I'm finally getting a hardcore protestant to see the truth!


#1

I think, hopefully, he’s going to be seeing just a little light soon. I’m almost there, I think. This has been an ongoing debate for over a month now and I finally think I’m really getting the better of it. I’ve felt all along that I’ve been winning it, but he simply refuses to take what I tell him to heart. He has somehow, sadly, gotten his brain re-wired so he is incapable of seeing reason.
Here’s how one part started (the part I’m finally getting through to him on): he claimed that Catholics worship saints. I explained to him that we pray WITH them, not TO them. But veneration and paying respect = worship in his mind. He claimed that ALL, and I repeat ALL statues, pictures, images, whatever, of saints are graven images. Now, after about a month of pounding away, he has said that (when I asked him if he keeps any pictures of his family because he quoted “no images of blah blah blah”; basically no images of anything) “well, I suppose they are Ok if they are not in a church.” so now I’ve gotten him to admit that saints are OK in the home, at least. Oh, exept for bible saints, because he claims that’s adding to the bible.

Well, a little progress is better than none, I suppose. Any suggestions on good sources to refer him to? Or that I might be able to use for my case?


#2

Pray, pray, pray, I try to pray for all the people I talk to about the faith. In additon pray for humility and for you to be an effective instrument of God’s love.

This is great news that he is coming around, if you could get him to listen or read some Catholic material to get his opinion on it would be helpful. It is great to hear from Catholics like you who witness for the faith, keep it up!

I really love the simplicity of John Martignoni’s talks and the price, free!
www.biblechristiansociety.com

Maybe some Tim Staples, there are some good CD’s from
www.Saintjoe.com

God Bless
Scylla


#3

I too love John’s stuff. He has a great down to earth approach that’s easy to follow and hits the points well.

CARose


#4

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]he claimed that Catholics worship saints. I explained to him that we pray WITH them, not TO them.
[/quote]

Never understood that. Haven’t heard it either as I don’t hang with those Prots who I understand believe it. Over and over on the net I see Catholics refute it definatively.
And seen the same posters (not on this forum) once refuted, come back in a week or two and start up the same stuff.

Seems to me that objection is a false one. There is something else behind it.

Something less easy to throw out.


#5

[quote=David_Paul]Never understood that. Haven’t heard it either as I don’t hang with those Prots who I understand believe it. Over and over on the net I see Catholics refute it definatively.
And seen the same posters (not on this forum) once refuted, come back in a week or two and start up the same stuff.

Seems to me that objection is a false one. There is something else behind it.

Something less easy to throw out.
[/quote]

Authority, plain and simple (well not so simple for some). May God grant them the Grace to Love through Mercy and Justice and embrace the Truth in a spirit of Humility and Obedience. Thanks and God Bless.


#6

Well as a “Hardcore Protestant” myself let me say that for us the best example you can give is that of intercessory prayer. My best friend is RC and he and I had many a talk about this. I still don’t agree with it but I have no real moral dilemma with it.

If you tell him it would be like asking an uncle to pray for you because he went through the same thing and you respect how he dealt with it I think that would be a good example. Of course for us it’s still a weird issue. For me I do believe it can be a stumbling block for those who are un-educated in Catholic doctrine. I remember one of my friends fathers (A RC who was just that in name) told his son who was studying to be a pastor (protestant denomination) that he had pain in his heart and prayed to the picture of Mary he kept on his wall to take the pain away.

Well as a Christian I have a problem with that because you going to the wrong source. Asking for her to “pray the father” (I hope I got the terminology right) would have been something most would understand as she is supposed to be the saint of mercy (again sorry if I’m wrong, I’m not RC but have been trying to learn). Praying TO the picture is idolatry because you are putting a picture before god in not praising him for relief (of course even better would have been to go to the damn hospital but who knows)

The RC church in the town I grew up in seems to me from the outside to be very into the “hocus-pocus” spirituality. God was this mysterious guy in the sky who you had to ask in just the right way and or maybe you should just ask this saint and do this ritual and then you’ll be ok. It was a predominantly Mexican national church so there was a culture gap there too. For me that turned me off to Catholicism probably for the rest of my life. Chances your friend has had a similar experience and s still reeling from it. Concentrate on your similarities and find common ground. Learn from your talks, you might even find that we Protestants have a few good ideas ourselves!


#7

We are asking those in Heaven to pray for us. I think it is good to mention how efficacious it is for a righteous person to pray for us. James 5 says, "16 Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much."
Who is more righteous or just than the man or woman who God has already cleansed of all evil and all temptation? They are completely devoted to Christ.

If they claim that these saints are dead and can’t hear you, mention the Transfiguration where Christ spoke to Moses and Elijah, they certainly weren’t dead.


#8

I am far from a professional or even quite possibly a competent apologist, as I struggle to understand and grow my own faith, but it seems to me the people that convert to Catholicism that I have seen on EWTN etc., do so because they come to grips witht he big stuff (One authoritative Church established by Jesus, the role of tradition in teaching us per the Bible, maybe the Trinity based on their religion, the establishment of sacraments, etc. Once you get past that, then you start to have a foundation to believe all the other dogma because you have a respect and appreciation for the role of the Church.

IMHO debating/discussing some of the finer/subtler points of our doctrine probably is a very long road to truly embracing the bride of Jesus, the Universal Church…


#9

Hi Shlemele! Shlamazo to you! LOL!

A couple things you said I like to comment on. On with the quotitationizms.

The Catholic Church has it’s basic set of traditions that will never change, but it allows vernacular traditions to fit in. So, seeing the Mexicans at Mass, you may have been seeing thier own particular mixture. If you come up north where I am, the Mass takes on a very American feel. It’s more like a Protestant meeting. We have piano plunckin’, guitar strummin’ Halleluia’s! :smiley: But we retain the form and tradition that Rome has given us. What’s interesting is that it takes the form found in the bible in Acts 2:46. If you read it you’ll notice two parts. The earliest Christians met at temple, then broke bread (Shared the Eucharist) in thier homes. The Mass today has the same structure, it is in two parts. Part one resembles a temple meeting with chants (songs nowadays) and scripture readings by a parish member (not Gospel). This is called “Liturgy of the Word.” Part two includes Gospel readings by the priest, due to special reverence. He then blesses the host (bread), breaks it and it is served in communion. This is called “Liturgy of the Eucharist.” It is important to keep in mind that Catholics take the words of Christ literally when it comes to the Eucharist. “This IS my body and this IS my blood.”

Concentrate on your similarities and find common ground. Learn from your talks, you might even find that we Protestants have a few good ideas ourselves!

Oh, yea, man! Pray, pray, pray! Pray ceaselessly!

Subrosa


#10

[quote=Shlemele]Well as a “Hardcore Protestant” myself let me say that for us the best example you can give is that of intercessory prayer. My best friend is RC and he and I had many a talk about this. I still don’t agree with it but I have no real moral dilemma with it.

If you tell him it would be like asking an uncle to pray for you because he went through the same thing and you respect how he dealt with it I think that would be a good example. Of course for us it’s still a weird issue. For me I do believe it can be a stumbling block for those who are un-educated in Catholic doctrine. I remember one of my friends fathers (A RC who was just that in name) told his son who was studying to be a pastor (protestant denomination) that he had pain in his heart and prayed to the picture of Mary he kept on his wall to take the pain away.

Well as a Christian I have a problem with that because you going to the wrong source. Asking for her to “pray the father” (I hope I got the terminology right) would have been something most would understand as she is supposed to be the saint of mercy (again sorry if I’m wrong, I’m not RC but have been trying to learn). Praying TO the picture is idolatry because you are putting a picture before god in not praising him for relief (of course even better would have been to go to the damn hospital but who knows)

The RC church in the town I grew up in seems to me from the outside to be very into the “hocus-pocus” spirituality. God was this mysterious guy in the sky who you had to ask in just the right way and or maybe you should just ask this saint and do this ritual and then you’ll be ok. It was a predominantly Mexican national church so there was a culture gap there too. For me that turned me off to Catholicism probably for the rest of my life. Chances your friend has had a similar experience and s still reeling from it. Concentrate on your similarities and find common ground. Learn from your talks, you might even find that we Protestants have a few good ideas ourselves!
[/quote]

Well, no Catholic I know of prays “TO A picture” or to a statue or to any object ever. Such a thing is as wrong to us as it is to you.

When we pray to a saint or to Mary, we are asking another friend of Christ to help us with our request to God. As Jesus and scriptures tells us, God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living, we believe that all the saints are alive in Heaven.

A picture or statue is but a reminder of who or what that particular saint may look like, such an object does not have any power or particular influence with God. Nor are such objects replacements for the saints for whom they represent.

We may and do often times pray directly to Christ or directly to God. Why then, ask a saint or Mary for their help ? Simply for the same reason as we ask others to pray for us. Jesus tells us to pray for one another. WIth the help of other folks prayers, we have more influence with God. We know that God listens to some folks more often than others.

During their lifetimes, some saints showed a particular closeness to the Almighty. Their prayers were more often answered than not. The great miracle workers, St. Anthony of Padua, blessed Padre Pio, St. Catherine of Sienna, in particular were famous for having prayers answered immediately. While others may ask God for the same thing (or even opposing things), God chose to listen when these saints asked.

These folks were obviously closer or favored by the Almighty. And of course most favored above all others is Mary, the Mother of God. IF they were so favored in life, it has proved thourghout the ages that they are also most favored as saints too.

Many miracles have been attributed to prayers to these folks. It is through their intercession that prayers are answered more frequently. When so many prayers are answered, it is no wonder that folks continue to pray for help. IF these prayers were useless, folks would simply stop praying in this way.

If one looks at the various Marian sites, Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe, Medugore, one would discover that prayers are answered on a regular basis. At Lourdes alone, 56 documented confirmed medical miracles are recorded, and hundreds if not thousands of unofficial cures are attributed to Mary’s intercession there.

IF no prayers were answered there, it would not be one of the most visited sites in the world. God gives us these sites for His graces are to be distributed through Mary, and He allows this because through Mary we are to discover His Son, Jesus.


#11

Sounds like you’re doing a good job. As his questions come up, attenpt to answer those. If you don’t know, say so and research it a bit more. That way both you and your friend will grow in knowledge.

What you’ve already done is a big accomplishment. If you can take an anti-Catholic and lead him to where he is, if not convinced, at least not an anti-Catholic anymore, that’s a good thing. With God’s grace, I’ve been able to do this several times, and even had Protestants become virtual defenders of the Catholic Faith to their less informed brethren!


#12

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I think, hopefully, he’s going to be seeing just a little light soon. I’m almost there, I think. This has been an ongoing debate for over a month now and I finally think I’m really getting the better of it. I’ve felt all along that I’ve been winning it, but he simply refuses to take what I tell him to heart. He has somehow, sadly, gotten his brain re-wired so he is incapable of seeing reason.
[/quote]

I am happy that your friend is beginning to see the light, but remember a couple of things. (1) Conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit, and you are simply His instrument. (2) This is not about you’re winning or losing. These dialogues are not supposed to be recorded in Win/Loss columns. (3) A little humility and charity go a long way.

I am not trying to imply anything other than what I have written. I am speaking mainly with regard to myself because I have forgotten these things far too often.

Even if you do not see the fruits of your dialogue, realize that God will use what you have said at some later point. Be humble, be charitable, pray.


#13

Check out www.biblechristiansociety.com

Very helpful material. John Martignoni is wonderful.


#14

Here’s a good thread that developed around that whole idolatry allegation: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40742
Most don’t know that it’s Muslim in origin…not Christian.

To Schlemele:
At least you’re now on a site where you can get real Catholic info and not all that other stuff. The truth is that your friend’s dad probably meant that he asked the Blessed Virgin for help, meaning her intercession, (though I could be wrong, some Catholics get messed up as you have already seen).

Culturally, South-of-the-border Catholicism does have a mystical bent to it, but that is in part because God has dealt with them in some pretty miraculous ways.

As for the “hocus-pocus” you talk about, you’d have to realize that we have a lot longer history of Christianity to draw upon and that without knowing the why of it all it may be hard to understand.

Lemme suggest a great book that shouldn’t hurt your feelings and might just broaden your horizons a bit in a good way. The book is called “Surprised By Truth” and is edited by Patrick Madrid. If ya don’t wanna buy it let me know and I’ll mail you my copy. I can always get another.
Pax tecum,


#15

I know a protestant lady who, after her husband died, would frequently go out to visit the cemetery and “talk” to him. She was having a great many problems with the business which she had inherited, and she would talk over these matters in great detail with her deceased husband.

Now, one might argue whether or not he could ‘hear’ her. A Catholic would say that if he is in heaven, and God permits it, sure, why not. And if God permits him to hear those talks from his wife, perhaps he could also help, by offering his own prayers for her and asking God to send her help and consolation. In fact, a Catholic would argue that even if he were in purgatory—on the way to heaven—God still might allow him to hear her prayers, and offer his in return.

For in reality, that is what they are—just prayers to her husband. She knows at some level I presume, that he can’t physically hear her from inside the grave. But she somehow senses that maybe he can hear her in heaven. (And if she looks at his picture while having these talks that would not be idolatry.)

And couldn’t she just have this discussion with God alone? Of course, but this man was part of her life for years, and intimately bound up in the very problems she is talking about; she wants to include him.

Multiply that picture by including all of the saints who have gone before, all of those who have run the good race, completed the course, and have their reward. They have gone through what we have gone through. Why should they forget us, just because they have preceded us into heaven? And why should we forget them? And why should we ignore them or fail to communicate?

Prayer to a saint is in no way worship. It’s just asking an old friend for prayers and assistance.


#16

Thanks for the references, everyone. This kid I’ve been trying to inform is a Calvinist…hence if it doesn’t appear word for word clearly in the bible it is not Christian. Evidently we’re not even supposed to celebrate Easter and Christmas (or any other holidays) because Jesus didn’t specifically instruct us to.

I’ve made the point about asking saints and others in heaven to pray for us as being the same as asking a friend, and I always get the same response. “They’re dead; they can’t pray for you.” One line in one psalm being the only backing for that statement, regardless of other bible passages I’ve quoted.

I’ll keep praying, and trying, but even though I think the saint thing is finally breaking through, I still haven’t managed to get him away from thinking that Catholics and every other non-“Christian” (and believe me, he has a VERY tight use of that word) have been predestined to hell since before we were born and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it. According to him, anywhere from 89-94% of the world is going to hell…and it’s all “testimony to the glory of God”.


#17

I used to have a problem with that as well until one day I realized that what I had been doing all along, writing to or talking out loud to dead loved ones, was the same thing. :hmmm: Hope that helps.

Wait, why am I trying to help…I’m not Catholic!:eek:


#18

Wait, why am I trying to help…I’m not Catholic!:eek:

Glad you came to help anyways!

God Bless
Scylla


#19

“well, I suppose they are Ok if they are not in a church.”

This interested me. In my experiance, the farther from Catholicism one gets, the less focus on holiness or sacredness is attached to the church buildinng. The one question that I couldn’t help but think is, “What is so different about your church building? Why is it not ok in a church?” Then I would go on to explain about Catholic consecration and how the Eucharist is in our Church and that is why we believe the Church building is different.


#20

Yes, the Eucharist in the Tabernacle certainly makes a difference, and some lucky souls can actually feel the presence when they enter the building. :slight_smile:

As for Mary, I’m sure everyone here already knows it, but I haven’t heard it stated on this thread yet, so I’ll give it a shot, just in case it helps. (If I missed it and someone already said it, mea culpa)

The word worship, in English, is equivalent to three different words for varying levels of respect in Latin.

The highest Honor, reserved for God alone is Latria
Mary, as the highest creature in heaven, deserves Hyper Dulia
The remainder of the saints get the respect of Dulia.

All three levels of “worship” or respect or honor are frequently referred to with the undifferentiated English terms. It seems we try to clean things up, but the translations of many prayers use the words interchangably, causing much confusion for those who do not know the Latin origins of these prayers. It confuses things for our Protestant breatheren who hear us say we don’t worship her, which we know we don’t because we’re well aware of the lines we draw in our respect for Mary, Our Mother, and the prayers which use the term Worship (meaning Hyper Dulia).

I hope this helps some.

Oh, and we don’t worship pictures of Mary any more than I worship a photo of my deceased mother. Pictures and statues are representations of our sacred family who have preceded us to heaven.

God Bless,

CARose


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