Discussion with a friend

I am wondering if I might get some help with an issue. I have a very old dear friend who is a confirmed Catholic but married a Baptist 25 years ago and has stopped practicing our common faith. She considers herself a Baptist. She is not anti-Catholic. We are just beginning to prepare for this discussion. So far, the first thing she has communicated to me is: “The portions of Catholicism that bothered me most are the man made additions to the Bible.” Anyone got pointers on where she might be going with this?

It’s difficult to understand what your friend means by “man-made additions to the Bible”. I’m guessing she is referring either to Sacred Tradition as a basis for doctrine (since Baptists profess sola scriptura) or to the deuterocanon (which most protestants don’t consider divinely inspired.

If she’s referring to Sacred Tradition, it would be beneficial to point out that Christianity pre-dates the Bible. For centuries, Tradition was all that Christians had. Catholic and Orthodox Christians have kept Tradition

If she’s referring to the deuterocanon, I would point out that those books aren’t Catholic additions, they’re protestant subtractions. They were always there. Even the authorized King James translation of 1611 included the deuterocanon (although admittedly, their status was subject of debate).

It’s hard to say since she wasn’t specific about what those “man made additions” are. I would make sure to have a very good understanding of the sacraments, especially baptism, considering that she’s a Baptist. She might try to say that infant baptism isn’t backed by Scripture. I would prepare to make a defense for it. Baptists often argue that infants shouldn’t be baptised because they can’t "accept Jesus ", so I would point out how infants were circumcised in the OT despite being unable to “agree” to it. Then point out the nature of God’s covenant: it gets larger every time. It started with two people, then a family, then a nation, and then the entire world. There’s no reason to suspect that God would suddenly make cuts to it by discluding infants.

I would recommend starting on common ground wherever you can, not looking for differences. It sounds as though her catechesis may have been lacking or “didn’t take”, which is not unusual, so she may have misconceptions about what she’s “sure” Catholics believe. Trent Horn’s new Why We’re Catholic might be a good read for the both of you…

The baptist religion was invented by John Smyth christianitytoday.com/history/people/denominationalfounders/john-smyth.html Ask your friend what the bible says about division and those who cause it in Christianity and the Church, and those who follow division?

If no response, then offer this for her education

[LIST]
*]Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21 , depending on one’s translation they use, the word in Greek διχοστασίας for [dissension / division / schism ] in Rom 16:17 & Gal 5:19 is the same word and it is condemned.
[/LIST]
The consequence for that sin of division, is

"they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God."
Gal 5:21.

Ask her What Church is there that Paul is writing to?

Links are all operational

The Church has been Catholic from the 1st century. The English word Catholic is a transliteration of the Greek katholikos which is a compound word from kata, which means according to, and holos, which means whole. catholic.com/tracts/what-catholic-means

So one THEN can ask, where does kata holos appear in scripture and particularly kata holos ekklesia ?

Acts 9:31 the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,Judea and Galilee and Sama’ria…" = the Kataholos Church.

Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch from ~69 a.d. to ~107 a.d. He was ordained priest and later bishop, by the apostles, and was a direct disciple of St John. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first called Christian Acts 11:26 . And Ignatius in his writings uses both “Christian” and “Catholic Church” in his writings.
[LIST]
*]St Ignatius, uses Christian in (ch 2) and Catholic Church in (ch 8) Epistle to the Smyrnæans of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians (ch 3) . As an aside, where would Ignatius learn to teach that warning and corresponding consequence for one’s soul, for commiting and remaining in the sin of schism / division from the Catholic Church? Paul condemned division / dissention from the Church Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21 and that came from Jesus who does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired all the division we see today in Christianity. There is no expiration date to that warning and condemnation.
*]St Polycarp, Bp Smyrna, disciple of St John called the Church the “Catholic Church” The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*]Muratorian canon ~180 a.d. earlychristianwritings.co…uratoria n.html uses authority of “Catholic Church” in determining the canon of scripture. The canon THEN wasn’t complete. That woul;dn’t happen till 382 at the council of Rome under Pope Damasus I.
*]Irenaeus ~180 a.d. wrote “Against Heresies” called the Church the “Catholic Church” Adversus haereses [Bk 1 [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103110.htm”]Chapter 10 v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
]etc
[/LIST]
That Church, Pope Francis is over today, 266th successor to St Peter.

I think that you are on the right track with what she might be trying to convey. I think it may take some time to flesh all of that out. Thank you for your reply.

Very well said, thank you!

Yes, I think that you are right about her catechesis. We went to the same parochial high school together and I only strengthened my own years later. I am currently reading The Protestant’s Dilemma by Devin Rose, a book we purchased for my wife as her father is also Baptist. I now have Trent’s book in my shopping cart, thank you!

v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
]etc
[/LIST]
That Church, Pope Francis is over today, 266th successor to St Peter.

Amazing references, this will be a long road. Gonna keep praying. Thank you.

Honestly, I’d start by just asking questions. In my (very recent) experience, just blabbering on about why Catholicism is correct over the other denominations will make a time-killer and that’s it. Ask why she left, why she hasn’t come back, what are her reservations and objections. And then just engage in a discussion.

What I’m learning most of all, though, is to do it out of love and concern. Make sure you don’t come across as simply trying to prove a point. Charity, above all things.

Yes, I believe this is to be a discussion measured in month and years not days and weeks. I am not engaging in it to win the argument. What’s at stake is a soul-far more important than anything else. I’d be willing to lose every point along the way if I can bring her and her husband to the Catholic church.

It’s a Highly condensed history of the 1st 4 centuries, but useful to see a timeline going back to the 1st century for the Catholic Church being seen “in writing” properly referenced. I hope it helps.

In a debate,
You can always ask “who started your Church” to any non Catholic. It’s a bit of a show stopper. Knowing you have an answer to that question, regarding the Catholic Church, properly referenced, that no one else can give for their start.

:thumbsup:

Thank you.

:tiphat: you’re welcome

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.