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  #16  
Old Jun 25, '12, 9:34 am
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutlerB View Post
Dear community,

I just got into a discussion with my mum and dad about the Church and faith. They are both Protestant and fairly anti-Catholic. Here are their main assertions:
Well let's see.....
Quote:
We don't know whether the Bible accurately represents what Jesus really taught. (Dad even said "John might have been drunk, when he wrote his Gospel."
We don't know whether the Christian faith is true.
Well this is not a argument against the Catholic Church but relates to ALL Christianity.
Ultimately about the only response to this is "That's why it's called Faith"...

Quote:
The Catholic Church is just as fallible as any other human. (Inquisition)
The "Catholic Church" is not "human" therefore the statement fails as proposed.
Of course the Catholic church is comprised of fallible human beings which is why Jesus founded a "community" so that, together, we could seek truth, discern error and teach that which is Good, Holy and Correct.
Quote:
The Church abused indulgences and sold them to people in the Middle Ages. They charged for confession, etc.
Well - let's see here...assuming this is true (I've heard much argument on it), The Church no longer does these things...Does she get credit for repenting the error?
Quote:
The Church is so wealthy just because of that. The Vatican is a major player in global stocks.
Here I would ask them to supply facts and figures that can be examined...After all, there are many ways in which "wealth" might be measured other than "cash on hand".
The Church is the largest spender on charitable causes. It does indeed handle large sums of money - but are they "wealthy?"
Consider for a moment the government of your country. They have large expensive buildings from town halls to Federal capital. They have land holdings, museums, parks, universities, plus many "social" institutions that rely on them.
Large sums of money pass through the government every year... Is the government Rich??
Quote:
Nobody has the right to claim authority and truth for themselves.
Well that would include your parents the...
But the Church does not "claim this for itself" Christ grated the authority to her, she merely exercises that authority...This is clearly stated in Scripture and is proved in early Church history.
Quote:
We don't need to defend our faith to anybody. We don't even have to be able to defend points of faith, it's just up to us and we will see whether we were right before God.
Okeey - dokeey....


Beyond these simple answers there isn't much that can be said. Most of their comments are "canned" objections but unless they seriously want to investigate them, nothing you can say will likely make a dent.

Good Luck - and keep praying for them.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #17  
Old Jun 25, '12, 9:38 am
St Francis St Francis is online now
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

First, I would recommend my (ideal, but sometimes I forget ) discussion stance: I will explain, I will answer legitimate questions. The main thing is, I will not consider my conversation a failure if the other person(s) remain unconvinced. You can lead a horse to water...

Yes, of course you want your parents to see what you see and to agree that you are doing a wonderful thing, but that will not happen in your time but in God's. The most important thing in your relation with your parents is to pray for them, and to be as good a son to them as you can be.



Second, the problem boils down to authority. You say your parents believe in God. Can God do anything? Is God a Person of His Word? Can and will God therefore defend His teachings which He sends us through Christ in the Church?

1. We don't know whether the Bible accurately represents what Jesus really taught. (Dad even said "John might have been drunk, when he wrote his Gospel."
Can God assure that what is written by His Apostles is true? Can God assure that St John was not drunk when he wrote his gospel?

Additionally, there were people still alive when the various documents were written who could ahve refuted what they said, and yet we have no indication that this happened.


2. We don't know whether the Christian faith is true.
See questions above.


3. The Catholic Church is just as fallible as any other human. (Inquisition)
People in the Church are just as capable of doing bad things as anyone else; people not following Church teachings doesn't tell us anything about the teachings. But consider those who have fully followed Church teachings, like Mother Theresa....


4. The Church abused indulgences and sold them to people in the Middle Ages. They charged for confession, etc.
Some people in the Church abused indulgences; in fact,it seems that some of those who did so were con artists not connected with the Church.

However, it is true that one of the ways that one's penance could be served was to give alms or to support the Church a little extra, and at the time of Martin Luther, it is true that one could contribute to the building of St Peter's in Rome. It was not intended to be an abuse, but when the potential for abuse was understood, it was forbidden.


5. The Church is so wealthy just because of that. The Vatican is a major player in global stocks.
I don't know about being a major player in the global stock market, but the Vatican often operates at a loss and has a lot of financial obligations. The Catholic Church is also the biggest charitable organization in the world.

6. Nobody has the right to claim authority and truth for themselves.
Would you say that God can? Would you say that God, Who is all-powerful, can delegate that authority? Remember that Christ promised the protecction of the Holy Spirit over the teachings of the Church.


7. We don't need to defend our faith to anybody. We don't even have to be able to defend points of faith, it's just up to us and we will see whether we were right before God.
Christ commanded the Apostles to "Go out and TEACH all nations..." and St Paul said that we must have an explanation for our Faith.



After the religious wars revolving around Protestantism, it seems like everyone got together and said, let's eliminate these wars by not ever admitting that any point of difference really matters. This attitude has been condemned, and it leads to indifferentism, a state of not really caring about God's truths, and then not really caring about God, Who created us, or Christ, Who suffered and died for us. Look around at society and see where that has led us.... and look at how those who love God fervently are treated and what they are called.

Loving God is in some ways very uncomfortable. You have to give some things up, and you have to do some things which are hard. A lot of people refuse to look at the truth because they are not ready to do those things. Indifferentism being so socially acceptable feeds right into this.
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"The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love."
-Rev. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P



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  #18  
Old Jun 25, '12, 9:54 am
Mathblue Mathblue is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

St Francis,number 1 about the accuracy of the bible, I get the sense that the parents of the op have a hard time fantoming that an all powerful all knowing entity (God) would inspire a flawed doccument (the bible) indeed why not ensure the bible correctly written if it bears so important a thing as the word of God? Why the detours? Why the riddles?
It is indeed a typical atheistic argument...and not an agnostic one.
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  #19  
Old Jun 25, '12, 9:58 am
Mathblue Mathblue is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Number 7 is the Manichaeans heresy, Augustine responded and refuted it more than 1000 years ago.
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  #20  
Old Jun 25, '12, 10:04 am
Mathblue Mathblue is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutlerB View Post
Dear community,

I just got into a discussion with my mum and dad about the Church and faith. They are both Protestant and fairly anti-Catholic. Here are their main assertions:
  1. We don't know whether the Bible accurately represents what Jesus really taught. (Dad even said "John might have been drunk, when he wrote his Gospel."
  2. We don't know whether the Christian faith is true.
  3. The Catholic Church is just as fallible as any other human. (Inquisition)
  4. The Church abused indulgences and sold them to people in the Middle Ages. They charged for confession, etc.
  5. 1. The Church is so wealthy just because of that. The Vatican is a major player in global stocks.
  6. Nobody has the right to claim authority and truth for themselves.
  7. We don't need to defend our faith to anybody. We don't even have to be able to defend points of faith, it's just up to us and we will see whether we were right before God.

Now, I in no way agree with the claims, but that's some of the things they said.

I felt like I was talking against a wall, them just making everything relative. I look to you for help on this.
CluterB, number one and two are agnostic positions, 3,4,5 atheistic side arguments,6 and 7 are both very old heresys, both a Protestant one and 7 a very old manichaean one.
So only number 6 in this list would be the position of a Protestant.
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  #21  
Old Jun 25, '12, 10:05 am
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CutlerB CutlerB is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathblue View Post
St Francis,number 1 about the accuracy of the bible, I get the sense that the parents of the op have a hard time fantoming that an all powerful all knowing entity (God) would inspire a flawed doccument (the bible) indeed why not ensure the bible correctly written if it bears so important a thing as the word of God? Why the detours? Why the riddles?
It is indeed a typical atheistic argument...and not an agnostic one.
Again, Mum and Dad are not atheists. They believe in God, though they may be confused on many points. Dad himself said he's not the right person to ask about such matters.
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  #22  
Old Jun 25, '12, 11:40 am
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JRKH JRKH is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutlerB View Post
Again, Mum and Dad are not atheists. They believe in God, though they may be confused on many points. Dad himself said he's not the right person to ask about such matters.
I guess it best to take him at his word...

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #23  
Old Jun 25, '12, 4:38 pm
jschutzm jschutzm is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutlerB View Post
I just got into a discussion with my mum and dad about the Church and faith. They are both Protestant and fairly anti-Catholic. Here are their main assertions:
So let's try to take them down 1 by one.... here's my stab at it.

Quote:
We don't know whether the Bible accurately represents what Jesus really taught. (Dad even said "John might have been drunk, when he wrote his Gospel."
How do we know that historians are accurate? So for that matter..most of history is subject.
In fact.. if you look at Science.. one of the things it has going for it is that there is a sorta 'peer review process' - where by other Scientists are supposed to cross check each others work.

If we look back at the history of Christanity... we see that there existed this sorta thing as well. We actually find that the Christian community also protected itself from misinterpretations, misconceptions, etc. And we know that the bible isn't a case of 'the telephone game' because when we compare the oldest surviving relics of the bible.. they show VERY little deviatation or difference from the modern times.
And we know that the community back then was an oral community which taught things verbally. There were plenty of people who observed and knew what went on around the time of Christ and we don't see a SINGLE group claiming that the Christians distorted things.

Both the Jews and the Romans would have had plenty of reason to contradict the Christians in what they were claiming.. yet both groups are SILENT on the matter and don't try to argue that the central events to Christianity never happened.
Josephius, a Jewish historian, actually upholds the accounts of Jesus's life.
Roman's talked a lot about torturing and killing Christians.. but never claiming that things didn't happen like was told in the bible.

Bible 1 -- rest of the world ZERO!

Quote:
We don't know whether the Christian faith is true.
There are arguments to this fact.. I don't know that there is enough space here to do those arguments justice. I wouldn't say there is PROOF, so much as their are compelling arguments towards that conclusion that one could simply ignore if they wanted.

Quote:
The Catholic Church is just as fallible as any other human. (Inquisition)
Yes, the Catholic church has made mistakes There have been Popes with mistresses, who went to war, and had people assassinated. HOWEVER - the Catholic FAITH has not changed, is not fallible and hasn't made mistakes. The fact that NONE of the power hungry Popes EVER changed a single doctrine or dogma is actually POWERFUL truth that the Holy Spirit is protecting the faith.
ALL other faiths have changed core doctrines over time. Even the Jewish faith has changed after the Temple was destroyed in 70AD. But the Catholic church alone has not altered her doctrines in the last 2,000 years and is the only faith that believes it CAN NOT change them. All other Christian faiths have and do change their core beliefs for various reasons because they are man-made.

Quote:
The Church abused indulgences and sold them to people in the Middle Ages. They charged for confession, etc.
Never charged for confession, but indulgences were sold.. a practice that was NEVER condoned by the Catholic church, but was done by various corrupt individuals during those times. The Catholic church, realizing this, made sweeping changes during the counter-reformation.

Quote:
The Church is so wealthy just because of that. The Vatican is a major player in global stocks.
Source and proof is needed of this. The Vatican operates on a deficite like most nations and publishes its annual budget for the world to see. What nation publishes its budget for everyone to see? - No one, but the Vatican. It may have buildings and property..but those are museums, open to the public.. NOT for the Catholic church's private wealth. If all of its art was sold off, it would fall into private hands and never been seen again. It is therefore part of EVERY Christian's heritage which the Catholic church holds for all to see.
Most of what it has was donated. The Catholic church also believes in giving its best to God.. not second best. Most of its income comes from museums and tourism, it uses this to pay BILLIONS to charity, medical care, relief aid, etc. To this day.. the Catholic church is the largest non-governmental provider of Health Care, Relief Aid and Education in the world.
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  #24  
Old Jun 25, '12, 4:48 pm
jschutzm jschutzm is offline
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Default Re: Please help me refute this relativistic claim

Quote:
Nobody has the right to claim authority and truth for themselves.
What does that even mean? 'claim it for yourself' ??
One CAN tell the truth and defend it against lies and distortions.
The Catholic church proclaims the truth of God... and its track record remaining faithful to that and not altering the message is better then any other. And it is the only one that can rightful trace its origin to the Apostles and therefore to Christ.

IF God is truth and rational and if we are rational at all.. then we can know the truth. It would make sense therefore that someone would know the truth. Would God disseminate truth or lies? If he disseminates truth.. then someone knows it. RIGHT? The question is WHICH person or institution knows the truth?

The bible gives us the hallmark of the 1 true Church and in the bible Christ give his promise to Peter that the gates of Hell would not prevail against his church. -- So the TRUE church would be linked to Peter.
IF the Church that Christ started EVER taught lies..then the gates of hell would have prevailed.
IF Christ's church ever disappeared or fell into apostacy..then the gates of Hell would have prevailed.

Christ also gave Peter the keys to heaven, the power to bind and loose. Lies can not exist in Heaven.. so if Peter can bind and loose IN Heaven..then he can not teach lies and must be guided to the TRUTH.

What church besides the Catholic church can lay any creditable claim to the promises given to Peter from Christ? JW? Mormon? Presybeterian? Methodist? Baptist?

The bible says the Church will be Universal - which church is Universal? The bible says that if 2 Christians disagree that they take their disagreement to the Church.. not the bible. Which church would you take your disagreement to? JW? Mormon? Methodist? Lutheran? Which one has the authority and link to Peter to settle matters of Truth? Which churches have the promise of the Holy Spirit that the gates of hell will not triumph over them?

Quote:
We don't need to defend our faith to anybody. We don't even have to be able to defend points of faith, it's just up to us and we will see whether we were right before God.
"Need" is a tricky word. Maybe they don't need to...but they SHOULD be able to, if they want to.
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