Bible Christian trying to save a Catholic


#1

My next door neighbor is a fundamentalist Bible Christian who has a doctorate from a “Bible” school. He wants me to come over for a bible study just me and him. He knows I am Catholic.

We were talking about all of the denominations and what “truth” is and who has the authority and what to do when there is disagreement. He believes everything we need to know is in the Bible only. He explained to me that there are a set of core Christian beliefs that renders you a Christian or not. All the other stuff is minor. He explains that there are only a few different denominations that adhere to the core beliefs. He said all of our differences (at least with the Protestants) are the different parts of the body of Christ. for example, He said that Presbyterians see well but Baptist can walk.

Am I missing something? How do I begin to talk with him when we meet? (against Fr. Serpa’s advice, of course, as heard on Catholic Answers Live a week or so ago.)

Do we talk about Peter’s Primacy, the Sacraments, Matthew 16, the Eucharist?

Praying for advice and hoping the Spirit will speak through someone on this forum. THANKS, Brian (4life4NFP) papa2eight.


#2

He explained to me that there are a set of core Christian beliefs that renders you a Christian or not. All the other stuff is minor.

Ask the “Bible Scholar” where in his Bible the “core Christian beliefs” and the “minor issues” are outlined at in the Bible. Ask him where it says in the Bible, “these are the things you must believe to be Christian ___________ but these other things listed here ________ are only minor.”

He explains that there are only a few different denominations that adhere to the core beliefs. He said all of our differences (at least with the Protestants) are the different parts of the body of Christ. for example, He said that Presbyterians see well but Baptist can walk.

Also ask why do Protestant denominations go even further and disagree on the, “core beliefs”? Why do Lutherans Baptize Infants and Baptist not? Is this not a “core” lutheran belief.

God bless


#3

I would have one advice to you… one I’m also planning to use soon :wink:

Give them some CDs to listen to and say them that you want them to listen to it and know what they think about it.

Give them definitelly Scott Hahn first!!!

here, dowload it:

ftp://217.160.246.215/pub/audionet/EWTN_programs/Scott_Hahn

Give them his Conversion story first and then “Answering common objections” series.

Let me know how you feel about that.

God bless


#4

A few points to remember.

(1) Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the only source of God’s Word.

(2) The first Christians “were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles” (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim 1:14) long before the New Testament was written — and centuries before we knew with certainty which books were part of the New Testament.

(3) The Bible affirms that Christian teaching is “preached” (1 Pet. 1:25), that the Apostles’ successors were to teach what they have “heard” (2 Tim. 2:2), and that Christian teaching is passed on both “by word of mouth [and] by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:2).

(4) Not everything Christ did and said is recorded in Scripture (Jn. 21:25).

(5) New Testament authors availed themselves of sacred Tradition. For example, Acts 20:35 quotes a saying of Jesus that is not recorded in the Gospels.

(6) Scripture needs an authoritative interpreter (Acts 8:30-31; 2 Pet. 1:20-21, 3:15-16).

(7) Christ left His Church with divine authority to teach in His name (Mt. 16:13-20, 18:18; Lk. 10:16).

(8) The Church will last until the end of time, and the Holy Spirit protects the Church’s teaching from corruption (Mt. 16:18, 28:19-20; Jn. 14:16).

(9) The Church — and not the Bible alone — is the “pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

(10) The Bible refers to more sources of the Word of God than only Scripture. Jesus Himself is the Word (Jn. 1:1, 14), and in 1 Thess. 2:13, St. Paul’s first epistle, he refers to “the Word of God which you heard from us.” There St. Paul is clearly referring to oral apostolic teaching.


#5

That idea is called sola scriptura (the Bible alone). If everything that he believes is in the Bible then this must be in the Bible. Ask him to show you where it says that everything that is legitimately to be believed by a Christian is in the Bible. He can’t do it because it isn’t in there. He will try to do so by taking you to 2 Timothy 3:16 which says

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

And, of course, this is true. But that doesn’t say that ONLY scripture is useful for that. Notice that it doesn’t say “scripture alone” or “scripture but not tradition”. Look at it this way: I could legitimately tell someone that learning Math in school is useful for their education. This is true. But that doesn’t mean that English isn’t important, too.

He may try to say only the Bible is to be used by Christians by quoting verses where the Bible speaks negatively about tradition. Search this site for “sola scriptura” and you’ll find more to help with this viewpoint.

He explained to me that there are a set of core Christian beliefs that renders you a Christian or not. All the other stuff is minor.

Like Roman Catholic said, make him show you where that list is given in the Bible. Protestants have different lists of the “core beliefs” and the “optional” / “non-core beliefs”. These lists are always just the opinion of the one making the list. Nowhere does the Bible give such a list. Press him and make him show you the list.

While you’re at it, ask him where the Bible says which books are supposed to be in the Bible (the canon of scripture). Surely this would be the most fundamental question of all and surely (if he is right) then the Bible would list the books - right? Nope, it doesn’t. The table of contents was not part of the original inspired books. So, for example, who says that James is part of the Bible? Martin Luther didn’t think it should be while others thought it was. Again (as with almost everything Protestant) it’s just his opinion as to which books are in the Bible.

How do I begin to talk with him when we meet? (against Fr. Serpa’s advice, of course, as heard on Catholic Answers Live a week or so ago.)

Do we talk about Peter’s Primacy, the Sacraments, Matthew 16, the Eucharist?

I’m not very good at evangelism so can’t help much. But I can say that you’ll not get very far (at least at first) by discussing Peter’s primacy, etc. I’d start by casting doubt on his ideas that everything is in the Bible and the Bible is our “authority”. Do so by asking where the list of “core” beliefs is that one must believe to be a Christian. Ask how he even knows that those set of books really is the Bible and that others are not allowed.

Also, sola scriptura holds that if an individual christian prays and seeks God about doctrinal questions that God WILL personally show that person the truth. Ask him how it is that Protestants disagree on almost every conceivable doctrinal question – and all of them claiming to be using this method.

Q: Why did Fr. Serpa’s radio broadcast tell you not to engage in discussion with this guy? Just curious.


#6

He doesn’t want to have a bible study with you. He wants to weaken your faith until you reject the Church.

If you want to subject yourself to his efforts, at least refuse to allow him any kind of scattershot attacks on Catholicism. Make him focus on one and only one issue at a time. Pick the issues you are most comfortable discussing. I think the Eucharist and John 6 is very easy to defend - they have to twist the scripture almost beyond recognition to arrive at their view. And be sure and ask him to show you Early Church Fathers who agree with him and disagree with Catholic teaching. This latter part is very important. It’s easy enough to find e.g. an ECF who talks about the symbolism of the Eucharist. Fine, the Church agrees. But what he cannot find is an ECF who explicitly denies the Real Presence, as all fundamentalists do.


#7

Bingo


#8

Ugh! Not sure why I missed this point. You are quite right. I had questions in my early 20’s. Protestants convinced me to leave the Church and be Protestant and I was so for many years. Later wised-up and returned to the Church. I have seen the tactic you mention used quite a bit. Uneducated Catholics (like I was) are easily fooled into thinking the Catholic Church disagrees with the Bible and therefore is wrong.

This certainly is what he’s trying to do.


#9

I have to agree with this completely!!! And this man is not just your average next door neighbor who goes to church every week and reads his bible in private devotions everyday. He has been educated, with a Masters Degree nonetheless, in ways to shake your confidence in your own faith and in the Church, and bring you on board with himself - to a world with no authority, a world that changes with the wind.

Unless you have been as well educated in your own faith as this man, and are as confident in doing battle face to face as he is, I say you are playing with fire, I think you should take Fr. Serpa’s advice.

When you see him, respectfully decline his invitation, and ask him to just pray for you, because you will be praying for him. :wink:


#10

I Love Christ’s Church. You, I mean, us the church militant. Thank you for the responses.

I did not mean to mislead. Fr. Serpa said when responding to a question about a listener belonging to a protestant bible study who was not happy with the Holy Father making a statement about the Catholic church being the true church. “I, myself, would not participate in an ecumenical bible study. I don’t see the point of it. I know people say you can be there to help them along and steer them to the truth… In my own opinion, not Catholic Answers, I don’t see much value in them.” Jerry Usher went on to say that he has heard John Martignoni say that it can be dangerous. He can see there may be some fruit there. Fr. Serpa said he finds more problems than help in the people he deals with.

They did a beautiful job of responding. Sometimes the truth needs to be said. Jesus said things that people didn’t like. They crucified him for it. Yet, he still said it.

The above was from CAL 071107 show “The Chaplain Is In” You can listen or download it from this link: catholic.com/radio/event.php?calendar=1&category=&event=4701&date=2007-07-11

thanks and God Bless!


#11

That is the key. No Catholic who knows and understands the faith should be afraid of such an encounter (whether it a good use of one’s time is another question). The Catholic faith has nothing to fear from any person or any idea. But Catholics, even good, God-loving Catholics, who are not prepared for such an encounter could find themselves in over their heads and in doubt. Not because the Church has no answers to this man’s claims, but because they don’t happen to know those answers.


#12

It is always easy for a Catholic to respond to the claims of a Bible Fundamentalist.

What you need to do is put you trust in the Holy Spirit, (you are confirmed and have studied the faith haven’t you?) and pray beforehand.

If you put your trust in the Holy Spirit, pray, read the Bible and keep your mind on sharing God’s truth and not just trying to win you will do fine.

As Christians we will always have an answer for any question of the faith if we trust in the Holy Spirit. Only Catholics can do this and it is something quite amazing. I have had answers come that I never even thought of or were just perfect as the answer to the questioner.

Now be careful, hopefully he might just be a sincere follower who intends on sharing Christ with you, but unfortunately some of time these guys are indeed just extremely sinful, prideful people who have even demonic intelligence behind them. They can lie, twist truth and just seek every way to destroy your faith without any care for truth. Hopefully he is of the first type and you have a fruitful discussion.

Keep your wits, pray and trust in God,
Scylla


#13

While you are at the beginning stage, (if someone else has not suggested it), ask where and how his demonination got the Bible in the first place. That should set the stage pretty evenly.

Peace


#14

I am amazhed how the Lord guides you. I do not claim to be an advanced Apologist but I am what my family and co-workers consider me to be as a fanatic about the faith. Fr. Corapi, EWTN radio, CD’s, podcasts etc. I just finished listening to 5 of the 20 John Martignoni CD’s I have never in my life felt so assured the Catholic church is the true church without error. Whatever curve ball is thrown, I know, without a doubt, the church is the pillar of truth. I know I may have to say, “I don’t know, but I will pray about it and get back to you.”

John Martignoni challenges the separated breathren to convince him the Catholic church is wrong and he will go to his church next Sunday. (He is so convinced that he can not show this.)

A side note: My neighbor has invited me to his church. We said we would need to the vigil Mass on Saturday and then to theirs on Sunday (we do not want to go at all.) They laughed and thought it was weird to fulfill an obligation.

Another side note: He was embarassed to find me finding his daughter sharing chic tracks with my daughters. He nervously explained away that not all of it is good. I had never seen one before. 2 pages in showed the Pope collecting money for a new gymnasium at the Vatican.

Why does God allow the dis-unity? so that we will stay up past midnight on a Saturday night absorbing answers and reading the Bible.

Thanks to everyone!!


#15

Oh brother! :rolleyes:

Sounds like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in his family.

Why don’t you pick the most obnoxious of the Chick tracts that they “shared” and go over that with him. As you say, he’s already embarassed (not ashamed, but at least embarassed) about them. You could get him to admit a lot of anti-Catholic stuff is not true. Then he’s on the defensive, not you. Make him defend or reject Jack Chick’s crazy and bigoted ideas about the Church - might not be a bad approach at all.


#16

Chick publications are the lowest of the low. He may have seemed embarrassed, and yet his daughters had them and were sharing them, hmmm, sounds like he was embarrassed they were caught.:shrug:


#17

. Thank you for the responses.[sign][size=]You rang?[/sign]Seriously though, you’ve already got some very good answers. I’m of the school that agrees with VociMike and Franksv. franksv

Originally Posted by VociMike View Post
He doesn’t want to have a bible study with you. He wants to weaken your faith until you reject the Church.

Bingo

and so I say tell no thanks, but that he’s welcome to come to Mass with you. (He won’t…)

John Martignoni ( Bible Christian Society) has some outstanding MP3’s that you can download and burn to CDs to give him, and you won’t go wrong listening and studying them yourself.

Don’t waste your time with studying with that guy though. It’ll prove to be nothing but grief. Let him keep his evangelism over the fence or at worst over tea in your backyard.

Three of John’s good studies For you!) are [/size] Apologetics for the Scripturally-Challenged and Two-Minute Apologetics and [size=3]Introduction to Apologetics. Have fun! :thumbsup:
[/size]


#18

Excellent point! If he’s using that junk then his Bible College must’ve been a real “winner”.:irish1: Grotto Press has some infinitely better Catholic Tracts


#19

Another thought before it gets too late. Before you go to worship in each other’s churches, ask him to describe who or what is in the center of the sanctuary in his church. If he is honest he will tell you, why the preacher of course. Then you can share with him that in the center of our sanctuary is Jesus the Christ, the preacher is off to stage left or right, because it’s all about Jesus, not the preacher. Then go on and ask him just how much worshiping the congregation does in their service. Again if he is honest he will tell you they sing a couple of songs, someone will sing a solo, the preacher will preach, (actually just a Bible study where everyone sits and listens), then they sing a closing/altar call song, have a collection, a final prayer where the preacher does the praying and that’s it, (once a quarter or less they will have some kind of communion ceremony about “symbols”). You can then share with him how he will see the congregation at mass join in and participate in the mass, glorifying God through out, and and then lining up to really accept Jesus in the real presence of the Eucharist, the sacrificial, unblemished lamb of the Passover, prophesied in the Old Testament, and the same Lamb of God, Jesus, who reigns in Heaven with God the Father. Be sure to point out where the real worship takes place, as it has for 2,000 years, and invite him to come back real soon.*

(*These are not my ideas, they were learned from Michael Cumbie of the Micah Project. Michael is a former protestant minister who is now Catholic and has set up a ministry to tear down the wall that divides Catholics and non-catholics.)

Peace


#20

He doesn’t want to have a bible study with you. He wants to weaken your faith until you reject the Church.

Sadly, I have agree here…
I will say, he may think he has good motives. I mean, if he thinks you need to believe as he does, in order to get to Heaven, he may feel the need to share…
But he also has probably been taught that:cool: Catholics are not Christians. (At the best, that a Catholic could be a Christian, maybe, if they disagreed with the Catholic Church a lot).
This is really sad. I mean, I am sure there are people all around, who have no religion at all, much less do they know about Jesus Christ, and he is targeting someone who is a practicing Christian, to try to convert…:shrug:

A side note: My neighbor has invited me to his church. We said we would need to the vigil Mass on Saturday and then to theirs on Sunday (we do not want to go at all.) They laughed and thought it was weird to fulfill an obligation.

They probably have no understanding of what you mean here. I would suggest saying, that going to your own, Catholic, church, means so much to you, that you can’t possibly imagine missing even a single week, even if there were no obligation involved… He might understand that better…
I guess I am saying, that he has most likely been taught a lot of nonsense about Catholicism, so can’t realize that you aren’t just obligated to go to mass, you want to go!!

I don’t know if this is going to help or not, but I know that, as a Methodist, I have several fundamentalist relatives who regularly ask me if I am “still going to that Methodist church”…Like, you know,:rolleyes: they can’t think why anyone would go to such a place willingly…One relation once told her pastor, in front of me, “Oh, she is a Christian, even though she is a Methodist”. (Like :cool: Methodists all:eek: worship the ancient Norse gods, &:shrug: brew potions, or something…).
So, I do know the:( feeling a little bit…


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