There are so many churches, denominations, and sects out there in the world today, how do I know which is the right faith? Perhaps, they are all equally good. It’s okay to choose one, because they all lead to God right?
Let’s begin the journey step-by-step.
We know God from the Old Testament, and we know the son of God, Jesus Christ from the New Testament. We can prove the true church as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church created by Jesus Christ, who is also referenced and prophesied in the Old Testament by the Prophets. This ties us with Christ, and ties God to the Old Testament, and through the son of God, Jesus Christ, established the New Covenant and New Testament with us in the Holy Catholic Church. Faith ties God to the New Testament and to the Catholic Church. Here’s how.
The only church that Christ established was the Catholic Church. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I’ll build My Church.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned." [Mark 16:16] From these words of our Divine Saviour, faith is necessary for salvation, so without faith there is no salvation but only eternal damnation. So, what kind of faith must we have to be saved? Can we believe with any faith? If any faith works, then the devil himself will be saved, because the Bible says … “the devils also believe and tremble.” [James 2:19] So, it is not just any faith that will get you to Heaven, but only one faith. It makes great sense: one God, one Saviour, one Shepherd, one Flock, and one Church. The one Church created and instituted by Jesus Christ – the son of God, is the Catholic Church. Outside of the Catholic Church, there is no divine faith, and without faith there is no salvation. Divine faith means that we believe something based on the authority of God, and believe it without doubt or hesitation. We believe, because it comes from Jesus Christ – Our Lord, Our God, and passed on to us by His Apostles for over 2000 years. All our separated brothers outside of the Catholic Church believe in the private interpretation of the Bible for their guide. However, the private interpretation of the Bible can never give them divine faith, but only personal faith which comes from man. And, we know that man can err in judgment, because by our nature we are imperfect creatures. We are taught by St. Peter, in his epistle, "Understanding this first that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. [2 Peter 1:20] For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost. [2 Peter 1:21] ... the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. [2 Peter 3:16]
The Catholic has divine faith, because the Catholic says the Apostles Creed. Why? Because the Church teaches it so. Why do you believe the Church? Because God has commanded me to believe the teachings of His Church. And, God has threatened me with damnation, if I do not believe His Church. Our Divine Savior has given us a living teacher, to give us the true meaning. And, He has provided a teacher with infallibility. This was absolutely necessary, for without infallibility, we could never be sure of our faith. There must be an infallibility.
So our Divine Saviour also established His Supreme Church -- His Supreme Judge -- to give us the true meaning of the Scriptures, and to give us the true revelation and doctrines of the Word of Jesus. The Son of the Living God has pledged His Word that this Supreme Church is infallible, and therefore, the true Catholic never doubts.
Our Divine Savior commands me to hear and believe the teachings of the Church in the same manner as if He Himself were to speak it to us. "He that heareth you," says He to His Apostles, "heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me." So, when I believe what the Church teaches, I believe what God teaches.
If I refuse what the Church teaches I refuse what God teaches. So that Christ has made the Church the organ by which He speaks to man, and tells us positively that we must believe the teachings of the Church as if He Himself were to speak to us.
Therefore, the Catholic believes, because God has spoken, and upon the authority of God. Whenever Jesus speaks, whether in figures or in parables of His Church, He always conveys to the mind a oneness, a union, and a unity. If He had not provided for the understanding of His Law of the Church of God, it would never have withstood for the last 2000 years. It is fact that Jesus Christ established only one Church. Whenever Christ speaks of His Church, it is always in the singular. He speaks of His Church as a sheepfold, in which there is but one shepherd who is the head of all. And the sheep are made to follow His voice, "Other sheep I have who are not of this fold." Only one fold – one Church. He speaks of His Church as of a kingdom, in which there is but one king to rule. And He speaks of His Church as a family in which there is but one father at the head. He speaks of His Church as a tree, and all the branches of that tree are connected with the trunk, and the trunk with the roots, and Christ is the root. The trunk is Peter and the Popes; the large branches are the bishops; the smaller branches are the priests, and the fruit upon that tree are the faithful throughout the world. The branch, says He, that is cut off from that tree shall wither away, produce no fruit, and is only fit to be cast into the fire, which is damnation.
It was necessary that the Church and her pastors be obvious and visible, in order that there might be an infallible judge, to resolve all doubts, and to whose decision everyone should necessarily submit. Otherwise, there would be no sure rule of faith by which Christians could know the true dogmas of faith and the true precepts of morality, causing among the faithful endless disputes and controversies. "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, ... That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" ... [Eph 4:11-14]
So, which of all these thousands of various churches and denominations that all claim to be the Church of Jesus, is the one true Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
It is obvious that no church can be the Church of Jesus Christ, except the one that was established by Jesus. And when did Jesus establish His Church? When He was here upon earth. And how long ago is it that Christ was upon earth? Our Christian era dates from Him. He was born many centuries ago, which is an historical fact. He lived on earth for thirty-three years. That was over twenty centuries before our time. That is the time Christ established His Church on earth. Any Church, that has not existed that long, is not the Church of Jesus Christ, but is the institution or invention of some man, but not of God, and not of Christ. The history of all nations bears testimony that the Catholic Church is the oldest and the first. It is the one established by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
But the common excuse for starting a new faith was that the Catholic Church had become corrupted, had fallen into error, and therefore it was necessary to establish a new church and a new religion.
Let’s understand why it is wrong. If the Catholic Church was once the True Church of God, as is admitted by all, then She is the True Church still, and shall be the True Church of God until the end of time. Why? Because Christ promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church. If the Catholic Church has fallen into error, then the gates of hell have prevailed against her; and if the gates of hell have prevailed against her, then Christ did not keep His promise, then He has deceived us, and if He has deceived us, then He is an impostor! If He is an impostor, then He is not God, and if He is not God, then all Christianity is wrong. We have witnessed too many miracles, documented too many martyrs, saints, and incorruptible bodies to ever doubt that Jesus Christ deceived us.
Our Divine Saviour promised that He would send to His Church the Spirit of Truth, to abide with Her forever. If, then, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth teaches His Church all Truth forever, then there never was, and never can be, one single error in the Church of God, for where there is all Truth, there is no error.
Again, Christ commands us to hear and believe the teachings of the Church in all things; at all times and in all places. He does not say hear the Church for a thousand years or for nineteen hundred and sixty years, but hear the Church without any limitation, without any reservation, and without any restriction of time. That is, at all times; in all things until the end of time, and he that does not hear the Church let him be unto thee, says Christ, as a heathen and as a publican. Therefore, Christ says that those who refuse to hear the Church must be looked upon as heathens; and what is a heathen? One that does not worship the True God; and a publican is a public sinner. This is strong language. Could Christ command me to believe the Church if the Church could have lead me astray, or lead me into error? If the teaching of the Church be corrupt, could He, the God of Truth, command me without any restriction or limitation to hear and believe the teachings of the Church which He established?
In 1520, the first Protestant came into the world. Previously, there was no Protestant on this earth. The first Protestant, as all history tells us, was Martin Luther, who was a Catholic Priest, who fell away from the Church through pride, and married a nun. He was excommunicated from the Church, cut off, banished, but he made a new religion of his own. Martin Luther was the first to revolt against the Church of God. He said to his disciples that they are their own guide, and they did so accordingly. But they soon quarreled among themselves, and each one of them started a new religion of his own. Sixteenth century Protestantism did away with the authority of the Church, and constituted every man his own judge of the Bible. What was the result? Religion upon religion, church upon church, sprang into existence, and has never stopped springing up new churches even to this day.
After the disciples of Martin Luther came John Calvin, who in Geneva established the Presbyterian religion, and hence, almost all of those religions go by the name of their founder.
I believe that the Catholic Church is the institution of God, and not of man, and this is a fact of history, which is well supported and well proved as the first Church established by Jesus Christ. So, in like manner, it is an historical fact that all the Protestant churches are the institutions of man. And, I can provide their dates, and the names of their founders, as it is all common fact and well documented.
Christ established His Church and gave His solemn oath that His Church should stand to the end of time. He promised that He had built it upon a rock, and that the gates of hell should never prevail against it. So, all those different denominations of religion are the invention of man, and can a man save the soul of his fellow man by any institution he creates, or must the religion come from God?
Let’s say these religions are all sincere. Are they then all true churches? This is impossible. God is Truth and Truth is one as God is one, and there can be no contradiction. Any person using his brain knows that every one of them cannot be true, because they differ and contradict one another, and cannot, therefore, be all true.
Christ, solemnly swears that He shall be with His Church all days to the end of time, to the consummation of the world. But Christ cannot remain with the Church that teaches error, falsehood, or corruption. Our Divine Savior [John 14], promised that He would send to His Church the Spirit of Truth to abide with Her forever. If, then, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, teaches the Church all Truth, and teaches her all Truth forever, then there never has been, and never can be, one single error in the Church of God, for where there is all Truth, there is no error.
The Catholic Church is the institution of God, and not of man. This is a fact of history, and well supported and proved with the four marks (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic) of the Catholic Church established by Jesus Christ. To be sure, the Catholic Church is one, because it is the same unbloody sacrifice at Cavalry no matter what liturgical, Latin Mass that you attend in the world. It is holy, because the real presence of Jesus Christ is there on the altar as we receive His body and blood. It is Catholic, because Our Saviour's Faith has been carried and preached universally to all four corners of the world. It is Apostolic, because it's the same Mass instituted by Jesus Christ with His Apostles on Holy Thursday night - do them in remembrance of Me. This same Latin Mass was infallibly promulgated and codified forever by Pope St. Pius V in 1582. “No one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice” … but if someone does, “Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”