Do fundamentalists ask others to pray for them and loved ones? I would hope so! Saint Paul did the same. Fundamentalists ask for the intercession of friends and neighbors and fellow Church goers all the time! If Christ is the one mediator (and Catholics agree he is), how does this help? Shouldn’t they just go straight to Christ? Doesn’t asking others to also pray undermine Christ’s role? According to this fundamentalist, it must, but obviously the answer must be it doesn’t, unless you want to call Saint Paul a heretic! The truth is fundamentalists do this all the time, they just don’t use the word “intercession.”
The saints in heaven are more alive than we are. They are in God’s presence. They are his friends. We ask for their intercession. Their position makes them good prayers and more effective interceders on our behalf. And those in heaven do hear our prayers, as evidenced in Revelation. We venerate them too because in doing so we also venerate Christ.
On images, this is false and doesn’t understand how idolatry worked in ancient times, when people actually believed a spirit was literally in the idol. Catholics do not believe depictions of angels and saints and Jesus contain spirits. We also don’t treat them as gods. The Israelites themselves were commanded to carve golden Cherubim (wait… Angels which are in heaven?!) on the ark of the covenant, and the temple veil was also very decorated as well. Plus there is more, about God now having revealed himself to us visibly in Jesus, that as Jesus said, those who have seen him have also seen the Father. I’m sure there’s much more that can be said here.
On Mary… Listen, this fundamentalist doesn’t understand the saints, he obviously won’t understand Mary without that basis. Fundamentalists also fail to see Jesus as ruling over a functioning kingdom. Jesus is the heir of David. He is a Davidic king. This is the fulfillment of the covenant with David. In the Davidic Kingdom, the King’s mother was widely recognized as the Queen, even over the King’s wife (or wives). The Queen Mother had a venerated role within the court. Many petitioners went to her instead of the king with their petitions, knowing requests coming from her would more likely be honored. The kings treated their Queen Mothers with great respect. But this in no way undermined the fact that the King was the highest authority, that he was the annointed one, the Son of God. The Davidic Kingdom serves as a type for Jesus’ own kingship. Mary has a functional role in her son’s kingdom. That’s not because God has limitations (he doesn’t), it’s just how he’s seen fit to do things. Jesus was a faithful Jew. He is God, but he’s also fully human, and honors his mother as a son and king should.
If Christ explicitly and absolutely told us to call no man Father, then why do we call our biological fathers father? Either it’s an absolute or it isn’t. It would also be problematic for Saint Paul, considering he many times likened himself to a father to his churches. Christ used hyperbole in his teachings (if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off). This is no different.
The author clearly demonstrates ignorance on the Church’s position on homosexuals (the Church acknowledges that same sex attraction is an issue for some members, but in no uncertain terms condemns homosexual activities… The author acts like we embrace practicing homosexuals as if it’s not sinful).
I already discussed infant baptisms, but to add… Nowhere in scripture is it implied or even hinted at that we should only baptize adults. Paul himself mentions baptizing whole households.
The author mischaracterized what we believe about muslims… No surprise…
On purgatory… If we are completely perfected in Christ as the author claims, why do we still sin? If we’re cleansed, why are we still faulty? We are all sinners up to when we die. Do fundamentalists believe we go to heaven and continue to act the same way? Are we unchanged such that we still lie and feel envy and suffer from all our earthly sinfulness? Or is there some change when we get to heaven, so that when we get there we no longer sin? So a change between earthly life and heaven? Hmmm… That doesn’t sound so different than what I believe after all.
Catholics believe fully in God’s forgiveness, but we also believe God is just. The idea that he is all forgiveness and mercy without justice is a false doctrine and why so many people have problems with the idea of hell and many go so far as to reject hell. (There are no limits to his forgiveness, but he is fully just, too) Also, the author calls Purgatory a place, but it’s technically more of a state, of a process. As Paul said, do we not make up in our sufferings what is lacking in Christ? Lacking in Christ… Paul’s own words but very hard to justify from a fundamentalist point of view.
The fundamentalist also dismisses 1 Cor 3:15 rather quickly. The work is burned, but it is the PERSON that is saved only through fire.