Email my friend sent me


#1

So I’ve been in a discussion w/ a Baptist turned Pentecostal friend of mine about the Church. Here’s a snippet of an email he sent me today regarding faith, works, and Sacraments…

How do I respond to this??

Note: At the beginning on ending “on a good, strong note like Paul” he is referring to Gal 5:11-12

[FONT=Arial]11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves![/FONT]

Lastly (to end this on a good, strong note like Paul), if the pope and his priests truly agree with the affirmation made by the Counsel of Trent that states,

If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed [ex opere operato], but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema (history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct07.html). [brackets mine: ex opere operato literally means: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”]

I say then, I hope they would stuff themselves so silly with transubstanciated wafers that it would cause the worst case of constipation imaginable. So that given the great length of time they would have to sit on the pot and lament over their agony, they could also think about how God’s grace can never be obtained through the act of administering a sacrament, but only through faith in His Son alone. Then maybe once they realize their error and repent, God would would have mercy on them for practicing and promoting such heresy, soften their stools, and allow them to poop in comfort and peace (Although, in actuality, constipation is going to be the least of their problems when they will eventually have to answer to God)!
Simply know that you don’t need a sacrament in order to have God’s grace conferred to you. All you need is faith in Christ. The pope and the Counsel of Trent have it wrong… truly, “faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace”. Just read Romans 5:1, 2.

  • 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. **

Honestly, the next time you go to mass, you can walk right out of there and God will not care. In fact, He will be pleased for 1. He is angry with the priests concerning the lie they administer each week and you walking out means you’re not partaking of it. And 2. You will have come to the understanding that you can stand fully in His grace simply through the faith you place in His Son. To God, you won’t be declared anathema, but declared righteous and at peace with Him.

Amen to that!


#2

I got halfway through the e-mail before it started making me angry.

The more I argue apologetics the more I see every conversion to Catholicism as a miracle.

The best advice I can give you is to educate yourself and just pray to the Holy Ghost.

I am just burnt out with the vast amount of misinformation there is out there. I think I am going to argue less and pray more. Perhaps God can do most of the heavy lifting for me.


#3

Go out and buy the Ignatius Study Bible for Romans. The Baptist friend doesn’t seem to know that St. Paul was talking about there being no reason for the rabbinic law. Which has nothing to do with Catholic Sacraments.

Also tell him to respect what you believe to be the body of Jesus, or else not to talk to him.


#4

Yeah, I was pretty shocked when I first read it. Up until now we’ve had a pretty charitable rapport.

In my response I took care not to mention his tone and just responded to points he mentioned.

I am praying for him, but following some advice on another thread I posted I think I am going to say a Novena. I’m a recent convert and have never done a Novena before, so I’m looking forward to that learning experience as well.


#5

The sad thing is that he was my best friend growing up from elementary through high school. We still keep in touch, but I’m on the East coast and he’s on the West.

In my email response I told him about differentiating between the works of the rabbinic law and good works mentioned elsewhere in the NT. We’ll see how it takes… :slight_smile:


#6

First, I would tell a friend who sent me an email like that, that for having an intelligent discusion there is no need to be obscene and insulting, because that is how the letter sounds. If that is what he thinks is Christian attitude, I would rather learn from someone else, who knows what is charity and patience. Does your friend have some kind of penchant for talking about excrements?

Second, I would ask them to study the letter of James, which Martin Luter called even a straw letter, becuase it does not conform to his beliefs on sola fide - which is not quite Biblical either (tellig someone that you should eat vegables and vegetables ONLY has completely different meanng, doesn’t it?) but which is just as well part of the Bible as the letters of Paul.

And yesterday, at the prayer meeting I attended there was a talk on “Not all who call me Lord…”


#7

PS.
Instead of writing it all there, I should have just recommended that you read the testimony of conversion of Scott Hahn, and give the link to your friend as well. I have not got the chance to read his book ‘Rome, Sweet Rome’, I bet that would be a good reading too

Link to his conversion story:
catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0088.html


#8

e about the Church. Here’s a snippet of an email he sent me today regarding faith, works, and Sacraments…

How do I respond to this??Firstly, if this is how a “friend” speaks to you about your faith then I would seriously question the “friendship”. I would never talk like that to a friend of mine.

Note: At the beginning on ending “[FONT=Arial]on a good, strong note like Paul” he is referring to Gal 5:11-12

[FONT=Arial]11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves![/FONT]Bring up the context and as others have advised simply ask him where he gets this from the text.

Lastly (to end this on a good, strong note like Paul), if the pope and his priests truly agree with the affirmation made by the Counsel of Trent that states,

If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed [ex opere operato], but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema (history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct07.html))

. [brackets mine: ex opere operato literally means: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”]You might simply ask him where he has specifically found the teaching of Sola Scriptura in the Bible. It’s not there and that error has allowed the myriad of other modern post reformation errors to cascade down from it.

I say then, I hope they would stuff themselves so silly with transubstanciated wafers that it would cause the worst case of constipation imaginable.

Here he’s gone into nothing more than offensive anti-Catholic polemics. Ask him if he thinks this is a Christ-like witness?

Remind him that Our Lord said very plainly, "36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. " (Matthew 12)

So that given the great length of time they would have to sit on the pot and lament over their agony, they could also think about how God’s grace can never be obtained through the act of administering a sacrament, but only through faith in His Son alone.

Really? Have him explain then why the New Testament specifically shows us the Gospel that the apostles preached, and that it contradicts his (very unkind) interpretation and comments. Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

Then maybe once they realize their error and repent, God would would have mercy on them for practicing and promoting such heresy, soften their stools, and allow them to poop in comfort and peace (Although, in actuality, constipation is going to be the least of their problems when they will eventually have to answer to God)!

Somehow, I kinda doubt they’ll be the ones accounting for much of anything like that based on what we saw earlier from Our Lord. :shrug:

Simply know that you don’t need a sacrament in order to have God’s grace conferred to you. All you need is faith in Christ.

Really? That’s not what the New Testament says about baptism in the passages I quote in that blog article above.

The pope and the Counsel of Trent have it wrong… truly, “faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace”. Just read Romans 5:1, 2.

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

He’s trying to assert that there are no Sacraments in the Bible…but of course he’s dead wrong as I show from another of my blog articles. “I Find No Sacraments In the Bible” he said.

Honestly, the next time you go to mass, you can walk right out of there and God will not care.

You might point out that Mass isn’t like his services, where that statement is actually true.

In fact, He will be pleased for 1. He is angry with the priests concerning the lie they administer each week and you walking out means you’re not partaking of it.

I’d again ask him to prove Sola Scriptura from the Bible and when he cannot without twisting scriptures and injecting interpretations onto the texts, point out that it doesn’t appear to be catholic priests who are lying to their people and with whom God might be angry. If he’s gone Pentecostal, then make him prove the rapture from the Bible and show where the early church taught that outside of the New Testament. Here again, point out that someone other than Catholic priests will likely give account of their false teachings at judgement.

And 2. You will have come to the understanding that you can stand fully in His grace simply through the faith you place in His Son.

To God, you won’t be declared anathema, but declared righteous and at peace with Him.

Amen to that!That bolded part is about all we can even remotely agree with at face value, but even then his preachers and teachers will twist it to mean something that the New Testament does not say.

In closing, I again suggest that you reassess your relationship with this person. He’s so far out line on so many levels that I have to wonder if this person is really what one would call a friend.

Also, you might point out to him the following passage from James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.[/FONT]


#9

#10

[quote=e-mail]From the Council of Trent:

If any one saith, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed [ex opere operato], but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace; let him be anathema (history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct07.html). [brackets mine: ex opere operato literally means: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”]
[/quote]

If you read this statement carefully, you can see that it affirms the teaching that Our Lord has given His sacraments to the Church by way of an EFFECTIVE means of receiving His Grace: *ex opere operato. *The clause, “faith alone in in the divine promise suffices for the obtaining of grace” affirms that “faith” MEANS “faith in Our Lord’s way of doing business” – that faith requires our personal affirmation of His Church.

You could mention to your alleged friend that “faith” is, itself, a grace and not the cause of saving grace in our soul. He also does not distinguish between kinds of grace. One receives “actual” grace (as in the grace of conversion) apart from the sacraments but we receive “sanctifying grace” – food for the journey – thrugh the sacraments.

He will reject this. But it’s a start.


#11

First, how do you define “sola scriptura”?

Second, how are you defining “proof”?

If he’s gone Pentecostal, then make him prove the rapture from the Bible and show where the early church taught that outside of the New Testament.

Why does it have to be outside of the New Testament? Isn’t the New Testament good enough?


#12

MATERIAL AND FORMAL SUFFICIENCY

Second, how are you defining “proof”?

Scripture and the writings of the early church fathers.

Why does it have to be outside of the New Testament? Isn’t the New Testament good enough?

Scripture is fine, but the passages that are used are misinterpreted and so I ask for Early Church documentation that they shared that same interpretation of scripture.

It cannot be found because it does not exist. :shrug:


#13

#14

How about 1 Thess: 6-10 (RSV) :

6]But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you –
7] for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith;
8] for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
9] For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God,
10] praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

Verse 10 shows that Paul is going there because he could not convey everything necessary for their faith in writing.

Or how about 2 Tim 2:1-2:

1]You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
2] and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

He is telling them to teach what he has taught them outside his writings…

How can you argue that Scripture alone is sufficient when St. Paul clearly believes otherwise.

If you want more references check this page: scripturecatholic.com/scripture_alone.html


#15

Here is what Wikipedia says:

Sola scriptura is one of the five solas, considered by some Protestant groups to be the theological pillars of the Reformation.[2] The key implication of the principle is that interpretations and applications of the Scriptures do not have the same authority as the Scriptures themselves; hence, the ecclesiastical authority is viewed as subject to correction by the Scriptures, even by an individual member of the Church. Luther said, “a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it”. The intention of the Reformation was to correct the perceived errors of the Catholic Church by appeal to the uniqueness of the Bible’s authority and to reject what Catholics considered to be Apostolic Tradition as a source of original authority alongside of the Bible, wherever Tradition did not have biblical support or where it supposedly contradicted Scripture.
Sola scriptura, however, does not ignore Christian history and tradition when seeking to understand the Bible. Rather, it sees the Bible as the only final authority in matters of faith and practice. As Martin Luther said, “The true rule is this: God’s Word shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so.”[3]

What I take this as saying is that if someone interprets the Scripture differently from the Church, then they can correct the Church. However, this means that the person’s interpretation could also be wrong since “interpretations and applications of the Scriptures do not have the same authority as the Scriptures themselves.”

Thoughts?


#16

Well then here’s your chance! Start a new thread and give us Catholics the correct definition of Sola Scriptura, one that all non-Catholic Christians agree on.


#17

Not my job. I am a Catholic and am not much interested in n-C apologetics except where they refer to or attack Catholicism.

If you have a good definition, then by all means bring it to the discussion in an appropriate thread and we’ll discuss/debate to your heart’s content.

“Scripture” isn’t a sufficient answer because any time I show scripture to a Catholic, they find some excuse to dismiss it.

If you say so…:shrug:

It sounds to me more like you are frustrated that what you seem to think is air tight apologetics is not as convincing as you wish it to be. There could be many reasons for that that I won’t speculate about.

You, yourself have already chosen the cheap rhetorical tactic of poisoning the well by claiming that the scriptures I will give you are misinterpreted, even though I haven’t even cited any scripture yet.

Again, if you say so, but the fact is that I have merely stated that I do not agree with the cases made for SS that I have encountered so far. If yours is better than all those then by all means bring it to the discussion and I’ll happily check it out.

And, based on my interactions with Catholics here so far, I’m betting that you’re going to claim that by “scripture isn’t a sufficient answer”, I really meant that scripture, itself, isn’t sufficient.

Whatever you say, Skip, but so far you have given me nothing to go on one way or another. I can’t help it if you don’t like the way Catholic posters here at CAF express themselves, but you haven’t exactly knocked yourself out to be exemplary in your 20 or so posts so far that I have followed in the hopes that you will actually engage me in the discussion.

If you have meat then bring it, but otherwise all this rhetoric and complaining is more like water than even baby formula, and gets us nowhere.


#18

Right on point, mercy!

Interestingly, I just read the exact same thing in a sermon I found rather inadvertently:

Where is the man, no matter what denomination, church or religion, that will deny that we are bound to believe what God has taught? I am sure there is not a Christian who will deny that we are bound to believe whatsoever God has revealed. Therefore, it is not a matter of indifference what religion a man professes. He must profess the true religion if he wants to be saved.
But what is the true religion? To believe all that God has taught. I am sure that even my Protestant friends will admit this is right, for, if they do not, I would say they are no Christians at all.

“But what is the true Faith?”

“The true Faith,” say Protestant friends, "is to believe in the Lord Jesus."
Agreed, Catholics believe in that. Tell me what you mean by believing in the Lord Jesus?

“Why,” says my Protestant friend, “you must believe that He is the Son of the Living God.”

Agreed again. Thanks be to God, we can agree on something. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, that He is God. To this we all agree, excepting the Unitarians and Socinians, but we will leave them alone tonight. If Christ be God, then we must believe all He teaches. Is this not so, my dearly beloved Protestant brethren and sisters? And that’s the right Faith, isn’t it?

“Well, yes,” says my Protestant friend, “I guess that is the right Faith. To believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, we must believe all that Christ has taught.”

We Catholics say the same, and here we agree again. We must believe all that Christ has taught, that God has revealed. Without this Faith, there is no salvation. Without this Faith, there is no hope of Heaven. Without this Faith, there is eternal damnation! We have the words of Christ for it, “He that believeth not shall be condemned.”

drbo.org/church.htm


#19

I guess my reaction would have been pretty negative like asking him,“What did you swallow that gave you such diarrhea of the mouth?” Actually he is probably convinced that as a Catholic you are damned and he wants to “save” you. If you had a friend that you were convinced was going to hell wouldn’t you reach out and try to help him?


#20

Seems to me your friend has run out of arguement and now has to resort to insults to try to cover.

Good luck and God Bless


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