Evangelicals go to church on Sundays and other days to worship the Lord with fellow believers through prayer, song, and instruction in the Word. The Lord is present with us spiritually as we worship Him together.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20
Roman Catholics go to church on Sunday for a quite a different reason. Catholics are taught by their church that priests change bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Catholics gather together to worship the consecrated wafer and consume it. Catholics are taught that after they take the wafer into their mouth and swallow it, Jesus is physically inside of them for 15 minutes until the stomach acids completely break down the bread wafer. During those fifteen minutes, the Jesus wafer allegedly imparts graces to the individual so that they are better able to avoid committing mortal sins. Catholics are taught they must perfectly obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit Heaven. Minor venial sins will sidetrack them to Purgatory for an indefinite period. After all the supplicants have received their Jesus wafer, the priest places the leftovers in a locked box called the tabernacle, situated on church altars.
Today, I was listening to the 6/9/16 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show on the Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, NY, with host, Steve Quebral, and Catholic priest, Rick Poblocki, taking questions from the listeners. Steve started off the show by complaining that Catholics often don’t show proper respect to the Jesus wafer while they’re in church and he asked Rick to review the rules of proper mass etiquette.
Rick broke it down into three basic steps:
- Catholic must enter the church quietly, respectfully, and reverently. Rick remarked that the Jesus wafer is “resting” in the tabernacle and Catholics must acknowledge its presence with the proper respect.
- Before entering their pew, a Catholic must look at the tabernacle and genuflect on one knee in homage to the Jesus wafer.
- While they are sitting, kneeling, and standing in the pew during the mass the Catholic must focus their attention on the Jesus wafers in the tabernacle and the Jesus wafers newly consecrated by the priest.
Those are the basics. For more detailed instructions on proper mass etiquette see the pdf below:
Catholic friend, Jesus is not a bread wafer and He’s not locked away in a little box. The Bible says He’s currently seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for all who accept Him as Savior by faith. Man-made rituals and long religious laundry lists don’t save. God made His Good News of salvation so simple even a ten-year-old child can understand it. There is no distinction between “mortal” sin and “venial” sin. Sin is sin and we’re all sinners – sinners deserve eternal punishment – Jesus Christ, God the Son, paid the penalty for our sins on the cross – Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and offers the gift of eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sins and receive Him as Savior by faith. We don’t need priests, altars, and daily sacrifices anymore. Jesus did it all! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today and ask Him to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – Matthew 24:23-27