Is your church apostolic?


I recently had a friend ask me to go to a protestant church as my church.

My response was not rehearsed at all but i have to think that it makes a lot of sense.

I replied that Jesus entrusted his teachings to apostles. The deposit of infallible truth was deposited in them. (not a book) They were given authority by Christ to teach and forgive sins. All the reformed churches reconstructed christianity with the bible. They started from scratch without the christ breathing the holy spirit in them and giving them protection from teaching error and to forgive sins.

A reformed christian may not like what the orthodox christian churches teach but that has no bearing on whether they teach the truth or not.

If your church does not have a direct lineage to an apostle and only relies on the bible for its direction your church lacks the authority that christ gave to the apostles. Your church may only have fragment of the truth and is NOT protected from teaching error.

At the end i basically told her i would gladly go to an orthodox church but to a church without direct apostolic lineage i will not.

Whose with me on that? who isn’t?



I am with you, partly. Many of the Protestants are there because that is the tradition of their family and that is all they know. Most do not understand the Catholic faith just as I do not really understand theirs. They are however, our brothers in Christ and it is very natural to defend your learnings and traditions whatever they may be. If a friend ask my to accompany them to their church I may very well say yes. I would not do this however to the exclusion of going to Mass however. We can worship together in many places of which one may be in a Protestant church.

I would likely comment to mind friend on any specific differences between the Protestant teaching in the sermon from the Catholic faith in hopes of having a good and fruitful dialog with them. Of course, I would also extend an invitation to join me at a good ol’ Catholic Mass.


Does your Church have apostolic succession? Jesus imparted Truth to the Apostles that handed it down via Tradition, not a book.

Did these self same Apostles use Scriptures in teaching and formulating the early Church? Yes. Did some of them even realize that their writings were inspired and were in fact Sacred Scripture when they wrote it? Yes. Do all Christians agree on the New Testament Canon of Sacred Scripture, even if they disagree as to the meaning of various passages? Yes.

Is it possible that the verbal Traditions of the Apostles became corrupted over time? Yes it is possible will say non-Catholics, no it is not possible says Catholics (generally speaking). Right? The question on infallible teaching via verbal Tradition relies on Faith alone. It is reasonable to assume that ANY verbal teaching over time will become corrupted in some way. Material will be left off, exaggerations will be made, etc. It is very possible. Solution? A written Tradition. Sacred Scripture is that written Tradition, all Christians agree on that

Is it then reasonable that the written record of Jesus’ earthly ministry as recorded in the written Gospels and the various other written works of the New Testament are a solid base in which to formulate ones Christian conscience? I think it is. I think many people are hungry and thirsty for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, without any baggage that may come with that.

I have been to many, many Protestant type communities and none of them have ever said they teach anything without error. They have all held strong views and opinions but have stopped short saying Our way is the Only way (well except for that one small place I visited called Zion’s Tabernacle in the hills of north-west Maryland that held to, “Speak in Tongues or be thee damned!” but other than that one no others, in my experience).

Why can’t we afford positive affirmation to these souls thirsting for Christ that seek to find Him in the pages of Sacred Scripture? Isn’t it natural for those like minded to congregate and praise God? If you are Catholic and your non-Catholic friend invites you to go to Church: GO! Reciprocity as conditional, of course.

Then what would we have? We will have fostered an environment based upon mutual respect, not for one another, not for each faith Tradition, but for God. A mutual respect and honor of our God. Then we are automatically brothers in Christ, no matter what our theological differences are. After that is achieved, then the difference can be addressed in all brotherly love, and let the Holy Spirit convict and enlighten as He will.


Dang santaro75, that was good. An excellent response.

Assuming they are not much on studying history I can see where Protestants might not “get it.” But anyone even mildly interested in Christian history could never disagree with you without secretly knowing they were wrong all along & just too embarrassed to admit it.

Good Job :clapping:


I thought your response was excellent in one respect… it was true, but, and this is a big but, I think perhaps your response was not something that would be understood by anyone who has not been exposed to apostolic succession. Most Protestants think that the only difference between them and Catholicism is that we have more “man-made” rules that either don’t make sense to them or are unbiblical according to what they have been taught. I am afraid that traditions and apostolic succession are never spoken about because they can’t refute that they don’t have them. That being said, I thought your response was excellent, but will be totally misunderstood.


I agree with you but I’d add that most protestants actually, to me anyway, understand that Catholics believe they are the one church descended from Peter, founded by Christ and that catholics believe in tradition and Scripture not being mutually exclusive.

Most of them simply disagree with the catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 and John 6, and sadly this is not their own fault. There’s 2 reasons why, and probably only 2…

firstly, they have insufficient bibles which are not good translations to study from. Some bibles say peter was “a small stone” and not “rock”. This leads them to question Matt 16:18. Unfortunatly most of them won’t ever dig enough to discover the aramaic and will stop at the Greek, which will seem to confirm their opinions.

Second, because of the first point, the protestant faiths tend to oppose the catholic faith on the eucharist. They refuse to give the catholic straightforward interpretation a go. They question it’s most basic belief on we know to be insufficient evidence, once this belief is question, the floodgates follow and they question every other belief too. They see the catholic faith as rather suspicious, and therefore must oppose it by bending the bible to their purposes. They find the catholic idea of the eucharist essentially asks us to eat the body and blood of jesus in the literal sense. They refuse to believe this is actually supported by the bible as much, if not more than, a metaphorical understanding of the specific verses, solely because they refuse to believe the catholic position on the bible interpretation is valid because they do not understand that Catholics DON’T re-work Matthew 16:18 for their own purpose.


i guess i should have mentioned that she wanted me to leave my catholic church and go to church with her. it is sort of the only thing keeping us from dating.

I basically told her, it isn’t up to me. it is entirely up to God.


No Offense but is any earthly relationship worth losing a heavenly one? If she cared for you at all she would not interfere with your salvation, she would encourage it.


she doesn’t think what church you go to affects your salvation as long as it is christian


But what have you told her about your faith? What do you believe? Is she worth risking your eternal soul for? If you tell her how important your faith is to you, will you lose her? Did you ever have her to begin with in that case? Is this the kind of consideration you want to look forward to for the rest of your life?


She knows about apostolic succession and all of the apologetics that i know of. but i think she is an experiential learner (as we all are) and the couple times she went to mass she wasn’t very impressed at all. I think that if she experienced Christs love at the mass she would have been more open to it. She felt cold and distant and dead.

Granted not all churches are like that, but unfortunately you don’t get a second chance at a first and second impression.

she knows that i will not budge on my faith. that is out of the question.

We are also NOT dating. We connect so profoundly on so many levels but our faith divides us…for now


Excellent answer!!! Well, Do you think that going over the readings or just letting her ask any and all questions would help? Maybe explaining some of the things us Catholics take for granted will allow her to view them in a different light. What is her affiliation anyway? What is it that she is looking for that she can’t find in the Catholic Church? More energy? More entertainment? More what? I am not being rude or disrespectful, I would like to know.


YES :thumbsup: Is yours? :eek:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit