Thanks for reaching out as a lover of the Lord; we are called to witness to Jesus, the only begotten Son of God who alone died for us, and calls us to the free gift of salvation, by grace through faith, working in love. Yes, we do get it.
You have got it all wrong about the Catholic faith because you have been fed a lot of untruth from anti-Catholic fundamentalists. The Scriptures you will cite were brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church, and you cannot have an authentic and authoritative canon of Scriptures without the Church that Christ founded on His Apostles and Peter, the chief among them. (Matthew 16:13-19; 1 Timothy 3:15)
First of all, the Sacraments are Christ's doing. He created them; they are covenants that He instituted. Don't get confused by a Latin word . . . covenant is the idea.
Look at the history of salvation and all that God has done throughout it; it is a history of covenants. Jesus is God and He gave us the New and final covenant in His own Blood — that is a sacrament. We call it the Eucharist.
Go back and read John 6 and tell us Jesus was only speaking symbolically.
- If so, why did many disciples walk away?
- Why did he let them go?
- the Anointing of the Sick
- Holy Orders (the laying on of hands to convey Apostolic authority and ministry)
- Do you think the Church made these up?
You are ignorant and I mean that in the best sense. Don't attack what you don't know and don't understand. The Catholic Church didn't invent sacraments, Christ did, we just named them.
Confession, again, was something Jesus instituted. Go read John 20:21-23. He gave the Apostles the authority to forgive in His Name. The very thing He did that man called blasphemy. People couldn't get how a man could forgive sins, that God alone can forgive, so they condemned Jesus, not knowing He had the authority of God. The Apostles could not do this on their own, but because He [Jesus] breathed on them and they received the Spirit, who empowered them to do so.
It is Christ's ministry handed on to His Church.
Fundamentalism says these passages only refer to preaching the Gospel — but that is twisting the meaning right out of the very clear text.
- Does that mean that if you don't confess to a priest you can't get forgiveness?
- If you don't read the Bible, can you still get the Word of God?
If you can't, the illiterate would have no hope.>
God works in many ways: there are covenants, gifts of His power and grace, given to His Body, the Church, to continue on. Sacraments are the ordinary methods for initiation and special graces, but God is not limited by them any more than He was limited to giving grace to Israel, the only nation with which He had made a Covenant.
You have much to learn and I couldn't possibly begin to address all the issues that divide us, but before you think you know everything about our faith, read some good Catholic authors like Scott Hahn. Take one issue like the Eucharist and try to understand the full teaching of the Church, and the Scriptural and historical basis for it, and then have an honest discussion. You are not serving Christ by trying to direct Catholics away from His Church. That is foolishness and error.
Save your evangelization for those who have never met Jesus.