Claims from catholic-ish uncle inlaw

So I have an uncle in-law who claims to still be catholic but he usually goes to a nondenominational church and attends these bible studies. After years of subjection to this he has come to some very protestant conclusions that I need help dispelling. He claims:

  1. all religions are started by men.

  2. therefore what matters is what’s in one’s heart. Or that they have God in their heart

  3. Jesus says we cannot judge people so we should not try to tell other Christians they’re wrong. We should respect them

How can I make a comprehensive case that the catholic church is important, that it was started by God and not man, That we can judge actions, and truth is what matters.

He also said that everything I told him regarding religion and Catholicism is just opinion

This is true, at least for the Catholic religion. It was started by a man. His name is Jesus.

  1. therefore what matters is what’s in one’s heart. Or that they have God in their heart

So this applies to murdering thugs such as ISIS?

  1. Jesus says we cannot judge people so we should not try to tell other Christians they’re wrong. We should respect them

We can (and should) respect people, but that doesn’t mean we cannot correct their erroneous ideas. If someone thinks the earth is flat, is it an act of charity to respect their wacky idea, and not correct it?
Are All Religions Equal?

This kind of topic brings out many different opinions and sides, and much misunderstanding.

We are not saying that truth is unique to the catholic church, or that is is the only one having truth. Many other faiths have truth in them and this is what is attractive and draws people to them.

But the problem lies in that any faith that presents truth also may present falsehood mixed in with that truth and thereby camouflaging the errors. There is a saying, “a little truth is a whole lie”. So that people see the truth without examining that faith more closely and then swallowing what is not true with the true. And then it seems that one religion is as good as another. But it really dosen’t stand up under bright lights if we look for only the truth. The whole presentation of a religion is important, especially any errors.

This is what is ignored; the truth as it existed in various religions without examining them to see if they would hold up under scrutiny. And to examine the religion or the faith and not necessarily the people in that faith. For to error is to be human. Good and bad people are found almost in every religion. But this does not make the religion good or bad in itself.

The catholic church for over 2000 years has been weeding out the falsehood so we could have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That is it’s legacy to us.
Which is another reason why one religion looks as good as another, because the history of truth is not studied. And again this is not in reference to the people in religion but in reference to the truth/falsehood in the teaching of that religion.

It also means that a person accepts the fundamental idea that truth can stand on its own two legs and does not change over time, because society decides it is not convienient to live by the truth. All religions become equal if truth of that religion can be modified by votes, since the looks of one religion may morph into any other religion over night. So truth must be seen as unchangable, reliable, as God himself. If not, then religion has no more meaning then the weather and all are indeed the same, if not today then tomorrow.

Liked this article below.

:thumbsup: What David said.

“[Jesus said], ‘Upon this rock I will build my church.’” – Mt 16:18

  1. therefore what matters is what’s in one’s heart. Or that they have God in their heart

No – a Bible-believing Christian knows that what matters is that we love Jesus, accept His grace, and follow His commands to us:

“[Jesus said], ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. … Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him. … Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.’” – John 14:15, 21, 23-24

  1. Jesus says we cannot judge people so we should not try to tell other Christians they’re wrong. We should respect them

Yes, He says we cannot judge – but that doesn’t mean that we cannot should avoid correcting people (especially other Christians!):

“[Jesus said], ‘If your brother sins, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that “every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 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.’” – Matthew 18:15-17

And yes, we are to respect everyone, even when they get things wrong. However, it’s not ‘respect’ to allow a person to wallow in their errors. :wink:

He also said that everything I told him regarding religion and Catholicism is just opinion

And everything he told you isn’t ‘just opinion’? Take the Scripture quotes to him; remind him that these are Jesus’ direct words. Jesus’ opinion should be what he wants to follow, right? :thumbsup:

You can do so by reading good books to fill your head with facts and theories by studying history and philosophy, and answering questions as he asks them, and ask him leading questions that draw him towards more correct conclusions.

However, you’ve indicated here that he doesn’t respect you enough to take seriously your assertions of fact – unless everything you said really was an opinion rather than a fact. So if you want to persuade him personally, then either you have more reading to do, or you have a more fundamental problem to address, perhaps by prayer and leading by example rather than through argument.

[quote=Shaolen]1) all religions are started by men.


Most major religions believe they have Divine origins, including Christianity.

Jesus Christ was Divine, and he started the Christian religion. He was not a man in the sense we are. He was fully man AND FULLY DIVINE. That separates Him from all mankind. He is The Incarnation of the Heavenly Father.

Any religion that professes to have man as its origin is automatically false. That is what Protestants teach! “Traditions of men” etc.

Another way of stating this is that all major religions claim to have Divine Revelation. There MUST be a Divine element in its origin for ANY religion to make this claim.

That is why Catholics eschew all Protestant forms of Christianity, as they ALL have adopted the traditions of men and left the pillar and foundation of Truth: The Church.

Thank you all for your input. Please if you have more advice or anyone else has something to add please do. One thing he did was tried to make some sort of argument stating that different Christian groups have different bibles, and it seemed like he was trying to say that different churches made their own bibles possibly in an attempt to say that argument on the bible is useless. However he contradicted himself when using bible verses about not judging so obviously he still thinks you can. He also seemed to try to use an idolatry argument on me. He said “God said he is a jealous God” he then asked “what would you say to people who have statues?” I then told him that it would depend if the people with the statues believed the statues were being worshipped or if they were just a tool to help them with prayer etc. He then fumbled saying there was a good point he was going to make with that but forgot.

I’m always amused by judgmental statements claiming we shouldn’t judge. So he’s telling another Christian he’s wrong to call someone else wrong? Doesn’t his statement violate its own criterion? Why is it okay for him to judge other Christians but not okay for other Christians to judge?

He also said that everything I told him regarding religion and Catholicism is just opinion

And everything he told you is just opinion.

This guy is applying his rules to other people but not to himself.

“Catholic-ish”? Well that’s a new one even to me. I had thought I’d seen all the labels. Given though that this supposedly is an apologetics site, he merely claims to be what the Church claims him to be, assuming he was baptized or confirmed in a Catholic church.

The Catholic Church was started by Jesus. God the Son, 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity. The one who spoke in the beginning and everything that is came into existence.

Protestantism otoh, is 100% man made. And every one of them is a heresy. [FONT=&quot]Great Heresies[/FONT]**


Ask him where in scripture did he get that?

Jesus also said through Paul

emphasis mine

Titus 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( [/FONT] heretic ), [FONT=Comic Sans MS]after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

[/FONT]Obviously there is judgement being made in that direction.

Here’s a snapshot of the 1st 4 centuries. Open the internal links to read the details of the point being made. Jesus established the Catholic Church #[FONT=&quot]34[/FONT]

his adherence [to heretical groups] slowly infected him, such that he now has a heretical mentality and he is now selling it to others.

Follow Paul’s advice above, to Titus.

Hey Shaolen,

Ask him: What is the pillar and foundation of the truth? See what he says.

1 Timothy 3:15 says it is the Church. But which church? Aren’t they all man-made?

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says “I will build MY Church.” Jesus built a Church. Hmmmmm. (Which church, I wonder, can date itself from the present, backwards in time to the 1st century. I bet the nondenominational church you mentioned didn’t exist on the planet 100 years ago. Kindof eliminates that one from being Jesus’ church, I guess).
In Matthew 18:17 we see that Jesus’ Church has authority.
In Luke 10:16 we see that He gives His authority to others “He who hears you, hears me. He who rejects you rejects me…” (The leaders of His Church speak for Him. That is some authority).

Ask him: what Bible did Jesus’ Church function with? Well, the short version is that even though there were lots of writings out there, and lots of debate about some of them, the New Testament wasn’t really discussed officially and decided upon until about 382 A.D. at the Council of Rome. That’s about 350 years of Christianity surviving and growing…without a Bible. I wonder how they did that. Hmmmmm.

Good point you made about the statues, and also:

“what would (we) say to people who have statues?” Um, if it was Moses, or King Solomon, or the Israelites we would say…“Good job, guys. God commanded you to make those statues and you did!” Exodus 20 is where God forbids the “making of graven images” and worshipping them. But in Exodus 25, 1 Kings 6 and elsewhere God COMMANDS the making of graven images to be used in a religious context. Hmmmmmm…God must’ve been confused. (or making and having statues is ok…worshipping them isn’t, just like you already said).

If he doesn’t accept the Bible as authoritative…I guess you’ll have to ask Him what is his authority and how does he learn from it?

There are lots of good books out there. Karl Keating’s “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” is one I would recommend.

Wow that was very helpful! Thank you

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