A conversation with my Baptist brother

Im currently in a discussion with my brother about Jesus establishing the authority of the Pope. I’d like to get some of your insight on how to deal with what he says.heres what we have so far.

I asked “If it could be proven to you that Jesus established this authority for his church would you still reject it?”

He stated “I do not reject anything. I made a choice”

Then I said “Oh no I meant if it could be proven to you that he did give such an authority to one man would you embrace that idea?”

Then he replied "Why would it need to be proven? If it was so important as you make it sound, why does the bible not devote more time to explaining it? Why doesn’t it just plainly say it? Because it does not. Jesus does however plainly say, "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. The disciples of Christ were equals. No one had any more authority or power over the other.

Then I said "Ok well it would need to be proven because as of right now you don’t believe that idea. And the Bible does in fact show this authority. Matthew 16:18: “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” He only gives the Keys to one of the apostles. Also through out the new testament we see that Peter takes a leadership role among the apostles. So they weren’t just equals but there was a clear head”

Then he said "So he gave him a job to do. That doesn’t mean he’s any closer to God than any of the others.

Or anyone else on this earth for that matter.

God wants YOU to be his disciple"

I responded “No it doesn’t mean that he’s closer to God but it means Jesus gave him that job. An office that he held to uphold the truth of what he taught so that the church would have sound doctrine and could be taught”

he said “Well that’s great but we are all God’s children. We can all go to him and talk to him directly at any time. If you want to do it through a Priest, that is your choice and that is fine. But he also doesn’t mind if you talk to him directly and choose to have a direct relationship with him. In fact I think he wants that more than anything.”

I said "Well we do pray to God directly as well. But I think what you’re referring to as through priests is the administering of his grace. The forgiveness of sins etc.

But that’s a little off the subject.

So if God made a church and made an office to uphold his true teaching, shouldn’t we follow the teachings of the church who to this day keeps that office or authority?If it was God’s will for the church to have this structure and this authority then I sam amen. And its easy to see why such an authority is needed. If you take a look at what the idea of not having this authority has done to the church you have chaos. Since this idea came about (around the 1500’s) we now have thousands of different churches teaching different things. How can we find the truth in such a system like that? How can we find the true meaning of what Jesus taught us. Surely he did mean something that wasn’t up for just anyone to twist. To insure that his teaching’s true meaning could be taught he gave the church (his apostles) this authority and in particular to St Peter"

So far he hasn’t replied but ill update when he does. Anything you guys could add or suggest?

particularly what should I say to someone who thinks all we need is a personal relationship with God

Ok he replied now with this “The “truth” to be known is that God could not get rid of the wretchedness in the world, even being the God that he is. So he did the unthinkable for us because he loved us so much. He gave us his only begotten son to die for our sins and our wretchedness. This inherently says NONE of us are free from sin. We are all the SAME! From the Pope, to the President, to Mother Theresa to the most insane serial killer. We are all his sons and he loves us equally. That’s why he sacrificed Jesus, to bring ALL of us closer to him. Doesn’t matter what “power” you have vested in any one person. He gave us the best guide to live our worldly lives and that is the Holy Bible. The sacraments, penance, confession, these are all things men do for each other but they are not necessary to be saved. That is why I do not see the point of following them yet still worship God and Jesus in a profession of faith. Nothing you say can change how I feel about this. This faith I have is from years upon years of living and believing. You keep trying to reach out and persuade me to believe what you believe whereas I merely react to what you have to say. You will seek out and find God in your own way. I’m ok with that but you do not seem ok with my way.”

It appears that your brother does not know what a Pope is, or does.
People think he has “power”. Not the kind they are thinking of.
They think that we allow the Pope to decide what we believe. No, the Pope is more of an enforcer. He makes sure that we don’t stray from what Jesus taught.
People think that the Pope is like some kind of king to us. No. Jesus is King and Savior.
People think that we believe that Pope’s don’t commit sins. No, just the other day there was a picture published of Francis going to confession. There is no pope that ever claimed to be “sinless”.
All of his arguments are based on his misunderstanding of the papacy.
Explain it to him.
Peace.

You’ve explained yours and the Church’s stance, it might be best to let it go for now… Sad to say, but not everyone is able to believe

It’s true!

And what better way to experience that personal relationship with God than in the mass when you receive HIS real presence in holy communion?

Ask him what he believes about John 6.

[quote]

Well, God does, but He gave us free will also.

So he did the unthinkable for us because he loved us so much. He gave us his only begotten son to die for our sins and our wretchedness. This inherently says NONE of us are free from sin. We are all the SAME! From the Pope, to the President, to Mother Theresa to the most insane serial killer.

Well, where has the CC taught otherwise?:shrug:

Doesn’t matter what “power” you have vested in any one person. He gave us the best guide to live our worldly lives and that is the Holy Bible.

Ask him where in the Bible did Jesus left us the Bible? From what I can tell, Jesus left us His Church, not the Bible.

The Bible came to the world via the Catholic Church.

The sacraments, penance, confession, these are all things men do for each other but they are not necessary to be saved.

How does he know what is necessary to be saved?

I’m ok with that but you do not seem ok with my way."

So, your brother determines what is the ok way? Where does the Bible say each one of us is to determine what is the OK way?
[/quote]

Yom Kippur is the most important Jewish feast days, yet is only mentioned very briefly in the scriptures. In comparison, Jesus giving authority to Peter is extremely explicit in being given, and then being demonstrated.

Mt 16:18 upon this rock I will build my church
Mt 16:19 gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter alone, not the other apostles
Lk 22:32 Peters faith will strengthen his brethren
Jn 21:17 Peter is given Christ’s flock as chief shepherd
Lk 24:34 risen Jesus first appeared to Peter
Acts 1:13-26 headed meeting which elected Matthias
Acts 2:14 led apostles in preaching on Petecost
Acts 5:1-11 inflicted first punishment on Ananias and Saphira
Acts 8:21 excommunicated first heretic, Simon Magus
Acts 10:44-46 received revelation to admit Gentiles into the church
Acts 15:7 led first council in Jerusalem
Acts 15:19 pronounces first binding dogmatic decision

And yes, Peter was a sinful man too even after becoming the first Pope. He was not practicing what he was preaching so that Paul had to “oppose Cephas (Peter/Rock) to his face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal 2:11). But that doesn’t stop him from being the Chief Apostle appointed by Christ.

I think you may have to start doing some research in order to address all of his points,
start with the articles in the CAF library. From the tone of his response, I would suggest:

1, Getting together a thorough Biblical response which may take quite a long time as there is a lot to cover e.g. establishment of the sacraments with Biblical references showing that they came from God, the Church was established well before the Bible was (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) written etc.

  1. Re check your response a few days later to make sure your tone is loving (try reading it spitefully or sarcastically out loud to weed out negativity or aggression).

  2. Keep your reply safe and don’t use it yet.

At this moment, he seems upset, defensive, possibly feeling undermined and threatened. Okay, he may not understand or enjoy the fulness of the Catholic faith, but I suggest that your key responsibility is not to undermine his faith (stick up for your own by all means but at no expense to his). It is up to you, but you may wish to consider holding out an olive branch and apologising for having inadvertently hurt or upset him. The more you push, the more he will close up. All of our souls are precious to God and we should whenever possible respect that and be considerate when a soul is a bit delicate or suffering and a mind is not ready.

All the work you do preparing an answer that you do not give him, will help you learn more about your faith and may come in handy on another occasion.

In the meanwhile, discuss other things and leave the initiative for discussing faith matters with him. Perhaps repairing your relationship is the first issue. Keep praying for guidance (restraint, patience and wisdom) from God and pray for him.

I am in a fairly similar position, but waiting for a face on explosion, even though I have left the initiative to the other person and am praying for both of us.

Sounds like your typical free-wheeling discourse that will range all over the map if you let it.

First of all - in speaking of Church authority we need to make two things clear.

  1. ALL authority is not vested in a single individual It is vested in “The Church”. The Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church - must work in communion with the Bishops and the Bishops with Him - and all under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  2. The Pope has little “power”. What he has is responsibility. Any Catholic is tree to walk away any time they want…just as any baptist is free to go to a different church community - or even stop going altogether and throw away their bible if they lost their faith.

We can argue the pope until the cows come home but until the other person realizes that the NT Church was unified, visible and Authoritative…working in communion with each other and holing at least one council to resolve disputes…until they understand this - they cannot understand the role of the Pope.

Just some thoughts…

Peace
James

Given this response I would suggest you respect his choice…and pray for him…and with him…

Peace
James

Re: Confession

John 20:23

"And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.””

This is why we (and the Orthodox) have and believe in the sacrament of confession/reconciliation. The Apostles believed it, and passed on this sacramental tradition. Jesus gave the Apostles the gift/charism of forgiveness of sins, which is passed on down through the Church’s clergy. It’s biblical. How anyone can insist on the Bible as truth and ignore this is untenable.

I don’t think your brother wants to discuss this with you anymore.

All those outside of the Holy Catholic Church and the Sacraments are on an indirect, and uncertain, path to God. The only direct way to Christ is in His Church. Basically, IMO, those who reject the Holy Catholic Church are essentially rejecting Christ.

How can someone claim that Christ is the “head” of the Church if it went off the rails for 1000+ years? In that scenario, the only way Christ could be head of the church is in some symbolic or figurehead sense.

Some claim to have a “personal relation with Christ”, but that is mainly in their minds and emotions. Ask him what that means. Does doctrinal truth have any value or place in this personal relation with Christ?

I presume that he trusts that the Catholic Church got it right in selecting the books of the New Testament. To the extent that he relies upon them he relies on the authority of the Catholic Church.

It’s true Peter was given a job–to hand down the faith entrusted to him and to the Apostles by Christ.

I suggest turning the tables on him (or rather, turning them back, since he turned them around in the first place).

Ask him: why doesn’t the Bible devote not just ‘more time’, but actually ZERO ‘time’ at all, mentioning a thing known as ‘the Bible’ (or to be known as ‘the Bible’), “…if it was so important as you make it sound…”?

Why didn’t Christ prophesy–or even make a glancing reference to–a thing known as, or to be known as, ‘the Bible’?

Why didn’t Christ leave written instructions–or write anything down AT ALL–if He supposedly intended to reduce His Faith, to a book (or a collection of books, if you prefer)?

…as for his contention that the ‘disciples were all equal’–that’s complete non-sense. As I’ve written many times before, the Bible makes a crystal clear distinction between THE ‘Apostles’, and His ‘disciples’. I’ll just cut & paste, in the interest of time (and since I already ‘thought it through’ in drafting it):

*5. Christ passes his Faith system on to his followers–the Apostles–orally. He expressly instructs them to do the same. They do. They expressly instruct their followers to do the same. They do. That is and yields, Sacred Tradition.

  1. The Bible distinguishes between "Apostles’ and ‘disciples’. All Apostles are included as Christ’s disciples; not all disciples are Apostles. The Apostles are the 12–then minus Judas, then plus his successor, Matthias, then later, plus Paul. This distinction signifies a ‘hierarchy’. The replacement of Judas, and the later addition of St. Paul, signifies succession, and growth, respectively. This is the Church that Jesus Christ founded.*

…and to supplement from another post in that same thread (in response to another issue):

*And…the Holy Spirit doesn’t come to all of the disciples, does he? Nope.

He comes to THE APOSTLES (+ the Blessed Virgin, St. Mary).

He works through THE APOSTLES.

IOW, he works through the established structure–the folks who were chosen–by Christ.*

FWIW.

^^^FWIW:

Here is the full post (albeit conformed) from which that #5 came from–for context, it was in response to a (false) claim that ‘sola scriptura’ was prophesied (in greater context, my assertion that for ‘the Reformation’ to have been valid, it would have to have been prophesied–as Christ was, in the Old Testament):

  • 2 Tim. 3:16:

[other poster]:

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable

for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB)

Canned apologetic, for canned apologetic. ‘Profitable’ doesn’t mean sufficient.

Hardly a prophecy of sola scriptura.

Other poster:

If the purpose of Scripture is to make the man of God adequate and equipped for every good work, then it is sufficient. There’s no need for anything else. If there were, then the claim that Scripture makes the man of God equipped for every good work is false.

None of which provides for a DIVESTMENT of authority, of the Church that Christ founded.

Re-cap of what the Bible does/does not provide for:

  1. Christ did not hand his Apostles, a Bible.

  2. In fact, Christ didn’t write anything down, AT ALL. This is staggering, in light of the ‘lost/found in the Temple’ episode. Jesus Christ is found in the Temple–when he was around 12 years old–lecturing the Church elders about scripture. Clearly, this child prodigy was learned and well read–and yet, Christ never wrote anything down at all–other than in the sand, with a stick.

  3. Christ never prophesies ‘the Bible’. Never mentions such a thing at all.

  4. Though he does prophesy His Church (e.g.–"…thou art Peter (Petros) and upon this rock I shall build my Church").

  5. Christ passes his Faith system on to his followers–the Apostles–orally. He expressly instructs them to do the same. They do. They expressly instruct their followers to do the same. They do. That is and yields, Sacred Tradition.

  6. The Bible distinguishes between "Apostles’ and ‘disciples’. All Apostles are included as Christ’s disciples; not all disciples are Apostles. The Apostles are the 12–then minus Judas, then plus his successor, Matthias, then later, plus Paul. This distinction signifies a ‘hierarchy’. The replacement of Judas, and the later addition of St. Paul, signifies succession, and growth, respectively. This is the Church that Jesus Christ founded.

  7. There is no Bible at the time of the Pentecost, nor for centuries afterwards;

  8. Nor even mention of a thing known as a ‘bible’, in the Bible–let alone mention of a concept known as ‘sola scriptura’. Not in the Gospels; not in the Acts of the Apostles; not in any letter by St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, or anyone else. Hence the very concept of a ‘Bible’ at all, is the fruit of the Church that Christ founded–i.e.–the fruit of [Sacred] Tradition.

  9. Note: re. reference to ‘scripture’ in the Bible–this refers to then existing scripture; there is** no express reference to scripture which will come into being**; that only becomes so, through Sacred Tradition.

  10. And of course, no prophecy whatsoever, of the reformation.

Ergo, still no Divine authority for what has been horribly inaccurately dubbed, “the reformation.” *

Thank you so much for this! He has tried to pawn off MT 16:18 as all symbolic. When I mentioned that the apostles picked replacements for Judas and so on he then made the assertion that they had misunderstood Jesus and that since they’re"in the thick" of things they didn’t see the whole picture of what Jesus wanted. I just about gave up when hearing that because I feel like he will squirm around any logic and reason we bring him so that he will keep his way. He thinks that god wouldn’t protect his church from error because he should just protect us all if that’s the case and that the early church has free will to do what they want. It seems he thinks that men are all flawed so how can he trust them

My first reaction to this is…:rotfl:

This makes me think of 2 questions right away…

  1. Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Luke to record in Holy Scripture something that is a “misunderstanding”?
    I assume that he does believe all Scripture is inspired of God and useful for teaching…and that Scripture is inerrant…does he not?

  2. How does he know it was the Apostles who misunderstood and not him?
    As He says, the Apostles were in the thick of things…they were also personally taught by Jesus and Jesus personally breathed the Holy Spirit into them.
    Whereas your brother is 2000 years removed from the “thick of things”…

I once received a similar reply when I pointed out the importance of councils to resolve doctrinal differences (as seen in Acts 15). He replied that this was just one instance and that so wasn’t proof that this was the way it was suppose to work all of the time…:rolleyes:

I replied to him the same way as above…Why would the Holy Spirit cause it to be recorded if this wasn’t the way we were suppose to handle these issues?
He never replied…

:shrug:

Frankly I think your brother stepped into it with this…He just destroyed any possibility that he can have any faith in anything written in the bible…and done so by his own argument.

Peace
James

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