Help discussing Fundamentalism/Sola Scriptura/Sacraments/the Church

Assemblies of God/Fundamentalists
How to explain to them the Truth of the Catholic Church teachings to their…:
-fundamentalist approach? (Sola scriptura, only needing the Bible to find the answers, etc)
-belief that church means a body of people in Christ
-belief that Baptism and Holy Communion are symbolic
-Any other major concept they would throw at you?

I feel they barely listen to you, and only say things like “only the Bible says the truth,” and basically deny Jesus establishing the Catholic Church.

This goes into my last question for now; those that do not follow a denomination, think they don’t need the Church, so what is a concrete explanation for why you need one?

I know a lot about this, but I wanted more concrete answers. Thank you!

I think our time is better spent learning our own faith. Don’t spend a lot of effort trying to explain to others why they are wrong.

The simpliest response to sola scriptura is that it is not found anywhere in scripture. If one is going to use a standard that everything must be in the Bible, doesn’t it stand to reason that this principle would be in the bible?

This is accurate, it is just deficient. The Church is the body of people in Christ, but it is a lot more also. Fundamentalists reject all the Scriptures that reference authority in the Church, or that Jesus intended to found a visible Church. They also do not know that the Church they reject is the one that compiled the Bible they use to hit us over the head.

When I am talking to Fundamentalits, I just focus on Baptism, since the Scriptures are full of the regenerative nature of it. Once one can accept the sacramental nature of baptism it is easier to talk about Eucharist.

Invite them to come to CAF! :smiley:

Yes, this is why you will not get very far. You may make more of an impact living a good Christian life in front of them.

Jesus would not have founded a Church if He did not think it was important.

Ask if they will pray with you.

Thank you for your reply!
You are right, I will not try too much to have them accept the fact Jesus establishes the Church.
I said a few good points about the Church, and now I cannot do much because my points are ignored.
Thanks again!

Pray for them every day, that is the most loving thing you may be able to do.

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them. God can do wonders where we can’t. Jesus even insisted for the Catholic world to pray for Protestants in the fifth prayer of the Novena of the Divine Mercy. He insisted on these prayers so that they (the Protestants) will receive His Graces to know the better.

Point out the fact that in the early church there was not a NT “canon” of Scripture for the early Christians to gain the foundational and essential teachings of Christianity. All they had were the oral teachings of Christ through the Apostles and over time, written letters (the Epistles) written to various churches. In fact, by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage in the late 4th century/early 5th century, there were over 200 letters in circulation among the churches. The narrowed canon of only 27 NT books came after much study and debate regarding the authenticity, inspiration, etc. of the writings by these councils. The canon was AUTHORITATIVELY decided by a church hierarchy and structure that functioned much more like the Catholic Church today than a fictional/supposed invisible church :shrug:

Any Christian who claims that the NT canon of Scripture is entirely and completely the Word of God by virtue also gives credibility to the Church who actually determined what the canon was! It didn’t fall out of Heaven neatly packaged in a leathered book. Finally, the reason that the councils were even hammering out which books belonged in the canon was to determine which writings could be read at Mass!

Also point out that Bibles were not readily available to the vast majority of all Christians until the 15th century. If the Bible alone is the sole rule of faith, why would Jesus ascend into Heaven and not leave the Apostles a neatly packaged book? Why wasn’t the printing press invented sooner? Why would it have been so hard for the average Christian to own a Bible that cost more than a house? Jesus didn’t leave a book when He went back to Heaven; He left a Church with Authority (by and through the Apostles)!

Furthermore, the Bible itself does not claim to be the pillar and foundation of truth. The Bible says the Church is in 1 Timothy 3:15. The assumption that the Bible alone is the only authority is an extra-Biblical presupposition not found in the early teachings and tradition of the Church. The Bible also does not say that if two Christians have a disagreement with each other that they should just keep reading the Bible to find the answer. The Bible says to “tell it to the church” (Matthew 18:15-17)…which church:Assembly of God, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian? Certainly an invisible church cannot settle disputes, can it?

-belief that Baptism and Holy Communion are symbolic

Familiarize yourself with the early church fathers, especially Ignatius of Antioch, Iraneous of Lyons, St. Clement of Rome, etc. The writings of the early fathers make it very clear what the earliest Christians believed and practiced. Hint: *Baptism and Holy Communion weren’t symbols to them. *

-Any other major concept they would throw at you?

I’m going to PM you a list of wonderful apologetic material that helped me immensely in my swim across the Tiber :slight_smile:

I feel they barely listen to you, and only say things like “only the Bible says the truth,” and basically deny Jesus establishing the Catholic Church.

This goes into my last question for now; those that do not follow a denomination, think they don’t need the Church, so what is a concrete explanation for why you need one?

We have some friends like this. It boils down that they want to be their own pope. They struggle with authority issues and when you look at their lives, that pattern is evident in everything they said and did and persists into adulthood. All you can do is pray and give them the resources. Give them copies of the resources I’m about to send your way. Really, you don’t have to say a whole lot because there’s no need to “reinvent the wheel.” The vast majority of the apologists I’m about to send you are converts themselves and set out to prove the Church wrong. Above all else, they were intellectually and scholastically honest and many gave up their careers as Protestant pastors for the sake of Truth. Their works are filled with information that can easily refute all the claims that you’ve already mentioned.

I think the best way to get someone to listen to you is listen to them. If your going to shout down my beliefs as heretical ramblings of a crazy person, I’m not gonna be in a listening mood.

I’ve had several good discussions with a Catholic young lady I met on the local mass transit train. She convinced me to read some Catholic apologetics and even got me to join this site and attend mass once. I can guarantee you she wouldn’t have been as successful as she was if she tried to force Catholicism down my throat or wasn’t willing to read some of the stuff I suggested to her. I figured it was a fair trade, I read a Catholic Apologists work (Rome sweet Home) and she reads a book about general Christian living (not from a Catholic perspective, but I think it would be pretty neutral at best).

A two-way dialogue between Christians, I find, is far more effective, than one side preaching at the other.

(This is only about Christian-Christian discussions. I strongly urge caution when dealing with other religions. Be steadfast in your belief and in the Grace, Love, and Power of Christ first.)

Excellent advice TxGodfollower. :thumbsup:

I’ll also add that if you have access to a smartphone and can download the CALive app, the Catholic Answers broadcast for November 16th is dedicated to Protestant callers and there is MUCH wonderful info in the responses of Trent Horn to the Protestant objections.

I never argue. Remember first and foremost that we are all brothers and sister in Christ, that we all belong to the Body of Christ.
Get a copy of Pat Malone’s Where is That in the Bible? He shows how a simple 6 word sentence can be interpreted 6 different ways depending on where a person places the emphasis.
When discussing scripture, use a Revised Standard Version Bible. This way you have a common translation that is accepted by most denominations. That would be the one to carry with you.
Many non-Catholics do not understand the Catholic Faith. A copy of the Catholic Answer Bible will show you the scriptural basis for many of the Catholic Church’s teachings.
Mostly when I am talking to my non-Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ, I simply talk about Faith. After a short time they will ask where I go to Church and are surprised to discover that I am a Catholic. I have by that time already dispelled them of the myths they have concerning Catholic teaching. Dialogue is a two way conversation. The stronger you become in your own Faith, the more open others will be to hearing what you have to say. Be open to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide your speech.

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