliances" forged between Vatican City and other nations, but he fails to cite any reasons why the Vatican’s diplomatic relations with other nations are "unholy."
He also confuses Vatican City with the city of Rome, and he neglects the fact that pagan Rome had "unholy alliances" with the kingdoms it governed (unholy because they were built on paganism and emperor worship).

#4: Clothed in Purple and Red

Hunt states, "She [the Whore] is clothed in ‘purple and scarlet’ (verse 4), the colors of the Catholic clergy." He then cites the Catholic Encyclopedia to show that bishops wear certain purple vestments and cardinals wear certain red vestments.
Hunt ignores the obvious symbolic meaning of the colors—purple for royalty and red for the blood of Christian martyrs. Instead, he is suddenly literal in his interpretation. He understood well enough that the woman symbolizes a city and that the fornication symbolizes something other than literal sex, but now he wants to assign the colors a literal, earthly fulfillment in a few vestments of certain Catholic clergy.
Purple and red are not the dominant colors of Catholic clerical vestments. White is. All priests wear white (including bishops and cardinals when they are saying Mass)—even the pope does so.
The purple and scarlet of the Whore are contrasted with the white of the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:8). This is a problem for Hunt for three reasons: (a) we have already noted that the dominant color of Catholic clerical vestments is white, which would identify them with New Jerusalem if the color is taken literally; (b) the clothing of the Bride is given a symbolic interpretation ("the righteous acts of the saints;" 19:8); implying that the clothing of the Whore should also be given a symbolic meaning; and (c) the identification of the Bride as New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12, 21:2, 10) suggests that the Whore may be old (apostate) Jerusalem—a contrast used elsewhere in Scripture (Gal. 4:25–26).
Hunt ignores the liturgical meaning of purple and red in Catholic symbolism. Purple symbolizes repentance, and red honors the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs.
It is appropriate for Catholic clerics to wear purple and scarlet, if for no other reason because they have been liturgical colors of the true religion since ancient Israel.
Hunt neglects to remind his readers that God commanded that scarlet yarn and wool be used in liturgical ceremonies (Lev. 14:4, 6, 49–52; Num. 19:6), and that God commanded that thepriests’ vestments be made with purple and scarlet yarn (Ex. 28:4–8, 15, 33, 39:1–8, 24, 29).

#5: Possesses Great Wealth

Hunt states, "[The Whore’s] incredible wealth next caught John’s eye. She was ‘decked with gold and precious stones and pearls . . . ’ [Rev. 17:4]." The problem is that, regardless of what it had in the past, the modern Vatican is not fantastically wealthy. In fact, it has run a budget deficit in most recent years and has an annual budget only around the size of that of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Furthermore, wealth was much more in character with pagan Rome or apostate Jerusalem, both key economic centers.

#6: A Golden Cup

Hunt states that the Whore "has ‘a golden cup [chalice] in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.’" This is another reference to Revelation 17:4. Then he states that the "Church is known for its many thousands of gold chalices around the world."
To make the Whore’s gold cup suggestive of the Eucharistic chalice, Hunt inserts the word "chalice" in square brackets, though the Greek word here is the ordinary word for cup (potarion), which appears thirty-three times in the New Testament and is always translated "cup."
He ignores the fact that the Catholic chalice is used in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper—a ritual commanded by Christ (Luke 22:19–20; 1 Cor. 11:24–25); he ignores the fact that the majority of Eucharistic chalices Catholics use are not made out of gold, but other materials, such as brass, silver, glass, and even earthenware; he ignores the fact that gold liturgical vessels and utensils have been part of the true religion ever since ancient Israel—again at the command of God (Ex. 25:38–40, 37:23–24; Num. 31:50–51; 2 Chr. 24:14); and he again uses a literal interpretation, according to which the Whore’s cup is not a single symbol applying to the city of Rome, but a collection of many literal cups used in cities throughout the world. But Revelation tells us that it’s the cup of God’s wrath that is given to the Whore (Rev. 14:10; cf. Rev. 18:6). This has nothing to do with Eucharistic chalices.

#7: The Mother of Harlots

Now for Hunt’s most hilarious argument: "John’s attention is next drawn to the inscription on the woman’s forehead: ‘THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’ (verse 5, [Hunt’s emphasis]). Sadly enough, the Roman Catholic Church fits that description as precisely as she fits the others. Much of the cause is due to the unbiblical doctrine of priestly celibacy," which has "made sinners of the clergy and harlots out of those with whom they secretly cohabit."
Priestly celibacy is not a doctrine but a discipline—a discipline in the Latin Rite of the Church—and even this rite has not always been mandatory. This discipline can scarcely be unbiblical, since Hunt himself says, "The great apostle Paul was a celibate and recommended that life to others who wanted to devote themselves fully to serving Christ."
Hunt has again lurched to an absurdly literal interpretation. He should interpret the harlotry of the Whore’s daughters as the same as their mother’s, which is why she is called their mother in the first place. This would make it spiritual or political fornication or the persecution of Christian martyrs (cf. 17:2, 6, 18:6). Instead, Hunt gives the interpretation of the daughters as literal, earthly prostitutes committing literal, earthly fornication.
If Hunt did not have a fixation on the King James Version, he would notice another point that identifies the daughters’ harlotries with that of their mother: The same Greek word (porna) is used for both mother and daughters. The King James Version translates this word as "whore" whenever it refers to the mother, but as "harlot" when it refers to the daughters. Modern translations render it consistently. John sees the "great harlot" (17:1, 15, 16, 19:2) who is "the mother of harlots" (17:5). The harlotries of the daughters must be the same as the mother’s, which Hunt admits is not literal sex!

#8: Sheds the Blood of Saints

Hunt states, "John next notices that the woman is drunk—not with alcohol but with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus . . . [cf. verse 6]." He then advances charges of brutality and killing by the Inquisitions, supposed forced conversions of nations, and even the Nazi holocaust!
This section of the book abounds with historical errors, not the least of which is his implication that the Church endorses the forced conversion of nations. The Church emphatically does not do so. It has condemned forced conversions as early as the third century (before then they were scarcely even possible), and has formally condemned them on repeated occasions, as in theCatechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 160, 1738, 1782, 2106–7).
But pagan Rome and apostate Jerusalem do fit the description of a city drunk with the blood of saints and the martyrs of Jesus. And since they were notorious persecutors of Christians, the original audience would have automatically thought of one of these two as the city that persecutes Christians, not an undreamed-of Christian Rome that was centuries in the future.

#9: Reigns over Kings

For his last argument, Hunt states, "Finally, the angel reveals that the woman ‘is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth’ (verse 18). Is there such a city? Yes, and again only one: Vatican City."
This is a joke. Vatican City has no power over other nations; it certainly does not reign over them. In fact, the Vatican’s very existence has been threatened in the past two centuries by Italian nationalism.
Hunt appeals to power the popes once had over Christian political rulers (neglecting the fact that this was always a limited authority, by the popes’ own admission), but at that time there was no Vatican City. The Vatican only became a separate city in 1929, when the Holy See and Italy signed the Lateran Treaty.
Hunt seems to understand this passage to be talking about Vatican City, since the modern city of Rome is only a very minor political force. If the reign is a literal, political one, then pagan Rome fulfills the requirement far better than Christian Rome ever did.

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

             IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
                                          permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
                                    +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004


Friday, 10 August 2012


Pangkaraniwan nating mapapansin na maraming iba't ibang sekta ang mahilig manghiya, manuligsa at manlibak sa Banal na Simbahang Katolika. Isa na rito ang patungkol sa paggamit ng mga rebulto at larawan sa ating mga Simbahan.Nakakalungkot isipin na marami sa ating mga kapatid na katoliko ang nadadala sa ganitong impresyon at maling pagkaunawa na siyang sinasabi ng iba. Mababatid natin na ang karaniwan nilang binibigay na talata ay ang Exodo 20, sa tuwing kanilang gagamitin ang talatang yan ay kanilang sinasabi na sadyang nakakasuklam daw sa Diyos ang paggawa ng rebulto at larawan:

 Exodo 20:3-5 "Huwag kang magkakaroon ng ibang mga dios sa harap ko. Huwag kang gagawa para sa iyo ng larawang inanyuan o ng kawangis man ng anomang anyong nasa itaas sa langit, o ng nasa ibaba sa lupa, o ng nasa tubig sa ilalim ng lupa: Huwag mong yuyukuran sila, o paglingkuran  man sila; sapagka't akong Panginoon mong Dios, ay Dios na mapanibughuin, na aking dinadalaw ang katampalasanan ng mga magulan sa mga anak, hanggang sa ikatlo at ikaapat na salin ng lahi ng mga napopoot sa akin."

Ayon sa kanila anumang larawan o rebulto daw ay atin daw sinasamba, dahil daw ayon dito ay atin daw niyuyukuran at niluluhuran ay pagsamba na raw yun sa rebulto. Kanilang sinusuportahan ito ng maraming mga talata tulad ng mga sumusunod ng talata:

Deuteronomio 4:16 "Huwag kayong gagawa ng anumang larawan upang sambahin, maging kawangis ng tao."(Magandang Balita Biblia)

 Levitico  26:1 "Huwag kayong gagawa ng diyus-diyusan o magtatayo ng mga inukit na larawan o haligi na sagrado, o mga batong hinugisan upang sambahin."

  Malinaw na sinasabi na ang isang bagay na kailangan para maging kasuklam-suklam ay upang sambahin at hindi upang alalahanin o igalang. Sa wikang Ingles, iba ang salitang veneration sa salitang adoration or worship. Hindi kasi batid ng mga di katoliko ang 3 aspeto nito, ang Latria o ang mataas na pagsamba sa Panginoong Diyos, and Hyperdulia, o ang espesyal na pagpaparangal at paggalang na naiikol sa Mahal na Birheng Maria, at Dulia o ang pamimintuho, paggalang at pag-alala sa mga santo at mga banal na tao. Dahil diyan isang malaking kasinungalinan ang sabihin na ang Iglesia Katolika ay sumasamba sa rebulto dahil mismong ang Iglesia Katolika ang kumokondena sa anumang uri ng idolatria. Tignan natin at silipin ang sinasabi naklat ng Katesismo ng Simbahang Katolika. 

"Anu-ano ang mga ipinag-uutos sa, Huwag kang sasamba sa ibang diyus-diyosan."?

Ipinagbabawal ng utos na ito ang, Pagsamba sa maraming diyos o idolatriya, na nagtuturing sa mga nilikha bilang diyos, tulad ng pera, poder o kahit na ang mga demonyo." (Katesismo ng Simbahang Katolika, pg. 181)

Malinaw ang kinokondena ng Iglesia Katolika ay ang pagsamba sa maraming diyos, at ang nagtuturing sa mga nilikha bilang diyos. Dahil diyan ang tunay na kinokondena ay yung pagturing sa anumang nilalang na diyos na mismo, at iba ang kanyang paniniwala sa mga santo kaysa sa pagtuturing ng iba sa isang nilalang ng Diyos. Dahil kailanman ay hindi itinuro ng Simbahan na ang mga santo ay diyos o kahit ang kanilang mga rebulto at larawan ay mga diyos na. Hindi po, at maliwanag po yang sinabi ng pareho ding katesismo.

"Ang pag-galang ng mga Kristiyano sa mga banal na imahen ay nakabatay sa pagkakatawang-tao ng Anak ng Diyos, dahil ang pag-galang na ito ay naka-ugat sa misteryo ng Anak ng Diyos na naging tao at dahil dito'y nakita natin ang Diyos na lubhang lingid sa paningin ng tao noon una. Ito'y hindi pagsamba sa mga banal na imahen bagkus ay pag-galang ang ibinibigay natin sa mga banal na inilalarawan nito, halimbawa, si Kristo, ang Mahal na Birhen, ang mga anghel at mga Santo." (Katesismo ng Simbahang Katolika, pg.  181-182 )

Malinaw na sinasabi mismo ng katesismo na ang iniuukol mismo ng mga katoliko sa mga rebulto at imahen ay pag-galang at hindi pagsamba. Kaya malinaw na itinuturo yan hindi lamang basta ng mga pari kundi ayon na mismo sa dokumento ng Simbahan. Dahil diyan malinaw na sinasabi ng katesismo na ang, basehan ng Simbahan sa pag-galang sa mga banal na imahen ay nakabatay sa pagkakatawang tao ng Anak ng Diyos na si Jesucristo. Alam natin na ang Panginoong Jesucristo ay Diyos na nagkatawang tao. Dahil diyan siya ay may laman at buto at may anyo. Dahil nasusulat:

Juan 1:14 "At nagkatawang-tao ang Verbo, at tumahan sa gitna natin (at nakita namin ang kaniyang kaluwalhatian, kaluwalhatian gaya ng sa bugtong ng Ama), na puspos ng biyaya at katotohanan."

Malinaw na ang Verbo ay nagkatawang tao at nakipamayan sa atin, at kitang kita ng nagsulat ang kanyang kaluwalhatian, so ibig sabihin may anyo ang kanyang nakita. Ngunit sino ba itong Verbo na ito? Eto ang sinasabi ng talata:

Juan 1:1 "Nang pasimula siya ang Verbo, at ang Verbo ay sumasa Dios, at ang Verbo ay Dios."

Dahil diyan sinasabi din naman ni Apostol San Pablo na si Jesus ay ang larawan ng Dios na di nakikita, at yun ay pinatotohanan ng Banal na Kasulatan:

Colosas 1:15 "Na siya ang larawan ng Dios na di nakikita, ang panganay ng lahat ng mga nilalang."

Ngunit ayon sa mga di katoliko na wala daw nakasulat sa Biblia na dapat gumawa ng larawan o rebulto, at ayon sa kanila ay dapat daw sambahin ang Diyos sa Espiritu at Katotohanan:

Juan 4:24 "Ang Dios ay Espiritu: at ang  mga sa kaniya'y nagsisisamba ay kinakailangang magsisisamba sa espiritu at sa katotohanan."

Kung ito ang ating pagbabatayan, walang tutol ang Simbahan diyan, ngunit sa anong paraan din natin maaring sambahin ang Panginoon sa espiritu at katotohanan? Ang Panginoong Jesus ba ay nanatiling espiritu? diba hindi? kahit sa muling pagkabuhay niya ay hindi siya naging espiritu bagkus taglay pa rin niya ang kanyang katawan at buto bilang isang tao, at yan ay ayon sa nasusulat. At mismong ang Panginoong Jesus mismo ang nagpapatunay nyan na hindi siya isang espiritu:

Lucas 24:39-40 "Tignan ninyo ang aking mga kamay at ang aking mga paa, ako rin nga: hipuin ninyo ako, at tingnan: sapagka't ang isang espiritu'y walang laman at mga buto, na gaya ng inyong  nakikita na nasa akin."

Malinaw na ang Panginoong Jesus na mismo ang nagsabi na hindi siya isang espiritu kundi siya ay may laman at buto, at nahawakan at nakita siya ng kanyang mga alagad. Kaya marapat lamang na ang mga rebulto at larawan ng Panginoong Jesus ay batay sa nakitang anyo ng mga apostol at nahawakan at nakita na siyang itsura ni Jesus, at yun ay pinatutunayan mismo ni Apostol San Juan sa kanyang unang sulat:

1 Juan 1:1-2 "Yaong buhat sa pasimula, yaong aming narinig, yaong nakita ng aming mga mata, yaong aming namasdan, at nahipo ng aming mga kamay, tungkol sa salita ng buhay. at ang buhay ay nahayag, at aming nakita, at pinatotohanan, at sa inyo'y aming ibinabalita ang buhay, ang buhay na walang hanggan, na kasama ng Ama at sa atin ay nahayag."

Malinaw na pinatotohanan ng Apostol na ang kanilang pinatotohanan ay kanilang nkita ng kanilang mga mata, namasdan at nahipo ng kanilang mga kamay, at sino yun? Ang Verbong nagkatawang-tao alalaumbaga'y ang ang Panginoong Jesus. Dahil mismong ang Panginoong Jesus ang nagsabi na ang sinumang nakakita sa kanya ay nakakita na sa Ama:

Juan 14:9 "Ang nakakita sa akin ay nakakita sa Ama; paanong sinasabi mo, Ipakita mo sa amin ang Ama."

Malinaw na sinasabi mismo ng Panginoong Jesus na ang sinumang nakakita sa kanya ay nakakita na sa Ama na siyang isang espiritu, ibig sabihin lang noon sa paggamit ng mga larawan at rebulto ng Panginoong Jesus ay ating lamang ginugunita at inaaalala sa pamamagitan ng inilalarawan ng rebultong iyon ang pagkakatawang tao ng Panginoong Jesus na siyang nagpapakita sa atin sa Ama sa pamamagitan niya, na siyang nakikita at nahihipo. Dahil diyan, malinaw din na sinasabi ng Simbahan, na dahil ang batayan ng pag-galang ng mga Kristiyanong katoliko sa mga banal na imahen ay batay at nakaugat sa pagkakatawang tao ng Panginoong Jesus. Dahil diyan binibigyang diin din ng Simbahan, na ang mga banal na imahen ay huwag dapat sambahin ng mga katoliko, bagkus ay igalang lamang ito ang inililalarawan ng imahen na magpapaalala sa kanila ng mga magagandang bagay na ipinakita at isinabuhay ng inilalarawan ng imahen noong ito ay nabubuhay pa sa lupa upang maging inspirasyon sa bawat katoliko na tularan ang kanilang ginawa upang maging mas lalong mapalapit sa Diyos. Tignan natin ang pagbibigay diin ng Iglesia Katolika sa bagay na ito:

"Mahigpit ang iginigiit ng Simbahan ang malaking tulong na ibinibigay ng mga larawang ito para sa tunay na Kristiyanong pananalangin. Gayunpaman, kasing higpit ding iginigiit ng Simbahan ang tamang paggamit ng mga naturang larawan, at iniiwasan ang anuman at lahat ng makapagtuturing sa mga larawan na maging diyus-diyosan, o kaya'y ituring ang mga ito na nag-aangking ng mga kapangyarihan ng salamangka." (KatesismoPara sa mga Pilipinong Katoliko, pg. 293, no.892)

Malinaw na sinasabi mismo ng katesismo na a mahigpit na iginigiit ng Simbahan na dapat gamitin ng mga katoliko ang mga rebulto at larawan sa tama, at hindi upang ito'y sambahin o gawing diyos na malinaw na kinokondena at hindi sinasang-ayunan ng simbahan. Dahil diyan marami sa mga di katoliko ang nakakaunawa ng katuruang ito ng simbahan, para sa kanila ang mga katoliko ay sumasamba raw sa mga rebulto at larawan. Ngunit ang kanila lang basehan ay ang kanilang nakikita, dahil diyan mahigpit na binabalaan tayo ng Banal na Kasulatan na huiwag tayong humatol ayon lamang sa anyo kundi humatol ng matuwid na hatol:

John 7:24 "Huwag kayong magsihatol ayon sa anyo, kundi magsihatol kayo ng matuwid na paghatol."

Dahil diyan ang nakikita lamang ng mga kapatid na mga di katoliko ay ang panlabas lamang na anyo, kasi porke nabasa nila na huwag yumuko, huwag lumuhod ay lahat ng pagluhod at pagyuko ay pagsamba na pala. Ngunit, yan ay pinapabulaanan ng Banal na Kasulatan dahil napakasepific  mismo ng Biblia na ang ipinagbabawal ay ang pagsamba kaalinsabay ng pagluhod at pagyuko sa imahen, at yun ang kinokondena ng Simbahan hindi ang pamimintuho o pag-galang sa mga imahen na hindi naman sinasamba.  Dahil ayon din sa nasusulat:

1 Samuel 16:7 "Hindi tumitingin ang Panginoon na gaya ng pagtingin ng tao: sapagka't ang tao ay tumitingin sa mukha, nguni't ang Panginoon ay tumitingin sa puso." 

Dahil diyan palaging ipinipilit ng mga di katoliko ang kanilang maling pang-unawa sa itinuturo ng Iglesia Katolika dahil diyan inililiko nila o binabaluktot ang ilang aklat katoliko na kanilang nakukuha. Ngunit  malinaw na sinasabi ng kasulatan na huwaag humatol ng ayon sa anyo na siyang di ginagawa ng mga di katoliko.

Isa bang paraan ng Pagsamba ang pagluhod sa mga rebulto?

Kung ating babalikan ang Exodo 20 sinasabi doon na huwag daw yuyuko o luluhod sa harapan ng isang imahe, na ayon sa mga katoliko ay isa daw uri ng pagsamba. Ngunit di nila batid na ang tunay na sinasabi ng Kasulatan ay ang pagsamba  hindi paggalang. Tignan natin ang mga karaniwang talata na ginagamit ng mga di katoliko na sinasabi nila na hindi daw pinayagan na sila ay sambahin sa pamamagitan ng pagluhod o pagyuko.

Gawa 10:25-26 "At nangyari, na pagpasok ni Pedro. ay sinalubong siya ni Cornelio, at nagpatirapa sa kanyang paanan, at siya'y sinamba. Datapuwa't itinindig siya ni Pedro, na sinasabi, Magtindig ka; ako man ay tao rin."

Apocalipsis 22:8-9 "At akong si Juan, ako ang nakarinig at nakakita ng mga bagay na ito. At nang aking marinig at makita, ay nagpatirapa ako upang sumamba sa harapan ng anghel na nagpakita sa akin ng mga bagay na ito. At sinabi niya sa akin, Ingatan mong huwag gawin iyan: ako'y kapuwa mo alipin at ng iyong mga kapatid na propeta, at ng mga tumutupad ng mga salita ng aklat na ito: sumamba ka sa Dios."

Malinaw na sinasabi ng mga talata na ang naging mali sa ginawa ni Pedro at Juan ay hindi lamang basta pagpapatirapa bagkus ay pagpapatirapa upang sumamba o sambahin at hindi upang pagbibigay galang sa kanilang pinagpapatirapaan. Ngunit hindi ito ang itinuturo ng Iglesia Katolika dahil ang pagluhod, pagyuko sa harapan ng mga santo ay hindi upang sambahin ang rebulto tulad ng inaakala ng iba, bagkus ay isa rin itong paraan ng paggalang sa mga santo na siyang nagbibigay inspirasyon sa buhay ng bawat katolikong kristiyano na inilalarawan ng mga rebulto. Kung ating susuriin isa isa ang mga rebulto, anduon ang mga simbolo ng kanilang buhay, tignan natin ang mga larawan:

Rebulto ni San Pedro sa Roma na may hawak na susi, simbolo ng tungkuling iniatang sa kanya ni Jesus na ibibigay sa kanya ang susi ng kaharian ng langit, at may hawak din siya na aklat na simbolo ng kanyang pangangaral ng Ebanghelyo

Rebulto ni San Isidro Labarador na may hawak na pala at may anghel na nagaararo gamit ang kalabaw. Simbolo ito ng pagiging magsasaka ni San Isidro, at sa himalang kanyang natanggap sa Panginoon kung saan ipinadala niya ang isang anghel upang gawin ang pinagagawa kay San Isidro ng kanyang amo upang di siya maantala sa kanyang pananalangin.
Iilan lamang yan sa mga karaniwang tinutuligsa ng mga di katoliko, kung saan sinasabi nila na yan daw ay tanda ng mga pagano, na isang kasinungalingan. Dahil ang mga simbolo na kasama ng mga rebulto ay mga simbolo ng kanilang buhay kabanalan at mga magagandang bagay na kanilang nagawa noong sila'y nabubuhay pa. Ngayon bumalik tayo pagdating sa pagluhod at payuko na sinasabing ipinagbabawal daw dahil yun daw ay tanda ng pagsamba sa mga rebulto at mga santo. Kung mapapansin natin sa isang PASUGO na inilathala ng INC kung saan si Jose ay lumuhod at nagpatirapa sa harapan ng Paraon isang di maitatanggi ng mga INC:
Kitang kita na hango mismo sa PASUGO, September 1999, pg. 22, na si Jose ay lumuhod sa harapan ng Paraon, isang paraan ng paggalang at hindi pagsamba na na ayon mismo sa sektang nagmamay-ari ng lathalaing ito na ang pagluhod at pagyuko raw ay isang paraan ng pagsamba, ang gumuhit ng larawang ito sa pahina ng PASUGO ay si Nestor G. Maglapo Sr.
Kahit ang INC ay hindi rin maikakaila na hindi lahat ng pagluhod at pagyuko ay isang uri ng pagsamba, bagkus ang mali at kinokondena ng Biblia at ng Simbahan ay ang pagluhod upang sambahin at hindi upang igalang ang inilalarawan nito. Kung ating susuriin ang Banal na Kasulatan, sinasabi diyan na hindi lahat ng pagluhod at pagyuko ay pagsamba na:

Sa Lumang Tipan:

Genesis 18:2 "At itiningin ang kaniyang mga mata at nagmalas, at, narito't  tatlong lalake ay nakatayo sa tabi niya: at pagkakita niya sa kanila, ay tinakobo niya upang sila'y salubungin mula sa pintuan ng tolda, at yumukod siya sa lupa."

Genesis 19:1 "At nagsidating ang dalawang anghel sa Sodoma, nang nagtatakip silim; at si Lot ay nakaupo sa  pintuang-bayan ng Sodoma: at sila'y nakita ni Lot, at nagtindig upang salubungin sila; at iniyukod ang mukha sa lupa."

Hukom  13:20 "Sapagka't nangyari, nang umilanglang sa langit ang alab mula sa dambana, na ang anghel ng Panginoon ay napailanglang sa alab ng dambana: at minasdan ni Manoa at ng kaniyang asawa; at sila'y nangapasubasob sa lupa."

1 Samuel 25:23 "At nang makita ni Abigail si David, ay nagmadali siya, at lumunsad sa kaniyang asno, at nagapatirapa sa harap ni David  at yumukod sa lupa."

1 Hari 1:16 "At si Bath-seba ay yumukod at nagbigay galang sa hari.At sinabi ng hari, Anong ibig mo?"

1 Hari 2:19 "Si Bath-sheba naga'y naparoon sa haring Salomon, ipang ipakiusap sa kaniya si Adonia, At tumindig ang hari na sinalubong siya, at yumukod siya sa kaniya, at umupo sa kaniyang luklukan, at nagpalagay ng luklukan para sa ina ng hari; at siya'y naupo sa kaniyang kanan."

Daniel 2:46 "Nang magkagayo'y nagpatirapa si Haring Nebukadnezar at nagbigay-galang kay Daniel, at nag-utos na sila'y maghandog ng alay at ng insenso sa kanya." (Ang Bagong Ang Biblia Edisyon 2001)

Sa Bagong Tipan:

Gawa 16:29   "At siya'y humingi ng mga ilaw at tumakbo sa loob, at, naginginig sa takot, ay nagpatirapa sa harapan ni Pablo at Silas."

Malinaw na sinasabi ng mga talata buhat sa Banal na Kasulatan na ang pagluhod,at pagyuko ay hindi lamang paraan ng pagsamba, dahil kitang kita natin mula sa mga siniping mga talata na sila ay nagpatirapa, yumuko at lumuhod hindi upang sambahin ang kanilang ginagawan noon kundi ay bilang pagbibigay galang sa mga banal na taong iyon. Dahil diyan itinturo din ng Simbahan na ang  pagyuko at pagluhod sa harapan ng isang rebulto at larawan ay isa lamang paraan ng paggalang. Dahil diyan mali ang mga di katoliko sa pagsasabing sinasamba ng mga Katoliko ang mga rebulto.

Ano ang mga tunay na katuruan ng Simbahan patungkol sa mga Imahen at mga Rebulto?

    Kung ating titignan ang mga ginagamit ng ibang sekta sa paggamit ng aklat katoliko tulad ng katesismo, mapapansin natin na sisipi sila mula sa aklat, at kapag ito ay nakasulat sa salitang ingles ang salitang veneration ay pinapalitan ng salitang pagsamba, gayong ang naturang aklat ay hindi nmana isinulat sa tagalog. Ating silipin ang mga opisyal na katuruan ng Simbahan patungkol sa paggamit ng larawan at rebulto. Ayon sa isang obispong katoliko sa Silangan na si San Juan ng Damasco sa kanyang aklat na pinamagatang An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith  ay kanyang sinabi:

" On what grounds, then, do we show reverence to each other unless because we are made after God's image? For as Basil, that much-versed expounder of divine things, says, the honour given to the image passes over to the prototype. Now a prototype is that which is imaged, from which the derivative is obtained. Why was it that the Mosaic people honoured on all hands the tabernacle which bore an image and type of heavenly things, or rather of the whole creation? God indeed said to Moses, Look that thou make them after their pattern which was showed you in the mount. The Cherubim, too, which o'ershadow the mercy seat, are they not the work of men's hands ? What, further, is the celebrated temple at Jerusalem? Is it not hand-made and fashioned by the skill of men ?
Moreover the Divine Scripture blames those who worship graven images, but also those who sacrifice to demons. The Greeks sacrificed and the Jews also sacrificed: but the Greeks to demons and the Jews to God. And the sacrifice of the Greeks was rejected and condemned, but the sacrifice of the just was very acceptable to God. For Noah sacrificed, and God smelled a sweet savour , receiving the fragrance of the right choice and good-will towards Him. And so the graven images of the Greeks, since they were images of deities, were rejected and forbidden.
But besides this who can make an imitation of the invisible, incorporeal, uncircumscribed, formless God? Therefore to give form to the Deity is the height of folly and impiety. And hence it is that in the Old Testament the use of images was not common. But after God in His bowels of pity became in truth man for our salvation, not as He was seen by Abraham in the semblance of a man, nor as He was seen by the prophets, but in being truly man, and after He lived upon the earth and dwelt among men, worked miracles, suffered, was crucified, rose again and was taken back to Heaven, since all these things actually took place and were seen by men, they were written for the remembrance and instruction of us who were not alive at that time in order that though we saw not, we may still, hearing and believing, obtain the blessing of the Lord. But seeing that not every one has a knowledge of letters nor time for reading, the Fathers gave their sanction to depicting these events on images as being acts of great heroism, in order that they should form a concise memorial of them. Often, doubtless, when we have not the Lord's passion in mind and see the image of Christ's crucifixion, His saving passion is brought back to remembrance, and we fall down and worship not the material but that which is imaged: just as we do not worship the material of which the Gospels are made, nor the material of the Cross, but that which these typify. For wherein does the cross, that typifies the Lord, differ from a cross that does not do so? It is just the same also in the case of the Mother of the Lord. For thehonour which we give to her is referred to Him Who was made of her incarnate. And similarly also the brave acts of holy men stir us up to be brave and to emulate and imitate their valour and to glorify God. For as we said, the honour that is given to the best of fellow-servants is a proof of good-will towards our common Lady, and the honour rendered to the image passes over to the prototype. But this is an unwritten tradition , just as is also the worshipping towards the East and the worship of the Cross, and very many other similar things." (An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith by Saint John Damascene Chapter 16, Book IV)

 Maliwanag na sinasabi ni Obispo Juan ng Damasco na hindi ang mismong larawan o rebulto ang pinararangalan bagkus ay ang inilalarawan ng mga rebulto at larawan na iyon. Kaya malinaw na hindi talaga sinasamba ng mga katoliko ang mga rebulto. Ang pagpupunas, pagluhod, payuko at pananalangin sa harap nito ay hindi nauukol sa mismong bato o material na rebulto bagkus ay sa mismong inilalarawan ng mga ito. Dahil diyan matibay na idineklara ng ikalawang kapulungan ng mga obispo sa Nicea na hindi talaga dapat sambahin ang mga rebulto subalit atin lamang itong igalang:

" We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious  people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence reverence (ἀσπασμὸν καὶ τιμητικὴν προσκύνησιν), not indeed that true worship of faith (λατρείαν) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented." ( Second Council of Nicea, Session 6)

Malinaw na itinuturo mismo ng Simbahan na hindi dapat sambahin ang mga rebulto. At sadyan kaiba ito sa paggalang na iniuukol natin sa mga rebulto dahil diyan. Dahil diyan inulit na sinabi ng Konsilyo ng Trento ang patungkol sa aral na siyang ipinahayag ng Ikalawang Konsilyo ng Nicea patungkol sa paggamit ng mga rebulto. Na siyang tinututlan at inaatake ng ibang sektang di katoliko.

"  Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and retained particularly in temples, and that due honour and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity, or virtue, is believed to be in them, on account of which they are to be worshipped; or that anything is to be asked of them; or, that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old done by the Gentiles who placed their hope in idols; but because the honour which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which those images represent; in such wise that by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ; and we venerate the saints, whose similitude they bear: as, by the decrees of Councils, and especially of the second Synod of Nicaea, has been defined against the opponents of images" ( Acts and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Session 25)

Malinaw na sinasabi mismo ng Konsilyo ng Trento na hindi talaga natin sinasamba ang rebulto na kaiba sa sinasabi ng ibang sekta laban sa atin. Dahil diyan inilagon at nakalagay din yan sa mga katesismo na siyang ginagamit sa Simbahan na karaniwang binabaluktot ng mga di katoliko sa tuwing kanilang gagamitin ang mga ito laban sa Iglesia Katolika. Narito ang mga halimbawa ng mga katesismo.

Mula sa Catechism of the Catholic Church, ang opisyal na dokumento ng Simbahan kung saan nakasulat lahat ng aral nito:

"  The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone: Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. the movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is" ( Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2132, pg.575 )

Mula naman sa katesismo ng Baltimore isang uri ng katesismo na siyang ginagamit sa Simbahan sa America ay siya ring nagpapatunay ng aral na ito:

" Do we honor Christ and the saints when we pray before the crucifix, relics, and sacred images?

We honor Christ and the saints when we pray before the crucifix, relics, and sacred images because we honor the persons they represent; we adore Christ and venerate the saints.

 Do we pray to the crucifix or to the images and relics of the saints?

We do not pray to the crucifix or to the images and relics of the saints, but to the persons they represent." ( Baltimore Catechism,222-223, Lesson 17 )

Buhat sa Katesismong nailimbag ng Kalipunan ng mga Obispo sa Pilipinas, sa pagsasabi na ang mga larawan at imahen ay tulong laman sa Kristiyanong pananalangin:

"Statues and images of Christ, Mary and the Saints are helps for authentic Christian prayer of worship to God, Christ himself, and of veneration of God's Blessed. Religious statues  and images have no power in themselves, but only help us to relate to Christ, Mary and the Saints." (Catechism for Filipino Catholics, 929, pg. 259 )

Pinatotohanan at inamin din ito ng isang maikling katesismo na isinulat ni Fr. M. Guzman buhat sa kanyang katesismong pampamilya:

"Matuwid bang magpakita ng paggalang sa mga rebulto at larawan ni Kristo at ng mga banal?

Matuwid lang na magpakita ng paggalang sa mga rebulto at larawan ni Kristo at ng mga banal, kagaya ng matuwid na pagpapamalas ng paggalang sa mga imahen at larawan ng mga pinagpipitaganan o minamahal natin sa lupa."

Malinaw na sinasabi at itinuturo mismo ng mga Katesismo na ang tunay na termino na ginagamit ng simbahan patungkol sa paggamit ng mga larawan o rebulto sa pagsamba ay paggalang at hindi upang sambahin. Kaya kung ating mapapansin na sa tuwing sisipi mula mismo sa mga aklat katoliko ang mga di katoliko, makikita natin na isinasalin nila ang naisulat na aklat sa ingles na veneration na isinasalin at pinapalitan nila ng salitang pagsamba o sambahin, imbes na paggalang, upang maipakita na mali ang turo ng Iglesia Katolika, kaya nga isang pandaraya ang kanilag ginagawa ay ang di nila pagpapakita ng mismong pahina ng aklat katoliko na kanilang isinalin.

Pagpapatunay ng mga Santo Papa sa veneration of images

Maliban sa mga deklarasyon at turo ng mga konsilyo ng Simbahan at katuruan ng mga katesismo, gayundin naman ay lubos itong ipinaliwanag at binigyang diin ng mga Santo Papa, bilang pagpapatunay na ang tamang turo ng Iglesia Katolika ay ang dapat igalang ang mga rebulto at larawan ng mga Santo at ng Panginoong Jesucristo ay hindi dapat sambahin. Narito ang mga halimbawa ng mga patotoo ng mga Santo Papa:

"   To encourage the proper use of sacred images, the Council of Nicaea recalls that "the honour paid to the image is really paid to the person it represents, and those who venerate the image are venerating the reality of the person it represents" Hence in adoring the Person of the Incarnate Word in the image of Christ the faithful are making a genuine act of worship, which has nothing in common with idolatry. Similarly, when he venerates images of Mary, the believer’s act is ultimately intended as a tribute to the person of the Mother of Jesus." ( General Audience, October 29, 1997, Pope John Paul II)\

"Nicaea II solemnly reaffirmed the traditional distinction between "the true adoration (latreia)" which "according to our faith is rendered to the unique divine nature" and "and the prostration of honor (timetike proskynesis) "which is attributed to icons, for "he who prostrates before the icon does so before the person (hypostasis) who is represented therein."(Apostolic Letter, DUODECIMUM SAECULUM, Pope John Paul II)

Ayon naman kay Papa Benedicto XVI, ay ganito ang kanyang sinasabi:

" John Damascene writes, ""In other ages God had not been represented in images, being incorporate and faceless. But since God has now been seen in the flesh, and lived among men, I represent that part of God which is visible. I do not venerate matter, but the Creator of matter, who became matter for my sake and deigned to live in matter and bring about my salvation through matter. I will not cease therefore to venerate that matter through which my salvation was achieved. But I do not venerate it in absolute terms as God! How could that which, from non-existence, has been given existence, be God?... But I also venerate and respect all the rest of matter which has brought me salvation, since it is full of energy and Holy graces. Is not the wood of the Cross, three times blessed, matter?... And the ink, and the most Holy Book of the Gospels, are they not matter? The redeeming altar which dispenses the Bread of life, is it not matter?... And, before all else, are not the flesh and blood of Our Lord matter? Either we must suppress the sacred nature of all these things, or we must concede to the tradition of the Church the veneration of the images of God and that of the friends of God who are sanctified by the name they bear, and for this reason are possessed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Do not, therefore, offend matter: it is not contemptible, because nothing that God has made is contemptible"(General Audience, May 6, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI 

", Pope Benedict explained, “God has made himself material for me; I venerate the material through which His salvation came to me.”“Is the wood of the cross not material and the ink with which the Book of Salvation was written, and before all other things, the blood and flesh of my Lord?” he continued. “I do not venerate material, he would say, but the creator of the material.”(Catholic News

Malinaw na sinasabi ng mga Santo Papa na hindi ang mismong rebulto ang ating iginagalang bagkus ay ang inilalarawan ng rebulto o larawan. At yan ay pinatotohanan mismo ng mga Santo Papa taliwas na sinasabi at itinuturo ng mga di katoliko laban sa Iglesia Katolika.

Paano magdasal ang mga katoliko? 

Taliwas sa ibinibintang ng mga INC sa mga katoliko kung saan sinasamba daw natin ang mga rebulto, sa pamamagitan ng pasipi nila buhat sa isang aklat na pinamagatang Catesismo. Ngunit kung ating susuriing mabuti ay may isang aklat na nagpapatunay na hindi sinasamba ng mga katoliko ang mga rebulto at larawan, ito ay nakasulat sa isang aklat dasalang katoliko na pinamagatang Tanglaw ng Aking Landas:

 "Pagkagising mo, ay gumawa ka ng tanda ng Krus, ihandog mo ang iyong puso sa Diyos at sabihin: "Jesus, Maria at Jose, inihahandog ko sa inyo ang puso ko at kaluluwa." Pagkapagbihis mo, lumuhod ka, at magdasal ng sumusunod: Sa ngalan ng Ama at ng Anak at ng Espiritu Santo. Amen." (Tanglaw ng Aking Landas, pg. 39)

Malinaw na malinaw na sinasabi ng aklat na dasalan na pagkagising natin sa umaga ay gumawa tayo ng tanda ng Krus at ihandog ang ating puso sa Diyos na kakaiba sa kasinungalingan na karaniwang namumutawi sa labi ng mga di katoliko.

Paggamit ng rebulto at ang paggamit nito sa Banal na Kasulatan

Isa sa mga karaniwang batayan ng mga di katolikong pundamentalista ay ang Banal na Kasulatan upang tuligsain ang mga banal na larawan at rebulto. Ngunit kung ating babalik balikan ang Banal na Kasulatan ating mababasa kung saan ang Diyos ay nagpagawa ng mga rebulto at larawan kay Moises sa pagsamba. Una na rito ang pagpapagawa sa Kaban ng Tipan:

Exodo 25:18-22"At gagawa ka ng dalawang querubing ginto; na yari sa pamukpok iyong gagawin, sa dalawang dulo ng luklukan ng awa. At gawin mo ang isang querubin sa isang dulo, at ang isang querubin sa kabilang dulo: kaputol ng luklukan ng awa, gagawin mo ang mga querubin sa dalawang dulo niyaon. At ibubuka ng mga querubin ang kanilang pakpak na paitaas, na nilililiman ang luklukan ng awa, ng kanilang mga pakpak, na ang kanilang mukha ay nagkakaharap, sa dakong luklukan ng awa ihaharap ang mga mukha ng mga querubin. At iyong ilalagay ang luklukan ng awa sa ibabaw ng kaban; at sa loob ng kaban, ay iyong ilalagay ang mga kinalalagdaan ng patotoo, na aking ibibigay sa iyo. At diya'y makikipagkita ako sa iyo, at makikipanayam sa iyo mula sa ibabaw ng luklukan ng awa, sa gitna ng dalawang querubin na nangasa ibabaw ng kaban ng patotoo, tungkol sa lahat ng mga bagay na ibibigay ko sa iyong utos sa mga anak ni Israel." 

Ang pagpapagawa na ito ng Diyos ay siya ring binanggit ng Bagong Tipan sa sulat sa mga Hebreo patungkol sa dalawang rebultong kerubin sa babaw ng Kaban:

Hebreo 9:5 "At sa ibabaw ng Kaban ay may mga kerubin, na nagpapakilalang naroon ang Diyos. Naliliman ng kanilang pakpak ang Luklukan ng Habag."(Magandang Balita Biblia)

Malinaw na sinasabi ng mga talata na nagpagawa mismo ang Diyos ng mga rebultong inanyuan, at yun ay ang mga kerubin na gawa sa ginto at dapat ilagay sa ibabaw ng Kaban ng Tipan. Kung ating bubuklatin ang Banal na Kasulatan sa pareho ding Kaban nanalangin at nagpatirapa si Josue at ang Israel upang manalanging sa Diyos:
Josue 7:6 "At hinapak ni Josue ang kaniyang mga suot, at nagpatirapa sa lupa sa harap ng kaban ng Panginoon hanggang sa kinahapunan, siya at  ang mga matatanda ng Israel; na sila'y nagsipagbuhos ng alabok sa kanilang ulo."

Malinaw na si Josue at ang Israel ay nagpatirapa sa harapan ng Kaban ng Panginoon, kung saan dooon ay may dalawang nililok na mga rebultong kerubin na ginto, kung gayon pala eh sinasamba na pala ni Josue ang Kaban? dahil siya ay nagpatirapa sa harapan nito, na ayon sa mga di katoliko ay isang paraan ng pagsamba daw sa mga rebulto?. Dahil diyan malinaw na ang iginigiit ng mga di katoliko laban sa mga katoliko ay di totoo bagkus ay produkto lamang ng isang mpanirang isipan. Ngayon sa ating pagbubuklat sa Banal na Kasulatan atin ding mapapansin na nagpagawa pa ng isang rebulto ang Diyos, at yun ay ang tansong ahas na nakasulat sa aklat ng Bilang:

Bilang 21:8-9 "At sinabi ng Panginoon kay Moises, Gumawa ka ng isang mabagsik na ahas at ipatong mo sa isang tikin: at mangyari, na bawa't  taong makagat, ay mabubuhay pag tumingin doon. At si Moises ay gumawa ng isang ahas na tanso at ipinatong sa isang tikin: at nangyari, na pag may nakagat ng ahas ay nabubuhay pagtingin sa has na tanso."

Sabi ng mga di katoliko na ito daw ay mga exemptions sa utos ng Diyos, dahil ito daw ay mga rebultong ipinagawa ng Diyos. Ngunit kung atin pa ring bubuklatin ang Banal na Kasulatan makikita natin na noong pinagawa ni Solomon ang Templo ng Jerusalem, hindi sa kanya iniutos ng Diyos na lagyan ng maraming rebulto ang loob at labas ng Templo, ngunit hindi siya pinarusahan ng Diyos dahil dito, ito ay nakasulat sa aklat ng mga hari:

 Nagpagawa si Solomon ng dalawang malaking rebulto ng Querubin sa loob ng Templo:

1 Hari 6:23-28 " At sa sanggunian ay gumawa siya ng dalawang querubin na kahoy na olibo, na bawa't isa'y may sangpung siko ang taas.At limang siko ang isang pakpak ng querubin, at limang siko ang kabilang pakpak ng querubin: mula sa dulo ng isang pakpak hanggang sa dulo ng kabila ay sangpung siko.At ang isang querubin ay sangpung siko: ang dalawang querubin ay may isang sukat at isang anyo. Ang taas ng isang querubin ay may sangpung siko, at gayon din ang isang querubin. At kaniyang inilagay ang mga querubin sa pinakaloob ng bahay: at ang mga pakpak ng mga querubin ay nangakabuka na anopa't ang pakpak ng isa ay dumadaiti sa isang panig, at ang pakpak ng ikalawang querubin ay dumadaiti sa kabilang panig; at ang kanilang mga kabilang pakpak ay nagkakadaiti sa gitna ng bahay.At kaniyang binalot ng ginto ang mga querubin."

Gayundin ay nilagyan din ni Solomon ng palamuti ng larawan ng mga queruin, bulaklak, mga hayop at punong palma ang loob ng Templo:

1 Hari 6:29-35 "At kaniyang inukitan ang lahat na panig ng bahay sa palibot ng mga ukit na larawan ng mga querubin, at ng mga puno ng palma, at ng mga bukang bulaklak, sa loob at sa labas.At ang lapag ng bahay ay binalot niya ng ginto, sa loob at sa labas. At sa pasukan ng sanggunian, siya'y gumawa ng mga pintuan na kahoy na olibo: ang itaas ng pintuan at ang mga haligi niyaon ay ikalimang bahagi ng panig ang laki.Sa gayo'y gumawa siya ng dalawang pinto na kahoy na olibo; at kaniyang inukitan ng mga ukit na mga querubin, at mga puno ng palma, at mga bukang bulaklak, at binalot niya ng ginto; at kaniyang ikinalat ang ginto sa mga querubin, at sa mga puno ng palma, Sa gayo'y gumawa naman siya sa pasukan ng templo ng mga haligi ng pintuan na kahoy na olibo, sa ikaapat na bahagi ng panig;At dalawang pinto na kahoy na abeto; ang dalawang pohas ng isang pinto ay naititiklop, at ang dalawang pohas ng kabilang pinto ay naititiklop.At kaniyang pinagukitan ng mga querubin, at mga puno ng palma, at mga bukang bulaklak; at binalot niya ng ginto na kapit sa mga ukit na gawa."

Gayundin ay nagpagawa din si haring Solomon ng isang tansong dagat o hugasan na nakapatong sa ibabaw ng mga rebulto ng mga baka sa harap ng Templo:

1 Hari 7:23-26 "At kaniyang ginawa ang binubong dagatdagatan na may sangpung siko mula sa labi't labi, na lubos na mabilog, at ang taas ay limang siko: at isang panukat na pisi na may tatlong pung siko ang maipalilibid sa palibot .At sa ilalim ng labi sa paligid ay may mga kulukuti sa palibot, na sangpu sa bawa't siko, na nakalibid sa dagatdagatan sa palibot: ang mga kulukuti ay dalawang hanay, na binubo ng bubuin ang binubong dagatdagatan.Nakapatong ang dagatdagatan sa labing dalawang baka, ang tatlo'y nakaharap sa dakong hilagaan, ang tatlo'y nakaharap sa dakong kalunuran, ang tatlo'y nakaharap sa dakong timugan, at ang tatlo'y nakaharap sa dakong silanganan; at ang dagatdagatan ay napapatong sa mga yaon, at ang lahat na puwitan ng mga yaon ay nasa loob.At ang kapal ng dagatdagatan ay isang dangkal; at ang labi niyaon ay yaring gaya ng labi ng isang tasa, gaya ng bulaklak na lila: naglalaman ng dalawang libong bath."

Alam naman natin na walang iniutos ang Diyos kay Solomon na lagyan ng mga inukit na larawan at rebulto ang lahat ng nasa loob at labas ng templo gayundin ang mga kagamitan nito, ngunit hindi siya pinarusahan ng Diyos sa kanyang ginawa. Dahil diyan malinaw na pinatotohanan ng banal na Kasulatan na hindi lahat ng rebulto ay masama, bagkus ay nakakatulong ito upang makapagpaalala sa atin ng kanyang nirerepresenta at hindi dapat Sambahin. Dahil diyan hindi totoo ang sinasabi ng mga di katoliko na ang Simbahang Katoliko daw ay sumasamba sa mga rebulto.