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Islam & Catholicism

Apostolic Apologetics: Islam & Catholicism


The following is an original post, and my rebuttal from a Carm Forums Post by a user called 'valleygem', a staunch anti-Catholic, who spends quite a bit of time spreading misinformation about the Church in an effort to "spread the gospel of Jesus Christ".

The goal of valleygem's post here of course, is to compare Catholicism to Islam, in an effort to make the reader dislike Catholicism, due to a lovely "guilt by association" logical fallacy. That is to say, that even if valleygem's assertions prove to be correct, we have a logical problem. So, my response, which is quite verbose addresses each claim of "similarity", and in turn, poses a response to each "point" and how in reality, the resemblance is between Islam and Protestantism at least as well, if not more-so. I do hope people find this editorial educational, entertaining, and useful.

Note: valleygem's arguments are sourced from Mike Gendron of this anti-Catholic web page.

As in the past, the original comments and claims will be presented in a flesh colored table. My responses will be below. Enjoy, and God bless.

Paul Swonger (Apostolic Apologetics).


valleygem said:

The Bible is Insufficient and Corrupted

Islam includes the Koran as the Word of God and declares the Bible is corrupt because the words of Jesus have been corrupted (Surah 2:75-79).

Roman Catholicism includes its tradition as the Word of God by pronouncing, "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God" (CCC, 97). Thus the Word of God becomes corrupted by the traditions of men.

My Response:

The Church that Christ started, whether you admit it was the Catholic Church or not, existed before there was a "Christian Bible", and indeed before the NT scriptures were authored. By the time they were completed, it existed in the ballpark of 100 years. By the time the Bible was assembled into a Canon by the Catholic Church, several hundred years of Christianity had gone by. Your assertions of corruption are in direct contrast to the nature of the Church as stated by the scriptures you rely on exclusively. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised to send the Paraclete to guard the Church from error (cf. John 14:16) as it had done when the Gospels and other NT books were infallibly composed.

When you compare the ancient interpretations of Scripture, and indeed quotes from the fathers sometimes dating back farther than the canon of scripture itself, it is clear that theological consistency lies within the Catholic Church (cf. John 17:21). True, our understanding has increased, as was foretold (cf. John 16:13) but again, there is no greater historical witness of theological consistency than that which opposes protestantism, who, while screaming corruption on the part of God's Church, in it's thousands of manifestations and mutations, answers John 17:21 with nothing but contradictory confusion (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:33).

Noted Similarity between Protestantism and Islam:

Both protestantism and Islam claim that Christ could not do what he promised in Matthew 16:18, guard the Church against the gates of hell. Protestants should ask themselves, since they've changed the meaning of this verse to indicate that the inevitable emergence of protestantism, or "reformed" religion is indicated within it, what the verse would mean if protestantism isn't what Christ had in mind here, but a single Church, from beginning to end, not invisible to history or lack of consensus (cf. Matthew 5:14).

Both protestantism and Islam claim that after the Apostles, the Church at large fell into error, corrupting the Word of God.

valleygem said:

Salvation by Works

Muslims have five obligations: 1) publicly recite the Shahadah�"There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah"; 2) offer prayers fives times a day while facing Mecca; 3) give alms; 4) fast during the month of Ramadan to include abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sexual relations during daylight; and 5) make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. Allah will judge the deeds of all Muslims on the scale of absolute justice. The weight of their good deeds must exceed their bad deeds to avoid hell and gain heaven. Every soul shall be paid in full what it has earned.

Catholics have eight obligations: 1) baptism; 2) love God and neighbor; 3) obey God�s commandments; 4) receive the sacraments; 5) pray; 6) do good works; 7) preserve God's friendship until death; and 8) have faith. 2 Catholics "obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ" (CCC, 1821). Catholics are taught, "We can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life" (CCC, 2027).

My Response:

This is a key point among these "reformed" Christians. Remove all obligations from being Saved. To this Christ answers:

To your attack on the obligations a Christian:

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Well we know the Father sent Christ, so what did Christ tell us?

Matthew 22:36
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matthew 22:37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Matthew 22:38
This is the first and great commandment.

Matthew 22:39
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 22:40
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 6:53

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

To your attack on Prayer:

Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

To your attack on works:

James 2:17
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:18
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

James 2:19
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:20
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Luke 6:46
And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say?

(Note how it says here in Luke "things" and not "thing" or "believe in me only")

Noted Similarity between Islam and Protestantism:

Reductionism, "simplification". Protestant and Islam share this trait in their origins. Both are anti-sacramental, "God and me" type ego born religions.

valleygem said:

Purification is Necessary

Muslims who purify themselves receive paradise as a reward. "Gardens of Eternity... such is the reward of those who purify themselves" (Surah 20:76).

Catholics "who die...imperfectly purified... undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God" (CCC, 1054).

My Response:

1 Peter 1:22
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Revelation 21:27
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

1 John 5:16
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

1 John 5:17
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Noted Similarity between Protestantism and Islam:

Protestants and Islam hold in common, in contrast to Catholicism, that as long as they believe, and do not what the Church commands, but what they're consensus opinion tells them, they will inherit the Kingdom of God, no matter the contradiction in precedent, or authoritative interpretation.

Again, the sacraments of the Church are marginalized, ignored, redefined and disregarded. Only the faith of the individual will give you salvation. (cf. Sola Fide (Protestantism) / Shahadah (Islam) ).

valleygem said:

No Savior or Assurance of Salvation

Islam has no savior, no grace and no means of divine forgiveness. Muslims can never know if their works will be judged favorably.

Roman Catholicism has no savior that is sufficient to save sinners completely. Catholic salvation is conditional and is based on what each Catholic does for God instead of what God has done. Purgatory and indulgences are necessary because the "Catholic Jesus" is unable to save completely.

My Response:

To the Contrary, the dominant Calvinist theology of this forum is that Christ's Sacrifice, as opposed to Scripture, was for the elect ONLY, and not sufficient for the "world". (cf. John 3:16).

Catholicism agrees that initial justification is by faith alone (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10).

The further grace relationship that is completely lacking in opposing theologies, is that human cooperation with grace makes it efficacious. This occurs after initial justification. In simple terms, once you are justified, only the grace of God can enable you to "work out your salvation" (cf. Philippians 2:12 ).

Further, the Salvation of the man who will be saved is certain. The idea of "eternal security", or OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) are modern inventions (like the current popular protestant ideas about the rapture) not present in the Fathers of the Church, or any ancient interpretations of Scripture.

Noted Similarity between Protestantism and Islam:

Both claim contemporary theology to be "the original faith restored", without any historical evidence to remotely support the claim, only convoluted exegesis which nothing in history agrees with.

valleygem said:

Christ's Atoning Sacrifice Rejected

Islam teaches that Jesus Christ was neither crucified nor resurrected. Therefore, salvation is not possible through Christ.

Catholicism denies that the crucifixion of Jesus was sufficient to pay the complete punishment for sin. Rome also denies His atoning sacrifice was finished. Because of this erroneous teaching, Catholics are obligated to participate in the work of their redemption, which continues daily as "another Jesus" is presented on Catholic altars, as a sacrificial victim for sin (CCC, 1367, 1414).

My Response:

Blatant misrepresentation of the Catechism (as usual)--which speaks of one Christ, one Sacrifice.

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."

1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

Let's dig a little deeper into the CCC:


Christ's whole life is an offering to the Father

606 The Son of God, who came down "from heaven, not to do [his] own will, but the will of him who sent [him]",413 said on coming into the world, "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."414 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father's plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work."415 The sacrifice of Jesus "for the sins of the whole world"416 expresses his loving communion with the Father. "The Father loves me, because I lay down my life", said the Lord, "[for] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father."417

607 The desire to embrace his Father's plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus' whole life,418 for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. And so he asked, "And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour."419 And again, "Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"420 From the cross, just before "It is finished", he said, "I thirst."421

"once and for all"?

"it is finished"?

"Redemptive passion"?

This doesn't seem to mesh with your claims.

Jesus' eternal and fully sufficient sacrifice is finished. God's love, which allows us to cooperate in Christ's work is something we as Catholics are very grateful for. We are indeed his "fellow workers" [cf. 1 Corinthians 3:9, Mark 16:20, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 6:1 (Greek:, 'sunergoi', 'sunergountos', 'sunergei eis agathon', 'sunergountes' and 'nephos marturon' respectively)], not because he needs us, but because he chooses to Glorify His son through us. Through this we are raised up in His love. Again see my previous comments about the efficacy of Grace in relationship to human will. I would point out a key example in Luke 13:5:

Luke 13:5
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Here it is not our own work independent of Christ's Grace afforded on the cross at work.

Nor is this Christ's work on the cross independent of our will being efficacious. It is Christ's grace, effected by our will, or "reconsideration" or as some say "conversion of heart" that is efficacious.


Luke 13:5 I tellG3004 [G5719] youG5213, NayG3780: butG235, exceptG3362 ye repentG3340 [G5725], ye shallG622 allG3956 likewiseG3668 perishG622 [G5698].

From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.

The word metanoeō, translated to "repent", is synonymous with "compunction" which is synonymous with penitence, or contrition.

(Again consider if faith is sufficient for salvation for the man who sins after initial justification).

To your attack on the Crucifix the Bible says:

1 Corinthians 1:23
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Noted Similarity between Protestantism and Islam:

  • Both protestantism and Islam deny preaching Christ crucified.
  • Both protestantism and Islam deny that we participate in Christ's Work for salvation (see scripture referenced above).

valleygem said:

Converts to Other Faiths Are Condemned

The Koran teaches: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam... in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost" (Surah 3:85).

Catholics "could not be saved" if they do not remain in the Catholic Church (CCC, 846).

My response:

The qualification here is that the Church is Normative to Salvation. As someone who's a seemingly self ordained Catechism of the Catholic Church Expert, you should be addressing the hypocrisy here, at the other posts made regarding the outrage of non-Catholics based on statements in the Catechism to that effect (the Normative, not exclusive salvific nature of the Church). I will refresh you memory.

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

valleygem said:

Jews and Christians are Cursed

Muslims are taught: "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: God�s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!" (Surah 5:51; 9:30).

The Vatican refused to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation for nearly 46 years after its rebirth in 1948. Adolf Hitler, who boasted, "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so," believed he was doing God�s will by exterminating six million Jews. He said, "By fighting the Jews I do battle for the Lord." The Roman Catholic Church has also put to death hundreds of thousands of Christians and continues to curse them with over 100 anathemas.


My Response:

  • 1. Anathemas have no meaning in the Catholic Church. Read the 1983 Code of Canon law.
  • 2. Protestants have killed Catholics too. Want to do a number battle?
  • 3. Why is it when you cite "Catholic Atrocities" people identifying as Catholic (e.g. inquisition "victims") are "Christians" but otherwise they are not?
  • 4. Your implied assertion that not supporting an Israeli state is in some way anti-semitic is ridiculous. There are in fact several Jewish groups against the existence of Israel.

Further, you might consider that Israel's current actions are blocking Palestinian Christians from entering houses of worship.

As for Hitler, you can quote him any way you want. The man was confused.

"The root of the whole evil lay, particularly in Schonerer's opinion, in the fact that the directing body of the Catholic Church was not in Germany, and that for this very reason alone it was hostile to the interests of our nationality."
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

Regarding Hitler, are we to accept him, as you imply, as an honest individual, and take him at his word---or should we judge him by his actions?

"To whom should propaganda be addressed? … It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses… The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision. The whole art consists in doing this so skilfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself … its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect… it's soundness is to be measured exclusively by its effective result". (Main Kampf, Vol 1, Ch 6 and Ch 12)

Word or Actions?

I would also note that protestants weren't "free of the guilt" of supporting Hitler. Hitler wasn't just dangerous because he had "wrong ideas" or "wrong goals" or "wrong morals"--- He was dangerous because of his ability to deceive people, and win them over to his side (which he did to people regardless of religious affiliation--and yes, that's frightening).

What did the foremost Jewish scholar say about the Church at the time of Hitler?

"particularly regrettable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others." (Jeno Levai, Regarding Pius XII)

The great Jewish physicist, Albert Einstein, who himself barely escaped annihilation at Nazi hands, made the point well in 1944 when he said, "Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers . . . . they too were mute. Only the Church," Einstein concluded, "stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. . . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration . . . . and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."

God bless you valleygem.

Noted Similarity between Protestantism and Islam:
  • Protestants and Islam both claim Catholics are Pagans, and going to Hell.
  • Protestants and Islam have both used the "whore of Babylon" argument against Christ's Church.
  • Protestants have on several occasions, with certainty, said that "unless I come out of her" I am going to Hell for being Catholic.
  • Protestants and Muslims have both killed Catholics in great numbers.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam