"My Holy Spirit is right yours in wrong"

I had the most bizarre conversation of my life yesterday at Starbucks

Ill start off by discussing how I met the person I talked to for over 90 minutes and it could have gone for ever if I didn’t need to go.

About a month ago I was praying for a local Protestant church that is very anti-catholic
Mars hill in Seattle.
During praying the rosary I heard a voice say that I needed to go to their bible studies at their church. I signed up and went to one. Right away as I met everyone it was almost like I knew why I was called to be there. I sensed that a person I was talking to was a confirmed catholic. He was also the bible study leader. As the bible study progressed my thoughts where confirmed when the group leader said he was a confirmed catholic then he got into the occult and finally he was “saved” at mars hill.

A couple of days after the bible study I called him to see if he would meet one on one because I wanted to here why he was a Christian and why he went to mars hill.

Then yesterday we met at Starbucks ill briefly go into the part of our conversation that was very strange for me. Also he is extremely bright and works at Microsoft

I asked him why he is a Christian
His response was “the Holy Spirit confirmed it when I read the bible”

I responded "last week I talked I talked to a Mormon and they said “the spirit confirmed the Book of Mormon, you both cant be right”

His response “well I’m right and they are wrong”

I responded “I’m a Christian because history, logic, science, and theology all point to it being true so because it is true I have no choice other to be Christian because I love and seek the truth”

Then I asked “why did you pick mars hill over 38,000 different Christian choices”

He responded “the spirit has guided me there because of the bible”

I said “how do you know the bible is true unless you have a church to guide you as in 1 Tim 3:15, and further how do you know what books should be in the bible”

I know he wasn’t just playing a joke on me he also got very angry at me when I told him how great the sacraments where in my life and showed him where the Eucharist and confession was in the bible

Any thoughts on this??

comparing the morman religion “vs” a christian is incorrect

it is like comparing oranges and apples–

that being said-- really it is comparing catholic “vs” Christian

Numbers 11:29

New International Version (NIV)

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”

1 Samuel 10

9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish?

Acts 19

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues** and prophesied.

Is Saul also among the prophets?”

12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.

finally because you have not experienced the “new birth” or born again- or born above–that christians experience

So any thing he says you will not comprehend – because it is out side of your spiritual experience-- and your catholic religious training

Romans 8

8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
1 Corinthians 2
God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

this is why being raised and taught a catholic – your understanding is going to be different

than christians who are seeking a personal relationship with jesus with the promice of the Holy Spirit–


Burning in the bosom v. led by the Spirit…Different lingo…same process.

However, it could well be that the Spirit did lead the guy to Mars Hill but he can’t express it very well. OTOH… :rolleyes:

I think you did well. Think he will meet with you again?

Adamski, you have a lot of vigor for your faith! Keep it up!

Franlky, that your debating companion got frustrated just by the subject alone indicates that you really must have struck a chord. I pray that he seeks the Eucharist in God’s time.

one is right and 37,999 are wrong or they are all wrong…

Why yes… one is right! That would be the LC-MS :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t like this way of thinking. Different cultures will equal different styles of worship which in turn will bring along different Churches and styles of Churches. Our core Trinitarian beliefs are what hold us together no matter what, and most Protestants accept that all of those Churches can be saved through Jesus Christ, as do Catholics.

I don’t see where the separation is.

i sorry-- i guess you missed the point-

there is a educational component that is different between the belief systems,

of catholic and christian

this is not a debate on what you perceive as the difference of the denominations

as Saint Paul said if you have the Holy Spirit you are different than those who do not have it

some christians also use mark 16

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

i hope this has cleared up what the comparison is–

and this comparison is a reason why many people leave the catholic demonination and seek out what might be called a spirit filled denomination, or christian assembly

you don’t have to get defensive on this-- so you believe he 's wrong-- that in it self won;t matter to a christian who is spirit filled

Well if I weren’t Roman Catholic I’d have to consider your tradition

I’m going to text him right now and ask

Interesting. So is it your view that the doctrine of the Trinity is the defining belief of a Christian? How did you arrive at such a belief?

thank you randy – after seeing how many posts you have–

it is interesting to see your miss understanding

of being led by the Holy Spirit “VS” the Mormon burning in the breast wittness of the authenticity of joseph smith as a prophet

they are comparing apples and oranges–

but you believe other wise-- oh well–

i don’t know how well you function in the prophetic–

i lonly know of 1 roman catholic priest that has been successful as a type of evangelic teacher–

but at the moment i can’t remember his name–

but he does teach , instruct and educate people in how to hear the voice of God and to walk in the fullness of the Spirit-- with signs and wonders–

but i’ll get back on it-- and you can view his utube training seminar info, and make your own evaluation

If one does not accept the Trinity one can not be a Christian. JW’s, SDA’s and Muslims all reject it although they accept Christ as a Prophet and therefore cannot be called Christians.

The belief that Jesus is God come in the flesh and that we should be baptized in the Trinitarian formula is what makes one a Christian, imo. Any Religion that says Jesus was not God has to claim that He was “a god” but our God is clear that there is no other God’s beside Him. Therefore the Trinitarian formula does not make sense.

My thoughts…
It’s too bad he got angry with your about the sacraments.
Hopefully when he calms down some he’ll agree to talk further on these matters.

I think it is a good idea to build on his love for he bible and to take two parallel approaches.

  1. Look for and acknowledge the things we agree on. This builds a rapport.
  2. Also acknowledge the area where there are disagreements and see if these are actual disagreements or if they are misunderstandings.
  3. Continue to show him how the bible points to the Church.

I particularly like the “my spirit is right and yours is wrong” outlook because this is precisely the opening that allows one to point to the need for an authoritative Church and that such a church is spelled out in Scripture if one only has the eyes to see it. I find a wonderful correlation between the passage, Mt 18:15-18 and Acts 15. (and where “sin” is mentioned in Mt 18…teaching a false gospel would definitely be a sin).

Anyway - I think you have done good work here…


Not only that, but Catholics are “spirit-filled” too. Scripture tells us the gifts of the Spirit are not always obvious signs and wonders, they are given for the common good

1 Corinthians 12

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

and, of course, we should all know that the next chapter in Corinthians explains what the greatest gift of the Spirit is…:slight_smile:

Very true.

What if I didn’t accept Baptism as necessary? Or what if I didn’t accept the bodily resurrection of Jesus?

You know for the first 1500 years of Christianity believing in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist was a necessary belief in order to be called a Christian. Why should this be excluded in deciding whether or not one was Christian?

Okay, so now believing in both the Trinity and Baptism are necessary. I would agree. But is that all. And who determines exactly what is necessary?

What do you mean “no other God’s beside Him”? and what do you mean by “Therefore, the Trinitarian formula does not make sense”?

This always makes me cringe. Catholics are Christian.

And this is off topic but I also cringe when people call it, “Revelations.” There is no “s.” Rawr.

I don’t know what good it’ll do you to press this specific issue (How do you know it’s the Holy Spirit?) because his experience, like so many others’ are manifestations of his own internal mental life, to which only he and God has access. First of all, us Humans are very defensive about our feelings. If I say “I know my wife loves me” and you retort “Oh yeah, how do you know? What if I were to tell you that I “feel” that she doesn’t?” I’m probably not going to think very kindly of you. What I think will prove to be a more fruitful conversation is to acknowledge his feeling (that it exists, and that it’s his) and then drift the conversation into one of those peripheral matters about which he alleges to have “knowledge” due to that internal mental state which he believes is the Holy Spirit.

I’m probably not making much sense with my cryptic speech here so let me use a concrete example (one you in fact used in your OP). I’m a (reluctant) member of the LDS Church and as you aptly pointed out we Mormons have a tendency of placing an inordinate amount of emphasis on what we believe are “promptings of the spirit”; the “burning of the bosom”. If a Mormon bears her testimony to you and you immediately say “Well how do you know that means anything? How do you know it isn’t heartburn?”, you may very well be factually right and logically justified in asking that question (I do believe it is a very good question, which is why my testimony of the LDS Church has slowly eroded). Nevertheless it’s so easy for a person who just shared what she believes is a very sacred, fragile, and important part of her identity (what she “knows” in her “heart”) and take any criticism of that as an attack on her person, which of course I know you don’t intend to do.

In this case, when the proverbial Mormon comes to you and says “I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I know Joseph Smith was a prophet.” rather than ask “well how do you know that?” which you already know how its going to end, as you even said yourself, maybe you ought to just jump to the chase and say something like, “Oh. I admire your determination to in no uncertain terms affirm what you believe has been revealed to you. May I ask you, though, how could Joseph Smith have been a prophet given X, Y, or Z? or How could the Book of Mormon be scripture since ?” Using this approach you aren’t immediately calling into question her ability to discern what she feels (which is of course how she’s going to take it), rather you’re asking concrete, impersonal questions with concrete, impresonal answers. More often than not, the LDS member in question (or any human for that matter) will begin to give concrete answers since the questions are no longer personal.

Trust me, I’ve come to learn the hard way how unreliable a “testimony” is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what it’s like to feel like I have one, and how integral to my very identity it is. I’d imagine its the same even with Catholics. I’ve participated in a couple Novenas at the church I’m enrolled in RCIA. There have been a couple notable examples of “Catholic testimonies”; stories of ambiguous healings, stories of an internal sense of calm or relief immediately after the prayer and later on some profound change in their life which they naturally attribute to the Novena (and more indirectly to that “feeling”).

There was in fact a woman who was praying for guidance as to whether she should forgo chemotherapy for the sake of some “alternative treatment” snake oil and she believed that God answered her prayer by jumping head first into the barrel of quackery! As a biochemist who has actually spent a number of decades studying replication mechanisms in cancerous cells I’m fairly competent and up to date on both the literature and clinical treatment. Of course I could’ve cut to the chase and went right for her spiritual jugular, but instead I told her “I’m glad that you feel God has answered your prayer, and hopefully I can assist in being a part of your answer to that prayer. Here’s what I know about your condition and here’s what I know about the absolute dearth of reports of efficacy for the treatment after which you’re seeking.” Surprise surprise, she actually (very slowly) came around and went back on chemo.

To tailor this burdensomely long post to your situation, maybe next time he says “the Holy Ghost has confirmed it.” just go straight for your next question that requires a substantive response? Something maybe along the lines of "Well, brother, I’m quite envious that the Holy Ghost has done such for you! I’m still seeking answers and until my own witness comes, maybe you can help me out with this one: How is it that the Bible could be the sole rule of Faith for the early Church if the Bible as we know it wasn’t canonized until centuries after the existence of the very first Christian after Pentecost?

Sorry for the blathering. I usually don’t post by improv but this topic has been near and dear to my heart, and (dare I say it) I just sort of let the Spirit guide me along. :smiley:


Great work! It sounds like you are well prepared. I would not suggest anyone but a very well prepared (intellectually and spiritually) Catholic to do what you have done. Keep up the great work. You have earned a lot of my respect.

Brandon Cal, you stated:

Trust me, I’ve come to learn the hard way how unreliable a “testimony” is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what it’s like to feel like I have one, and how integral to my very identity it is. I’d imagine its the same even with Catholics. I’ve participated in a couple Novenas at the church I’m enrolled in RCIA.

Wow! If this means what I think it means, welcome home! If not that’s between you and God. Either way, I just put you and Adamski on my prayer list.

Well said!


I think that engagement with other Christians of various stripes is important, but I did wince a little when I read the recounting of your conversation.

I don’t know if a full frontal assault on the teachings of his church was the best way to go about it. Forgive me for saying this and I pray you don’t take it the wrong way, but he may have thought he was having a friendly cup of coffee and felt ambushed by your line of inquiry.

I’ll second that. :thumbsup:

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