Jesus on circumcision

I am still debating with that Muslim. I can’t really summarize his ideas so below I pasted his points.

when you learn science, you will know why God commanded you that in bible, but you dont care what God commands you in bible
Do the Health Benefits of Neonatal Circumcision Outweigh the Risks?
online.wsj.co…3301112102.html

God commands you circumsion:

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenantbetween me and you.12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring.13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

but your christianity founder Paul commands you other wise

1 Corinthians 7:19

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

God commands, christians say who cares

Paul commands, they accept it imidiatelly.

You prefer what Paul say instaed of God, that is why God call you christians in quran a deluded people who deviated from the right path. you have lost wisdom and knowledge, that is why you dont know simple stuff like benefits of circumsion and other siomple stuff.

I replied that Jesus brought circumcision to fulfillment in baptism. To this he replied:

was jesus for old mosaic laws , Yes
was Paul for old mosaic laws, NO, he abolished them

when it comes to old mosaic laws, do you follow jesus when he commands to follow these laws and forbids to abolsih them, NOOOO
do you follow Pauls advice abolishing old laws, YEs, , yes, and yes.

that is why Paul is your founder of your relgion christianity and not jesus.

Paul spread his teachings, you say, hmmmm, jesus forbid to abolish old laws, paul abnolished them, i see how he spread jesus teaching,

BY DESTROYING THEM AN CREATING HIS OWN RELGION.

DID JESUS said, that baptism is enough and there is no need for circumsion???

or did your paul said that??

Don’t mind his grammar. He barely knows English. Here is a link for the rest of the debate. Try and guess which poster I am. :slight_smile:
gawaher.com/topic/739400-muslim-christian-debate-here/page-28#

There’s a big problem when talking to Muslims. They actually believe that they are the true Christians. Yet they do not understand, at all, the Christian religion. So, some basic lessons are in order.

1st. Although God did command circumcision as a sign of the Covenant with Abraham in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant, brought it to completion and established a New Covenant with a different sign, Baptism.

A. Circumcision

Hebrews 9:15-17
King James Version (KJV)
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

The first testament is the Old Covenant. Jesus died to redeem the sins of those Jews which had passed from this life before He was born. You see, even righteous Jews were not in heaven. They had not yet received the promises:

Hebrews 11:13
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

As for those which still lived, they were expected to obey Christ in order to be saved. That meant that they needed to be Baptized:
Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Colossians 2:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

B. Paul is a follower of Christ. Christ established the Christian faith:
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

C. Did Paul or Christ say that there was no need for circumcision?

Muslims essentially think like Protestants. But we are not Protestants. Jesus didn’t have to say that there was no need for circumcision. Nor did St. Paul.

We are Catholics. We obey the Church to whom Jesus Christ gave all authority in this world and in heaven:

Matthew 16:18
King James Version (KJV)
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 18:18
King James Version (KJV)
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

OOOHHHH, he’s gonna have a conniption fit. He’ll call you all sorts of names and more than likely he’ll stop talking to you. They have no idea how to handle the authority of the Church.

I’ll be checking back to see if you have any other questions.

God bless you for your efforts.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Or more to the point, it doesn’t need to explicitly be in the Bible either. Jesus could have very well said it himself, and Paul was reiterating it in his writing.

The whole “Paul” argument is a red herring. Paul decided nothing until he went to the Church for an answer on circumcision (Acts 15). The CHURCH, using the power of binding and loosing granted it by Christ, ruled that God has no favorites, and that circumcision was no longer required.

Ask the Muslim for the evidence - any evidence at all - that Muhammad tested the spirit that spoke to him (1 John 4:1). No test, no credibility.

Coincidentally, neither did Joseph Smith test the spirit that spoke to him, establishing a religion that is similar in many aspects to Islam.

No test, no credibility.

Well said. It was decided in the first Ecumenical Council of Jerusalem.

Ask the Muslim for the evidence - any evidence at all - that Muhammad tested the spirit that spoke to him (1 John 4:1). No test, no credibility.

True. There is no evidence that Muhammad spoke to any angel. It is his “say so”. In court it it called hearsay evidence.

Coincidentally, neither did Joseph Smith test the spirit that spoke to him, establishing a religion that is similar in many aspects to Islam.

No test, no credibility.

Agreed. In both cases, Gal 1:8 comes into play for a believing Catholic:

Galatians 1:8
King James Version (KJV)
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Islam is a religion for the simple. You will never find in Islam the deep, intricate arguments that have developed in Christianity. You can see this in your friends protestant-like method of pointing out that God said this, but Paul said that, so why do you follow Paul? There is much more to it than that.

There is a reason why Islam spread so quickly; because it made very little demands upon the conquered. Usually, it simply replaced the native superstitions with the concept of Allah and a few disciplines, most of which muslims will break without a second thought.

What is also interesting about Islam is how opposed different sects can be to each other. In Mecca, 95% of the ancient city has been purposely destroyed because the wahhibist (sp?) leaders think that venerating the tombs and graves of the early “prophets” and their families is idolatry. These are also the clerics who decided that if women in Saudia Arabia were allowed to drive, by 2017 there would no longer be any virgins left. :shrug:

What I am saying is that you are really just wasting your time by arguing these points with a muslim. Most times they do not have the intellectual foundation or the critical thinking skills required to discuss such a topic.

Is there any way to try to show that Paul followed Christ? Beyond that quote from Corinthians?

Philippians 3:12
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 2:14
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

Romans 13:14
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Do you think this might help?

Sincerely,

De Maria

Yes that will work fine. I have to leave soon but when I get back I will post a rough draft of my reply.

Jesus did not command His Apostles to go out to the nations and circumcise them. He commanded them to go out and baptize in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19). It was Jesus Who said no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit (Jn 3:5). Of course, Jesus’ parents had Him circumcised as would be expected, because Jesus was born under the Law and followed it perfectly. But, Jesus as an adult, went to be baptized so that He could teach us about baptism. Furthermore, in Mark 16:16 Jesus says “He who believes and is baptized will be saved”. And teaching on Baptism continues with Peter, to whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom (Mt 16:18). Peter proclaims in Acts 2:38 that we must repent and be baptized. Furthermore it is PETER who teaches baptism, corresponding to Noah’s ark, now saves you; not as a removal of dirt from the body, but for a clear conscience." 1 Pet 3:21

So in no way is it Scripturally supportable the Paul founded the Christian belief on baptism (let alone Christianity itself). As a matter of fact, Paul was still persecuting the Church in her infancy so to say He founded it, is just lunacy. It is absolutely false and in my opinion, it shows that this Muslim has probably never read the Bible but is just cutting and pasting his argument from some other Muslim who has never read the Bible.

Furthermore, let’s not lose sight on the fact that the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus simply dwarfs the Covenant with Abraham in what it does. The Covenant with Abraham set the Israelites apart as a people of God and through it they were to inherit the land. It was a beginning Covenant and a stepping stone to things to come. The New Covenant is not about inheriting land. It is about inheriting eternal life with God. It brings us again into a law of grace. It is about reconciliation to God that was lost in the fall of man. When Adam sinned, he lost for all of humanity, the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. That means that no one could live in heaven with God (beatific vision) unless they were reconciled with the grace that only God can give. The NC is so far beyond the OC of Abraham that it is hard to compare the two. But God did give notice to His people that He was going to do this, but they did not understand. He said to the prophet Jeremiah (31:31)

31 See, days are coming—oracle of the LORD—when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke my covenant, though I was their master—oracle of the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days—oracle of the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34They will no longer teach their friends and relatives, “Know the LORD!” Everyone, from least to greatest, shall know me—oracle of the LORD—for I will forgive their iniquity and no longer remember their sins

.

We have no need to keep the covenant of circumcision to be a people of God. We are not just people of God. We are made CHILDREN of God through the New Covenant. We are adopted into the Divine family through the waters of Baptism, not through circumcision.

PS. I would not get into a discussion about Muhammad or anything about Islam when defending the Church. Save that for a separate argument. If we cannot defend our faith on its own, without picking apart another faith, we are in trouble.

I would find out if your Muslim friend has actually read any of Paul’s Epistles, or if his information is simply the opinions of others he has read.

He needs to read the source documents if he wishes to have any understanding of Paul, or Christianity in general. If he refuses, you don’t have a discussion partner, but merely someone who wishes to argue.

If your friend has read Paul already, or is willing to try, it would be useful to start with Paul’s Letter to the Romans and go chapter by chapter. This way, the two of you can discuss each building block Paul puts in place as he constructs his theological arguments.

Paul did not found Christianity just as Moses and Abraham were Jews and not Muslims. Also it was not Paul who decided that circumcision was unnecessary for salvation. As Acts 15 tells us it was the Church founded by Christ and given an assurance of infallibility that decided this. Paul went to the Church with his questions and at the council of Jerusalem his questions were answered. Below I will show the evidence for this.

As I said earlier I am a novice. However this author is not. It is a five part series and you should read it all. He lays out the biblical basis for the leadership of Peter and by extension the Church.
catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/02/pope-peter-part-i-strengthen-thy.html?m=1

Now here is the Early Church Fathers who as I have said many times in this discussion were instructed my the Apostles or the Apostle’s disciples.

Clement of Alexandria

“[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly g.asped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]” (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).

Tertullian

“For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]” (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

“[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

The Letter of Clement to James

“Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect” (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).

Origen

“*f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens” (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

Between these two sources we can see that Jesus founded a church, led by Peter and his successors, that has the infallible ability to decide on matters of doctrine.

Some Protestants admit that Peter was called to lead the Church while Jesus was on earth yet deny that the authority passed on to the popes. However this idea doesn’t help your case either. Peter still led the church during the council of Jerusalem so it’s decision is still binding. Paul merely repeated this decision.

So anyone see any holes in my reasoning? Anything I could emphasize more?*

Well I posted it. His reply was that he didn’t care who abolished it, he wants to see a basis for it in Christ’s teachings. I’m not sure how to argue with that.

Sorry to be so late. For some reason this didn’t show in my email as it had been doing before.

Anyway, it is easy. The Muslims do not understand that Jesus did not write anything in Scripture. They think we are like the Protestants and go by Scripture alone. We don’t.

Explain to him that Jesus established the Church by His own word.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

He commanded the Church to teach His commands:
Matthew 28:
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

It is this Church which teaches the Wisdom of God infallibly and will continue to do so throughout time:
Ephesians 3:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

In summary, the Traditions of Jesus Christ, which are taught by the Church are the basis of the New Testament. If someone does not know the Traditions of Jesus Christ, they will not understand the New Testament. Therefore when he says:
*** he wants to see a basis for it in Christ’s teachings.***

Tell him that in order to do so he must study the Teachings of the Catholic Church in addition to the Bible. Because it is in the Teachings of the Catholic Church that the Traditions of Jesus Christ are revealed.

Then challenge him with the fact that Mohammed could not prove that he saw an angel. No one saw the angel but Mohammed and no matter how many fits he threw, the only thing that anyone ever witnessed were his fits. Therefore all that they could attest to is the probability that he was epileptic. But no one ever saw what he claimed to see.

(Aside: Don’t mention this to him, but be aware that there is a sura which says that someone saw a man whom another claimed was the angel. But the sura is poorly attested and besides, it doesn’t say that they saw the angel, but a man whom someone else said was an angel. Hardly evidence that would pass muster in any court.)

Further, challenge him with the fact that the Quran is not what Muslims claim it is. The Quran in the possession of the Muslims today is called the Uthmanic Rescenscion. What is that?

Well, it is the rewriting of the Quran by a man called Uthman who burned the original and replaced it with his version. You don’t believe me? Read it in their own words:

2. UTHMAN’S ORDER TO BURN THE OTHER CODICES.

About nineteen years after the death of Muhammad, when Uthman had succeeded Abu Bakr and Umar as the third Caliph of Islam, a major new development took place in the standardising of the Qur’an text. The Muslim general Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman led an expedition into northern Syria, drawing his troops partly from Syria and partly from Iraq. It was not long before disputes arose between them as to the correct reading of the Qur’an. They had come from Damascus and Hems, from Kufa and Basra, and in each centre the local Muslims had their own codex of the Qur’an. The codex of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud became the standard text for the Muslims at Kufa in Iraq while the codex of Ubayy ibn Ka’b became revered in Syria. Hudhayfah was disturbed at this and, after consulting Salid ibn al-As, he reported the matter to Uthman. What followed is described in the following hadith:

Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sha’m and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to Uthman, ‘O Chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur’an) as Jews and the Christians did before’. So Uthman sent a message to Hafsa, saying, ‘Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we may compile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you’. Hafsa sent It to Uthman. Uthman then ordered Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah bin az-Zubair, Sa’id bin al-As, and Abdur-Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, ‘In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of the Quraish as the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue’. They did so, and when they had written many copies, Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p.479).

They justify this course of action with the idea that they were protecting the Quran from perversion. A fate they claim the Bible suffered. But the fact is, that they have simply prevented everyone from seeing the horrendous quality of the original which Mohammed, the purported Prophet of God, had left behind. In other words, a man who never spoke to an angel nor was ever mentioned by God, claimed to take the Prophets works and burn them and then replaced them with his own work.

This seems more like a scheme to hide the truth than a plan to promote the truth.

I hope that helps. My email is mdechristi@gmail.com. If I don’t reply to your inquiries fast enough, feel free to send them directly to that address.

Sincerely,

De Maria

**Galatians **

*11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[d] that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me,[e] so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; 23 they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

2 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 But because of false believers[a] secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us— 5 we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. 6 And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those leaders contributed nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. *

Paul met the resurrected Jesus. Jesus told Paul during the period of public revelation that Christians need not be marked by physical alteration to belong to him. Paul took this revelation to the leaders of the Church, who agreed with him and recognized the grace he had been given.

So here is the deal. If ones **believes ** that Jesus is the risen Son of God, then the question can be asked if Paul’s witness should be believed (I think the picture under my posts express my view on this subject.) If one doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and is risen from the dead, then no amount slick debating about Church authority or Paul’s legitimacy as an Apostle will make an ounce of difference. If the basic premise of the Resurrection is not believed, everything that Paul says would be rejected out of hand.

Likewise, if one doesn’t believe that an angel whispered the “real message” in Mohammad’s ear, then any Muslim Apologetics about why one should pray facing Mecca are nonsense. If one rejects the premise that Mohammad was a prophet, anything he says is only correct if he stumbled upon it or is aping Jewish/Christian beliefs about God.

It is a no-win conversation, IMO. Not worth having.

Respectfully, I differ with that opinion for the following reasons:

First, there is a non sequitur in your opinion.

You said:

If we cannot defend our faith on its own, without picking apart another faith, we are in trouble.

The fact that we can see and identify the errors and faults in another religion have nothing to do with whether we can defend our own.

Second, if we don’t present to them the problems in the foundation of their religion, who will? This may be the only chance he gets to present to this man the errors in which he believes. Frequently, when confronted by a knowledgeable Catholic who can defend his faith, Muslims, Protestants and all other anti-Catholics simply withdraw.

This is why, in every apologetical confrontation with anybody, whether Muslim, Jew, Hindu or atheist, I always make sure to give them more to think about than their simple, unthinking, hatred for the Catholic Church.

Anyway, that is my opinion and why I hold it.

Sincerely,

De Maria

On the contrary, faith and reason do not contradict. There are reasons why the Islamic faith is illogical and therefore, illegitimate. A simple comparison of the foundation of the Christian faith vs. the foundation of the Islamic faith will reveal precisely why the Christian faith is vastly superior to the Islamic. And if one delves into their problematic and contradicting doctrines, even more evidence will be found for the Seeker of Truth to abandon that false religion.

Sincerely,

De Maria

I didn’t say they did. What I am saying is that you have to have a common starting point to have a fruitful debate. If both parties rejects the very premise that the other is starting from (Jesus is God, Mohammed is a prophet of God) than any arguments that rely on these (like Paul’s authority on the circumcision issue coming from revelations of a Risen Christ) are discarded out of hand.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a discussion about a religion with someone who doesn’t share the same starting points as yourself. Nor does it mean you can’t have a argument, where both people pound the table; quite sure of their own words and paying no attention to what the other is saying.

If people like arguing for arguing’s sake, they are free too, I would advise against it though.

I’ve never been in a debate where the two parties agree upon everything from the start. It is precisely because of the differences in beliefs that the debate is taking place.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a discussion about a religion with someone who doesn’t share the same starting points as yourself. Nor does it mean you can’t have a argument, where both people pound the table; quite sure of their own words and paying no attention to what the other is saying.

  1. The presumption is that the debaters are seeking the truth in good faith.

There is a saying in Scripture:
Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

So it is through debate that people learn from each other.

  1. Even if they are not seeking truth in good faith, there will be plenty of people reading their exchange who will be and who potentially will learn from what each of them has to say. Whether it is about how to defend their own faith or whether they begin to understand the other.

If people like arguing for arguing’s sake, they are free too, I would advise against it though.

I don’t argue for arguing’s sake. When I first started, I was not the type of person that could sit down and read the Bible or the Catechism or the Ecumenical Councils. But debating on the internet has given me a good reason to study my faith. And I’ve researched all those things for the purpose of finding the answers I need in my discussions.

So, I debate in order to learn about my faith.

An unexpected result is that I would discuss my debates with my wife and my children would overhear. And without realizing it, I was giving them an education in the faith. I didn’t realize that my children were paying attention when my wife and I would talk.

So, don’t be afraid to debate. Even if you don’t convert your opponent, you will learn a great deal about your faith.

Sincerely,

De Maria

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