How do I defend Catholicism against Baptists?

My wifes family is Baptists, most don’t go to church. They knock our church a lot, I’m afraid to go head to head with the ones who do know their faith, because even though I am a lifelong Catholic, I am just starting to take my faith seriously. I just don’t know if I can defend Catholicism well enough yet? Can anyone help?

Most of them are probably so rooted in their hatred of what they percieve and have been taught about the Cathoic Church that nothing you say could convince them otherwise. My mother in law is of Baptist origin and doesn’t go to church because she cant’ seem to find one to suits her. The best thing I have found to do is memorize the Scripture you need in order to have a reply for them when they start bashing. They probably have the benefit of years of Sunday school memorization of selected bits of Scripture to forward their theology… but I daresay many would be surprised to find that the Catholic Church and beliefs are clearly layed out in Scripture. All you can do is memorize some replies. I will get them to you later today.

I’m Baptist (waiting on RCIA classes).

If you and your wife strive to live good Christian lives, then others who have “eyes to see and ears to hear” will see the Love of the Lord through your daily lives.

Stay-at-home people who know better but stay at home anyway. God has to draw them. Pray for God’s scourging and mercy.

Hebrews 12:6 “for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.”

Tobit 13:2 “For He scourges and then has Mercy; He casts down to the depths of the nether world, and He brings up from the great abyss. No one can escape His Hand.”


I think that if you go to and absorb the information in the short tracts there, you will at least have some foundation for a defense of the Church. For a further (and deeper) understanding of what you’re up against, I would recommend Karl Keating’s “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”.

I have to warn you—my experience with Baptists has not been very positive. I have been able to discuss, in a reasonably charitable and rational way, differences with Lutherans and Evangelicals. But the Baptists I have come across seem completely uninterested in reason (in fact, it seems to be denigrated or at least treated with suspicion). Thundering Bible verses at me seemed to be the response to anything and everything, when they weren’t insulting me or my Church. So, I guess what I’m saying is that yes, you need to be able to defend your Faith and (and this forum) can help. However, don’t expect that any amount of reason will change their opinions.

Good luck…


I forgot to mention one item: your Baptist in-laws may subscribe to the (false and ridiculous) notion that the Catholic Church killed millions and millions of “true believers” (i.e., Baptists) through the centuries. It’s a popular notion in some Baptist circles, and so you need to be prepared for it. Here’s one source, an article from former Baptist Stephen Ray:

Well, I hope that link works! In case it doesn’t, go to, and under “resources” click on “writings”, and then “Steve Ray’s”. If you scroll down you will see an article on the “Trail of Blood”. It will really help you to know the basic history of Baptists. There are many different Baptist denominations, however, so I imagine there are varying doctrines and varying levels of hate for Catholicism.

I haven’t spoken too much with baptists- my little experience seemed to tell me they buy into some ideas advanced by the SDAs concerning catholics (the pope is the ant-christ, the church is the whore of babylon…blah blah blah)
They also seemed preoccupied with the fact that pretty much everyone was going to hell.

I would read Patrick Madrid’s Pope Fiction to counter their attacks on the papacy.

Anything by Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Steve Wood, Patrick Madrid…would be excellent.

Marcus Grodi’s show on EWTN is a good source.


I forgot to mention one item: your Baptist in-laws may subscribe to the (false and ridiculous) notion that the Catholic Church killed millions and millions of “true believers” (i.e., Baptists) through the centuries.

Absolutely, I had to struggle quite a bit with distrust on this very topic. The recent desecration at Lourdes may also play into the devil’s hands. I researched one of the massacres that Jack Chick said in one of his books. And found that it had at least slight inaccuracies.


I have to say that I admire your strength…I say “strength”, because it seems to me that it would take a great deal of it to persist in a spiritual search that has apparently led you to a place that so directly contradicts what you were taught earlier. You have had great obstacles to overcome—more than, say, a convert from Lutheranism or Episcopalianism. Blessings to you…

“Slight” inaccuracies? Heh heh heh

How true. I almost hope that I’ll be separate not to confuse the rest of the RCIA class. My experiences have been way too unique. I probably struggled with things most others will not have thought about. I cannot speak about some things, but rather let them go.

I also did quite a bit of unpaid evangelism work years ago. I used to order Jack Chick’s “This Was Your Life” by the box (at least once). But I never gave out his anti-Catholic messages.

Regarding the inquisition. I shouldn’t have had to explore the Gnostics (they host some material on the Internet – perhaps not publicly but some well-known search engines grab and store cached content). I did only a very looking one day. What I found was as close to satanism as you could get. This is a family forum.

Warning: Don’t research Gnostics. Their material is quite satanic.

I hate to say this. I admire the Church’s inquisition and attempted destruction of the Gnostics. The Church happened to have the power and authorization to do that many years ago. I can’t blame them when it comes to Gnostics. My faith is perhaps not strong enough at this time to research other kinds of heretics.

Read the book of Tobit and 1 Kings 12:26-33. I think it shows quite clearly how many, many Jewish people died as a result of the wicked King Jeroboam’s error. Many Jews died spiritually by being deceived (and then going to the wrong side of the abyss in sheol). Many Jews died in captivity. King Jeroboam made a false Judaism (false priesthood, idols, false places to worship, make worship easier, more convenient, a false and cheap salvation). Today, I think that a new Protestant schism – “the Grace Movement” might be fairly close to Jeroboam’s error.

I always liked Bishop Sheen (I grew up in New York). On June 19 this year, he practically gave me his book “Life is Worth Living”. I was in the Catholic bookstore and wasn’t going to buy it because it was full price (I’ve been out of work lately). But the one underneath said “DISCOUNTED – COVER PUT ON UPSIDE DOWN”. I knew if it took a miracle for him to reach me that way, that he wanted me to read and study that book. I finished reading it and will re-read it again.

With all the Jack Chick, Alberto Rivera, Inquisitions, etc. It had to take a few miracles I suppose. Look under Spirituality “To Protestants becoming/ have became Catholic,Why the Catholic Church?” posts 7, 8 and 9.

I was raised Southern Baptist. My parents are both Sunday School teachers, and my dad is a deacon. Everyone in my family are Southern Baptist. I will say that that particular denominitation tend to have some of the most extreme views on what Christianity is.

One of the thinks I’ve done is to point out the areas of similarties. Confirmation is the equivelent of “getting saved.” It’s not the same concept, but it is a point of making a conscious decision professing your faith. When my mom found out that there was actually a time where Catholics actually profess their faith, she was shocked.

One of the other areas that I found easy to get my parents to understand is praying to Mary and the Saints. I pointed out that if you listen to the prayers, they always say, “pray for me”. The typical response is, “you don’t have to have somebody pray to Jesus for you. You can do that yourself.” The response I give is something like, “Of course I can, but have you ever asked anyone to pray for you. It’s the same thing.” They might not agree with you, but they’ll see that you are not worshiping Mary and Saints.

My main point is, when dealing with Baptist, before they will talk to you sensibly, they have to get a bit of an understanding of what it is they’re dealing with. When they see that Catholics do make a profession of faith, and they don’t worship Mary and the Saints, it’s much easier to have a conversation with them. Trying to explain the whole doctrine of Mary can become messy, so early on, that’s a topic that’s best left undiscussed.

Once you’re able to talk to them. The whole issue of sola scriptura eventually comes up. What I’ve begun asking my family members is something like, “Ok. We know what the Bible says, but what does that mean? What has it always been taught to mean?” By this point you’ll need to know a little about the writings of the Church Fathers. Point out how the people that put the Bible together taught it. The people that were there, have a better understanding of what it means than people 1500 or 2000 years later. That’s the point I’m at with my family right now. They understand that Catholics are Christians. They know we worship only the Triune God. No matter what verse they quote, and be careful that they don’t takes things out of context, I come back with how has it always been taught. That totally stumps them. They have no decent response. I believe that if eventually they see that there is no response, they might eventually consider the Catholic Church. I don’t expect my parents to do so, but I’m hoping and praying for my sisters, neices, and nephew.

I’ve kind of gotten off subject, so I’ll end this by saying that I know Baptist like the back of my hand. I can tell you how they’re going to respond to certain lines of questioning. I’ve taught Sunday School in a Baptist Church before. I know what you’re dealing with. Feel free to contact me with the private mail. If you find this useful, I’ll give you my email.

Good Luck

Here is an idea for you.

One of the most famous and respected Baptists today is Mr. Chuck Colson, the former Nixon “hatchet man” who became a Christian the middle of Watergate, went to prison for his crimes, and afterwards, wrote the classic book “Born Again.”

He also founded a wonderful organization called “Prison Fellowship.” They do projects like “Angel Tree,” and “Shoebox Christmas.” It’s possible that your Catholic Church might have been involved with Prison Fellowship.

Mr. Colson is known in Protestant circles as an intellectual, and is accepted and admired by almost all evangelicals.

About ten years ago, he started meeting with Catholics, and eventually, started an organization called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together. "(ECT). There is a thread on this forum about this organization.

Ask your Baptist relatives how they feel about ECT and Mr. Chuck Colson. Encourage them to take a look at his book, “Being the Body,” a FANTASTIC book in which Mr. Colson points out the dire necessity of Catholics and Evangelicals working together, side by side, to advance the Kingdom of Christ and to defeat the enemy, the devil.

I would really recommend that you buy a copy of this book and read it. You will be much encouraged by the attitudes that Mr. Colson is promoting towards Catholics. And you will have a great book to loan to your Baptist friends and relatives. It even has a Study Guide in the back, so you could ask them if they’d like to start a Study Group and go through this book! (Fun, fun, but Baptists go for that sort of thing.)

Well it won’t be easy. I am from Texas…one of them bible thumpin, hand clappin, bible totin states.
Got a hold of some Baptist propaganda ( I guess you could call it thatt)…somthin about a blood trail…us Catholics are supposed to have killed millions of Baptist…leaves you at a bit of a loss for conversation if they believe any of that. Conversation is a two-way street…most baptists that I have run into won’t want to hear just want to speak…a while back got into a brief discussion with a lady at the service station…She queried…“What religion are you” I answered “Catholic…”…She replied “Oh you’re not Christian.”… so the next time I had a similar opportunity I queried “What religion are you???” She responded “Baptist”…yep then tacky me responded "Oh, you are not Christian…huh?"
MY advice would be to live your Catholic faith and your joy and peace that it gives you will sooner or later prompt a question from your Baptist brothers and sisters…“Where did all that joy and peace come from?”…Then ya got a discussion opportunity…

My wife is the one well versed in the bible and apologetics. The JW’s show up and I turn her loose and just enjoy watchin…oh yeah part of their job is to get an invite back into your home…We always invite them back…nobody’s showed up yet. Same story with the Mormoms…a little knowledge goes a long way.

CAT, How do you defend your Catholic Faith against Baptists?

First, realise that this is not a new question. The Baptists from Dallas, Texas railed against John F. Kennedy’s run for the presidency because he was R. Catholic. They were viscious! You cannot convince a rabbid Baptist by attacking his religion. Don’t even try. :wink:
What you do when forced, is to be able to state and explain the central core of Catholocism! Just start with the Apostle’s Creed, break it down into 12 or 13 parts. They will agree with most of them.:thumbsup:

Then go to Matthew 16: v 17 - 19. These verses indeputablly tell us that Jesus Christ built His Church on the “Rock” - Peter. He gave the keys to the Kingdom of God to Peter. If that is true then Peter was/is the First Leader/Christ’s Vicar on Earth or the first Pope (from papas or papa, Father). If Peter was the Rock upon which Jesus built His Church, then any other Church was not authorized by Jesus. You hold fast to the fact that your Catholic Church was Scripurally endorsed, was spopken by Jesus Christ into being. Jesus didn’t build another Church except the one He built on St. Peter. He said that He would always be with the church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

Stick with that one Biblical entry…Matthew 16:v 17-19! If that is true then the Catholic Church is the one true Church.:slight_smile:

How do you answer the common “once saved, always saved” idea that Baptists and Evangelicals preach?

I am Baptist waiting the start of RCIA.

[quote=Exporter]You cannot convince a rabbid Baptist by attacking his religion. Don’t even try.

Yes, very difficult indeed. Keep in mind, however, that Baptist Churches are each somewhat unique. And that there are several Baptist “denominations”. Southern Baptist. American Baptist. Trinity Baptist. National Baptist (me).

[quote=Exporter]Just start with the Apostle’s Creed… They will agree with most of them.

I always loved the Apostle’s Creed and never had any problem with any of it.

[quote=Exporter]Then go to Matthew 16: v 17 - 19. These verses indisputably tell us that Jesus Christ built His Church on the “Rock” - Peter.

Unfortunately, there are several major ways to look at those verses. The real clincher for me is to see that and Isaiah 22:22-25 together. To see how the “Key of the House of David” worked and to understand that it was the type for the Keys of the Church given to St. Peter. Otherwise, the Eastern Orthodox understanding of Mt 16:17-19 is an easy way to deny the Roman Catholic view.

Anyway, for me the big issue was transubstantiation. That I had thought it pretty much all along (taking the Bible literally as Baptists do everywhere else). And the new minister at our Church shows up and says “symbolic” over and over and over. I couldn’t see why Jesus wouldn’t mean what He said on such an important matter. Anyway, I had to disregard the Bible on transubstantiation and instead looked at the fruit. I looked at those Roman Catholics who have indeed influenced my life by their writing or by their lives.

The scriptural backing for my method of determination is John 7:15-20. The context of John 7:15-20 is set up in John 7:13-14. I’m paraphrasing: The correct way that leads to life is narrow. Those who find it are few. There are many false prophets. And how can I determine the right way if I am lost. If I am a lost sheep, how can I find the Good Shepherd?

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.”
“So by their fruits you will know them.”

Bishop Sheen. Father Damian. And the local Benedictine Sisters here in Manassas VA.

I conclude that those Roman Catholics had displayed the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Idol worshipers don’t display the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Heretics don’t either. So their lives to me are the proof. It is illogical to me to conclude that these who think transubstantiation are frying in hell for heresy or idol worship. When they showed so much of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The scriptures in John 7:13-20 are not subject to debate. They are plain. So God forgive me if I am wrong. Because I am not a Bible Scholar. I decided to go where I see some have borne much fruit.

Prayer is obviously required. It literally took at least one minor miracle to convince me (I have read most of Jack Chick’s material). And who knows how many miracles I didn’t see? So prayer is needed.

I also suspect that if you can somehow get the Baptist person to intentionally bless themselves with Holy Water it may start a work.

When JFK was shot, like many other children I felt sorry for that little boy on TV who was holding his mother’s hand (he was smaller than me). He didn’t have his daddy any more. When Jr’s plan went down, for some reason I thought just in case the Catholics are right I’m going over to All Saints Catholic Church and pray for him to be found. I went in the empty Church, blessed myself with Holy Water, said a simple prayer to Mary by all the candles, lit a candle and may have put a token donation in the poor box. Man is that Baptist crazy or what? Well, I always felt some child-like love for John F. Kennedy, Jr. (perhaps like so many other Americans my age). I know that is how miracles can happen. With Faith, Hope and Love. When they were found dead I thought to myself “well my praying didn’t help.” Perhaps it helped me instead.

Biblical Truth for Baptists:

I was wanting to read another anti-Catholic thing on Jack Chick’s web site tonight (so I could be more sure of myself). And their website is currently down.

See what I mean that it has taken miracles?
Maybe God wants me to start ignoring the lies more at this time.

I am an ex-Baptist Bible-thumper myself (can I get a Hallelujah!) My whole family is Baptist. (can you say Amen!)

First and foremost, live out you faith. Pray with them. Pray for them. Be faithful in Mass attendance. Make your Christianity the center of your life and charity you motto.

Second, be acquainted with some of the great apologetic materials, as mentioned above. Know your faith.

Finally, realize that in most instances a family member will be the last person they want to talk to. If you so get a chance, you ask questions and take the role of a student. As the questions are answered, make the follow-up question more difficult. For example:

Catholic: Well, how does your church teach that one obtains heaven?
Baptist: By the blood of the lamb, praise Jesus. You just have to pray this prayer and your faith alone will save you!
Catholic: How does James view of faith alone fit in?

There was a great article a year or so ago in This Rock on this. I cannot remember the issue, but you could call the apologist lin and ask them.

hi i was hoping for a this thread, thank god it came . iam at this moment taking a bible studies with baptists an i tell you it hasn’t been fun. this is my first time in a bible study. iam living in killeen texas an i tell you there is only one catholic church in this town the rest are protestants specially day i was approach by the moderator she ask me so many questions about me been catholic, idolatry , the scriptures etc, at the time i couldn’t answer her i was lost. so after that encountered i decided to counterattack so first i went to the father of my parish and then to the website specially catholic answers online i made copies that i later give to her. the one that got to her the most was the one about sola scriptura, since then our friedship have change. even do iam attending this classes wish i can wait to finish she made me promise not to pray to the virgin or the saints. the only thing about that is that i still pray to them but in spanish an in silence. not only that one of the protestant gave me a king james bible which iam not using an they already invite me to their church. the only good thing about this approach was that it make me more catholic than ever. god bless :smiley:

[quote=mainelyned]How do you answer the common “once saved, always saved” idea that Baptists and Evangelicals preach?


Baptists, like many other fundamentalists, often confuse redemption with salvation. All of us are redeemed, through the finished work of Christ. Salvation for a fundamentalist is attained through a “personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord of your life”. That’s it. Nothing can change it. The problem is that a circular argument then proceeds from that idea. Once one simply accepts Jesus, he/she’s saved. Good works aren’t a requirement of salvation, they’re merely a SIGN of election. So what happens when they reject him later? Then he didn’t lose his salvation, he was never really saved to begin with! If that’s the case, then no one who accepts this tenent ever really knows if they’re been saved (not to mention whether they can lose it or not), because one never truly knows what they will do in the future. They may reject Christ on their deathbed. Realizing that this is attempting to use logic on some who may be illogical in their thought pattern (and I apologize if I seem to be stereotyping all fundamentalists), you’ll need to be able to quote some Scripture.

How about these:

Hebrews 10:26 - “If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins but a fearful prospect of judgement and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries.”

Matthew 7:21 - “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” shall enter the kingdom of heaven.”

1 Corinthians 9:27 - “I buffet my own body, and make it my slave; or I, who have preached to others, may myself be rejected as worthless.” But don’t read this passage alone, lest you come up with a way to twist it to mean what a fundamentalist wants it to read. Add it to…

Phillipians 2:12 - “So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Paul doesn’t write as though he feels he’s locked in an assurance of salvation. He sounds more like one who knows what it takes to attain salvation, but that it’s a lifelong process. A “race” as he states in another passage.

Paul also said in Romans 2:6 that God “will repay everyone according to his works.” (I thought works were useless?) And…

2 Corinthians 5:10 - “For we all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to WHAT he DID in the body, whether good or evil.” (Why should what anyone does in the body matter a lick if all you need to do is make a personal acceptance of Christ? We might as well all just "eat, drink, and be merry!)

More could be sited, but I hope this helps. God bless!

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