Need Help debating protestant pastor


#1

As a brand new convert back to Catholicism I am trying to answer questions to my protestant friends, who now think I’m “buying everything the priest is telling me”. I used to attend the church of this pastor who is now questioning me on a number of issues. Here are 2 of his questions:

2 tim 3 tells us that all scripture is God breathed, that is a pretty powerful indication that it is to be THE authority in all matters of life and belief.

on another matter if mary was sinless why would she go and make a sin offering after having given birth to Christ?

HELP!
In Christ,
DavidJ


#2

[quote=DavidJ]As a brand new convert back to Catholicism I am trying to answer questions to my protestant friends, who now think I’m “buying everything the priest is telling me”. I used to attend the church of this pastor who is now questioning me on a number of issues. Here are 2 of his questions:

2 tim 3 tells us that all scripture is God breathed, that is a pretty powerful indication that it is to be THE authority in all matters of life and belief.
[/quote]

No it’s not. 2 Tim 3 makes it very clear what scripture’s place is. It is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Note that ‘profitable’ does not mean sufficient, or necessary, nor does it imply final authority. If it did, then for hundreds of years the Church did not have sufficient or necessary authority to teach the faith. Unless, of course, the OT scriptures are sufficient or necessary, or provide final authority, in which case nobody needs the NT. Hmmm…

on another matter if mary was sinless why would she go and make a sin offering after having given birth to Christ?

For the same reason Jesus was baptised, “for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”

I’ve looked at some of the verses that talk about sin offerings, and in the particular case of giving birth I don’t see that the offering applies only and always to the person making the offering. I’m not at all sure he can prove that this particular form of sin offering was only made for one’s own sins.


#3

Levetical law held that a mother had to undergo this ritual of purification, not because of personal sin, but because of her unclean nature after having given birth, so his argument doesn’t hold here. Some might point out that Mary wouldn’t be made “unclean” be giving birth to God, but that’s beside the point - as a faithful Jew, she held herself bound to the Levetical law. But, anyway, it has nothing to do with sin, as your friend is suggesting.

Regarding the Scripture, ViciMike gave a great response, but I imagine your conversation will only intensify and deepen beyond what few posts we can give you. Your friend’s argument is very week and making a false assumption (that only “God-breathed” sources can be our authority). We make the equally valid claim that the church was ordained a teaching authority by God, himself, in the person of Christ. I’d suggest starting by going back to the Catholic Answers homepage and, in the menu on the left-hand side, chose SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION, and read ALL the essays that are relevant there. Also, if you e-mail me at spencerallen@midamerica.net, I will send you a HUGE list of verses to support Catholic doctrine that I’ve compiled over the years. You have to do your homework and ready plenty of Catholic theology to understand how some of them fit in, but the essays in the CA library are a great starting place. God bless.


#4

I would ask what scripture he thinks that passage is refering to. We did not have a Bible till the 300’s…but…that aside…
He is right, in the sense that all we need to know is in the bible and I would say, also, in Sacred Tradition. BUT! By who’s interpretation?

2 Peter 1:20-21 “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter on one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

2 Thess. 2:15 “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.”

2 John 12 “'Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

St. Vincent of Lerins (434ad) …quite plainly, Sacred Scripture, by reason of its own depth, is not accepted by everyone as having one and the same meaning…it can almost appear as if there are as many opinions as there are men.

On the question of Mary, I’m not sure. I would have to know more about the old laws. I’m sure Scott Hahn would have the answer!(hahaha)

Just as a side note, I am a Baptist convert.


#5

I think the other posts are great!

If scripture is all we need, then why did Jesus have to come to show us the way? :slight_smile: Wouldn’t it be easier to say here is a book for you to follow? :stuck_out_tongue: Now these are rhetorical questions, I know the answers. Oh wait a minute, we did get a book once, the OT! :smiley:

Anyway, Good Luck! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your tongue when you deal with these people. You should not fear the truth!


#6

I would think the Scripture that says “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) is a pretty powerful indication that it is to be THE authority in all matters of life and belief.

Of course, we Catholics know that the Bible was not meant to be a Catechism, but it is the foundation for all truth taught by the Church.

Notworthy


#7

I really suggest you treat him with love\respect (not saying you wont it just sometimes can get heated) and see if you can get him some material to show him what helped influence you on you coming home to the Catholic Church. Get into a conversation, not a debate and it will be a lot better for both of you.

See if you can get some Journey Home videos or maybe a book like Crossing the Tiber.
If you confront him head on he will probably just dig in his heels and just look for ways to refute you, but if you share what you have learned and ask him questions it will probably be more productive.

If you are very new to the faith feel free to check out these websites
www.biblechristiansociety.com
www.catholicconvert.com
www.scripturecatholic.com

Here is a good PDF to print out to reference for any discussion you get into
geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/bcs.doc

God Bless
Scylla


#8

I’m wondering how he knows 2 Timothy is scripture. Doesn’t he have to assume it is scripture before appealing to it to make his point?

You might want to ask him how he knows which books belong in the Bible. He will have to appeal to something besides scripture, since scripture is completely silent on this issue. Once he does that, he’s demonstrated, all on his own, that he appeals to authorities besides scripture, which of course means sola scriptura isn’t true at all.


#9

After that, you ask him how did the Catholic Church come up with the correct books. How did she know which books belong in the New Testament? Easy right? The Holy Spirit guided her to the correct Canon. Yes, just like Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit guided the Church to determine the correct Canon.

The problem is, Protestants typically don’t think that the Church is still guided by the Holy Spirit, even though Jesus promised us it would.

I’m still foggy on the mental gymnastics it takes to accept that.

Notworthy


#10

I think, too, sometimes “debating” people on these topics is futile because they are not open to truth, they merely want to be right. They think that by convincing people of the incorrectness of Catholicism, too, they are doing God’s work. If this pastor is a friend you wish to continue seeing, you may eventually need to ask him to respect your faith decision and assure him it was no failing on his part that you converted, rather a calling from God. Tell him to pray for you if he feels it necessary but stop provoking you on the topic of religion. If he really cared to know the Catholic answer, he’d look it up himself. Your situation may be different than the one i’ve described, but i thought you should know you are well within your rights to remove yourself from unproductive badgering.


#11

[quote=dafalax]I think, too, sometimes “debating” people on these topics is futile because they are not open to truth, they merely want to be right. They think that by convincing people of the incorrectness of Catholicism, too, they are doing God’s work. If this pastor is a friend you wish to continue seeing, you may eventually need to ask him to respect your faith decision and assure him it was no failing on his part that you converted, rather a calling from God. Tell him to pray for you if he feels it necessary but stop provoking you on the topic of religion. If he really cared to know the Catholic answer, he’d look it up himself. Your situation may be different than the one i’ve described, but i thought you should know you are well within your rights to remove yourself from unproductive badgering.
[/quote]

I have to agree a bit on this. I’m a Baptist convert. All you can do is tell what you believe and why and not try to convert others. People will not see the truth unless they are looking for it. Sometimes they don’t know they are looking, true, but that’s why you need to just give loving responses to your beliefs stay away from converting.
God Bless!


#12

I looked for it briefly, but could not find an article that I think would be particularly helpful for you. (IN This Rock) I believe in dealing with your ex-pastor, you need to talk less and ask the right questions of him.

Catholic teachings are wonderfully biblical. If you ask the right questions using scripture asking him to explain things always asking for the corresponding scripture,(look it up with him and read it right there!), you will plant more seeds than trying to explain and defend the Church.

For example: Bible alone: But scripture says hold fast to the written and oral. (provide scripture and look it up together) Where in Scripture does it say it has all been written down now and only hold fast to the written? He gives you one verse that “makes a strong case for Scripture alone” yet, in reality, doesn’t. Profitable does not equal alone. You can give him verses that clearly state to hold fast to both the written and oral words of God.

Get him to prove his case, not the other way around. He is much more knowledgeable at this point, make him do the legwork and prove it to you! Know that he can’t, and even if he makes a good argument that you can’t refute, write it down , tell him you will go and ask some fellow Catholics and get back to him. (Assuming of course that your newfound faith in Christ and His Church will not be shaken by his sometimes seemingly convincing arguments?)

God Bless,
Maria


#13

Hi

2 Tim 3:16,17 refers to the infallibility or inerrancy of scripture - NOT that the completeness of our faith is to be found there ONLY. Yes, scripture is a complete foundation {All the elements of the faith are there} and it is perfect - but not everything is spelled out there {we are unable to put all the pieces together correctly without guidance from the Holy Spirit}; therefore we imperfect, fallible humans need Sacred Holy Spirit Guided Tradition to interpret that perfect word for us - to make our Faith (and the Holy written Word) complete. Anyone who professes the indewelling Holy Spirit should not have a problem accepting the accumulated understanding of the written Word, as guided by that same Holy Spirit - after all, that is where our (shared) understanding of the trinity came from: Tradition.

For mary’s ‘sin’ offering, as another poster pointed out - it wasn’t for sin. It was to fulfill the law: Did not Jesus Himself say he came to fulfill all that was written about Him, and to also fulfill all the requirements of the Law? In order to be the perfect sacrifice wasn’t this necessary? Then how could that statement be true if even ONE part of the Law was left unfulfilled? Jesus was also circumsized - was that necessary? Yes - to fulfill the Law, not for himself - obviously. So: Mary’s state of grace is a moot point here - because even if it was technically a ‘sin’ offering {Which it wasn’t} the requirements of the Law needed to be fulfilled regardless.

Peace

John


#14

2 Peter 1:20-21 “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter on one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

One need only read the book of Daniel to see that the interpretation given by catholics to the above text fails poorly.


#15

[quote=Daniel Marsh]2 Peter 1:20-21 “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter on one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

One need only read the book of Daniel to see that the interpretation given by catholics to the above text fails poorly.
[/quote]

Would you like to spare us the effort and teach us the error of our ways?

Notworthy


#16

Using 2 Timothy 3:15-17 as a proof text for sola scriptura has a couple of significant weaknesses:

-The passage does not provide a list of what written works are authoritative. This is a major failing of sola scriptura: if the bible alone is the final authority in all matters of theological dispute, then it is necessary that the bible include a list of what texts are inspired, which it doesn’t. And if there were a text that did give such a list, it would be necessary to independently prove the inspiration of that text.

-As previously pointed out, the passage says that scripture is “useful”, which does not mean “sufficent”.

-In 2 Tim 3:17, Paul is speaking of the Old Testament writings, which is the only scripture that Timothy could have known from infancy. If this passage means that scripture is sufficient, it proves that all we need is the Old Testament.

Reword the passage slightly: “All vegetables are designed by God and are useful for digestive health and for a balanced nutrition, so that one who eats them may have a complete diet”; this is true, but does not mean that one has a complete diet by eating nothing but vegetables.

Or again, “All dress shirts are useful for fancy occasions, so that one who wears them may be completely dressed”; this is also true, but does not mean that one is completely dressed when wearing nothing but a dress shirt.


#17

[quote=NotWorthy]Would you like to spare us the effort and teach us the error of our ways?

Notworthy
[/quote]

Unlikely. That would involve the exchange of ideas which might challenge his/her view and he/she might not wish to actually defend it. Better to hit and run without having to confront the reality of opposing viewpoints…


#18

[quote=DavidJ]As a brand new convert back to Catholicism I am trying to answer questions to my protestant friends, who now think I’m “buying everything the priest is telling me”. I used to attend the church of this pastor who is now questioning me on a number of issues. Here are 2 of his questions:

2 tim 3 tells us that all scripture is God breathed, that is a pretty powerful indication that it is to be THE authority in all matters of life and belief.

on another matter if mary was sinless why would she go and make a sin offering after having given birth to Christ?

HELP!
In Christ,
DavidJ
[/quote]

Why jump right in like this? Much better to start with the foundation (Sola Scriptura) and then proceed to specifics. If the bible was the sole rule of faith, why didn’t Christ write it himself, or at least mention it was forthcoming, or ANYTHING. And why was it all scattered and mixed with non-inspired stuff? And why did God choose to finally reveal the canon of Scripture through the post apostolic Church? I mean not even the Apostles seemed to have a clue that they were writing Scripture. Those are the issues you should be starting with - "With all due respect, why should I believe the Bible is what you, Pastor, claim it to be?
The reason why you need to start here is because whenever you two disagree on an issue he will say, “show me in the bible where…” immediately going into sola scriptura mode when, in fact, that mode has not been established. He needs to establish sola scriptura first.

Phil


#19

[quote=DavidJ]As a brand new convert back to Catholicism
[/quote]

PRAISE GOD! Welcome home!:dancing:

I came home frome a Baptist sect.

I am trying to answer questions to my protestant friends, who now think I’m “buying everything the priest is telling me”.

So they’d rather you buy everything thier telling you instead!

I used to attend the church of this pastor who is now questioning me on a number of issues.

So, your pastour doesn’t like loosing his role as your pope!:wink:

Here are 2 of his questions:

2 tim 3 tells us that all scripture is God breathed, that is a pretty powerful indication that it is to be THE authority in all matters of life and belief.

Your former pope - I mean preacher can’t even interpret Scripture. This is a great reason to leave. This verse does NOT say the Bible alone is the souls authority, it implies there is more authority too. (Your preacher seems to want to be that other authority). This verse also refers to the Old Testement. There was NO Bible when this book was written. Again, your former pope needs to have this pointed out to him.

on another matter if mary was sinless why would she go and make a sin offering after having given birth to Christ?

HELP!
In Christ,
DavidJ

Why do Protestants insist on dragging the Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior through the mud every time they get a chance! Throw Mary a bone! Tell your EX-preacher to give Mary a break. There are too many other topics to discuss like faith alone and where the Bible came from and who wrote it and who declared it inspired and who came up with the idea and who decided on which books to include and…

Most important though, now that you are Catholic you must show you Protestant brethren “LOVE”. Do everything with love even if they do not show it to you. They ARE Christians and love GOd dearly - in their own missguided ways. Faith, Hope and Love. Those are your gifts so use them to shine your new brighter light on you EX Protestent brothers and sisters.

JMJ


#20

PS,

You ask them questions about their faith errors and let them do the leg work. They’re ganging up on you and running you in circles. Meet them one on one and YOU ask them the questions! It’s just a debateing technique.

OK, I couldn’t help it. Here’s an answer about Blessed Mary:

Mary took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem per Lk 2:22-24 in accordance with Levitical law (Leviticus 12:2-8). This practice includes a sin offering. This was a work of the law! Does you preacher remember Eph 2:8-10? Works of the law do not count towards justification since we HAVE to perform them, they’re LAW! Dah? Your EX-preacher seems to lack 2,000 years of Christian theology.

I quote Fr. Auman,

"The “sin” of the sin offering is not a sin in the meaning that we use that word. We use it to refer to a moral evil; but from the context it obviously refers to a ritual impurity, which in this case has nothing to do with sin in our meaning of that word. Ritual impurity simply made one unfit to do certain ritual acts.

Child birth, like menstruation or seminal discharge (See Leviticus, Chapter 15) , was considered a loss of vitality, which was to be made good by some ritual means. For this reason, Mary and Joseph, who were so anxious to carry out all the prescriptions of the Old Law to please God, observed whatever that Law required, whether it really pertained to them or not. (Would it not be good if Catholics were as anxious to carry out the prescriptions of the New Law?"

Context and history, two things that prove Protestants wrong.


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