I have 2 friends and they absolutly will not believe that jesus Christ founded the church. One is a Assembly of God member and the other is a Methodist. They both get angry if I bring it up. Any advise about how to deal with these guy’s. I do like them but if they won’t give the catholic church it right place I don’t know if I should hang around them. AOG is known for there anti-catholic stance I believe.
My friends have made comments like - The church is inside you, that Jesus did not start anyone particular church and of course they are Bible only christians. Which is odd because they believe in the bible only, but they some how always interpret any scripture having to do with the church wrong. They especially will not allow that Peter was the head of the apostles. Let alone the first Pope. I don’t know it just bothers me because they will have to answer someday for their talk against the church. I would like to help them But I am thinking it’s a lost cause.
Acts 15:1-31. Here a VISIBLE Church council had to be called to settle serious doctrinal issues (specifically that the gentiles did not have to be circumcised). Verses like 28 “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements” clearly show the Holy Spirit was guiding them to infallibly teach.
2)Acts 16:4 “As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.” Here we have disciples traveling all over the country delivering these decrees to be obeyed.
Your friends will have a hard time explaining away those passages. At the same time dont push it too much, if they are not open then there isnt much you can do in the way of apologetics.
I suspect that what they don’t believe is that the Catholic Church is THE Church founded by Jesus. They may believe the “one holy and universal Christian Church” which includes all genuine believers in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, and the Protestant denominations, etc.
I agree that this is likely how your friends perceive it. The good news is that you can logically debunk this. The bad news is that if their hearts aren’t open to the truth, no matter how bluntly in their faces you show it, they’ll always have a way to dance around the Scriptures.
If you want to take a shot at it, though, here is how you can prove that the “invisible church” was NOT the Church that Christ founded.
Now, you’ve probably used Matthew 16:18 ad nauseum. They aren’t willing to accept Peter. Well, that’s not the part of the verse to focus upon. Focus on, “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Then, juxtapose that with what Jesus said about a divided kingdom in Matthew 12:15. Point out the fact that the “invisible church” is divided nearly 30,000 ways(and that is just formally speaking.) So, if a divided kingdom can not stand, yet the gates of Hell can not prevail against the Church that Jesus founded, we can CONCLUSIVELY say that the Church that Jesus founded was not, “The invisible church.”
Now, your friends may try to retort with, “the invisible church is united in Christ.” Explain that such is not even the case. Some believe that Jesus died so that all you have to do is “accept” Him, and you are guaranteed eternal salvation from that “one time” moment on. Others believe that Jesus died so that we can be forgiven, and attain Heaven only if we continue to abide in Him to the end.
No matter what verse in scripture you show them, no matter what ECF you quote, none of this will convince your friends of the fullness of the truth UNTIL the Holy Spirit opens their hearts.
Case in Point: Just read all the information provided right here in this forum. Posters with knowledge that I can only dream of having, have provided sites and sources that show what/when/how/why the Catholic Church is the True Church established by Jesus Christ Himself. Still though, there are many in these forums who still do not believe, and given the mountain of evidence, this baffles my simple mind.:shrug:
Another poster said it right though, show the trueness of the faith simply by How you live the faith and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
If you value their friendship stick with them. In the first place most friends do not agree on everything anyway. Now if they are constantly knocking your beliefs they are not very good friends. Friends accept that the other is other and not a clone of ones self. Barring serious character defects and antagonism on their part continue to be a friend and preach by example, not words.
Don’t bring it up. If THEY bring it up, just say that the Catholic Church has the paper trail through scripture and history. It’s not a matter of theology, it’s a point of historic fact. The Methodist should get that because the mainstream Reformation churches acknowledge that there WAS a break with the ongoing historic Church. They might have cooked up a theology about that but they usually recognize the FACTS.
The AOG person probably won’t acknowledge any of it. Just hold to the history. They can quibble about the theology and can mount a case based on “corruption”, but the CC has the history.
If they are honestly friends then I’m sure you have many things in common that you could discuss.
If they’re an evangelization project then it appears you’re going about it the wrong way because you’re making them angry and if they’re angry they’re not going to be open to hearing about your faith.
Consider Paul’s approach at the Aereopagus. "Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you” (Acts 17: 22-23). He met the Athenians where they were, treated their beliefs with respect, and then took them to the next step.
Honestly I would say don’t bring it up. If they want to have a friendly discussion get out the Bible and a good history text book. Otherwise just ignore it. Most of my friends are anti-Christian as it is and I just ignore it.