Nice, huh? Really makes you want to be warm and fuzzy and ecumenical, right? Or maybe it makes you want to "fist pump" at something like this,
It certainly makes this blogger start to wonder whether the whole era of ecumenism (which certainly had many positive fruits) might be soon coming to an end. Those who could be drawn closer to the Church through "nice making" have already been so drawn. The "mainline" Protestant groups are drifting farther and farther away from anything even remotely like historic Christianity and the fundamentalist and evangelical groups post (and comment on, and share to the point of trending) things like the chart above.
Each of the points on the "chart" are easily refuted from the "Bible and the Bible alone":
1. Call no man father? Why, then, does Jesus call Abraham father? (Jn 8:39) What do we call that man who married our mother? Jesus, in Matthew 23:9 isn't forbidding our use of the word "father" in some hyper-literal sense (as we can see by His calling Abraham "father"), rather He is teaching us that no man is a father in the way God is Father. Jesus also tells us, right there in Matthew 23, to call no man "teacher" or "master" (including Jesus Himself, and yes, this would include using the word "Lord") but Protestants seem to have no problem understanding Jesus' figurative and hyperbolic speech with these terms. No it is only when they can make a clumsy attack on the Catholic Church that they suddenly loose the ability to take Jesus' meaning as intended.
2. Don't confess to anyone but God? Not according to the Bible (Jn 20:22-23, James 5:16). The verse cited here (1 John 1:9) reads," if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Yes, that's right, it says absolutely nothing about who we are to confess our sins to. When read in light of the verses I mentioned above (Jn 20:22-23 - "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." and James 5:16 - "confess your sins to each other") we see yet more reason to reject this absurd claim.
3. Don't pray to "dead" saints? Who says they are dead? Not the Bible (cf. Matt 22:29-32). I wrote more on this here: 4 Reasons Every Christian Should Pray to the Saints.
4. Mary is "co-mediator"? "Co" if understood as "co-pilot" not if understood as "another." Mary participates in the unique mediation of Christ like the moon reflects the light of the sun. The Bible calls all of us to do this right in 1 Timothy 2 - the very chapter of the Bible the Protestant is appealing to here! Advice - try reading the Bible in context, just reading a few "proof texts" doesn't equate to having even the smallest understanding of the Bible. I'm reminded of the atheist who excitedly "proved" God doesn't exist by appealing to Psalm 14:1 "... there is no God" (read the beginning of Psalm 14 for the context HERE).
5. Pray only to the Father? Wrong again. The verse that supposed to "prove" this (John 14:13) says, "I will do whatever you ask in my name" not "don't pray to anyone but the Father." Besides, does the poster really believe we can't even pray to Jesus? Perhaps he doesn't realize "pray" is just another word for "ask". We can ask the (living, as we saw above) saints to pray to God for us, just like we can ask other people to pray for us (reading the whole second chapter of 1 Timothy instead of just the second verse clarifies this one as well). At this point I'm beginning to wonder if the creator of the chart is even literate. Time and again the Bible verses pointed to to "prove" his point simply don't say what he wants them to.
6. Catholics worship "idols"? No, we don't. We have statues, but don't worship them which doesn't violate God's commands (God actually commands the use of statues in a religious setting, see Ex 25:18 "and make two cherubim out of hammered gold." Is God commanding Israel to break the second commandment? Did He forget His hatred for statuary? Or is our Protestant still not reading very carefully? Let's see. He quotes Exodus 20:4-6 for support, those verses read, "You shall not make an idol for yourself... you shall not worship them." God isn't railing against art, He is forbidding worshipping pieces of art. We don't worship statues, hence they are not idols. We use them in the exact same way God commanded the Israelites to use the cherubim - as aids in worshipping Him. You can read more on this HERE: Do Catholics Worship Statues?
Thus, all these "points" are easily refuted not by appeals to papal encyclicals or conciliar documents or mystical visions of the saints, but simply by actually reading the Bible. It isn't the Bible that is opposed to Catholicism here, but the warped reading of the, obviously very anti-Catholic, created of (and sharers of) the meme. This shouldn't entirely surprise us. The Bible tells us that people will seek out false teachers in an effort to hear what they want to hear instead of "Gospel truth" (cf. 2 Tim 4:3). The tens of thousands of Protestant sects, each set up by someone who didn't like what was being taught by other Christians, certainly proves this prophecy to be true.
But, perhaps more chillingly, is the glee with which the sharers of the meme call the Church the "whore of Babylon." This is dangerous ground, it seems to me. The Bible tells us the Catholic Church is nothing less than Jesus' Bride (cf. Eph 5:25-27). I'm married and wouldn't be too pleased with people calling my bride a "whore," I'm going to guess Jesus isn't too happy about people calling His Bride a "whore" either. Just saying "I accept Jesus as Lord" isn't enough to guarantee salvation, "not everyone who says to me "Lord, Lord" will enter the Kingdom of Heaven... I will declare to them 'I never knew you, depart from me" (Matt 7:21-23). I wonder if those who so hate His Bride, which is alternatively described as His Body (for "two flesh shall become one" - MK 10:8), might no find themselves departing from the Just Judge. I hope not, but I wonder. Of course, those invincibly ignorant (those "who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church" LG, 16) can still be saved, but basing your eternal fate on ignorance when we know it is not ignorance but the truth which sets us free (cf. Jn 8:32), is a rather risking proposition. Therefore, please join me in praying for the conversion of all those who find themselves outside (and even reviling) the Church which Christ Himself founded,
Let us Pray.
O Lord, Who wast torn by the rebellion of Thy children whom, at one time within the Ark of Salvation, ventured out into the deep having itching ears, succumbed to the false teachers of Protestant ministers who listened more to the prideful urgings of the devil to break away from the bosom of holy Mother Church and multiply worse than the first thousands of times over. We pray Thee for our formerly Catholic brethren to give them the grace to realize the error of their ways and return to the Barque of Peter. May Thy holy Mother intercede and soften the hearts of those who may not realize the tenets they have been taught are not the full truths Thou charged Thy Apostles to spread throughout the world that all may be one. Show them through Thy wondrous ways that only in the Barque Thou founded can they truly see the marks of the true Faith: one, holy, catholic and truly apostolic. Guide them to accept and cherish Thy blessed Mother and to realize her role which Thou hast chosen for her, the second Eve, as Co-redemptrix of souls. Grant thy true priests the courage to feed Thy lambs with the manna of Thy Spirit so that every people and every tongue may acknowledge and glorify Thee as Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in unity with the Triune Divinity, forever and ever. Amen. (traditional Catholic prayer for the conversion of Protestants).