Oftentimes the issue will arise over a particular person who attends a local Catholic church and professes to be "born again."
Regarding "born again" Catholics, the core question is NOT "Do they exist?" for certainly there are a few scattered about who have been truly saved and for a short time still gather with their past religious acquaintances, as they did before their salvation and before their final exit! (If they don't leave, they will certainly die spiritually in such a religious environment.)
The real issue regarding such people, however, is: HOW DID THEY GET SAVED TO BEGIN WITH?
Regarding the Rosary, since ALL local Catholic churches pray it, several important points can be made regarding those who claim to be "born again" Catholics and desire to remain in such a religious atmosphere. Before we address these point by point, we must first establish present-day Catholicism's official stand regarding the Rosary and what in the Rosary we should Scripturally take issue with, that is, if we are truly "born again."
Click Here To View The Shocking Fifteen Promises of The Rosary
Vatican Council II On Praying The Rosary:
" 'The contemplative life of religious would be incomplete if it were not directed in filial love towards her who is the Mother of the Church and of consecrated souls. This love for the Virgin will be manifested with the celebration of her feasts and, in particular, with daily prayer in her honour, especially the Rosary.
The daily recitation of the Rosary is a centuries-old tradition for religious, and so it is not out of place to recall the suitability, beauty and efficacy of this prayer, which proposes for our meditation the mysteries of the Lord's life' " (Vatican Council II, Vol. 2, p.251.)
"While respecting the freedom of the children of God, the Church has always proposed certain practices of piety to the faithful with particular solicitude and insistence. Among these should be mentioned the recitation of the Rosary: 'We now desire, as a continuation of the thought of our predecessors, to recommend strongly the recitation of the family Rosary... There is no doubt that ... the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common that the Christian family is invited to recite. We like to think, and sincerely hope, that when the family gathering becomes a time of prayer the Rosary is a frequent and favoured manner of praying'. In this way, authentic devotion to Mary, which finds expression in sincere love and generous imitation of the Blessed Virgin's interior spiritual attitude, constitutes a special instrument for nourishing loving communion in the family and for developing conjugal and family spirituality. For she who is the Mother of Christ and of the Church is in a special way the Mother of Christian families, of domestic Churches" (ibid., pp. 865, 866).
THESE STATEMENTS ARE THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF PRESENT-DAY CATHOLICISM. To believe otherwise is to show yourself uninformed regarding this Catholic prayer and how it is officially viewed from their perspective. If someone tells you something in contradiction to these things, they are misrepresenting, intentionally or unintentionally, the importance of the Rosary and present-day Catholicism.
Let's now focus in upon how the Rosary prayer is ended by quoting the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, 1967, p.667.
"The Rosary is begun and terminated in various ways. In the U.S., it commences with the recitation of an Our Father, three Hail Marys, and a Glory Be to the Father, and ends with the recitation of the Hail Holy Queen and the prayer from the Feast of the Rosary."
"Hail, Holy Queen,
Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!"
Besides the Hail Holy Queen prayer, there are other reasons why the Rosary should be rejected and with it, present-day Catholicism! After all, how could any true Christian system which also endorses and promotes the Rosary claim of itself the following?
"The Church is catholic: she promotes the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation .... The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, ... subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and truth are found outside its visible confines" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, p.230.)To quote again the same page of the New Catholic Encyclopedia as cited earlier regarding the Rosary, we read the following about its "mysteries":
"The mysteries are divided into three sets of five, namely, the Joyful Mysteries -- the Annunciation of Christ's Incarnation to Mary, her visit to Elizabeth, the birth of Christ, His presentation in the temple, His being found in the temple; the Sorrowful Mysteries -- the agony of Christ in the garden, His scourging, His crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross, the crucifixion and death of Christ; the Glorious Mysteries -- the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension into heaven, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of Mary into heaven, her coronation as Queen of Heaven."
The following Catholic quote verifies their view of the Rosary (and the aforementioned mysteries) as being the "epitome of the whole Gospel":
"The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an 'epitome of the whole Gospel,' express this devotion to the Virgin Mary" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, p.253.)In stark contrast to the Rosary (with its "mysteries") being the "epitome of the whole Gospel" as Rome put it, the Apostle Paul clearly outlined an entirely different Gospel, which he preached -- the one that brings true salvation. Please note that Paul never mentioned Mary directly or indirectly! Similarly, Peter, who was supposedly the first pope, NEVER mentioned Mary at all in either of his two books of the New Testament. The following was their gospel:
"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born" (1 Cor.15:1-8).In view of all this, Rome is clearly disseminating "another gospel" (Gal. 1:8,9), which has Mary as its "life" and people allegedly getting "born again" at infant baptism! Yet all along many are saying Catholicism has changed and is a religious system that we can embrace and have Christian unity with. Even well-known contemporary "Protestant" leaders like Billy Graham, Chuck Colson and Pat Robertson carry this message and spread a false unity. Others like Hank Hanegraaff and Norman Geisler, who have reputations of being apologists, essentially claim the same!
We should ask "born again" Catholics what Bible verse(s) they base their salvation upon. Ask him/her if they think they were "born again" at infant baptism. We should also specifically mention that the sacraments, good works, church membership and Mary have absolutely NO role in our salvation. If a "born again" Catholic disagrees, we should show them from Scripture what true salvation is. If they reject the clear teaching of Scripture, their testimony should be considered as not genuine. Remember, not everyone who says, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom (Mt. 7:21)!
If truly saved, the Holy Spirit, who is the "Spirit of truth" and who is resident within one who is "born again," will draw us to truth as found in the Bible. If an experience, vision, testimony and/or miracle contradicts the written word of God on any subject, especially salvation, it should immediately be disregarded.
For a Catholic who is truly saved to support by their attendance and money, a religious system that holds people in spiritual darkness and that points people to Mary and the baby Jesus instead of Jesus alone, without his mother, is for him/her to share in that "wicked work" (2 Jn. 11)! The same can be said of Protestants who tell Catholics to go back to Catholicism or treat modern-day Catholicism as just another Christian sect!
Tears might even be shed by one's family when he announces he won't be going back to the Catholic church. (The same can be said for a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness who gets saved and changes over truth.) This means families might become divided, but Jesus clearly said this would occur and He went on to say our love for Him must exceed our love for our families or we are "not worthy" of Him:
"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law" (Lk. 12:51-53).
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Mt. 10:34-38).
Let me now end with my personal version of the real "epitome of the Gospel" in prayer form which I have entitled, The Hail Holy King prayer:
Hail, Holy King Lord Jesus, hail, our life (Col. 3:4), our sweetness (Mt. 11:29) and our hope (1 Tim. 1:1)! To thee do we cry, poor enslaved to sin (Jn. 8:34) children of the devil (1 Jn. 3:10)! Turn then, most gracious advocate (1 Jn. 2:1, KJV), thine eyes of mercy towards us and forgive us all our sins. We now turn from all idols and trust in you alone -- who died on the cross and was buried but rose again the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-8). You alone are the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6), you alone have the only name in which salvation is found (Acts 4:12) and you alone are the ONLY mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). Our eyes are on you alone to save us. O clement, O loving, O precious Lord Jesus!These truths show the Mary of the Rosary is not the mother of Jesus in the Bible. Now it should be clear why praying the rosary is wrong.
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