Argument with a baptist


ok, so i met this baptist. she is a really nice person, but we started talking about faith the other day. i would gladly die for my faith, so me being converted is not the issue. my issue is how to successfully defend myself from some questions.

purgatory) i showed her the verses that are directed towards purgatory, but she either says it wasnt inspired by God (usually the old testament), or that i interpreted it wrong (usually the new testament stuff). its hard to argue with someone who negates all your evidence.

Matt. 16:18-19) she claims the church means any christians. i dont know how to respond to such a claim.

these are my two main arguments. i dont want too many fronts on this battlefield, since that can lead to error. we previously argued pre-adulthood baptisms, and i seem to have won that one.

i know arguing faith can be messy sometimes, but we both agreed that it would be educational. i would like to be as non-threatening as possible. so none of this “baptists suck!” stuff. she is a good person despite her misguidance. also, she has been doing all the questioning to me thus far. any way i can turn this around?

thanks a bunch!


Ask her how to resolve disputes within the “group of believers”. As described in Matthew, what if a group of believers can’t decide which position in a dispute is correct.

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.

For instance, I’ve heard of “groups of believers” splitting up simply because they didn’t know whether to distribute the grape juice during the Last Supper memorial in individual cups or one common cup. Without authority this is what happens.

***18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.***Also, do we all have the authority to bind and loose, or is their a Church authority that has this?


Hi Justin! I just have a few thoughts on this. I’m sure you will get much more excellent advice from others on the forum.

As Catholics we believe that the Church has the authority to interpret scripture. The Church cannonized scripture, after all!
1 Timothy 3:15 says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, NOT the Bible, which didn’t exist at that point! Which Church, your friend might ask? Well- hers wasn’t around back then… so it must mean THE CHURCH that Jesus founded, on the Rock of Peter. That would be the Catholic Church!

God in His wisdom gave us an authoritative Church to guide us in all truth. He knew that human nature, if left without such guideance, would twist things 1,000 different ways. Peter warned of such things in 2 Peter 3:16. And that is just what has happened with Protestants. There are over 30,000 different denominations, all with their own interpretation of scripture. Surely God could not have intended that! And if they believe that the Holy Spirit is all they need to interpret the Bible for themselves, then why has the Holy Spirit contradicted itself so many times, which is not possible for God to do? So in the end, their “interpretation” is really just their personal opinion.

Ultimately then, you can fall back on John Martinoni’s argument:
If a Protestant believes that all you need is the holy spirit for your own personal interpretation to be valid, then YOUR interpretation is JUST AS VALID as hers. Yours just happens to be not simply the product of your own fallible mind, but also that of over 2000 years of the best minds in history, AND of a Church that has been led and protected by the Holy Spirit for the same amount of time! The worst you can do is have a tie!

A word of caution: When 2 people care so very deeply about their faith, and they are very different (some baptists think the Catholic Church is the Anti-Christ, whore of Babylon, etc), it is hard to achieve true intimacy (sorry- I don’t know if a romance is your goal!) There is always a wall there- you’re not in FULL COMMUNION with each other. I feel that way about my sister, who, coincidentally, is a baptist. We agree not to discuss any finer points of theology, and keep our conversations steered toward other things. Sometimes that’s awkward! But when it DID go into Catholic things, she would always end her points with “It doesn’t say that in the Bible!” The idea of an authoritative Church doesn’t hold any water for her. I can’t personally imagine being married to someone that I am not 100% on the same page with. It has been done, of course, and successfully, too… and it has led to many conversions. But to me it would be very hard. Good Luck!


its hard to argue with someone who negates all your evidence.

That is why arging religion is so pointless most of the time.


Exactly. The very best thing you can do is learn your faith, inside and out, and then LIVE IT. Be loving, charitable, hard working, faithful, helpful, prayerful, etc. Your life is your witness. Those who agrue the points of the faith but do not live them are like clanging gongs.
Ultimately, we don’t convert anyone. That’s God’s business. We plant seeds, and get people thinking. Then we pray that God’s will be done. :thumbsup:


That’s not to say you shouldn’t discuss it if the opportunity presents itself ! But if you find it becoming uncharitable and disrespectful, STOP.


There are some books that could help you. One that comes to mind is “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating.

And of course pray, Pray, PRAY.



Well, you COULD just tell her - the next time she opens up the conversation with religion - that you are content and happy with being a practicing Catholic Christian and that you would appreciate her respecting you for it. That should end it. It works for me all the time. :wink:


thanks guys your comments are really helping

couple things i should clarify real quick

romance is not my objective. we are simply friends. actually, we havent even known eachother for very long.

i enjoy this argument, so ending isnt my goal either. i have learned so much about my faith simply by putting it into words and defending it. if nothing else this has been very educational.

she is not anti-catholic. in fact, 2 years ago she almost converted, but bailed out a week before the easter vigil. she is more catholic then baptist, but for some reason has gone with the baptists. she doesnt believe in faith alone, but is quite sunken by sola scriptura, unadmitedly of course. everytime i bring up a point she always says “it doesnt fit with scripture”. so basically i am fighting on the grounds of the scripture. i really liked the advice about the authoritative church argument, since that fits with scripture and nails her argument. if i try to argue on any grounds other then scripture, she always brings me back to scripture, so i must fight it on her turf.

thanks again for all the help, you guys are awesome!


Maybe you should focus your discussions on the reasons why she decided to not become Catholic. You might be able to sow some fruit there.

Also, there is nothing about the Catholic faith that “doesn’t fit with Scripture.” So, while I don’t necessarily agree that you have to confine your argument to Scripture only, I think that you can address most topics even by imposing this limitation.

Finally, why don’t you ask her to prove “Sola Scriptura” from a purely scriptural point of view. It can’t actually be done. Paul and others often speak in Scripture about both Sacred Scripture and the Sacred Traditions handed on by the Apostles by word of mouth.

Check out this article on CA for more info:



I was gonna suggest that too. Ask, as well, by who’s authority the Bible was put together (and “God” is not an acceptable answer, since it did not fall from the sky :wink: )

The word “Only” is not found in Scripture, when it comes to Sola Scripture or Sola fidae.


Try this website and let it become YOUR ARMOR! :thumbsup:


I wrote a couple of articles about purgatory on my blog. They might help you.

Tell me if they do. I live near a lot of Baptist so I try and include biblical verses in my explanations.


HEre is the second article about purgatory from my site.


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