Assembly of God/Assemblies of God and Catholic Churches
Faasao Faalalelei wrote at 2007-06-09 20:11:07
The grace of Almighty God be with you!
The main difference between the Catholic Church and the Assemblies of God is that the Assemblies of God is a Protestant denomination. Nonetheless, they are both Christian.
I understand how the Assemblies have an fervent love for God, but the Catholic Church in which you were born and raised has much validity. I've seen many Catholic friends, even some of my family members leave the Church for other Protestant denominations. A lot of them were like you, born and raised into the Church, but did not understand much about it.
Most Catholics don't always show their faith as lively as other Christians, perhaps because of the tradition they were raised with. But there are others out there that are just as vibrant as the Evangelical Assemblies of God and Pentecostals. I have provided some arguments/ information about the Catholic Church if you wish to read further. [I'm sorry to write such a long comment]
I do not mean to start a debate, but I will provide a defense for the Catholic Church.
Mr. Matthew from the previous comment is very much erred in his comment that that Catholic Church has many "unbiblical and blatantly sinful practices." The Catholic Church does not practice idol worship, as many Protestant denominations claim. Perhaps this is out of their misunderstanding or jealousy of the Catholic Church's influence and prominence in the world's social, religious, political, and economic history. There are over 2 billion Christians in the world; a little more than half are Catholic.
Back to the argument that the Catholic Church has many "unbiblical" practices, this is certainly untrue. What many Protestants are referring to is the veneration (honoring) of Mary. Catholic's do not worship Mary! We honor her as the mother of the Lord God Jesus Christ. The Bible commands that we honor our father and mother. Mary also says that "all generations will call me blessed" - Luke 1:48.
The Catholic Church is based on the Scripture (the Bible) and tradition passed down from the apostles, who Jesus first commissioned to spread the Good News. Many other churches claim that they are strictly founded on the Bible, BUT the Bible was not fully compiled until after the church was formed. That is why the church relies on the tradition of the apostles (who were the closest to Jesus) and those who succeeded them (the popes and the bishops who followed their time). Nevertheless, the Catholic Church continues to emphasize the power of the Scriptures to spread the Good News of Jesus.
I just want to let you know that being Catholic doesn't have to be boring, but what you make of yourself to be. It can be as lively as other churches if you make it out that. Perhaps you can join/start a Evangelical/Pentecostal Catholic group (as they do exist), and help spread the vibrant love of God within the Church.
Whatever you decide to do, may Almighty God bless you.
May the wisdom of the Holy Spirit guide you in your journey.
Matthew wrote at 2007-07-17 02:44:54
Hmmmm . . . . Some unfortunate and misleading assumptions there.
The question was asked of an Assemblies of God expert, so I was careful not to go into detail about the "many unbiblical and blatantly sinful practices it (Roman Catholicism) advocates". Certainly the veneration of Mary is high on the list, but it is a very long list. It includes among many other things:
- forbidding priests to marry
- the doctrine of Papal Infallibility
- the doctrine of Transubstantiation
- Teachings about purgatory
- the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Cannon of Scripture
- teaching that those that have died can be released from punishment and go to heaven through the giving of gifts to the Church, the purchasing of indulgences from the church, or paying the Church to conduct a Mass.
- The list could go on for hundreds of issues.
I gave this to Renee:
"My strong advice is that with your family you minimise the talk about Church and focus the attention on Jesus".
I said that because I know the deceptive power of a religious spirit. Those that are given over to the errors of any cult (Roman Catholicism fits the qualifications for a "cult") will not be convinced easily. There is none so blind as the blind man that thinks he sees.
Eric wrote at 2007-07-18 00:18:05
Faasao Faalalelei, just wanted to commend you on a well thought out and intelligent response. Nice to see someone with valid info responding in such a polite and informative manner!
Christine wrote at 2009-06-12 12:17:14
Matthew's beliefs about the Catholic Church sadden me greatly. As a cradle Catholic I know that what he says is false but what is so sad is there are others who don't and so will believe him.
Imagine being a priest and having a wife and family. Division of time puts great strain on both vocations if they are shared
Papal infallibility is only on doctrine for example the 10 commandments.
Do you carry a picture of your mother or have one in your home or for that matter any member of your family or other person you respect and love?
No one buys people out of purgatory or anywhere else. A donation is given when a Mass is said. The money is used for the upkeep of the church, for flowers, or other expenses the priest never uses it for personal gain either.
The only people who removed books from the Bible were those who broke away and the Church merely put them back.
Jesus Himself broke bread and declared it His body and wine His blood.
My faith is true and not a cult for a cult brainwashes people. The Catholic Church does not no one is held captive.
Thank you for allowing me this space.
Truth wrote at 2009-11-27 00:20:32
The catholic church started when Jesus died with St Peter as the first Pope. (his remains are in the VAtican. St Peter's BAsilica is built on the spot where Peter was crucified) To say that it started in the third century is erroneous.
Christie wrote at 2010-04-02 23:14:47
I am Catholic. My boyfriend is a member of the Assemblies of God. I attend both churches. Matthew's information about unbiblical Catholic practices is incorrect. For example, transubstantiation is in John Chapter 6. Among other verses, purgatory is in Matthew 12:32 (forgiven in the age to come). To the original poster, I would suggest stressing to your family that there are tremendous similarities between Assemblies of God and charismatic Catholics. Matthew's comments about Catholics are inaccurate and should be ignored.
Ray Domingues wrote at 2010-08-25 16:56:27
It's amazing how the Protestant and Pentacostal Churches still cling to their ignorance about the Roman Catholic Church.
If the members of the Protestant and Pentacostal Churches spent more time learning about the Roman Catholic Church, as they do with their hatred, prejudice, and misunderstanding of the Catholic Church, then, they will have a better understanding of God and true unification can occur.
However, knowing the members of the Protestant and Pentacostal Churches, ingnorance, hate and pejudice are bliss.
Sam wrote at 2010-10-18 21:47:55
I would suggest that you start from Church history when you read the bible and figure out the true meaning of 'Authority'.
If there is anything unbiblical it is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura that ALL Protestant denominations follow. I have been to many different churches and have followed various doctrines and all the Protestant denominations have always tried to fit in their doctrine of Sola Scriptura any which way possible. Dont fall into the same trap and read what the early church leaders wrote about and where the bible actually came from and you will know the completeness of TRUTH.
Again, dont go by what uninformed biased so called believers have to say. Read the doctrines that the church is teaching and look at history yourself and you will see that if there is anything that is unbiblical it is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura which is the corner stone of Protestantism.
God Bless you.
Sam wrote at 2010-10-19 21:55:13
To add to my answer above, I want to point out that the Bible as we know it today was put together by Catholics. It is a book that was canonized and taught by the Catholic church. So to say that the teachings of the Catholic church is 'unbiblical' is plain ignorance.
Remember that the bible did not come with a table of contents. It was put together by the catholic church for Catholics. The AG church has taken the book and altered the doctrines to suit its need. The AG church was formed in the 1900s. Do you think God would have waited 1900 years to reveal the TRUE church? If so then where is it in the bible? Sola Scriptura is heretical and a man made doctrine. Dont get misled by churches calling themselves the true church without any historical evidence
Kari wrote at 2010-12-27 06:11:17
The Catholic Church does not practice anything blatantly sinful...all practices are based on the bible and it is the oldest religion in recorded history....they do not practice idol worship.....I agree that you should do research on any church you decide to join to thoroughly understand the history and the reasoning for their practices. This author Matthew should practice what he preaches and do some research on what the Catholic church teaches before making judgemental statements.
Aquinas wrote at 2011-01-25 03:09:45
I feel pitty on Matthew. He should not have talked about things he doesn't know. His list is a complete misconception. May God forgive him!
BenMed wrote at 2011-05-19 06:49:13
Hello! I agree with Matthew on that you should start studying the history of both churches.
However, I encourage you to deepen your understanding on your Catholic faith, learn about it, and share it with your family too.
Why do Catholics pray to the saints? What is the purgatory? what is the meaning of the Mass? What does the Eucharist mean? Why confession? What about the sacraments you have received (baptism and holy communion), what are those for?
There are answers for all those questions in the Catholic Church.
I was personally struggling with my Catholic faith a lot since I decided to study "Religious Studies" (studying religion from an academic point of view), but as I was questioned, I started reading the Catechism, the Bible, and the Fathers, and I came to understand what I ignored. Knowledge of God is love of God,I fall in love with my faith, my church, and my God. Apologetics played a huge role in my study.
What matters is not the feelings and the emotions that a service makes you feel. God is not a feeling, God is a decision.
BenMed wrote at 2011-05-19 07:00:32
@Christine (and everyone else reading this comment):
I came to love my Catholic faith through a charismatic catholic youth group!!
Catholicism is definitely not just a religion, it is a way of life that brings us back to God and others, and through which God declares his love and salvation to all humanity.
Jean wrote at 2011-11-13 03:57:20
I know it's been many years since your post, but I felt I should respond also. It is absolutely beautiful you've journeyed closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope in the 4 years since this post, your faith has grown stronger. If not, it's okay, because we know even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.
I too grew up in a Catholic family. My family attended Mass regularly, but hardly lived the faith from Monday through Saturday. As a young adult, I searched far and wide looking for answers and found myself bouncing from church to church.
After attending a Baptist University, I found myself becoming an Apologetic (defender) of the Catholic faith. This is because, during my undergraduate studies, I found myself under attack often by professors. I even had one professor who told me a story about how he took people from his church on a tour of Rome, and many people wanted to vomit as they visited the Vatican. This disturbed me and challenged my weak faith.
I found, as I learned more about my faith, the Lord did as he promised and "gave more to those who had". In my case, it was knowledge. You see Renee, Jesus himself did not lead the Church by the Bible (a Greek word). He led by example. The Saints of the Church and the Blessed Mother "Full of Grace" are all a part of our Church's family portrait. We don't worship them, but we do look to them for guidance on how to follow Christ to the fullest as frail human beings. We ask for the Blessed Mother's prayers, because we know she interceded at the wedding of Cana and Jesus gave the world the gift of His first miracle.
I pray your journey to a closer relationship with the Lord grows stronger every day. Know as little as you might understand about any faith, you are always welcome to come back the Catholic church. The Church whose lineage begins with the Lord Himself. The Church where you can experience gifts given to the world by the Lord. The gifts of forgiveness, healing, conversion, and most importantly, Communion.
A concerned Sister in Christ
John wrote at 2011-11-28 05:32:22
I do suggest you looking up the history of any church you look into. It is sad that the answer you received was bias and did not understand Catholicism. If you do your research between the Assemblies of God and the Catholic church you will find that the Catholic beliefs of today are in-line with the first Christian church of Antioch. Antioch was the first Christian church that I have found written about. It is also included in the bible. You can find writings from the bishop of the church as early as 65 A.D. Many of the writings backed the belief of the church head and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. People that are feelings oriented I believe gravitate to Assemblies of God because of the Emotional services. Couple of differences are Assemblies of God believe in scripture alone even though it took tradition to get the bible canonized (in to one book) by the Catholic tradition. Another would be communion to Assemblies of God is just a symbol even though it was never stated as a symbol in the bible, even Martin Luther believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Also you will find many misinformed protestants will state that there is Idol worship. The fact is Catholics ask for Saints to pray for them and others because they are with Jesus in heaven with good standing. Catholics believe it is as good or better than asking someone in your church to pray for you. I only stated a few differences but there is many. There is also many that they agree upon. Christ is the bridegroom of the Church.
Aaron wrote at 2012-05-29 04:45:00
I cannot help but notice the attacks on the Pentecostal movement in the above answers, and while I must confess, I am not at all an expert in Catholicism, I am saddened by the incorrect information on the Assemblies of God supplied above. I am not at all saying that the Assemblies of God is perfect because as with any worldwide organization, some "adherents" fail to come into line with the true standards of the organization. I also recognize that salvation is a personal experience that transcends any denominational affiliation. But to each of you who have commented on the supposed fallacy of any AG doctrines, I challenge you to visit the web page and read the Assemblies of God 16 fundamental truths. If in doubt about any of them, read the full article and you will find each truth backed by a plethora of applicable Scripture which leaves little room for deviance in interpretation (though there may be some as even Paul said that there were small matters up for debate, normally do's and don't's).
I don't really desire to attack Catholicism at all since I don't know much about it, but from what I understand from recent posts, much weight is given to the traditions of the Church. However, recall that following the religious traditions was exactly what Jesus reprimanded the Pharisee's for.
Also, take the book of Hebrews for example. It makes clear (as if the rest of Scripture didn't) that Jesus was a better mediator between God and man that were the Old Testament priests. Now I'm sure that there is a long and complicated explanation behind the Papacy that could potentially make since, but I personally would rather look to Jesus as my be-all end-all, since I have a direct line of communication with Him.
The only thing written above that I find truly and painfully erroneous is this "Sola Scriptura" thing. Jesus even knew the Scriptures intimately (since he was God after all, and they were His words). If He knew the Scriptures and if the writers of the New Testament knew the Scriptures, then how much more important is it that we as believers know the Scriptures. However, the main problem I have with this response on "Sola Scriptura" is that the Assemblies of God is not ignorant in the supposition that Scripture is God's only line of communication with man. Obviously some people will never have access to a hard copy of the Bible. We believe that because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), He still manifests Himself on this Earth as he did in Biblical times and makes his word known in a variety of ways through His ever-present Holy Spirit.
Lastly, addressing the "feel good" aspect often associated with the AG: Who said that going to church (and spending intimate alone time with God in prayer and worship) can't be fun. Last time I checked, joy was still a virtue, right? Often times, though, this concept is misused and abused in order to draw a crowd. I simply ask that you not throw the baby out with the bath water, because there is a definite place in the kingdom of God for sincere, exuberant worshipers such as David.
If I am incorrect in any of these things, I beg of you to correct me. I just want the unadulterated truth, and in truth, wrote this response simply to put my thoughts on the matter into an organized form for my benefit (and then tailored it to apply to a blog format). I'm not acting as a proselytizer, and I don't expect anyone to become an impulse convert to the Assemblies of God, as that is a big decision and perhaps not one that God has planned for you. But do take this all into consideration at least as far as it applies to your personal walk with God.
I mean no harm or malice AT ALL and do desire to be counted as a brother in Christ just as I desire to count each of you as a brother (or sister).
Scott Moore wrote at 2012-06-15 07:44:38
I read a few of the comments and honestly I am disappointed with both parties here. It seems that each believe they belong to a "superior" religion or religious body. I do not believe that either or any of the mentioned Chirch bodies are 100% accurate and correct with their actions, religion or religious practices. Spewing hatred for one another and judging each other is in contradiction to the teaching of Jesus and I might add that scripture also tells us to be careful thinking you are too secure, lest he fall. The thing we must all remeber is that the only way to make it to heaven is through Jesus Christ, what does that mean, you simply cannot just believe because even Satan believes in Christ. You must confess your sin, ask for forgiveness. By doing this you believe in Jesus and his sacrifice he made at the cross for our sins. To argue about which religion is correct, which one is incorrect is only causing confusion and disbelief in people seeking answers. Let the bible speak for itself. We are to work out our own salvation. Your convictions, are not mine and mine are not yours. If you believe that you must confess to your priest so be it, you still believe that your sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus right? Let's start to work together to see people brought into the kingdom of God instead of working against each other to try and increase the numbers that attend our church. Imagine what can be accomplished if we join together as one body of Jesus, not a denomination. You can go to whatever church you feel comfortable to worship Jesus.
David B. wrote at 2013-02-04 03:28:45
I was born into Catholicism and went through the process of first holy communion, confirmation and 12 years of caticism or CCE classes. I have also attended the assembly of God services for over 6 months. I have encountered the AG folks and they are upstanding citizens in the community and church! I also can say the same about Catholics. Each of these churches have individuals that have sinned (myself included)and I have witnessed people in both churches ask for forgiveness of their transgressions before our Lord Jesus Christ. It is all the same to me worship Jesus Christ! Do his work as he asked us to! Love thy neighbor and treat people with love and respect! Help those that need it but don't give foolishly to those that don't try to help themselves for they only serve satan! I won't give him respect and capitalize his name as he is an evil serpent with many faces and will do anything to trip us up such as cause "conflict" between the churches that worship and praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!! I ask only that all of us Christians reflect and pray for each other that we can set aside the satonic influences and work together as Jesus asked us to do!
Thank you, and God Bless all Christians alike!
Anna wrote at 2014-09-17 12:39:36
I happened to get into this website in my search on what AOG's really originated from, as I am having a colleague who is a convert from Buddhism to AOG, quite a pain in the neck..... meaning she tries to ram her ways of worship down my neck.
I am a cradle Catholic too and no doubt I am chosen by God from before my birth to belong to His Church.
The answers given by the Catholics is so simply and beautifully written, it has only deepened my faith and knowledge, making me feel more blessed and special that I was chosen to be a Catholic.
I am happy that people of other faiths find God and choose to follow Jesus. However, I believe in witnessing my faith mainly be example and practice whilst respecting all other religions at the same time.
I have always disliked most splinter Christian group members, by their behaviour, trying to say that the Catholics are wrong and they are right......like Samoan above said, I think they have some kind of jealousy of our security in belonging to the Catholic Church, but then again, why be jealous, they can become Catholics anytime.....
God have mercy on them, and save me from peril.
Follower of Christ wrote at 2016-10-04 17:30:13
I really enjoyed reading the original post and many responses on this blog. While I am years late in responding, I hope I too can add additional insight. Having been raised my whole life in Protestant churches, my family never aligned with any one denomination. My mother having been born and raised Roman Catholic, left the Catholic Church to seek a deeper relationship with God because the Catholic Church simply wasn't cutting it spiritually.
I have had the benefit now of going to a Catholic Church with my wife and son for the past 14 years. I also have had the blessing of going to United Methodist, Church of God, Pentecostal and non-denominational, Church of the Nazarene, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Church of the Open Bible, Salvationist (Salvation Army), Assemblies of God, and Messianic-Jewish synagogue. I have read the Bible back and forth for over 30 years in my life, read it through in from cover to cover and in chronological order, taught Sunday school for a few years, played piano in worship services, and attended both a Fundamentalist college for 2 1/2 years before transferring to Southeastern University (Assemblies of God school) to graduate with a music degree.
Like one commenter above, no one denomination or church (small "c") is perfect or has all the answers or FULL authority of the Church (big "c"). Christ's Church is all its members, all over the world, of all denominations, and throughout history. We are ALL a part of His Church. So, for Roman Catholics, sorry, I have never ever known a Protestant Evangelical to be "jealous" of Catholics for any reason. There is no reason they simply couldn't join a Catholic Church anywhere and satisfy all the sacraments just like you and many others. No, I have never seen a happier, more joyful, loving group of people inside AND outside the church walls than the people I know in evangelical Protestant churches. In fact, it saddens me greatly when I see and hear the misconceptions they have about the Roman Catholic Church, just as much as it saddens me that there are so many Catholics that practice because of what they are TOLD to believe and don't live it from the inside out and make it a point to KNOW what they believe and why.
You see, in all this discussion, the sad point is the emphasis on being a part of one church's belief, whether it be tradition in the Roman Catholic Church or revival in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these ends times in the Assemblies of God church. Sure, there are small differences, none of which will either save your soul or impede you from gaining eternal life. Whether a priest marries or not, praying to dead saints or Mary, whether or not the communion wafer and wine is a representation (or symbol) of remembrance of Christ as He commanded us, or it actually turns into the real body and blood are things that are not going to unite us if we keep squabbling over them.
Personally, in my study of church history (yes, Protestants really do go back to the first century historical record, too), the original language and its meaning to THOSE people in THOSE times before translating it to what it should mean to US in THESE times, various interpretations, and cross referencing matters against Old Testament law, prophets, Jesus' teachings, and apostles (Paul counted himself an apostle of Christ as should we all!), I learn that we must and it is our duty to correct ourselves continually, with prayer and fasting, and much supplication. It is right to do so, and we are commended to do it by the Apostles themselves. So, why do we continue to argue and fight about whose church tradition is more correct or which has true authority?
We must come together, brothers and sisters, and heal. I truly believe the Roman Catholic Church has made grave errors and mistakes throughout two millenia of history, and the God is going to do His work in the world to reach the lost no matter what. I believe He has used many great Protestant men and women who obeyed His Holy Spirit, even in the face of opposition, even to death. No one church or denomination is perfect. Protestant churches everywhere have a great zeal and passion for Christ, but fail to follow it up with continued teaching and a broad knowledge of our history and faith. Luckily for me, I got to experience studying with those who had this knowledge and shared in our deep history that we ALL share in the roots of Catholic tradition. If God needed to speak through the Protestant members of His church to wake up and correct many things in the Roman Catholic Church, so be it. At the same time, I commend and have the utmost respect for Catholics who stand up for their beliefs when no one else will stand - not even weak Evangelical Protestants! God bless Catholics who stand up for life in the face of the terror of abortion and ungodly living. God bless Catholics for standing up against all manner of unbelief, ungodliness, and sexual perversion even in the face of liberal tides of homosexuality, pornography, gender identity, and hedonism. And God bless our Protestant brothers and sisters with their concern for the world and the human soul, to ever challenge our faith, to deepen our relationship with Christ in His Holy Spirit, and may this zeal never end but catch fire everywhere in every corner of the globe!