Hotly debated Christian doctrines

Listing of questions (click to jump to that question)

1. Why do some Christians criticize Catholics' praying to Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus?
2. Why do some Christians criticize Catholicism for requiring celibacy for its priests and nuns?
3. Why do some churches have charismatic practices such as speaking in tongues while other churches claim that such happenings no longer exist?
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1. Why do some Christians criticize Catholics' praying to Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus?

Christians do not see Virgin Mary as a divine being.  She is a very special woman, and she has many virtuous attributed that we all adore, but she is not a deity.  Nowhere in the Bible is she exalted to the position of deity.  Nor is God such a bad-tempered being that we need an intermediary.

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2. Why do some Christians criticize Catholicism for requiring celibacy for its priests and nuns?

Celibacy should be a choice left to the individual, not a policy dictated by a religious order.  Paul made it very clear in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 that explicit and forced prohibition of marriage and the eating of meat are not the teachings of God.  One can choose to do any of these for health or other reasons, and such practices are not discouraged.  Explicit prohibition of marriage is especially perplexing given that marriage is the first interpersonal relationship God created, and mankind is given explicit instructions to uphold such social structure including the appropriate sexual practices involved (Genesis 2:24).

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3. Why do some churches have charismatic practices such as speaking in tongues while other churches claim that such happenings no longer exist?

Many churches have not experienced certain things described in the Bible, and they, for one reason or another, come up with reasons for their lack of such experiences.  We can decide whether such practices are biblical by checking with our ultimate source of information, the Bible.  Does the Bible state that the speaking in tongues ceases after the death of the first generation Christians?  Does the Bible state that God no longer performs miracles?  Does the Bible state that immorality is acceptable because of changing social environments?  It's true that there are things in the Bible that are more appropriate to certain times in history, but the basic principles never changes.

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Last updated: 1/30/2000